Howe Letters - 1888

What I would do with one thousand dollars.

If I should have one thousand dollars that I didn't have any particular personal use for, and wanted it to benefit my fellow citizen, as well as the public generally, I don't think I could find a better use for it than to repair the Holten High School.
I should first improve the grounds and the outside of the building. I would put a granite curbing eighteen inches high all around the grounds, with small posts at the corners. At the gates four stone posts about five feet high would greatly add to the good looks of the yard. I should then have the building painted some pretty color. This with the curbing and posts would cost nearly six hundred dollars, leaving me four hundred dollars to spend.
Next I would buy two dollars worth of wire netting to be put on Mr. Kenny's fence as there is not enough on these now to effectually stop the baseball of the senior boys. Then I should begin the repair of the inside of the school house, by getting two or three more modern maps than those hanging in the school-room now; one would think by their looks they were used by Christopher Columbus when he was a boy. These might cost ten dollars.
With fifty dollars I should have the laboratory furnished with new apparatus. Some that would work. So that the philosophy studied by the middlers would not have to be a study of faith. With the remaining one hundred and thirty seven dollars and seventy five cents I should get a good telescope to be put up in the cupola for the special use of the juniors, so they would understand more about the spots on the sun and so forth. This would make the total amount spent nine hundred ninty nine dollars and seventy five cents. The last twenty five cents I should give the janitor to oil the hinges of the desks to they wouldn't squeak. I think if I did all those things with my thousand dollars it would have done a great deal of good.
George A. Howe. [probably while he was in high school--' 88 –' 89]

Series of letters having to do with George A. Howe at boarding school in Northampton. Most likely Bradford Academy.
First, though, is a hand delivered letter from a relative of I.B.Howe to Hannah about George [16]: His mother, Abijah's wife, was Martha Bridgman of Hanover, NH. I have not found indication what the "kinship" was. There is a later reference to a Walter Bridgeman. The 'e' in the name is apparently optional.
The envelope says "For Mrs. Howe. By kindness of George." In pencil below Mrs. Howe is written "From Mrs. Bridgeman" and on the back "1888". (All letters have 2 cent stamps)
[George was attending Mr. Bridgman's school and studying. Later references to Mama's concern about his keeping up his morals away from home.]

My dear Mrs. Howe

I have been thinking of writing you for a long time I have wished to tell you how much we enjoy your boy George. He seems to me so healthy, mentally morally and physically just the right kind of a boy to go to college and profit most by the educational advantages without the least danger of contamination from evil influences that exist everywhere. I think you have done yourself great credit in training him into such a stanch? young man. I can emphasize with you most heartily in all the pride you feel in him. We are glad that we can claim kinship. I think George is doing very well in his studies. I heard him recite in Greek this evening and I thought it a good recitation. I am greatly interested in his progress and I anticipate living? over the college course of my own boys with him, especially since he has told me that he thinks he will go to Yale.
I hope Margaret can return with George and remain with us till you are settled in N. York. I had anticipated having both of the girls here, one at a time during the Autumn but the fire upset all my plans. You must all come here on your return in the Spring. I am sure you will pass the Winter very pleasantly there is so much to interest one in N. York and I hope you will find the climate agreeable. Please accept love for yourself and daughters with the wish that you may have a very happy Thanksgiving together.
Very sincerely yours,
Mary E. Bridgman (she didn't spell it Bridgeman)

Thursday 27th [September based on apples and term beginning?]
Dear fellow
I would like to see you this morning and know how you found things. Margaret & I have just been up to do our errands. Mr. Beal said he went out with Henry and helped get things settled he enjoyed it seeing so much moving and changing about and getting ready. Arthur has commenced picking the apples today it is a perfect day. Oda has gone to Salem to see the dentist. I must not stop to write more as I want to send this up to the office and I want to send to Mr. Witham for some butter. Did you mean to leave your guitar we are going into Boston and can take it to you if you want and will tell us where to meet you or where to leave it. We can leave it at the union station package room if you say so.