Her gentleness, Teaching School. The following fragment of a letter, written after she had begun her college course at McGrawville, gives a glimpse of her at this period : Watertown Nov. I have had but fourteen scholars yet, but expect more next week.
Sister Ruth teaches in the district adjoining this. I see her often, have been teaching two weeks. I do not have a very good oppor- tunity for studying, or reciting. There is a gentleman living about a mile and a half from me to whom I suppose I might recite, but the road is bad and so I have to content myself without a teacher, and I fear I shall not make much progress in my studies this winter.
Saturday Dec 4th I do not teach to-day, so I started off in the rain this morning to come and see Sister Ruth. It is about a mile and a half across through swamp and woods, but I had a very fine walk after all. I had to climb a hill on the way, that may well vie in height with the hills of McGrawville, and the prospect from its summit is the finest I ever saw. Sister saw me coming and came running to meet me and now we are sitting side by side in her school room with none to molest us I board around the dis- trict Let me add here an extract from a brief diary kept in 1 85 1, which illustrates a phase of her character hardly noticed thus far.
She was, like the best young women of her day and generation, intensely religious — even morbidly so, perhaps. But as sincerity is the saving grace of all relig- ions, we may forgive her maidenly effusion : Monday June 2 David came and brought me down to school to day. When I came to dinner found uncle Cook at Mr. Think I shall attend prayer meeting this evening. I love these prayer meetings. Spear always there with something beautiful and instructive to say.
And the Savior always there to bless us, and to strengthen us. And I feel I am blessed and profited every time that I attend. Tuesday June 3rd Feel sad this evening, have a hard headache pain in the chest, and cough some.
Oh that I may be spared a little longer, though unworthy of life on earth and how much more unfit to live in Heaven. Oh Heavenly Father wash me clean in the blood of thy precious son, and fit me for life, or death. Wednesday June 4th I am sitting now by my chamber window, have been gazing on the beautiful clouds of crimson and purple, that are floating in the bright west How beautiful is our world now in this sweet month, beautiful flowers beautiful forests, beautiful fields, beautiful birds, and murmuring brooks and rainbows and clouds and then again the clear blue sky without clouds or rainbows, or stars, smiling in its own calm loveliness Oh yes!
Had Angeline Stickney failed to keep advancing she would have sunk into obscurity, as her sisters did, and this story could not have been written.
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But ambition urged her forward, in spite of the morbid religious scruples that made ambition a sin; and she determined to continue her education. For some time she was undecided whether to go to Albany, or to Oberlin, or to McGrawville. If she went to Albany, board would cost her two dollars a week — more than she could well aflford. Besides, Ruth could not accompany her. As we shall see, she met her future husband at McGrawville ; and so it was not an alto- gether miserly or unkind fate that led her thither.
She was detennined to go to college, and to have Ruth go with her. We may laugh at the means she employed to raise funds, but we must respect the determination. The idea of a young woman's going about the country teaching monochromatic painting, and the making of tissue-paper flowers! Better to take in washing. And yet there could have been no demand for a professional washerwoman in 34 An Astronomer's Wife.
Indeed, Ruth and Angeline had many a discussion of the money problem. In those days women's wages were absurdly small; and the burden of proof and of prejudice rested on the young woman who maintained her right to go to college. They saved what they could from their paltry women's wages, and upon these meagre savings, after all, they finally depended ; for the monochromatic painting and the tissue-paper flowers supplied nothing more substantial than a little experience.
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The following extracts from the second and last journal kept by Angeline Stickney need no explanation. The little book itself is mutely eloquent. It is hand-made, and consists of some sheets of writing paper cut to a convenient size and stitched together, with a double thickness of thin brown wrapping paper for a cover. Thursday [Jan.
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Ruth and I had our daguerreot3rpes taken to-day. David here when we arrived at home to carry Ruth to her school. Friday, Ian, gth Today Mr. Vandervort came up after the horses and sleigh to go to Mr. He said he would carry me to Watertown and I could take the stage for Lockport, but the stage had left about half an hour before we arrived there, so Mr. Vander- vort said he would bring me up in the evening.
We started after tea and arrived' here in safety, but too late to do anything towards getting a class. Sat, Jan, loth Mr.
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Granger the landlord told me I had better go and get Miss Cobe to assist me in getting a class. She called with me at several places. Did not get much encourage- ment, so I thought best to go to Felts Mills in the afternoon. Tavern bill 3 shillings, fare from Lockport to the Mills 2 s.
Found two of them that would like to take lessons. Called at several places. Met with some encouragement Sunday, nth. Went to church in the afternoon. Very noisy here.
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Not much appearance of being the Sabbath. Monday, 12th. Concluded not to stay at the Mills. Found but three scholars there. So in the afternoon I came up to the Great Bend. Several called this evening to see my paintings. Tues- day. Very stormy. Went to the school to see if any of the scholars wished to take lessons in painting. Found none. Thought I would not stay there any longer. So when the stage came along in the afternoon I got on board, and thought I would stop at Antwerp, but on arriving there found that the stage was going to Ogdensburgh this evening.
Thought I would come as far as Gouvemeur. Arrived at Gouvemeur about 9 o'clock.
Put up at the Van Buren Hotel. Wednesday Quite stormy, so that I could not get out much, but went to Elder Sawyer's and to Mr. Clark, the principal of the Academy, carried the paintings to the hall this afternoon so that the pupils might see them. Brought them to me after school and said he would let me know next day whether any of the scholars wished to take lessons.
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I am almost discouraged, yet will wait with patience the decisions of to-morrow. Pleasant day. Qark came down this morning. Said Miss Wright, the precep- tress, would like to take lessons; and I found several others that thought they would take lessons. Found a boarding place at Mr. The family consists of Mr. Horr and their two daughters, hired girl and a little girl that they have adopted, and seven boarders, besides myself.
Sunday, February 8th. Have been to church to-day. Sawyer preached in the forenoon. Com- munion this afternoon.
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