Mary's Letters

Mary wrote frequently to her cousin, Sol, on very fine and long sheets of paper. The letters can be measured in feet.

The next few pages are transcriptions of a few of Mary's letters. In them, she describes her experiences in Japan. Letters are transcribed, here, line by line, which can provide an idea of how long that one sheet of paper was.

April 23, 1889: Description of a kabuki performance of 47 Ronin. Mary offers to send Japanese flowers to her cousin, Solomon, for his herbarium (a collection of preserved plant specimens). She also asks about the legibility of her handwriting on the rice paper.

June 22, 1889: Mary talks about a fellow teacher and former student, Shamida San, who was twenty-five years old and considering marriage. In it, Mary summarizes Shamida's early life prior to Ferris Seminary and describes Shamida's reluctance in marriage, despite matches from her parents and the delay and possible cancelation of her current engagement. Shamida was mentioned in the prior letter, offering to summarize what is happening in the performance.

Sept 4, 1889: Travel to Hakone Lake, which is near Mount Fuji. After discussing returning to work, she also updates Sol on Shamida San.

Mary's Letters