Transcription of letter from Mary Low to Louise Coburn, 10/5/1890

Waterville, Oct. 5. 1890.

Dear Miss Coburn,
I have been looking for a
letter from you for several days. Did you
receive Dr. Bakeman’s letter that I enclosed
for your reading?

I received yesterday a letter from Mrs.
Dr. Pepper. She wrote very kindly thanking
me for what I have done, a “service”, as she
calls it. This new movement, she says, “is a
concession to the laziest and worst elements
in the college and out.”

I heartily appreciate the feeling which prompts
her to write so plainly when to do it she is
obliged, as she says, “to take issue with the pres-
ent administration.”

What a miserable piece of business this
is! To think that a person can’t in this land
of free speech and free thought say out his

honest conviction for fear of discourtesy to some-
one high in authority. I am heartily sick and
disgusted with the whole thing. But I do feel
that the moral victory is ours though we may
have to wait long years for the triumph of the
right. I think we should get many more
words of commendation, if people felt free to
speak.

I must tell you what Prof. Lester said.
Of course it reminded him of a story. “There
was an Irishman who had a boy and when the
boy was little his father used to whip him.
When the boy grew up, however, he gave his
father a whipping
, but the Irishman said
‘he never could ‘a’ done it, if he hadn’t
brought ‘im up.” Pretty good, wasn’t it.

And now a little matter of business.

That we might have some extra copies, I
ordered 100 more at the mail office. We ex-
pected to have them for about $3.00, in
which case we, who live here, would have
taken them. But owing to the fact that about

half of the type had been distributed and had
to be re-set, they have cost us the enor-
mous sum of $10.00. The money already as-
sessed from the girls pays the bills thus far
but these 100 must be paid for in some
way. Now what I wish is that the girls
would take as many as they can afford to at
the rate at which they come, 10 cts. per copy,
and help us out. I will take ten, Alice
five, Hattie five and more, she says, if we
can’t dispose of them all. I have written to see
if Bertha Soule will take five or ten.

Can’t you take some? I think they might
perhaps, work good for our cause if sent to
friends of the college. I think the enemies of
co-education will do all they can to ignore
our action and cover it up and for that rea-
son I want as many as possible to know
of what we have done. Dr. Bakeman requested
me to send a copy to Dr. Upham of Chelsea, an
old graduate and I have done so. Prof. Hall said something to Hattie
about copies to send around to the libraries

but he may have thought better of it. I
have heard nothing more about it.

If you should decide to take any, will you
let me know as soon as possible?

The Sigma Kappa is in a quandary, about
these new girls, whether to invite them to
join us or not. I am inclined to think, as you
do, that perhaps it is best just now to take
them in while the new plan is on trial.

But sometimes in the bitterness of my heart
I say, “Better bury the society than degrade
it.” If, in time, the character of the girls does
really degenerate very much, I should think
it would be better to refuse to admit any
more and let the society die. But it hurts
me
to think of it, and of course we should
use much of our hold and our influence
among the under-graduates. The Cons. pro-
vides, they say, for only 25 acting members.
What is to be done? If we take in all of
these new girls, it will have to be changed.
We might choose those we want, but it
seems selfish when there is no other so-
ciety for them to join. What do you think?
Please write soon. Fraternally,
M.L. Carver