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ur lives. He of course made an address, which is supposed to have had a great influence over us, but I am afraid we did not remember long the many injunctions he laid upon us. In those halcyon days, in addition to our studies and school drudgery, girls of sixteen and upward had to make their own clothes, including a graduation dress of sheer, fine muslin, together with the slip to wear under it. All this was made by hand, which meant many hours of careful sewing after school hours, on Saturdays and holidays (forgive the term, under such circumstances). They not only had to make their own clothes, but had to assist the sisters in making the white dresses for the ten or a dozen orphans whom the sisters had on their hands to clothe and educate. Good-natured, jolly Sister Superior Isabella would journey by water to Louisville, Kentucky, to buy the material for the dresses, together with many bolts of blue ribbon for sashes and bow-knots, which every girl was obliged to wear on comme
idering, knitting, repairing our clothes, and sometimes in feasting and dancing. We were allowed to go into the parlor to be introduced to the parents of the girls who came to visit them, and on these occasions we were coached as to the manner of entering the room, saluting the guests, and how to withdraw without betraying awkwardness. Sister Isabella gave us periodical lectures, especially if any of the girls had been guilty of violation of the rules of the academy. We used to enjoy the Sundays. After service we would go out on the lawn or to the window to watch the people who came to church at Saint Vincent's. Some of them were on horseback, some on foot, and others in every conceivable kind of vehicle of those early days. I remember, as if it had occurred yesterday, the visit of Bishop Spaulding and the great to-do that we made of his coming to Saint Vincent's. We all kissed his ring, and thought it was the greatest event of our lives. He of course made an address, which is s
all our faults, he granted us absolution. The sisters were shocked; but, as we had all turned out very well, they pardoned us, but prayed us never to tell that we could do such a thing with one of them watching over us all the time. I remember that on one May-day all the girls got themselves up in their best clothes and escorted Sister Isabella to quite a high place up in the forest opposite the academy. Here we had built a throne, and, putting her on it, we crowned her the Queen of the May with so much enjoyment that we were all extremely happy. I can picture now how she looked sitting on her green throne in her uniform. A crown of flowers decked her cap, and a long rope of flowers hung around her neck and about her unsylphlike waist, with long ends hanging down the sides. We had made her a sceptre by twining flowers around a stick. This she wielded with much dexterity, directing the rendering of the programme of songs, recitations, and original poems, which we had prepare
our friend's husband continue his eternal sleep in unhallowed ground. Years afterward I confessed to Father Durbin who the heretics were, and the dear old man insisted he suspected us all the time; but, as we were pretty good girls with all our faults, he granted us absolution. The sisters were shocked; but, as we had all turned out very well, they pardoned us, but prayed us never to tell that we could do such a thing with one of them watching over us all the time. I remember that on one May-day all the girls got themselves up in their best clothes and escorted Sister Isabella to quite a high place up in the forest opposite the academy. Here we had built a throne, and, putting her on it, we crowned her the Queen of the May with so much enjoyment that we were all extremely happy. I can picture now how she looked sitting on her green throne in her uniform. A crown of flowers decked her cap, and a long rope of flowers hung around her neck and about her unsylphlike waist, with l
September (search for this): chapter 2
ths and soothing lotions to bind up the wounds made by the whip. Sister Isabella persuaded him to go to bed and stay in his cabin all day. The overseer was glad enough to take flight, and quiet was restored. We engaged in frolics like most boys and girls who go away from home to school. Three or four of us used to take chances; sometimes they were rather hazardous. One of the graduates of my first year at school married during vacation and was a widow before we returned to school in September, her husband having been killed by an accident. She was a devout Catholic; he a Protestant, and could not, therefore, be buried in the consecrated ground of the cemetery which was near the church. The cemetery was enclosed by a zigzag fence, and she had him buried in one of the outside corners of the fence. They made a rail pen over his grave. We Protestant girls thought it a shame that he should be outside, so, one night when we thought Father Durbin was away visiting the churches und
Logan an intimacy formed at once crossing the great American desert too late for the war father's three years in California I am sent to boarding-school in Kentucky the sisters and the slaves girlish escapades vacation employments graduation marriage at seventeen to prosecuting Attorney Logan, twelve years my senior the wedding removal to Benton early housekeeping--fair week expert equestriennes birth of my two eldest children and death of my first born. The Mexican War of 1847-8 afforded many an opportunity to prove their patriotism and give vent to their adventurous inclinations. Communication with Washington was very limited, but when it was found that volunteers were called for, as war had been declared with Mexico, astonishing numbers rushed into the towns to try to get on the rolls. I can just remember seeing my father borne aloft above the heads of the men who elected him captain of the company. He had enlisted to serve three years, or until peace was decl
an an intimacy formed at once crossing the great American desert too late for the war father's three years in California I am sent to boarding-school in Kentucky the sisters and the slaves girlish escapades vacation employments graduation marriage at seventeen to prosecuting Attorney Logan, twelve years my senior the wedding removal to Benton early housekeeping--fair week expert equestriennes birth of my two eldest children and death of my first born. The Mexican War of 1847-8 afforded many an opportunity to prove their patriotism and give vent to their adventurous inclinations. Communication with Washington was very limited, but when it was found that volunteers were called for, as war had been declared with Mexico, astonishing numbers rushed into the towns to try to get on the rolls. I can just remember seeing my father borne aloft above the heads of the men who elected him captain of the company. He had enlisted to serve three years, or until peace was declare
e waters of which they dared not drink. They were both deeply grieved that they did not reach their destination until too late to participate in any of the engagements of the Mexican War. They had returned but a short time before the marvellous stories of the discovering of gold in California were started. Desirous of further adventure, many of those who had been to Mexico were wild to repeat their long march across the plains to California, my father among them. In the early spring of 1849 these daring spirits again assembled at Alton, Illinois, to join an overland train for Sacramento, California. The season was dry, and the grass was very scarce and unusually short; hence but one-third of the party and but very few of the animals survived the three months they spent in making the long journey. The graves of their comrades marked the route they had taken over the Rocky Mountains and across the trackless desert. Then followed another three months of waiting before my fath
ore. Mother was almost overcome, as she read page after page of father's graphic stories of all that had taken place since he left us; of his disappointments and successes; of the legions of seekers after gold from every country on the globe; of his longing to return home and his tender messages to us children. No such long intervals between his letters again occurred, as the mails from California subsequently came by sea around the Horn. He remained two and a half years, reaching home in 1853, soon after Franklin Pierce's inauguration. Shortly after father's return home he was appointed by President Pierce registrar of the land office at Shawneetown, Illinois. It was an important appointment, on account of the passage by Congress of the Bit act, which meant that actual settlers inside the radius of the district of which Shawneetown was the headquarters could enter one hundred and sixty acres of land, at twelve and one-half cents per acre. As the time was limited for such ent
for my remaining for the school year of nine months and took his leave, while I, with tearful eyes, was led by Sister Isabella into the convent proper, and introduced to some of the older girls, who acted as hostesses to the new arrivals. At first I was very homesick, but soon forgot my unhappiness surrounded by light-hearted companions and the good, kind sisters who were ever ready to comfort and cajole the homesick and unhappy. To have any. idea of the conditions at Saint Vincent's in 1854-5, it would be necessary to turn back the leaves of time for more than fifty years, and to realize that scarcely a single advantage which the pupils at Saint Vincent's now enjoy then existed. We were literally pioneers, and the opportunities we had were of the most primitive character;--but, underlying them all was the lovely spirit of devotion, purity, and tenderness of the dear sisters, which made the simplest exercises beautiful and attractive. In those days we had the cabins of the s
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