Mary Howland Linn to Jane Addams, ca. 1907


Dear Aunt Jane—

I have meant to write you much oftener than I have this fall and do not intend to let so many piffling little things permit me, the rest of the winter, from pouring into the sea of a too indulgent aunt an account of Jane's doings and sayings. It was awfully good of you at Christmas twice to send us so generous a remembrance-– We have already canvassed many possibilities and [page 2] came to a decision as follows: Weber to do as he pleases-–I to get a book to put all my snap-shots of Jane in–-the rest to open a bank account for Jane-–I am sure her frivolous aunt would much prefer I should buy her something facsinating to wear--but Jane's winter wardrobe is complete except for some flannel slips which I purpose making her myself after Christmas-–You know [illegible] gave her white [page 3] petticoats galore & a lovely white fur coat–- I bought a very bewitching velvet bonnet to go with the white coat-– & a dark blue velveteen coat for every day. Grandma knitted two nice bonnets for every day--thus we are prepared for every days and Sundays-- Our white fur coat is lovely & Jane is greatly admired in it.

Jane is awfully well-–I take her out every morning from 9.30 to 12-–and a nice colored girl comes from 1.30 to 6 [page 4] and has her out from two to 4.30. Interval from 12 to 2–-being devoted to lunch & nap. She gets wearied of much riding these days and likes to walk fairly long distances, a half mile at least. One of our favorite sports is feeding the pigeons and squirrels in the college yard. They come in flocks, eat out of our hands, perch on us, and are most amusing. Sundays, now that golf is over-–Uncle takes Jane, always mornings & if I have things to do [page 5] afternoons too. This morning he went up to Grace Kennedy's where there is a nice coast & washed Jane. He said she seemed to enjoy running about among the other children painting out the noses, eyes, etc. more than coasting though not at all afraid of that, [illegible] in spite of being dumped overboard on the first trip. It was very kind of you to offer us a home for Christmas, I do wish we could accept. Hull House is a pretty nice at all times and particularly so at Christmas. And [page 6] Jane loves children so much-–she would have had a fine time with her cousins. You are sure to have a jolly time with them. The more I see of other people's children & the more I discover my own inadequacy for disciplining Jane, the more I admire Esther. Her children are so attractive in looks and manner and affectionateness-– If Jane is as nice a little girl as Mary and Louise, I shall feel she [page 7] has a scrap of right to her name.

Lots of love, dear Aunt Jane, from us all-–

Yours lovingly



Charles Peabody discouraged me the other day by looking at my enlargements & saying that they would make really lovely things if printed on the right paper–- So do forgive the wrong paper-–he is a successful amateur photographer & knows, of course [page 8]

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