Lena C. Leland to Jane Addams, May 7, [1903]

Rockford College,
Rockford, Illinois.

Dear Miss Addams:--

For several days I have been considering the advisability of writing to you in regard to Marcet, as you are the nearest person who has any responsibility in regard to her. The events of the morning have decided me to do that at once.

You will remember that Marcet was ill during the winter term, and that her recovery was not satisfactory to any of the parties concerned. [page 2]

There [were] certain developments of a nervous character that caused me to urge Mrs. Haldeman to take Marcet away at the time of her visit. From my observation of the girls, I have rarely known a recovery to occur without a change in every particular. Marcet did not wish to go, nor did Mrs. Haldeman wish her to do so.

At this time the trouble with her eyes manifested itself very strongly. Dr. [Fringer] hoped by exercise of the muscles and by the use of pressure to rework this source of irritation. Though Marcet improved for a time [page 3] the progress has been practically arrested because of the exhausted condition in which the child is whenever she goes for her exercise. After the little change of the spring vacation the improvement was marked, but in a few days fell back to the old standard. You may know the hysterical condition which Marcet developed before her mother left, which manifested itself in nervous chills as the most evident symptom. Beside there has been the general lack of self control in cases, and the slight tendency to laugh and cry. However most of the energy has been exhausted in the chills which have occurred several times a week, and sometimes [page 4] as often as twice a day.

Since there has been this strong objection to taking Marcet away from Rockford, and a determination on her part, not to go, I have done what I could to palliate the condition, but the results has been less than useless, for the child has lost steadily. I have talked seriously with Marcet, lest while she is most personable in conversation, she is absolutely self willed, though I doubt if she is conscious of her opposition.

Another thing which complicates the whole matter seriously, is the attitude of the girls—they mean well lest they try "to do her good", and succeed in making her even more self- [page 5] conscious and [uncontrolled].

I have talked with Dr Fitch about Marcet, because I have been so troubled about the case and he feels that she must have an absolute change, even from her family if possible.  You see this environment is [amplifying] in Marcet a most serious condition ↑habit↓.

The place has not been a good one for Marcet--sometimes I wonder if any other would have been better. She is bound to have a hard time constituted as she is.

I find that I have written a great deal. If it is possible will you not come out and see for yourself what seems best to do -- please come yourself, we don't ↑if it↓ seems best to give personal attention to the matter.

Very sincerely yours,

Lena C. Leland

May seventh

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