Letter from Mary Frances Lyman on quitting her job and studying music


Letter from Mary Frances Lyman on quitting her job and studying music


Letter from Mary Frances Lyman to her parents, Reverend and Mary Denison Lyman. She reports the death of Joseph Unthank (1815-1883) and her decision to quit her teaching job at the Indian Training School to study music.


Lyman, Mary Frances

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Lyman Family Papers








Pacific University Archives





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Forest Grove, May 24th 1883

My Dearly Loved Father,

I am afraid you will think I am not as good about writing as I used to be. I know it has been a long time since I have written, but I have been unable to do so on account of such a crowd of things.

Mr. Unthank [i.e. Joseph Unthank, 1815-1883] has been very sick for several weeks, and died last Tuesday. I have been over there so much trying to help them that it has taken all my time. The girls took his death very hard, and I have felt so sorry for them, that I have stayed there all the time I could spare away from home.

I am sorry, so sorry, that you have had so much trouble about the land. I hope you can still hold it. You must not worry about it and make yourself sick. We are all well here and getting on nicely. It is not long now before [Corn?]- I hope you can be here by that time.

Did I tell you in my last letter that I had ceased all part in the I.T. [Indian Training] School. It is even so. I could not make any very satisfactory arrangements so I concluded to cut short the agony and resign. I think it is much better that I did so. They wanted me to put in my time in the sewing room and it took eight hours per day. Sat. included. I found it was altogether too hard and wearing for me, so I thought for a change that I would take music lessons. I am taking of Sarah Coplen. I do enjoy it so much. I thought I might get kind of a start in music this summer, and see how I got on with it, and then next winter, if I found it possible, I might pursue it further, if not, I could get a school and teach somewhere. I can learn considerable just during the summer about music.

I find it very delightful to have a little time to myself again, and not be in a perpetual hurry all the time. I have been trying to get things straightened a little about the house also. Rev. Mr. Marsh has depar[t]ed and Mr. Bosworth has been preaching now several times. He is an exceedingly fine man. The church has been conferring with a minister by the name of Miller, a friend of Mr. Bosworth's whom they think may possibly come. He is said to be a very fine man. It is certainly to be hoped that they may find some one before long who will be what is needed in this place.

Every one is interested in knowing when you will return. None however more so than your little daughter. I send bushels of love.

Your own little Mary.