County of Brant Public Library Digital Collections
Letter to Ettie Yates from Mary Todd

Media Type:
This item is a letter dated Janaury 14th, 1882 from Mary Todd to Ettie Yates regarding Mary's experiences in Ottawa while training to be a teacher.
Date of Publication:
Local identifier:
Jean Sumsion Collection
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.0258887600745 Longitude: -80.5188202435303
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Recommended Citation:
Letter to Ettie Yates from Mary Todd, 1882. Burford Township Historical Society, Item No. 1999.113.007.
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The information and images provided are for personal research only and are not to be used for commercial purposes. Use of this information should include the credit "Burford Township Historical Society and Museum."
Burford Township Historical Society
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141 Harley Road, Harley, ON N0E 1E0

Full Text


Miss Ettie Yates

Hatchley P.O.

Brant Co.


Page 1:

Ottawa Jan 14th 1882

My dear Ettie

How are you progress-

ing by this time? Have you started

to school yet? I had a letter from Lizzie

Robinson last week and she told

me about Miss [Merill] not coming

to take the school but I suppose you

have a teacher by this time and are

progressing [finily]. You ought to see

our young and handsome writing

master. He blushes whenever any

of us girls ask him a question and

I ask him all the more, just to bother

him. All the teachers are very nice,

and the students also, the girls, I mean,

for I am not acquainted with the gen-

tlemen, not being allowed to speak

Page 2:

to them, but there are two [printers]

boarding in the same house as I do and

I go out with one of them sometimes.

I was all over the City last Saturday

afternoon with him. We visited the

Parliament Buildings, and went through

the House of Commons, the Senate, the

Government Library and climbed more

than three hundred steps to get up

in the tower, where I had a good view

of the City, the Laurentine Hills, the

River Ottawa and [Chaudiere] Falls.

The Government Library is perfectly

magnificent. The students of the [G.L]

have access to the books in it as well

as to the library in the [M.L], but we

can not find a great deal of time

to read more than the books on teaching

and Hygeine which the teachers recom-

mend to us. There are [seventy] ladies

and forty gentlemen this term. Last

term ther were ninety students, and

Page 3:

eighteen of them were "plucked". They

are very strict now, and if you fail

in any oen of the eleven subjects

you fail in all, and they will not pass

you. I expect to be "plucked" for I get

so nervous when teaching before any

one, but I will hope for the best.

I am not afraid of the other ten

subjects,- [viz]; Reading, Spelling & [Composition?],

Hygiene, Education, Calisthenics, Music,

Drawing, Mental Arithmetic, Writing

and Chemistry.

I have plenty of chances of going out

here and having a good time but I have

to many lessons to study to go out very


I left home on Monday and

stayed in Toronto until Tuesday

evening and then travelled all night

and reached Ottawa the following morning.

It was a lovely moonlight-night &

the scenery looked beautiful.

Page 4:

We have plenty of snow here now

and it makes me long for a sleigh-ride.

I do not feel the cold very much here. It

is not as cold as usual.

How did you and Charlie like your

books? Is not Jo a splendid character?

How is Alec and his bride getting on, and

Mr. Shaver and everybody else. Be sure

and write me a good long letter. Tell

Carrie to write me and let me know how

she is getting on with her lessons. I wish

she and Charlie would get their

pictures taken together for me. Tell

[Gusty] when she reads in her Album

she will have to imagine herself a

pupil of mine.

My room-mate is a short, fat girl

named Kate [Loucy?]. Is not that

a funny name. I do not care for her

very much, but she makes a great

Page 5:

fuss over me. My favourite of the girls

is Mary Garner, from Niagara Falls,

and she wants me to go and board

with her, but I do not like trouble

of changing. She is only a block from

where I board so we are often together.

You ought to see us practising gym-

nastics. It would make you laugh.

We have to swing our arms around like

a wind-mill and then raise them

above our heads, keep our knees

stiff, and touch our toes with the

tips of our fingers. It is exhausting,

I assure you.

I saw a pretty sight last Saturday

when going through the City. We were

in the Fire Brigade [Rooms] and the manager

rang the fire alarm and the stable doors [flun]

open and out bolted the horses, already

harnessed, and went and stood in their

respective places ready to be hitched. They

are ready to start in three min. after they hear

the alarm.

Page 6:

I would like to see you so much.

I think you might take a drive down

and see me. I hope you are enjoying

yourself and at the same time being

good to yourself. Now I will have to

close for I have to go downtown. Be

sure and write soon and tell me all

the news and all about yourself. I will

look for a letter in two weeks, at the

most. Give my "kind regards" to all

and keep a kiss for yourself.

Your affec. Friend

Mary Todd

P.S. You can address to my boarding-house,

instead of to the Normal School. The following

is my address

236 Gloucester St.


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Letter to Ettie Yates from Mary Todd

This item is a letter dated Janaury 14th, 1882 from Mary Todd to Ettie Yates regarding Mary's experiences in Ottawa while training to be a teacher.