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Harry's drawing of his room at Purdue

Harry’s drawing of his room at Purdue

Effie wrote Harry two lengthy letters and a note, the latter to apologize for errors in the second letter. In the first, she repeated conversations about their letter writing and how her mother’s feelings regarding it were evolving. The next covered several topics, including her health, the sympathy of friends, a game of Skat, where Harry should put his piano and where he should board, and the antics of one of her mother’s boarders. It enclosed the drawing of Harry’s room that he had sent her soon after returning to Purdue.

Harry’s first correspondence of the day was just a note. In the following letter, he talked about the “mails” and the improvement of Miss Shoemaker, a near catastrophe, and explained why he had sent her Miss Weed’s photograph.

“I think that my hay-fever and asthma are trying to make the most of their time,….” Osborn, Effie 1885-9-17a

“My darling I wish you could have some one as sympathetic as Ada is to talk to.” Osborn, Effie 1885-9-17b

“I always make about a thousand & one mistakes, put the for they, did for didn’t, and all sorts of things that express the opposite of what I mean, so you’ll have to guess more than once at my meaning I fear.” Osborn, Effie 1885-9-17c

“I am in the greatest haste….” Osborn, Henry 1885-9-17a

“All you have told me about yourself & Fritz & all the rest has been interesting and I never dreamed of making you feel or suspect any thing at all different.” Osborn, Henry 1885-9-17b


The University Archives at Hamline University collects and preserves university records, publications, photographs, audio recording, moving images, artifacts, and other materials from the university’s early days in Red Wing to its present in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).