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The last scholar to arrive at the school was called the "new child" until the arrival of another. Her luggage was looked over by the day keepers and teachers. If it was not properly marked, on the day the girls sewed in their own rooms, the clothes were brought to the room, where the girls with marking cotton marked the initials of the owner.

A little circumstance which happened when I was day keeper has been a subject for wonder all my life. A "new child" from Kentucky came on horseback to Philadelphia, and by stage to the school, accompanied by her brother. Her brother said her clothes were to be sent from Philadelphia. The trunk came and was carried to the trunk room. It was an immense square hair trunk, with brass nails around the edges. When the trunk was opened a few quarts of hickory nuts constituted its entire contents. The poor girl looked aghast, and we day keepers laughed. It was unexplained. The Inspector wrote to the father in Kentucky, but he merely answered, diring [sic] Brother Steinhauer to purchase what was necessary and charge it on his bill.

On Saturday there was no school, but in the morning one teacher and two day keepers from each room went to the dining room, where baskets of clothing belonging to each room were placed. The teacher called out the initials on the clothing from the basket, and the day keepers who knew the initials placed them in piles. These were arranged on the dressing tables of the different rooms, and the girls were sent down for their clothes, which they carried to their trunks, after taking out what was necessary to change with that night.

Through the week the school closed at half past three o'clock. The girls would take seats around their table. The day keepers had gone to the dining room and loaded them with two immense platters of fresh bread and butter, which the girls were very glad to get. After this we went to the grounds for recreation. Swings, skipping ropes, hoops and see-saws were for our use, also boats on the Menocacy [sic] Creek. The grounds extended to this creek which were not deep. The grounds were laid out beautifully, and if any girl wished to plant flower seeds and cultivate flowers, she could have a little bed. We played tag, mumble peg and marbles.

After dinner Saturday, girls would combine to have a feast with their pocket money. There was a building connected with the school where an old man and woman sold cakes and little pies, candy, nuts and fruit. One could get six apples for a penny and other things in proportion. The crowning glory of the feast was boiled mackerel (we never had fish at school) which the cook purchased and boiled for us. She also made the coffee and loaned us all the dishes. The feasts we had in rooms on the same floor as the kitchen. The little girls were always separated from the larger girls on these occasions. It would make one laugh to see the selection and the abundance at those times.

Recollections of
Mrs Harriet Gould Drake Tinkam: student, 1817

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