Toward a Vocation

Photograph Photograph Photograph Photograph

Letter to his family. Cambridge;  [10 November1861]  b MS Am 1092.9 (2501)

James knew that his family hoped he would miss them deeply, and in this letter written near the end of his first semester at the Lawrence Scientific School, just after his brother Henry had visited, he included a drawing of the “heavenly group” waiting at home—his parents, his aunt Catherine Walsh, and his siblings. Despite his effusive epithet, the group looks decidedly unhappy, even angry; and James notes—perhaps playfully, perhaps not-- that they all are “more or less failures, especially the two outside ones,” Alice and Bob.