1899 Letter to Jennie Tate from Fishburne Military School

Contributed by Kathleen Haynes      Contact Myrtle Bridges     June 21, 2008

Waynesboro, Va.
English, Classical, Scientific and Business Courses
Jas. A. Fishburne, A. B., Principal

						June 11, 1899
Mrs. Tate,
	Dear Madam: I found Wilson in his room just now instead of in school and when asked what was the 
matter he said he was going home; that I seemed to think he had committed such a great wrong the other 
night in going out of limits to get something to eat.
	The facts are as follows: He asked permission to go down town to get something to eat as he was hungry. 
I said;  "No, we will give you something here." Another boy came along with same request and I said about 
the same words, telling him that John, our head servant, would attend to it.
	After awhile I came over to the house and not finding them here, I found both had left the grounds.
	After some time I saw Wilson coming from down town and asked him what it meant. He said the dining room 
door was locked and he went on, etc.
	I told him that I had refused to excuse him to go and that he should have waited for me instead of such 
direct disobedience; that it was a very serious offence.
	I saw the other boy afterwards and had a fuller explanation from him and became satisfied that it was 
a misunderstanding, and not intentional disobedience, as it had seemed and hence I dropped the matter.
	When Wilson made the remark therefore just now, I explained as above and told him that I was willing 
to take his statement and had let the matter drop.
	He still seemed not to be right and I pressed him to know if there was anything else wrong and he said not.
After a few moments he said he was going home anyhow, that he did not want to come back and I told him I would 
expect the pay for the whole session, (except when one is sick, in which case schools make a deduction of one 
half for time lost.)
	I really think he is not very well, *bilious possibly, or he would not have acted so and it would be well 
for him to take some medicine and shape himself up.
	It does a school harm for a boy to pick up and leave in this way and hence these rules as to payments, etc.
We have done our duty and would do anything in our power for his comfort and good.
	I am not mistaken as to my words when he asked permission to leave grounds, but was willing to take his 
understanding of same. The whole responsibility was with him as I showed him in my talk this morning. 
	Regretting the sorrow this must cost you, I am, Very respectfully Jas N. Fishburne
*Bilious: The adjective for bile, bilious has three meanings. It means of or relating to bile. By extension, 
bilious means suffering from liver dysfunction (and especially excessive secretion of bile). And, further by 
extension, it is indicative of a peevish ill-natured disposition.

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