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“Father, I am poison with poison ive…Bertha F. Mather”Letters from Bertha to her father Stephen T.

The archives now have 17 letters and telegrams sent by Bertha to her father.  Stephen saved and obviously treasured them and Bertha saved them in turn.


The earliest is Bertha’s confrontation with ‘poison ive’ (sic).  


Dear Father: I am poison with poison ive, I got poison most the left heand (sic) and my left chek (sic).  Bertha F. Mather


We have a series of letters from Bertha’s time at Warwick Woods, a summer camp for girls in northern Wisconsin.   Just two excerpts…


“…I can’t seem to make very good landing when I paddle stern in a canoe.  I can paddle bow alright tho…”


“I have a Miss Mather from Springfield for my counsellor and her ancestor was Cotton Mather too.  She is very nice but not pretty…”


And we have letters from her senior prep school year.   In one she recognizes her father’s honorary degree from Berkeley…


          “Dear Father L.L.D; BL; XYZ,

I can’t tell you how glad I was to hear of the degree they are going to confer upon you at your own university…”


And finally, like teenage girls then—and now—a request…


“…He says the Oakland put out a nifty 3 passenger coupé that would be just fine for me.  I think so too.  Will you give me one for Christmas?  I can use it a lot this winter and next summer and it can stay in Darien when I’m at Vassar and I can use it weekends…”

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