The following letter was written by Nicholas Snowden to his mother (Elizabeth W. Thomas Snowden) while he was a student at Georgetown College in 1846. Nicholas was grandson to Major Thomas Snowden who initially built Montpelier. As a lieutenant in the civil war, Nicholas, the last in our line to be born in Montpelier, and the father of six children, would later die rushing head-on into a shower of bullets from Union troops in Harrisonburg, VA.
Dr. George A. Scheele, 1988
Georgetown College, Jan. 22nd, 1846
As it has been nearly a month since I left home for college, I think it is high time for me to commence the fulfillment of the promise I made to write oftener. For when persons are separated by distance, & prevented from seeing each other & conversing together, a letter is no bad substitute for these advantages & gives consolation & pleasure. Of course you cannot expect to find much news in my letters as our life here is the same thing day after day and, as it were, deprived of all communication with the rest of the world. Yesterday was a day of pleasure to some of the boys who took a pleasant sleigh-ride to congress; the sleighing was indeed remarkably fine & you may say that it was fine fun for the southerners who had never seen & enjoyed the like before. I expect Mr. Capron is out in his sleigh every day & is determined to make the most of the snow.
Sister Ann came up to the college this morning & told us among other things, that sister Emma had increased her family, & that Mr. John Capron had undertaken the management of the store for the next six months. I would like to know if the factory has made a dividend & if it has of what percent. Half of the scholastic year has already gone, & it seems to me that time passes very swiftly; our middle examination is nearly here. If you have received my reply when you write tell me some about it if you please. Emily is in the city, but she did not come to the college, however, she sent me a very fine green silk purse.
Give my love to Eliza, sister Margaret, brother Edward, Arthur
Your affectionate son,