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These letters are primarily from Madeleine Edison Sloane to her husband, John Eyre Sloane. There is also one letter from Mina Miller Edison to John Sloane. All of the letters are from June-July and cover Madeleine's June visit to Bryn Mawr College, which she attended during 1906-1908, and her July visit to the Chautauqua Institution. The four letters written from Bryn Mawr reveal Madeleine's estrangement from her former classmate, Julia Thompson, who had been her closest friend before her marriage. The remaining twenty-seven letters provide a detailed day-to-day account of Madeleine's experience at Chautauquaa summer educational institution co-founded by her grandfather, Lewis Miller.
Madeleine's unhappiness and depressioncompounded by the realization that she was pregnant with her third child, Peterare thoroughly documented in the correspondence. Included are comments about the mediocre quality of the educational programs at Chautauqua, the overabundance of rules, and the lack of suitable activities for her childrensix-year-old Thomas Edison (Teddy) Sloane and four-year-old John Edison (Jack) Sloane. The family's financial troubles and John's dissatisfaction with his position at the Cerro de Pasco Copper Corp. are also mentioned in the letters.
Other topics include Thomas Edison's involvement in the Fourth of July celebration at Chautauqua; the illness of Madeleine's half-brother, Thomas Edison, Jr.; the personality of Tom Jr.'s wife, Beatrice (Madeleine characterized her as "a weird personto put it mildly"); the pregnancy of sister-in-law Florence Nichols Miller, whose daughter Nancy was born on July 30; and Madeleine's meeting with Alice Hegan Rice, author of Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch, and her poet husband, Cale Young Rice. There are also numerous comments about Constance (Connie) Holmes, the children's attractive nursemaid, and Hilda, a servant in New Jersey.
In addition, there are remarks about the Russian Revolution, the possibility of American intervention in Turkey on behalf of the Armenians, the Great Railroad Strike of 1922 (a nationwide railroad shop workers' strike that began on July 1), and Madeleine's attitude toward the League of Women voters (she told John she "could care less" about them). Courtesy of David E. E. Sloane.