Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Mrs. John L. Mitchell, August 23, 1910


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Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Mrs. John L. Mitchell, August 23, 1910


Letter from Dr. Alfred E. Stearns to Mrs. John L. Mitchell, August 23, 1910


Typed letter sent from Alfred E. Stearns to Harriet D. Mitchell (Mrs. John L. Mitchell) about son's attendance at Andover. Believes John can do well, but doubts it will happen. States John's friends had a bad influence. Mentions three schools John could attend. Unsure of best course of action. States if John develops will power and maturity, he could be welcomed back to Andover.


August 23, 1910
Mrs. John L. Mitchell. Aug23, 1910,
Milwaukee, Wis.

My dear Mrs. Mitchell,

Your letter reached Andover while I was on my vacation. Although it was forwarded to me, my location in the wilderness caused a long delay in its receipt. It finally came just before I was about to start on a flying trip to Andover, and hence I am answering it from my office.

I do not think I may add much to what I have already writ ten to you and Mr. Fox in relation to John. I know the boy can do well, and I sincerely hope he will do so if he returns to Andover. That, however, is not saying that he will, and I confess that I still have grave doubts on this score. John seems to be easily influenced, and if he happened to fall in with just the right kind of associates, his progress and development would Undoubtedly be in the right direction. Last year his tendencies seemed always to be to select the weaker members of the student body as his intimate friends.

On several occasions boys who have gone to my brother at Mount Vernon have come back and finished their courses here with credit. It is difficult to know, however, just what school to recommend under the circumstances. Most schools naturally do not care to take a boy for a year only. I have heard excellent things of the Choate School at Wallingford, Conn., also of the Salisbury School at Salisbury, Conn., and am inclined to think that the right conditions could be found in any of the three mentioned.

I am sorry that I cannot be of more definite assistance to you, but I confess that I feel somewhat in the dark myself as to the best course to recommend. It always disappoints me to have a boy give up hero, even temporarily, and yet I know that in many cases it is wise. If I only felt that John had developed sufficient will power of his own to carry out his good intentions, I would gladly encourage him to come back, in the hope that he would make good. His seeming immaturity in some matters, however, is the cause of concern to us all, and really forms the basis for my misgiving.

Trusting that you will not hesitate to write me if the problem
still troubles you, believe me, with kind personal regards,

Very sincerely yours,


Dr. Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


August 23, 1910


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