Mexico City, 1851

My dear Mother,

June 1, 1851. I have just returned from a pretty ceremony at the “Colegio de las Ninas” (a girls’ school) in honor of the Virgin.  The church was decorated in the gayest manner with flowers and a profusion of wax lights.  Before the main altar, a carpeted staging was erected and at intervals to the sound of very lively music, and the singing of young girls in the choir, little girls from the ages of eight perhaps to twelve came on to this platform, with beautiful baskets of choice flowers as an offering to the Virgin.  The children were all beautifully dressed in pure white with lace veils.

Mr Hill, one of the [Texas] prisoners taken when he was only fourteen years of age, and adopted as a protege by Santa Anna, called during the morning.  He is very genflemanly and intelligent and his whole history reflects a great credit upon Santa Anna and other Mexican officers.

June 3.  The women of Mexico are universally praised and the men are invariably condemned for their conduct in domestic relations.  The wife of General Arista, the President, they say is shut up in a convent; whether for her own transgressions or her husband’s convenience, I do not know.  In his own official residence, the palace, he keeps his mistress, the wife of another man.  Those who undersstand Mexican society best say that if the women are guilty of levity, the conduct of their husbands is such as goes far to palliate their faults.

Helen

From The News from Brownsville: Helen Chapman’s Letters from the Texas Military Frontier, 1848-1852

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About Melissa

I love donuts. Chocolate iced, hold the sprinkles.
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