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Letter From Home: Mother Pens Letter to Son Attending Villanova in 1848

As the semester comes to a close, many of you will be home to celebrate Mother’s Day with your mom. Though some Wildcats may be far away from their mothers; internships, summer courses and jobs keeping them apart. No matter the miles, moms are always checking in – a quick phone call to say hello, a care package filled with tasty treats, an encouraging letter…just like the one pictured above. The letter was penned by Hannah Quigg on March 13, 1848. Quigg was writing to her son, John P. Quigg, who was attending Saint Thomas College [Villanova University]. She writes:

My Dear little John,

We were very much pleased to hear from you and exceedingly so to learn that you are satisfied and making good use of your time. We received your little letter last Saturday evening and feel very happy to hear of your improvement in your different studies this, Dear John, will always give us satisfaction I trust you will continue to improve Daily in your studies & still more so in your conduct – every day you should endeavor to become more edifying & copy more closely the virtues of your beloved sister – who has gone I trust before us into that Heavenly kingdom where she will intercede for you & for all of us, my Dear John that you may imitate her virtues & become like her is my most sincere wish be contented Dear John Easter will soon be here then you shall come home a little while, I will send you a few things as it is Lent – I suppose you do not expect much. My Dear little John again I tell you to be satisfied if you love me you will not grieve for home. Adieu Dear John be attentive to your studies but above all be obedient & docile to your teachers and you will please your ever affectionately & devoted Mother

Hannah Quigg


Happy Mother’s Day to all the Nova Nation moms! While cards and flowers are great gifts, a heartfelt letter to your mom is a wonderful way to show your gratitude!


Photos retrieved from Villanova University’s Digital Library; letter transcribed by Susan Ottignon, Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist.


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Last Modified: May 13, 2018