Lecture By Post

November 23, 1896
Penelope Sumter

November 17, 1896

Dear Miss Penelope Sumter,

I would have written sooner were it not for pressing matters of greater importance. Your mother and James miss you and wish for me to send their greetings to you. I would extend the same from myself, but I do not condone deceptions and I think you well know I am not happy with you, unless you believe me ignorant of your recent activities.

The fact I am disappointed in you yet again, should be of know surprise to you. For years I have endeavored to impart on you good manners, common sense and some shred of decency. At last I must accept my utter failure in these regards and indeed as your father.

Your actions during the riots in Providence are beyond reason. To believe you have any responsibility or right to intercede in the political and social methods of men defies all sense of rational thought. Not only did you put yourself and your friends at risk, but you did so without the slightest knowledge of what you were involving yourself.

The blame does not lie solely with you though as I understand Wilbur was at your side during this debacle. Were you not my own flesh and blood I would believe you both out to ruin me. I am sickened to know the two you are not only free of shame, but prideful of your actions.

I have for the last time interceded to protect you from the consequences of your careless actions. I cannot guarantee your friends will be so fortunate and I can only hope you will learn from their suffering as if it were your own.

Were it not for your mother’s pleadings I would not welcome you home at all this Christmas. Fortunately for you, I consider the well being of my family before the well being of myself. Although you may find it difficult, I would ask you leave your wild tendencies and radical politics at school. You are well aware of my thoughts on these matters and there is no purpose to their further discussion.

Wilbur will bring you home. I suggest on the way the two of you decide if you wish to continue calling this place home or want to leave it for good. I realize I cannot control you nor can I force you to believe in things which you do not. You are young and naïve, but that remains a mere excuse for the inexcusable betrayals. Ultimately your path and your life is your own. I have done what I can for you to choose right over wrong, good over evil, but I cannot make the choices for you. It remains for you to decide.

Your Loving Father,
Radcliffe Sumter

PS. I am aware you and your friends voted in the Presidential election with Wilbur’s help.

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