This collection (43 items) contains 39 letters that Mary Tilghman Earle ("Dorothy") wrote to her friend and fiancé, Howard S. Kneedler of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, between 1880 and 1884. She commented on her life in Washington, D. C., and shared her thoughts about their friendship, courtship, and marriage. The collection also includes 3 letters addressed to members of the Cope family between 1870 and 1872, and 1 letter from a parent to a child.
Thomas P. Cope, Jr., wrote 2 letters to his mother, Anna Cope, from Haverford College in 1870, and F. Hazen Cope received 1 letter from his brother Alfred in 1872. Mary T. Earle, who signed herself "Dorothy," wrote 39 of the remaining letters to Howard S. Kneedler. Earle, who lived in the District of Columbia's Georgetown neighborhood, discussed her daily life and social activities, and occasionally mentioned her work as a schoolteacher. She also commented on her religious beliefs. In letters that she wrote after the couple's engagement in early 1882, Earle shared her feelings about love and relationships, including her opinions on her engagement and the possible impact of her marriage on her life and friendships. Many of her letters are dated from "The Cedars," the home in which her school was based. The final item is a brief letter from a parent to a child.