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“Dear Mother … with Heaps of Love”

This Mother’s Day, we thought we’d give a shout out to all the Princeton moms. Though Princeton has changed a lot over the years, one thing has remained pretty constant: many students want to share their academic triumphs, heartbreaks, and other local news with their mothers, who once received letters like this one and today more commonly hear from their children at Princeton via smart phone.

The letter below, one of hundreds of similar letters in our Student Correspondence and Writings Collection (AC334), was written ca. February 1913 by Peter Carter Speers, Class of 1914.


After extensive correspondence with his mother while a student at Princeton, Speers went on to an eventful career as a missionary with the Punjab Board of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, where he held the position of Professor of Technical Chemistry and Director of the Technical Chemistry Laboratory at Forman College in Lahore, India.

A young Peter Carter Speers. Photo taken from Class of 1914 Thirty-Five Year Record (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949).

Speers established a refugee hospital for women and children on the Forman College campus during conflicts surrounding the formation of the new nation of Pakistan, under whose sovereignty Lahore now falls. Upon his return to the United States many years later, Speers served as the Information Officer of the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, D.C. until his death in 1963.


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