Lydia Macomber letter book
Posted on November 13, 2014 by Jenny ONeill
Letter book of Lydia Macomber, daughter of John. She and her sister Olive were both deaf and driven to Hartford by buggy where both were schooled. She married a deaf student and they lived in Dr. Kirkaldy’s house. She says, “This summer we took care of silk-worms which contained about 16,000. There are forty-six pounds of cocoons, we get 10 cents a pound bounty from the state of Mass.”
My beloved friend Rebecca“I had the pleasure of reading an interesting letter which I received from thee 8th of last 7 month from the hand of Peleg Wilbour whom I know, lives in Little Compton. I had received Lyman and Harriet Torbush’s two parts of the letter which were very acceptable to me. I was very glad to think thee and they had not forgotten me. I have enjoyed myself well with my parents, brothers, sisters and friends since I left the Asylum. I have often thought of all the pupils and teacher’s.I wish to be remembered to thee, Mary Ann Parker, U. A. Taft, Sally T. Butler, Sarah W. C. Holmes, Harriet Torbush, Susan Martin, the pupils and teachers.“I will inform thee that after leaving the Asylum my father, Alvah, Eunice and myself went to the wharf. Alvah went on board of Boston sloop and in five days went to Lyme, when he went on board a N. B. sloop the same that also carried our trunks, went in. and in 14 days more arrived home. My father, Eunice and myself went to friend’s house and called for a supper. Then we went to an inn at night. The next day we went to Ponfret Conn and entered Daniel Clapp’s house and had a good visit. My father and I were acquainted with him. He was a minister. The next day we went to Scituate R.I. and called for a dinner. Then we went to Providence school to see our friends who recollected us. I found that my cousin Patience Slade was at Providence school and had been there five months. I and Eunice were delighted to talk to the scholars. There were thirty girls and sixty-four boys. The next day noon we went with my cousin Patience to my cousin Wm. Slade to visit and stopped at Providence and have got a new bonnet. The next day we went with her to Fall River to see Phebe Dennis’s parents. It was pleasant all day we went and arrived at noon on 6 month 1st.home on 6 mo. 1st. We were glad to see my mother, brothers, sisters and friends. I was much pleased with Eunice who spent four and a half days. My father went with her to New Bedford. We are all enjoying good health except Alvah is not well therefore we should be thankful to the Lord.”Quaker ministers mentioned who spoke at Westport included Samuel Rhoade from Pennsylvania who stayed overnight with them, Benjamin Fry from New Hampshire, James Jones from Maine, Joshua Lynch from Ohio who also stayed with them overnight, and Rowland Green from Connecticut who spoke of slavery and war. She and her father and sister Elizabeth attended Meeting in Dartmouth and her parents and Alvah attended Quarterly Meeting on Nantucket.
“After some times my father went to Newport this summer to attend Yearly Meeting and he saw a d & d man whose name was Joshua Langley there. He said they made him work hard and did not give him food enough to eat and he does not go to Hartford any more.
“Last week Eunice Tripp came here and spent two days. I was happy to talk with her. We heard that Amos Walker possesses land had began to build a new house and he will marry to Julia Macomber. His parents are poor and intemperate in New Bedford.
“My sisters are picking berries for the purpose of selling.
. “I learned from Alvah’s letter which Wm. Penn Anthony had written that 10 scholars of Providence school walked over to Rehoboth, R.I. to see Joseph Healy’s silk-worms of which he has 400,000. This summer we took care of silk-worms which contained about 16,000. There are forty-six pounds of cocoons, we get 10 cents a pound bounty from the state of Mass. My father told me that he with me will carry the cocoons to West Scituate, Mass. for me to learn to reel the cocoons on Brooks’ Patent Silk Spinning and Twisting Machine and it is sixty miles from our home.
“I received a letter from my cousin Alice Shepherd of Saratoga, N.Y. yesterday. Alvah told me that he thinks of going to Saratoga Springs next fall to visit our relations by water and will spend one month there, but it is uncertain.
“Give my respects to Lyman Allen.
“I’m very fond of reading many religious books and other good books and especially the bible.”
Thine affectionate friend
Note: In the following letters there is much information repeated that was related in the first letter and, therefore, omitted in following letters.
Westport 9 mo 10th 1836
Letter to Lydia H. Peaslee, the Matron
Respected friend Lydia.
“Last week Eunice Tripp came here and spent two days and we were much pleased with her a good visit. She is going to tailor’s shop soon in New Bedford. Edmund Tripp, a near neighbor died and was carried to our meeting-house where he was buried yesterday. His wife died suddenly last 6 month 24th 1836
“Perhaps I shall go to Sandwich next fall to attend Quarterly Meeting .
“Give my respects to John Mowatt, Lewis Weld and his wife and children, Wm. W. Turner and his wife and children.”
Thine affectionate friend
Westport 8 mo 31st 1836
Letter to Julia Ann Macomber
Esteemed friend Julia
“Having an opportunity to send by my father I am willing to write a few lines to thee. I will inform thee that my health has not been good this week and my parents, brother and sisters have been in tolerable health this Summer, my brother Alvah has been sick with fever eight days but he is gaining, so as sit up half at a time.”
She noted that the machine she is to be trained on to process the silk cocoons is owned by Adam Brooks and he is a Quaker.
“I have been lonesome without any deaf and dumb person to talk with me by signs since Eunice Tripp went home. Thou must come to see me very soon and will spend some days. I should wish to talk with thee.
“I think Elijah Davis and Celestia Bull whom thou know, are deaf and dumb, and they are to be married to morrow. I heard that Amos Maker got land and has began to build a new house. He will marry to thee this fall.
“Give my respects to Eunice Tripp and Amos Maker.”
“P.S. “I am very fond of reading many religious books and other good books every day and especially the Bible. I take a newspaper to read it every week. Thou must read many good books and especially the Bible every day.”
Thine affectionate friend,
Westport 2 mo 22nd 1837
Letter to Hannah Cole
Letter was sent by John Meader and his wife.
“We are all in tolerable health most of the time except Alvah who remains feeble and weak so that he goes up to his chamber to sleep and he sits up the most part of the day. He has not been out of the house this winter because it is very cold weather therefore we should be thankful to the Lord.
“My sister Elizabeth has gone to Providence school this winter to spend six months, we were glad to hear that she was well and well contented..
“I heard that Wm. P. Anthony, son of Humphrey Anthony was dead last sixth day and he will be carried to the meeting house when he is to be buried to morrow. If it is pleasant Leonard, Hannah, and I will go to attend his funeral.
“I was glad John Meader, his wife and Nathan Breed came here yesterday and spent all night and next day until afternoon when they went to Dartmouth with my father. I liked to converse with John Meader and his wife by writings.
“I am glad to hear from three girls Perkins who will go to Hartford soon and obtain knowledge. I wish them to know the way of salvation. I advise them not to neglect nor to be lazy.”
I remain thy affectionate friend
Westport 4 mo 22nd 1937
Letter to Cousins Caleb and Esther
Respected Cousins Caleb and Esther
While everyone else is “in tolerable health” except Alvah “who remains feeble and weak. He has been nearly confined to the house for eight months but he has sometimes been out of the house to ride a quart of mile for exercise this spring therefore we should be truly thankful to the Lord.
“My father’s left middle finger was broke by his horse’s hoof nearly two weeks ago but is a little better now.
“ My sister Elizabeth has gone to Providence school to learn and spend six months…her studies…are History, Geography, Arithmetic and Grammar.
“William P. Anthony, only son of Humphrey Anthony, died two months ago after two months sickness which he bore with Christian patience. He was carried to the meeting house in Dartmouth where he was buried. He was twenty-three years of age. I thought Sarah, only daughter of Humphrey Anthony, feels lonesome she has neither brother nor sister.
“My grandfather, grandmother, uncles and aunts frequently come to the meeting house for worshipping to God. Last fall Joseph Gibbons and his wife came here and spent two days. I was much pleased to converse with them by writings.
“Last spring I was glad my father and Alvah came to Hartford for me to carry me home…I have been four years at the American Asylum. I was under the instruction of Wm. W. Turner with fourteen pupils in the first class and we read, studied Woodbridge’s geography and atlas, Peter Rarley’s history, Turner’s dictionary, a part of the Bible and the practical catechism and wrote some compositions and letters. We liked to be taught to write words and stories on our slates with chalk every day (except first day) by making signs.
“The teacher stood up in the chapel every day and prayed to the Lord with signs all the pupils attending it with greatest interest. How good God was to provide a way for our education and give us understanding and therefore we should be grateful to Him. I am deprived of hearing and speech but remember that God has been merciful to me because he has provided a way for my education so that I can read, write and talk. I have thought of Jesus Christ as with God in Heaven, came into the world and died to save all from sinners, if they repent of sins and trust in Him.
“My deaf and dumb sister Olive can talk with me by signs and she is nine years old. She can spell some words and write in a writing book. I expect she will be old enough to go to Hartford in three years. She will remain four or five years.”
Your affectionate cousin
Westport 8 mo 24th 1837
Letter to Sarah Mekeel, Hector, N.Y.
Dear friend Sarah Mekeel
“I take my pen to write a few lines to thee and having an opportunity to send by thy father and his wife who expect to go back home in a few days. I was glad they came here and spent all night before Yearly Meeting, next day they went to Samuel Newitt’s on a visit.
“Early in the morning twenty-one friends, Leonard and myself went on board a sloop of New Bedford which was called Silas Parker and set sail for Nantucket where we landed about two o’clock the same afternoon. My Uncle Caleb, aunt Mary Macomber, Peter Devol, Hannah Cole from Maine, Leonard and myself put up with Wm. Mitchell’s for four nights and had very pleasant visits. A few of them were seasick during our passage but I was little seasick. Seventh day early in the morning we left Nantucket and went to the shore near Dartmouth before night where the sailors weighed anchor and lay all night in the vessel, but thy father, his wife, Sarah Davis and myself took a boat for Elizabeth Howland’s where we spent all night. First day early in the morning we took the same boat for the vessel and went to the Point where we arrived about ten o’clock and went home in the afternoon. I think we had a very pleasant passage on the water.
“My health has not been good this summer but I am some better excepting toothache today. Alvah … remains weak and feeble He has been nearly confined to the house for one year but he seems to be cheerful. Thy relations and friends are all well, but thy grandmother departed her life. A month after her death also thy grandfather last summer.
“When I was at Hartford, I received thy acceptable letter about two years ago at the hand of Wm. G. Allen, son of Jacob Allen, who went to East Hartford to work. I read it with pleasure.
“Phebe Tucker expects to be married to Daniel Wilbour this week both of Dartmouth. Gideon Gifford went with Mary Austin to Newtown to attend the marriage of Daniel Wilbour and Phebe Tucker. Gideon Gifford is going to marry to Mary Austin, daughter of Joshua Austin.
9 mo. 3rd
“Thy father and mother came here last night and staied all night. They will go down to the Point to visit friends today. I expect they will go on board a vessel for home tomorrow.”
I remain thy affectionate cousin
Westport 10 mo 2nd 1837
Letter to Sally
My dear Friend Sally
“Having an opportunity to send a few lines to thee by my father who is to attend Quarterly Meeting at Sandwich tomorrow, I will inform thee that I received thy acceptable letter next fifth day after we left Nantucket at the hand of a stranger.
Writing of her Nantucket trip “We left Nantucket, went to Dartmouth before night and lay all night in the vessel, but Joseph Tripp, his wife, Sarah Davis and myself took a boat for Elizabeth Howland’s where we staied all night. First day morning we took the boat for the vessel and set sail for the Point where we arrived about 10 o’clock. Deborah Gifford, Hannah Cole, Mary Macomber and myself went to John A. Potter’s to eat breakfast. In the same afternoon Hannah Cole, Leonard and myself came home …In the evening my uncle Caleb accompanied Hannah Cole to my uncle Samuel Slade’s, next day she took a stage for home.
“I have often thought of thee affectionately and of pleasant visits which I made with thee. Please to give my love to all our Nantucket friends.”
Thy affectionate friend
Westport 10 mo 2nd 1837
Letter to Maria
“I received a letter from her (Hannah Cole) last 5th of 8 mo.in which her health was better than when she left Westport, she thought her voyage to Nantucket was an improvement to her health.
“Yesterday Leonard, my sister Elizabeth and myself went to Newtown to attend the funeral of Wm. Potter’s wife at 11 o’clock After the funeral we went to our Uncle Caleb Slade’s to stay the afternoon. Patience Slade requested me to give her love to thee.
“ Job Davis and Ann Davis came here last week and spent the afternoon. She wanted to read thy letter, she sends her love to thee.”
Thy affectionate friend
“P.S. Patience Slade expects to go to Providence School next winter to learn and will stay there three months.”
Westport 10 mo 2nd 1837
Letter to Ann
“Supposing that thou wouldest like to have a letter from me and having an opportunity to send it by my father I will inform thee that I was sorry that I did not see the oldest brother who was in the other vessel, but he saw our vessel in the afternoon.
“Joseph Tripp and his wife have sailed on the water for home early this fall.
“My uncle James Shepherd and his wife came from Saratoga (N Y) to Westport to visit their relations and friends and staied three weeks. James Shepherd’s wife is now smart though she has been unwell during her journey. They have gone to Saratoga this morning.
“I was sorry I did not see thee in the morning I went with Sally and Maria to the wharf. I have often thought of thee affectionately and I want much to see you all. Alvah requests me to give his love to you all. Thou must write a long letter to me.”
Thy affectionate friend
Westport 10 mo 29th 1837
Letter to Hannsh Cole
“I will inform thee that I received three long letters from three Mitchell girls next fifth day after thee went away.
“Ann Mitchell from Nantucket attended our Monthly Meeting the 19th of this month and came here and spent about three hours.
“Alvah is about the same as he was when thee went away He has not been out of the house to ride this fall because it is cold weather.
“An old woman Ruth Wait was very sick four days and died on 24th of seventh month. Elizabeth Wing and Anna Macomber spoke a great deal of preaching to her relations and friends.
“Patience Slade and Esther Austin are going to Providence School next winter to study. My Uncle James Shepherd and his wife from Saratoga came to my grandfather’s the 9th of last month to visit their relation and staied three weeks. She was smart though she was unwell during her journey.
“Daniel Wilbur was married on 31st of eighth month to Phebe Tucker. Gideon G. was married to Mary Austin last fourth day.
“I had the happiness of reading a long letter which I received from Rebecca Eastman a week ago. I learned that she left Hartford for Haverhill (N.H.) a few weeks ago and lives with her Uncle Nathaniel Rix.
“My grandmother has been sick with a helpless right side this month.
“My father had a letter from principal of Am. Asylum in which he said I should be grieved to hear that my classmate and friend Ursula Ann Taft was dead. She left Hartford in fourth month and died in sixth month with consumption. Thou will be grieved to hear that Julia Bruce died a few weeks ago.”
The affectionate Friend
Westport 10 mo 31st 1837
Letter to Huldah Hussey
Respected Friend Huldah
“On sixth month Hannah Cole from Maine came here and staied one month. She went with two deaf and dumb girls to Hartford to learn before she came here.
“Gideon Gifford was married to Mary Austin last fourth day. My father and mother went down to wedding and brought home some wedding cake and I wish thee could have some of it.
“We have heard that thy brother Benjamin’s wife was drowned.
“Harriet Brownell’ was very unwell and was doctoring eight weeks last summer but she was gaining this fall. Her mother’s father Isaac Wilbour was very sick four or five days and died about one month ago.
“Leonard talks of going to ProvidenceSchool next month “
Thy affectionate Friend
Westport 12 mo 5th 1837
“I had thy acceptable letter on 8th of last month at the hand of my mother who went to the head of the river and read it with great pleasure. It is about four weeks since I received the letter. I now sit down to write a few lines to thee this evening and having an opportunity of sending it by three or four of us, will go over to attend Quarterly Meeting at New Bedford next fifth day but I am at home and take care of Alvah and my sisters. They will carry it to New Bedford and give it thy friends from Nantucket who will go over there to attend Quarterly Meeting.
“I went with my father to New Bedford on good visit two weeks ago. I went to deaf and dumb Amos Maker’s and his son is named William Henry Maker.
“Last seventh day I received an interesting letter from Lucretia Barnard at Hartford …she often though of wiring to me though she has never seen me and she said she frequently thought to make an attempt to go over to New Bedford to visit her cousins some times next summer and then she should be happy to come to Westport to see me. I should like to have her to come here and make me a good visit. Tell Maria.
“Last seventh month L. Barnard said she left Hartford and went to Nantucket and she has been at the Athenaeum and see Maria as she wanted L.B. to go and see her. She talked with her by fingers and she was surprised to see that she could spell. She told her that I have taught her how to spell the letter.
“Last first day Leonard, Elizabeth and myself went down to our Uncle Nathaniel Gifford after Meeting and spent the afternoon which was very acceptable. We read Lucretia’s letter and it is very pretty letter we like it much.
“Ephraim Morrell Huntington from Amesbury Mass is teaching our school this winter. Elizabeth, Olive and Mary S. go to him. Olive learns to write on writing book considerably.
“My father had a letter from my sister Hannah two weeks ago in which she said some of the girls in Providence School were sick and two brothers were both taken sick with scarlet fever, next day after they were both buried. They have one sister who was well and she has gone home. Many of the girls have gone home on account of its being sickly and now only 20 girls are there. My father went up to Providence to see Hannah who is in good health. …They arrived here at 9 o’clock…She stayed there three months though there is only Elizabeth Osborns teaching 27 girls in school but Emeline has been sick months and she is gaining.
“6th My father and Elizabeth are going to New Bedford this afternoon. Uncle David Macomber, Leonard and E. M. Huntington are going over there tomorrow.”
Thy affectionate friend
Westport 1 mo 5th 1838
Letter to Rebecca Eastman
Dearest friend Rebecca
“I received thy acceptable letter last 21st of tenth month and read it with the greatest pleasure, but I was sorry to hear that U. A. Taft was dead and Ebenezer was unwell. I have not had time to write …and we have had so much company of the friends who came to Westport from Maine and Connecticut.
“Alvah has been very feeble and weak but so that he sits up most of the day. He had been nearly confined to the house for one year and five months except he sometimes rides out for exercise. He has taken many different kinds of medicines which did not cure him. He was taken sick with a fever about three months after I left Hartford .
“Last year I went to Daggett’s house where I staied two nights and I was much pleased to talk with him and his wife by making signs. Their names are Ebenezer and Polly Daggett, they are both deaf, dumb and ignorant and they are both about forty years old. They have one son 3-1/2 years old and one daughter three months old. Ebenezer Daggett makes vessels, his deaf and dumb brother Thomas G. Daggett came to E. Daggett’s to see his family and talked with me by fingers, writing and making signs. He had never been to Hartford to obtain knowledge, but he has some knowledge and he is now forty-three years old.
“Julia A. Macomber was married on the 27th of eleventh month to Amos Maker and they have a son three months old. His name is William Henry Maker and he is a good child. I have visited them four times. When my father went over to New Bedford, we expected that they would come here with him last month, but they did not come. My father said he saw that Amos had moved out of town about half of a mile.
“Any deaf and dumb friends have not come to see me since I left Hartford. A deaf and dumb gentleman by name of James W. Jenney from N. York of city went over to New Bedford to see E. Tripp. He is a jeweler.
“Julia Maker told me that Lewis Perkins had worked at N. York and went over to N. Bedford to visit some deaf and dumb persons. He went to see Deidamia D. Tilton. She becomes very fleshy and does not work but she frequently visits her friends.
Referring to her trip to Nantucket the previous year “ …we went to the Athenaeum…and I was filled with great wonder. We went to the African school to see the African scholars who were smart and were reading well.
“Thou recollects Phebe Allen. I went to see her and talked with her little by signs.
“James Arrington was married to Mary A. Holden one year and four months ago and they have a little boy four months old. They live in Boston. Hannah Marsh was married to a gentleman from New Jersey and they removed to Philadelphia.
“Last year I went to Sandwich and called on Jane, John W. and Josiah S. Newcomb. Their mother and Abigail Newcomb were …removed to Boston. John W. Newcomb has lost two children. Josiah S. has one daughter sixteen months old. I went with Josiah to see the glass works and I was filled with wonder.
“I…wish much to see thee. I gave thee some things which thee hast not forgotten. I hope thee art well and happy and thee will be to married to George Lucas with whom I was some acquainted.
“Please give my respects to thy Uncle Nathaniel Rix and G. Lucas.
“I think that thy birthday and thee will be 25 years old.”
I remain they affectionate friend
Westport 2 mo 1838
Letter to Mary A. Parker
Dear classmate Mary
Referring to the Nantucket trip “We went to the African school to see the African scholars who were smart and were reading well and a white lady was teaching them.
“Amos Maker was married on the 27th day of eleventh month 1836 to Julia A. Macomber with whom thou wast acquainted I believe. They have a son nineteen weeks old, his name is William Henry M and he is a good child….they were here three weeks ago and spent five nights which were very acceptable. I was much pleased with their conversation.
“0Please to write soon after thee receives this as a friend Lucretia Barnard is expecting to come to Westport. Thou will have an opportunity to send it. Remember me…to the pupils and teachers…I want to see H. Peaslee very much.
“I expect to go to my grandfather’s to do some sewing this afternoon.”
I remain thy affectionate friend
Westport 3 mo 16th 1838
Letter to Lucretia Barnard
My Dear friend Lucretia
“…we have been in usual health except my brother Alvah who remains very feeble…He has been nearly confined to the room for one year and seven months but he seems to be cheerful.
“Last seventh month my brother Leonard and myself went to Nantucket to attend Quarterly meeting. We went with the Mitchell girls to thy mother’s house to see thee. Thy mother told me that thee was not at home and lived with T. H. Gallaudet. I was much pleased to talk with her about thee a little while by writing.
“We should be much pleased t have thee come here and make us a pleasant visit a week or more. I should like to see Susan Swift whom thou art too fond of, thy cousin Wm. G. (?) Slade asked me if I saw her when she lived at Hartford …He told me that he liked her much for she was a nice girl. Please to tell me where does she live? Moses H. Bedee from Lynn went to Nantucket and saw me. He told me about Susan Swift and he was acquainted with her. I had a letter from Rebecca Eastman about five months ago…in which she said she arrived at Haverhill (N.H.) and lived with her uncle Nathaniel Rix.
“Please to tell me where do Elijah Davis and his wife live? I want to her from them. My mother requested me to give her love to thee.”
Thy affectionate friend
Westport 9 mo 16th 1838
Letter to Rebecca Eastman, Haverhill, N.H.
My Dear Friend Rebecca
“Alvah, who has been very feeble, has been confined to his bed about three months all which he bears with much patience and resignation without a murmur or complaint.
“Lucretia Barnard came here last 11th of eighth month and spent six nights which were very pleasant to me…I wanted her to go out to pick the whortle berries and she had four quarts of them and carried them to Julia A. Maker. Lucretia went over to New Bedford with my father to visit her cousins. I was very sorry that I was not able to go with her to Amos Maker’s because the market wagon was loaded. I told her that I expected to go to Amos’ next week, but I have been lonesome since she went away. I went to Amos’ … Amos has company of Mary Hillman, Tobery and myself the evening which has been acceptable.
“Tobery is an ignorant and industrious woman. She is about sixty years old and she is unmarried woman. I saw an ignorant, deaf and dumb man’s name was Isaac Wood at Amos’ where he boards. He lives in Fairhaven one mile from New Bedford and he is making vessel in N. Bedford. He is a faithful and good man for many years, he knows the ways of the salvation, but he does not know the bible, and he is 62 years old. He married a woman without deaf and dumb. Mary Hillman talked with me about Hannah Marsh’s foolish conduct. We did not like her for she is not good girl. She has got a baby, her husband and her are very poor and have little prosperity.
“Mary Hillman, was at Amos’, talked each other in the night, and slept with me, but I wish thee more to talk with me than she was some acquainted with me. I frequently thought that it should be very pleasant for me to talk and will spend sometime with us.
“Perhaps thee will wish to know what I am doing. I help my parents and children in making and sewing clothes. I have sometimes been making gowns, bonnets etc. for friends since I left Hartford.
“Lucretia Barnard told me that Paulina Bowlish is at Albany to teach a deaf and dumb man who is about thirty years old and another. Jonathan Marsh frequently went from city of N. York to Albany to see her. I expect he is going to marry her. I heard that Colin Stone, a teacher of deaf and dumb, went to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. last spring.
Perhaps he should go to Nantucket to visit Lucretia and her sister Anna.
“Lucretia and Anna went home from Hartford last spring and they were sent for to come to attend their sister Sarah’s wedding. They arrived home and found Sarah who was married and were truly sorry that they did not attend, but she gave some wedding cakes to them. Anna Barnard returns to Hartford another year, Lucretia did not return there.
“Yesterday I went to my grandfather’s to call on them. My grandmother is very sick. We do not expect she will be any better. I am going to make cap tomorrow for her.
“Last sixth month my father, Leonard, Esther, Austin and myself went to Portsmouth, R.I. to attend Meeting about fifteen miles from us.
“I heard that Elijah Davis and his wife lived near Thomas H. Gallandet’s and were very poor to have little property. They moved to Vermont, have considerable money and they have got a child.”
27th evening…”Last third day a lady came here and spent the afternoon. She is in a very poor state of health about eight years and she is pale as snow. She wanted to see Alvah.
“My sister Elizabeth has gone to my grandfather’s to help them. Yesterday my parents went there and called on them. My grandmother is about the same as she was last first day. My sister Hannah and girl watched over her last night.
“I have forgotten to tell thee about Julia A Maker. I knit two pairs of stockings for Julia one year ago. I have knit two pairs of stockings for Amos this month.
“Julia sends her love to thee. I send my best love to thee.”
They affectionate friend
Westport 12 mo 14rh 1838
Letter to Sarah W. C. Holmes
Columbia, S. C.
“I have often thought of you and thy brother affectionately. I was surprised to hear that thy brother Joseph was baptized and he is a Christian. I am in hopes he should be a good man. I had a letter from thee which was very acceptable to me two years ago at the hand of John A. Potter, who came to his native land on a short visit.
“Last month I … saw Mary Hillman and she told me that she went to Chilmark and spent two weeks with Deidamia D. Tilton, who becomes very fleshy and frequently visits her friends. I have not seen her since I left Hartford. Louis Perkins had worked at the city of N York and went to New Bedford to see Amos Maker’s family then he went to see Deidamia D Tilton one year ago lst spring. She did not like him for he was not a gentleman.
“I had a long letter from George Lucan of Newbury with whom I was acquainted at Hartford School one year. He wrote that Rebecda Eastman has got all furnitures which are worth three hundred dollars and he is going to marry her shortly. He told me that he gains a great good wages and he is able to support her. He has never traveled to any where since he left Hartford. It is very good as he saves every cent and buy nothing. He said he was sorry for some deaf and dumb husbands and wives are very poor and hard getting furniture, provisions, etc., they are careless and spend all that they gain. I wish they would be steady and good working and buy nothing.
“Alvah, who has been very feeble, has entirely confined to his bed for five months and he cannot talk much, all which he bears with patience and resignation without a murmur. He was taken sick with a fever a few days, about three months after I left Hartford …He has taken many different kinds of medicines which do not cure him, therefore we hope that the Lord is kind to him. I have taken good care of him. I help my parents in making and sewing.
“I have just heard that Sally Butler was baptized at home and she is a christian “
Thy affectionate Friend
Westport 8 mo 18th 1843
Letter to Hahhah Mekeel
Dear Hannah Mekeel
“Having an opportunity of sending a letter by John Potter, who is going to the west next week on a long visit.
“I have often thought of writing to thee and I have often thought of thee affectionately and of the happy hours we spent together when thou wast visiting thy native country, I never forget the pleasant rid I went with thee to Portsmouth Meeting. I often think I should like to come to the west to visit you all and I should be very much pleased to see the Falls of Niagara for I often think they are the grandest of Natural works. I think any body would accompany me to the western country, it would be pleasant to thee to see me. I will inform thee that I had a letter from thee which was very acceptable to me two years ago at the hand of John A. Potter, who came to his native land on a short visit.
“Leonard was married on 23rd of eleventh month 1842 to Esther Austin and she kept our school in the season, when thee came here. We went to Little Compton to attend the marriage of them which was large as it was pleasant day. My father has hired four men to build a new house this month for Leonard and Esther to live in. They don’t expect to go to keeping house until the new house is finished. Esther spends part of the time here and part of the time at her father’s.
“My Aunt Mary is weller than she was last winter, but she has been unwell this week but she is some better.
“19th Thy Cousin Eliza A. Tripp, daughter of Nancy Tripp has been unwell this summer. Her brother James Tripp was married to Rhoda Ann Haskins of New Bedford one and a half years ago and they have been keeping house at New Bedford. They have got a child about one month old. My sister Olive has gone to Hartford school to learn and has staied there three years. In the vacation she came home from Hartford school two weeks ago to day and she will spend six weeks with us. She will go back to Hartford School and will stay there one or two years as it is a very interesting place. She has gone to our Uncle David’s to day to spend the day.
“I think that thy husband and child should come again to see thy friends at the east and it would be pleasant for us to have thee come here on visit. I hope thou will be so kind as to write me when John Potter returns as I want to hear from you all.
“Please to give my love to Sarah Mekeel, thy Father and Mother. I often think of Sarah Mekeel and Deborah.”
From thy affectionate Friend
Westport 10 mo 17th 1867
Letter to Cousin Alice
Dear Cousin Alice
“Thinking that thou would be glad to hear from us I will inform thee that we have got home last fifth day night in safety and found them in usual health except Mary L. Macomber who was not at home. She has gone to Esther Newitt’s on a visit. She came here today.
“Thy father rode with us to Albany and staied with Henry Mosher’s all night. Then we went by the railroad to Boston all day and arrived there at 7 o’clock we got the Hotel. Then we were in Cars to New Bedford at 11 o’clock but did not get a passage home until the next night. We walked to William H. Seabury in New Bedford and staied all night. They were very kind to us for we have got our wet clothes in rain therefore we would be truly thankful to the Lord.
“Aunt Mercy wanted to go to Uncle David’s when Uncle Nathaniel was there and staid all night then they got home and found them in usual health.
“Cousins Susan and Mary M. Gifford were at meeting to day. Susan expects to go to Providence School in one or two weeks. I can sympathize with Aunt Mercy who is not able to do all of her work as she will have to do for Susan is going away.
“Benjamin Davis and his wife came here after meeting and spent the afternoon. They have been in usual health. Hannah’s school was out last fourth day, she send her respects to thee and the family and Job’s family.
“Uncle David, Caleb and Mary are rather smart than they were when we left thy father’s.
“William Briwnell was buried last fifth day, he appeared to be better and was moved to another house from a little distance of the brother’s at Fall River after this he died within three hours.
“John L. Anthony is rather smart and goes out of the door. His oldest daughter was buried a week last seventh day. She dies of the Dysentery
“When I was at New Bedford last week my friend told me that Lucretia Barnard’s deaf and dumb sister Anna died of the consumption last six month.
“Last year the town of Nantucket was on fire and reached to her mother’s house when Anna was upstairs asleep, she was waked and she jumped out of the window in a hurry without her clothes and then she had got cold since.
“Widow Hannah Lawton came her tonight and she boards here this winter.
“I want to know how is Job and hope that you will not be uneasy about us.
“We send our best respects to thee and the family and to Job’s family.”
With much love
I remain thy affextionate cousin