Letter 1 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Elizabeth Grant
Care of Dea. [Deacon] Elijah Grant
My dear Mother,
It is always my first impulse upon receiving a letter from home, to sit immediately down and answer it and it is that feeling which induces me to answer yours, which came to hand yesterday so soon. We were very glad to hear from you, especially to learn that all were well. We have been expecting to hear from you through Mr Griswold, but had nearly despaired of this coming this fall before the receipt of your letter. He has not yet arrived but perhaps he will before I finish this letter. I am very sorry for his misfortunes but hope he will soon be in a more prosperous condition.
You expressed some anxiety about my health, and speak as if you supposed I was still afflicted with sore breasts. This is not the case. I was troubled twice in the fall and early part of winter with sore
hands, but drinking the sarsaparilla syrup cured them in both cases and they have not troubled me since until the past week they have been a little sore. About a week after my confinement my breasts began to swell, we tried the usual remedies for swelled breasts in vain, they continued to swell, but were not very painful unless I moved my arms, and in less than three weeks they broke three times. Since then they have never troubled me but once, and then it was a cold which was removed by sweating. I have much reason to be grateful that I got through with them with so little pain. I was quite out of health for two or three months after my confinement, had a diareah which reduced me a good deal and was bought on by the least excercise, but I have got entirely over that, and for the lat two months have been as well as any body need to be, and have grown quite fleshy. I have done my work alone 8 or 9 weeks this summer and do not now wish for a girl. I find a good deal of excercise agrees with me. Mr Grant has been in very good health the most of the summer, but has for some past days been severely afflicted with the toothache. He went this morning to attend court in New Philadelphia, and Elizabeth and I are to spend the night alone. Elizabeth is very healthy and good natured. She is rather small featured but very fat, and I think resembles Jane very much. It is very gratifying to me that she does. She lies upon the floor a great deal, but sleeps very little indeed. We do not use a cradle let her wear caps, or give her paregoric; three things which astonish the people here very much. I put her in a pail or tub of water every day if I have the time, if not I wash her thoroughly all over. She likes either method of washing, but prefers going in a tub of water. I wish you could see her. I am afraid she will not be so good when she is older, but I intend to try to make a good girl of her.
We recieved a letter from Mary about the first of Sept which had been three or four weeks on the way, which was the first time we had heard from her since April. She then wrote from Boston and said she would send us a paper and let us know where to direct a letter. I am glad she is to remain with you another winter.
We had a letter from Elizabeth about two months ago. I wish they would visit us this fall but do not know that we have much reason to expect them. Mr. Grant has thought a little of taking us to see them, but has concluded not to go. He is very busy and finds but little time for visiting. He does not thinking of going east next summer, if I should go, Mrs Whiting will accompany me and a friend of ours, Miss Fish, from Mass. [Massachusetts] She has been in Mrs Hopkins school 3 or 4 years, as teacher. It is of course entirely uncertain about my going.
I suppose you know that Mrs Whiting has a boy near 7 weeks old she is in very good health, and also the Dr. He is now very busy indeed although it is a time of general health here His cases are mostly in the country. Mr & Mrs Hopkins are here now and perhaps will remain, it is still uncertain. We are very much in want of a clergyman.
Wed 31st. I was very much pleased by Marcus’ generosity. Tell him and Martha that we will take the will for the deed and feel as grateful to them for the things which they intended to send as if they really came. I talk to Elizabeth a great deal about her little uncles and aunts, and she seems to like to hear it very much indeed. She has now gone to sleep in my arms while I am writing. You mention the princes pine, I have used it a considerable, but never saw that it was of any use. I have never seen but one or two sprigs of it here. I think the syrup of sarsaparilla is the best thing I have ever tried, and would recommend to all who are troubled with scrofulae.
I do not know how it would affect Maria P. but presume it would not hurt her and it is a very agreeable medicine to the taste.
I wish cousin Elizabeth would not wait for me to write to her, tell her when she has as many cares as I have that I will excuse her if she does not write often, but now I cannot. Is she to be married this fall? I was in hopes if I went home next summer that she would return with me. Give my love to them. There are so many things which I wish to write that I could fill several sheets but I must let them go hoping to see you sometime and communicate in an easier way. Mr Grants business is good. The crops are mostly small in consequence of drought. Wheat crop was about as good as usual, Potatoe crop very small. Sugar is 15 cents a pound in consequence of the Ohio being so low. Flour is $8, a barrel. Times are hard, but I am blessed with an excellent appetite and relish plain food.
I want to know Mary’s plans for the winter but do not know where to write to her. Give a great deal of love to her & all of the rest of the family. If you see any of my fathers family give my love to them and tell father and mother I wish they could see how much work I have done today, and with how little fatigue. I wish you would try to persuade Mr Hubbell and Henrietta to come and see us. I think they might come.
Mr Grant has not come home and I am afraid baby & I will have to stay alone another night, as it is now 8 o’clock. He may wish to write on to send some message, so I will not write any more until he comes.
Nov 2nd Mr Griswold arrived yesterday with his family. I intend to call upon them this eve. and Mr Grant will finish the letter after we have seen them. Write as often as you find time and you will add much to the happiness of your affectionate daughter
Susan B Grant. [Susan Boyd Grant]
Sat. morning Nov. 3. I could add little to what Susan has written, if I were disposed, for want of room. I returned from N Phila [North Philadelphia] Thursday Eve. Col. Griswold’s family are all in excellent health. Our books and G. Hall Jrs M.SS. came in good condition. Col. G’s [Griswold] other goods are yet behind and no word has come respecting them which makes him feel somewhat uneasy. A letter was to be sent on their being forwarded from Albany, but none has come.
It is an exceedingly expensive time to support a family here, and while provisions are scare and dear, money is scare also, and collections difficult. Business pretty good.
E. P. G. [Elijah Phelps Grant]
Sat. morning Nov. 3 (continued from 4th page.) Since writing a little on the last page of this sheet, I have got some red ink and concluded to add something further. One thing I wish to say is, that our Post Master never takes the wrapper off from newspapers when they are marked paid on the outside, thus “Paid 1 ½”
If therefore you wish to write to write a little in a newspaper, if you will pay the postage there is I think no danger of its being discovered. Our Post Master is one of the best natured men in the world and strictly honest, not withstanding his zeal as a Van Buren man.
He has never yet discovered any writing in newspapers sent to me, or if he has, has never said any thing about it, though Asabel Rice once sent me a paper on which a great deal was written. I mention this that you may avail yourself of it, if disposed, to communicate occasionally some circumstance when you have no time to write a letter.
Canton [Ohio] has been all the season remarkably healthy. Out of a population of about 2,000 there have been but two deaths (besides infants) since February last. One of these was an old lady who died of consumption after several years sickness; the other was a young man aged 16 who died of a fever. But all around us, and indeed throughout this western country generally it has been sickly
Your affe [affectionate] son E P Grant
Letter 2 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr Elijah Grant
New Haven 18th Feby 1833.
I have made all inquiries in respect to the existing dispute between Colebrook and Winchester relative to the pauper Balcom which can in my opinion be of any service. I have not however obtained much new light; but the opinions of judicious lawyers here together with my own more mature reflections and more extended investigations, have diminished my doubts whether Colebrook can recover.
In order to state in the plainest manner what I suppose to be the law bearing on the case, I will review it in detail. If Colebrook sues it will be necessary on the part of that town to prove
- That Balcom when he came to reside in Colebrook had a legal settlement in Winchester
On this point I suppose there will be no difficulty.
- That before the expiration of six years he received assistance by way of support from the town of Colebrook at the hands of some person authorized to furnish it
The individual who furnished it should be able to testify distinctly that it was done with the expectation of being remunerated by the town and not at all on the individual credit of Balcom. If he should be asked if he did not intend the thing furnished as a gift, by way of friendship or charity, he should be able to answer of positively that he did not.
3. That Balcom needed the relief furnished
But it is not necessary on the part of Colebrook to show minutely how poor he was; if the agent, acting in good faith, had such evidence that he was needy as would satisfy a judicious man it will throw upon the other party the burden of proving that he was able to support himself. And it would not be sufficient to prove that he might have dispensed with the assistance rendered without serious inconvenience; if he was in such circumstances that the aid he received was a great favor and contributed materially to his comfort he was unable to support himself, within the meaning of statue. And if while in such circumstances the town supplied him be became sufficiently chargeable. But if it should be obvious that he might have been comfortable without any aid, it might raise a strong presumption that it was furnished for sinister purposes.
4. That the claim of the agent for the supplies furnished was duly allowed and paid by the town.
This is necessary in order to show that the town was in fact put to any charge.
I have thus far spoken only with reference to the aid rendered before the six years expired. The claim on which the suit is bought must also be proved like any other similar claim and it must also appear that the relief rendered was necessary.
There is one point which may be material in case on which I have no information whatever. It is in respect to the notice which the town of Winchester may have received of the circumstances of Balcom last winter. Regularly, notice should have been given within five days after the selectmen were apprised of the residence of Balcom – that is the town liable for his support. Stat. p. 370. But if upon demand of payment within any reasonable time the selectmen of the town applied to, disclaim all liability it is an implied waiver of particular notice. So I am advised – and so it was decided, as I understand it, in Newtown v. Danbury 3 Con. Rep. 553. And when a pauper’s place of settlement is a matter in dispute between the two towns, I take it, though I am not quite certain on this point, that the town supporting the pauper, after the other has disclaimed its liability, is not confined to $1 a week in its action to recover their
expenses – but may recover all the actual expenses.
The statute, it would seem, would apply only in those cases when the place of settlement is certain and known, or at least may be certainly ascertained.
If Colebrook has a good action in respect to the foregoing rules, that town will certainly recover unless Winchester can show that the assistance furnished before the expiration of six years was with intent to prevent Balcom’s gaining a residence. And if Frisbie testifies positively that that was not his intention, it can only be shown by discrediting his testimony. If for example any credible witness should say that he heard Frisbie declare that he would not have supplied Balcom but to prevent his becoming a resident – or anything like that – Colebrook would probably fail. Or if it was made to appear that certain persons inhabitants of Colebrook, procured and persuaded Balcom to make the application with the intent on their part to prevent a residence that might perhaps, destroy the action – especially if Balcom’s circumstances were not then necessitous.
I think you may gather from the remarks a pretty correct opinion of the prospect of recovery. But I find it necessary to use another half sheet – and shall therefore enclose it, postage to the contrary notwithstanding –
E P Grant [Elijah Phelps Grant]
Letter 3 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Transcription: original not in collection]
[Addressed to] Caroline Grant
Savannah [Georgia], Jan. 19, 1832
My dear Parents,
You probably have received a letter which I commenced writing Jan. 14 which was finished by cousin Roscana. That informed you of my sudden departure from Ipswich. Miss Lyon [Mary Lyon] accompanied me to Boston Wednes. P. M. to assist me in making arrangements for my passage to this place. Then I expected to go on to Providence [Rhode Island], & from thence to N. Y. [New York] & set sail for Savan [Savannah]. But on arriving in Boston, I found a ship was soon to sail from there & it was judged best for me to come in it. It was expected then that it would sail on Fri. so I was full of business Thurs. Miss Lyons advised & assisted me in making necessary purchases which we nearly completed at one o’clock. We then prepared to accept an invitation to dinner at Hon. Samuel Hubbard’s. I enjoyed this visit much. It is a remarkably well regulated family. Mr. H. [Hubbard] has seven children, five by his former wife, & two by his present one. Miss Eliza Hubbard, his eldest daughter, is now here. She has been journeying with Aunt Z. [Zilpah Polly Grant Bannister] for many months. Thurs. eve. the Capt. the ship Olive Branch in which I was expecting to sail came & spent the evening at Capt. Lovett’s. No. 19. Hancock St. where we were boarding. We sent an invitation to him the morning previous. He, Capt. Dyer is a plain, but sensible man, & I shall ever feel grateful to him for his kind attentions during the passage. I was the only lady on board. There was one passenger besides myself. Mr. Herring lieutenant in the U. S. army. He was a Virginian educated at West Pt. [West Point] He was intelligent & rather gentlemanly. Sabbath morn about 11 o’clock we left Central wharf at Boston in the ship Olive Branch. The ship was well built, about 120 ft. long & of 400 tons burthen. The day we set sail was mild & very warm for New Eng. [England] Not a wave but small ripples were to be seen. About four miles from the wharf we passed between the islands on which the forts are situated. Fort Independence on Castle Is. [Island]. is west & Fort Warren the old fort east of the place where ships enter the harbor. About 100 men are stationed at Fort In. [Fort Independence] Walls of brick are raised 30 ft. I should think, on the east & south sides of it. These walls are white washed almost every summer. The earth is raised some higher than the wall, & there appear to be some fine buildings upon the island. We passed on pleasantly. About 6 miles from shore the pilot returned. I spent most of the day on deck hoping by that means to be less sea sick. I felt rather lonely. The crew were remarkably orderly, there were about 18 persons on board, including all, a cat, & about 14 fowls. I was sea sick only the first three days. After this, I relished our food as much as ever, which was wholesome. On an island, eight miles from the wharf, is the light house to guide eastern vessels & about a mile further is one to guide vessels into the port of Boston. The quarantine is on Painesford Island. Vessels are not detained there now. Capt. Dyer stayed there 10 days last Feb. on account of the cholera. There is a hospital, a surgeon’s house, & some buildings on the island. I took some beef soup for dinner, thickened with rice & a few slices of turnips boiled in it. Soup was our first dish every day on board made either of beef, mutton or fowl <beef>. I suppose I could not have had better accommodations, & nothing more could I wish but a companion. I mean some lady’s company. I had a state room, in which were four berths to myself. Saw the towns of Hull [Massachusetts] & Hingham [Massachusetts] to the west of us. Scituate [Rhode Island] meeting house was in sight most of Sab. [Sabbath] P. M. I took a cup of black tea & retired to rest about six o’clock, sea sick. After this we saw no more land till the next week. Fri. morn, a period of 11 days.
Mon. morning. I rose about sun rise sea sick, & hastened to go on deck, where the fresh air & some vomiting soon relieve me. No place about a ship is so pleasant as the deck. I never became weary looking at the waves & the motion of the vessel mounting a wave & then descending sometimes appeared very majestically. I rested considerable the first two nights indeed. I slept pretty well, excepting two nights all the time. - Tues. A. M. was cold & cloudy, though I stayed on deck most of the time because I felt much better than in the cabin. We had a fine turky for dinner. It rained in the P. M. & the wind blew hard from the S. E. The boat rocked very much. I had not been able to support myself for some time, but now this was not only my case, but that of all on board. You would be amused to take your meals on board a ship when the wind blows. The table is made fast to the floor, & the dishes are prevented from sliding from it be a frame. Even then it was often difficult to keep our seats & see to our coffee & plates. The Capt. first mate, Mr. Herring & myself took our meals together. Tues. evening about 10 o’clock the wind suddenly changed to the N. W. & blew in a gale for 12 hours. No one slept any more, or but very little that night. It did seem that we certainly should capsize. I never passed such a night, & I then felt that nothing would ever incite me to take another voyage. I found some comfort in committing myself to Him who controls the winds & waves, & in feeling the Judge of all earth does all things well. The Sab [Sabbath] before I committed those verses in the 10th Ps. [Psalm] which contain an interesting description of a storm at sea from verses 23 – 31. Perhaps some of the children would like to learn those verses. In the serm [sermon] at Ips [Ipswich Female Seminary] just before I left about $70.00 was collected for the Seamens Friend Soc. [Seamen’s Friend Society] & almost 100 for a Theological Sem. [Seminary] in Jefferson Co. Ohio. Miss Lyon mentioned four reasons why the seamen had a claim on our benevolence. 1. Because they were exposed to great hard ships in this life. 2. Great exposure to a premature death. 3. The salvation of their soul. 4. Their instrumentality in converting the world. These increase in importance the last outweighing all the others. Mr. Hubbard of Boston thinks no society more in need of assistance now, than this.
Wednes. morn. Was rejoiced to find the wind abating. I went on deck the sea was high. The spray often rose so high as to sprinkle me. It repays for some suffering to see the ocean in such a situation. I do not think I have language to describe it to you. At one time the waves were from 30 to 40 ft. high & they were several times from 15 to 20 or 25 ft. Sometimes a hill of water would be moving towards the ship much higher than we were & it seemed as if it wd. [would] soon bury us, but the ship wd. [would] rise, or the wave die away. It is wonderful how the ships do avoid them so much. I saw a great number of porpoises darting through the water. They would weigh 100 pds. [pounds] are chiefly valuable for their oil, & are caught with harpoons. I suffered very little more from sickness. Friday I finished reading a tract “The Backslider” which I think very good. Wednes. P.M. The Capt. & mates kept trying the heat of the water to ascertain of we were in the Gulf Stream. At four o’clock the thermometers rose to 76 degrees so that the Capt. had no doubt but we were in the G.S. [Gulf Stream] He hoped not to get so far east as the stream, but the wind was unfavorable, & it cd. [could] not be avoided. The Gulf Stream is from 60 to 80 m. [miles] wide, & extends to the coast of Newfoundland. Sea weed is floating about it in great abundance which resembles ground pine. The air here was peculiarly soft & warm as May days in New Eng. [England] Wednes. night the rain fell in torrents. Squalls were frequent all the time the ship was in the G.S. [Gulf Stream] Thursday stayed below because of the rain. Spent most of the time reading Memoir of Felix Neff. The gale I mentioned on Tues. night, should have been Thurs. night. This was much more violent than the first. During the evening there was much thunder, & sharp lightning. After this, the wind blew from the N. W. One of sails was taken away. The Capt. thought it very fortunate that the sails were furled, otherwise he thought the whole might have sunk. Fri. I went on deck before breakfast, & remained there about five min. The ocean was indeed a grand sight. I did not go on deck again till Sat. We saw three vessels sailing most of the day. Sat. P. M. was very mild & Sab. [Sabbath] very pleasant I read the book of Hos. [Hosea] When on deck saw large collections of sea weed. At a distance it appeared yellow. Its color depends in a measure on its situation in the water. If two or three ft. [feet] below the surface it was a beautiful green. When on the surface, not so lively. Probably this is in part owing to the age of the weed. About sunset on deck I witnessed a scene which I fancy had I been blessed by the muses I should have seized as favorable to write poetry. The waters were gently undulating, & on every side of each [.... ....] hill of waters were numberless ripples. The horizon was skirted with broken clouds. The light of the fading day still lingered in west for some time only one gem twinkled in the heavens then one & another peeped out. The wind was soft & refreshing. I silently enjoyed it till the Capt. asked me down to tea. About poetry.....Abigail & John would learn to love poetry. When I was in Taunton [Massachusetts], Mr. Reed’s children I thought had a pretty way of amusing themselves by capping poetry as they termed it. One would repeat a line, then another wd. [would] repeat one commencing with the same letter which ended the previous line, as if one should say, Deep in the waves is a coral grove, E is the last letter. The next line might be, Eye hath not seen it, my gentle boy, the next line begins with Y I think. Martha & even Marcus would like to it sometimes Mr. Joseph Emerson said at I. [Ipswich] last summer that poetry ought to receive 1000 times the attention it has yet received. Repeat poetry proper lines if you repeat at all. Mon. morning the waves were quite high but the motion was pleasant, no rocking but resembling swings, the head of the ship rising & then the stern. the waves usually break to the leeward that is if the wind is N. W. they fall away to the S. E. Tues. & Wednes. we were nearly in the latitude of Savannah but 300 miles from the coast & the direction of the wind such as the render the prospect discouraging as to what time we shd. [should] arrive at Savannah, but Wednes. night the wind changed & continued favorable the remainder of the passage. We were soon wafted over the Gulf Stream & Friday morning the land was in sight & a pilot was received on board. Sat. about ten o’clock I arrived at Savannah & sent to the P. O. for a letter which Aunt Z. [Zilpah Polly Grant Bannister] had lodged there that I might know where to find her. About 11 I found her & now am pleasantly situated in a boarding house with Aunt & Miss Hubbard. Coming up the river the scenery was very pleasant. Flocks of duck, crows & rice birds were flying about in all directions – Aunt & Miss H. [Hubbard] are expecting to accompany me to Forsythe [Georgia]. They will probably remain there about one month. Aunt expects to be in Ipswich [Massachusetts] next summer. We expect to go by steam boat to Augusta [Georgia], from thence by stage to Milledgeville [Georgia], then to Macon [Georgia]. Forsythe [Georgia] is 24 miles beyond Macon [Georgia]. I do not know what my school is to be yet. There are two departments male & female. Mr. Parsons the principal has a general superintendence of the female department though I suppose they are principally committed to me. You may direct your letters to Forsythe, Monroe Co. Ga. [Georgia] The accent of Forsythe is on the last syllable. The th has the aspirate sound. I expect to remain there a year. My dear father have you though that you have not written me one word since I left home, though I doubt not I have your best wishes & parental regard but will you write me one letter this winter. I suppose you are not so pressed with business as in summer. I wish you wd. [would] describe to me the state of the church & society in Colebrook [Connecticut], also the Sab. [Sabbath] school. Brother Daniel will you write me a minute description of our house? Abigail, will you write me about the school & our friends. Give my love to our cousins, aunts & uncles. Aunt received a letter containing the news of Aunt Pettibone’s death last Sat. the day I arrived here. We sympathize with them & hope they will be comforted.
From your affectionate,
Mary [Mary Grant]
[along the center of the letter is a greeting from Aunt Zilpah Polly Grant Bannister] “I love you all, Zilpah Grant”
Letter 4 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Elijah Grant
One of sister Mary Grant’s letters wh. [which] my children may like to look over She was then 22 yrs. old
Forsyth. Geo. [Georgia] May 29, 1833
My dear Parents,
A long time has again elapsed since I have written to, or received any intelligence from you. Aunt & Miss Hubbard left here the 28th of Apr. & I suppose, if prospered they are now in, or near, New Eng [New England]. I received a letter from them written in Lexington, N.C. [North Carolina] 350 miles from Forsyth.
The weather is very warm here now, I think about as warm as any part of the season at home. I usually carry an umbrella to screen me from the sun The nights are pretty cool, & the evenings & mornings, when pleasant or clear are very fine. I have taken one morning walk, but I generally keep my room after supper. I rise with the sun usually, & retire before ten. In this family, we breakfast a little past six, dine about one, & have supper about seven. I should prefer supper an hour & half earlier, but am pleased with the regularity of our meals. – I think vegetation two months in advance of Conn [Connecticut]. What time there are the peach & apple tress in blossom? Strawberries began to be red the last of April though not ripe. Raspberries are now in their best state. Mr. Lumpkin has a fine supply. We have them in pies, or in milk for dinner. Peas, beans beets, & Irish potatoes are now abundant. Some of the potatoes are quite grown. A few days since we had some green apple dumplins [dumplings] for dinner. Plumbs begin to be ripe. Peach trees are loaded with fruit. Next month they will begin to ripen. So much for food & vegetations. One thing more. I said something in one of my letters about the variety of meat & bread at out table, I think you might gain an incorrect idea from it. These are all we ever have. I think the difference between this, & other boarding houses is that all or almost all the variety we ever have, is on the table every meal. I sometimes feel tired of hot bread, fresh meats, etc. Of late, we have had some cold wheat bread on the table. A great many live mostly to eat & dress in this state, I think.
May 30 Wednes. eve.
I believe I have written to you respecting the scarlet fever prevailing here. The sickness still continues, & often proves fatal. Today the funeral of a young man was attended, & yesterday two children were buried. This young man had been sick about four days. The first case of sickness was about March 1, a wagoner was brought here sick in the evening & died that night. Soon two little negroes in the family where the man died were violently seized, & each within 24 hours was a corpse. The physicians knew not how to account for the disease. Some thought it was the cholera, & some that the children were poisoned. One child was dissected, which satisfied them the children were not poisoned. The first symptoms are vomiting coldness of the extremities, or fever, if death soon ensues, spasms usually attend the dying agonies.
There have been 18 deaths in this village, more, many more than have occurred since the settlement of Forsyth [Georgia]. This disease prevails in various parts of the state, & in Alabama. Some of the most eminent physicians do not hesitate to pronounce the disease, the real, Asiatic Cholera. Indeed, quite as much alarm prevails as did last summer in New Eng [England]. Parents who had sent their children here to school, have sent for them, & some who live in the village have feared to send their children to school. It is thought the number of scholars would have been 50 greater, had there been no unusual sickness. I do not write this my dear parents, to alarm you, but I thought should I have the disease, & not recover, you would prefer I should write just what is felt by the community. I have not been afraid at all, nor do I now suffer from fear, yet I feel, that I know not what a day may bring forth. I have been exposed by being with the sick considerably, but am still well. I do not yet regret coming here, though the prospects of the school are nothing so favorable as they were. Mr. Parsons now assists me three hours & a half a day in my school. I have about 40 pupils. Many of them have been sick, five of them are now so. Some of them are rather difficult to manage, though they generally do well. Scholars here have less encouragement<s> to study than with us. Parents, & other members of families are not readers, particularly the female part of community, & often undervalue education. They feel that they [confer...?] a favor on teachers to send their children [to?] school, & some easily take offence, & remove their children. We must, however, remember that this county has been settled but ten y[ea]rs. It is the testimony of all whom I have heard speak on the subject, that there is a gradual improvement in many respects every year. There is less fighting, less swearing less Sab. [Sabbath] breaking, (the profanation of the Sab. [Sabbath] is now very lamentable) & much less of the vice of intemperate drinking. At a recent meeting of the Tem. Soc. [Temperance Society] 20 new members were added. I hope & think our school will do something towards raising the standards of education.
Next Sab. [Sabbath] a Sab. school is to [be] organized. You may wonder why this has not been done before. I know of <of> no justifiable reason. Parents generally are not interested. Sab. schools have been opened two or three times here but not succeeding well, have been relinquished. Some professors of religion openly say they are opposed to Sab. schools. I know not why they are opposed. There are this season to be two schools, one in the Meth. Soc. [Methodist Society] the other Bap. [Baptist] & Pres. [Presbitarians] united. The Meth. [Methodist] school will be much the largest. How does the Sab. school in Colebrook flourish? Where or in what part of the bible are they studying? Do you recite the lesson at home Sat evening, together as you did last winter I was at home? Who teaches the various schools in town? Is Elizabeth Rockwell teaching? Is Louisa R married?
June 2. I received a letter from Aunt & Miss H. written by, Miss H. last evening. It was May 18, about 35 miles from Charlottesville, Va. [Virginia] They had then been detained by impassable streams about a week within five miles of the private family in which they stayed. Not a word said how Aunt endured the fatigue of the journey, only at one time she was unable to proceed, & at another she feared the damp weather. I know it is trying to her health to ride to far, but I hope in the end it might be no injury to her health.
They spent a day at Charlottesville [Virginia] & visited the University also Jefferson’s seat at Monticello three miles from C. [Charlottesville] With the situation of his seat they were delighted , but the place is now going to ruins His grave is surrounded by a stone wall, in the woods, & is a sorry looking place. It was a disappointment to be prevented from proceeding on their way. I do wish you would both write to me. I suppose you have a great many cares, & I will be contented that your letters be rather few, but you can influence the children to write. I want to know all about you, & my brothers & sisters, relatives & neighbors. I love them all. Tell them so. Does Mr. Holden live with you yet. What hired help have you? How is your health? That you may live to the glory God here, & when your [hole in letter.?..] in this vale of tears is run, be [admitted?] through the redemption [hole in letter.?..] Christ, to Heaven, is the desire of your daughter.
Mary [Mary Grant]
Abigail, you will be 13 yrs. [years] old, before this letter reaches you? Do you grow as your years increase, in whatsoever is lovely, & good report? Pay great attention to forming good habits, habits of self government. Do what ever you do, well To do right is to promote the greatest happiness & suffer yourself to do nothing you feel to be wrong. What books do you read? I hope I shall see you, & all my friends again.
Do you feel that you have been born again, born of the spirit, & is it now your care that your body be a fit temple for the residence of the Spirit. My dear sister, will you write, & tell me.
From your affectionate sister,
Letter 5 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Transcription: original not in collection]
[Addressed ] Caroline Grant
Forsyth [Georgia], Nov. 22, 1833
My dear Parents,
Some time has elapsed since I have addressed a letter directly to you, though I believe I have written to some member of the family as often as once in six weeks. I have received no letter from Conn. [Connecticut] since I last wrote to brother Phelps. My health has been uninterruptedly good, & it is a time of general health in this region of country – I received a letter from Elizabeth & Aunt [Zilpah Polly Grant Bannister] three weeks since. E. [Elizabeth] says “Mother has not written me for a long, long time, & I sometimes almost think she has forgotten me.” I have been gone so long, I fear it will be so with me, & that you will hardly know me. No. I do not think so, you think enough about me, & I am afraid you are sometimes too anxious. I know I cannot keep my self from danger, & that if left to myself I should run into sin, but I still feel that if I do my part, I shall be upheld. I have many friends here, indeed all of the people are kind, but still I do not exactly like to stay here. I wish you to remember me at a throne of grace. I do not know where I shall spend the coming year. I have been in a state of suspense which you know is unpleasant. I do not suffer myself to be anxious. A merciful Providence has thus far caused my cup to overflow with blessing, & I can trust for the future. My school closes in three weeks, the 13th of Dec. The trustees of this school called on me to know my plans & wishes for the coming year. I thought it would not be best for me to remain here, & I told I intended returning to the north in the spring, but that I should like to occupied in school till that time. Some families are anxious I should stay next year. About four weeks since I received a letter from Liberty Co. with an invitation to assist in an academy there. My business there would be mostly teaching the management devolving on the gentleman & lady, who have the charge of the school. They offered a salary of $400. Board from 100 to 150 dollars. Liberty [Georgia] is about 40 miles from Savannah. Dr. Law, the physician of this place was raised there. I consulted him about the healthiness of the place, he thinks it very healthy on sand hills, where the academy is situated, & he thinks it would not be hazardous to health to go there in the winter season, & stay a year. They want my services Jan. 1. In my reply, I stated to them that I did not feel at liberty to engage till I had consulted my friends &c. Last Tues. I received another communication from them wishing me to give them a decided answer to their proposal – stated my labors would not be great – that they were surrounded by a religious community that Aunt Z. [Zilpah Polly Grant Bannister] had many acquaintances there who would give me a kind reception & be interesting friends &c. Aunt [Zilpah Polly Grant Bannister] had previously written me that Miss Eaton wished me to cooperate with her next year in her school in Philadelphia, & that she had rather I would be with her than in almost any other situation. I had not heard from her. I answered it in the negative. Mr. Lumpkin says, if I stay in Geo. [Georgia] he thinks I can do better than that as to compensation. I have a note against Mr. Parsons of $100 due Jan. 1. The law of that state will not allow me to collect it under a years & I may never get it. Mrs. P. [Parsons] resides in Lib. Co.[Liberty County] & I think I should be more likely to get it to spend a year there than otherwise. I have sometime feared I should make some engagement which I, & my friends might in after time <would> regret. I feel willing to go where I can be most useful. If I am not engages in teaching school long I shall study geometry & algebra. Write to me what you wish me to do, I wish to do something to remunerate Aunt [Zilpah Polly Grant Bannister] for what she has done for me.
They have engaged a music teacher here for next year – Gov. [Governor] Lumpkin is reelected to the grief of the nullifiers. The legislature is now assembled at Milledgeville [Georgia]. The majority of the <Union> members are Union or Submission men.
I suppose thanksgiving time is coming soon, perhaps it is even now, if not you have many things to do. I presume I should like very much to be with you. I have looked over some papers to find when it was to be, but have not been able to ascertain.
Were the meteors which were seen in this state on the morning of the 13th of this month seen in New Eng. [New England]? Did you see them? The night was clear, calm & cool. An unusual number of them were seen in early part of the night. About two o’clock they began to appear in every direction. Mr. & Mrs. Lumpkin rose about three, & most of the negroes. They were much frightened. About five a servant called me, & told me to look out at the window. I did, & saw the meteors falling in every direction. I was reminded of a snow storm. Some of them emitted light resembling lightening. I went into Mrs. L’s [Lumpkin] room & found them almost dead with fright. Many of them thought the day of judgment had really come. The barn helper & negroes were crying. Lord, have mercy upon me. I told them I had read such things, that they <had heard> were not stars, & that I did not feel afraid. It seems to <to> comfort them a good deal, Tom, a negro, said this was a warning to the sinners here. Some say now, the wise may explain as they please, they shall still believe they were stars. The appearance was very beautiful, most of them moved in an oblique direction, though some over head moved horizontally. One in the east, particularly brilliant, moved ten or twelve degrees leaving a line of light which continued for a minute or two. I thought from ten to twenty five might be seen in every direction at a time. The family & others say there were a hundred, some say thousands at the same moment. The[y] grew fainter & fainter till the light of day drowned them entirely.
Sat. morn. Nov. 23. The weather is cool [a piece of the page is missing]...that at night & morning good fires are comfortable. At noon & during the afternoon they are not necessary. There has been but little rain, this month the weather is altogether milder than in New Eng. [England] during this month. I perceive by the public papers you have had snow. – Christmas is a noted day in this region. It is the time for removing, settling accounts, & for amusement. The negroes, have that week mostly to themselves. The whites would call those masters cruel, that would keep their slaves at labor during that time. The slaves are proud of having rich & respectable masters & mistresses, also of fine carriages & horses, & houses. I am sure in their present condition, it would not do to set them free. They are exceedingly superstitious & ignorant.
Ms. Goddard expects one of her sisters on to spend the winter with her. I received a letter from her a few days since.
I have just learned that the meteors were seen in Charleston & Savannah, & should think from the descriptions more splendid than here. The mail closes soon. That you may have wisdom to discharge all your duties, enjoy the presence of God, & be wholly devoted to this service, is the desire & prayer of your daughter, Mary. [Mary Grant]
Love to my brothers & sisters, cousins, neighbors & all. Write soon after receiving this, very soon. Direct to Forsyth [Georgia]. Abigail should write me all about school, Sab. [Sabbath] School, etc. Farewell