Letter 1 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Elizabeth Grant
Ipswich [Massachusetts], July 23, 1836.
My ever dear Mother,
Your letter was duly & gratefully received. I have often thought of you, & did not think so long a time would pass without writing you a single word. I study a part of the time this term. Have studied a small work on Geology & Butler’s Analogy of natural & revealed religion to the constitution & course of nature, & attend to singing & drawing. These things with the care of my section, with what I teach & visits, walks & necessary writing & reading have so filled up my time that I have deferred it till now. I have filled out a large folio sheet to sister E. [Elizabeth Grant Burton] & cousin Maria [Maria Pettibone]. I received a letter from sister E. [Elizabeth Grant] to day. She is very well, better than usual, had a good visit with Phelps [Elijah Phelps Grant], says she loves him more than ever does not think of returning this fall, & I think I choose she should not. Miss Bridges & Miss Adams the teachers who were with her last winter spent two days here a few weeks since. I was very happy to hear so directly from E. & her school. Miss Bridges left Granville in the latter part of May, & expects to return the forepart of Sept. She is to spend a few weeks here first. Mr. Rose a clergyman from a town joining Granville, is now in New Eng. [New England] as an agent to procure funds for a boarding house in G. [Granville] He went from Gran. [Granville] Mass. [Massachusetts] at the age of five years to Ohio, saw the first tree felled in Granville. O [Ohio] in 1806. He feels as well as the people generally that the school at Granville must be sustained, though the teachers as useful or more so than many ministers there. Was quite acceptable in his remarks, I wish you could see him. I received a letter from Elizabeth Rockwell this week in which she says she has just heard indirectly that brother Phelps has come home. Is it so? Miss C. Beecher [Catherine Beecher?] spent some time here a few weeks since I wrote to Miss Palmer after it, & expected you would hear from me thro’ [through] her. I hope she will answer mine soon. Mr. Laberce, president of a college in Tenn. [Tennessee] next came into school [Ipswich Female Seminary], & gave an account of the state of society, education & religion, also the productions, face of the country &c, of that state, quite interesting & valuable — great want of educated ministers & teachers. Next Mr. Lewis agent for the school in [Ind.?] which Mr. Twining plead for last winter, & which Mr. Twining is now engaged in teaching. Then Mr. Rose of Granville — & Monday this week Rev. Thomas Brainerd, Cincinnati addressed us, giving us an idea of the vast tide of population crowding into the western states, of the principal periodicals in the Miss. [Mississippi] valley — of the state of Catholicism, all these statements were valuable, & suited to lead to self denying action. I have read most of Maria Monk, people generally believe it, & I see no reason why they should not. It seems that the great principle of the papists is, that <the> any thing is right which promotes the interests of their church. There are now 600 sisters of charity who have taken vows of celibacy & to teach for life, planted in schools in different parts of the land. They are like nuns, except not secluded.
Mon. July 25. Often since I commenced this sheet have I thought a year ago at this time dear sister A. [Abigail Grant] was lying on her sick bed, & I doubt not but you have often thought of & felt it too. Today is the anniversary of her death, & has she enjoyed the glorious privilege of swingling in that society, so harmonious, so pure, so benevolent, so Christ like, & been made more like onto Christ herself for a year? Our gratitude should be called forth that we may hope she has joined the company of the redeemed. And are we now living as she would wish us too, were she acquainted with our ways. Are we trying to comply with her last request, to prepare to meet her in heaven. I feel reproved for the little I have done the last year, but feel determined to go on forgetting, as it were, the things that are behind, I trust you have near access to God, & that though you meet with trying scenes, you find it sweet to cast yr. [your] care on him who careth for you. These trials are necessary for us here. May we ever so view our trials that they may work for our good. How interesting to observe Paul’s prayers for the churches to whom he wrote. Yesterday I thought particularly of Col. [Colossians] 1:11.12, Strengthened with all might according to his glorious power unto all patience & long suffering with joyfulness. I think these petitions such as Christians may make for each other now so strengthened by God as to [love?] all with patience, long suffering, & yet joyful.
July 29. We have beautiful weather now tho’ [though] the season has been uncommonly variable & damp this summer. I have a pleasant room & room mate, & Ipswich Sem. [Ipswich Female Seminary] I think one of the most blessed places of earth. Here is intelligence, refinement, benevolence & piety. Half the school are professors of religion, one gives some evidence of having been recently renewed. Miss Caldwell has been spending a few days at her mother’s in town. I enjoyed visiting with her much.
July 30. Aunt’s [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister] health is usually good this summer I should like to be here next winter on some accounts, as it would be for my improvement, but Aunt [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister] & I both think, on the whole, I had better have a school at home, as I did last winter, to continue from three to five months. My health has been uniformly good. It is decided that I do not leave this country till a year from next fall, & perhaps not till a year from next spring. I generally feel that this is the path my God would have me walk indeed, I have not felt otherwise since I became fully decided.
Miss E. Rochwell wrote me that Jerusha Gilbert was going to the I.S. [Ipswich Female Seminary] this fall. Give my love to her, & her sisters. Tell E. I most sincerely thank her for writing me, & for the more, as she does not claim a reply unless I can make consistent with other duties. I shall not forget it, but do not think it probable I can write her this term. In seven weeks I shall probably be at home.
My love to E. Eno, & to all my scholars whom you may meet. I expected Margaret, Desia & Martha would write me before this. I have been hoping to find time to write to S. Boyd [Susan Boyd Grant] ever since I heard of the death of her sister Mrs. Hubbel. Much love to her, & to Phelps [Elijah Phelps Grant], tell Phelps I want a letter fr. [from] him much very much. How do Martha & Desiah get along with arith. [arithmetic] or does D. go to school to Miss Norton. I hope Margaret or some of you will write me very soon. Do you know why Miss Paler does not write me.
Aunt says she thinks it will not be consistent for her to visit Ct. [Connecticut] this fall. When does P. expect to be married. when leave for Ohio. I have invited Mr. B. to come to Colebrook [Connecticut] this fall, as I thought he might never see Phelps unless he came then. He has been here once to see me. He asked me if you would like him to send you the Evangelist, as he could as well as not. He heard you speak of that paper, I told him I thought you would. My best love D.J. M&M also Aunt N. Margaret & Desia. Aunt Phelps & all cousins. Has Uncle Phelps returned from Ohio Did Mary Ann Coweles get her bill?
M. Grant [Mary Grant Burgess]
Letter 2 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Elijah Grant
Ipswich [Massachusetts], Aug 11, 1836.
My dear Brother,
I wish to consult you in reference to some notes I hold against Phelps [Elijah Phelps Grant], & proceed directly to the point.
I have before me four notes, which he has given me, & the [fare?] of each is fifty dollars. The first is dated New Haven, Oct. 1, 1831, & signed Elijah P. Grant, payable two years from date. The other three are each payable two yrs [years] from date. One was given March 1, 1832, one March 31, 1832, the other bears date March 31, 1832, but on the back side is written by my own hand “forwarded the money $50. for this note July 1, 1832” On the back side of each of the three last mentioned, is the name of “W. S. Hoyt & the [mash?] $50.” Phelps stated to me, that Mr. Hoyt had generously offered to be his endorser, but he could <for> not at that time advance the money.
I must take up some money this ensuing fall, & I would rather take what these notes would furnish than any other. (I prefer not to take what you have the care of, unless it is a great burden to you.) I have written to Phelps, that I want the amount due on his notes before he leaves. I mentioned, that it was probable, the man who encouraged his borrowing of me could now supply him. If he could not, I suppose some other business man among his friends would do it. I should choose not to have a debt due from one so far off, especially a relative. I do not know the best way of attending to his business, & if you can aid me, I will thank you to inform me. Shall I send the notes to you, or do you prefer I would send them to some other person. If the latter, to whom [shall?] I send them. I propose to forward them by Mary [Mary Grant Burgess]. It is her purpose to reach home much after next on Saturday.
If I hear nothing from you before Mary leaves, I shall send the notes to you, & commission you to attend to the business according to your judgment. I suppose there will be ample time for you to write, so that I can hear before Mary leaves.
Mary is well & is devoting almost her whole time to study. She has been studying Butler’s Analogy, & is now attending to Smellie’s Philosophy of Nat. History & to Alexander’s Evidences of Christianity. These kinds of knowledge she will need, to teach the heathen, or more especially as the companion of a missionary. I do not know, whether we should any of us, have given her up cheerfully to the missionary cause, if she had always had good health. But afflictive providences often show us that our friends are not our own.
Miss Bridges is now here. She says Elizabeth is in very good health, & quite fleshy. It appears, that the Granville school is doing much good.
Joel writes me now & then: I am much pleased with his letters. I hope he will do much for the cause of truth.
May all your children be rich blessings in the world. As this is not a public letter I send no messages.
Your ever affectionate sister,
Z.P. Grant [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister]
Letter 3 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Elizabeth Grant
South Hadley [Massachusetts], March 28, 1838.
Ever Dear Friend,
Having an opportunity to send a letter by Miss Burr, I write a few lines. I remained in Hartford [Connecticut] till Wednes. P.M. & then came to Springfield [Massachusetts] in a boat, stay a Mr. Lucius Clarke’s over night, & the next morn about 9 oclock arrived here by stage. Here I have enjoyed my visit much. Yesterday the term closed. The examination which occupied Mon. P.M. & all of Tues. did credit to the institution [Mount Holyoke Female Seminary]. Miss Lyon is as happy as any one I know. She feels that her cup overflows with merries, particuarly in getting established with so many conveniences, & in having scholars of so much character & conscience, & of such a spirit of accommodation as to render the enterprise pleasant & easy. The building here is indeed very fine & commodious, & I think the prospect great that the institution will be a rich blessing. Miss B. [Burr] will tell you more about it, if you see her. Sheets pillow cases, towels from any friends of the school will be gratefully received, as they are not supplied.
On my arrival here, I found a letter from Mr. Burgess, saying that Mr. Read was to leave Babylon in April, & therefore it would not be convenient for him to instruct me. I have written to know at what time <to> Miss Farrar can attend to me either at Ips [Ipswich, Massachusetts] or Boston.
Last Friday I received a letter from Aunt [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister]. She was at Ips. [Ipswich Female Seminary] said she was intending to be there till the term closed April 11. & she anticipates being able to be there next summer, to give instruction upon moral subjects more or less every week. Her health has improved the past months. She says she shall insist upon Miss Farrar & I being at Ipswich if Miss F. [Farrar] can leave her relatives. Miss Caldwell goes to Amherst tomorrow, & I have concluded to accompany her, & remain there with her till Mon. when I shall go to Boston Providence permitting, & soon after to Ips. [Ipswich]
Miss C. wishes an affectionate remembrance to you all & also to Aunt Phelps & Elizabeth.
In this town & in several towns in the vicinity interesting revivals of religion are in progress. May Colebrook & the neighboring towns thus be visited. Do not forget me in your prayers.
I have commenced writing sister Elizabeth. When you write me direct to Ipswich.
As ever your aff. [affectionate] friend daughter & sister,
Mary [Mary Grant Burgess]
I would like to have you see Mt. Holyoke & the Sem. of that name here [Mount Holyoke Female Seminary]. Every thing is convenient & the young ladies do not need to work over 10 or 11 hours each a week to do all the work. 90 is their number. I wish you to make s special effort to sit erect, to avoid any ungrammatical or improper expressions, & to be useful as possible at home this summer. They intend to receive no more young ladies into this institution who are not thoroughly acquainted with arithmetic, geog. [geography] U.S. History Watts on the mind & some knowledge of grammar. The ground is covered with snow here which fell yesterday. I think you will all remember the catechism lesson.
Love to all. Your affectionate sister,
M. [Mary] Grant.
Letter 4 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Elijah Grant
[Says in corner] From Joel Grant Aug. ’38 Speaks of his purpose to aid John to study &c.
Berlin [Maryland], Aug. 8, 1838.
I have no time to write much now and perhaps there is no necessity that I should. My principal object in writing is to inform you that I am well, am doing as well as could be expected, having a small but pleasant school numbering about 15 scholars. As this is the time of year when there has usually been a vacation of four weeks in the school, and as the habits of the people here are to a considerable extent accommodated to that arrangement, I have concluded myself to have one so that I may go on and attend Commencement at New Haven [Connecticut] and spend about two weeks at home. I shall therefore close my school Thursday of this week and proceed directly to New Haven [Connecticut]. Thursday or Friday of next week I shall hope to reach home. This letter will give you such an explanation of the matter that my arrival there if in the night need cause you no alarm, but as to any further information respecting myself or my school, I prefer deferring it till I see you.
I am desirous that brother John on my return to this place should accompany me for the purpose of preparing for College [Yale University]. I feel under great obligations to you for the assistant you have given me in the pursuit of my studies, and know of no better way of returning the favor than by rending the same assistance to John myself. I think I shall get my life insured, so that if by an early death I am prevented from earning money to assist <ance> him, he may not be under the necessity either of giving up his studies, or of calling upon you for support. I mention the subject now because I would like to have you think of it some before I arrive at home, <His clothing> and that you may make some preparations for his departure if he can come on with me on my return. I am in haste,
Your affectionate Son,
I shall be obliged to leave home on Monday the 3d of Sept. in order to be sure of arriving here in season to commence my [... hole in paper] on Monday the 10th. Consequently I shall be at home but a little more than two weeks.
Letter 5 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed from] Poplartown Md. [Maryland]
[Addressed to] Mr. Elijah Grant
Poplartown, Oct. 24, 1838.
I write to you now not so much because I have any thing to communicate in respect to myself as because I wish to make one more attempt to enlist your feelings with my own; and persuade you if possible that it is best for brother John to come here and spend the winter with me. You know that when I was at home I felt desirous that he should accompany me when I return but as you did not seem to think it best I concluded for the present to drop the subject. But as from time to time it has since recurred to my thoughts, the subject has lost none of the desirableness with which it at first presented itself to my mind. Indeed its importance has appeared to me so much greater than it did when I left home that I have at last concluded to write to you about it. I believe I understand well the ground of your fears in respect to the proposals I made in respect to John last summer, and though they are doubtless all of them well founded, yet I will briefly state some reasons why I do not think they are entitled to the <weight> influence they probably have on your mind; Your views in respect to the importance of his obtaining a Collegiate education are probably much the same as mine, though it may be it appears to me more desirable than to you. If however any very serious objection could be brought against it I believe I could without difficulty, give up the idea. But this I do not believe can be done. I have had some experience in the matter, and I can truly say that nothing that has already passed or that I can perceive in my future prospects leads me to regret at all the course I have taken. My life will probably be like that of other people a life of toil and anxiety but for that I was made, and from that I should not have escaped by remaining in any other situation in life. When I went to College [Yale University] it was my intention though perhaps I did not at that time express it to amply repay you for the expense and self denial I knew I was bringing upon you; by giving to some of the family a like privilege. Now I feel as if an opportunity was afforded me by taking John under my care, to do it. I wish him to commence his studies now, and with me, for several reasons some of which I will mention. 1st. It is time he was commencing his studies. If he should not commence till <for> two or three years after this I should not feel as if it was best for him to commence at all. I feel as it would be best by all means for him to teach school for two or three years after graduating from College [Yale University] and it is not very pleasant for a man who feels as if he was old enough to be employed in some profession, and settled down for life, to endure such a delay after leaving College. This I know from the declarations of some of my classmates, who are in that situation. Besides I can think of no reason that can make it really desirable for John to delay preparations for College any longer. He is of sufficient age and if I mistake not is quite well advanced in common branches of study.
2nd He can never pursue his studies at less expense than here with me, unless indeed he were to study at home which would not be best when he first commences. He can travel from Colebrook [Connecticut] here for $7 probably or at most for $10. When here all his expenses will be $2 a week as I can furnish him with all the books he needs. This is the cheapest place to live that I ever knew. A person has but little opportunity to spend money foolishly. If John should endeavor to get instruction at any other place he will have bills for tuition, room rent, fuel, lights, books &c none of which he will have here, and which though at first sight they do not appear large, I know from experience make a very important item in the expenses of an individual.
But 3dly, I wish him to come here because I think I can give him as good instruction as he can get any where, and better than he will be at all likely to get. Few persons with whom I ever had acquaintance have struggled against so many difficulties in a preparation for College as I did, and there are but few that better understand the difficulties with which a beginner finds his way beset. Perhaps you may think me egotistical in saying this but the occasion seems <to me> to call for it.
4thly, I wish John to come here because I want his company. This I own as a rather selfish reason and perhaps you may not deem it worthy of much weight nor indeed do I, but you doubtless know that it would be very pleasant for <us> me here so far from home to have some intercourse with a person from my own country and especially from my own family. However you may regard this reason in whatever light you please. Suffice it to say I will cheerfully pay his board here, and his passage home next May if we should both live till that time. Then I think he will be able to pursue his studies by himself with profit and pleasure. I think it is as good a way for him to spend the winter as he can find, and if hereafter he should be obliged for any reason to give up the idea of going to College I do not think it will do him any injury.
I have thus stated to you to some extent my feelings on the subject though I have failed entirely of exhibiting them as they appear to my own mind. You remarked when I was at home that you thought I ought to be clear of debt before I was at any expense on John’s account. For your encouragement in this particular I will remark that if my health is continued till the 1st of January, I shall be able to pay all of my debts except about $25, allowing for all my expense and for six weeks board for John provided he should arrive here so soon, as to require that amount of board before the 1st of January. So you see that the objection if it ever was a serious one is reduced to mere trifle now. I hope therefore you will not hesitate, but send John off as soon as possible after the receipt of this letter. He will however be dependant on you for the means of getting at least as far as New-York, which will probably be $1 to Hartford, $3 from Hartford to New-York, then it may be he will need $2 or $3 <dol> to pay his expenses in New-York before he finds a vessel, which is coming here, though it is most likely he will find one there at almost any time. If you will let him have $10 he will be safe against any want of money or if he should be in want I can pay his passage from N.York [New York] here as the owners of all the vessels which sail from here to New York (6 or 8 in number) live in Berlin [Maryland].
Poplartown Oct. 29, 1838
Dear Brother John;
I have written to Father on another part of this sheet hoping to get his consent to have you come and spend the winter with me. Perhaps he will not think it best if so you will I hope acquiesce in his decision, and stay contentedly in Conn. [Connecticut] faithfully observing the advise I gave you before I came from home in respect to your studies. If however as I earnestly hope, he should be willing to send you please make ready as soon as may be and come on. You should start in three days if possible after you receive this letter (probably Sunday <Oct> Nov. 5.) but if that is not convenient you will endeavor to get ready to start in a fortnight from that time (which will be Monday Nov. 20). The reason of this is that after the first of December the vessels begin to stop running if they can close their business as early as that, and by the 1st of January they are all laid up for the winter. The bay which leads from the ocean to this place is generally frozen by the 1st of Jan. so as to prevent the passage of vessels. I think however all the vessels will continue to run till the 1st of Dec. and I know the greater part of them will for. I have conversed with the owners about it, so that if you start by the 20th of Nov. you will have no difficulty in obtaining a passage. You will perhaps be sea sick but never mind that, it will do you good, you will perhaps see great waves and cold weather, but you need not fear the one and your cloak and a warm fire in the cabin will defend you against the other. I must give you some directions how to manage when you get to New-York. You will probably land there in the morning perhaps before the stores are opened. If so you must wait till they are open or you may spend the time in finding Water St. which is not very far from the Steam Boat landing. Having done this as soon as the stores are open you must go to the store of S.R. Paynter No. 52. Water St. (do not forget the name or the number) where you can ascertain whether there are any ships from the region of Berlin Worcester Co. Md. [Maryland] If there should be any in the harbor you must ascertain where they are and immediately go to them take your lodgings on board and make yourself at home till they reach this place. If there are no ships in the harbor from this region you must go to No. 30. Beekman St. where a boarding house is kept by a pious lady where you can obtain lodgings for 50 cents a day and there you must take your meals and lodge till a vessel arrives which will not be more than two or three days. When you have found a vessel at New-York you must drop a note in the post office letting me know it, and stating the name of the ship. Perhaps you will do well to stop at the first book store you find in New York and buy a map of the city. Your baggage you must get carried from the steam boat to the steam boat office for which you will perhaps have to pay 18 3/4 cents though it is not ten rods, or perhaps it will be as well for you to get some carman to carry you directly to S.R. Paynters No. 52. Water St. where you can leave your baggage till you have it removed to the vessel. You must ask the carman before you leave the boat what he will charge, as otherwise you will be exposed to shameful imposition. 37 1/2 cents will <not> be sufficient for yourself and trunk. When you arrive here you will inquire for Mrs. Collins house where you will consider yourself at home.
Your clothes I shall leave to the judgment of mother to arrange. One of the old cloaks <we> you have about the house will answer your turn here.
I might say more, but I think this will be sufficient. I am well and prosperous. I keep school in the old building and shall continue to do so till Jan. Give my love to all. I must now close for I am much fatigued. If you do not come, please send me a letter the day after you receive this.