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1832.05.12 - Mary Huntington to Elizabeth W. P. Huntington, May 12, 1832

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1832.05.12 - Mary Huntington to Elizabeth W. P. Huntington, May 12, 1832


In this letter from Mary Huntington to Elizabeth Phelps Huntington, she updates her mother on her rooming situation and the internal struggle she’s been experiencing as a result of homesickness. Mary is staying with a friend temporarily while her roommate is gone and she discusses her plans to possibly stay with her cousins Eunice and Stella. She hopes to live with Eunice and Stella to be with family; Mary explains how her homesickness might be a contributor to her deteriorating health and asks her mother to keep this a secret from the rest of
their family.


Mary Huntington


Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family Papers (Box 20, Folder 13)
Amherst College Archives and Special Collections


May 12, 1832


Public Domain



May 12, 1832
Dear Mother,
After a pleasant journey of a little more than two days, we arrived here in safety about 6 o’clock last evening. We did not find Mrs. Willard at home, but she returned in the evening. We were first introduced to Mrs. [Hirsdale]. She told me she had formerly known you and Father, probably when you were at Middletown. In the evening I had the pleasure of seeing cousin Stella Phelps. She is a teacher here, and [Eunice] who is absent for a few days, is here as a scholar. William is in town yet. He remained here last night and breakfasted here this morning. He is out now to see about taking a school in town for boys. I hope he will succeed in getting one, for it would be extremely pleasant for me to have him so near. I am rooming for the present with a young lady whose roommate is absent. When she returns, I shall be obliged to change my quarters. There has been something said about placing me in the room with Stella and [Eunice]. This I should like very much. Several of the young ladies called in last evening. One of them [Miss] Dodge from Johnstown is cousin to the Irving’s. I told her that I heard Mr. [Irving] preach in Northampton. She asked me if he was not a Unitarian or a [universalist?]. I told her that he was a Unitarian. Said she, “what a pity.” I did not make any reply, for I though perhaps it would only make a useless dispute.
I had written so far when I was called out to bid brother William goodbye, and I must say that I have not felt so badly before since I left home. This afternoon I suppose I shall call upon Mrs. [Selden] and have those letters that [Miss] Porter sent. Mrs. Thompson was in here just now and asked me if Elizabeth Huntington was my sister, and said she was acquainted with E & [Bethia] and inquired after them. I have been to meeting today at the Episcopal church. It seems to me that I must [unburden] my mind to you, for to tell the [truth] I don’t feel right. I am very pleasantly [interested] with regard to roommates, and [even] Stella is very [attentive] to me, but still I know
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I am not at home [and] besides I at times feel very fidgetty. Sometimes I feel
afraid that I shall have some bad disorder & I really am not well. I have not told anyone of it but I feel [indecipherable] weak & my pulse [are] quick and falls much of the time. If wishing were not [vain] I should wish some of the family were here. I left my French books at home and my English dictionary at home which I should [indecipherable] to have sent [for] together with the [indecipherable] Prayer Book, if an opportunity [as/or] [indecipherable]. If you knew he [must (smudged)] I want to hear from home, it seems to me that you would all write good [indecipherable] for the [present]. This morning when I awaked nearly the first thought that [entered] my mind was of home. You do not know how I want to go home. Seems to me I cannot think of staying [tro… indecipherable] weeks, I am not settled yet at all. In the first place I have are books to study in. [Miss] Phelps has offered to lend me some, and I think I shall take them. I shall expect a letter from home soon. Do write often. I suppose if by the time this reaches you brother William will have arrived, I cannot hardly help wishing that he had taken me along with him. I wish I was more contented. There are no Unitarians here at school so that I should like to have you write all you can remember of [Mr. Stearns] [indecipherable]. I was with you in thought yesterday at meeting in Northampton. How does little [baby] do [indecipherable]. Do help her for a great many times when you see her, and give my love to Father [Bethia] The [unknown word] Edward Theodore [Frederic] the cousins and Helen. Write me a letter full of good advice. I hope you will excuse my writing with a pencil but I felt so bad then that I thought I would not wait to get a pen and ink. Last evening I went to Mr. Sheldon’s to carry the letters. Mrs. Sheldon inquired after all her Hadley friends. I must close here as I have so much to attend to, and wishing you to write soon about every thing that interests you. I remain as ever your affectionate daughter.
Mary Huntington

Dear Mother,
If you know how badly I [feel] seems to me you would wish as much that I not come. It seems as though I had lost considerable flesh since I came here. In the morning as soon as awake and at night is the worst time. It really seems to be a relief to cry sometimes. Don’t show this letter to the rest of the family if you please, it is so [unknown word] and written as miserably.