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1813.01.28 - Elizabeth Huntington to My dear Daughters, Jan. 28th, 1813

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1813.01.28 - Elizabeth Huntington to My dear Daughters, Jan. 28th, 1813


The Huntingtons are still living in Middletown Connecticut, but daughters Elizabeth and Bethia are visiting with their grandparents at Forty Acres. Their grandmother and aunt are teaching them to spin and knit. In her letter, their mother praises her daughters' new needle skills and reminds them to develop themselves morally and religiously as well--asking about how they treat their grandparents and each other and about their Bible reading. She informs them about the progress of their brothers' Bible study, sends candy, apples, and cloth their grandmother can sew into clothes for them. She tells them about her work at home doing laundry and washing the floors, work clearly heavily supported by household servants Marcia and Zewky, and she praises the wonders of their new steam washer.


Elizabeth Whiting Phelps Huntington


Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family Papers (Box 12 Folder 6)
Amherst College Archives and Special Collections




Courtesy of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Foundation
For permissions contact Amherst College Archives and Special Collections





Misses Elizabeth and Bethia Huntington Hadley

Middletown January 28th 1813 Thursday evening past 11

My dear daughters, I find that unless I write to you I may not expect a letter, so am determined next time there shall not be that excuse - . I am very much pleased indeed that you have learned to spin nicely - I thought in the course of all winter you might, but you have quite gone beyond my expectations. With regard to spinning you have done well - do you do as well in obeying your grandpa and grandma, and your aunt - and in submitting to all their advice and directions? Do you live peaceably together, without foolish quarrels and disputes? Above all do you remember your Creator, the God who made and keeps you, and that merciful Saviour, who said "suffer little children to come unto me." & do not ever forget, what a privilege it is to go to Christ - to ask him to forgive your sins, and make you his own good children - this he can do, and none else can. I wish you to begin the catechism and learn and repeat word for word, 4 answers every day. Last week Edward began, he learns two in a day, and has now got to "how doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?" I am much pleased with your reading the bible, & hope you are careful to read slow distinctly and with propriety[.] Your grandma & aunt have a great task to do for you - and I hope you will try every way to please and assist them. William has written to you, he and I have made some candy and send some to you that in the small paper is for your grandparents and aunt; that in the brown for Mr. Morrison, as I suppose you Bethia would like to give him something. I send a few apples to your grandpa, supposing you too would like some that came from home -- a piece of checked cloth I send you for [tyers?] - it was a remnant or I should gladly have sent Martha one like it - I have partly cut them. They are not separated, as I did not know how much longer to make one than the other; you will get your aunt or grandma to do it, and likewise to fix the shoulder straps and cut them right, under the arms. I send a little yarn, Bethia, for you to knit a pair of mittins for yourself, as yours are quite too small - ask your grandma to show you, and knit them quite large. Elizabeth you may tell your grandma that I should like to have your and Bethia's white woolen stockings coloured like your others if it is not too much trouble - you may likewise tell her that our steam washer does admirably - it is not more to wash them after steaming, than to washing them in one suds. It is almost nothing to get the dirt out. Marcia does all the washing after 11 or 12 o'clock and washes the floors by night, which used to take me and (Zewky?) both all day. It is now after 12 - you will therefore feel as if ma ought to go to bed. When we talk of you Edward and Whiting perfectly long to see you both -- & I am sure you cannot think how much I wish to see you, it is enough to say I am your mother Elizabeth.