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1833.03.19 - Elizabeth Huntington to Mary Huntington, Mar. 19th, 1833


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Elm Valley, March 18th, 1833 Dear Mary, You no [sic] by the date that it is Monday, and also Theodore's birthday. We all remember how faithfully and seriously our birthday were all noticed by our dear Whiting [1]- in this respect as well as many others, he has left an example for us to follow. Your letter, mailed March 13th, we received Saturday evening, and I must . . . I felt a little disappointed in finding you “. . . of so many aches and ail.” Your Pa and Theophilus gave an animating account of your heroism, both during the journey and when they left you; and I have a strong expectation of hearing from you. The next time you write, that your courage and strength have returned, and that fear and foreboding have taken leave of you, at least for the present.[2] I frequently try to reckon with the blessings with which we are surrounded, but in the midst of the attempt I find myself perhaps indulging unreasonable fears, and distrusting that kind providence which has followed me all my life long till the present day. Weary with this conflict, I sometimes venture to glance a thought beyond these trials and infirmities and sins, and . . . a region of purity and peace where no storm were blown, no enemy invades, no fear ever intrudes - where all the inhabitants are friends - all are employed in work of purity and love, all because the image of him who is first born among many brethren, all glory to the general assembly and church of the first born whose names are written in heaven, is there such a place in reserve for us sinners? - The apostle says them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, shall be bestowed the gift of eternal life. [3] Then who would not willingly in a little . . . “bear the toil, endure the pain,” “supported by this word!” [4] Last Tuesday, your father and I went to Northampton; we dined at Charles, and came home in the rain, Theophilus rode over also on horseback, consulted Doct. Flint. who told him not to starve himself any longer, & gave him some different medicine. He has been out of work in the lot, several days in the ‘forenoon, since that time, He thinks some of . . . towards [Lebanon] [5] tomorrow. We had a letter from William last week; he . . . to be in good . . . The day after you left us Mrs Hitchcock came up before dinner and stayed still weaving; at her request we read some of [Matings] writing, to her. Last Wednesday I went the afternoon with Mrs.Wright and I should not wish to be made more welcome by anyone. Paul was at home, and very kind and steady. David I think is an uncommonly reminiscing child, at least he has one good quality; he is very quiet _ instead of crying as some children do with tending, he lay one the floor and kicked about much of the time, in perfect good nature. Theophilus alone went to [N_n] yesterday _ heard Mr. [Hearns] preach in the morning from there words “Our Father who art in heaven”_ in the afternoon from there “Blessed are those servants, whom their Lord when he cometh shall find watching”_ The Sabbath after you left us Edward Bethia and Frederic, went over, heard Mr. . . . from this text in the morning “Whoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one heart to guide … of all_” one idea he advanced was that s Savior who allowed himself in any vice could not. . . . for acceptance with his [Master]. In the afternoon from there words, “For the Father loveth the . . . and . . . him all things that himself death.” Jesus Christ is the most perfect representation of God who has been made in our world. The two last Sabbaths, Susan Flint performed on the organ, an account of Mr.Whitman . . . . . ., and [those] of our family who heard her performance, than with that of any other Savior they have heard._ I would have you a little cautious about taking the blue Pills [6] as there is mercury in them. Indeed I would have very little to do with medicine expecting the mustard seed. Take that regularly in the same gratuity and at the same times in the day. If you cannot get exercise enough without, go to Mr. [Willard] and tell [her] from me that it is very important that you should have violent exercise every day, enough to produce perspiration, and request her advice & direction with matter. If you are faint hearted and . . ., call to mind the animating motives which are held up to duty for our encouragement in duty. You are not your own, you are bought with a . . . You have now an opportunity to qualify yourself for [usefulness]; who knows but you may [be] an instrument and the Providence of doing some good to your fellow . . . in the heavenward . . . . May he whom strength is made perfect in weakness strengthen establish settle you and may we at length “Form a family anew Unbroken in the skies.” With hard remembrances from all I see this medley of a letter from your affectionate mother. Elizabeth Love to Caroline her family are well. I think of your room as a little Bethel [7] with . . . .

1 “Whiting” refers to one of Elizabeth’s sons, John Whiting Huntington, who died in 1832, around a year before this letter was written.

2 It seems that Mary had been in some sort of accident or had fallen ill, and has not fully recovered yet at the time of this letter.

3 This quote comes from Romans 2:7 - The “apostle” refers to St. Paul, the author of the Epistle to the Romans. (

4 This comes from a line in “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?” by Isaac Watts. Watts was a well-known English Nonconformist minister and prolific hymn-writer. ( and

5 Lebanon is located in between Albany, NY and Pittsfield, MA

6 The blue pills most likely refer to metal and mineral-based medicines which were frequently prescribed for many illnesses at this time, despite the known dangers and discomforts. Abraham Lincoln supposedly used blue mercury pills to fight against several different afflictions. Elizabeth is expressing her concern, as she knows the uncomfortable side effects of ingesting mercury. Mary was probably taking this medication to combat the illness or injury which her mother had mentioned earlier in the letter. (

7 Bethel refers to a town in the Old Testament of the bible where the Hebrew went to encounter God (

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