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1842.10.21 - Elizabeth Huntington to Frederic Dan Huntington, Oct. 21st, 1842


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Elm Valley Oct 21, 1842 – Friday evening

Dear Frederic, Having heard that that Mr. Holland expect to *** his ministerial labour in Northampton on the next Sabbath, I feel quite inclined to tell you of our journey home; and who to expect and retreat indeed the satisfaction which I feel in your condition and prospect. In doing this the first object which beneath it ** to any that in our dear Hannah, for I begin to cherish a thing D*** that who may be ours as well as yours . From what I have seen and heard of her, I can truly say she is all that I can with the opportunity for becoming acquainted was very short, but any confidence in your discernment and judgment in much, as to have no room for doubt and anxiety besides what we have seen and known of her and her friends seems wonderfully to have a**** our desire for further intercourse and more intimate acquaintance. Time we f*** with you in Boston, my thoughts have been very much occupied with your affection. – your new relations and duties, with their uncertainty consequence, have offered to me as almost sufficient to overwhelm a fable m***, and nothing. . .


Elm Valley April 21st 1842 My Dear Frederic, We have found that your father forgot to enclose your letter which we received last week from Frances[1]; and I improve the opportunity by Mr. Smith[2], to write you a few lines, and send it herewith tomorrow. I was there this morning on business, and he spoke of having a purchase from brothers' to have with Arthur[3], so it will make him no trouble, and you will probably have it when you go in on Saturday. I hope you will write us when he returns. Fanny[4] came home with us on the sabbath, and has been enjoying herself highly, We are about taking a walk to Pheasant Hill[5] this afternoon. Tomorrow your two sisters[6] intend to spend the afternoon with her at your uncle's[7]. We have heard nothing from William since you left us. The bundle went on by Mr. Brooks[8], about a fortnight after you left, and I enclosed a letter in that which we sent. Theodore is very busy at present, at the [Dreand?][9] place. He seems to have caught the distemper of Hadley people, and as he does not care to move his house far from the place, he has got Mr. Adams, to help him turn it half round. Azil and Frank[10] are plowing at the mountain, and Theophilus occasionally lends a helping hand. Samuel Lyon[11] came last week to spend the summer with him. Eliza[12] and the baby are doing as well as we could expect of such a feeble little mother. They hope Mrs. Lyon will come next week, and stay with them a few weeks. Your father has been very busy this week with his pen and and his parchment transcribing a clean white paper, correcting and adding and expunging as he finds necessary; these two sabbaths at Northampton, will doubtful bring on the blues. I hope you will find somebody to relieve him before long; I believe he had rather preach at a distance from home, he never had much partiality for the Trinitarian pulpit in Northampton, not more than his son Frederic. Mr. Coolidge[13] did well for us two sabbaths. May the divine spirit accompany the truth, to the heart and conscience. We do indeed need a time of refreshing. It is reviving to see ministers alive, zealous, fervent in spirit.[14] The Lord gives you my dear son abundantly of his spirit, that you may in due time go forth in the building of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. Now as ever your affectionate mother Elizabeth

[Addressed to:] Frederic D. Huntington Cambridge Ms. [Massachusetts]

Mr. Dudley Smith [Vertical text on the side of the page:] I want to know, My Dear Friend, how you are likely to succeed in your Mission Feirt in providing me a pulpit for two or three jobs. Do let me know as soon as possible. W.D Smith will return in a few days. I will bring a letter, if no other opportunity offers. A letter left with Arthur will find him probably. Yours affectionately D.S.

1) Since no members of the extended Porter Phelps-Huntington family were named "Frances," this might be a nickname. Or, perhaps more probably, it refers to Frances Cordelia Dickinson (1828-1855), a resident of the town of Hadley, and a relative contemporary of Frederic who he would doubtlessly recognize by first name.

2) Dudley Smith, a resident of Hadley, married Pamela Porter (1797-?) on December 5th, 1822, making him a distant in-law of Frederic's.

3) Mentioned twice in this letter by first name, Arthur might be Arthur Hampden Smith (1834-?), a likely relative of Dudley Smith. Though this would make the presumed Arthur only 8 years old at the time of the letter, helping with a purchase order and holding onto a letter are two actions perfectly fit for a hearty young boy.

4) "Fanny" is a pet name for Frances, so it is likely that Frances Cordelia Dickinson (see footnote 2) is a close family friend.

5) She is likely referring to Pheasant Hill in nearby Agawam, Massachusetts, now the site of a residential neighborhood on Pheasant Hill Drive. However, she might also be referring to another Pheasant Hill in Westwood, Massachusetts, just west of Dedham.

6) Since Frederic's sisters, Mary (1815-1839) and Catherine (1817-1830), have already passed away, Elizabeth is referring to her daughters, Elizabeth (1803-1864) and Bethia (1805-1879).

7) It is unclear which uncle Elizabeth is referring to.

8) Perhaps referring to John Brooks (1779-?) - the only Brooks in Hadley who was a relative contemporary of Elizabeth Whiting Phelps Huntington - a man who History of Hadley describes as having once, along with William Brooks Jr., gone "to Westfield to look for iron ore; they also burnt two houses and one barn in Westfield."

9) This surname is unclear, but perhaps it refers to the homestead of a family friend.

10) It is unclear who Elizabeth refers to, but they are likely familiar acquaintances of Frederic's, as she uses their first names. some land in Hadley that his father had given him at the time of this letter, where he lived until his death in July of 1862.

11) Likely an in-law of Theophilus's, as Eliza, his wife, is his travel companion. Perhaps it is Eliza's father, as her mother is mentioned below: see footnote 18.

12) Theophilus's wife.

13) Elizabeth is likely referring to Deacon Nathanial Coolidge Jr., who became a trustee of Hopkins Academy in 1825, where Dan Huntington was principal (1817-1820) and trustee (1821-1864). Coolidge died in 1835.

14) In James Macknight's antiquated volume (1804), A Harmony of the Four Gospels, he uses the term "feirt forth" in order to indicate Jesus's sending his Apostles out on a Mission. Perhaps Dudley Smith is using this language here to suggest, in a slightly ironic manner, that Frederic, too, is a lofty individual, with the power to summon his fellows for grand missions - even if they last only two or three Sundays.

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