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1845.05.08 - Elizabeth Huntington to Frederic Dan Huntington, May 8th, 1845


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Elm Valley May 8th, 1845

My Dear Frederic, Within half an hour I have received a letter from William, which as it is short I will copy for you. Hillsborough April 24th 1845-

“The Philistines be upon thee Sampson!!

My dear mother,

This is only the fourth letter I have written this morning, one to sister Fisher, one to Father Edward, one to Frederic. Of course you will think something unusual must be in the wind. It is at length concluded here at headquarters, to invade Elm Valley, and Sugar Hill this coming summer campaign, with our western forces! I have rented the farm for the present season, that is, the most of it, to two or three persons, and we are now in a state of active preparation, for setting out, and have fixed the day of our departure to the first Monday in May.

We shall take a boat at St. Louis for Pittsburgh. Thence we shall proceed by canal and roads with as little delay as possible to N.Y. City, via Phil.a where we shall halt and recruit a day or two, with brother Ansil Edwards. If in reason to attend the Boston anniversaries, we shall all go on and spend a few days with brother Frederic. If not, by the best and most direct course to Hadley or Northampton; where if we are prepared, we shall probably in either worst, arrive, about the first of June.

May a kind providence conduct our steps in safety, and give us a happy meeting. Yesterday my wife and the two little girls, had a chill; but have generally been well, thro’ the winter and spring thus far. If we have nothing worse than Ague we shall not stop for that, but look for a complete recovery on the journey and the visit.”

We had looked so long for a letter, that it was most welcome, and the information most agreeable. Friday evening – as a rare occurrence, your father and I have been making calls this afternoon—a little business called him to the lower mill, and I improved the opportunity to call on Mrs. Rodney Smith, then we stopped in at Mr. Martin’s, who lives in the brick house next Mrs. Smith’s, and passed a half hour very pleasantly – on our way home we came thro’ the west street and called to see Mrs. Sheeran who is on a visit at home; soon after we got home Mr. and Mrs. Bullfinch called to take leave, as they expect to take the cars tomorrow for Waltham- Caroline is very unwell, her mouth is distressingly sore and her stomach much diseased. I hope she may find relief soon.

I must say to you that I feel much disappointed; that we are not to see you, with your wife and little boy this summer; I had just determined to write and try to persuade you that you had better come among your nearest friends, then to go among strangers, but from your letter I am led to think that your arrangements are made, and we must submit. We can do something more, we can accompany you with our best wishes and earnest desires that God will grant his blessing upon whatever means may be used, both for your wife and the dear boy.

But surely you will not deprive us of the pleasure of seeing yourself. I think you might spend a few days at least with us, but you best know what will be agreeable and expedient, and believing you are not wanting in affection for us, I cheerfully have you to decide, upon this condition, that you will let us have your thoughts often on paper. It is no small gratification to read them in print, but I like much now and then a written communication. It does my heart good to find that your people are in earnest about religion, that they are willing to turn their backs upon the world, and seek a better country even an heavenly the lord increase the number of them an hundred fold, and fill their hearts with joy and peace in believing.

Theodore’s wife has not yet returned we expect her tomorrow, April is to bring her home and perhaps her mother will be with her. Theophilus has rather a dark prospect. Eliza has hardly the strength to take care of the baby without help, and the woman who is with them is to leave in two or three weeks. She has been to Whately today to find someone, but without success – it is almost impossible to obtain a woman or girl who is willing to do housework-. He has one bright spot to look at. Walter is a real comfort to him, he goes with him everywhere, when he rides and when he works, he is certainly a very good boy, of this there is no doubt.

How much we owe you for your untiring attention in sending us so much to amuse and instruct us. I almost covet the readings of your sermon on prayer. Your piece on the press I have read with unqualified approbation but do be careful that your labors do not wear you out – these bodies are not immortal. Tell Hannah she must not be puffed up, and let me say to both of you, be clothed with humility.

It is growing late and you will be glad to find an end of this strange medley. Your father sends love, to all three, give mine to Hannah, and try to make George understand he has a grandmother, way-way, as Walter Says

Most truly your ever devoted mother Elizabeth

Let us not forget to be thank God for inclining your people to show you so much kindness. May he reward them in the rich blessings of his grace.

Your letter by Mr. Bullfinch was too precious to be forgotten. Charles’ family are all well, your father and I drank tea there Tuesday - George Bundee Mr. Fisher’s orphan nephew lives with Theophilus this season.

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