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Copyright, 1903, by Mary Wilder Tileston 


thirty years ago, at the request of 
my aunt, Mrs. William Dwight, I assisted 
her in preparing a memorial of her mother by mak- 
ing selections from her letters, while she supplied 
the connecting narrative. It was intended for the 
descendants only; but even for them it has been of 
little use, being in manuscript, so that it now seems 
desirable to have it printed ; and I feel that the story 
of my grandmother's life, with its brave and buoyant 
spirit, its warm affections and intellectual delights, 
and its intense religious faith, may help those who 
are living through the joys and sorrows of our own 

A friend, writing after her death, to her little 
daughter, said of her, "She was beautiful, her person 
small and delicate, her eyes were blue and had a 
sweet expression, her teeth were white and regular, 
her smile most lovely, but of this beauty she seemed 
unconscious ; her thoughts were not given to her own 
charms of mind or person, but to the merits or the 
wants of others. Her powers of mind, and informa- 
tion on all subjects worthy of attention, were as un- 
common as the beauty of her person, and a modest 
sweetness gave a charm to everything she said or 
did." Another friend wrote of her as "that wonder- 
ful being who fascinates all hearts." 

During her short life she passed through experi- 




ences of unusual interest and through strange trials. 
When only seventeen years old she became engaged 
to Antoine Van Schalkwyck, a young West Indian 
planter, who was exiled from his home in Guadeloupe 
during the years following the French Revolution. 
After many vicissitudes and anxieties they were 
married in 1801, when she was twenty years old, and 
not long after sailed for Guadeloupe. They arrived 
at an unfortunate moment : the island was in a state 
of insurrection, a mulatto having just been put in 
the place of the French Commandant, and there was 
general distrust and terror. Yellow fever was raging 
violently, and in three weeks from the day they 
landed her idolized brother, who had accompanied 
her on account of her husband's ill-health, died of 
the fever. Three weeks later her husband died, leav- 
ing her alone in a foreign land. A few days after 
this a plot of the negroes to massacre all the white 
inhabitants was discovered, only a few hours before 
it was to take place, and she had to fly to a neigh- 
bouring island. There she stayed for many months, 
until troops arrived from France and, after a hard 
struggle, put down the insurrection and restored or- 
der. She was desperately ill herself with yellow fever 
and a succession of other illnesses, and it was a year 
before she could return to her friends. 

The years from 1802 to 1807 were spent in her 
mother's home in Concord, Massachusetts. Her life 
was enriched by friendships with Miss Mary Moody 
Emerson, Miss Susan Cabot Lowell, and others who 



like herself were stirred by the intellectual and spirit- 
ual influences of that period, which has been called 
the New England Renaissance ; and her letters are 
full of references to the books which they were read- 
ing, as well as to the subjects of thought and feeling 
which interested them. Her marriage to Daniel 
Appleton White, in 1807, transferred her home to 
Newburyport, where she died after a happy married 
life of only four years. 

"It is not growing like a tree 

In bulk, doth make man better be ; 
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year, 
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere ! 
A lily of a day 
Is fairer far in May, 
Although it fall and die that night, 
It was the plant and flower of Light. 
In small proportions we just beauties see ; 
And in short measures life may perfect be." 


Boston, October, 1903. 




Early recollections of Mrs. Dwight, xvii description of Mrs. 
Hurd, xviii-xx pp. xvii-xx 



Birth and parentage, 1 death of brothers and sister, 1 
death of her father, Dr. Wilder, 2, 3 Henry Wilder, 4 Flagg 
family, 5, 6 Gershom Flagg, 7 Hannah Flagg, 8; her letter, 
9; death, 10 Mary, or Polly, Flagg (Mrs. Josiah Wilder), 11; 
her poems, 11-13; letter about Mary Wilder, 1 3 ; and from her at 
nine years old, 14 Mrs. Wilder's second marriage, to Dr. Hurd, 
and removal to Concord, 15 the ideal stepmother, 15, 16 
anecdote, Betty, Dr. Kurd's characteristics, 17, 18 Ruth Hurd, 
18, 19 Mary Wilder's song, 19 education, 20. pp. 1-20 

1796-1801 CONCORD: YOUTH 

Letter to Ruth Hurd, on sensibility, 21 Dr. Jacob Bigelow's 
recollections, 23, 24 Mrs. Radcliffe's novels, 24 letter to E. 
Bigelow, on balls, 24 engagement to Mr. Van Schalkwyck, 26 
account of him and of M. Blanchet, 26, 27 letters from Baron 
Van Schalkwyck, 28 from Mary Wilder to Mr. Van Schalk- 
wyck, 29 to M. Blanchet, 32, 33 from H. Wilder, 34 Henry 
Wilder not allowed to go to college, 35 letters from M. Blan- 
chet, 36, 37 illness of Mr. Van Schalkwyck, 38; and marriage 
to Mary Wilder, 39 letter from Madame Courcelle, 39-41 
from H. Wilder to Mr. Van Schalkwyck, 41 ; and reply, 42 they 
sail for Guadeloupe, 44. pp. 21-44 




Letters describing voyage and arrival from H. Wilder, 45, and 
Mary Van Schalkwyck, 47, insurrection just taken place, 45, 
46, 50, 51 death of H. Wilder, from yellow fever, 53 letter 
of his sister to Rev. Mr. Ripley, 53-55 her tributes to the 
memory of her brother, 55-59 illness and death of Mr. Van 
Schalkwyck, 61 plot of negroes to massacre all the whites, 62 
newspaper account of it, 63, 64 flight to a neighbouring island, 
62. pp. 45-65 


Attack of yellow fever, 67 arrival of troops from France, 76 
skirmishes and battles, 78, 85, 87 letter from Mrs. Hurd, 
79-82 obituaries of H. Wilder, 83, and Mr. Van Schalkwyck, 
84 incendiary fires, 86, 88, 90 success of French troops, 87 
fever, 91 return to Concord, Q4> accounts of yellow fever 
at that period, 95, 96. pp. 66-96 


Home in Concord, 97 Miss Ann Bromfield, 98-100; letters 
to her, 100 to Grace Hurd, 101 to unknown address, on balm- 
of-Gilead tree and H. Wilder, 102, 103 account of Mr. Frisbie, 
103-106 letter from D. A. White to Professor Norton, 104-106 
from Mary Van Schalkwyck to Mr. Frisbie, on melancholy, 
1 06 Mr. Rockwood, 1 07 Mr. Samuel Hoar, 1 08. pp. 97- 1 08 


To Mr. Rockwood, on woman's abilities, 109-111 account of 
Miss Mary Moody Emerson by Miss Hoar, 112-117; and others, 



1 17-120 letters by Mrs. Samuel Ripley, 118, 119 letters from 
M. Van Schalkwyck to A. Bromfield, on sensibility, 124; on love of 
nature, 127; on Ossian, 138; on Cowper, 139; on low spirits, 1 46 ; 
on Klopstock, 147; on conversation and correspondence, 149 
about Dr. Ripley, 125 to Sarah Ripley, on death of Dr. Wilder, 
126 to M. M. Emerson, on friendship, 128-131 defending a 
friend, 131 first letter to Mrs. Lee, 132; her reply, 133; to Mrs. 
Lee, on Florian, 135 ; on Sully, 1 37 ; weather and health, 142 ; on 
the"British Spy," 150 from Mrs. Lee, about society, 139-141 
to Mr. Rockwood, on fashionable follies, 136 talk by Mr. Fris- 
bie, on Mrs. Radcliffe's novels, 141 to R. Hurd, on pointing out 
faults, 144; and on conversation, 145 letter to Mr. Rockwood, 
about the Moravians, 151, 152 records of inner life, 154-156 
prayer, 156. pp. 109-156 


Prayer, by Mrs. Hurd, 157 letters from M. Van Schalkwyck 
to Mr. Rockwood, on winter and love of money, 159-161 to A. 
Bromfield, on New Year's day, l6l ; on a journey from Charles- 
town, 164 from Sally Hurd, about an escort, 162 account of 
Miss Susan Lowell, 166-168 journal, 168-173 letter about 
Milton, 174 to Ruth Hurd, on men and women, 177; the wall- 
flower, 180; on humility, 194; on Buckminster, 201 letter 
from Ruth Hurd, 200 to Sarah Ripley, on writing, sweet flow- 
ers, etc., 183-185 to Rev. Wm. Emerson, 186 contributions to 
the "Monthly Anthology," 186-191 letter on early death, 191 
playful letter to Mr. Rockwood, 193 to Susan Lowell, on 
autumn, 197 prayer, 204. pp. 157-205 


To Mrs. Lee, on stage-coach journey from Lancaster, 206 ; on 
Euler, 213 to A. Bromfield, on fraternal affection, 209; on Mrs. 



Klopstock, 21 1 ; on Charming, 218 ; on a golden elm tree, 219 
to S. Lowell, on the Moravians, 210; on the country and the 
theatre, 212 to Benjamin Hurd, on the French, and religious 
duties, 2 13-2 16 diary, 217,218 first mention of Daniel Apple- 
ton White, 220 letter to Mr. Rogers, on dejection, 221. 

pp. 206-223 


Letter to Mrs. Lee, on accession of fortune, 224 to Ann Brom- 
field, on Mr. Hoar, 225 ; on "Lay of the Last Minstrel," 248 to 
S. Lowell, on Mr. Frisbie, 226, 228 to S. Lowell, R. Kurd, and 
A. Bromfield, on the illness of Betsy Hurd, 229, 230, 232, 233, 
234; and death of Betsy Hurd, 234, 235, 236 lost in the woods, 
238 engagement of Ruth Hurd, 239 death of Grandfather 
Thompson, 239 diary, 241, 249-251 letter from S. Ripley to 
M. M. Emerson, about first meeting of D. A. White and M. Van 
Schalkwyck, 243 M. M. Emerson, on Niagara, 245 illness in 
Charlestown, 247 Benjamin Kurd's illness, 239, 249; death, 
252 engagement to D. A. White, 251 pp. 224-252 


Correspondence with Daniel Appleton White, 253-310 sym- 
pathy in sorrow, 254 death of B. Hurd, 255, 256, 257 jour- 
nal, 258, 259 Saurin's sermons, 26l "Rasselas," 265, 266 
letter from Mr. Frisbie, 269 journey in snow-storm, 270 lung- 
fever, 274 good morning, 283 Lavater and social silence, 285, 
288 Dr. Ratcliffe, on colds, 287 on causing pain and anxiety, 
290, 291 dedication to God, 276, 292 finding a house, 
295 house-furnishing, 298, 299, 309 visit in Charlestown, 
300-310 sincerity, 300 holy communion, 302, 305 on tem- 
porary homes, 303 rainy drive, 304 manifestation of affection, 
306 busy with a mantua-maker, 308 voice and smile, 309 
return to Concord, for marriage, 309- pp. 253-310 




Marriage to D. A. White, and removal to Newburyport, 311 
letter from Miss Bromfield, 312 sitting up for company, 312, 
313 Mrs. Eliot in Boston, 313 Mrs. Susan Newton, 313 
Grandmother Atkins, 314, 315, 31 6, 318 Mrs. Searle, 314, 315 
Miss Fanny Scale, 315; her letter describing Mrs. White, 315 
Margaret Searle, on Mr. White, 319. pp. 311-321 


Letter from Mrs. Hurd, on the Democrats, 322 birth, 323, 
illness, 326, 327, and death, 327, of first child thunder-storm, 
324 bad times, 326 visit to Concord, 328-331 maternal 
affection, 323, 324. pp. 322-331 


Removal to State Street, 332 letter to Mary H. Eliot, 332 
to Margaret Searle, 333 birth of second daughter, 334 Sally 
Kurd's illness, 335, 336; death, 337 letter to F. Searle, on love 
of nature, 336 to D. A. White, " bubble, bubble," 338 to F. 
Searle, on Mrs. Grant and baby speech, 339, 340. 

pp. 332-340 



Letter to Ruth Hurd, on dancing, 341 Mrs. Kurd's philos- 
ophy, 343; and on Democrats, 344, 345, 347 a green bonnet, 
346 hemorrhage of the lungs, 346 letter of Dr. S. Johnson, 
348 birth of third daughter, 349. pp. 341-349 




Letters to and from her husband, in Massachusetts Senate, 
350-375: the bed an altar, 351; Democratic machinations, 352, 
353, 362, 363 ; the actor Cooke, 352, 355, 357 ; sermons of Chan- 
ning, 355, 359; imperfect devotions, 357; dangers of theatre, 
357; very severe snow-storm, 359-362 increased illness, 366 
letters by Miss Emerson, 372, 373 last letter from D. A. White, 
375 the great Newburyport fire, 376-378 calmness and seren- 
ity in danger, 377 general vaccination in Concord, 379 last 
hours, 379 from Miss Bromfield's diary, 379-381 tribute and 
poem by Fanny Searle, 382, 383 ; by Sarah Searle, 384, 385 ; by 
Margaret Searle, 385 obituary from the "Port-Folio," 385-388 
epitaph, 388 death of Mrs. Hurd, 389. pp. 350-389 


The Wilder Genealogy, 391 The Flagg Genealogy, 391, 392 
The White Genealogy, 392, 393 List of books read by the 
subject of this memorial, 393-395. pp. 391-395 



Silhouette of Mary Wilder White. 1807 Facing title-page 

Portrait of James Flagg, attributed to Smibert. 1744 (?) Facing p. 5 

Portrait of Gershom Flagg, painted by Robert Feke. 1746 (?) 

Facing p. 7 
Portrait of Hannah Flagg, painted by Robert Feke. 1746 (?) 

Facing p. 8 
Portrait of Mary (Polly) Flagg, attributed to Blackburn. 1753 

Facing p. 10 

House of Dr. Hurd, Concord, Massachusetts, from water- 
colour sketch by Henry Wilder. 1801 Facing p. 97 

Facsimile of handwriting Facing p. 133 

Silhouette of Daniel Appleton White. 1807 Facing p. 242 

Silhouette of Mary Wilder White. 1808 Facing p. 324 

Silhouette of Mrs. Polly Hurd. 1810 Facing p. 348 



MY mother died when I was but two years old, 
yet such was her hold upon my affections dur- 
ing the short period she was with me that the void 
created by her death was at once filled by her mem- 
ory. My earliest recollection is of being lifted on 
to her bed, where I was often permitted to lie be- 
side her during the lingering illness which preceded 
her death. Another recollection which haunted my 
childhood is before me now. I see the darkened 
room, the mysterious casket, my father's face and 
figure as he stood near it, the gloom upon the coun- 
tenances of all present, the appearance of the uncle 
who held me up in his arms that I might see the 
face of her with whom "death had made his dark- 
ness beautiful." My father has told me that, after 
one look, I was taken from the room, apparently in 
an agony of grief and fear; but of that I have no 
recollection, while my mother's face, "as it had been 
the face of an angel," was then deeply imprinted on 
my memory, to bless me throughout my life. 

My father's first object, after my mother's death, 
seemed to be to give, as far as possible, to the two 
daughters who survived her an idea of her charac- 
ter. In our earliest years, as in later ones, he was in 
the habit of talking of her to us as of a superior be- 
ing. When we reached the ages of six and seven he 
began to read to us from her letters. Other friends, 



who cherished her memory, attempted to describe 
to us her beautiful person and manners. All that 
was said of her, as well as her own writings, har- 
monized with the image I had of her in my heart, 
and helped to make her a living presence there. 

My mother's mother lived till I was twelve years 
old, giving to her "dear little girls," as she called 
the children of her "beloved Mary," a mother's love. 
Her life was interwoven with that of my mother, 
whose death, she said, "broke the last tie that 
bound her to earth." Their memories are insepara- 
bly blended in my mind, claiming an equal tribute 
of affection and respect. Among the most interest- 
ing recollections of my childhood are the visits my 
sister and I, driving with our father in the tradi- 
tional one-horse chaise, made to our grandmother, 
in Concord. 

Although at the time I first remember her she 
must have been not more than sixty-five years old, 
she was, to my young eyes, venerable in appear- 
ance made more so, doubtless, by the close cap 
of white muslin, with band of black ribbon, and the 
severely plain black dress and white inside handker- 
chief, which was the costume of the period for la- 
dies advanced in years. I have a silhouette taken 
of her at sixty which recalls, not only the dress, but 
also her head and face. She had lost her voice, 
years before, through severe illness, and spoke only 
in a whisper. Her manner was gentle and affec- 
tionate, with a tinge of sadness. In looking back 


upon her, after an interval of more than half a cen- 
tury, my principal recollection is of the extreme 
tenderness with which she always welcomed and 
parted from us. I was too young to appreciate her 
character, but all that I remember of her accords 
with my father's high estimate of her worth, and 
with that of others who knew her intimately and 
are well qualified to describe her justly. "Pure at 
heart and sound in head, "they represent her. "The 
finest character I ever knew," says one who, for 
years, enjoyed her friendship and confidence. An- 
other, the last remaining niece, writes to me of her: 
" Your grandmother was, indeed, a woman of un- 
common mind, and, under many sorrows, of great 
self-control." Strong religious faith, under the vicis- 
situdes of life, was conspicuous in her as it was in 
my mother. Their habit of tracing every circum- 
stance of their lives directly to God enabled them 
to enter fully into the spirit of the Psalms, and 
supplied them, as it did David of old, with a con- 
tinual flood of devotional feeling. Indeed, as I have 
pored over their papers, now yellowed by time, I 
have felt that St. Paul's "dearly beloved son Tim- 
othy" had not, in "the faith which dwelt in his 
grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice," a more 
precious legacy than that which my grandmother 
and mother have bequeathed to their children and 
children's children. 

Nearly all of those who knew them personally 
have passed away. Only a few remain who love to 



speak of my grandmother's disinterested kindness 
and hospitality, and who kindle, in their old age, as 
they recall the charm and power of my mother's 
influence over them in their youth. But we are not 
wholly dependent upon the recollections of friends 
for our knowledge of what they were. Fortunately 
for us, they lived in the age of letter- writing, "the 
old familiar letters, for the absence of which neither 
biography nor memoir will ever quite make up." 
Many of my mother's letters, and some, not less 
valued, of my grandmother's, have been preserved. 
With the exception of those of my mother's which 
were written while she was in the West Indies, and 
which contain events of unusual interest, these let- 
ters are valuable, mainly, as illustrating the minds 
and characters of the writers, and furnishing the 
means of perpetuating their memories, which should 
not be permitted to die. If with these letters I am 
enabled to prepare a memorial of them which shall 
tend to awaken the love and reverence of their de- 
scendants, I shall have accomplished the object I 
have at heart. 


Broolcline, 1875. 




MY mother's maiden name was Mary Wilder. 
She was the daughter of Dr. Josiah Wilder, 
of Lancaster, Massachusetts. 1 He was born on May 
27, 1744, graduated at Yale College in 1767, and 
became a physician. He settled first in Boston, and 
then in Lancaster, where he was an active citizen, 
influential in town affairs, and an ardent patriot. On 
August 28, 1774, he married Mary Flagg, daughter 
of Gershom and Hannah (Pitson) Flagg. 
Their children were: 

William Pitt, b. June 11, 1775, d. Sept. 1, 1778. 
Henry, b. March 27, 1777, d. Sept. 19, 1778. 
Mary, b. Aug. 22, 1778, d. Sept. 17, 1778. 
Augustus, b. Nov. 4, 1779, d. Nov. 16, 1779. 
Mary, b. Oct. 8, 1780, d. June 29, 1811. 
Henry, b. April 27, 1782, d. Nov. 12, 1801. 

This list of births and deaths tells a sad story of 
bereavement. When my grandmother's third child 
was only ten days old, her oldest child died (of scar- 
let fever, as I have been told), sixteen days later her 
baby died, and two days later her last remaining 
child. She herself was ill with the fever, and ap- 

1 See Wilder Genealogy in Appendix. 



parently died. The undertaker, when about to lay 
her in the coffin, thought he saw signs of life, and 
summoned her husband. She was resuscitated, but 
never regained her voice fully, being able only to 

My grandfather died in Lancaster, December 20, 
1788, at the age of forty-four. The little that I know 
of him is quickly told. I have an extract from a let- 
ter, written evidently in 1780, before my mother's 
birth, by my grandmother's youngest sister, Grizzel 
Apthorp Flagg (afterwards Mrs. Gould), to a rela- 
tive in Rhode Island, in which she gives an account 
of various members of the family. Of my grand- 
mother she says: "My sister Polly is married to a 
doctor, as worthy a man as now lives. In a partner 
she is one of the happiest of women, but of the bit- 
ter cup of affliction she has drank often, and in large 
draughts. She has been the mother of four smiling 
babes, but has been deprived of all by that hand 
that has an undoubted right to take when He pleases. 
She lost three in seventeen days, one aged three 
years, one of seventeen months, and one of one 
month, and in a year after, one of three weeks. 
But she and her companion say, * The Lord gave ; 
the Lord hath taken away,' and I believe they are 
careful to add, 'Blessed be the name of the Lord.' 
Such patterns of resignation, were you to see them, 
you would think were not often to be found." 

The view here given of my grandfather's Chris- 
tian faith and resignation is the same that I find in 


1 780-1 T96] 

the following extract from one of my mother's let- 
ters, to whom addressed does not appear. The letter 
is dated Concord, June 29, 1803. She says: "I wit- 
nessed at a very early age the power of religion, not 
only in enabling man to sustain misfortune, but to 
meet death undaunted. My father was in the me- 
ridian of life, his prospects flattering, his situation 
agreeable. He had a virtuous and affectionate wife, 
a son whose opening childhood promised everything 
good and lovely, and a daughter whose extreme 
youth demanded all his paternal care, when he was 
attacked by a consumption. Soon convinced his dis- 
order was remediless, he relinquished the idea of 
recovery, and then was the triumph of Christianity. 
Assured that all events are conducted by Infinite 
Wisdom and Goodness, he cheerfully submitted to 
the disposal of Him who cannot err. He arranged 
his affairs, he marked the spot where he wished his 
body might repose, and, convinced that the Al- 
mighty is ' the Father of the fatherless and the wid- 
ow's God and Judge,' he committed us to His care, 
and then awaited the approach of death with a sub- 
lime serenity which had more the air of triumph 
than of dread. O my father, what gave thy sun 
this glorious setting, what enabled thee to quit life 
so cheerfully, when it was so pleasant to thyself, so 
desirable to thy family! Thine own words instruct 
me, 'a calm conscience, a reliance on thy God, and 
a bright hope of an eternity of progressive virtue 
and happiness.'" 



This tribute of my mother's to my grandfather 
has given me, from childhood, a tender interest in 
his memory, which was fostered by my father. At 
an early age my sister and I were taught to repeat my 
grandfather's words, as here quoted by my mother. 
I remember, too, when we were quite little girls, as 
we were returning from Springfield, where we had 
been visiting, to our home in Salem (a journey which, 
taken in a private conveyance, then occupied several 
days), he went out of the direct route to pass through 
Lancaster, that we might see our mother's birth- 
place, where she lived the first nine years of her life, 
and where our grandfather Wilder was "the beloved 

Henry Wilder, the only son of my grandfather 
who survived him, more than fulfilled the promise 
in opening childhood of which my mother speaks in 
the letter already quoted. Mrs. Rapallo, a niece of 
my grandmother, and daughter of Mrs. Gould, says 
of my grandmother's family: "Looking back into 
the past with a desire to record some of my early im- 
pressions, my first recollections of them in my child- 
hood are not very distinct. I have only the faint rec- 
ollection of the vision of a youth more beautiful than 
anything I had ever seen, he was called Henry. I 
saw him only once, but I never lost the memory of 
that face." From other sources it is evident that his 
mind and character were correspondent to his face. 
My mother loved him with all the enthusiasm of 
her nature. His early death, under circumstances pe- 


1780-1796] CHILDHOOD 

culiarly distressing to her, was the sorrow which 
overshadowed the remaining years of her life. Her 
letters and manuscripts show with what devotion 
she cherished his memory. 

In the same letter from which I have just quoted, 
Mrs. Rapallo speaks of my mother as "one whom, 
in childhood, I thought nearer to perfection than any 
other human being, and whose loveliness, after four- 
score years passed away, is fresh in memory." 

My grandmother was born October 25, 1750, the 
sixth child of Gershom and Hannah Flagg. Gershom 
Flagg was born in Boston, April 20, 1705. 1 In 1730 
he married Lydia Callender. 

His second marriage, to Hannah Pitson, the mother 
of all his children, took place on January 4, 1737. 
They had seven children, three sons and four daugh- 
ters. Their first child, Ebenezer, died young. Their 
next child, James, a merchant, settled in Gardiner, 
Maine, in 1762, but afterwards removed to Boston, 
and died in the West Indies, of yellow fever, un- 
married, in 1775. After his death, a tract of land be- 
longing to him, on the Kennebec, near Norridge- 
wock, fifteen miles long by half a mile wide, was sold 
for the small sum of nineteen pounds, five shillings. 
The next child, Hannah, married the Hon. Joseph 
North, and settled in Hallowell, Maine. Gershom, 
the third son, also settled in Maine, and died in May, 

The fifth child was Elizabeth, who married, first, 

1 See Flagg Genealogy in Appendix. 



Henry Wells (a brother of the wife of the patriot 
Samuel Adams), and, afterwards, the Rev. Jacob 
Bigelow of Sudbury. 

My grandmother, who survived Mr. and Mrs. 
Bigelow only a few years, wrote of their death, which 
occurred in 1817, as follows: "The death of Mr. and 
Mrs. Bigelow, and that of their two sons, has made 
a breach in Sudbury which casts a gloom over the 
town. The earnest desire of my brother and sister 
was that they might not long be separated. It was 
granted, and if a life of practical piety could give 
them happiness, they undoubtedly have it." Their 
son, Dr. Jacob Bigelow, has added lustre to the 
name of his parents, fulfilling the prediction of my 
mother, who, when he was yet young and undevel- 
oped, said of him, " He will take the front rank in 
whatsoever profession he enters, and become a dis- 
tinguished man." 

My grandmother, who, though named Mary, was 
called, after the fashion of the day, Polly, was next 
in age to her sister Elizabeth, between whom and 
herself, Dr. Bigelow has told me, a great affection 
and intimacy existed. 

The youngest child of this family was Grizzel 
Apthorp Flagg, from whose letter we have quoted. 
She married Captain Benjamin Gould of the army, 
and was the mother, among other children, of Ben- 
jamin Apthorp Gould, of the Boston Latin School, 
and of Hannah F. Gould, the poetess. She died Jan- 
uary 19, 1827, aged seventy-three years. To her 


i78o-i79i CHILDHOOD 

youngest child. Mrs. Rapallo, and to Dr. Bigelow, 
I am indebted for recollections of the past. 

From family records, it appears that my great- 
grandfather, Gershom Flagg, was an architect by 
profession. He was employed at the rebuilding of 
Fort Richmond on the Kennebec in 1740, and went 
with Governor Pownal to the Penobscot in 1759, 
as a contractor in constructing Fort Pownal. He was 
a proprietor in the Plymouth Company, and lands 
in Augusta, Maine, were assigned to him in the dis- 
tribution. On the lot in Augusta a compact part of 
the city was afterwards built. The lands on the Ken- 
nebec developed enough in his lifetime to make him 
wealthy for the times. It is to be inferred that he 
was a freemason, from the squares and compasses on 
the head-stone of his grave in the Granary Burying- 
ground, in Boston. At the time of his death he had 
large possessions in real estate in Boston, including 
a homestead of many acres, with extensive garden, 
richly cultivated. This was his home until a short 
time before his death, when he removed with his 
family to the town of Harvard, in order to be out 
of the way of danger to them when the anticipated 
hostilities between this and the mother country 
should break out. In Harvard he occupied the house 
belonging to Henry Bromfield, Esquire. This house 
is described by Dr. Slade, in his account of the Brom- 
field family, as "situated amidst avenues of lofty 
elms, of venerable appearance, with gambrel roof, and 
quaint chimneys, suggestive of home comforts." 



Mrs. Rapallo, in giving me her recollections of 
the past, says, " Some time after the removal of the 
family to Harvard my grandfather went to Boston 
on business. He said to a friend, when he retired at 
night, that he did not feel very well, and, in the 
morning, he was found dead in his bed." From other 
sources, I learn that "he died suddenly at Brattle 
Tavern in School St. on the 23rd of March, 1771, 
aged sixty-six." 

My grandmother's mother, Hannah Pitson, was a 
daughter of James Pitson, who "was admitted in- 
habitant of Boston in 1714,"in which year the records 
show "he, being a stranger, comes well recom- 
mended." The inference is that he had but recently 
emigrated from England. Portraits in oil of Mrs. 
Flagg and her husband, which have descended to us, 
show them both to have been of commanding pres- 
ence and decided personal attraction. 1 

From some of Mrs. Flagg's descendants I learn 
that, though living in affluence, she was a careful 
and thrifty housewife, who educated her daughters 
in all domestic duties, the rule being that, as they 
became of suitable age, they should take turns as 
housekeepers. We have an interesting illustration of 

1 They were painted by Robert Feke, one of the earliest of the colonial 
painters. He was descended from a Dutch family, who settled at Oyster 
Bay, Long Island. It is said that, having been taken prisoner and car- 
ried to Spain, he there learned to paint, and on his return home settled 
at Newport, R. I. He worked also at New York, and in 1746, at Philadel- 
phia, where his portraits have been considered the best after those of 
West. He subsequently went to Bermuda for his health, and died there, 
at the age of forty-four. ED. 


1780-1796] CHILDHOOD 

what Mrs. Flagg was as a wife in a venerable-look- 
ing paper which my great-grandfather has marked 
"August 2nd, 1754. A letter from my spouse." I 
copy the letter as follows: 

"August 2nd, 1754. 

"My Dear, I wrote yesterday, but, having still 
an opportunity, am glad to lay hold of it, and let 
you know that I have just received yours by Mr. 
Willard, and am very sorry to hear of your hard- 
ships. Hope you will make the more haste home, 
where I shall do my endeavour to make it up to you 
if I can. I long to have you come home upon my 
own account, your children's, and your business, but 
as much on account of your hard fare and being ex- 
posed. I was full of expectations of your being home 
in a month or thereabout, but must submit to the 
disposal of Providence. We know that no afflictions 
are joyous, but grievous. If they, afterwards, yield 
the peaceable fruits of righteousness, it will be well. 
If I knew of anything that would persuade you more 
than what I have mentioned, I should try." [After 
some almost illegible lines in reference to a neigh- 
bour, which are of no interest to us, she adds] " I sent 
you a few beans by Mr. Faden. I know not whether 
you received them or not. I now send a basket of 
cucumbers and a ham of bacon, and six pair of shoes 
and pumps by Mr. , who has promised to con- 
vey them to you. He has this moment come for it. 

Yours, in haste, 



I learn from Mrs. Rapallo that the latter years 
of Mrs. Flagg's life, after her husband's death, were 
spent with her daughter, Mrs. Wilder, in Lancaster, 
where she died October 13, 1784. This account coin- 
cides with that given of Mrs. Flagg by her young- 
est daughter, in the letter from which we have al- 
ready made one extract, and which, though without 
date, contains proof of being written either at the 
close of 1779, or early in 1780. The record, though 
not a cheerful one, is valuable as containing all we 
know of the closing years of her life. "My Mama is 
with my sister Polly. Since my father's death, she 
has been very infirm, and has almost refused to be 
comforted. She has, this winter past, been so lame 
and sick that, for seven months, she has not walked 
a step alone, dressed or undressed herself, and there 
is no prospect of her being any better. This for our 
comfort, Ma'am, that her mind, which you may re- 
member was sometimes confused, is now perfectly 
composed, and she waits patiently to know the will 
of her Lord, and till her great change comes." 

Of my grandmother's childhood we know only 
what may be seen in a portrait taken of her in early 
life, here reproduced. As, in imagination, we follow 
her through childhood and youth, associating her 
with what we know of her father's attractive homes 
in Boston and Harvard, we are ready to assume that, 
while faithfully educated as a housewife, her mental 
culture was not neglected. Indeed, we have evidence 
of this in one of her manuscript books, where her 


1780.1796] CHILDHOOD 

maiden name repeatedly appears. Many of its leaves 
have been cut out, and some are badly torn ; enough 
is left, however, to show that, before as well as after 
marriage, she records there, not only recipes for pud- 
ding and cake, but also selections from the old Eng- 
lish poets, with here and there an original composi- 
tion in verse. These last are valuable as showing her 
reflective turn of mind and the aspirations with 
which she entered upon life. From one of these, a 
part of which is gone, I copy the following, in which, 
after expressing gratitude for the gift of endless life, 
she asks for heavenly aid in consecrating herself to 
the highest aims: 

"Indulgent God! in vain my tongue essays 
For this immortal gift, to speak Thy praise ; 
How shall my heart its grateful sense reveal 
Where all the energy of words must fail. 
Oh, may its influence in my life appear; 
May every action prove my thanks sincere ! 
Grant me, great God, a heart to Thee inclined, 
Increase my faith and rectify my mind; 
Teach me betimes to tread Thy sacred ways, 
And to Thy service consecrate my days ! 
Still, as through life's uncertain maze I stray, 
Be Thou the guiding star to mark my way, 
Conduct the steps of my unguarded youth, 
And point their motions to the paths of Truth ! " 

The next lines that are legible seem, in view of 
her many sorrows later in life, and the spirit in which 
she met them, almost prophetic : 



"My God! should adverse fortune be my share, 
Let not its terrors tempt me to despair ; 
But, bravely armed, a steady faith maintain, 
And own all best which Thy decrees ordain, 
On Thy Almighty Providence depend, 
The best protector and the surest Friend! " 

To this page she has appended her own signature, 
"Mary Flagg," with the date "1770." 

On another leaf are lines entitled " The Choice," 
signed "Mary Flagg." 

It would be interesting to know whether we have 
here my grandfather's portrait in the days of their 
first acquaintance, or a fancy sketch : 

" If marriage ever be my lot in life, 
And I, by fate, am destined for a wife, 
If e'er to love's soft power I yield my heart, 
May worth inspire, and merit point the dart! 
May he to whom my hand andlieart are given 
Have every blessing from indulgent heaven, 
Each noble virtue with his soul be joined, 
And sense adorn, and honour guide his mind. 
In temper mild, in judgment sound and clear, 
Courteous to all, and to his friend sincere, 
Grave, without rudeness, and polite, with ease, 
His rule, good manners, and his aim to please. 
Proud to oblige, a stranger to deceit, 
Ambitious rather to be good than great, 
May winning candour and unsullied truth 
Adorn each action of the accomplished youth. 
Blest with his love, no higher bliss desire ; 
Content with that, let vainer joys expire. 
Let vain coquettes their empty triumphs boast, 
My only glory is in pleasing most 


i78o-ir96] CHILDHOOD 

The youth who best deserves my heart to share, 
Whose kind affections claim my every care, 
Through the uncertain, rugged paths of life, 
Fulfil with joy the duties of a wife, 
And, till his growing virtues cease to shine, 
Pleased, I'll admire, and strive to make them mine." 

I have a record of my mother's birth, and of the 
leading events of her life, in a letter written to my 
father by my grandmother four years before she 

"Concord, Sept. 2nd, 1817. 

"As I have a presentiment I shall not long be able 
to write, and every communication respecting our 
beloved Mary will be acceptable one day to her off- 
spring, and now to yourself, I write now. Mary was 
born on Sunday morning, the eighth day of Octo- 
ber, 1780, and was presented, and received baptism, 
the same day, by Mr. Harrington, whose eyes were 
filled with tears of joy, as she was then said to be a 
precious gift, being our fifth child, and only living 
one. At three years, she was uncommonly forward 
in her letters. Her memory was very good. Her first 
master was Mr. Mead, a young minister, who 
boarded with us, and was very fond of her brother 
and herself. She daily progressed in everything set 
before her. Her strength of mind was very percep- 
tible at an early age. She could commit to memory 
faster than many children could at her age read. 
Her father, after a long confinement, died in 1788. 
In 1790, she came to Concord." 



The following letter to her mother was evidently 
written at school, and may have been given her to 
write as a composition: 

"Lancaster, October 9th, 1 789. 
"Hon d Mad, Your goodness to me I cannot 
express. My mind is continually crowded with your 
kindness. If your goodness could be rewarded, I 
hope God will repay you. If you remember, some 
time ago I read you a story in 'the Mother's Gift,' 
but I hope I shall never resemble Miss Gonson. O 
Dear! what a thing it is to disobey one's parents. I 
have one of the best Masters. He gave me a sheet 
of paper this morning. I hope Uncle Flagg will 
come up. I am quite tired of looking for Betsy, but 
I hope she will come. When school is done keeping, 
I shall come to Sudbury. What a fine book Mrs. 
Chapone's Letters is ! My time grows short, and I 
must make my letter short. 

Your dutiful daughter, 

P. W." 

I wish I was able to add to these records of the 
first nine years of my mother's life an exact transcript 
of a few lines which were once among her papers, 
but which I no longer find there. I think I can give 
from memory the substance of what I have often 
read on that worn scrap of yellow paper. After say- 
ing that she gave the morning hour to her devotions 
and to reading of Scripture, she says, "After break- 
fast, dusted the parlour, sewed on my muslin hand- 

1780-1796] CHILDHOOD 

kerchief, studied my lesson, read, took a walk." 
There were some good resolutions on the subject of 
early rising and industry, which are not distinct in 
my memory. The record showed her, when she was 
but nine years old, "commending herself to the 
guidance of duty" with an earnestness which is un- 
usual at that age. 

The removal to Concord, mentioned in my grand- 
mother's letter, was the result of her marriage to Dr. 
Isaac Hurd of that town. He was a physician in 
large practice, a widower with five young children, 
three sons and two daughters, about the ages of 
her Mary and Henry. Mrs. Rapallo writes, "They 
seemed a remarkably happy, united family, they 
grew up together in harmony and love." That the 
happiness resulting from this union of families was 
greatly due to my grandmother's beautiful spirit of 
unselfishness cannot be doubted. In illustration of 
the admirable manner in which she filled the place 
of mother to children not her own, Mrs. Rapallo 
gives the following anecdote, which was told her in 
her youth. Not long after my grandmother's removal 
to Concord she received a call from an acquaintance 
in the neighbourhood. Her visit so far exceeded the 
usual bounds of a morning call as to excite the sur- 
prise of the family. The dinner-hour drew near, and, 
as she showed no intention of leaving, she was asked, 
comparative stranger though she was, to remain and 
dine with them. The invitation was accepted. After 
dinner, and just before leaving, she said, "To be 




frank with you, Mrs. Hurd, I must tell you that I 
had a purpose in my visit to-day. I have been told 
that you were so entirely without partiality in your 
treatment of your children that it would be impos- 
sible for any one to know, by your manner, which 
were your own and which were Dr. Hurd's. I did n't 
believe it, and I came to see. I am perfectly satis- 
fied. It is as I have been told." Little as we can ad- 
mire the intrusive neighbour, this tradition is valu- 
able for the view it gives us of my grandmother, 
which does but confirm the statements of others. 

One of Dr. Hurd's nieces, who was intimate in 
his family, always spoke to me of my grandmother 
as "the model stepmother." My father used to say 
it seemed to him she was, if possible, more devoted 
to Dr. Hurd's children than to her own. They grew 
up under her care, rewarding it in every respect. 
The three sons engaged early in commerce. Thomp- 
son, the oldest, was lost at sea, in 1801. He seems 
to have been greatly beloved by his family. The two 
daughters, Sally and Betsy, and the youngest son, 
Benjamin, my grandmother nursed through pro- 
tracted illness, closing their eyes at last. The second 
son, Isaac, married and lived in Concord. To his 
young family his stepmother was no less devoted 
than she had been to her own. He was a true son to 
her, and the only one who survived her. 

She was no less a model wife than mother. Her 
devotion to Dr. Hurd and his interests was absolute 
and entire. No claim was allowed to take precedence 


1780-1796] CHILDHOOD 

of his. She took a personal interest in his patients, 
and many demands were made upon her time by his 
profession. He had, also, a farm, the supervision 
of which devolved chiefly upon her, in those days 
of primitive simplicity when one female domestic 
was considered enough to meet the demands of any 
family, however large or however given to hospi- 

My grandmother's "Betty" is remembered by the 
few who still live to tell of the pleasant home in Con- 
cord, with which she was as much identified as any 
member of the household. She is spoken of as faith- 
ful and untiring, but as quite dependent upon my 
grandmother's head to help her through the mazes 
of her various duties, and bring them to a success- 
ful issue. When we consider my grandmother's del- 
icate health and intellectual tastes, we cannot but 
regret, as did her contemporaries, that Dr. Hurd, 
with his ample means, did not more effectually re- 
lieve her from the fatiguing labour which, in addi- 
tion to usual household cares, came upon her in con- 
nection with the farm. She, however, was never 
heard to complain of what was before her to be done, 
and only mentions it occasionally as a reason for 
cutting short a letter, or denying herself the pleasure 
of a visit; as, for instance, in a letter of August 11, 
1813: "The day, if we rise before the sun, will not 
allow us to accomplish the business before us. Hay- 
ing and reaping add to our cares very much. Ten 
men to board and lodge has tried my strength, and 



sometimes my patience, but all these things will 
soon have an end." 

As for Dr. Hurd, although the family letters show 
him to have been an affectionate husband and father, 
and, in religious feelings and principles, he was in 
sympathy with my grandmother, we cannot escape 
the conviction, from the testimony of those who 
knew him, that he was a person of narrow views 
and of a somewhat selfish, exacting nature, in strik- 
ing contrast to her own. 

Among the pleasures which her new home brought 
to my mother were the friendships she formed with 
the families of Dr. Kurd's two brothers in Charles- 
town, Massachusetts. They both had daughters near 
the ages of my mother and her step sisters. With 
all of them my mother seems to have been a favour- 
ite. The one of their number who most attracted 
her was Ruth, the second daughter of Mr. Joseph 
Hurd, distinguished in youth, as she was through- 
out a life of unusual length, for her personal and 
mental charms. My mother seems to have regarded 
her with the tenderness which an older sister feels 
for a younger ; while she, in turn, looked up to my 
mother with the enthusiasm often felt by a young 
girl for one beautiful and admired, some years older 
than herself. 

As her " lovely friend Ruth " developed into wom- 
anhood, my mother gave her the greatest proof of 
her affection by cherishing the hope of seeing her 
united to her brother Henry. She could hardly have 


1780-1796] CHILDHOOD 

felt more interest in her than this hope implies, if 
she had foreseen that, in the distant future, she was 
to become the stepmother of her daughters. My 
mother's memory was affectionately cherished by 
this friend of her youth. During the closing years of 
her long life, when her mind was as bright as ever, 
it was her delight to talk of my mother, to whom, 
she said, more than to any one else, she was indebted, 
in early life, for stimulating and guiding her intel- 
lectual tastes. A short time before her death, and 
after her ninetieth birthday, she wrote to me a letter 
containing, among other memories of my mother, 
the following: "I remember her as she was when 
she first came to Concord, a fascinating child. She 
was a sweet natural singer, and I can now recall, 
perfectly, the words, though not the music, of one 
of her little songs, although I never met with them 
once from that time to this. Her whole appearance 
as she sang, and the lovely tones of her voice, im- 
pressed them upon my memory, and I can now re- 
call, as if it were yesterday, the charm of her man- 
ner, as she sang these words : 

" O fortune, how strangely thy gifts are awarded, 
How much to thy shame thy caprice is recorded! 
Witness brave Belisarius, who begged for a half-penny, 
'Date obolum, date obolum Belisario.'" 

Dr. Bigelow tells me that one of my mother's gifts 
in childhood was original composition in verse. He 
remembers that she composed an elegy, at that early 
age, on the death of her father. 



Of my mother's education, after her removal to 
Concord, my grandmother writes: "When she first 
came to Concord, she went to the Grammar School 
kept by Mr. Whiting, and, afterwards, to Dr. Ban- 
croft. For several years, a Miss Burrell from Boston 
kept a private school possessed of every advantage 
usual at that day except music. Mary was always a 
favourite with all her instructors, who were pleased 
to say she excelled in every thing she undertook." 
This is all we are told of my mother's school days. 





OUR next record is from my mother's cousin 
Ruth, as contained in the letter already quoted. 
She says, "I have a most lively impression of one 
of my childhood days, even as early as twelve years 
of age, with many others similar, but that I spe- 
cially refer to occurred at the time of your mother's 
leaving us in Charlestown, after a visit of a few 
weeks, when she was about sixteen, and full of en- 
thusiasm. She asked me to write, promising to an- 
swer my letters. I made a reluctant promise to an- 
swer her letter, which I greatly desired to receive." 
The following is the letter above mentioned: 

"Concord, August 20th, 1797. 

"Your request that I would write to you, my 
dear Cousin, has prevailed over a consciousness of 
my own inability fc> offer any thing for your perusal 
equal to my wishes, or, I fear, to your expectations. 
But you have assured me a letter would give you 
pleasure, and I believe you too sincere to assert what 
you do not feel. I write, therefore, in reliance that I 
shall be received with candour, and that every blem- 
ish will be seen softened by the mild eye of affection. 

" In settling the first article of our correspondence, 


I propose we give Distrust, Formality, and their at- 
tendant Coldness, to the winds, and that we take, 
in their stead, Confidence, Sincerity, and Love. This 
being premised, we, neither of us, plead, as an excuse 
for not writing, want of topics, or of expressions to 
clothe them. The language of the heart is the lan- 
guage of nature, it is easily spoken and easily under- 
stood, and I would give more for five lines of it than 
for five pages of the cold, methodical labours of the 
head. I say this to you, because I think you will feel 
it. I would not say it to many, because I think the 
generality incapable of understanding it : to talk of 
Sensibility, and those exquisitely refined powers of 
the Soul, to them is a mere unintelligible jargon. 
Ever since I was capable of making any observa- 
tions, I have remarked in you a very unusual share 
of this quick delicacy of mind, and, though it irre- 
sistibly attracts my affection, I would caution you 
against indulging it to an excess. I would, by no 
means, wish you to extinguish it, or even to blunt 
it, but only to strengthen it with judgment and for- 
titude. I would wish you ever to possess the same 
fine susceptibility you do at present, but I wish you 
to have the power of resisting your feelings, when- 
ever they would tend to make you greatly unhappy. 
" To you I do not think an apology for this ser- 
monizing necessary; you will accept it as coming 
from a heart warmed with affection towards you. 
Present to your parents the best respects, and to 
your sister the love, of your 


1796-1801] YOUTH 

Apparently, the young cousin of twelve did not 
feel equal to entering upon a correspondence so 
early. Two years passed away before she ventured a 
reply to this letter. They were eventful years to my 
mother, as appears from even the few records we 
have of them. Among the recollections of her dur- 
ing this part of her life, there are none more valu- 
able than those cherished by Dr. Jacob Bigelow, 
another of her favourite relatives. He and my mother 
were own cousins. She was about six years older than 
he. I know of no one who has a more vivid memory 
of her than Dr. Bigelow. He has now entered upon 
his ninetieth year, is quite blind, and confined to his 
bed ; but his mind is clear as ever, and his memory 
of people and events in the past quite distinct. After 
taking my seat by his bedside some weeks since, and 
receiving from him the usual cordial greeting, I 
asked him if, while lying there, his mind reverted 
much to the past. He replied that it did. I then 
asked, "Among those whose memories rise before 
you, do you ever think of my mother?" He ex- 
claimed with great warmth of manner, " Do I think 
of your mother ? Indeed I do. She was my guiding 
star. I looked up to her as to a superior being." He 
had previously told me what pleasure he had, when 
a boy, in driving over to Concord for her in a chaise, 
and bringing her to his mother's house in Sudbury, 
where it was not unusual for her to make visits of 
some weeks in length. He remembers that after the 
publication of Mrs. Radcliffe's novels she would de- 



light them all by narrating them. He recollects their 
sitting on the stairs in the front entry, listening to 
her relation of them, which they all thought more 
interesting received from her lips than when read 
from the book. He says that in narrating a story 
she gave every detail, so that one story would be 
continued ten days or more. She gave the conversa- 
tions with great dramatic power, personating each 
character as she spoke. He remembers her giving 
"The Mysteries of Udolpho" with such power that 
after passing an evening listening to her he was afraid 
to be alone in the dark, and, on getting into bed, 
covered his head with the bedclothes in terror from 
the pictures which had been so vividly presented to 
his imagination. 

Upon his telling me that when visiting at his 
mother's house she took him under her tutelage, I 
asked him, "In what way?" He replied, "For one 
thing, I remember she used to have me read with 
her out of the same book, and I recollect that, when 
I had made my way over a few lines of a page, I 
would find her at the foot of it. I can recall the 
rapidity with which she possessed herself of the con- 
tents of a page." 

The following letter was written by her to her 
cousin Eliza Bigelow: 

"Concord, March 20th, 1798. 
" I received much pleasure from my dear Eliza's 
letter, and, in return, will tell her all the news I can 


1796-1801] YOUTH 

think of. Last Friday eve closed, I hope, the assem- 
blies and balls for this season. I can say most sin- 
cerely I hope this, for I am tired of dissipation. The 
brilliant appearance of a full dressed assembly, the 
animating notes of sprightly music, and the flatter- 
ing attention of the Beaux, certainly amuse the 
fancy, perhaps gratify vanity, (and who is there that 
is wholly free from it), but interest not the heart ; and, 
after the charm of novelty has worn off, when sober 
reason takes the place of extravagant imagination, 
we then discover how dearly we have paid for a few 
hours' amusement. I am sure I have reason to say 
this, for I paid a fortnight's indisposition for a few 
hours' dancing ; for this, however, I am to blame my 
own imprudence in going out when warm with ex- 
ercise, but I have got over it, and am now very well. 
" I promised you, in the beginning of my letter, to 
tell you all the news I could think of; to be as good 
as my word, I must inform you Papa has received 
another letter from Mr. Schalkwyck, dated 'Paris, 
Nov. 17th.' He says he shall embark for America 
soon, so as to arrive early in the spring. He has re- 
covered between sixty and seventy thousand dollars 
of his estate, or rather, he has so much given him, 
as compensation, in part, for the plantations that 
were destroyed, which belonged to his family." 

The beloved Cousin Ruth, in looking back upon 
this period, and speaking of my mother's self-cul- 
ture, says, "I remember she loved to speak of an 



English lady as a very good friend of hers, and quite 
accomplished in the French language, Madam 
Walker, to whose kind attention she was indebted 
in learning to read and write the French language. 
This lady boarded in Concord, in the same family 
with Mr. Van Schalkwyck, and here the very early 
attachment with this gentleman was first formed. 
He was a man of education and refinement. I knew 
him only as a great invalid." 

Mrs. Rapallo, in writing of this part of my mother's 
life, says," Your mother, beautiful, accomplished, ad- 
mired by all who knew her, with, I think, a touch of 
romance in her delicate nature, became strongly at- 
tached to a French gentleman, who was boarding in 
Concord, and became engaged to him." From pa- 
pers in my possession, I infer that this engagement 
occurred during the winter of 1797-98, when my 
mother was but seventeen years old. 

Mr. Van Schalkwyck 1 was of patrician descent, a 
French refugee from the West Indies ; he was born 
in Guadeloupe, July 12, 1772. From Mr. Dureste 
Blanchet, one of my mother's most valued friends, I 
have learned more of him than from any other 
source. Mr. Blanchet was a relative and intimate 
friend of Mr. Van Schalkwyck. He used to speak of 
him to me as an accomplished gentleman, a man of 
intellect and character, worthy of the heart he won. 
I first knew Mr. Blanchet when I was a girl of six- 

1 His full name was Antoine Van Schalkwyck Classe Courcelle. It was 
pronounced "Skalk'wyck." ED. 


1796-1801] YOUTH 

teen, at which time he visited at my father's house. 
He then answered to my idea of a gentleman of the 
old school. I loved him for the enthusiasm with 
which he cherished my mother's memory, and for 
the interest he showed in the children she had left. 
He, like Mr. Van Schalkwyck, was a West India 
planter, a royalist driven from his own country to 
this during the French Revolution, at the same time 
with Mr. Van Schalkwyck. First, he went to Bos- 
ton and vicinity. Later, with quite a colony of the 
French, he settled in New Jersey, where he mar- 
ried a French lady of high descent. They had a large 
family of children. Some of their descendants still 
live in this country, and the friendship which existed 
between Mr. Blanchet and my mother, and which 
he extended to her children, has come down as an 
inheritance to members of both families, and exists 
with unabated warmth to the present day. 

Among those who came to this country with Mr. 
Blanchet and Mr. Van Schalkwyck, and settled in 
New Jersey, was the Baron Van Schalkwyck de 
Boisaubin, a distant cousin of Mr. Van Schalkwyck. 
He was a chevalier of the Order of St. Louis, and 
belonged to the bodyguard of Louis XVIth. I find 
among my mother's papers a letter from him to Mr. 
Van Schalkwyck, which I copy here because it throws 
light upon the character of one who, from his con- 
nection with my mother, has a claim upon the con- 
sideration of her descendants : 



"Morris Town, Oct. 22nd, 1798. 
"It grieves me, my dear Schalkwyck, to inform 
you of an event which will cause to you a great deal 
of pain. Your sentiments and tender feelings are 
known to me, but, though it is hard to me to en- 
tertain you with so afflicting a subject, it is neces- 
sary that you be informed of it on account of your 
business. We have received letters dated St. Bar- 
tholomew, from Mr. Bellevue, which apprise us of 
your father's death. I need not tell you how far this 
event affected me. When those moral virtues, hon- 
esty and probity, are united in the same person at a 
time which vices are looked upon as ornaments al- 
most everywhere, we need not be relations to regret 
that one who carried with him all these precious 
qualities [words missing]. A very great comfort re- 
mains to us, that is, we can say that we see with sat- 
isfaction the son inherit all his virtues. 

Adieu, &cc. 


This is all that we know of Mr. Van Schalkwyck. 
Of what my mother was at the time of her engage- 
ment to him, and later, one of Concord's chroniclers 
says, "Before her first marriage, and during her 
widowhood, she was the most distinguished of all 
the young ladies of Concord, for beauty, grace, and 
sprightliness ; and the fascination of her manners 
and conversation made the hospitable mansion of 
Dr. Hurd a most attractive place to the young men 


179&-1801] YOUTH 

of that day, and has come down, as a beautiful tra- 
dition, to later times." 

The happiness that came to her from her early 
engagement must have been greatly alloyed by the 
anxiety and care to which it introduced her. Mr. 
Van Schalkwyck was compelled, by the death of 
his father, to return to the West Indies, under cir- 
cumstances which were fraught with peculiar dan- 
ger to him. 1 

Of all the letters she must have sent to him dur- 
ing his protracted absence, we have only the follow- 
ing, which shows what she suffered from hope de- 
ferred : 

" Wednesday afternoon, 

Concord, April 3rd, 1 799. 

" I am sick at heart ; it is now almost four months 
since you left this country, and not one line have I 
received from you. Suspense is intolerable. I know 
not your fate. I am ignorant of your reception at 
Guadeloupe, if indeed you have ever reached it. Per- 
haps you have not received either of the packets I 
have written, but, even if you have not heard from 
me, your anxiety cannot equal mine. You left me 
in a secure and peaceful village, under the protec- 
tion of affectionate parents, you have every reason 
to suppose that I remain so, and that I am in health. 

1 The laws in Guadeloupe, as in France, were very severe against 
emigrants, who were considered disloyal and worthy of punishment. 
Many who returned to the island were thrown in prison, transported, or 
otherwise punished. Besides, there were threatened massacres of the 
whites by the blacks. ED. 



But how different your situation! I knew that you 
were rushing into danger. Not a day, not a night 
has passed but I have beheld you, (in my mind's eye) 
a prisoner, sick, perhaps dying. I have sought to calm 
my soul by the maxims of Philosophy, but I found 
them weak and powerless when opposed to the strong 
emotions of affection. I then called in the aid of Re- 
ligion. I implored the mercy of that Being who is 
infinitely powerful and gracious ; to His care I com- 
mended you, and my soul was soothed ; but still the 
weakness of humanity will at times prevail, and this 
dreadful suspense racks me with doubts and fears. 

"I read your last letters from New York, and 
weep. Sometimes I indulge the hope of your return. 
I anticipate the joys of our meeting, but I soon re- 
turn to despondency. I remember this is the picture 
of fancy, which I may never realize. Yet think not 
my mind is always agitated thus, human nature 
could not bear it. I endeavour to appear cheerful to 
others. With regard to my health, which you ex- 
pressed so much anxiety for, it is very good. I think 
the journey to Wachusett was of essential benefit 
to me. I have had good health ever since. I have 
now complied with your request, and my own in- 
clinations, in telling you all my feelings, in giving 
you a transcript of my heart." 

In reply to a letter from Ruth Hurd, congrat- 
ulating her on the unexpected return of Mr. Van 
Schalkwyck, she wrote: 


1796-1801] YOUTH 

" Concord, 27th September, 1 799. 

"'The intention constitutes the act.' If this is 
truth, my dear Ruth, and you are convinced of it, 
I need offer no apology for suffering your letter to 
remain so long unanswered, but simply to assure 
you, that I intended to have written immediately 
on receiving it. Numerous avocations, but, above all, 
the spirit of Procrastination, induced me to defer 
from day to day, what I considered as not less a 
duty than a pleasure. A duty, for our correspond- 
ence was a voluntary engagement on my side, which 
not even a sense of my inability to contribute to 
your amusement can wholly annul ; you, only, have 
the power to do that ; and, as soon as you find an 
interchange of letters with me to be tiresome, (which, 
I prophesy, will be ere long), I beg you to give me 
a candid hint, and thus save yourself the chagrin of 
reading, and me the mortification of writing, unwel- 
come letters. 

"Accept my thanks for your congratulations on 
the return of my friend : but, what do you think of 
Madame Sevigne's proposal, of mourning whenever 
we behold a beloved friend, from the reflection that 
we must soon part with them ? I fancy you will say, 
as some one else did, ''twould be a great folly to 
grieve all our life-time, because death must come 
at last.' 

"It is really the case that one knows not when to 
be sad or joyous; the vicissitudes of life change the 
tone of our minds each moment. But, blind as we 



are to futurity, ignorant in so great a degree of the 
consequences of things, what absurdity to suffer 
ourselves to be either elevated to rapture or de- 
pressed to sadness by events of which we know not 
the termination. Does not common-sense inculcate 
equanimity of temper, to say nothing of Religion? 
But, surely, if we think at all of the Wise, Benefi- 
cent, and Powerful Being who formed the universe, 
and whose Providence is as extensive as His works, 
we must believe that He directs all circumstances 
to conduce to the ultimate happiness of those who 
place their confidence in Him, and who endeavour, 
by conforming to His laws, to secure His approba- 
tion. How utterly unable we are to decide what is 
best for ourselves ! Are we not, in this present life, 
this morning of existence, like capricious children, 
who would be spoilt were they indulged in all their 
whims and wishes? How easy it is to reason, but 
alas! how difficult to act! This is oft my exclama- 
tion when the weakness of humanity prevails over 
the sublimity of faith." 

Mr. Van Schalkwyck returned to Guadeloupe in 
the autumn of 1799. The next letter we have from 
my mother is addressed to her friend Dureste Blan- 

"Concord, April 28th, 1800. 
"The certainty of painfully affecting a friend I sin- 
cerely esteem, inspires me with an unconquerable re- 
luctance to address you. Under the mask of insensi- 


1796-1801] YOUTH 

bility, I know you conceal exquisite feeling. Oh, that 
I was ignorant of this! I could then tranquilly bid 
you prepare for the disappointment of your expec- 
tation of beholding a beloved sister this spring; I 
could with more composure impart to you the intel- 
ligence of her illness, which I received from Van 
Schalkwyck in a letter, the evening before last. He 
requests me to inform you that her long indisposi- 
tion has terminated in the dropsy; our friend re- 
ceived this sad intelligence from St. Bartholomew, 
the 15th March. Would to Heaven the voice of 
sympathizing friendship might blunt the arrows of 
misery ! 

"To a soul like yours, fortified by the pure, sub- 
lime, consolatory truths of Christian Philosophy, 
common-place condolence would appear arrogant 
vanity. To the wise and beneficent Power we both 
adore, and to your own firm mind I leave you, 
with assurances of a friendship which can never end 
till Dureste ceases to be virtuous and noble." 

And again: 

"Concord, July 16th, 1800. 

"'T is unnecessary to say I'most sincerely sympa- 
thize with you, my valued friend. In the school of 
Adversity, Virtue is perfected. To me, this school 
appeared unnecessary for Dureste; Supreme Wis- 
dom thought otherwise ; and your merciful Father, 
by removing many of this world's attractions, is 
drawing you nearer to Himself, the source of felicity. 



"Yesterday brought me a packet from Schalk- 
wyck ; he is now at St. Bartholomew, where he has 
been lately ill with a fever ; the 6th of June, he was 
God be thanked! on the recovery. He requests 
me to remember him to you with brotherly friend- 
ship, and to chide you a little for negligence : he has 
not received one line from you, but has written to 
you three times." 

I introduce here the following letter to my mother 
from her brother Henry, because every line from 
him, however trivial his subject, has value in my 


"Charlestown, May 5th, 1800. 

" We arrived at Charlestown at precisely half-past 
twelve, after a very agreeable ride, conversing on 
the road upon several subjects, viz. wind, weather, 
beautiful, agreeable, and sensible ladies and gentle- 
men, and the contrary, friends and acquaintances of 
all denominations, etc., etc. 

"When I was up last, Mamma said she wished 
Isaac and I could get a piece of linen for our own 
wear. We have, accordingly, been able to procure 
one, and should be much obliged by having it sent 
down as soon as made up. 

"Our luck in the lottery was not great, we were 
however, not losers. 

<( ' Thus runs the great Lottery of Life, 

In which we all draw blanks and prizes alternate, 
But, in the end, we 're sure, 


1796-1801] YOUTH 

If we but act our parts aright, 

Our last-drawn blank will be the highest prize.' 

" Once reading will be sufficient for this, if then 
you will take the trouble just to toss it into the fire, 
you will oblige your truly affectionate brother, 


Another letter from Henry, dated "July 25th, 
1800," ends with these words : " That health and hap- 
piness may always attend his sister is the hope on 
which rests the happiness of your 

Truly affectionate brother, 


When Henry says that his own happiness rests 
upon that of his sister he does but express their mu- 
tual dependence: his sister's happiness was bound 
up in his. Among other recollections of her in her 
youth, given me by Dr. Bigelow, he says, "I re- 
member, after I had left home to fit for college, that, 
on my returning once for a visit, my mother told me 
that Mary Wilder had been to see her ; that, accord- 
ing to Mary's request, they had occupied the same 
room at night, which was passed principally in con- 
versation, Mary shedding many tears, as she talked 
of her bitter disappointment in the decision at home 
that Henry was not to go to college. His tastes and 
talents fitted him for that education ; he desired and 
had expected it. His mother's property was suffi- 
cient to warrant the expectation, and to Mary it 



seemed unjust, on the part of her stepfather, to ap- 
ply it in any other direction." 1 We can easily sym- 
pathize with the sister's feelings on the occasion, yet, 
for Dr. Hurd, it may be said that it was natural he 
should take the same course with Henry that he 
did with his own sons. The fact that their uncles in 
Charlestown were merchants, actively engaged in 
commerce, gave the young men peculiar advantages 
for business life. That Isaac and Henry were in their 
employ at this time may be inferred from the date 
of Henry's letter. 

The following letter to my mother from Mr. Blan- 
chet tells us all we know of the time of Mr. Van 
Schalkwyck's return from the West Indies: 

"Wrentham, November 18th, 1800. 
"With eagerness, I improve this opportunity to 
return my most lively thanks to my much esteemed 
friend, Mary, for her evinced kindness in forwarding 
to me Schalkwyck's letter, which came on hand yes- 
terday, by the mail. Since she is acquainted with the 
tender good- will I bear its writer, it becomes need- 
less to mention how much joy it gave me to hear 
from S. himself that he was well, and in fine spirits. 
Without doubt, Mary's sympathizing heart is actu- 
ated with similar sensations, anticipates full as much 
as I do the gratifying happiness of seeing again soon 
our much beloved friend. He writes that he was go- 

1 I believe that Mr. Gershom Flagg bequeathed some real estate, to 
be applied to giving his grandsons a college education, and, in Dr. Bige- 
low's case, it was used for that purpose. ED. 


1796-1801] YOUTH 

ing to take his passage to America, in the first con- 
voy that should leave the West Indies. His letter 
bears date of the 2nd of September, so, with some 
propriety, we may expect that he shall be with us ere 
this month is out. May Gracious Heaven take him 
under His fatherly protection in the course of the 
voyage, and shortly waft him to his friend's arms." 

From this letter of Mr. Blanchet's we may infer 
that Mr. Van Schalkwyck's return was not long de- 
layed. We have no letters written by my mother 
during the spring of 1801. We learn, from other 
sources, of the anxiety and distress which she then 
suffered. From letters of Mr. Blanchet to her, the 
last bearing the post-mark April 27th, 1801, it ap- 
pears that Mr. Van Schalkwyck had been danger- 
ously ill, probably in Boston: 

" W^rentham, Friday morning, 1801. 
"With an infinite satisfaction, dear Mary, I learnt, 
by your interesting epistle, closed on the morning 
of Monday last, which, however, I received but yes- 
terday evening, that our beloved friend Schalkwyck 
continues to improve in health. The various acci- 
dents which lately threatened his life having subsi- 
ded, as you mentioned, now leave us almost a posi- 
tive reason to hope that, with the intervening good- 
ness of Providence, he shall soon be restored to the 
ardent wishes of his friends in a perfect state of wel- 
fare. May our prayers, on this occasion, ascend to 
heaven and be heard ! 



" The delay experienced in hearing from you and 
Courcelle [the brother of Mr. S.] indeed caused me 
some anxieties at first, but, upon remembering this 
old axiom, 'no news, good news,' I easily quieted my 
mind, and your letter proved that I was not wrong ; 
besides, its contents is so pleasing to my heart that, 
had I even been offended at your silence, I would 
have forgotten it to think of the happy circumstances 
you imparted me with. 

"The favourable account you give of Mr. De Che- 
verus does not at all surprise me. He deserves all the 
good you may think of him, being himself good, by 
excellency. It gives me pleasure to know that he has 
repeated his visits to our friend. His conversation is 
comforting, as well as entertaining. 

"Tell Schalkwyck that he would have received 
before this time, the preserved apples I was to send 
him, if I had been able to procure, myself, the raw 
ones. They are not to be obtained about here. If he 
can send up some from Boston, Mrs. De la Roche 
will, with pleasure, have them fixed for him. Accept 
my best regards and wishes for everything that could 
enlarge your share of happiness, and believe me, for 
ever, with perfect sincerity, your affectionate friend, 


Mrs. Rapallo writes, of Mr. Van Schalkwyck's ill- 
ness, " He was taken very ill in Boston, and his doctor 
said his only chance of recovery was to return to his 


1796-1801] YOUTH 

native air. Your mother went immediately to Bos- 
ton and was married." 

I find among my mother's papers a copy of a Bos- 
ton newspaper, the Columbian Centinel, of " Satur- 
day, June 27th, 1801," which contains the following 
record: "Married on Thursday last, at the Roman 
Catholic Chapel, M. Anthony Van Schalkwyck,from 
the Island of Guadeloupe, to Miss Mary Wilder of 
Concord." I have been told that the ceremony was 
performed by Bishop Cheverus, who was my mother's 
warm friend from the time they first met till she died. 
The two months immediately following her mar- 
riage were passed at her mother's house in Concord, 
the next month in Newburyport. 

The following letter, though undated, was un- 
doubtedly written during the summer. It was ad- 
dressed to M. Antoine Van Schalkwyck, and was 
written by Madame Courcelle, the wife of his older 
brother, who had just returned to Guadeloupe after 
an exile of seven years : 

" II m'est impossible, mon cher frere et bon ami, 
de vous exprimer toute la joie que j'ai ressentie 
en embrassant mon cher Courcelle. Apres sept ans 
d'absence, de peines, et de chagrins de tous les 
genres, cette faveur du ciel me semble si grande 
que j'ai peine a me persuader que ce soit une rdalite! 
Ah! pourquoi ma chere maman, ma tendre soeur 
Adelaide n'existent-elles pas pour etre te'moins de 



mon bonheur! pourquoi la perte de mes enfants, et 
celle de tous mes parents che'ris ont-elles imprime' 
dans mon coeur un sentiment de douleur qui m'ote 
tout espoir de jouir en ce bas monde d'une felicite' 
pure et sans melange! Mais nul mortel ne jouit d'un 
bonheur parfait, et celui que je goute a present sur- 
passe mon espeYance, et j'en rends grace au ciel. 

"J'ai appris avec plaisir que vous etiez unis a 
votre charmante amie; vous ne devez pas douter 
que je n'en sois bien aise; tout ce que peut con- 
tribuer a votre bonheur, ajoute a ma satisfaction; 
et il m'est doux de penser que j'aurai en elle une 
soeur dont le caractere simpatisera avec le mien ; une 
sceur du choix de mon cher frere ne saurait man- 
quer de posseder toute mon affection. 

" Ce que Courcelle m'a dit de votre e'tat me cause 
beaucoup d'inquietude. Vous ne sauriez donner une 
plus grande marque d'attachement a vos amis, que 
les soins que vous prendrez pour vous conserver pour 
eux. Vous savez combien votre vie leur pre'cieuse, et 
combien elle est necessaire a leur bonheur; ainsi, 
me'nagez-vous, mon cher frere, et songez que le jour 
qui vous re'unira au reste de ma famille ne me lais- 
sera plus rien a de'sirer. N'ayez aucune inquietude 
sur le compte de votre frere; il a e'te' tres-bien ac- 
cueilli. Le Ge'ne'ral Lacrosse ne demande pas mieux 
que de voir rentrer touts les honnetes gens; il dit 
qu'il desire se faire des amis de tous les ancien ha- 
bitans de cette colonnie, mais je crois que toutes les 
demarches que Ton pourroit faire pour reclamer ses 


1796-1801] YOUTH 

proprie'tes avant la fin des locations seroient inutiles. 
Je compte aller k la Pointe avec Courcelle dans quel- 
ques jours, et je tacherai d'obtenir des secours pour 
lui. Si le succes de nies demarches repond a mes d- 
sirs, je vous ferai passer quelques moyens, et vous 
enverrai une petite note des effets dont j'ai besoin, 
pour vous prier de me les procurer. En attendant, si 
vous pouviez me faire passer deux petits chapeaux 
de castor arranges avec des plumes, un petit parasol, 
et quelques paires de gants a femme, vous me feriez 
bien plaisir, car ces objets sont tres rares et tres 
cheres ici. 

"Courcelle vous cris; il vous dira comme il m'a 
trouve changee ; enfin, il ne m'appelle que sa vieille. 
Vous pensez bien qu'on n'est pas a vingt-sept ans ce 
que Ton e"toit a dix-neufs, et sept ans de malheurs 
ne m'ont pas rajeunie. Je ne dis pas de meme de 
lui ; a quelques brins de cheveux blancs pres, il est 
plus joli homme qu 'avant son depart, ou, du moins, 
je le trouve tel. Adieu, mon cher frere, je vous em- 
brasse un million de fois, ainsi que votre charmante 
epouse, et je fais des voeux au ciel pour le retablis- 
sement de votre sante. 


On September 6th, 1801, Henry Wilder wrote 
from Concord to Mr. Van Schalkwyck, as follows : 

"My dear Brother, The affair of my voyage to 
the East Indies is at last given up, as Mr. Lyman 
has found it impossible to get the vessel ready in 



season for that voyage, but he will not suffer her to 
lie in port, and whatever voyage he does determine 
upon, I may have the same berth as I should have 
had, had he been able to have fitted her out for the 
N. W. voyage. One of the owners told Mr. Adams 
that the vessel would now be fitted out either for 
France or the Mediterranean, on a trading voyage. 
I must confess I should not be very fond of going 
up the Straits now that the Barbary powers have 
'let loose the dogs of war.' You, my dear brother, 
and Mary, have been so kind as to wish me to go 
with you to Guadeloupe, and I will own to you that, 
if the bargain for the Lancaster place had not fallen 
through, nothing would give me greater pleasure. 

" If I have not written enough about myself, I will 
inform .you that I am very well, and that anxiety for 
the health and happiness of my dear Mary and her 
Schalkwyck often engages the mind of their brother, 


To this letter Mr. Schalkwyck replied as follows: 

"Newburyport, Sept. 10th, 1801. 
"Your letter, my dear Henry, has been duly re- 
ceived, which informs me that your voyage to the 
East Indies has failed. I cannot say that I am sorry 
for it, because I am far from viewing the advantages 
of it in the same light with you. In this case, it is cer- 
tainly necessary that you change your plan. When I 
first heard of your going to the East Indies, you 
must remember what I told you about it. It struck 


1796-1801] YOUTH 

me that if you would go to Guadeloupe with me, 
where you will find a home and friends, make your- 
self master of the French language, and, a few 
months after, get into business, which are very prof- 
itable there, it would be, in my opinion, the best plan 
you could form in your present time of life. I have 
no doubt but, having the confidence of your friends 
here and at Guadeloupe, you cannot fail to succeed. 
* "I invite you, therefore, to think seriously on it, 
only I beg you to follow the wish of your own heart. 
In such circumstances, we ought always to deter- 
mine for ourselves. If your decision is to go to Gua- 
deloupe, you may think how much it will afford 
me satisfaction. It will be an increase of happiness 
to Mary, and, at Guadeloupe as in every place, you 
will ever be treated as an affectionate brother. Mary 
has wrote to your Mamma, and tells her more about 
you. Undoubtedly she will impart it to you. Since 
you have been gone, I feel much better, and hope it 
will continue so. 

"You, will present my best respects to your par- 
.ents, and kiss the girls for me. We anticipate to see 
you soon. Adieu. I wish every happiness and be- 
lieve me, 

" Your affectionate brother and good friend, 


Henry decided to go to Guadeloupe. Mrs. Ra- 
pallo, writing to me of this event, says, "Your Uncle 
Henry, then, I think, about twenty, said he could 



not let his sister go alone, with an invalid, to a for- 
eign country that he must go with her, and return 
when she landed." Doubtless Henry's anxiety for his 
sister influenced him in his decision, and this added 
poignancy to her grief under his loss ; but it is evi- 
dent that he went with the purpose of remaining in 
the island, and pursuing the course recommended 
by Mr. Van Schalkwyck. On September 29th, 1801, 
they sailed from Newburyport for Guadeloupe. 

In a letter to my mother begun at the same date, 
her stepsister Sally expresses her hope of seeing her 
again within two years. She says also: 

"October 18th. Ere this will reach you, my dear 
sister, I trust Heaven's propitious gales will have 
wafted you to the native shore of our beloved Van 
Schalkwyck. You will have seen the lovely and in- 
teresting Sophie. She can no longer be called un- 
fortunate. Her exiled husband, and beloved brother 
have returned to her, and the partner of that tender 
brother makes up the happy group. I wish you to 
send me a description of this lovely woman. Will 
you remember me to Courcelle, and his dear Sophie, 
and tell them I wish them much happiness?" 







ON their arrival at Guadeloupe Henry Wilder 
wrote as follows to his parents: 

"Port- Libre (formerly Port Louis)., 
Guadeloupe, October 22nd, 1801. 

"Dear and Honoured Parents, It is with the 
greatest pleasure that I hasten to inform you of our 
arrival at this place in health and safety, after a pas- 
sage of twenty-two days from Newbury Port. Mary 
was extremely sick all the time; the vessel being 
small (seventy-five tons), and accommodations not 
very good, made it much worse than it would other- 
wise have been. Schalkwyck has been as well, if not 
better, since he left Newbury Port. The sea air suits 
his constitution very well. It was about six in the 
afternoon of the 21st when we arrived. I went on 
shore with the captain, who has been very kind and 
obliging to us, but could not get permission for 
Schalkwyck to land, until the physician of the town 
had visited the vessel, for it seems that they are as 
much afraid of importing diseases here as we are. 

"The evening we arrived, we were informed that 
there had been some disturbance at Point a Pitre, 



and learned, in the morning, that General Lacrosse 
had sent officers to arrest Pelage, the Deputy Gov- 
ernor, who resides at the Point, and that Pelage had 
called upon the soldiery to protect him, which they 
have done. It created a considerable disturbance, in 
which there was one man killed, and three wounded. l 
Pelage says that he has been guilty of no fault for 
which he ought to be arrested. 

"27th. We have news from the Point. Lacrosse 
is under arrest ; it is supposed that he will be sent to 
France. General Pelage is now the Commandant of 
the Island. He has issued several proclamations tend- 
ing to quiet the minds of the inhabitants. He has 
served in the national army in this island eight years, 
and has acquired and supported a very good repu- 

" Isaac has, I suppose, by this time doubled Cape 
Horn. God grant we may soon meet again in our 
native country. 

" Adieu, my dear parents, may all that happiness 
which a dutiful child ought to wish you, be yours, 
may your declining years yet be soothed by the pres- 
ence of all your children, is the constant prayer of 
your son, 



Three days after her arrival at Guadeloupe my 
mother wrote as follows to her parents: 

1 A letter, of later date, says that Mr. Courcelle, Mr. Van Schalk- 
wyck's brother, was wounded in the affray. ED. 



"Port Louis, Guadeloupe, Oct. 24th, 1801. 

"I cannot for a moment doubt the pleasure my 
most tenderly beloved parents will receive, when 
they learn the safe arrival of their children at their 
wished-for port ; and that pleasure will be increased, 
I trust, by an assurance that, except the fatigue oc- 
casioned by the voyage, we are all as well as when 
we left Newbury Port. 

"The first nine days of our passage were most 
unpleasant, the heavens constantly overclouded, the 
wind contrary, the vessel rolling, and thunder and 
lightning often rendering the scene more dreadful. 
But to your Mary, half-dead with sea-sickness, all 
was indifferent, and I heard Capt. Basset, on the 
tenth night, say to Mr. S. ' I shall lay to to-night, 
for, positively, I feel very unsafe to continue our 
course, we have been unable to take the sun these 
three days ; by my reckoning, we must be very near 
the Bermudas, and I should not like to run on the 
rocks, as many vessels do every year;' I heard this 
I heard them all expatiate on the dangers of that 
fatal cluster of islands, situated in the middle of the 
ocean, and so low they cannot be discovered in the 
night till you are near, often too near them with- 
out the least emotion ; the idea of death was neither 
painful nor terrific, so totally had the long contin- 
uance of sea-sickness unnerved body and mind, that 
I should scarcely have raised my hand to save my 
life. This illness continued, in a degree, the twenty- 
two days of our passage. I was carried every day by 



the captain and Henry from the cabin, and laid on 
a mattrass on the deck; and, at night, I can com- 
pare my feelings on returning to my berth only to 
those of the slave, who feels his cruel master load- 
ing him with chains. Praised be Providence! Mr. 
Schalkwyck was rather better than worse during the 
passage; and Henry, except the first two or three 
days, very well. Our servant was not sick, and was 
remarkably faithful and attentive. 

" By the dawning of day on the morn of the 21st 
of October, I was awaked by the cry of ' all hands 
ahoa,' and a moment after, Henry slid into the cabin, 
with the joyful news of land. The island of Deseada 
was in view, rising like a mountain from the bosom 
of ocean. I cannot express my sensations on behold- 
ing the firm land once more, and they were height- 
ened to an almost painful degree when, a few hours 
after, Guadeloupe arose like a faint cloud on the 
horizon. The heat of the sun was insupportable. I 
was carried to my berth, whence I was summoned, 
at three o'clock, to witness a scene new and roman- 
tic, beyond anything I ever imagined. We were half 
a mile from the shore, but it appeared to me near 
enough to have shaken hands with any one there. 
The land terminates abruptly by a perpendicular de- 
scent to the sea, and, as you sail slowly along this 
coast, innumerable caverns meet the eye, hollowed 
by the hand of nature, but apparently the work of 
art. These caverns were the abode of the ancient in- 
habitants of this country. They preferred living in 



their dark recesses, and subsisting on fish with which 
the shore abounds, to erecting houses, and cultiva- 
ting the fertile earth. No verdure can be more bright 
than the plantations of sugar-cane, no inanimate ob- 
ject more majestic than the palm and cocoa trees, 
that extend everywhere their hospitable shade. We 
anchored in the harbor of Port Louis. Previous to 
the Revolution, this was a rich and flourishing town, 
but now it presents cruel evidence of the devasta- 
tions of war. On anchoring, Mr. S. wrote to the Com- 
mandant, requesting permission to land; he wrote 
also to Mr. Tronquier, his tutor, for four or five 
years, in the University of Paris, to inform him of 
his arrival. We received an immediate invitation to 
come to his house, and the next morning, after the 
physician and captain of the port had been on board, 
we received permission to land. At the sight of land, 
I felt strong emotion, but when my foot first felt 
the earth, when I found myself at liberty to walk, 
an exercise I had not taken for three weeks, my 
sight, my little strength forsook me, and I fainted. 
On opening my eyes, I found myself surrounded by 
more than a hundred people of all colours, and ap- 
parently of all conditions ; it was the day of the Dec- 
ade, and therefore the crowd of gentlemen, soldiers, 
and mulattresses was very great. When sufficiently 
recovered, I was placed in a chair, and carried by 
negroes to the house of Mr. T. 

"October 27th. I flatter myself my dear parents 
will not receive intelligence of the change in the nil- 



ers of this Island, till they receive my letter. Henry 
will give you an account of the late disturbance ; for 
a few hours it was terrific, but all is past. Be not 
therefore anxious. General Pelage, who is the suc- 
cessor of General Lacrosse, promises protection to 
the emigrants, and has issued a proclamation in which 
he assures them they shall be better treated than by 
his predecessor. Many royalists return daily, and are 
as well received by Pelage as by Lacrosse. 1 

" I cannot express the degree of kindness and at- 
tention we receive from the inhabitants of this place. 
Many of Mr. S.'s relations and friends have been to 
see us, particularly Courcelle, and Madame Crui- 
selly, his mother's sister, who insists on our passing 
some time at her house. I believe, however, we shall 
go very soon to Point a Pitre by water, and from 
thence by land to St. Ann's. I have had the hap- 
piness to be received in the most affectionate man- 
ner by all the friends of Mr. S. I am particularly 
gratified by the cordial warmth of an old and very 
respectable lady, who has lately returned with her 
family from Martinique. She is the grandmother of 
Madame Boisaubin, and a near relation of Mr. S's. 

1 From Lacour's " Histoire de Guadeloupe," I learn that many emi- 
grants returned to the island after an encouraging proclamation in June, 
1801, but a large number soon hastened to leave it, fearing devastation 
and carnage such as had been the portion of San Domingo. The army 
was composed nine-tenths of blacks and mulattoes. When the revolt oc- 
curred on October 21st, which put Pelage, a mulatto, in the office of 
commandant of the island, in place of Lacrosse, a general alarm was 
sounded, and there was great consternation, the people fearing an im- 
mediate outbreak of pillage and massacre by the blacks. ED. 



She embraces me, and calls me her dear little daugh- 
ter. I wish, Mamma, you could see her, she is the 
image of goodness, benevolence, and graceful sweet- 
ness personified. Monsieur and Madame Tronquier 
treat us like their children ; and, indeed, was there 
nothing but the hospitality, and the frank and easy 
manners of the people to recommend this place, that 
alone would be sufficient." 

From my mother: 

"Point a Pitre, Nov. 5th, 1801. 

"The embargo which has been laid on all vessels 
in this port, ever since the arrest of General Lacrosse, 
will be taken off this day. I will, therefore, close my 
little packet, and send it to one of the American cap- 
tains, for I would not that my dear parents should 
receive intelligence of the disturbance in this place, 
till they receive it from the pen of their daughter. 
Such things are usually exaggerated, and I know you 
would feel very unhappy till you heard from us. 

" Since I wrote you last, Mr. S. has waited on Gen- 
eral Pelage, and has been received as well as his most 
sanguine expectations. The General assured him of 
his protection while he lived, and told him, if he 
wished for anything in his power to grant, to come 
to him at any time. Mr. S. is now settling with the 
persons who have hired his plantations of the Re- 
public. We expect to go to one of them in the course 
of a few days. We are now at the house of Mr. Lande- 
ville, who is one of the first men in the island. We 



have been received with the same hospitality and 
kindness we experienced at Port Louis. Mr. and Ma- 
dame Landeville are extremely amiable and pleasing 
persons, and do every thing in their power to make 
me forget I am with strangers. 

"Early, last evening, the inhabitants were ordered 
to close their doors, as General Lacrosse was going 
to be embarked for France. The troops, to the num- 
ber of twenty-five hundred, were all under arms, and 
patrolled the streets during the night. Quiet prevails 
this morning, and every one resumes their various 
employments and pleasures. I shall, however, quit 
Point k Pitre with pleasure, the tranquillity of the 
country was ever pleasing to my heart, and we ex- 
pect to reside in the pleasantest part of the island, 
in an airy and healthy situation." 

The following letter from Henry Wilder is di- 
rected to Mr. Samuel Clark, Charleston, S. C. : 

"Island of Guadeloupe, Point a Pitre, 

8th November, 1801. 

"My brother-in-law is much better than when he 
left Massachusetts. He has recovered one of his sugar 
plantations since he came, and is in a very good way 
to get the others. It has been very sickly for the last 
three months, but now is as healthy as usual. 

"There has been, too, a little disturbance in the 
Government, which has frightened some poor souls 
almost to death, but I believe all is over now. 
" I am going to the country for a month or two, 


after which I expect to take up my residence in this 
town, where any commands from you, or any of your 
friends, will be attended to with pleasure. 
" With sentiments of friendship and esteem, 

I remain, 



Soon, too soon, his purposes were broken off! The 
very morning on which this letter is dated he was 
seized with yellow fever, which at the end of the 
fourth day terminated his life. 

The next record is my mother's letter to her min- 
ister in Concord, the Rev. Mr. Ripley. Upon the out- 
side of this letter I find the following words in my 
mother's handwriting: "This letter, which cost me 
agony inconceivable, was written 15th November, 
1801, three days after the death of my beloved 

"Point a Pitre, November, 1801. 

"My dear and good Sir, Have compassion on a 
heart almost broken with affliction, and spare me a 
particular recital of the sickness which, in four days, 
terminated the life of a brother too, too well be- 

"O Sir! you must impart this soul-rending intel- 
ligence to my unfortunate mother. How she will 
support it, God knows! I cannot tell her she has no 
longer a son. O God! have mercy on us! 

"Tell my mother to live to live for the sake of 
her other friends especially bid her remember that 



the life of her daughter is woven with hers, that, 
without the hope of embracing her again, Mary would 
sink to the grave. Remind her of the innocence of his 
life, of that sweet and heavenly temper which did, and 
which willed, ill to no one remind her that his short 
life was spent in the cultivation of the talents God had 
given him remind her that he has no longer pain, 
sorrow, or death to suffer. Tell her his life closed re- 
markably tranquil, and that he is now an angel in 

"Dear, dear Henry, why should I wish thee back 
in this world, so full of sorrow and distress, where 
every day brings new affliction, where we love, but 
to lose the objects of our tenderness, where we hope, 
but to be disappointed ! Henry, dearest Henry ! thou 
wast to me a Father Brother Friend, too much 
the object of my pride and my affection. God has 
punished me by removing thee from me. I adore His 
decree, I submit to His will, tho' it pierces my 
heart with indescribable sorrow. 

" Tell my dear mother we have the consolation of 
reflecting Henry had every possible attention. If hu- 
man aid could have saved him, he would be yet alive. 
He was attended by a celebrated physician and two 
nurses. On Monday morning, he was seized with the 
yellow fever on Thursday evening, God reclaimed 
the soul He had given. 

"To-morrow, Mr. S. and myself expect to leave 
this place for St. Ann's. From thence I intend wri- 
ting to my American friends. 



"My dear Sir, I give you a most painful task to 
fulfil, but I know your goodness. My mother is com- 
paratively happy to receive this sad intelligence from 
one so able to impart consolation. As for me I 
would have given worlds to have heard your voice 
yesterday. My husband is deeply affected, and far 
from being well. He loved Henry, and sincerely re- 
grets our irreparable loss. 

" Have the goodness to tell my parents not to be 
anxious on my account. I have paid the tribute to 
the country. For five days after my arrival in this 
town, I was sick with a high fever, every night and 
morn, but now I have no illness, save that grief which 
lies at my heart. 

"Adieu, my dear Sir. This letter has cost me many 
tears, and much agony, but I could not bear the idea 
of my parents receiving the intelligence it contains 
from an indifferent person, perhaps by the news- 

"Again, adieu, my respected Friend. You know 
those who are most dear to me assure them they 
are dearer than ever to the heart of 


Among our most precious memorials of my mother 
and of her beloved Henry is a manuscript volume 
of extracts, upon the first page of which she has in- 
scribed the date, " Marie Galante, January 4th, 1802," 
and upon another, the following sketch : 

"Henry Wilder was born in Lancaster, Massa- 


chusetts, 27th April, 1782. His opening youth gave 
promise of every virtue, his riper manhood confirmed 
them all. Lovely in his person, his fine form was a 
fit temple for the spirit of dignity and truth by which 
it was animated. His large and expressive blue eye 
beamed tenderness, but oftener was fixed in sublime 
contemplation. His complexion was of the spiritual 
kind that discloses every emotion of the soul. 'The 
conscious blood rose in his cheek, and so distinct- 
ly wrought, that one might almost say, his body 
thought.' This is a faint sketch of the lovely exterior 
of Henry but who shall display his virtues, who do 
justice to his modest, but transcendent merit? What 
to others was toil was, to him, amusement. He de- 
lighted in abstruse study, and his lightest amuse- 
ments were arts which others attain but by study. 
A self-taught painter and musician, whose tones 
were sweeter than Henry's ? Who breathed, like him, 
the soul of harmony ? The warbling of his flute stole 
on the ear of night, and, like Henry, deserving 
universal admiration, shunned it. The melody fled 
with the soul of Henry, but the magic tints of his 
pencil remain. Thy music is no more, the tints of 
thy pencil will fade, but thy virtues, Henry, are 
recorded in the book of the Almighty. And, when 
'the heavens shall pass away like a scroll, and the 
elements melt with fervent heat,' thou wilt appear 
with the Judge of heaven and earth, clothed with 
the white robe, and, having the palm of victory in 
thine hand, wilt receive a crown of immortal glory." 



My mother has left many touching expressions 
of what Henry was to her in his life, and of her 
grief under his loss. None are more affecting than 
those in her handwriting upon the pages of his 
Bible, from which I will copy a passage. This cher- 
ished volume, which descended to my Uncle Henry's 
namesake, the Rev. Henry Wilder Foote, was first 
in the possession of Mr. Foote's mother, who was 
the youngest daughter of my mother, born but six 
months before her death; she inherited, with her 
mother's name, her beautiful qualities of mind and 
heart, and left a memory which is in perfect accord 
with those to which we now "do reverence." 

At the end of the Bible, on a fly-leaf, are these 
words, written by my mother, in pencil: 

"Yes, my beloved Henry, I vow to cherish thy 
memory, while I live, thou shalt live also. Though 
dead to all the world beside, in my heart thou shalt 
live for ever." 

Among my mother's papers I find a scrap upon 
which are written the following words : 

"Possessed of every virtue, adorned with every 
talent, his person remarkably beautiful, his mind re- 
markably strong, his understanding clear and pro- 
found, his manners mild and unassuming, the rose 
blushed on his cheek, intelligence beamed in his blue 
eye. Such was H. W." 

On another sheet are written the following lines: 

"Sunday. In the dawn of manhood, in the bloom 
of beauty, surrounded by fair opening prospects 



thy lips were sealed, thine eyes were closed, ahd the 
grave shut in upon thee. Blessed be God! Praised 
be the wise and merciful Disposer of all events ! The 
sorrows of life, the snares of vice, the terrors of death, 
shall have no power over thee. Thou hast run the 
race, thou hast won the victory, and everlasting in- 
nocence and peace shall wreathe thy brows. 

" The God whom thy father worshipped, the God 
of universal nature, beheld the cherished creature 
He had formed. He saw the talents He had bestowed 
doubled in thy keeping. He saw thee mature for 
Heaven, though few years had passed over thee, and 
in pity spared thee a longer trial. Yes, my brother 
thou art in Heaven, thou hast rejoined thy sainted 
father 1 my father my brother look from Heav- 
en, and guide and guard thy child and sister a poor 
wanderer, bathing the path of life with the bitter 
tears of affliction. And Thou Oh, my eternal and 
omnipotent Father! Thou, who wilt never desert the 
creature who looks to Thee for support, be Thou 
the lamp to guide my feet, be Thou my shield in 
the hour of temptation! Enable me to do and to 
suffer all Thy will, and finally, when I have lived 
long enough to answer the purposes of my creation, 
receive me to Thy bosom, for the sake of my Sa- 
viour, Jesus Christ. Amen." 

Again, on one page of a sheet which contains a 
French exercise in Henry's handwriting, my mother 
has written as follows: 

" That form which was the object of my pride, and 


my admiration, is now mouldering into dust. Ah, 
my brother ! the most perfect beauty, the finest tal- 
ents, the best heart, the most innocent life, could 
not arrest the stroke of Death. All were combined 
in thee, and thou art gone forever. No more shall 
I listen to the melody of thy music, no more shall 
my eye delight to dwell on the graces of thy person, 
no more shall my sorrowing heart repose itself on 
thy fraternal bosom, and find there wisdom, tender- 
ness, and consolation. In sickness, thou wert my 
nurse, in health, my dear companion, at all times, 
in all circumstances, my tender friend, and thou 
art gone forever, forever. O my God, grant me 
strength to support this great affliction ! " 

The following lines, on another page, remind one, 
as do some of these already copied, of Eugenie de 
Gue'rin's attempt, after her brother's death, to keep 
for him a journal, addressing it "to Maurice in 

"The acacia, with its thorny arms and fragrant 
flowers shall guard and perfume thy grave, and the 
sensitive plant, fit emblem of thy modest merit, shall 
delight to dwell on the sod which covers thee. Ac- 
cept, beloved Henry, this tribute of fraternal affec- 
tion, and suffer me to place this little wild flower in 
the wreath with which justice has bound thy brow." 

The next letter we have from my mother brings 
us to her second great bereavement. The one "dated 
from St. Ann," of which she speaks as her "last," 
if it reached its destination, has not been preserved. 



It is a disappointment not to find this and other let- 
ters which, in her correspondence from Guadeloupe, 
she mentions having written to her American friends. 
Fortunately, however, what we have give a vivid pic- 
ture of the scenes through which she passed during 
this most eventful year of her life. 

"Marie Galantc, December 22nd, 1801. 
"Ten days past, I have endeavoured to acquire 
fortitude sufficient to enable me to write my dear 
parents. In vain have I strove. At the present mo- 
ment I shrink from the task, and feel it too painful 
to be supported. But, let me not, by a selfish wish 
to avoid reciting late desolating events, risk your suf- 
fering more by an abrupt communication of the ir- 
reparable loss your unfortunate daughter has sus- 
tained. Ere you receive the present, you will have 
wept the sudden death of my too tenderly beloved 
brother, ah! you thought not, at the same time, I 
was deploring the united loss of S chalk wyck and 
Henry. My last letter was dated from St. Ann. We 
were then near one of our plantations. Mr. Schalk- 
wyck as well as usual, except a relaxness ; both of 
us anticipated, when time should have softened our 
regret for the departure of our dear Henry, finding 
in domestic life, in the society of our amiable friends, 
and in the charming scenery of St. Ann and St. Fran- 
cois, as high a degree of felicity as is usually allotted 
to mortals. It is true, the loss of Henry would have 
ever cast a shade over the brightest day of life, but, 



while my husband remained to me, I ever found the 
tender consolation of knowing I possessed a friend 
who valued more my happiness than his own, who 
shared in all my feelings, who participated in every 
joy, in every sorrow. After my letter from St. Ann, 
Mr. S. became worse ; but, two days after my last, 
he went with me to our plantation at St. Francois. 
On our arrival, he was carried to his chamber, which 
he never after left. After some days, the sore mouth 
commenced, he suffered twice more than any one 
I ever saw, with pain he respired, with agony he 
took the sustenance necessary. Night and day were 
the same, he slept not. We had three physicians. 
Eight days before his death they told me I must 
hope no more. I dwell not on the agony of that mo- 
ment. It was to me like the stroke of death. Mr. and 
Madame Richebois, our brother and sister Courcelle, 
and some other friends, were constantly with me. 
Eight nights, I slept not; sometimes, I reposed a 
few moments in a hammock, but it was the repose 
of a breaking heart. Three days before the release of 
my beloved friend, I prayed God to take him from 
woe to bliss. His frame suffered all that the frame 
of man can suffer, but his soul was at peace. On Sun- 
day, December 10th, at two o'clock P.M., he per- 
ceived himself dying. At that awful moment, he 
commended me fervently to the care of Courcelle. 
I pass rapidly over the most cruel day of my life. 
At nine o'clock, Sabbath evening, without a groan, 
without a sigh, in the full possession of his reason, 



expired the tenderest husband, the sincerest and most 
disinterested of friends. O my God ! 't was by Thy 
strength alone I was enabled to support that scene! 
"The next morning, I was carried to the house 
of Madame Courcelle. I received, and continue to 
receive, from all that amiable family, and, indeed, 
from all the relations and friends of Mr. S. the ten- 
derest attention, the warmest professions of friend- 
ship, but one event has succeeded another with 
such rapidity, I have been scarcely able to discrim- 
inate the tears of grief for past misfortunes from 
those of apprehension for the future. Four days 
after the death of my husband, we were informed 
the negroes at Point a Pitre, dreading the arrival 
of the troops from France, had entered into a con- 
spiracy to destroy all the white inhabitants. They 
assembled to the number of three thousand in the 
night, their chiefs were selected, when a negro 
girl informed Pelage (the mulatto General) of the 
plot. He marched with his troops immediately against 
the wretches. Three of the chiefs were killed on the 
spot, six taken prisoners, and all the negroes dis- 
persed. Still, however, the white inhabitants trem- 
bled with apprehension lest to-morrow should ac- 
complish what to-day accomplished not. All who 
could leave the island emigrated to other isles, to 
await there the arrival of the troops from France. 
Mr. and Madame Courcelle, Mademoiselle Coutoute, 
myself, and five domestics, with many other inhab- 
itants, put ourselves on board a little vessel bound 



to this isle. Here, all is tranquil; we receive, daily, 
the utmost hospitality and kindness from the peo- 
ple, and expect to remain here till the troops have 
reestablished tranquillity in Guadeloupe. Nothing 
but the Peace would have been able to inspire con- 
fidence in the bosom of the unfortunate Guadelou- 
pians. We doubt not but peace will restore all the 
tranquillity we wish. We expect, in the course of six 
weeks, twelve or fifteen thousand troops from France. 
I need not say, the circumstance will occasion inex- 
pressible joy to the inhabitants. 

"At present, my dear Parents, suffer not appre- 
hension for my safety to empoison your peace. I am 
in health, in a peaceful and charming island, I am 
with amiable and tender friends, and, above all, I 
am under the protection of a God, almighty and all- 
sufficient. Mr. Courcelle intends to accompany me to 
New England in the spring. 'T is unnecessary for me 
to say I wish, ardently wish, to return to my native 
country and my beloved friends. Fatal, indeed, to my 
happiness, have been the two months I have passed 
in the West Indies." 

[From the Boston Gazette, Jan. 14th, 1802: "Ar- 
rived yesterday, schooner Exchange, Capt. Vibert, 
from Guadeloupe. Left it on the llth [of December] 
at which time Point a Pitre and the whole of the 
island was in confusion, another insurrection having 
taken place there, which, had it not been fortunately 
discovered at the moment, would have involved the 



total destruction of every white and mulatto in the 
island. The rebels in the present insurrection were 
the country blacks against the whites and mulattoes. 
The former, having lent a helping hand in the revolu- 
tion which had been just effected, expected a total 
emancipation from their masters ; but not finding that 
event confirmed, or even contemplated in the Proc- 
lamation of the yellow general, Pelage, they had de- 
termined to achieve their own liberty, through the 
blood of Pelage and his party. For this purpose, 11,- 
000 were to have been organized on the night suc- 
ceeding that on which the plot was discovered to 
have burnt the towns, and to have murdered every 
man, woman, and child of Pelage's party ! At that 
very moment only when it could possibly have been 
defeated, was the plot discovered by a black woman, 
and four of the ring-leaders were apprehended. Not- 
withstanding the bloody project had been discov- 
ered, and, for the present, warded off, every thing 
was apprehended from the vengeance and ferocity 
of the blacks, and all was in the utmost confusion."] 

Some days later she wrote: 

''"Marie Galante, Dec. 30th. 
" I conclude my dear parents have received my let- 
ter of the nineteenth of the present month, and are 
informed of the unfortunate circumstances which 
have driven us from Guadeloupe, and of the infinitely 
more afflicting circumstance of the loss of my ever 
beloved husband. Unfortunate as I am, I have the 



blessing of health, and the unceasing tenderness and 
attention of all the family of Mr. Schalkwyck, par- 
ticularly the family of Madame Courcelle, who con- 
sider me as a sister. 

** I am inexpressibly anxious to receive letters from 
you and my American friends, who are dearer than 
ever to my heart. The loss of my other friends has 
rendered more precious those which remain. God Al- 
mighty, whose goodness has enabled me to sustain 
the heaviest misfortunes, the most heart-rending 
events, will, I trust, return me to my native coun- 
try the ensuing spring. Mr. and Madame Courcelle 
request me to remember them respectfully to you. 
Both are ill at present ; he has been dangerously at- 
tacked with the bilious fever, four domestics are ill 








ROM Marie Galante, January 15th, 1802, she 
writes : 

"In a moment like the present, agitated by con- 
tinual revolutions, I feel seldom the courage to write 
to my beloved Parents; for, to write is to speak 
only of past woes, to detail distressing events, which 
have wrung, and which will forever afflict, my heart. 
Since the death of my beloved Henry, I have sent 
three packets, by different opportunities, to my 
friends in America, and, ere you receive the present, 
you will, I trust, be informed of the succeeding and 
irreparable misfortune I have sustained in the loss 
of my long-loved, and ever regretted, Schalkwyck. 
The omniscient God alone knows the sufferings of 
my heart, and He alone was my support under these 
accumulated sorrows. Our necessary flight from 
Guadeloupe, which I considered as an aggravation 
of them ; has, on the contrary, a good effect on my 
health ; and, by a change of place, by the variety of 
new objects, and by the care I necessarily took dur- 
ing the illness of Mr. and Madame Courcelle, my 
mind was drawn from a too intense contemplation 



of my melancholy fate. At present, my most ardent 
wish is to return to the bosom of my country, where, 
though I expect not happiness, I hope for tranquil- 
lity. This wish cannot be gratified before the last 
spring month. The settlement of Mr. Schalkwyck's 
estate will render it impossible for me to quit the 
West Indies at an earlier period. We expect, every 
day, the arrival of troops from France, when we can 
return with security to Guadeloupe. Alas! how has 
that island been fatal to my happiness ! I entered it 
with the most flattering prospects of felicity that ever 
opened to mortal view ; blessed with the tender af- 
fection of a husband I had long loved, with the so- 
ciety of a brother, to whom I was but too much at- 
tached, surrounded and caressed by the friends of 
Mr. Schalkwyck. What a blank now remains ! In the 
stead of the bright visions of felicity which my fancy 
had formed, the remainder of my life appears, to my 
view, a solitary passage to the grave. 

"February 3rd. With a hand trembling with weak- 
ness, I continue my letter to my dear Parents. The 
evening after I wrote the above, I was seized vio- 
lently with the fever, my life was in the extremest 
danger for four or five days. I was bled four times 
in twenty-four hours. Providentially, I was attended 
by a physician who understands perfectly the Amer- 
ican constitution. He has resided five years in the 
United States, and understands perfectly his profes- 
sion. My symptoms were the same with my beloved 
brother. I was seized in the same manner, and had 



every reason to suppose my illness would terminate 
in the same manner likewise. But it has pleased Al- 
mighty God to continue my life, for what purpose 
I know not, but I hope I shall be able to consecrate 
the remainder to the practise of every virtue con- 
sistent with my situation. Never, during my illness, 
did I feel the least solicitude to live for any other 
purpose than to view again my native country, and 
embrace again my friends. Nor was that wish so 
strong as to prevent my saying with the most per- 
fect sincerity, ' Oh God, Thy will in all things be 
done!' I must quit the pen the irregularity of my 
writing is a sufficient evidence of my present weak- 

"February 4th. Again I resume the pen to con- 
verse a few moments with my dear Parents before 
I close my letter. We have received a very pressing 
invitation from a gentleman of independent fortune ; 
who resides in this island, about twenty miles from 
the principal port (where we now are), to pass some 
weeks with him. Mr. and Madame Courcelle wait 
only till I have sufficient strength to accompany 
them, when the whole family will go. Perhaps we 
shall remain there till the troops arrive from France. 
Does it not appear a little singular to you for ten 
persons to remain on a visit at a house for some 
weeks? Such is the extraordinary hospitality of the 
country that M. Renard, when he first heard of our 
arrival, wrote immediately for us to come to his hab- 
itation, and proposed sending horses for Mr. and 



Madame Courcelle, and Mad'lle Coutoute, and a 
hammock for me, as I do not ride so far on horse 
back. It is not probable I shall have an opportunity 
to write from the habitation of Mr. R., and, what I 
fear yet more is that I shall not receive letters from 
my friends in America. Ah ! if you knew how ear- 
nestly I desire to receive intelligence from you ! and, 
above all, how earnestly I desire to embrace you. 

"14th February. I have news the most interesting 
possible to communicate, the troops have arrived 
from France. Yesterday, I witnessed the entrance 
of three fine French frigates, and as many smaller 
vessels, filled with troops. To-morrow, other frigates 
are expected with the Generals Lacrosse &c. There 
are already twenty-three thousand men at Saint Do- 
mingo, eleven hundred here, and twelve thousand 
are daily expected at Guadeloupe. We witness noth- 
ing but rejoicings. The inhabitants assemble, alter- 
nately, at each other's houses to celebrate the happy 

My mother's next letter to her parents is dated: 

"Marie Galante, March 4th, 1802. 
" My last letter to you, my dear Parents, was dated 
February: since the departure of the Captain who 
took charge of it, I have again had the fever. At 
present, I am convalescent; my last illness was nei- 
ther so long nor so violent as the first ; of course, my 
debility is not so extreme ; but I cannot flatter my- 
self to enjoy perfect health, till I breathe again the 



fresh gales of my native country ; and have the sweet- 
est pleasure that remains for me on earth, the pleas- 
ure of embracing my beloved friends. Tranquillity is 
absolutely necessary for the restoration of my health ; 
I feel it each hour; and each hour convinces me I 
must not expect it in a country where scenes the 
most terrible pass to-day, and to-morrow are forgot- 
ten in splendid parties of pleasure. The heart of your 
daughter, after so many shocks, demands to be left 
to quiet melancholy ; but my amiable friends, through 
mistaken kindness, force me into society. We have 
often the General and his suite, and not seldom pass 
the day in a society composed of fifty or sixty per- 
sons. This, together with my ill-health, and an ar- 
dent desire to embrace all that remains of my family 
have decided me to return, ere long, to New England. 

"March 7th. When the above was written, I had 
determined to return to New England with Captain 
Choate, who takes charge of my letters to my friends, 
but Mr. Courcelle objects so earnestly, he thinks my 
presence will be so necessary in Guadeloupe for the 
settlement of Mr. Schalkwyck's estate, and is so un- 
willing for me to return without sufficient funds, and 
without an attendant, that, to gratify him, I have 
decided to remain some time longer in the West 
Indies. The sacrifice I make to his wishes is great, 
and I know not if I should have decided, had not 
many persons assured me the season was extremely 

" I cannot express my anxiety to receive letters 


from you, my Parents. More than three months have 
elapsed since I have received that happiness. I dare 
not indulge my apprehensions on your account, 
they are too terrible. I pray God to grant me the 
delightful satisfaction of embracing you once more." 

Again, she writes: 

"Marie Galante, 22nd March, 1802. 

" Since my last, by Captain Choate, I have passed 
a decade in the country, at the habitation of Ma- 
dame Romane, a cousin of Madame Courcelle. A 
fine, and very extensive prospect, pure air, and re- 
tirement, have had the most favourable effect on my 
health ; I am neither so thin, nor pale, as before, but 
my heart is more sad. I am extremely anxious on 
your account, my dear Parents : to what reason am 
I to impute your long, long silence? My apprehen- 
sions are too painful: I dare not think! 

"My expectation of returning to New England 
in April has vanished. It is necessary there should 
be a written arrangement passed between Mr. Riche- 
bois, Mr. Courcelle, and myself, before I leave the 
West Indies : and, as Mr. R. is in Guadeloupe, and 
Mr. C. is here, it is impossible all should be settled 
before our return to that island, unless Mr. R. should 
come to Marie Galante. But for me, so earnestly do 
I desire to embrace my dear friends in New Eng- 
land, I should quit everything to be arranged by the 
law, did not all the family oppose it. 

"The excessive heat has commenced, but the sea- 



son is not so unhealthy as the four or five past months 
have been ; with you, winter still exercises his rig- 
orous reign, the fireside is still the most agreeable 
place, and the happy circle still meet to pass the long 
evenings in simple and innocent pleasures. Alas ! why 
do I not inhabit the same world! Here is a perpet- 
ual summer, nature in itself is charming, but an al- 
most general corruption has rendered the society of 
the grand, detestable. Luxury presides at the board, 
vice walks unblushingly in the streets, and the name 
of religion is mentioned by the generality only with 
contempt and derision. I am not so unjust as to in- 
clude all in this picture of the present manners. The 
family of Madame Courcelle, and many others, unite 
the rarest virtues with the most brilliant talents. 
The people, in general, are hospitable and generous ; 
but religion is cherished by a number so small, it is 
scarcely perceptible. Ah ! how much am I indebted 
to its divine consolations! What could have sup- 
ported, what still sustains me, but confidence in that 
Being who is ever powerful, good, and wise ? 

" We expect daily the arrival of the remainder of 
the troops from France. There is already a sufficient 
number for Marie Galante, but not enough to re- 
store tranquillity to Guadeloupe. It is impossible to 
express the impatience with which we count the days 
and weeks, and the eagerness with which we exam- 
ine each sail that appears on the far, far distant hori- 
zon. Ah, my dear Parents, ah, my sisters, in the 
tranquil bosom of your country, you can form no 



idea of the present situation of the West Indies. To 
us, nothing appears more extraordinary than the gai- 
ety, the extravagance, and thoughtlessness of this 
people, in a situation the most critical, surrounded 
by the greatest dangers. 

"March 29th. Day after day closes, weeks and 
months succeed, and I receive no intelligence from 
New England. I accuse not my friends of negligence, 
for I am sure they are incapable of neglecting me; 
specially in my present situation, lamenting, in a far 
distant country, the loss of a beloved husband and 
brother. But I lament that sad combination of cir- 
cumstances which prevents my receiving the sweet- 
est consolation in the assurances of my Parents' un- 
alterable attachment, of their health, and of their 
resignation to the dispensations of Providence, who 
has, by the same blow, mutually afflicted us. 

"P. S. Will you, dear Mamma, write a few lines 
to Salla A., and give her a short account of my sit- 
uation ? Assure her I ever love, and cherish her re- 
membrance ; she is, and will ever be, dear to my heart. 
I would write, but I dare not employ the pen, or the 
needle, so much as my inclination dictates. Any kind 
of application brings on a pain in the head, and oc- 
casions a degree of fever. Tell her I have already 
written twice, but have not received a line from her." 

By "Salla A." is meant Miss Atherton of Elm 
Hill, Lancaster, Mass. Elm Hill is a beautiful spot, 
which I remember my father's pointing out to my sis- 



ter and myself, during our interesting drive through 
the town, as the one where, with her friends the 
Athertons, to whom she was much attached, my 
mother often stayed both before and after her resi- 
dence in the West Indies. The following letter, with- 
out date or address, which I find among her papers, 
I suppose may have been written to these friends: 

"The moment of my arrival in Guadeloupe was 
a moment the most critical, the very day when a 
formidable insurrection had placed a mulatto General 
at the head of government ; terror and distrust was 
painted on every countenance. Alas! the clouds of 
the morning were but too ominous of the stormy day 
that advanced to destroy my peace. In three weeks 
after my arrival, I lost my beloved Henry, after an 
illness of four days. In the agony of the moment, I 
thought nothing could add to my sufferings. I was 
fatally undeceived in three weeks more, by the death 
of that dear friend for whom I had left my family, 
my friends, and native country. Misfortune suc- 
ceeded misfortune with a rapidity that confounded 
my senses. Every day I heard of horrors, every night 
retired to my chamber with an expectation of being 
assassinated before morning. The dangerous situation 
of Guadeloupe induced the family of my husband, 
with many others, to quit the island, and seek in 
Marie Galante an asylum till the arrival of the troops 
from France. Scarcely did I find myself in a more 
secure abode, when I was attacked with the fever in 



the same manner as my brother. An eminent physi- 
cian attended me, and, by bleeding me four times in 
twenty-four hours, my fever was diminished, but I 
was left in an alarming state of weakness, which ter- 
minated in the fever and ague. At present, I begin 
to taste the sweets of returning health, but my heart 
sighs more fervently than ever for my native coun- 
try, and for those dear friends from whom I have been 
so long separated." 

From my mother's next letter to her parents, it 
appears that her hope of hearing from them was still 
deferred. The letter is dated : 

"April 21st, Marie Galante, 1802. 

" Capt. Chadwick has, in a degree, relieved my anx- 
iety on account of my dear Parents. He has assured 
me he saw Uncle Hurd three or four days before he 
left Boston, and, had any misfortune taken place in 
the family, he would have informed him. At present, 
my health is re-established, but the uncertainty at 
what period the troops will arrive from France, and 
enable me to return to Guadeloupe, has almost de- 
cided me to embrace the first good opportunity to 
return to New England. Possibly, in the course of 
three or four weeks I shall embark. 

"Could you, at present, behold this island, I am 
sure you would be wrapped in the most profound 
astonishment. Every night, the streets are patrolled. 
There is a sentinel placed at the entrance of all the 
principal streets. It is a time of war and general dan- 



ger, but gaiety, the most extreme, prevails. There 
are balls and concerts every night, and dissipation 
of every kind is almost universal. Such is the char- 
acter of the nation, that it is not in the power of mis- 
fortune or danger to render them sad. I speak gen- 
erally. There are many individuals who feel the hor- 
ror of the times, and yield to the melancholy so nat- 
urally inspired by the present circumstances." 

On a blank page of this letter my grandmother 
has written in reference to her correspondence with 
my mother: "After improving every opportunity, 
and finding our letters were kept back, we enclosed 
them to Madame Lambert Marcilius, an American 
friend, by whom her heart was made happy in the 
assurance that her parents could not be made hap- 
pier by any earthly occurrence, than to fold in their 
embrace their beloved Mary." 

Again, my mother writes to her parents: 

"Marie Galante, May 4th, 1802. 
"With a satisfaction the most ardent and sincere, 
I give my dear Parents intelligence of the arrival 
of the fleet from France. The night before last, at 
twelve o'clock, we were awaked by an Officer who 
came to give us the news so important, and so long 
desired. A frigate anchored before the town, and the 
aide-de-camp of General Lacrosse landed, to give in- 
formation to General Se>iziat, that the fleet, consist- 
ing of four men of war, six frigates, and fourteen 



transports, having on board the troops from France 
destined for Guadeloupe, commanded by the Gen- 
eral Richepance, and accompanied by the aide-de- 
camp of Bonaparte, were within twenty-four hours 
sail. I need not say, the family arose instantly, the joy 
became general, dragoons were dispatched to give 
intelligence in the country, sleep was banished from 
all eyes ; officers and soldiers passed continually, the 
streets were rilled, and, 'the fleet has arrived, the 
fleet has arrived,' was echoed from mouth to mouth. 
In the morning, the house was filled with the offi- 
cers who came to make their adieux, before they em- 
barked to conquer or die. A sensation of sadness 
mingled with our joy, but the character of the na- 
tion was never more conspicuous than at that mo- 
ment. The regiment of General Se'riziat embarked 
singing, dancing, and exercising their wit in a thou- 
sand pleasantries. 

"I shall not close my letter till the fate of Gua- 
deloupe is decided ; we are, at present, at a crisis the 
most important. God grant the event may be happy! 

"May 12th. After eight days of the most racking 
suspense, we have received the agreeable assurance 
that all is tranquil at Grande-Terre. When General 
Richepance, with the fleet, arrived there, three ships 
of the line, which were too large to enter the port 
of Point a Pitre, landed their troops near Fleur 
d' Epee, a celebrated fort which commands the en- 
trance of the port; the other vessels entered, and 
landed Gen. Richepance and his army in Point a 



Pitre. The black troops made a faint resistance, but 
the French soldiers, with fixed bayonets, forced them 
to immediate surrender. Had the rebels been united 
in opinion, the event would have been extremely 
doubtful ; but their division saved us scenes the most 
shocking to humanity, perhaps nothing less than the 
massacre of all the white inhabitants ; nor should we 
in Marie Galante have escaped the general destruc- 
tion. The aide-de-camp of Pelage, with two hundred 
black soldiers, forced a retreat to Basse-Terre, where 
he united with three or four thousand others, to take 
possession of the fort and the town. Five frigates 
were immediately dispatched to attack the town by 
sea, and two thousand French soldiers, commanded 
by General Se'riziat, marched to attack it by land. 
We hear constantly the sound of the cannonade. 
Every one is assured the blacks will be obliged to 
surrender. They have neither a sufficient quantity 
of provisions, nor ammunition, to make a long re- 
sistance. I tremble however for the victims. Pelage 
has conducted extremely well. 'T is to him the white 
inhabitants owe their fives, as he prevented, by his 
commands and entreaties, a general massacre. 

"Adieu, my dear Parents. I have not said the half 
I have to tell you, but must close my letter, as the 
vessel, by which I send it, sails this morning." 

The following letter from my grandmother, of the 
same date with this last of my mother, is doubtless 
the one which was enclosed to Madame Lambert, 



the previous ones having been intercepted with the 
purpose of detaining my mother in Guadeloupe. 

"Concord, May 7th, 1802. 

"We will not, my dear, my much loved, daugh- 
ter, presume to arraign the decrees of the supreme 
and all-wise Ruler of events. They are ordered in 
infinite wisdom. His almighty fiat has passed ; His 
ways, though dark and mysterious, and far above 
our comprehension, will most assuredly be made 
manifest to be perfectly right ; it will not be long 
ere the partition will be taken away, and we, I trust, 
shall meet those friends so tenderly beloved, never 
again to suffer a painful separation. 

"Your Papa went down on purpose to see Cap- 
tain Choate, and make inquiry about your situation. 
My tears flowed plentifully at the disappointment, 
when you could have come with so good a man, so 
reputable a character, and only twenty-two days' 
passage. Your friends' attention to you I feel very 
grateful for. You will present everything you think 
proper to them from your parents; but you must 
return, we ardently wish it. If you cannot leave the 
settlement of affairs to some trusty hand, leave it; 
you will be provided for without it. I cannot think 
of being another year parted from you. The death 
of my dear Henry was almost too much for me. I 
thought I could say as David did, 'Would to God 
I had died for thee, my son!' My reason felt dis- 
tressed, I feared it would have left me. Never was 



anything more unexpected to us. From Mr. Schalk- 
wyck's disorder, we had not an idea that he could 
recover, or even reach his native shore ; from the cli- 
mate and the delicacy of your constitution, I had 
every thing to tremble at for you ; but my son, as 
though the shafts of death could not arrest him, I had 
almost a certainty of seeing again. But I have made 
a covenant with my God, not one decree would 
I reverse. I devoted you both to Him in infancy, 
believing in His mercy, that what He saw best He 
would do. 

"When a report circulated that Mr. Schalkwyck 
had paid the debt of nature, I was confined with a 
lung-fever, and did not know of it for three weeks. 
As soon as I was better, your papa went to Boston, 
to know if any intelligence could be procured. Noth- 
ing certain could be procured till your letter of the 
22nd of December confirmed it; which we did not 
receive till the 7th of April, but have never received 
any one respecting your brother's sickness, except 
the one you wrote to Mr. Ripley. Was he sensible 
of his danger, or was it hid from him ? 

"May 9th. Thus far I had written, when I was 
called to receive a letter from Mary ; my heart vi- 
brates at the sound, date 22nd of March. You say 
your health is more confirmed, God be praised! 
To Him, my dear daughter, ascribe all thanks. Let 
not any of the allurements which those around you 
are enveloped in, take you from your duty to your 



God. Every resource fails in time of affliction, except 
His gracious promises. What could I have called on, 
for aid, had it not been for that support ! 

'"What can I ascribe your long silence to, my 
dear parents?' I can answer you readily, not to any 
want of the purest and most ardent affection. We 
cannot tell whether you have received any letters 
from us, but have repeatedly written. Our anxiety 
and distress on your account has been almost too 
much for all your friends, as, by the papers filled 
with the most horrid accounts, we have seen you, 
in imagination, suffering everything shocking to hu- 

" Indeed, my dear child, you must come with Capt. 
Choate, he has orders not to leave you. You will 
not need any other protector, relying on Providence. 
Do not bring any slaves with you, there are too 
many here already for the safety of the community ; 
the spirit of liberty has already begun to blaze among 
them. Capt. Choate says if two-thirds of his cargo 
should be necessary to insure your protection, he 
would sacrifice it. Your uncle says he would venture 
a daughter of his to any part of the world with him. 
We have reason to think some of the vessels were 
cast away in which your letters were, as you mention 
many which we never received. A packet from your 
papa has been in Boston and Charlestown to send, 
a month. Vessels do not clear out for Guadeloupe. 
They are unwilling to have it known where they are 
going. I am afraid to have you go again to that fatal 



place. Cannot your affairs be settled where you are ? 
Do not wait till the hurricane months arrive. Your 
papa has said he wished to go for you himself, but 
I cannot make another sacrifice. 

" It is generally supposed that a war will take place 
in the course of a year, between France and Amer- 
ica. Our President does not appear to be a friend to 
the people or their liberties, has set aside everything 
the good Washington did, and expects to bring us 
into subjection to some other power. 

"May the Father of the faithful, the omnipotent 
Jehovah, bless you with His kind support and pro- 
tection, may no more clouds arise, and may you meet 
again on earth those friends who are alive to every- 
thing which affects you. 

"Your Papa joins in love and parental blessing. 
We are much gratified that your religious principles 
are not contaminated by the prevailing vices of the 

*'We have not heard anything from Isaac since 
October 27th, he was then at Rio Janeiro, but as 
many of our young men have shared the fate of 
Henry, we fear for him. None can die more lamented 
than your darling brother, whose character was justly 
published in the Gazette; Mr. Schalkwyck's also. 
We have preserved them for you." 

Upon this letter, my mother has written in pen- 
cil, "Alas! dear and tenderly beloved Parents, thy 
Mary sighs vainly for the happiness of embracing 



thee. The ocean separates us, and a cruel contrariety 
of circumstances enchains me to this unfortunate 

The following obituaries are those to which my 
grandmother refers: 

From the Columbian Centinel, January 13th, 1802: 

"Died at Guadeloupe, in November last, Mr. 
Henry Wilder of Concord, Mass., aged 20. In the 
character of this amiable youth were concentrated 
all the virtues which could dignify human nature, 
and render man interesting and happy. In him we 
beheld the bright dawnings of uncommon genius, 
illumined by those perfect principles of piety, which 
ever add lustre to greatness. By his death, parental 
tenderness is called to mourn the loss of a beloved 
son, whom sweetness of disposition, innocence of 
life, and filial duty had greatly endeared, while he 
was daily fulfilling the most sanguine wishes of his 
parents. As a brother, he loved, and was beloved; 
for his fraternal affection taught him to be both the 
friend and the protector. To see, was to admire; 
to know, was to esteem and love him. Yes, dear 
Wilder ! though the sod of a foreign clime hath cov- 
ered thee from our view, and thy pure spirit hath fled 
to its native region, yet, in the heart of each relative 
and friend, shall be erected a monument of tender 
remembrance, at which affection and virtue will con- 
stantly weep." 



'From the Columbian Centinel, March 31st, 1802: 

" Died, on his plantation at Guadeloupe M. An- 
thony Van Schalkwyck, aged 28. During a residence 
of several years in this country, he uniformly sus- 
tained the unblemished character of the man of 
honour and virtue. His particular connections and 
friends, who best knew his worth, will pay a tribute 
of sincere respect to his memory, and long regret his 
early exit." 

My mother's next letter is dated: 

"Marie Galante, June 2nd, 1802. 

"My last was written with sensations very differ- 
ent from those which have since agonized my heart. 
Forced to become a spectatress of scenes the most 
terrible imagination can form, I have been on the 
point of bidding an eternal adieu to my beloved 

"You are already informed of the arrival of the 
troops from France, of the ardent joy with which 
they were received, and of the peaceable surrender 
of Guadeloupe, or, rather, of Grande-Terre. 

"Thus far, all had succeeded better than our most 
sanguine expectations ; when Grande-Terre had sub- 
mitted to her legitimate governor, we did not think 
it possible Guadeloupe should dare to resist. Unfor- 
tunately, Gen. Richepance did not conduct with suf- 
ficient policy. He commenced by arresting all the 
black troops at the Point ; two hundred, commanded 
by Ignace, a mulatto of a violent and sanguinary 



character, made their escape, and passed by land to 
Basse-Terre, the capital of Guadeloupe, where they 
united their force with Delgres, the mulatto who 
commanded the fort of Basse-Terre, and where they 
were joined by six or seven thousand men of colour. 
These men, brave even to desperation, providentially 
were ignorant of the art of war. Gen. Richepance, 
who, with two thousand soldiers, passed by sea from 
the Point to Basse-Terre, landed with very little op- 
position. It was a critical moment ; if the rebels had 
known how to have seized it, the army of Richepance 
would have been forced to reembark. Happily, few 
men were lost in landing, and, after a battle of a 
few hours, the French army gained the heights, and 
established their camp ; where the General attended 
the arrival of Gen. Seriziat, who was to join him by 
land with two thousand men. Unfortunately, the rain 
fell in torrents, and swelled the rivers in a degree 
which prevented the junction of the two armies. 
Meanwhile, Gen. Richepance attacked the fort sev- 
eral times, but was always repulsed with vigour. He 
had frequent engagements with the black troops, 
who ravaged the country, and committed daily the 
most shocking atrocities. Many women and children 
were assassinated; and others, yet more miserable, 
were made prisoners, and conducted to the fort. 
Judge of our situation, when, on the third day of the 
attack of Basse-Terre, we saw arrive five vessels filled 
with wounded soldiers, and with the unfortunate fe- 
males of Guadeloupe. They informed us the num- 



her of the negroes increased daily; scarcely one re- 
mained on the plantations, but men and women, 
after massacring many families in the most shock- 
ing manner, repaired to the fort. For five or six days, 
every person in the family was employed in making 
lint for the wounded, who were between four and 
five hundred in number. This was our employment 
in the day, and, in the evening, we repaired to the 
shore, where we had the anguish of seeing, on the 
fifth evening, many habitations in flames. For sev- 
eral days, we had heard distinctly a continual and 
terrible cannonading ; it was the French who bom- 
barded the fort, (the armies of Richepance and Seri- 
ziat had formed a junction,) and who finally took it 
by assault. The number of rebels killed in the attack 
was very great, but a yet greater number escaped, 
and fled to the country, where they committed every 
imaginable horror, burning the habitations, and mur- 
dering those who were so unfortunate as to fall in 
their power, in the most cruel manner. 

"We were apprehensive they would pass into 
Grande-Terre. Every one assured us it was impos- 
sible, but, in a short time, our fears were realized. 
Notwithstanding every precaution, they crossed the 
river, burnt many habitations, seized a fort near Point 
a Pitre, and spread horror and dismay among the 
miserable inhabitants. The town had been left with 
very few troops ; several companies composed of the 
young inhabitants marched to attack the fort. The 
women and children threw themselves aboard the 



vessels in the harbour, and many came to join us in 
this little island, where we heard distinctly the sound 
of the cannon, and where we were scarcely more in 
safety than in Guadeloupe. 

" It is three days since we have received intelli- 
gence of the important battle of Bainbridge, which 
commenced at six o'clock in the morning, and, at 
eight in the evening, was concluded by taking the 
fort. Between four and five hundred of the black 
troops were destroyed, and little more than thirty 
of the brave young Creoles fell, universally deplored. 
The chief, Ignace, received the mortal wound from 
the hand of Mr. Blanchet, the brother of our friend 
Dureste. The other chief, Delgres, who had remained 
in Guadeloupe, perceiving himself lost, entered a 
house in which he had placed a sufficient quantity 
of powder, and, together with one hundred of his 
followers, collecting his unfortunate prisoners, put 
fire to the powder, and all perished. 1 

1 According to Lacour's " Histoire de Guadeloupe," Delgres did not 
sacrifice the lives of his prisoners, but those of some French soldiers who 
had just succeeded in entering the house in question. Three hundred of 
Delgres' followers perished with him. 

The negroes had taken eighty white women and children from their 
homes and imprisoned them at the fortified post of Dole". They discussed, 
in the presence of their prisoners as the French troops approached, 
whether they should cut their throats or blow them up. They decided on 
the latter course, and put a quantity of powder under the building. From 
the windows of their prison, the unhappy women, in their desperate dan- 
ger, made signals of distress to the French troops, which incited them to 
impetuous action. They charged at the point of the bayonet, dispersed 
the blacks, and saved the women killing a negro at the moment when 
he was about to set fire to the powder. ED. 



" In Grande-Terre all is at present tranquil, but we 
have every evening the horror of seeing the flames 
in Guadeloupe. Pelage, under a merciful Providence, 
has preserved Grande-Terre ; which, if you regard its 
situation, separated only by a little river from Gua- 
deloupe, will appear to you a miracle. A police, the 
most vigilant and the most severe, is observed ; every 
inhabitant, old and young, is in the service. The town 
of Point a Pitre has been illuminated several nights, 
that all which passes may be distinctly seen. 

" In all these occurrences, I know my dear Par- 
ents and friends have trembled for their Mary. But, 
thank God! my fortitude has increased in propor- 
tion to my afflictions. In the contemplation of gen- 
eral calamity, every private sorrow has been forgot- 
ten, and I adore the mercy of Heaven, in taking my 
beloved husband and brother from a world of suf- 
fering and misfortune to its peaceful bosom. 

" I request you to remember me respectfully and 
affectionately to my friends. One of my greatest 
sources of anxiety at present is the long silence you 
have observed. For six months I have not received 
one line to tell me you remember you have a daugh- 
ter, who has never ceased to love you, and who, in 
all the dangers to which she has been exposed, has 
ever rejoiced you were exempt from them." 

Upon the margin of the last page of this letter my 
grandmother has written: "My dear, beloved Mary 
little knew the laceration of my heart when she wrote 



this, and deeply wounded was that heart when we 
received this. Our letters had been intercepted, we 
had reason to suppose, by the family, as they did not 
wish her to return. Every artifice was used to detain 
her in a second marriage with a French General. 
Scarce a vessel sailed, but carried letters from her 
numerous friends." 

The following extracts from a letter dated " Marie 
Galante, June 6th," but without an address, give a 
few more details: 

" My former letters have informed you of the sad 
destiny which has unceasingly persecuted me, since 
my arrival in this unfortunate country. Young, a 
stranger to the world, unacquainted with misfor- 
tune, I found myself alone, a wanderer in a foreign 
country, whose language I knew not, with whose 
manners I was unacquainted, my heart torn to agony 
by the loss of friends dearer than life, and in a mo- 
ment when every one retired to their chambers at 
night, with the expectation of being assassinated ere 
the morning. 

" I left Guadeloupe with the family of Mr. Schalk- 
wyck, and sought an asylum in this island. But judge 
if we were in perfect security, when I tell you that 
we see distinctly the houses in many parts of Gua- 
deloupe from our windows in Marie Galante, so near 
are the islands. The Gazettes have undoubtedly in- 
formed you of the arrival of the troops from France. 
The troops of colour opposed their entrance, and a 



war the most terrible commenced, in which mothers 
and their children were sacrificed to the ferocious 
vengeance of the blacks. Every imaginable horror 
was committed. For six days and nights, the thunder 
of cannon assailed our alarmed senses ; and, when 
finally the black troops were obliged to evacuate the 
fort St. Charles, they fled to the country, destroying 
every white person who was so unfortunate as to fall 
in their power, and desolating the country by fire and 
the sword. 

"Ah ! my dear friend ! God grant you may ever re- 
main ignorant of the horrible spectacle a country in 
flames presents. For fourteen nights we have con- 
templated it ; for fourteen nights, we have seen the 
red flames mount to heaven, and the richest country 
in the world reduced to ashes." 

To her mother she writes as follows: 

"June 7th. I had forgotten to observe, in the en- 
closed, not one of the habitations of the Schalkwyck 
family has been destroyed. Two negroes have been 
arrested in the act of putting fire to the habitation 
at St. Ann, which providentially was preserved. If I 
have time, I shall write to my sisters, and Sarah Rip- 
ley ; if not, they will render me the justice to believe 
circumstances, and not a deficiency of attachment, 
prevent me. Indeed, I give my Parents the strongest 
proof of my affection possible, by writing thus much, 
at a moment like the present, when my mind is agi- 
tated, my heart sad, and my nerves trembling." 



Once more, my mother writes: 

"St. Francois, Guadeloupe^ 
August 6th, 1802. 

" By the date of my letter, my dear Parents will 
see I have returned to the unfortunate island, which 
has so long been the theatre of horrors. Thanks to a 
miraculous Providence, a large proportion of Grande- 
Terre has been preserved from the flames which have 
desolated Guadeloupe, and rendered that rich and 
beautiful part of the island a mass of ruins. 

" On our return to Guadeloupe, we passed a fort- 
night in the town of St. Fra^ois, as we were fear- 
ful to retire to the plantation, though an apparent 
tranquillity was universally observed. The town is 
situated on the sea-shore; it had, previous to the 
Revolution, many fine buildings, but they have 
chiefly fallen to decay. There, with sensations of 
mingled reverence, regret, and horror, I visited the 
ruins of what was formerly a magnificent Church. 
The roof, doors, and windows are destroyed; the 
pavement torn up, the altar and paintings burnt ; and 
the high walls only, which are of white stone firmly 
cemented, remain, an almost only proof religion had 
even here ONCE its votaries. 

"After passing a fortnight in the town, the tran- 
quillity which existed in the country induced Ma- 
dame Courcelle to return to the plantation ; the eve- 
ning of our arrival, Mile. Coutoute and myself were 
attacked with the fever. For six days and nights, I 



remained in an almost constant delirium, and, for 
nearly three weeks, I was obliged to keep my bed. 
When, finally, the fever left me, I found myself in 
a state of debility, which exceeded anything I had 
before felt ; it extended to all my senses. I could not 
bear the light, the softest voice gave me pain, by the 
slightest odour I was almost suffocated, my limbs 
were almost insensible, and I distinguished no differ- 
ence in the various kinds of sustenance which were 
presented me. It has pleased my Almighty Father 
again to restore me the inestimable blessing of health. 
For what purpose I am preserved, He, to whom fu- 
turity is ever present, only knows. This is the third 
combat between life and death. A circumstance 
which, I am sensible, increased my illness, was the 
agitation of my spirits the first day of my fever. My 
passage was already engaged, my affairs nearly ter- 
minated, to my very great satisfaction ; and, on the 
point of returning to my beloved Parents, I found 
myself extended on the bed of sickness. The disap- 
pointment, by agitating my mind, probably increased 
my delirium, and prolonged my illness. The vessel in 
which I expected to return, sailed a fortnight since ; 
but my passage, together with that of a female ser- 
vant, is already engaged in another vessel, and, 
should no circumstance occur to prevent, I expect 
to sail the commencement of September, in the brig 
Eda, commanded by Captain Holland, and bound to 
Newbury Port or Salem. The Captain is an elderly 
man, of a very respectable character, and who is well 



known and beloved in Newbury Port, where his 
family resides ; an ancient and experienced naviga- 
tor, which, I know, will be a circumstance that will 
add to the satisfaction of my Parents. 

"I have not received one line from New England 
since I lost my beloved husband. Alas ! too often has 
my bleeding heart felt the need of a consolatory let- 
ter from my friends. I have ever endeavoured to sup- 
port my misfortunes with fortitude and resignation, 
but often the remembrance of the dear, the too ten- 
derly beloved, friends I have lost, brings to my heart 
a poignancy of grief, which bears down every barrier, 
and makes me regret I had not shared their fate. My 
friends are attentive and affectionate ; they force me 
into [word missing] and gay societies, they tell me 
to shun reflection and to fly from thought. I have been 
formed on different principles; but I must render 
justice to my amiable friends by acknowledging their 
care to provide me with every thing which could 
draw my mind from a recollection of past events, has 
perhaps been the means of preserving my life. It will 
cost me the deepest regret to bid adieu to my friends 
in this isle, but it is necessary to sacrifice the smaller 
to the greater good ; and I think there is no earthly 
happiness reserved for me so great as the pleasure 
of embracing my dear Parents." 

Upon this last page, and beside the lines in which 
my mother deplores her need of consoling letters 
from home, my grandmother has written the follow- 



ing: "Letters, my beloved daughter, from your par- 
ents and sisters were put on board a vessel for Point 
a Pitre a month since. They were intercepted." 

My mother sailed for home about the middle of 

Among the earliest recollections of my childhood 
is the packet of my mother's letters from the West 
Indies, which I have copied. Even at that distant 
period, they were worn from much reading. Un- 
doubtedly, we have all that were received. It is evi- 
dent that some were written which never reached 
their destination. 

Mrs. Rapallo, in writing to me of this period in 
my mother's life, gives some incidents not recorded 
in her letters. She says: "While she was lying ill in 
bed with the fever, her husband's brother came into 
the room, and, hastily wrapping a sheet around her, 
carried her into the street, almost without time to 
speak. A shock of an earthquake was coming, and 
they went into the street to avoid being buried in 
the ruins of the house, if it should fall. I have no 
record of time, only facts as related to me present 
themselves to my memory. While she was still in 
the West Indies, waiting for an opportunity to re- 
turn to America, sitting with the ladies in the par- 
lour, they heard a tumult in the street. Then the 
brother-in-law came in, took his sword, and went out. 
It was the rising of the negroes, soon after that of 
St. Domingo. The ladies were put into boats, and 
rowed to a place of safety. Your mother was anxious 



to get to America, but there was no vessel on that 
side of the island. They heard of one going from the 
other side. Over a rough hilly country, she was car- 
ried in a sedan-chair, while her brother-in-law rode 
on horseback at her side, sword in hand, as they 
passed the camp-fires of the negroes." 

fin the memoirs of" Madame Desbordes-Valmore, 


by Sainte-Beuve, translated by Miss Preston," a pas- 
sage occurs of interest in this connection, as showing 
from another source the condition of Guadeloupe not 
long before this time : " Somewhere about 1799, little 
Marcelline (then fourteen years old) accompanied her 
mother to Guadeloupe, where they counted on find- 
ing a relative who had there amassed a fortune. They 
arrived, however, to find the country in a blaze of 
revolt, the yellow fever raging, and their relative 
dead. And there the mother of Mile. Desbordes died 
herself of the epidemic." 

The following paragraph from a recent newspaper 
shows the severity of the fever early in the century: 
"A Hall of Honor has been established in Val de 
Grace Hospital in Paris, where the names of French 
medical men who have died in the performance of 
their duty, are inscribed in marble. A list of 143 doc- 
tors and 45 apothecaries has just been placed on its 
walls, all of whom perished in the yellow fever epi- 
demic in San Domingo and Guadeloupe in 1801- 

From a private letter from Guadeloupe to the 

Gazette of February 1st, 1802, dated December 4th, 
1801: "The fever has been very mortal among the 
Americans, some vessels have lost half their crews, 
and others nearly all." 

Both General Sdriziat and General Richepance 
died of the fever, in Guadeloupe, in 1802, before 

The following passage from the "Reminiscences 
of Fifty Years," by Mark Boyd, also shows what a 
scourge the yellow fever was in those days: "When 
I first came to London, I met at the house of a friend, 
at dinner, a countryman of my own who had spent 
thirty years or more in the West Indies. Our host 
described him as one of the forty -twa. It appeared 
that about the beginning of the century forty-two 
young Scotchmen embarked at Greenock for the 
West Indies. The ship discharged her cargo and 
loaded with sugar, which detained her about six 
weeks, and returned to Greenock, bringing back the 
trunks, or kists, of twenty-seven of the young men, 
who had, within that short time, fallen victims to yel- 
low fever. Mentioning this circumstance to the late 
General Frederick Maitland, of Berkeley Square, 
who had served many years in the West Indies, he 
told me that one Saturday he and seven brother 
officers sat down to mess, and the following Satur- 
day he was the only survivor of the party."] 




MY mother returned to her mother's home in 
Concord, where she lived till 1807. J Of her 
arrival in this country, I have more than one record 
from my grandmother's pen. In her letter to my 
father in 1817, containing the leading events of my 
mother's life, she says: "She arrived in Newbury 
Port on her birth-day, [October 8, 1802], a widow of 
twenty-two, having lost those most dear to her. At 
that time she determined to pass the remainder of 
her days with the Moravians, in Bethlehem, Penn- 

We can imagine the interest awakened in the lit- 
tle town of Concord by the return of one so much 
admired and beloved. The following note, which I 
have in my mother's handwriting, was doubtless read 
in the village church, by Mr. Ripley, the first Sunday 
after her return: "Mary Van Schalkwyck requests 

'The picture of Dr. Kurd's house given here is from a water-colour 
sketch by Henry Wilder, made in 1801. It was originally one of the three 
garrison-houses, or block-houses of the village, fortified for a place of de- 
fence for the villagers from the Indians, and one of its rooms still shows 
its history. 

Dr. Hurd was a large owner of real estate, owning a place in Billerica, 
one on the borders of Carlisle, wood-lots, lands, and houses in the east 
part of the town, and all the land on the north side of Main Street, from 
the mill brook to the house of Mr. Samuel Hoar, including two taverns. 


thanks may be rendered to Almighty God for His 
infinite goodness in restoring her from sickness, in 
protecting her in danger, and in returning her to her 
native country. She requests your prayers that all 
the afflictive dispensations of Providence may be 
sanctified to her, for her spiritual good. 

"Her parents join with her in these requests, and 
in desiring prayers for their absent son, that he may 
be protected, and returned in safety." 

The earliest date we have from my mother, after 
her return from the West Indies, is that of a letter 
addressed to Miss Ann Bromfield, of Newburyport. 
As she does not appear to have been one of my 
mother's correspondents before her marriage, we 
may suppose that their acquaintance began while 
my mother was in Newburyport, previous to her 
departure for Guadeloupe. In later years, when that 
town became her home, my mother had no more de- 
voted friends than Miss Bromfield and her venerated 
mother, and by none were the children she left more 
tenderly cherished for her sake. 

Among the most refining influences which came 
to us in our childhood were those which we received 
from "Aunt Bromfield," and "Cousin Ann," in their 
charming home, where we passed many happy days 
during the first five years after my mother's death, 
when we lived in Newburyport. These friends were 
of the same family with the revered Henry Brom- 
field of Harvard, the owner of the house already 
mentioned, which was occupied by my great-grand- 


1802] CONCORD 

father Flagg at the time of his death, when Mr. 
Bromfield was in England. They were ladies of the 
old school, of remarkable dignity and refinement. I 
remember Aunt Bromfield as of medium height, yet 
of a presence which commanded respect while it won 
affection. She was venerable in appearance rather 
from her style of dress, which was like that I have 
described as my grandmother's, than from any loss 
of personal charm. Her portrait by Stuart, an accu- 
rate likeness, might have been a fancy sketch of an 
ideal old lady, it is so beautiful. That picture, and 
others which adorned her parlour, made it attractive 
to a child. Miss Ann Bromfield, who, late in life, be- 
came Mrs. Thomas Tracy, did not inherit her mother's 
beauty of person. She was, however, distinguished 
for mental ability and self-culture, no less than for 
her high character. She was tall and thin, of a sin- 
gularly erect figure, a strongly marked countenance, 
and a somewhat precise and formal manner. She was 
most emphatic in discourse, and equally so in wri- 
ting. Her letters abound in expressions emphasized 
by a stroke of the pen, and often by more than 
one stroke. She did not gratify our taste in child- 
hood as her mother did, but as we grew older we 
learned to value her as she deserved, especially for 
the enthusiasm with which, to the end of her long 
life, she cherished our mother's memory. Much as she 
talked of her to her children, she could never men- 
tion my mother's name without shedding tears, as 
for a fresh grief. 



John Bromfield, the husband and father of this 
family, did not inherit the virtues of his ancestry. 
The distress of the mother and daughter on his ac- 
count, and, for similar reasons, on account of one of 
his sons, and their grief under the loss of another 
greatly beloved, explain some of my mother's ex- 
pressions in writing to Miss Bromfield. Mrs. Brom- 
field's youngest son, John, was a blessing to his fam- 
ily, and to the community. He was distinguished for 
his private character and public benefactions. 

Two weeks after her return to Concord my mother 
wrote to Miss Bromfield, who was then in Billerica, 
a letter from which the following passage is taken: 

"Concord, October 24th, 1802. 

"We are, indeed, connected by many ties: sisters 
in affliction, and daughters of the same great Parent 
who conducts all events in infinite wisdom and good- 
ness; and who will, I trust, perfect in Heaven the 
friendship He has seen commence on earth. 

" Yes, my dear friend, we have both been separated 
from objects the dearest, best beloved. But the sep- 
aration is only temporary. For, if the Soul retains her 
faculties, and surely she will rather gain than lose, 
she must recognize, in a state of perfection, those be- 
ings whose virtues had secured her esteem, and at- 
tracted, by congeniality of spirit, her love on earth. 
And how sweetly does the idea of this reunion rob 
Death of his terrors ! 


1802] CONCORD 

"'Our dying friends are pioneers, to smooth 
Our rugged pass to death ; to break those bars 
Of terror, and abhorrence, nature throws 
'Cross our obstructed way; and, thus, to make 
Welcome, as safe, our port from every storm.'" 

The words which follow were probably written to 
Grace Hurd. She was a niece of my mother's step- 
father, and her home in Charlestown was one of those 
at which my mother often visited. 

"If we consider this life as a state of probation, 
should we not rejoice when the trial is past, and we 
are received to the mansions of our Heavenly Father ? 
Let 'the dust return to the dust from whence it 
came,' if 'the spirit returns to God who gave it.' Of 
what consequence are his chains to the freed pris- 
oner? You know your friend to be familiar with the 
'King of Terrors.' He has approached me in various 
forms. At one time, in a slow and gradual manner, 
he tore from me one long and justly loved. At 
another, he snatched suddenly, in the full bloom of 
youth and health, a brother whom I regard as sac- 
rificed for me, and for whom I would gladly have 
died. Often has he approached me, often have I re- 
garded his face, and have not found it frowning. Me- 
thought it was placid, and he said : ' I bring an an- 
tidote to the sorrows of life.'" 

That this cheerful view of death had its source in 
Christian faith, and not in natural temperament, is 
evident from the following paragraph from another 



letter: "I recollect my feelings when I first realized 
the absolute necessity of dying, the horror I expe- 
rienced at the idea of my person's becoming a life- 
less mass committed to the earth, and my discon- 
nected spirit going I knew not where, existing I 
knew not how. Till the truths of Christianity be- 
came, in a degree, familiar to my mind, the subject 
so terrified me, I feared to dwell on it." 

That my mother's grief under the loss of her 
brother was aggravated by the thought that he was 
"sacrificed" for her appears not only in the letters 
to her cousin Grace, but also in the following extract 
from a letter without date or address: 

"I passed last Thursday night at the Parsonage. 
Sarah and I remained in the west parlour two hours 
after the family had retired for repose. The night was 
remarkably fine, the air clear, and the heavens se- 
rene. The river had overflowed its banks, and pre- 
sented a little sea to our view ; its clear surface re- 
flected every surrounding object softened by moon- 
light. You recollect the peculiar beauty of that pros- 
pect, especially when the river is swollen by rains. 
After contemplating it some time with still rapture, 
mine eye settled on the balm-of-Gilead opposite the 
window perhaps you do not remember that tree; 
't is not remarkable for its beauty or majesty, nev- 
ertheless it is, to me, one of the most interesting of 
inanimate objects, for under it I passed an hour the 
last evening I spent in Concord with my brother. 


1802] CONCORD 

Henry, Sarah, and myself, after strolling on the 
banks of the river, returned, and standing beneath 
the branches of the tree, Henry carved our names on 
its trunk. 'Before they are obliterated,' said he, 'we 
shall meet and renew them.' May you, my friend, 
never have the agony of believing a being, dear be- 
yond expression, was sacrificed for you ! I have felt 
that agony in all its bitterness. Had that dear youth 
expired in the arms of his mother, did the turf which 
presses his father cover him, I might have wept a 
separation from one who had been the object of pride 
and affection so many years, but the arrow of afflic- 
tion would not have been barbed by self-reproach. I 
should not have said, 'For me Henry left his coun- 
try, for me he died, far from his friends.' When I 
recollect the despair that seized me when I learned 
he had ceased to breathe, I regard myself with as- 
tonishment, and can impute to nothing short of im- 
mediate assistance from Heaven my continued life 
and reason. I was proud of him, ambitious for him, 
jealous that others paid him not the esteem and ad- 
miration which I thought his due, suspicious envy 
would attempt his injury. How far was I from idol- 

Again Henry is touchingly alluded to, on a later 
page, in a letter to Mr. Frisbie, who was an intimate 
friend of both my father and my mother, years before 
they were personally known to each other. His very 
name awakens such dear associations in my mind 



that I am moved to a special memorial of him here. 
Before my earliest recollection of him he had be- 
come distinguished as Professor of Natural Theol- 
ogy and Moral Philosophy in Harvard College, and 
was a man whom the most gifted and the most 
learned regarded with admiration for his genius, his 
character, and his attainments. All this I was too 
young to appreciate. I only felt, when I was with 
him, that he must have loved my mother very much 
to account for his extreme demonstrativeness to- 
wards her children. 

In writing to my father after my mother's death, 
he said, " I do, indeed, partake of your loss. She was 
to me the best and most disinterested friend I ever 
had, and it was always cause of peculiar satisfaction 
to me that she was united to a man too noble to look 
on this friendship with a jealous eye." My father's 
acquaintance with Mr. Frisbie began soon after the 
latter was admitted to Harvard University. He was 
of the class of 1802, to which my father held the re- 
lation of tutor. Of Mr. Frisbie's character at that 
early period, my father wrote after his death, to their 
mutual friend Professor Norton, as follows : 

" The relation which I sustained to his class led me 
to take the more interest in his literary progress, and 
laid the foundation of a friendship which I have ever 
regarded as among the blessings of my life. His relig- 
ious and moral principles, as well as habits, appeared 
to have been fixed before he left his paternal abode. 


1802] CONCORD 

He was blessed with a father who was, in all respects, 
qualified to form his youthful mind to wisdom and 
virtue. I believe he had all that sensibility of con- 
science, and purity of manners which distinguished 
his son, who always seemed conscious of a tribunal 
within which led him scrupulously to avoid not only 
what appeared to be wrong, but every thing which 
he did not feel assured was right. This elevated love 
of virtue, and sacred regard to duty, which rendered 
Mr. Frisbie an object of universal respect among his 
companions at college, was associated with such can- 
dour and frankness of disposition, and generosity of 
conduct, that he gained their affection and confi- 
dence ; and, however they might feel reproved by his 
example, they were never disposed to withhold the 
honour that was due to him. Nor was his influence, at 
this early period, lost on the university. Alone, he 
might not have produced any visible effect, but, to- 
gether with other kindred spirits, he did much to 
raise the standard of character among the students. 
It is well remembered, by those who were then in the 
college government, that the class in which he be- 
longed, and where he held preeminent rank, acquired 
a reputation, at that time unexampled, for their ar- 
dour in the pursuit both of moral and literary excel- 
lence, and for uniting with a manly independence of 
character an honourable respect for the authority of 
college. From the university, Mr. Frisbie carried in- 
to the world a heart rich in virtue and generous af- 
fections, and a mind stored with the best treasures 



of modern and ancient learning ; with all his fine in- 
tellectual powers and moral principles so improved 
by culture, that, youthful as he was, he united, in his 
character, the authority of the critic with the attrac- 
tions of the poet and orator." 

The first year after leaving college Mr. Frisbie 
passed in the town of Concord, and it was then that 
the friendship between him and my mother began. 
When I remember him most distinctly, he was a suf- 
ferer from the languor and depression which usually 
accompany invalidism. Already he was doomed to 
consumption, of which he died in 1822. Probably the 
delicacy of constitution which predisposed him to 
that disease induced, even in youth, the "propensity 
to melancholy" of which my mother speaks in this 
letter to him. I extract from it the following: 

"Methinks you indulge too far this propensity to 
melancholy. Why this despondency in contempla- 
ting the future ? Why, blest as you are with Religion 
to guide and console, with sensibility to joy as well 
as sorrow, with talents and principles to make you 
useful to others, and happy in yourself, should you 
despond? You are not in Paradise, but even this our 
world, though fruitful in woes that try, and, trying, 
purify the soul, is also amply stored with marks of 
its Author's divine beneficence. Plenteous are the 
streams of felicity that flow from the Fountain of 
all good, and to each reasonable, uncorrupted being 
these streams are open. Am I arrogantly sermonizing 


1802] CONCORD 

to one who might, with greater justice, correct me? 
Oh no ! I am but saying to you what I say often to 
myself I am but repeating the same lessons my 
head has often taught my heart. I know while suffer- 
ing some present ill, or when pained by some disap- 
pointment, perhaps trivial in itself, but magnified by 
imagination, we tint all nature with the sad hue of 
our own feelings ; but, is not an indulgence of this 
disposition ingratitude to Him whose benevolence 
formed, sustains, and will most surely bless His chil- 

" Have I wearied you ? Let me pass, then, to a sub- 
ject more interesting. You are blest with the pres- 
ence of your parents, your sisters. If the character 
of your sisters harmonizes with your own, you have 
one of the richest, the most delightful sources of hap- 
piness open to you. No friendship can be more ar- 
dent, tender, disinterested, and pure ; none can bear 
so perfect a resemblance to that which we believe 
will exist in the celestial regions. Every considera- 
tion tends to rivet the attachment. Alas! I had a 
brother. Henry was self-devoted for me." 

Another friend and correspondent of my mother's 
during the period in her life which we have now 
reached was Mr. Rockwood, who, my father used to 
say, was one of the most brilliant scholars and inter- 
esting men of the class of 1802. He, like his class- 
mate Frisbie, studied law in Concord, and thence 
removed to Charlestown, where my father often met 




Vet another friend of hers, his regard descending, 
a precious inheritance, to her children, was Mr. Sam- 
uel Hoar, of Concord, one of New England's most 
honoured sons, and, throughout his life, a friend of 
my father's. His feeling for my mother is thus inci- 
dentally mentioned by his daughter, when (writing 
to me of Miss Emerson) she says: "Of your mother 
she always kept the tenderest remembrance, as did 
my dear father also. Many times, in my latest inter- 
course with both, her name would be mentioned, 
some little scene or word remembered, and always 
it seemed invested with an ideal charm. I never heard 
my father speak in the same way of any other friend 
of his youth." 

My mother certainly enjoyed the friendship of 
some of the most gifted men of that day. If among 
them were those whose regard for her was, at first, 
warmer than she was able to return, this does not 
seem to have prevented their remaining her friends. 
My grandmother, in the letter to my father already 
quoted, containing a brief sketch of my mother's life, 
says: "She had several offers of marriage, but none 
were acceptable. You were the one appointed for 
her, and she was supremely happy in the connection." 



"T"T"NDER date of February 18th, 1803, we have 
^/ my mother's first letter to Mr. Rockwood. The 
estimate it contains of woman's abilities and attain- 
ments, as compared with man's, is in striking con- 
trast with that taken at the present day, and reminds 
us how comparatively few were the advantages of 
education afforded women at the beginning of the 
present century. 

"Concord, Feb. 18, 1803. 

" I know I am doing what some would denom- 
inate madness, and others imprudence, but, as I am 
not in the habit of acting on the principles of others 
when I cannot see their reasonableness, and, as an 
epistolary correspondence with a man of good sense 
and good morals is not inconsistent with my idea 
of propriety, (for I see many positive advantages, 
and no probable ill consequences that may flow from 
that source), I reply to your letter with pleasure. 

"And, first, let me correct an error into which you 
appear to have fallen, in the opinion you have formed 
of my character. Either you have mistaken a dispo- 
sition naturally social, which leads me to speak often 
and openly in company, for excessive vanity, or you 
extremely over-rate my abilities. If the first be true, 



you wrong one who, though enfeebled by the vanity 
as well as the other weaknesses of humanity, does 
not possess a sufficient share to induce her to believe 
the flattering causes to which you attribute your 
proposal of a correspondence, unless your judgment 
in this instance is exceedingly erroneous, and you 
believe her to be that to which she has no preten- 
sions. Not to discuss a long-disputed point, the nat- 
ural equality of man and woman, education alone is 
calculated to give a decided superiority of strength 
to the former. And, when you recollect the boy of 
twelve is further advanced in intellectual improve- 
ment than the woman of twenty, you cannot form 
a very exalted idea of the advantages that may be 
expected to result from a correspondence with one 
for whom neither nature, nor education, has done 
anything uncommon. 

" I am gratified extremely to find you disposed to 
consider woman as 'rational and human.' That we 
do not more frequently conduct like reasonable be- 
ings is the fault of man ; who, by the attention he 
pays to the exterior, seldom fails to convince us the 
more difficult attainments of moral and intellectual 
excellence may be easily dispensed with, provided 
the person be pretty, and the air and dress fashion- 
able. When one reflects a moment on the manner 
in which woman has been treated, it appears rather 
wonderful that she preserves her rank among intel- 
ligent beings, than that she is so often vain and tri- 


1803] CONCORD 

" I know Mary Wollstonecraft is held in general 
abhorrence, and some of her principles I detest, as 
undermining the foundations of social life. But I do 
not think she has been, by her writings, more injuri- 
ous to her sex, than those good people have, who, 
so long, have impressed themselves and us with the 
belief that we were meant as the mere baubles of an 
hour, neither capable of being the companion and 
friend of man, nor the instructress and guide of 

"'Your cousin,' you say, 'supports her misfortune 
with as much philosophy as could be expected of any 
woman whose beauty should be in danger of a scar.' 
Have a care lest you should grow severe, and remem- 
ber that, till the exterior shall be less regarded, it 
will ever be a serious misfortune to stand near fall- 
ing lamps." 

Next among my mother's papers is a short letter 
to Miss Mary Moody Emerson. There is reason to 
suppose that this was the beginning of their corre- 
spondence, which continued as long as my mother 
lived. Miss Emerson left no direction as to the dis- 
posal of my mother's letters, and they were not pre- 
served. We are therefore indebted to my mother's 
habit of occasionally retaining a duplicate of what 
she wrote for the few letters that remain in evidence 
of a friendship which she regarded as one of the bless- 
ings of her life. 

My only personal recollection of Miss Emerson 



carries me back to the time of my marriage in 1830, 
when I left my old home in Salem for the new one 
in Springfield. " In her later years," writes Miss Eliz- 
abeth Hoar, "Miss Emerson liked to come and board 
in Concord, for she would not make visits of any 
length, and would start away, on a sudden impulse, 
every few months, and go off by herself to seek board 
in some other town where she had heard that the 
minister had books, or genius, or learning in the di- 
rection of her tastes. I have laughed to think to how 
many different towns I have directed letters in all 
parts of the State ; and then her nephew, Mr. Emer- 
son, or I, would go and bring her again to Concord, 
when she was ready to come." 

When I went to Springfield in 1830, 1 found her 
boarding in the family of the Rev. Dr. Howard. Dur- 
ing the short time that she remained there I went 
often to see her, and she came repeatedly to see me. 
She had for me the peculiar and almost sacred inter- 
est that has ever attached to those who are exclu- 
sively associated with my mother. Yet it was not as 
my mother knew her that I then saw her. To quote 
again from Miss Hoar: "When she became inter- 
ested in me, she was already feeble, and the eccen- 
tricities and necessities of old age made, perhaps, a 
stronger impression on me than was just to the gen- 
ius and spirituality which made her so remarkable 
an influence upon her friends, and especially her 
nephews, in earlier life." My own recollection of her 
personal appearance had somewhat faded until Miss 


1803] CONCORD 

Hoar recalled it to me by the following vivid and 
accurate description: "She was a little, fair, blue- 
eyed woman, her face never wrinkled, and with a 
delicate pink color when past eighty, (she was eighty- 
seven, when she left this world), a blue flash in her 
eyes like the gleam of steel, yellow hair, which, 
however, was cut close, and covered up with a black 
band and mob cap." 

I remember conversing with her on religious and 
literary subjects; but the incident in our intercourse 
which made the strongest impression upon me was 
her plainness of speech on one occasion, in pointing 
out to me what she considered a fault. She had ob- 
served me one Sunday morning in the vestibule of 
the church, smiling and talking lightly with the 
friend who accompanied me. The next time we met 
she told me it had pained her to see my manner so 
unlike what my mother's would have been at such 
a time and place. She then dwelt upon my mother's 
subdued and reverent aspect when entering the house 
of God. Her reproof touched me very much, it was 
so evident that she was led to it by her fidelity to 
my mother's memory. 

It seemed to me then that I could never forget 
some parts of her conversation. Yet, after the vicis- 
situdes of nearly half a century, I remember only 
that in intercourse with her I felt myself in the 
presence of a superior being, who put to shame my 
lower interests and aims. 

My mother's great love and admiration for her 


has made me wish to supplement this memory of 
my own by others more definite. Miss Hoar, who 
was like a daughter to Miss Emerson in her old age, 
gives me the following account of her childhood as 
received from herself: 

"Her father, the Rev. William Emerson, was 
minister of Concord at the beginning of the Revo- 
lution, entered the army as Chaplain, and died soon 
after, of fever, in Rutland, Vt., leaving a widow and 
five children, of whom this daughter Mary was the 
youngest but one. She was adopted, then, by an 
aunt, her father's sister, Mrs. Waite, in Maiden, and 
there grew up 'in solitude and liberty,' as she used 
to say, reading everything she could find to read, 
sitting with her book by the hen on her nest, ' be- 
cause she thought the bird would be lonely.' She 
found in her garret at Maiden, in childhood, a book 
without title-page, a poem, which she read and re- 
read with delight. Afterward, hearing her scholarly 
brother and his visitors talk of Milton, she was eager 
to borrow his poems, and found, for the first time, 
that her old book of the garret was Milton's 'Para- 
dise Lost.' Young, also, was an early and late friend, 
the topics of 'Night Thoughts' especially congenial 
to her. ' No one,' says Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson, 
'can read her manuscripts, or recall the conversation 
of old-school people, without seeing that Milton and 
Young had a religious authority in their mind, and 
nowise the slight, merely entertaining quality of 


1803] CONCORD 

modern bards. And Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, how 
venerable and organic as Nature they are in her 

"Her mother," continues Miss Hoar, "married 
Rev. Ezra Ripley, her husband's successor in the 
Concord parish, and added to her family three Rip- 
ley children ; Sarah, who died about 1825, and two 
sons, one of whom was the Rev. Samuel Ripley of 
Waltham; the other, Daniel, a lawyer, lived and 
died in the South. Aunt Mary's own brother, father 
of Mr. R. W. Emerson, was a clergyman, settled 
first in Harvard, then in Boston, over the First 
Church, known as Chauncy Place Church. He died 
at about forty years of age, leaving a widow and six 
children, five sons, and an infant daughter who died 
soon after her father. Mr. R. W. Emerson was the 
second son of this family. Aunt Mary, for many 
years, assisted their mother in the care of the orphan 
boys, and they all acknowledged the important stim- 
ulating and guiding influence which they owed to 
her, and spoke of her almost as a sibyl and prophetess 
in their house. Her aunt left her, at her death, a lit- 
tle property which she, afterward, chiefly invested 
in the purchase of a farm in Waterford, Maine, in 
order to provide a home for her youngest sister and 
her family, the husband having failed in business. 
I suppose they chose this distant retreat because the 
oldest sister of both already lived there, as the wife 
of the minister, Rev. Lincoln Ripley. The scenery 
is charming, with mountain, valley, and lake. Aunt 



Mary called the farm Elm Vale, for you look from 
the house across a lovely intervale meadow, studded 
with arching elms, to a beautiful lake, bounded on 
one side by a mountain cliff, under which the road 
runs next the lake, and, on the other, by green slo- 
ping hills, and, between these, you look ' out of sight ' 
away over the lake out into the world toward Port- 
land, fifty miles off. This farm was Aunt Mary's 
home after the Emerson boys grew older ; and here 
she read and wrote, and enjoyed poetic and spiritual 
raptures, in comparative seclusion from living intel- 
lectual companionship ; ' living on the farm,' which 
was too far from market to yield much money. But, 
sometimes, when she could command a little of this 
means of liberty, she would come up to visit her Mas- 
sachusetts friends, and find conversation, and new 
books and topics, religious and spiritual themes 
her favourites always. As I write, her mind and char- 
acter come up to me as so remarkable, so poetical, 
so detached from all that is conventional or com- 
mon, that I feel that what I can say of her is wholly 

" In her later years, her two sisters had died, the 
Waterford family was scattered, the farm sold, and 
an annuity bought for her. Her last four years were 
spent in Williamsburg, L. I., in the care of a favourite 
niece, one of the Waterford children. Her thoughts, 
throughout her life, dwelt much on death, and, that 
she might have everything ready, in case of dying sud- 
denly among strangers, in her independent changes 


1803] CONCORD 

of place, she kept always a white muslin or cambric 
robe, which she called her shroud. But, as this might 
grow yellow by lying packed away, she wore it for 
a morning robe, and, when one began to wear out, 
she would tell me that she needed a new shroud, and 
I bought and had it made accordingly. 

" She says of herself, ' I could never have adorned 
the garden. If I had been in aught but dreary des- 
erts, I should have idolized my friends, despised the 
world, and been haughty. I never expected connec- 
tions and matrimony. My taste was formed in ro- 
mance, and I knew I was not destined to please. I 
love God and His creation as I never else could. I 
scarcely feel the sympathies of this life enough to 
agitate the pool. This in general, interest in one, 
or so, excepted.' Again, 'My oddities were never 
designed. Effect of an uncalculating constitution, at 
first, then, through isolation, and, as to dress, from 
duty. To be singular of choice, without singular tal- 
ents and virtues, is as ridiculous as ungrateful. 

"A loftier boon his purpose knows, 
A richer gift his love bestows." 

That greatest of all gifts, the capacity to love the All 
Perfect, without regard to personal Happiness, 
Happiness 't is itself.' ' 

" Destitution," says Mr. R. W. Emerson, "is the 
muse of her genius. Destitution and Death. And 
wonderfully as she varies, and poetically repeats that 
image in every page and day, yet not less fondly and 
sublimely she returns to the other, the grandeur of 



humility and privation, as thus ; 'The chief witness 
which I have had of a god-like principle of action and 
feeling is in the disinterested joy felt in others' supe- 
riority. For the love of superior virtue is mine own 
gift from God.'" 

Her nephew, Charles Emerson, writes of her: "I 
am glad the friendship with Aunt Mary is ripening. 
As, by seeing a high tragedy, reading a true poem, 
or novel like ' Corinne,' so, by society with her, one's 
mind is electrified and purged. She is no statute book 
of practical commandments, nor orderly digest of 
any system of philosophy, divine or human, but a 
Bible, miscellaneous in its parts, but one in its spirit, 
wherein are sentences of condemnation, promises, 
and covenants of love, that make foolish the wisdom 
of the world, with the Power of God." 

A striking illustration of Miss Emerson's power 
over the young, when she was herself in the prime 
of life, comes from the pen of one no less distin- 
guished than she was for intellect and genius. Miss 
Hoar communicates it to me as follows: "I have 
permission to copy this sketch of Miss Emerson from 
a letter of Mrs. Samuel Ripley to Mr. Simmons in 

"Oct. 7th, 1844. 

"Mary Emerson, a sister of Mr. Ripley, has been 
with us till to-day, when she took her departure for 
Concord. She is seventy years old, and still retains 
all the oddities and enthusiasms of her youth. A per- 


1803] CONCORD 

son at war with society as to all its decorums, eats 
and drinks what others do not, and when they do not, 
dresses in a white robe such days as these (October), 
enters into conversation with every body, and talks 
on every subject, is sharp as a razor in her satire, and 
sees you through and through in a moment. She has 
read all her life in the most miscellaneous way, and 
her appetite for metaphysics is insatiable. Alas for 
the victim in whose intellect she sees any promise! 
Descartes and his vortices, Leibnitz and his monads, 
Spinoza and his Unica Substantia will prove it to the 
very core. But, notwithstanding all this, her power 
over the minds of her young friends was once al- 
most despotic. She heard of me, when I was sixteen, 
as a person devoted to books and a sick mother, 
sought me out in my garret, without any introduc- 
tion, and, though received at first with sufficient cold- 
ness, did not give up till she had enchained me en- 
tirely in her magic circle." 

The following letter, from Mrs. Ripley at the age 
of sixteen, was found among Miss Emerson's papers, 
marked, "first letter of her childhood in friendship": 

"Z)rar, dear Mary, I am afraid you will hear no 
more about satiety and disgust of life. With every 
rising dawn your idea is associated. The day no longer 
presents an unvaried round of domestic duties ; bright 
gleams of hope illuminate the dull perspective ; the 
mellow rays of the declining sun sweep the chords 
of love. Your idea intrudes too often on hallowed 



hours. But the affection whose object is so pure, so 
heavenly, will not militate with devotion. How de- 
lightful the thought that our religion sanctions friend- 
ship! May all that can render life's journey pleasant 
be yours in perfection ! " 

My mother at twenty-two entered upon her cor- 
respondence with Miss Emerson in a more subdued 
tone than that in which Mrs. Ripley wrote at sixteen. 
From other papers of my mother's, however, it is 
evident that she was equally captivated by her friend's 
extraordinary gifts. This letter appears to have been 
written after a proposal from Miss Emerson, to which 
my mother had at first acceded, that they should cor- 
respond with each other, taking friendship for their 
theme, and giving their correspondence to the pub- 
lic, through the pages of a magazine which Miss Em- 
erson's brother edited or was about to edit. 

"Concord, Feb. 23rd, 1803. 

"The pleasant hours I lately passed with you, my 
dear Miss Emerson, would furnish me with the most 
cogent arguments in favour of the advantages of 
Friendship, had I previously needed them. The sub- 
ject is as copious and as interesting as you could have 
selected for a first essay of my weak powers. Will 
you then candidly allow me to be actuated by bet- 
ter motives than false shame, indolence, or stupidity, 
when I decline entering the lists with an antagonist 
who does me honour by selecting me for her opposer ? 

"You are entitled to a knowledge of the reasons 

1803] CONCORD 

that induce me to give an answer to your proposal 
so different to that which I, at first, intended. New 
to any thing which merits the name of composition, 
I wish to pursue a course of reading calculated to 
improve the judgment and correct the taste, to fur- 
nish the memory, and form the style. Nor dare I, even 
under the mask of a fictitious name, present any 
thing at present to the criticism of the public. This 
is not an affectation of modesty. I really feel my in- 
ability to improve, or even greatly amuse, the pub- 
lic. And I am sure your brother, whose excellent 
understanding would enable him to see the exact 
merits of every performance, would censure me for 
presumption should I attempt a public disputation 
with his sister. For yourself, flattered by a belief that 
your partiality would, like the bandeau of Love, con- 
ceal from your view the weaknesses, and soften the 
deformities of your friend, I should, with pleasure and 
profit, continue a correspondence you have so kindly 
commenced. If you decline it on any other terms than 
those mentioned in your letter, I must, however, 
for the present, lose the advantage. Perhaps, some 
months hence, I may gain courage. 

" I hope you will not feel wholly uninterested in 
my pursuits when I tell you, in confidence, I am 
commencing a translation from the French, on the 
subject of the imagination. As I have, already, made 
use of the signature of Eugenia, anything you may, 
in future, see over that signature, of the translation 
kind, will probably flow from the pen of your friend. 



I feel more confidence in an undertaking of that 
kind, as no very great exertion of talents will be 
necessary. I intend very soon perusing Kames' Es- 
say on Criticism. I have been extremely pleased with 
a few chapters in it. If you have not already seen 
it, I think you will be amply repaid for a perusal, 
by the pleasure a good author always gives to the 

"After your recommendation of Godwin's 'St. 
Leon,' I sent to town for it, but could not procure it 
at the circulating Library. I shall not, however, cease 
to inquire after it, as you have told me it contains 
your idea of a perfect female character. 

" I hope you will not be displeased to be assured 
I shall write to you as frequently as weak eyes, and 
my other avocations, will permit. Allow me to hope 
the friendship I sincerely feel for you will continue 
to increase through life, and in death be perfected. 

To Ruth Kurd: 

"Concord, April 9th, 1803. 

"I send for your perusal Gisborne's 'Female Du- 
ties,' and think both yourself and sister will read the 
volume with approbation. Perhaps his system is not 
perfect, we are told 

'He who hopes a faultless work to see 
Hopes what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be.' 

To me, I confess, it appears one of the best works 
of the kind I ever read. He has preserved the good 


1803] CONCORD 

medium, and has not thought fit to make us either 
Amazons or babies goddesses or idiots. He appears 
to me to have given the female character nearly the 
dignity and energy of Mary Wollstonecraft, with far 
more amiability and sweetness. He is unquestiona- 
bly superior to Fordyce, Bennett, and all that class 
of writers, who degrade Woman to infancy, and al- 
low her scarcely any real virtue, except Humility. 

" Will you now, my dear Ruth, pardon what may, 
perhaps, appear offi ciousness ? Will you impute it to 
its right source a tender friendship for you, founded 
on the virtues and graces I have long observed in 
your character? Will you permit me to inquire why 
you and your amiable sister, believing in Divine 
Revelation, expecting salvation only through the 
merits of our Divine Redeemer, do not publicly 
comply with the last and most affecting institution 
of our Beneficent Friend ? Every inducement is of- 
fered 'Whoso confesseth me before men, him will 
I confess before my Father who is in Heaven;' 
'This do in remembrance of me;' 'If ye love me, 
keep my commandments.' 

"I would not be deemed impertinently officious, 
but, sensible a few observations made by an affec- 
tionate friend of the same age, who must be ex- 
pected to feel the same passions, and be influenced 
by the same objects, often has a greater effect than 
the more sage advice of those whom age or circum- 
stance has made our superiors, and, of course, re- 
moved beyond our opinions and feelings, I would 



offer the subject to you, though deeply impressed 
with a sense of my own inferiority in very many 
points to yourself." 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"Concord, April 13th, 1803. 

"Is it you, my dear friend, who apply for argu- 
ments in favour of Sensibility! You, who declare 
yourself ready to take arms against it ! You, who are 
in gratitude bound to employ all the strength of 
reason, and graces of eloquence, in defence of that 
quality which exalts us, nearer than any other, to 
Divinity! Without it, how much better, or happier, 
should we be, than statues of marble? What is it you 
best love, in those you love ? What is the magnet that 
attracts to you so many hearts ? Divine Sensibility 
enthusiasm of feeling thou art the universal mag- 
net, thou art the guardian and pledge of virtue ; the 
heart in which thou residest, will recoil with horror 
from vice ; thou inspirest the noblest sentiments, the 
most sublime ideas ! To injure the feelings of another 
appears to thy children more criminal than robbery 
or murder appears to the unfeeling. Thy joys are rap- 
turous, they penetrate the soul, even thy pains 
are delightful, for they demonstrate our existence, 
and our capability of enjoyment! 

"I acknowledge this is rhapsody, and not argu- 
ment; but, who can argue coolly on such a theme, 
or who can judge of it impartially? Those who pos- 
sess it love even its sorrows, and those who possess 


1803] CONCORD 

it not are indifferent even to its joys. Your own heart 
will plead the cause far more eloquently than my pen. 
I will, therefore, only add, the same objections of- 
fered against Sensibility might apply to every thing 
valuable; for, is there any thing worth attaining, 
which can be won or preserved without difficulty or 
danger? Is there any good which may not be per- 

Our next record finds my mother visiting her 
friend Miss Atherton, in Lancaster. It is a letter to 
Miss Sarah Ripley, one of a little packet which has 
been recently found in the garret of the Old Manse, 
at Concord, which Hawthorne has so inimitably de- 
scribed. Rich as that time-honoured dwelling is in as- 
sociations, it has none of such interest to us as those 
which connect it with my mother's memory. During 
her childhood and youth, and for nearly half a cen- 
tury later, it was the abode of her beloved friend and 
pastor, the Rev. Ezra Ripley, who was like a father 
to her, and the parsonage, as she calls it, was her fa- 
vourite resort, hardly a day passing without an inter- 
change of visits between its inmates and the family 
of Dr. Hurd. 

When, during childhood, my sister and I visited 
our grandmother in Concord, we were always taken 
to see Dr. Ripley. I recollect him as we used to find 
him, in dressing-gown and slippers, seated in his 
study, and seeming to my young eyes older than 
much older people have seemed since. His daughter 



(" Cousin Sarah Ripley," we used to call her) I shall 
never forget. She is prominent in remembrance 
among the number of those whose tenderness, not 
to say sadness, of manner in meeting us made us 
feel, even at an early age, that the sight of our moth- 
er's children renewed their grief under her loss. She 
and my mother grew up together in the intimacy of 

"Elm Hill, Lancaster, 

27th April, 1803. 

" On my arrival here, I found my friend confined 
to her chamber, and principally to her bed. Her re- 
covery has been rapid. We have taken the air fre- 
quently together, and, I assure you, I have become 
an accomplished driver. 'T is said, every one is fitted 
to excel in some particular pursuit, and who knows 
but your Mary was originally designed for that ex- 
alted station, the coach-box? 

" I have visited the grave of my father. I have wept 
over the turf that covers what was once the taber- 
nacle of an immortal spirit. Mary, alone, of all his 
children, remains to cherish his memory! I had seen 
but eight summers when my father was on the bed 
of death, never will that scene be effaced from my 
remembrance. There did I witness the resplendent 
glory of a Christian's hope. It triumphed over the 
agonies of dissolution and the terrors of death. Four- 
teen years have passed away they appear like a 
dream. Yet a little time, and I also shall be numbered 
with the dead. Oh, may I be numbered with those 


1803] CONCORD 

who sleep in Jesus ! I have been insensibly led to this 
subject by speaking of my native village. The image 
of my father is connected with everything around 
me, his remembrance consecrates every scene." 

To Ann Bromfield : 

"Concord, May 16th, 1803. 

" You describe your solitude as absolute ; to you, 
I am sure, it is not therefore unpleasant. The open- 
ing spring, in a place whose situation is uncommonly 
charming, must supply you with pure and animated 
pleasure. For myself, however, I acknowledge * sober 
Autumn ' has charms more attractive than any other 
season. Perhaps it is endeared to my heart by the 
recollection that the last months I passed in the so- 
ciety of friends inexpressibly beloved, and whose eyes 
are now closed in death, was at the conclusion of the 

"Do you not think, my dear friend, it is equally 
duty and good policy to cultivate a taste for the beau- 
ties of Nature ? Are there any pleasures purer or more 
transporting? Is not our devotion animated by it? Is 
it not even a species of devotion to admire the works 
of the Creator? The calm enjoyment, the elevating 
serenity, which pervades the soul, and raises it above 
the cares and sorrows of life, is seldom felt more per- 
fectly than when contemplating the sun sinking be- 
hind distant heights, and gilding, with his setting 
rays, a fine prospect. I have rarely attempted to an- 
alyze my feelings at such a time. I felt that I was 



happy in myself, and that my mind glowed with a 
warmer love to the Creator and His works. 

"When at Lancaster, I became acquainted with 
a lovely woman whom you have seen, and. whom I 
wish you to love. Mrs. Lee, formerly Miss Leighton, 
the cousin and friend of Miss Soley, whose heart, 
understanding, and accomplishments entitle her to 
general admiration, but whose unassuming modesty 
rather shuns than claims applause, is the lady to 
whom I refer. She spoke feelingly of you, and I think 
she must have retained a place in your memory. 
Though educated in the metropolis, her taste and 
her pursuits fit her remarkably for the enjoyment 
of retirement. 

"I am hastened to conclude my letter. Adieu, 
therefore, my friend. May the beauties of Spring, the 
glories of Summer, the bounties of Autumn, and the 
sublime horrors of Winter, be to you exhaustless, and 
ever- varying, sources of delight: and when 'rolling 
years shall cease to move,' may we meet never to 
separate in the mansions of our Heavenly Fa- 
ther. Again Adieu, says your 


Two days later my mother wrote the following 
letter to Miss Emerson : 

"Concord, May 18th, 1803. 

"Permit me to say, you have only changed the 
name, not the nature, of the correspondence you 
proposed. I still find myself compelled to be your 


1803] CONCORD 

opposer, still find myself obliged to combat the in- 
genuity of your wit, and the cogency of your rea- 
soning. I coincide perfectly with you in the opinion 
that 'hazardous fallibility,' that weakness and imper- 
fection, attach to every mortal pursuit. Friendship, 
like every other affection of the human heart, like 
every other engagement, and like all other good, 
may be disappointed in its exertions, is liable to 
change, and may be perverted to an evil. But, should 
we argue because there are bad Christians, Christi- 
anity is in itself bad ? Because friends are often weak 
and sometimes false, Friendship has a natural tend- 
ency to weaken and corrupt ? What do we under- 
stand by Friendship ? Is it not a sympathy of tastes 
and opinions, of likes and dislikes, proved by famil- 
iar intercourse, and cemented by mutual offices of 
kindness? Is this a right definition? What are its du- 
ties ? Are they not to benefit and improve our friends 
to the extent of our ability, without injuring any 
other ; to enlighten them as much as possible by our 
discernment and judgment, to defend them when in- 
jured, to sympathize with them in affliction, and re- 
joice in their prosperity ? If I have been deficient in 
detailing the duties of Friendship, your own heart 
and understanding will correct the deficiency. Is 
evil necessarily an attendant on a connection like 

"You inquire if it does not lessen the independ- 
ence of the mind ? Were we, my dear Miss Emer- 
son, designed for independence? Are we not natu- 



rally dependent on each other's aid ? To what would 
amount the knowledge of a single man, unassisted 
by the reason and experience of others? Would it 
not require a whole life to acquire that which a child 
might attain by a communication of the light of 
others ? Does not our whole structure, moral, intel- 
lectual, and physical, demonstrate our mutual de- 
pendence ? 

"'But,' you ask, 'does it not cool our ardour for a 
purer state, and turn the tide of our affections from 
eternal to mortal beauty?' Possibly, but I repeat, 
not necessarily. Do we adore the Creator less fer- 
vently because we admire the reflection of His splen- 
dour in the soul of His creature ? Is our grateful ad- 
oration diminished by communication ? On the con- 
trary, when conversing with a friend on the wisdom 
and goodness of our common Father, does not 'our 
heart burn within us,' and do we not feel the ardour 
of our love increased by being participated ? 

"Your last objection is most difficult to be obvi- 
ated, and its evils are most generally attendant on 
a connection which, by prejudicing our judgments, 
renders us too indulgent to the failings, and too ex- 
aggeratingly kind to the good qualities of our friends. 
It is, however, undoubtedly one of the most heroic 
proofs of genuine Friendship to repress this weak- 
ness where it would be injurious, and to correct our 
friend with the same firmness with which we should 
endeavour to correct ourselves." 


1803] CONCORD 

The following passage is from a letter without ad- 
dress or date: 

"You cannot suppose I should hear with indiffer- 
ence anything suggested to the disadvantage of N. 
The mystery blended with your accusation of her 
heart gave me serious pain, since it incapacitated me 
for undertaking her defence, and defended I am 
certain she deserves to be. You say you derived your 
information from a source that cannot be contro- 
verted, but, tell me, is it possible for any one to judge 
unerringly of the heart of another? Actions appar- 
ently wrong may originate in pure motives, and sen- 
timents may be expressed in the gaiety of the mo- 
ment, totally the reverse of general feeling and opin- 
ion. As you express a reluctance to be explicit, I 
cannot urge you farther. Less I could not say; more 
I think andfeel. I entreat you to examine candidly 
to the bottom of the affair. I am certain a thorough 
investigation will terminate to her advantage. My 
acquaintance with her is not superficial. I have known 
her from ten to twenty, and one cannot be a deceiver 
at that age, and for such a length of time." 

We come now to my mother's first letter to her 
new friend, Mrs. Lee, with whom she corresponded 
quite regularly for several years, the friendship con- 
tinuing, on both sides, with unabated warmth as long 
as my mother lived. I do not remember ever meet- 
ing Mrs. Lee, but when on my marriage I moved to 



Springfield, I found myself a neighbour to her oldest 
daughter, who had married one of Mr. Dwight's 
cousins. We used often to talk of the friendship of 
our mothers, and it was through her that I received 
my mother's letters to Mrs. Lee. 

"Concord, May 20th, 1803. 

"According to the rules of etiquette, this should 
be a formal, complimentary, introductory epistle. I 
should commence by speaking of the honour of ad- 
dressing a lady so much my superior, etc. etc. and, 
after flourishing a few laboured periods, after having 
presented a few flowery compliments, and having 
introduced two or three studied sentimental obser- 
vations (Ellenora like), I should conclude, very much 
to your joy and my own. Instead of this, behold me 
seated at my writing-table, scribbling with all the 
ease and pleasure with which I should address an old 
and beloved correspondent. 

"Scarcely can I realize, my dear Mrs. Lee, our 
acquaintance was formed but yesterday. The affect- 
ing circumstances under which that acquaintance 
commenced, our mutual friendship for S., the deep 
interest we both felt in her happiness, and the con- 
geniality of our sentiments on that, and several other 
subjects, have given to our acquaintance the sacred 
stamp of Friendship. At least, this is what I feel, and 
flatter myself with your sympathy. As I do not think 
it probable our characters will change essentially, 
and, as I do not think my present feelings the effect 


1803] CONCORD 

of romance (having passed the age of fifteen), I cal- 
culate on their durability, and anticipate much sat- 
isfaction from their indulgence." [After a page given 
to the troubles of a friend, and the solicitude felt for 
her, my mother closes with] " Kiss Elizabeth for me, 
and accept the affectionate Adieu of 


"P.S. I am enchanted with Gessner's 'Premier 
Navigateur.' Have you perused it? Recollect I shall 
not return the volumes you had the goodness to loan 
me, till you come for them. May I not hope this 
commencement of a correspondence will not remain 
long unanswered?" 

The following is part of Mrs. Lee's letter in reply : 

"Lancaster, 21st May, 1803. 
"And, 'according to etiquette,' my lovely friend, 
it ought, at least, to be a month before I should suf- 
fer myself to inform you, (and then in a very limited 
degree,) how much gratitude and pleasure I felt in 
the receival of your very kind letter. Shall I not ad- 
dress you by the endearing appellation of Friend? 
My heart has yearned to do it, from the moment I 
first beheld Mary Wilder ; and your begun goodness 
gives me reason to hope it will not be unpleasant. 
The repeated conversations that our mutual friend 
and myself have held concerning you, have always 
ended with a sincere wish, on my part, to share a 
portion of your regard ; I felt none of those feelings 



that are usual in first interviews, and longed to em- 
brace, the moment we met. Fearing your delicacy 
would be injured by so sudden an avowal of friend- 
ship, I restrained the better feelings of my heart, and 
appeared the common acquaintance." 

From my mother to Ruth Hurd : 

"May 25th, 1803. 

"I renew my self-congratulations every letter I 
have the pleasure to receive from you, my dear Ruth ; 
and, though a numerous correspondence is no more 
desirable than a very large acquaintance, and neither, 
in my opinion, can be extremely interesting, yet an 
epistolary correspondence with a select number whom 
we either love cordially, or esteem sincerely, appears 
to me one of the dearest enjoyments of social life. It 
has this advantage over conversation, we are more 
cool and collected, we are not so completely under 
the influence of that sweet enthusiasm, which so often 
blinds our judgment, when warmed by the presence 
of a friend ; and our opinions and sentiments are ex- 
pressed more clearly, because conceived more dis- 

"Do you think, my dear Ruth, a taste for natural 
pleasures, and for the beauties of Nature, is cultiva- 
ted with sufficient care ? Generally speaking, is it not, 
with many of our nobler faculties, neglected till it 
becomes almost extinct? 

"Are you not alarmed at the length of my letters ? 
In compassion to my correspondents, I have sent to 


1803] CONCORD 

town for paper of a smaller size ; for, when writing to 
those in whom my heart is interested, I find it im- 
possible to prevent filling up the sheet." 

To Mrs. Elizabeth Lee: 

"Concord, May 27th, 1803. 

"I shall never find words, my dear Mrs. Lee, to 
express the grateful pleasure with which I received 
your immediate answer to my introductory letter. I 
can only say I considered it a pledge of our new-born, 
but, I trust, immortal friendship. 

" What have you read since I saw you ? I have pe- 
rused, with delight, this morning, 'Estelle,' by Flo- 
rian, a charming little pastoral romance, which speaks 
eloquently to the heart, and interests its best feelings. 
Do you not think that species of romance has a fine 
effect on the heart ? Would it be possible for any one 
to be conversant with Gessner, and not to find the 
wish of emulating the virtues he paints so lovely and 
interesting, glow in their soul of souls ? The heroes 
and heroines of tragedy soar often beyond our im- 
itation, the situations in which they are placed are not 
those of common life ; but every one has the power 
of bestowing and enjoying happiness, either in the 
character of an affectionate child, a faithful friend, 
an endearing companion, or a tender parent. ' Estelle' 
is preceded by an 'Essai sur la Pastorale.' In giving 
his opinion of the style most suitable, the author says : 
'II faut qu'il soit simple, car 1'auteur raconte; il 
faut qu'il soit naif, puisque les personnages dont il 



parle, et qu'il fait parler, n'ont d'autre eloquence 
que celle du cceur ; il faut, aussi, qu'il soit noble, car 
partout il doit etre question de la vertu, et la vertu 
s'exprime toujours avec noblesse.' Do you not ad- 
mire here Florian's style? He seldom attempts the 
grand, nor has he need ; he is certain to charm when- 
ever he follows the dictates of his genius, which is 
pure, tender, and affecting." 

To Mr. Rockwood: 

"Concord, June 7th, 1803. 

" Your picture of fashionable follies, and life a-la- 
mode, is highly coloured, but, alas ! the sketch is too 
just. I hope, however, the number of fashion's vota- 
ries is more circumscribed than you appear to im- 
agine. Few, indeed, are uninfluenced by her in exter- 
nals ; it is perhaps wisdom to acquiesce in trifles ; but, 
I trust, there is a good proportion, whose independ- 
ence disdains to sacrifice at her altar moral principle, 
or essential duty. You called me an enthusiast at 
Charlestown; may I not, with justice, retort, the 
charge ? Can sober reason have told you the great 
body of mankind was light and unprincipled, devoid 
of taste and judgment, without discernment to see, 
or strength to pursue, the path of rectitude and hap- 
piness? Methinks, you insinuate even more; you 
think them not only frivolous and vain in themselves, 
but insensible to the beauty of virtue, or brilliancy 
of genius, in others. Are you not too severe ? Is it 
not true that, though there is a proportion of society 


1803] CONCORD 

denominated fashionable, who, desiring to distin- 
guish themselves from the ' small vulgar,' and unable 
to do it by any real superiority, endeavour to ef- 
fect their purpose by singularity of dress and man- 
ners; yet, that good sense still retains her empire 
over the minds of very many, and that virtue and tal- 
ents ever did, and ever will, irresistibly command the 
admiration of the world?" 

From a letter to Mrs. Lee, dated June 30, 1803: 

" I am much obliged by your immediately procur- 
ing me the satisfaction of perusing Sully. His mem- 
oirs ought to be studied by every one who has any 
connection with Courts or Governments, and should 
be read by all who have leisure and taste for history, 
and who wish to profit by the example and advice 
of one of the most virtuous and enlightened men 
Europe ever produced. Is it not astonishing that any 
man should find it possible to fulfil the various du- 
ties, and neglect none of the important offices, of 
Counsellor, Minister, Financier, Field Marshal, etc. 
etc. Order and industry effected all ; aided by them, 
there are few things which may not be accomplished, 
and, without them, man must not hope to become 
eminently great or useful." 

In reference to the troubles of a friend, my mother 
says : " I have, through the whole course of this com 
plicated affair, dreaded more from her romantic and 
mistaken generosity, than from any other source. 



She forgets that truth and justice, though less bril- 
liant, are more valuable than this refinement of gen- 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"Concord, July 12th, 1803. 

" I was this week made happy by a short visit from 
Mrs. Lee, and Miss Soley. I have the satisfaction of 
assuring you the latter is delighted with Lancaster, 
and has found the air peculiarly salutary. We had a 
violent dispute on the merits of Ossian, you know 
her opinion on that subject. I was gratified by learn- 
ing from her, that you, like myself, are an enthusiast 
in his praise. The picturesque epithets, to which she 
objects, in my opinion constitute one of his most 
striking beauties. When he describes 'the white-bos- 
omed daughter of Toscar, with soft blue eyes, and 
dark-brown hair,' the image is conveyed perfectly 
and distinctly to my imagination. No general terms 
could have this effect. His pathos, and sublimity, ap- 
pear to me almost unequalled. In marking the ap- 
pearance of his ghosts, sailing on the red flame, or 
descending on the moon-beam, 'the stars dim twin- 
kling through their forms,' we wish to prolong the de- 
lightful terror that thrills through the heart. Think 
you, my dear Ann, the imagination of the Poet was 
not much aided by the scenery to which he was ac- 
customed ? Think you a bard of modern times, sur- 
rounded only by cultivated nature, could equal in 


1803] CONCORD 

wild sublimity the songs of the war-like Ossian ? Or 
that the hero, on his mountain, followed by his dogs, 
and listening to the thundering torrent, could be cor- 
rectly tame? 

" Have you not enjoyed the delightful evenings of 
the last moon ? To me no season is so lovely, no hour 
so enchanting, no scene so soothing, as a moonlight 
stroll in the country, on the evening of a sultry day. 
The heart expands, the passions sleep, and devotion, 
like the object for which it is felt, becomes pure and 

"Yes, my friend, I assign to Cowper the high re- 
ward you mention, and think, with Wilberforce, he 
may be truly called the Evangelical Poet. All his 
productions are charming, but I have been lately ex- 
tremely delighted with his address to his mother's 
picture. The simple pathos, the exquisite touches of 
filial love and gratitude it contains, and the tender- 
ness and piety of the concluding sentiments, render 
it one of the most affecting little things I ever read." 

From Mrs. Elizabeth Lee to Mary Van Schalk- 

"Lancaster, 31st July, 1803. 
" What is society, my Friend ? Is it our afternoon 
and evening circles ? You are more fortunate in Con- 
cord than elsewhere, if they are either instructing or 
agreeable. But I must confess we have not all your 
talent of drawing out sense, where it is hid either by 



timidity or reserve ; for my part, the chief I hear is 
sweetly affected monosyllables, with the common- 
place phrases of ignorance and stupidity. 

"Are not the Americans generally the least fitted, 
with all their advantages, to add a zest to society, 
of any civilized people ? They have now every aid, 
and might, with attention, be as pleasing as the Euro- 
peans. I am sure you find more real pleasure from 
an afternoon spent in any favourite study, than weeks 
passed in the common routine of visiting. Life is 
short and uncertain ; why not pursue that train which 
most conduces to our real satisfaction ? Why waste 
life in false parade, or still more tedious female so- 

"The first class, although possessed of every ad- 
vantage, are not more shining, commonly, than the 
second. They feel their own superiority in such a 
manner that, even if they have knowledge, it is too 
great a condescension to converse with those who are 
not equals ; for (by the way), I really think there is 
more aristocracy in this country than in England; 
but, too frequently, having riches at command, they 
think it not necessary to make those exertions of 
their abilities which falls to the share of those who 
have fame alone to depend upon. 

"The second ape the first by getting a smattering 
of their accomplishments, without the ease of be- 
haviour which makes them alone interesting. Their 
conversation is chiefly novels and fashions, for their 
reading never extends to a history. 


1803] CONCORD 

"The last and lowest are too frequently vitiated, 
the country in as great a degree as the town, so 
far as it is in their power to procure these pleasures 
and dissipations. The greater part of the farmers are 
very avaricious, and totally devoid of gratitude. There 
are undoubtedly exceptions in every class of life, but 
of these it is difficult to distinguish, and we must 
consequently be civil to those who will despise us 
when our dollars cease to be. 

" Have you yet seen Roscoe's ' Lorenzo di Medici ' ? 
I don't know the name, but think I should like to 
read it." 

From notes, by my mother, of a conversation with 
Mr. Frisbie: 

"'T was on a fine evening, which had succeeded to 
a sultry day ; the moon, near her full, shone brightly, 
the air was soft and serene ; all was silent, except the 
tree-toad and the whip-poor-will. We were seated in 
the entry. The beauty of the scene led us, involun- 
tarily, to speak of Mrs. Radcliffe's descriptions. He 
applauded the appropriate elegance of her style, the 
frequent beauty of her scenery, and compared the 
different merits of her novels. He thought the * Si- 
cilian Romance' a well executed little thing. But, to 
me, he appeared to give the preference, all points 
considered, to the 'Mysteries of Udolpho.' He ob- 
served, the 'Italian' appeared to be the production 
of one who, sensible much was expected, endeav- 
oured to excel herself, and, therefore, failed to give 



pleasure. Characters and events were, in general, dis- 
torted, the mind was kept in constant torture, and 
the expectation shockingly disappointed."' 

To Mrs. Lee: 

"Concord, July 27th, 1803. 

"Are you proof against this series of unpleasant 
weather ? Or does it depress even your philosophical 
temper ? I well remember to have felt deeply morti- 
fied when I first was compelled to acknowledge the 
influence of weather on the mind. I wished to be- 
lieve mind more independent of matter than experi- 
ence proved it to be. But, after having been convinced 
the spirits may be affected by a south-east wind, and 
the powers of the mind debilitated by illness of body, 
I have learned to consider firm nerves, and perfect 
health, as blessings to be ranked next to peace of 
conscience ; and to think with the Poet, 

'Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace, 
And I their toys to the great children leave.' 

And this I have enjoyed in an uncommon degree, 
particularly the last six months. Lest I should for- 
get its value, I endeavour frequently to recollect the 
agonizing pain, and the yet more distressing debility 
of disease. The recollection of many species of mis- 
fortune enhances the value, and adds a zest to the 
enjoyment of prosperity: for instance, sickness, pov- 
erty, and danger. But the remembrance of any real 
good lost to us always creates pain. Does it not?" 


1803] CONCORD 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"August 2nd, 1803. 

"Your kind reproaches have roused me like an 
electric shock from the languor to which I was yield- 
ing, in consequence of having passed a sleepless 

" How sweet was the return of sunshine after the 
unpleasant weather we experienced last week. I never 
hailed the golden rays of the setting sun with more 
cordiality than on Friday. The appearance was cheer- 
ing as the face of a friend when the heart is sad. Did 
you not observe, dear Ann, the fine effect produced 
by the yellow beams brightening the verdure of veg- 
etation, tinting with various hues the west, while the 
black clouds of the east seemed frowning on the 
scene, and night strove with day for victory?" 

In a letter to Miss Bromfield of later date, my 
mother says, " I shall be ere long with Mrs. Lee, who 
has been dangerously ill with the malignant sore 
throat, as have also her son, and brother." 

To Mrs. Elizabeth Lee: 

"Concord, Sept 3rd, 1803. 

"Mrs. Clarke informed me you were so far con- 
valescent as to take the air, and that Thomas was 
much better ; she told me also you were attended by 
very good friends. Probably, your aunt and cousin 
will not remain more than a fortnight with you. 



When they quit Lancaster, you will, I hope, accept 
one who, though she cannot pretend to great merit, 
will endeavour to find stories and plays for Thomas, 
and cheerfulness for his mother. I am so daring, I do 
not despair of gaining the heart of your son. I shall 
endeavour not to appear more than six years old, in 
which I but follow the example of many a venerable 
predecessor, who strives to sink from sixty to sixteen, 
like me, with the intention of winning the admi- 
ration of some young beau. Every one does not, like 
me, avow their intentions, it is true ; and I hope you 
will, at least, grant me to be frank." 

To Ruth Hurd, in reply to a request from her that 
my mother would point out to her her faults: 

"Concord, Sept. 15th, 1803. 

"You reproach me delicately for passing over a 
request that was urged most sweetly by you. I shall 
not, dear Ruth, make use of the absurd and common- 
place compliment, * You are faultless.' What mortal 
can lay claim to it ? Who is exempt from the frail- 
ties of humanity? Nor can I attempt to correct one 
who appears to me far less imperfect than myself. 
We are both naturally weak and liable to err, both 
blest with reason and revelation to guide and fortify 
us. We can be, at best, but imperfect judges of each 
other's character: actions and words lie, indeed, open 
to human inspection, but motives can be correctly 
known only to ourselves, and to that Omniscient 
Power who is 'near, though remote, and, though un- 


1803] CONCORD 

fathomed, felt; and, though invisible, forever seen.' 
It is, I believe, by analyzing the secret springs of ac- 
tion, by never suffering ourselves to think, 'I did 
thus,' but 'why did I thus?' that we shall acquire a 
knowledge of our real characters. That knowledge 
will, indeed, inspire humility, but humility, we are 
told, is the beginning of wisdom. 

"You are right, my dear Ruth, in calling Mr. 
Knapp and Mr. Frisbie two of my 'greatest favour- 
ites.' I have some personal acquaintance with the 
former, much with the latter: both have ensured my 
respect and esteem. Of Mr. Frisbie (whom I have 
known intimately many months), I can say, with 
the greatest confidence, his talents, which are cer- 
tainly uncommon, equal not his virtues. He quits 
town this week, and will be long and sincerely re- 
gretted. For myself, I confess I think the society of 
such a man an inestimable privilege, and his conver- 
sation more improving than the perusal of a library. 
You know, however, my partiality for conversation : 
it appears to me better calculated to correct our 
opinions, and strengthen our minds, than mere study. 
They do indeed reflect mutual advantage and pleas- 
ure on each other ; but, in conversation our minds act 
far more decidedly, and independently, than when 

" Write me soon, I entreat you. Inform me if you 
have seen any new publications, if you have been 
introduced to any new characters, or if anything in- 
teresting has occurred to you." 



To Ann Bromfield: 

" Concord, Sept. 24th, 1803. 

"Friday afternoon. I had half filled a sheet, in 
spirits, the consequence of my pleasant little visit 
to Billerica, was preparing to conclude and seal it, 
when I was called from my pen by company, and 
now, dear Ann, so miserably devoid of animation am 
I, so completely in the penseroso mood, that, 
though I can not boast any other merit, that of con- 
sistency shall, at least, be mine. I will not send you 
so motley a piece of composition as my former and 
present epistles would present, but shall throw my- 
self on your mercy, and entreat you to prepare to 
meet, with patient endurance, three pages of melan- 
choly dulness. 

" One would think the enchanting appearance of 
nature sufficient to correct every propensity to sad- 
ness, and to inspire cheerfulness and joy in every 
bosom. The sun shines brightly, a clear and bracing 
air invigorates the system, Heaven and earth smile, 
I am addressing a friend who, I trust, reciprocates 
the kind and affectionate feelings of my heart, if 
I were not incorrigible, so many images of delight 
would chase far away corroding melancholy. Sev- 
eral causes have, of late, combined to depress me. 
The season, though my favourite one, awakens pain- 
ful recollections, the indisposition, the serious indis- 
position, bodily and mental, of our friend , and a 

separation which, this week, took place between Mr. 
Frisbie and his Concord friends. In parting with this 


1803] CONCORD 

truly estimable and interesting young man, we feel 
the most sincere regret. We have lost, not a mere 
acquaintance, but a most valuable friend. 

"Were I not unwilling to speak of your lovely 
friend Susan with my present feelings, I could ex- 
patiate on the admiration with which she inspired 
me. I feel an ardent wish to cultivate an acquaint- 
ance with her, a wish unchecked by any senti- 
ment, except the fear of disappointing her in the 
expectation she would form of one distinguished by 
your partiality. 

"Present to your excellent mother an assurance 
of my respectful remembrance. I am desirous, more 
so than I can express, to see more of her. Her very 
glance imparts a portion of that purity and benev- 
olence which distinguish her. Do you not think there 
is an emanation from the souls of the good, which 
improves all who come within the sphere of their 
attraction ? " 

To the same: 

. f ,. : : "Concord, October 22nd, 1803. 

"The 'Lounger' I have in vain attempted to pro- 
cure. It is to be met with only at the Boston Li- 
brary, and, as my name is not among subscribers, I 
could not hire it from thence. I am resolved, on 
your recommendation, to own it ere long, and have 
with care preserved the numbers you kindly minuted 
for me. 

" Have you seen Klopstock's ' Messiah ' ? I have this 



week been perusing it; and, though the great vari- 
ety of characters introduced sometimes render it 
confused, yet, on the whole, I think it calculated to 
produce a most happy effect. Several descriptions 
of the angelic host are inimitably beautiful. I am 
now writing by the light of a candle for the second 
or third time these twelvemonths. I dare try the 
experiment no longer, but most affectionately bid 
you Good-night." 

To Ruth Hurd: 

"Concord, November 7th, 1803. 
"Miss H. (shall I call her your friend, or your in- 
teresting acquaintance?) has probably left Charles- 
town. She is a very striking proof that 'seventeen 
years is as unfit to go alone in the world, as seven- 
teen weeks in the nursery.' With the very virtues 
and graces of extreme youth, are connected dangers 
and mortifications ; nor did I ever know a young per- 
son, on their first entrance into life, unless shielded 
by a sensitive delicacy, such as few indeed possess, 
or by a disposition naturally cold and insensible, who 
did not expose themselves to mortification, if not 
to censure." 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"Concord, Nov. 22nd, 1803. 
"This day, probably, will see my dear Ann de- 
part from scenes rendered dear by long acquaint- 
ance. The constantly unpleasant weather of the 


1803] CONCORD 

last week rendered it impossible, in Mamma's opin- 
ion, to visit Billerica, though my heart was often 
with you. This day, the first in which all things, 
even the attendance of a Beau (which in a village 
like this is an animal of wondrous rarity, and con- 
sequently great importance), are propitious to my 
wishes, this day is just one too late. I had so much 
to say to you how poor is paper conversation I Do 
you not think more may be expressed in one con- 
versation, where the tone of voice, and stamp of 
countenance 'comes from the heart, and reaches the 
heart,' than in ten epistles, even the most flowing 
and unreserved? I recollect you objected to the dan- 
ger attending an epistolary intercourse between the 
sexes. Is there not more, far more, peril in fa- 
miliar conversation with a man of taste and feeling, 
than can possibly be found in a correspondence? 
Yes, surely, my dear Ann, to judge only by what I 
feel for you, I should pronounce decidedly so. When 
I have passed an hour or an half-hour with you, I 
receive and communicate more than it would be pos- 
sible to express by pen ; and it is the recollection of 
what I heard and saw at the interview, that renders 
the letters I receive or write doubly interesting to 
my feelings. It was not, however, my intention to 
quarrel with this best substitute for conversation ; I 
acknowledge with gratitude the delight it procures 
me. My intention, at first, was simply to express my 
regret and dissatisfaction that, for months, inter- 
course by way of letter was all I might hope for, and 



that the greater pleasure I anticipated in seeing you 
must be relinquished for the lesser one of writing to 
you. My disappointment is at this time the greater 
that Miss Lowell, in whom I feel an animated inter- 
est, has been your companion. I had determined, too, 
to carry the 'Lounger' with me, and to read, with 
you and your lovely friend, the numbers most stri- 
kingly delightful." 

To Mrs. Lee: 

"Concord, Nov. 26th, 1803. 

" Your very friendly and characteristic invitation, 
my dear Eliza, would be instantly accepted, was in- 
clination solely consulted. Not, indeed, for the pe- 
rusal of the 'interesting French novel,' but for the 
rational satisfaction I have ever found at Lee man- 
sion, in the society of my friend. 

"Have you ever seen a paper published at New- 
bury Port, entitled the 'Repertory'? If so, have you 
not been enchanted with 'The British Spy'? The 
second number where is drawn the picture of a 
blind and aged minister administering the sacrament 
of the Supper is, for pathos and sublimity of descrip- 
tion, inimitable. The author appears to lay as much 
stress on manner and form in devotion as in the or- 
dinary pursuits of life, where we know them to be 
essential. He thinks it impossible a preacher should 
warm the hearts and elevate the souls of his audi- 
tors, if his unimpassioned manner, and uniform, un- 
interested, uninteresting, voice, implicitly declare he 


1803] CONCORD 

either believes not or feels not the truth he inculcates. 
Do you not think he is right? Sometimes, when at- 
tending to a discourse on the most affecting subjects, 
the lines of Shakspeare occur to my mind with force : 

'Pleads he in earnest, look upon his face, 

' His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are jest; 

'His words come from his mouth. 

'He prays but faintly, and would be denied.' 

"Make acceptable to Captain Lee the compli- 
ments of one who has most sincerely rejoiced in his 
return to his country, and his restoration to the bosom 
of his family." 

The following, though without address, I suppose 
to be written to Mr. Rockwood : 

"Concord, Nov. 29th, 1803. 

" How preeminently attractive are piety and vir- 
tue, adorned by grace and sweetness ! I, last evening, 
gave a delighted assent to this truth, for, last eve- 
ning, I saw and listened to Mr. Harris of Dorches- 
ter. The sanctity, the modest gentleness, of his man- 
ners, the sensibility of heart which animated his coun- 
tenance, and gave pathos to his voice, brought to my 
mind the beloved Disciple. I cannot but believe, so 
thought and felt, so spake and looked, John. This 
truly good and interesting man has lately returned 
from an excursion to the Western Territory, where 
he went in pursuit of health. He entertained us with 
a description of that beautiful, but almost unknown 



part of the country. He expatiated on the mildness 
of the climate, the exuberance of vegetation, and the 
balmy fragrance of the air, with the imagination of 
the poet, and the taste of the painter. He then pre- 
sented us with scenes yet more interesting, nearer 
home, and gave us a particular account of the soci- 
ety of Moravians at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. With 
so happy a pencil did he sketch the place, its inhab- 
itants, their primeval manners, pure, simple, affec- 
tionate, the admirable regulation of their time, the 
striking and affecting forms of their devotion, that 
I could not but wish I had been born one of the com- 
munity. And, surely, no mode of life can be more 
pleasant or improving. 

"In our present weak, imperfect state, we feel the 
necessity of forms. By them the ardour of devotion 
is preserved, and the obligations of morality strength- 
ened. A society, therefore, united by mutual vows, 
regulated by rules prescribed by wisdom and good- 
ness, must have a greater probability of enjoying 
calm felicity here, and superior bliss hereafter ; every 
hour appropriated to the fulfilment of duty, every 
duty, the parent of peace. Here, all the advantages 
of solitude may be found without its disadvantages. 
Its members cannot be called useless or selfish, since 
much of their time is devoted to the education of 
youth, and much of their income to the propagation 
of the divine truths of Christianity. I cannot, indeed, 
believe the world, with all its alluring pleasures, of- 
fers anything that can be really a counterpoise to the 


1803] CONCORD 

tranquil, uniform peace which must be the result of 
such a life." 

Among my mother's papers of this period I find 
a letter to her from the brother of a friend of hers, 
which is valuable as giving a view of her power of 
sympathy, and of what she was to her friends under 
circumstances of trial and suffering. Especially do I 
value it because it reminds me so strongly of rny 
sister, 1 who inherited with her mother's name so 
many of her gifts of intellect and heart, and of whom 
it was said, after her death, " It was in the highest 
offices of administering consolation and counsel in 
times of affliction and distress that she found her fit- 
test sphere." 

"Boston, Dec. 29th, 1803. 

"Dear Madam, The subject of which I am to 
treat I trust will be my sufficient apology for this 
liberty, but, were it necessary to preface it with fur- 
ther excuse, I should find a justification in the uni- 
formity of your attachment and friendship for my 
excellent sister. I am not unacquainted with your 
kind attention to her during the most trying scenes 
of difficulty. You extended the true and steady arm 
of friendship and supported her, you soothed her with 
the sweetest consolations, and lulled her heart to 

Two days later my mother and Miss Atherton 

1 Mrs. Mary Wilder Foote. En. 



together wrote to Mrs. Lee. I copy one paragraph 
from Miss Atherton: 

"Concord, Dec. 31st, 1803. 

" I have passed this week with our loved Mary. 1 
met her in health and cheerfulness, and still that 
wonderful being who fascinates all hearts ! In a world 
like this, how estimable to find a soul so pure." 

Miss Atherton's enthusiasm in speaking of my 
mother naturally suggests the question, How did this 
"wonderful being, who fascinated all hearts," pass 
unscathed through the ordeal of flattered self-love, 
to which we feel sure her extraordinary personal and 
mental charms must have exposed her? We find an 
answer to this question in the following records, 
which, though without date, bear evidence of having 
been made by her during this period of her life : 

" Is it possible ! Can the vain conversation, the flat- 
tery and attention of beings weak and erring as my- 
self, introduce disorder into my mind, and estrange 
my heart from Him whose love, whose wisdom, 
whose perfections, alone are infinite? With such 
weakness, can I hazard a residence in the world ? Can 
I voluntarily enter society when I feel its fascina- 
tions to be poisonous ? And yet, if I retreat to soli- 
tude, am I more pleasing in the view of the Creator, 
who hath formed me for active benevolence, for prac- 
tical piety? Do not vain imaginations pursue me 
there, does not indolence steal over me, and timidly 


1803] CONCORD 

dissuade me from exertion? What is the result of 
this experience ? ' The good which I would, I do not ; 
the evil I would not, that I do.' I err, and that con- 

Again she writes: 

"A combination of circumstances invigorated the 
serpents of pride and vanity. They were sustained by 
my own foolish thoughts and vain imaginations. God, 
by revealing to my view the recesses of my heart, 
saddened and humbled it. Yes, this is evidently the 
goodness of God, for no exterior circumstance, no 
mortification, or disappointment, has disgusted me 
with the world and with myself, and has made me to 
feel that 'all is vanity below the skies.' 

"'O Thou, the Source and Centre of all souls, 
Their only point of rest, Eternal Mind ! 
Give what Thou canst, without Thee we are poor, 
And with Thee rich, take what Thou wilt away.' 

'"I hate vain thoughts,' yet am continually a prey 
to them. Of this precious time on which Eternity 
depends, how inconsiderable a portion is devoted to 
the only object worthy attention. Even the hours 
spent in devotional reading and prayer are of little 
worth, unless the soul be engaged. Yes, saintly Mas- 
sillon, thou wert inspired by the Spirit of Truth, 
when thou didst declare the pursuit of wealth and 
fame and science was 'time lost for eternity,' unless 



they are rendered subservient to the love of God, 
and the real happiness of His creatures. 

" How ennobling the idea ! God has willed my ex- 
istence ! From eternity this being so frail, so erring, 
was foreseen, foreordained by Him who is. 

"Continual company and excessive heat. How 
fatal to improvement! A short proportion of each 
day devoted to happier purposes is almost the only 
part of the week on which I reflect with pleasure." 

On another page she writes: 

"'No one, however holy his life has been, should 
venture to die in any other state than that of a peni- 
tent,' says St. Augustine. No one who has a glimpse 
of human depravity can venture to live in any other 
state. I say not how imperfect are my best actions ! 
but confess that even the performance of religious 
duties is often but specious sin. What wanderings 
of imagination, what intrusions of worldly thoughts 
and passions, what pride and vanity! 

"Gracious and Holy Father! I desire renewedly 
to dedicate myself to Thee. I desire to dedicate all 
my powers and faculties to Thy service, and fer- 
vently invoke the aid of Thy divine Spirit to en- 
lighten and strengthen me in the performance of 
duty. Oh, guide, sustain and bless me, a sinner, for 
the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen." 




THE year 1804 opens with the following from 
my grandmother's pen. It shows, as do other 
records, how much the mother and daughter were 
alike in their religious habit of mind. 

"An introduction to the year 1804 is an era which 
I had very little expectation of arriving to. What 
then shall I render to Him who has not only granted 
me time to be useful to my family, and has show- 
ered down blessings on me, but, above all, has made 
me more sensible of His love and tenderness ? Surely, 
what remains of life I, willingly and with ardent de- 
sire, would wish to dedicate to Him, adoring Him 
as the Author of all good from my youth to the 
present moment. 

"Thou, O God, hast appeared for me in dangers, 
in afflictions, in sickness, and health. When human 
aid failed, Thou hast been my guardian and friend. 
I confess my unworthiness. Humbled in the dust, 
would I beg Thy pardoning mercy. Forgive me, O 
God, for against Thee have I sinned. But, through 
the mediation of my Saviour, will I lay hold on Thy 
gracious promises. Withhold not Thy protection! 
Save me from the consequences of my sins, and, 



when life shall cease, wilt Thou crown me with ever- 
lasting felicity in Thy presence! 

"May I never, while life shall last, forget Thy 
goodness in restoring my only child. Most merciful 
Father, bless her with the communications of Thy 
Holy Spirit, guide her in the paths of religion, suc- 
cour her when tempted, preserve her when distressed. 
Through every change, in every scene, uphold her 
by Thine Almighty power, secure her by Thine all- 
powerful arm. Bless her, O God, and she shall be 

The earliest date of this new year we find from my 
mother is the following letter to Miss Emerson: 

"Concord, Jan. 7th, 1804. 

"My dear Miss Emerson will treat my long si- 
lence with the same indulgence she claimed for her- 
self, at the commencement of our correspondence. 
She will attribute it to the combination of circum- 
stances, apparently trifling when separately consid- 
ered, but, united, of sufficient weight to make my 
conduct the reverse of what I intended it should be 
when I received her letter. 

"I confess I cannot perfectly subscribe to your 
opinion respecting novels ; and, probably, I am, at 
present, more pertinaciously attached to my own, 
by the recent perusal of 'A Tale of the Times,' by 
Mrs. West, a work, the product of handsome tal- 
ents, and upright intentions. The author's aim is to 
display the terrific tendency of the new Philosophy, 


1804] CONCORD 

and I think she has succeeded far better than any 
of her predecessors. If you have not seen it, I think 
it will yield you some hours' amusement, if you can 
condescend to be amused. 

"As you kindly consented to hear from me an ac- 
count of the books by which my attention was most 
engaged, I will mention Johnson's 'Lives of the 
Poets,' which has very much interested me of late. 
Am I censurable, however, in declaring I think, as 
a biographer, Johnson causes incomparably more 
pain than pleasure? He viewed man with a critic's 
eye, and, by a too minute attention to blemishes, 
has cast a chilling damp on the pleasure attendant 
on a perusal of the Poets. Perhaps his criticism on 
the poet was just, but, surely, he might have exer- 
cised more candour on the man." 

We have next a letter from my grandmother. My 
mother was then visiting her friends at Elm Hill, 
Lancaster. In it she urges my mother's return as fol- 
lows : " If you should have an opportunity to return, 
I wish you would embrace it, as you are very dear 
to the hearts of your parents. Your Papa says, ' Tell 
that little one I wish she was at home, as I want her 
to talk with.'" 

The following letter from my mother is doubtless 
to Mr. Rockwood: 

"Concord, Jan. 28, 1804. 

" How has the bitterness of Winter passed with 
you ? It appears to me I never knew a colder. I have 



read Thomson and Cowper again and again, with the 
laudable determination to persuade myself Winter 
was the season of sublime emotion, and social enjoy- 
ment. W^ith Thomson, I listened to the driving tem- 
pest, and endeavoured to enjoy its horrors; with 
Cowper, I drew near the cheerful fire-side, and tasted 
the delights of friendly converse, but it would not 
do ; when the door opened, I shuddered with cold, 
and paid involuntary homage to milder seasons. I 
acknowledge, however, Winter is not destitute of 
beauty, or pleasure. A landscape, even in January, 
may have many charms, and a party of rational 
friends may find a tolerable degree of happiness even 
in Greenland. It were well for us if we were disposed 
to see and improve the advantages of every situation 
in which we are placed; some peculiar good is at- 
tached to every season and every state, and it is our 
own fault if we do not extract good even from evil 
"Your observations, I should rather say, your 
criticism on Salem, amused me by the poignancy 
of the satire, but, on a re-perusal, drew a sigh from 
my heart. If your picture be just, alas! for degraded 
humanity! Is there a propensity in the heart of man 
more destructive to his nobler feelings, more deadly 
in its effects, than the love of money ? Does it not 
gradually annihilate his moral sensibility, and leave 
him nothing of humanity except the form ? In woman, 
its deformity is yet more frightful, as, from her sit- 
uation, she is less exposed to its power. I believe her 
very nature is more delicate, more tender and gen- 


1804] CONCORD 

erous. When, therefore, she violates the first prin- 
ciples of her being, when she becomes rapacious, ob- 
durate, and icy-souled, she is a monster a very 

" Do you not think of returning to Charlestown 
ere long? I Ve been assured it is at present uncom- 
monly brilliant. Balls have taken place of the Assem- 
blies, and the Beaux and Belles are preparing to trip 
gaily 'on the light fantastic toe,' Tuesday sennight." 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"Concord, Feb. 2, 1804. 

" My heart is not in fault, my dear Ann, that you 
have not sooner received an answer to your charm- 
ing New Year's letter. Circumstances unexpectedly 
led me to Lancaster the week I received it, and the 
kindness of my amiable friends detained me there 
three weeks. I thought, frequently, of addressing you 
from the bosom of my dear native village, but the 
bitterness of bitter January prevented writing in my 
chamber, and, you know, letter- writing is not per- 
fectly consonant with the sociability of a family 

"Alas! yes, New Year's day, though fraught 
with much of pleasure, though abounding with much 
of mirth and joyous festivity, has long been to me 
one of the most interesting monitors. It seems a new 
epoch in life, a commencement of being ; and is sur- 
passed only by the thirty-first of December. Did you 
ever, since you began to realize yourself a rational 



and immortal being, close the year without mortify- 
ing reflections on the trifling improvement so con- 
siderable a proportion of life had produced, without 
gratitude for the beneficence with which it was 
crowned, and resolutions to merit better that ben- 
eficence in future? I ever feel regret and deep dis- 
satisfaction when prevented passing the last evening 
of the year in absolute retirement. I seem to have 
lost what can never be retrieved. 

"I think at present I shall not see Charlestown 
till the Spring opens. I cannot write the name of that 
charming season without feeling a disposition to ex- 
patiate on its praise, especially after having shud- 
dered beneath the rigorous reign of the coldest Win- 
ter I remember to have felt for many years. I am sure 
Winter has no effect on the heart, but I do not know 
with certainty that the mind is wholly independent. 
What think you?" 

To Mrs. Lee: 

"Concord, February 7th, 1804. 

" I am reading Denon's 'Tour in Upper Egypt, 'and 
find it very entertaining in general, extremely inter- 
esting in some passages. The writer is not only a man 
of observation, but of great sensibility. 

"Will you oblige me by sending the minutes of 
the passage of the English army over the Desert? I 
will not trouble you to write the whole, only the 
length of the march, the degree of heat, and the time 
spent in making it." 


1804] CONCORD 

To Ruth Kurd: 

"Concord, Feb. 8th, 1804. 

" Don't you think the present temperature of the 
air very unpleasant? Did I not hail the southern 
breezes as the harbingers of Spring, I should acknowl- 
edge the severer, but the more bracing air of the west 
was more welcome. I love the milder seasons ex- 
tremely ; but, in Winter, I dread a warm breeze which 
dissolves the snow, destroys the elasticity of the air, 
and, of course, produces a languid, inactive tone of 
spirits. There are few things which teach us humility 
more forcibly than this dependence on the weather. 
We are compelled to admit the astonishingly inti- 
mate union between spirit and matter. 

"You are very brilliant in Charlestown, I am told. 
Has the Winter passed with you more happily than 
usual ? I think you must derive pleasure from occa- 
sionally visiting the theatre, where, 't is said, the per- 
formances are uncommonly good. I have heard much 
of Bernard. What is his style of acting ? " 

Miss Bromfield was at this time visiting, in 
Charlestown, her friend Miss Lowell, and my moth- 
er, soon after this letter, herself made a visit in that 
town. I find among her papers a letter from her step- 
sister Sally Hurd, addressed to her at Charlestown, 
and dated: 

"Concord, March 10th, 1804. 
" I may have appeared inattentive in not writing 
before, but I assure you, my dear Mary, it was in 



appearance alone, for my inclination would have in- 
duced me to write often, but we expected your re- 
turn every day. We do not ask you again to ap- 
point the day for us to send for you, but what kind 
of gallant you would choose, as, on each day you 
have expressed a wish to return, we have procured 
a safe conveyance for you, and were disappointed in 
not seeing you. Now, we will thank you to send 
word what profession, and of what age, would be 
most agreeable to you. Lawyers, merchants, a dea- 
con, and a major have solicited the pleasure of es- 
corting you back to Concord, but have not been 
fortunate enough to meet your approbation. Per- 
haps, a young student would be acceptable, more 
so than these grave gallants who have presented 
themselves to you." 

On reaching home, my mother wrote to Miss 

"Concord, March 19th, 1804. 
" So unexpectedly did I leave Charlestown, I was 
unable to bid my dear Ann adieu, or to make in- 
quiry relative to her health. At eight in the eve- 
ning, my brother informed me the stage would call 
for me by six the next morning. As the storm was 
then violent, I flattered myself it would justify me 
in remaining a few days longer, and give me an op- 
portunity of again seeing my friend. Contrary to ex- 
pectation, the morning was not unpleasant. I there- 
fore took my seat in the stage, and could only look 


1804] CONCORD 

an adieu towards the Square. The roads were ex- 
tremely bad ; more than once, I thought we should 
have occasion for a boat. Indeed, every movement 
of the carriage reminded me of being at sea in a 
storm. The vessel pitched and rolled, and twice was 
nearly laid on her beam-ends. By apologizing for the 
circumstantial egotism of this page, I should pay an 
ill compliment to Friendship. The letters most grate- 
ful to my feelings are those which convey the most 
perfect image of my friend, her thoughts, feelings, 
and employments; and such I think most satisfac- 
tory to my dear Ann. In writing to a mere acquaint- 
ance, one may study for ingenuity of thought, or ele- 
gance of expression ; but in writing to & friend, one 
feels the full value of that easy security with which 
the soul reposes, the heart pours itself forth, fearless 
of criticism, confident of being received with affec- 
tionate warmth. 

"Let me know if you have determined to pass 
the summer in Newbury. If so, I presume it will be 
principally spent in solitude. Miss Emerson, (a friend 
whom you have heard me mention as one of the first 
of women) has often observed to me, so far did she 
think the pleasures and advantages of solitude sur- 
passed those of society, so much more perfect was 
her consciousness of existing in the presence of De- 
ity, a 'Deity believed, adored, and loved,' that she 
never quitted her retirement without regret, nor re- 
turned to it without the most delightful emotion. 
I do not know but this principle may be dangerous. 



What think you ? Have we a right to seclude our- 
selves entirely from the world ? Can we dispense with 
the social duties? 

"To Susan, I add a postscript. May it be received, 
as it is proffered, in the spirit of love, with which I 
am, my dear Ann, affectionately yours, 


"P.S. Will you, my interesting friend, welcome 
through the medium of our Ann, an assurance of 
my affectionate remembrance, and of the interest I 
shall ever feel in your happiness. I shall never for- 
get, nor can I consent to be forgotten by you. With 
those dear ideas that make this life supportable, and 
the next desirable, I class the hope of meeting you, 
where friendship shall be perfected, and friends for- 
ever united. I cannot think it improbable that, at 
some future period of existence, we may recollect 
the time when this was only hope, and rejoice in the 
perfect satisfaction of reality. 

"Adieu accept an affectionate good evening 

This postscript was the beginning of a correspond- 
ence between my mother and Miss Susan Cabot 
Lowell (afterwards Mrs. Gorham), which lasted as 
long as my mother lived. Mrs. Gorham preserved 
many of my mother's letters. After her death they 
came into my father's possession, and were read by 
him to my sister and myself, with other letters of 
my mother, when we were very young. I never knew 


1804] CONCORD 

Mrs. Gorham, who died only a few years later than 
my mother, but it is a pleasant circumstance to me 
that friendships now exist between those of her line- 
age and my mother's hardly less warm than that of 
which we have so full an expression in these letters. 
From Miss Anna Cabot Lowell, a niece of Mrs. 
Gorham, I learn that her aunt, whose memory she 
cherishes with affectionate reverence, was distin- 
guished for the enthusiasm and disinterestedness of 
her affections, and for her refined and literary tastes. 
She was the daughter of Judge Lowell, who was ap- 
pointed by Washington Judge of the United States 
District Court the same office which his great- 
grandson, our valued friend Judge Lowell, received 
from Lincoln. Mrs. Gorham's mother was Susan 
Cabot, the second wife of Judge Lowell. Her home, 
until her father's death, was in Roxbury, at Bromley 
Vale, in the old mansion-house which afterwards 
descended to the son and to the son's son of Judge 
Lowell, and which has but recently been removed 
to make way for the encroachments of the city. 
When Judge Lowell died, in 1802, his widow and 
third wife (who was a Miss Russell, and the grand- 
mother of James Russell Lowell) removed to Charles- 
town, where her relatives lived. There it was that my 
mother, while visiting her cousins, met Miss Lowell 
and her sister, and formed the friendship of which 
these letters are the memorial. The elder sister of 
Miss Susan Lowell, Miss Anna Cabot Lowell, who 
according to the fashion of the day was called Nancy, 



was a daughter of Judge Lowell by his first mar- 
riage. Her mother was a Miss Higginson. From my 
earliest recollection I have heard of Miss Nancy Low- 
ell as the woman of her day most distinguished, 
among all who knew her, for her remarkable intel- 
lect. Her niece and namesake has told me that her 
Aunt Susan looked up to her elder sister with an 
almost idolatrous affection, and that her Aunt Nancy 
was regarded with hardly less enthusiasm by a large 
circle of admiring friends. She and my mother died 
within a few months of each other. 

It would seem that the spring of 1804 was to my 
mother a season of more than usual thoughtfulness 
and self-examination. We find that on her return 
from her visit to Charlestown she began a journal 
which, after a few pages, she thought it best to dis- 
continue. This precious manuscript was given to me 
by my dear father in the days of my youth. Coming 
to me at that impressible period, a message from her 
to whom I looked up as to a saint in heaven, it in- 
fluenced me as no living teacher could do. The re- 
ligious views which I then received, as it were from 
my mother's lips, are the cherished convictions of 
my declining years. I copy passages from this jour- 
nal, as follows: 

"Sunday, 18th of March, 1804. Commenced this 
journal, with the humble and fervent hope of its be- 
ing the means of assisting me in self-knowledge, and 
advancing me in the graces of the Christian char- 


1804] CONCORD 

" In the morning of this Lord's day, I awoke early; 
but the dangerous habit of rising late which I have 
too much indulged, rendered me unwilling to leave 
the bed. I sought, therefore, to compromise with 
conscience, by determining, though I rose not, to 
meditate and pray. How dangerous is it to yield to 
indolence ! My thoughts were incoherent, my prayers 
mere ejaculations, and those not fervent, thus an 
hour or more was unprofitably spent that ought to 
have been devoted to the service of the Lord, my 
Creator,, my Preserver, my Redeemer. Father of 
light and life, give me strength to overcome every 
propensity to the sin of indolence, that mortal 
poison to the soul! 

"Read this morning Malachi iv. How delightful 
was the promise that the 'Sun of righteousness 
should arise with healing in His wings.' Oh, may this 
glorious Sun warm as well as enlighten me, a most 
unworthy creature! Read also the different tenets 
of Calvin and Arminius, neither of which can I 
wholly and cordially embrace. Methinks, Calvin, by 
denying the free agency of man, and by supposing 
Deity has predestinated many to eternal misery, im- 
peaches His justice and goodness. On the other side, 
the confident reliance of Arminius on works appears 
to me altogether unsatisfactory, and opposed to the 
first principles of Christianity. For myself, I feel it 
would be a most miserable faith, and would make 
death, indeed, the King of Terrors. I believe, with 
Calvin, in the depravity of human nature, and in sal- 



vation by grace alone ; with Arminius, I believe man 
is a free agent, that the death of Christ put all man- 
kind in a salvable state, that grace is accorded to 
every one who will pray for it, and improve it ; and 
that those who have believed may fall, and finally 
come short of salvation. 

"Mr. Ripley preached from II Kings v. 18; the 
subject was Naaman's petition that he might be per- 
mitted to bow in the temple of Rimmon. My devo- 
tion, except in the last prayer, was cold ; my thoughts 
wandered on many subjects, and I have brought 
away less of the sermon than I ought. May I be en- 
abled to profit more in future! 

"After my return, read the first and second epis- 
tles of Peter, and had a joyful sense of God's good- 
ness in Jesus Christ. In prayer, though I saw through 
a glass darkly, yet had much satisfaction, and when 
I offered up a petition for the souls of my husband 
and brother, my Heavenly Father granted me sweet 
consolation. I cannot, therefore, believe it is displeas- 
ing to Him to hear prayers for the dead. How many 
wise men, and sincere Christians, have united in the 
belief that with such prayers God is well pleased. 
Besides, if no good results to the dead, certainly they 
cannot be injured by them; and, methinks, it is a 
kind of piety to treasure their remembrance even in 
our devotion. The effect on myself, I think, is good. I 
have never felt my heart more humbled, more pen- 
etrated, more deeply impressed with a sense of my 


1804] CONCORD 

dependence on God than when I approached Him 
in behalf of my beloved departed friends. I concluded 
the reading of the day by Sherlock's discourse on the 
mysteries of the Gospel. 

"Monday. Rose at half-past six. Was not animated 
in my devotion. Wilt Thou, O Father, warm my 
heart by Thy Love, and sanctify me by Thy Spirit! 

" In the afternoon, Mr. Ripley called, with an invi- 
tation for Betsy and myself to pass a few hours at the 
parsonage. We went. In the evening, Mr. Ripley 
spoke of the state of departed souls, of our recog- 
nizing our friends in a future state ; gave it as his de- 
cided opinion that we should ; thought every well- 
founded friendship would endure eternally ; and that 
the felicity of Heaven would consist, not only in love 
to God, but love towards each other. He likewise 
mentioned his idea of future punishment, which he 
thought would be a series of suffering, terminating 
in annihilation. He rendered eternal punishment eter- 
nal death or annihilation. 

" Tuesday. Read in Psalms ; was indisposed, a vio- 
lent head-ache in the morning. Felt a depression of 
spirits, coldness of devotion except when reading 
the Scriptures. Wrote to Guadeloupe, to Mr. Cut- 
ler, Miss Bromfield, and Grace Hurd. Read a letter 
from Voltaire to Helvetius, containing excellent ad- 
vice for the formation of his style. 

" Wednesday. Read the third and fourth chapters 
of St. John's Gospel. Was assisted in devotion by 



the Prayer-book of the Church of England. Is it not 
best when our own devotion languishes, to revive it 
by the perusal of prayers by others ? 

"Thursday. The state of indifference, so much 
to be dreaded, prevailed in my devotions. Read in 
St. Matthew's Gospel. Afternoon, read Goldsmith's 
'History of England.' 

"Saturday. Was assisted in devotion by the 
Prayer-book. It was a day of sorrow. May it prove 
profitable sorrow to my soul ! In the afternoon, was 
much indisposed with a nervous complaint in my 
head. Found consolation in the Bible, and endeav- 
oured to say, ' Father, in all things, Thy will be done.' 

"Sabbath. Was assisted in devotion by the Epis- 
copal Prayer-book. Read the chief of St. John's Gos- 
pel. Was indisposed the whole day, yet did I expe- 
rience a happy tranquillity of mind, though with less 
fervour in devotion than I wished. 

" Tuesday. Read the Scriptures, but was not ani- 
mated with the spirit of fervent piety. Had many 
uncomfortable doubts. Knew not how to reconcile 
the idea of a particular Providence with Man's free 
agency. Visited Mrs. Thoreau. Spoke of the doctrine 
of Guardian Angels. Read Newton's letter on that 

" Wednesday. Was greatly favoured by my Heav- 
enly Father. Felt a greater warmth of devotion than 
I had long known. Read Newton's life, written by 
himself in a series of letters. Though I felt my heart 
warmed toward God, and was impressed with a 


1804] CONCORD 

sense of my own unworthiness, still was I distressed 
with doubts of a directing Providence. Oh, that I 
could see a Providence directing all things! Grant, 
Lord, this mercy, for Christ's sake! 

" Thursday. Was highly favoured with a more holy 
frame of devotion than I had long experienced. Read 
in St. Matthew's Gospel. Many doubts arose in my 
mind concerning this method of keeping a journal. 
Does it, or does it not, savour too much of ostenta- 
tion? Is not my conduct influenced by the idea that 
all will be recorded by my own pen ; whereas the de- 
sire to please God and obtain His Love, should be 
the ruling, and the only motive of all my actions ? 
Perhaps even my devotions are influenced, in a de- 
gree, by a wish to avoid a dark page in my journal. 
These ideas have determined me to omit, for some 
time at least, the custom of recording my feelings. 
But, as a habit of committing to paper whatever re- 
markable I have read or heard in the course of the 
day, appears to me to be beneficial, I have determined 
to continue that practice." 

That this was my mother's habit appears from 
the many loose sheets that we find among her pa- 
pers, upon which she has transcribed what most in- 
terested her in reading, as well as from her well-filled 
extract-book. The present journal, however, con- 
cludes with only the following records : 

"April 29th. Sabbath morning. Read in Psalms 
and St. John's Gospel. Methinks, the tenderness. 



the consoling love that speaks through the beloved 
Evangelist must recommend him in a particular 
manner to every heart of sensibility. When does our 
Divine Saviour appear so irresistibly lovely, as when 
speaking through the medium of John ? ' In my Fa- 
ther's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a 
place for you.' * I have prayed for you, and not for 
you only, but for all those who shall hereafter be- 
lieve on me.' 'I go to my Father, and your Father, 
to my God and your God.' 'Where I am, there ye 
shall be also.' 'Peace be with you, my peace I leave 
unto you ; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.' 
Who can read unmoved the pathetic tenderness of 
our Lord! How cold, how ungrateful is my heart, 
which so often forgets all the Saviour's love, which 
dwells hours on the gifts, for minutes devoted to the 
Giver of all good. How long has one letter from a 
beloved friend dwelt in my mind and warmed my 
heart how frequently has it been perused, how 
carefully its meaning examined, how dear has the 
treasure appeared! But how often have the Divine 
epistles of my Lord lain neglected, or but coldly and 
superficially been perused ! Grant, Heavenly Father, 
grace to warm, enlighten, and purify my soul ! " 

The following fragment of a letter, though with- 
out date or address, I suppose, from the handwri- 
ting and other indications, belongs to this period. 

"I have just laid aside Milton, who has become 
my favourite Divine. In the course of this last win- 


1804] CONCORD 

ter, I perused several theological works, and have re- 
turned to my Bible with increased pleasure, and a 
delightful consciousness that there is one volume 
in which is contained pure Truth, unadulterated by 
prejudice, plain to the simplest, divinely sublime to 
the wisest. Next to the Bible, I rank the Poets ; I am 
confident Milton, Cowper, Young, and Thomson 
excite more devotional feelings than all the contro- 
versial authors in Christendom. As I would avoid 
the touch of the torpedo, would I fly from those 
men who, refining away every thing not perfectly 
comprehensible to our weak dim-sighted reason, 
would make us believe a cold, speculative adora- 
tion of Deity is all that we can or ought to pay, who 
regard the Saviour only as the founder of a new re- 
ligion, and the institutor of a pure system of mor- 
als. As though an invisible Benefactor might not be 
loved, and as though our Creator and Redeemer 
were not entitled to the best offerings of the heart 
as well as the head. I know enthusiasm has its at- 
tendant dangers, but, to me, they appear far less fatal 
than its cold reverse ; and were happiness, even in this 
world, my object, I would prefer waking and weeping 
with enthusiastic Mary, at the foot of the cross, to 
being the icy-souled, the self-thought rational, en- 
lightened Deist, or his dear friend and brother, the 
Socinian. Thinking thus, you will not be surprised 
that the Poets are my favourite Divines. Milton's 
theology appears to me equally sound and delightful. 
The most abstruse subjects explained by him be- 



come clear, and I sometimes think him inspired by 
the Spirit he so solemnly invoked." 

To Miss Bromfield: 

"Concord, March 20th, 1804. 

" I need not say it would have given me pleasure 
to have accepted the lovely Susan's invitation. Des- 
tiny appears to separate us here. Let us hope, for 
me, I fondly cherish the expectation, that we shall 
meet at some future period of existence. Were it 
not for the hope of 'another and a better world,' 
were it not for the expectation of meeting there 
those who have been, and are, most dear to my 
heart, I should be indeed wretched. Certainly, but 
for this, I would never form a friendship. I would 
endeavour to extinguish all social affections, to sup- 
press every sentiment of tenderness, and invoke 
apathy as the best of blessings. 

" I am so truly in the writing mood, so perfectly 
disposed to fill two or three more pages, I find it nec- 
essary to repeat, every moment, 'Recollect, Mary, 
you have letters to write to Guadeloupe.' Bless your 
fortunate stars, dear Ann, for this circumstance." 

To Ruth Hurd: 

"Concord, March 23rd, 1804. 
"To live in the constant presence of all those who 
are dear to us is rarely accorded to mortals. And, 
indeed, Wisdom and Love Divine have so deter- 
mined it. Contrast is necessary, alike, to beauty and 


1804] CONCORD 

happiness. Separation from those we love heightens 
exceedingly their value, and the pleasure of a re- 
union compensates for the pain of absence. I found 
this reasoning necessary to reconcile me to quitting 
Charlestown in the abrupt manner I did, and thus 
it is: 

f<t There is some secret virtue in things evil, 
Would men observingly distil it out.' 


"No, my dear girl, I, by no means, imagine Mr. 

R. so insensible or unjust as to think of you as you 
intimate. The same observations would apply to me, 
as well as to yourself. I am perfectly conscious of 
my inferiority to Miss N. L., and should think no 
more of vicing with her than with Mr. Dexter ; but 
I should be extremely mortified did I not believe a 
man of sense could converse with us both without 
feeling contempt. In truth, my dear Ruth, I fancy 
there is a natural distinction between the sexes, and 
that woman may not only be as interesting, but as 
improving, when she preserves the distinction, and 
cultivates those powers that render her the sooth- 
ing, consoling, amiable, (but not therefore ignorant,) 
friend and companion. I respect that woman who, 
to superior strength of mind, unites goodness and 
kindness; I do more, I admire her as almost a 
prodigy. But, so rarely is masculine strength allied 
to feminine sweetness, so unfortunately is the woman 
lost in the confident orator, that I believe had we 
abilities, we should be no great gainers by assuming 
superiority. The woman who rightly understands 



her interest, will indeed cultivate her mind as highly 
as possible, she will strengthen it by exercise, she 
will consider herself rational and immortal, but she 
will not forget she is still woman, that the duties 
prescribed her by the God of Nature, are essentially 
different from those of man; and, of course, it be- 
comes her to cultivate those powers by which she is 
fitted to fulfil her duties. 

" I assure you, it was far from my intention, when 
I sat down, to enter into this dissertation. I have in- 
sensibly been led from sentence to sentence by the 
subject. I flatter myself our opinions harmonize on 
this as well as on other subjects. Indeed, I am cer- 
tain we think and feel here in unison. 

"Most joyfully do I congratulate you, my dear 
friend, on the resolution you have formed to declare 
yourself openly the disciple of the blessed Jesus, and 
to become a guest at His table. Besides the satisfac- 
tion of complying with a positive and most affect- 
ing command, besides its being the means of our 
growth in religion, it forms so delightful a bond of 
union between Christians, that, were the most pain- 
ful sacrifice necessary to attain the privilege, we 
should be insensible to hesitate making it. 

"Since my return, the walking has been so ex- 
tremely bad, I have not seen our amiable B., but 
expect this afternoon to converse with her on a very 
interesting subject. I believe she has not heard from 
Mr. - , several months past, and am astonished, 
with the certainty which he possesses that the cor- 


1804] CONCORD 

respondence was not displeasing to her, he should 
delay writing a single post. I confess, my dear Ruth, 
I do not much credit the ardour of that attachment, 
which is so diffident of its own strength and con- 
stancy. I believe genuine love never suspects the 
possibility of change. 

"Afternoon. I have opened this letter to give you 
an extract from Moritz' 'Travels through England.' 
Speaking of Lichfield, which you remember Andr 
mentions so enthusiastically, he says : 'It is an old- 
fashioned town with narrow, dirty streets. The place, 
to me, wore an unfriendly appearance ; I, therefore, 
passed hastily through it.' Who could imagine this 
to be 'the beautiful city that lifts her fair head on 
high, and says: / am, and there is none beside 

To Ann Bromfield : 

"Concord, May 8th, 1804. 

" Your letter arrived most opportunely, my dear 
Ann, to relieve me from serious anxiety for your 
health. I was on the point of addressing a letter of 
inquiry to you, or your excellent mother, when a 
messenger from the post-office wrought an immedi- 
ate change in my feelings and determinations. You 
see I do not easily suspect the constancy of a friend ; 
the idea of diminished regard would be so exceed- 
ingly painful, I cautiously avoid it, and impute to 
any other cause that apparent neglect which is some- 
times inevitable, even among the dearest friends. 



"May 9th. The early morning delightfully in- 
vites me to address you. How sweet is the cool 
breeze after the heat of yesterday, how gratefully 
the verdure of nature swells to sight long accustomed 
to dazzling snow, or the brown, lifeless earth ! I can- 
not describe my pleasure at the first warbling of the 
red-breast, but by referring you to a recollection of 
your own. Is it not a thousand pities that sportsmen, 
who know no other gratification in their amuse- 
ment than the pleasure of destroying, should be per- 
mitted to rob the country of its sweetest musician ? 
Are there any sounds more in unison with a calm 
sunset than the mellow notes of that social bird ? At 
the opening of morning, there are innumerable shrill 
pipes more enlivening, but not one possesses such 
full and tender melody. What say you to the pro- 
posal of draughting a petition in behalf of this de- 
serving favourite? Don't you think some wise heads 
at the seat of Government might be more innocently 
employed in framing laws for the preservation of the 
blessings we do enjoy, than in forming schemes for 
the acquisition of those we do not?" 

To Ruth Kurd: 

"Concord, May 14th, 1804. 

"How charmingly has the Spring opened upon 
us ! I cannot describe the pleasure I felt at the first 
opening of the wall-flower ; it was the signal of re- 
viving nature, and, while it regaled us with its per- 
fume, it awakened ideas and feelings the most grate- 


1804] CONCORD 

fill. If you have never preserved it through the win- 
ter, I think you will be repaid for the care of doing 
it, next season. The plant is hardy, and will cost you 
less attention than any other with which I am ac- 

"Shall we not see you, with our amiable Hannah, 
soon in Concord ? Being vacation, it is the season of 
Beaux with us ; and, as they remain not longer than 
strawberries or cherries, we shall be happy if you 
will hasten to share with us the rare view of two or 
three Gallants. 

"This letter is written hastily, but, my dear Ruth 
will make allowance for incoherence, when she knows 
I have been frequently interrupted, and am now 
called on to welcome some of our college friends." 

To Mrs. Lee: 

"Concord, June 17th, 1804* 
" Did I not think you confide in the constancy of 
my affectionate regard, I should make a lengthy 
apology for permitting Sulla to return to Lancaster 
without an answer to your last affectionate and thrice 
welcome epistle. In truth, a succession of company 
has constantly claimed my attention, since the re- 
turn of the fine season has rendered the country 
preferable to the town. Many books I intended read- 
ing have lain unopened, and several pieces of work 
I thought to have accomplished ere now, are un- 

" How little of our short life, my dear Elizabeth, 


is at our own disposal, and, of that little, how small 
a proportion is usefully and satisfactorily spent! I 
am confident, could we exert the energy and inde- 
pendence necessary to a systematic life, we should 
find 'our improvement, and of course our happiness, 
greatly increased. The desultory manner in which 
nine-tenths of the world pass their lives, is destruc- 
tive to good, while it leaves ample room for the 
growth of evil. Of this truth no one can be more 
convinced than myself; I am continually forming 
wise resolutions, and determining in future to fill 
each portion of time with improvement; and yet I 
too often find 'trifles light as air' dissolve the plans 
formed in moments of tranquil leisure; 'busy idle- 
ness,' or listless inactivity, steals many of the hours 
which, in anticipation, we devoted to the perform- 
ance of duty, the pursuit of wisdom, and the cul- 
tivation of taste. 

"You are very kind to urge so many admirable 
motives for my visiting Lancaster at this time. None 
were necessary to induce me to wish to pass part of 
this charming season with you. Apropos of Lancas- 
ter, I have lately heard as many fine things said, as 
I myself ever imagined; and by whom do you think ? 
Even by the brother of your angelic preacher, Mr. 
Channing. He was introduced to us the week be- 
fore last; I had indeed seen him before, but never 
heard him converse. He appeared correct and ele- 
gant ; and, you will not doubt I give him credit for 


1804] CONCORD 

fine taste, when I tell you he said that, notwith- 
standing many learned authors had asserted the con- 
trary, he was certain, Lancaster was formerly part 
of Paradise. 

"I return 'David Simple' with many thanks, and 
Helvetius with an apology for having so long de- 
tained it. I was, several times, on the point of sending 
the volume, when I recollected something I wished 
to look at again, and thus it has remained with me 
till now." 

Next we have a letter addressed to "Miss Sarah 
Ripley, Salem. Politeness of Mr. Cabot," another 
"moss from the old Manse." 

"Concord, June 27th, 1804. 

" This balmy morning, breathing health and peace, 
has inspired me with feelings worthy to be devoted 
to my Sarah, could they be transmitted by some 
magic from heart to heart ; but, as Andre complains, 
'they must go such a circuitous route from the heart 
to the head, through fingers, pen, paper, over hills 
and dales, and then must undergo the scrutiny of 
the eye, and be received into the head, before they 
reach the heart again,' that I very much fear the 
warmth, the animation, the soul, would evaporate, 
and leave you little more than a mass of words, by 
the time my letter reached you. I will refer you only 
to your own feelings on Thursday morning, at five 
o'clock, if that early hour found you awake, adding, 



the sweets of new-mown hay supplied the perfume 
of a city. When Mahomet termed smelling 'the sense 
of the soul,' he approached the truth more nearly 
than would be, at first, imagined. It certainly has 
an effect indefinitely great on our feelings, the tone 
of our minds, and the whole colour of our thoughts. 
Did it depend on myself, I would embower my hab- 
itation with fragrant trees and shrubs, more remote 
would place the fuller odour of sweet-scented flow- 
ers ; and this as a promoter of cheerfulness and com- 

"Do not imagine I have expatiated on the de- 
lights of the morning air because I had nothing more 
interesting, no subject nearer my heart. The health 
of my dear Sarah has been as anxiously desired by 
her friend, as she permits aught to be wished, which 
concerns this momentary existence. I was relieved 
by learning, from your father, you supported your 
journey as far as Charlestown, with more ease than 
he apprehended ; I am resigned to the deprivation 
of your society, so well convinced am I, your health 
will be benefited by change of air and objects, with 
the attention, and amiable cheerfulness of Miss Law- 
rence. Present to her the sentiments you think most 
acceptable from your Mary ; none can more admire 
the noble sincerity and independence of her charac- 
ter, than myself, none render more justice to the 
warmth of her heart. 

"Monday, July 2nd. Company obliged me to quit 

1804] CONCORD 

my dear Sarah, and company has, until now, pre- 
vented my enjoying paper conversation with her. My 
cousin, E. Gould, from Augusta, is with me ; she is 
a lively, sensible, engaging girl ; and, were it not for 
the solicitude her delicate health excites, I should 
find her society a cordial. As neither of my sisters 
is at home, the laws of hospitality, seconded by in- 
clination, oblige me to devote much of my time to 
her, of course, little has remained for my pen. 

"Yesterday, for the third time, I received welcome 
intelligence of your improved health. Don't be as- 
tonished, my dear; distinguished personages must 
ever expect attention will be paid to their most mi- 
nute actions, and the state of their health, spirits, 
etc., etc., afford subject of conversation to all the 
little beings around them. If you recollect with whom 
you breakfasted on your journey to Salem, you will 
not be at a loss to know from whom I once heard 
from you. Hannah gave me yesterday an assurance, 
the most gratifying, that Salem air, and Salemfriends 
had proved as charming restoratives as our hopes had 

" Should you see Miss Jenks, oblige me by assur- 
ing her my heart has ever retained the sweet image 
of the little blue-eyed girl I loved when, like herself, 
a child." 

With my mother's letters of 1804 I find the fol- 
lowing note to Rev. William Emerson, the brother 



of Miss Mary Emerson. My father has marked it in 
pencil, "To Editor of the Anthology." 1 

"Sabbath Evening. 

" Not all my confidence in the candour of Mr. Em- 
erson enables me to transmit the superficial produc- 
tion of a winter's morning without reluctance. It is 
only in compliance with his sister's request I deter- 
mine to send, by to-morrow's post, what will be per- 
haps rejected by the judgment and taste of the Editor 
of the 'Anthology.' Should this be the case, no one 
can acknowledge the justice of the sentence more 
sincerely than the author." 

From this it seems that my mother had "gained 
courage" to write for the public eye. The following 
note and letter appeared in the "Anthology" for 
July, 1804. 


"Mr. Editor, Should you be disposed to admit 
into your elegant publication the correspondence of 
two obscure females, who have hitherto written 
merely for their own amusement, and who still seek 
concealment, you will probably receive several let- 
ters from Constance and Cornelia." 

1 In 1803, the Anthology Club was founded in Boston, consisting of 
fourteen members, six of them ministers. In November, the first number 
of the " Monthly Anthology " appeared, and it was continued until June, 
1811. It was the first literary and critical magazine of any note published 
in America. The article mentioned is in the form of a letter, signed Cor- 
nelia, and is addressed to Miss Mary Emerson under the name of Con- 
stance. ED. 


1804] CONCORD 

The editor of the "Anthology" adds the following 

" If Constance shall manifest the piety of heart, 
and warmth of fancy, which glow in her friend Cor- 
nelia, the Editor will be proud of his new correspond- 


July, 1804. 

The sublime death of Mrs. - , which you last 
evening described to me, dear Constance, deeply im- 
pressed my mind. Resignation derived from such 
sources, at the moment of such a separation, from a 
mind like hers, which, you say, "exhibited a fair and 
beautiful symmetry, justness in reasoning, strength 
to investigate, and clearness to discover ; with those 
estimable qualities, sensibility, fortitude, and mod- 
esty;" is truly wonderful. 

When you left me, I retired to my chamber, with 
the image of the expiring saint before me. Seating 
myself at a window, mine eyes were involuntarily 
raised towards heaven ; and " Where is now the abode 
of the departed spirit?" was my first inquiry. Does 
that state of progression, which we believe continues 
after death, permit the idea that the soul ascends to 
the complete enjoyment of the immediate presence 
of Deity, which would be at once the perfection of 
bliss and glory? Of the innumerable "gems that pave 
the floor of heaven," we know little, but believe them 
to be suns, enlightening other systems; those sys- 
tems are doubtless the abodes of intelligent beings; 



why may we not suppose them to be the different 
"mansions of our heavenly Father," of which the 
Saviour informed His sorrowing disciples, and where 
He assured them of a reception ? And is it irrational 
to believe congenial spirits assemble in the same 
planet, and thence pass to more glorious orbs, as they 
acquire greater purity and perfection ? 

In this train of thought I fell asleep, but was soon 
awakened by heavy thunder; severe and frequent 
flashes of lightning were succeeded by peals awfully 
majestic ; nature was alternately wrapt in flames and 
in darkness, and the still silence of night was broken 
only by the voice of God. It was then when I felt that 
every flash might be the mandate of death ; when I 
tremblingly realized the next moment might termi- 
nate my probationary state, and place my disem- 
bodied spirit in the presence of that pure and holy 
Judge, by whose irrevocable decree my fate would be 
sealed ; that I acknowledged the folly of indulging 
mere speculations, the pastime of the imagination, 
by which the heart is little affected, and of course the 
life unimproved ; it was then, impressed with an idea 
that my life was just closing, I felt that true wisdom 
should engage us to employ with activity each mo- 
ment allowed us, to seek unceasingly the favour of 
our Maker, and thus prepare for that death which is 
inevitable ; instead of regarding it as a probable, but 
very distant event, and amusing ourselves, in the in- 
terim, with fancying the scenes to which it may in- 
troduce us. 


1804] CONCORD 

What is this strange propensity in our nature to 
turn from the contemplation of indubitable and es- 
sential truth, while we readily resign ourselves to 
imagination, and rove with delight in the boundless 
regions of possibility ? How, my ever valued friend, 
is this propensity to be corrected ; how, (since all our 
faculties may answer that important purpose,) best 
made to conduce to our felicity as immortal beings? 

The wish to obtain your opinion on this subject 
induced me to throw on paper the thoughts and feel- 
ings of last night ; refuse not to oblige your 


In the "Anthology" for August, 1804, Miss Em- 
erson replied to this letter, defending the use of the 
imagination; in December, 1804, she wrote on bot- 
any as confirming the Christian faith. To this my 
mother replied, in a subsequent number, as follows: 


January 15th, 1805. 

Yes, my dear Constance, the interesting science, 
whose tendency you have investigated and justly 
eulogized, does indeed shed new light on the best 
interests of Man ; and though to the mere naturalist, 
it is little more than an amusement, to the Christian 
botanist it presents a chaplet of never fading flowers. 

And, surely, my friend, since the love of nature 
is intimately connected with that of her Author, it 



is "devoutly to be wished" that a taste for all her 
sublime and touching beauties might be universally 
and assiduously cultivated. If the study of her low- 
liest children tends to contemplations the most ele- 
vating, if the vegetable world demonstrates the Wis- 
dom, the Goodness, and the Power of the Creator, 
ought not an attention to grander harmonies to sub- 
limate the soul and all its capacities? 

To a well-toned mind, and refined taste, inex- 
haustible sources of pleasure are opened. Change of 
seasons presents objects ever new; and, even in the 
short compass of day and night, the senses and the 
imagination are regaled by a ceaseless variety of 
beauties. The mere connoisseur, who criticises na- 
ture as he does the fine arts, is insensibly animated 
and purified by it. The cheerful morning invigorates 
his mind and his affections ; and the serene evening, 
while it soothes the jarring passions awakened by the 
events of the day, communicates to his heart that 
tenderness and benevolence, of which it seems the 
reflected image. 

But how are these advantages enhanced, these 
pleasures ennobled, to the being who beholds the 
great Artificer, through the medium of His works! 
In the simplicity and grandeur of that system which 
blesses our world with alternate light and shade, he 
views the goodness of a Father, and adores the maj- 
esty of a God ; whilst every proof of His omnipo- 
tence and omnipresence fills the heart with that sweet 


1804] CONCORD 

confidence, which is an antidote to all the ills of life. 
And, when the west is splendid with crimson and 
gold, how superior to the pleasure of the painter and 
the poet is the rapture of gratitude which raises the 
soul to Him, by whose law grey masses of vapour are 
transformed into objects pleasing to the eye, ani- 
mating to the fancy, and elevating to the feelings 
of the admiring observer! 

I know your opinion of Cowper, the faithful poet 
of nature and of Christianity, too well to imagine 
you can have perused his life, written by the elegant 
and affectionate Hayley, without pleasure. There is 
genuine satisfaction in finding the Author whose 
works we admire, worthy our esteem and confidence 
as a man; his precepts acquire a strength and grace, 
when illustrated by his own example, which nothing 
else can give to them. We are grateful to the good- 
natured biographer, who, by presenting us with a 
favourable portrait, adds energy to the page whence 
we derive wisdom and delight. But there are dan- 
gers in this species of biography ; and, on the whole, 
which do you think most beneficial to the cause of 
virtue and science, the tender partiality of Hayley, 
or the stern investigation of Johnson ? 

Hoping for an answer, I bid you an affectionate 
farewell. CORNELIA. 

I find an unfinished letter of July 2, without ad- 
dress, from which I copy the following paragraphs: 



" There is, in the early death of a Christian, an in- 
describable charm, which all must acknowledge who 
behold. To retire from the world with calm dignity, 
at the moment when its allurements are all displayed 
to fascinate us ; to ascend to the world of spirits, the 
fresh fragrance of youth yet unwasted, the soul un- 
wedded to this world, and glowing with devotion; 
to be admitted to the celestial assembly of perfected 
beings, to become ourselves angelic, and dwell for- 
ever near the fountain of Felicity, without having 
encountered the dangers and the miseries of a long 
life, without having died a thousand times in those 
we love, is not this a boon devoutly to be wished? 
A beneficent Providence has accorded this distin- 
guishing favour to most of those I best loved. I 
never lost an aged friend. My father, in the meridian 
of life, died as all would wish to die, and the tombs 
of the friends who have since ascended to Heaven, 
bear a yet earlier date. Far from anticipating the 
long life of those dear to me, I do not even ask it; 
to petition for their health is all I dare. With such 
sentiments, you will judge the friendships I contract 
must be for eternity. Not one have I formed, since 
I was capable of deciding, which I do not hope will 
be lasting as my consciousness of existence ; we may 
pass but a year, a month, a day, together on earth, 
but immortal beings may expect eternal intercourse 
in some mansion of their Heavenly Father." 

Probably written to Mr. Rockwood: 


1804] CONCORD 

"Concord, July 5th, 1804. 

" Where shall I address myself to the sage who 
fled the dissipation and folly of Concord? Is he an 
anchorite on the woody summit of Beacon Hill, hath 
he sought an asylum on the lonely banks of the 
Charles, or, less severe, is he aiding the gentle nymphs 
of Salem to guard their fleecy charge ? In either case, 
will not an epistle from one of the giddy but elegant 
and dangerous votaries of fashion, be deemed imper- 
tinent? With what patience can he support such 
an interruption to profound meditation, or tranquil 
enjoyment? Ah ! he will, doubtless, consign this poor 
sheet to the four winds of Heaven, for having the 
audacity to bear on its surface a splendid detail of 
Plays and Concerts, Balls and Routs, and of what 
else can I speak from the centre of this dazzling me- 
tropolis ? 'T is, doubtless, the spirit of contradiction, 
so congenial with my sex, that induces me to write 
at this time; and you may attribute my letter to 
that to vanity cruelty or any other commend- 
able motive your wisdom shall see fit, provided, after 
all, you render me justice by believing, with all my 
faults, I am truly gratified to know your health and 
spirits are good." 

The usual tone of my mother's letters is so serious 
and earnest that we welcome one which brings her 
before us in her more playful moods, jesting with her 
friend, as we may suppose her to have done in the 
familiar intercourse of daily life. 



To Ruth Hurd : 

"Concord, July 7th, 1804. 

" How have you borne the extreme heat of this 
sultry day, my dearest Ruth? The spiritless faces 
around me, and my own languid feelings, demon- 
strate better than the thermometer, the degree of 

"The humiliation your letter expresses, my dear 
Ruth, I have felt, I do feel most sensibly, but I be- 
lieve it has its origin in vanity. (I speak of that hu- 
mility which arises from a consciousness of intellec- 
tual inferiority, for rarely does the superior goodness 
of the simple and inelegant humble us painfully.} 
Those feelings of self-abasement which place us at 
the foot of the cross, which lead us to acknowledge 
ourselves to be 'poor, and miserable, and blind, and 
naked,' are worthy our cultivation, and consistent 
with the character of fallen creatures ; they are far 
from painful, since they compel us to place our whole 
dependence on the merits and compassion of the Re- 
deemer, and make 'God all in all.' But, tho' it is our 
duty to acquire a knowledge of our own strength 
and weakness, we should riot repine if we discover 
ourselves to possess but one talent ; we are required 
to cultivate all committed to our charge, and to rest 
content and grateful, should the number be more or 
less. This, my dear Ruth, is my opinion. In practice 
I am very deficient. The superiority of others often 
draws from me a sigh for my own weakness and ig- 


1804] CONCORD 

norance, and, I fear, sometimes produces the crim- 
inality and folly of repining. 

"The pain in my side which writing always in- 
creases, obliges me to conclude with an affectionate 
remembrance of your sister, and respects to your 

To Mr. Rockwood: 

"Concord, July 24th, 1804. 

" Your very friendly cautions with regard to my 
health, I accept with pleasure, though they are ren- 
dered unnecessary, if proofs of friendship ever can be 
so, by renovated strength. I am, indeed, so far re- 
covered I forget I am not perfectly well, till some 
little exertion reminds me of my promise to write 
little, and be very prudent, the remainder of the 

" Is it that woman, possessing greater susceptibil- 
ity, receives impressions more easily than man, or 
is it that her situation, which generally precludes a 
knowledge of the world, and her education, which 
leads her far from the study of the human heart, ren- 
der her more credulous? Whatever may be the 
cause, I have remarked my sex to form decidedly 
favourable opinions of strangers far more readily 
than yours. Ann Bromfield and Susan Lowell as- 
sured me Mr. P. possessed 'exquisite, unequivocal 
sensibility, taste, and mental elegance.' His class- 
mates express a different opinion; and I observed, 



on the Fourth of July, the Gentlemen who knew 
him not personally, attributed to affectation what 
the Ladies fancied the effect of feeling. Who is it 
that remarks the sexes are set as spies on each other? 
I 'm disposed to think very differently ; all rivalry be- 
ing excluded, I think we judge with greater candour 
and generosity ; and, though a good woman, who has 
not been a critical observer of others, is credulously 
kind in her judgment of all, she remarks faults less 
readily in Man than Woman. This opinion has al- 
ways had an effect on my feelings ; among strangers, 
I am far more at ease with a male, than female, 

To Ann Bromfield: 

" Charlestown, August 15th, 1804- 
"Each day confirms my belief that hope, consid- 
ered in reference to the present life, is a treacherous 
illusion. I had indulged it in a very, very slight de- 
gree, when I thought of meeting you, dear Ann, in 
Charlestown, and now rejoice I gave it not more un- 
limited empire. My disappointment is tempered by 
an assurance of your health, and affectionate remem- 
brance ; for, to say truth, I have been very apprehen- 
sive about the former, and have had my jealous fears 
concerning the latter ; but, I know not how it is, when 
a silence of two or three months has made me a little 
angry, a little hurt, and very sorrowful, the sight of 
your hand- writing is ever a sufficient apology ; and, 
before I have read your letter, I am convinced I 


1804] CONCORD 

ought to esteem you more highly for the very pain 
you have occasioned me. 

"Three weeks have I been in this place, and, till 
last Sabbath, I scarcely enjoyed the society of our 
inestimable Susan for a moment. We have met fre- 
quently in parties, and even to see her has given me 
pleasure; but the 'flow of soul,' the rich repast of 
sentiment and feeling was reserved for the last, that 
it might be the most indelibly impressed pleasure." 

To Susan Lowell: 

"Concord, September 12th, 1804. 
"Are you too ethereal to suffer from a change of 
weather? Does the 'sunshine of the breast' render 
you insensible to the cheerless storm ? If so, I would 
gladly participate in an exemption from the only al- 
loy to the enjoyment of Autumn. The Spring, I 
think, is your favourite season ; I acknowledge it is 
unrivalled in beauty, but the Autumn revives in my 
mind certain remembrances, and awakens a train of 
thought and feeling more tender and delightful than 
I have the power to express. At this season, when 
the weather is fine, the heavens, you know, are pecu- 
liarly serene ; when I have been gazing at the setting 
sun till I felt my soul glow with gratitude to the 
Author of a spectacle so grand and beautiful, I have 
sometimes thought natural beauty reflected on the 
mind had a tendency to produce moral excellence; 
and, for this reason, as well as for the immediate 
pleasure resulting from it, I would assiduously cul- 



tivate a taste for that beauty in every diversity of 
form, from the humble wild-flower to the majestic 
rising and setting sun." 


"Concord, October llth, 1804. 
"In an union so intimate and indissoluble, more 
than a sense of duty is requisite ; there should exist 
not only a mutual wish to please, and to improve, 
but an affection founded on esteem, and sympathy 
of taste and feeling. Though constant exertion to 
promote the happiness of another must produce 
grateful attachment, yet without that harmony, the 
heart will mourn in secret." 

To Mrs. Lee: 

"Concord, October llth, 1804. 
"I rejoice to learn, not only from yourself, but 
Sal In, the perfect restoration of your health. At this 
time, I can perfectly participate in your feelings, for 
I am, myself, enjoying renovated strength and spir- 
its. I had scarcely recovered from a slight lung-fever, 
which left me unusually debilitated, when I made a 
visit to a relation in a neighbouring town. The fort- 
night I passed at Sudbury was marked by a kind of 
enjoyment to which I have been a stranger the last 
twelvemonth. Almost every day, I spent an hour or 
two in rambling through the woods; the exercise, 
together with the fresh air of pine and walnut woods, 
invigorated my frame, while the solemn tranquillity 


1804] CONCORD 

of retired solitude breathed a correspondent calm in- 
to my soul. The season of the year, too, so harmo- 
nized with my feelings ; it recalled with such tender 
interest the remembrance of 'days that are past for- 
ever,' and, at the same time, animated my hopes of 
' endless Spring beyond the wintry grave,' that I have 
seldom passed hours more pleasantly than in my soli- 
tary walks." 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"Concord, October 16th, 1804. 

"The little journey to Newbury which I antic- 
ipated with such delight, I very much apprehend 
will not take place this* Autumn. We have just re- 
ceived letters from Charlestown, which mention the 
intention of some of our cousins to pass the coming 
fortnight with us, and, I fear, the season will then be 
too far advanced to permit Miss Lowell and myself 
to commence the journey in an open chaise unat- 
tended. Not that I apprehend any danger for my- 
self, but I fancy our friends, Ann included, would 
pronounce us afflicted with some kind of mental 

"The day on which I received your letter, was 
marked in the calendar for an happy one ; it not only 
brought me intelligence from my dear Ann, but a 
kind sheet from our ever interesting Susan. With 
the many other pleasures and advantages your friend- 
ship has procured me, I remember, with grateful af- 
fection, I owe to it an acquaintance with a family 



that combines talents the most brilliant with virtues 
the most rare ; and, what is yet more dear, an inter- 
est, however small, in a heart which, for purity, gen- 
erosity, humility, and tenderness, is scarcely to be 

From Ruth Hurd to Mary Van Schalkwyck: 

"Charlestown, November 6tk, 1804. 

" I was rather disappointed in the general society 
[of Portsmouth] ; it was neither so extensive, nor so 
polished, as I expected from the magnitude of the 
place. They are uncommonly social, friendly, and at- 
tentive to strangers ; all formality was banished after 
the first introduction, and perfect ease and good- 
humour prevailed. I saw little that distinguished 
New Hampshire from Massachusetts, indeed, I 
think the habits, etc. of the New England States very 
similar, though there is much difference between 
them and the Southern. 

"The fame of young Buckminster has, no doubt, 
reached you, he is the reigning favourite of the day, 
and certainly his talents entitle him to admiration, 
even though not exercised in support of the most 
sound doctrine. I regret extremely that he is not 
what we call orthodox. There is, however, reason to 
hope for a happy change, as he is by no means big- 
oted, but candidly acknowledges that he does not 
feel confirmed in his present opinions, which, I think, 
incline to the Sodnian. His father's principles are 


1804] CONCORD 

widely opposite, and he reluctantly consented to his 
son's delivering sentiments so repugnant to his ideas 
of truth. I sincerely pray he may be added to the ad- 
vocates of 'pure and undefiled religion,' which must 
give a force to his eloquence that I am sure the most 
thoughtless cannot resist." 

To Ruth Kurd : 

"Concord, Nov. 26th, 1804. 

"Next to wishing, apologizing is the most foolish 
employment ; candour will ever accept reformation, 
and, without reformation, apology is but a proof of 
insincerity or weakness. I certainly did not intend my 
dear Ruth's last letter should remain so long unan- 
swered, I certainly do not intend to observe similar 
silence in future. 

" Mr. Buckminster I had been taught to admire ere 
you gave him the meed of praise, and confirmed me 
in the opinion that he is an extraordinary son of gen- 
ius. I think, with you, he will not be suffered to stray 
into the wilds of error ; with simple and upright in- 
tentions, with a sincere love of truth, and an humble 
reliance on his Heavenly Guide, there can exist no 
doubt of his being enlightened as much as is neces- 
sary for his own, or the salvation of others. Indeed, 
my dear Ruth, when we reflect on the many saints 
of different religious opinions when we behold the 
Church of Rome embrace a Fenelon and a Massillon ; 
the Calvinists boast a Saurin,aDoddridge,a Flavel, a 



Witherspoon, and a Wilberforce ; the Episcopalians a 
Beveridge and Watson ; the Methodists a Whitefield ; 
and the Quakers an Anthony Benezet, and a War- 
ner Mifflin ; while the admirable Watts and Baxter 
classed themselves with no particular sect, but char- 
itably laboured for the good of all ; it would seem we 
must be indeed blind and hard of heart, not to be- 
lieve there are in our Heavenly Father's house ' many 
mansions,' and that all who seek the truth in the love 
of it, shall be received to some part of the glorious 

" Our attention has been very much engaged the 
past week by a young lady who is with us on a visit. 
Harriet White of Rutland, formerly of Boston, and 
a pupil of Miss Butler, is in her nineteenth year. For 
the last three years, a disease in her eyes has rendered 
her almost blind, added to which, an affection of the 
nerves, and a delicate state of health, has produced 
a continued series of illness, and confinement ; yet has 
she preserved the most cheerful resignation, the most 
patient sweetness, I almost ever witnessed. Ever 
wishing to be pleased and to communicate pleasure, 
she never thinks her own sufferings an excuse for 
murmuring, or even for dejection. It is impossible 
to see and hear her without being moved, and I think 
must be difficult for any one in the enjoyment of 
health to contemplate her in the deprivation of it, 
without being touched with a sense of their cold in- 
gratitude to Him who maketh them to differ" 


1804] CONCORD 

To Susan Lowell: 

"Novetnber 26th, 1804. 

"Yes, my friend, I think perfectly with you, ob- 
scurity should veil the authoress from the public eye. 
That her works be justly appreciated, her sex must 
remain unknown. The Lords of Creation are too jeal- 
ous of their high prerogative to suffer a woman to en- 
ter the lists of fame without hurling the envenomed 
shafts of illiberal and cruel criticism. But, methinks, 
when conscious of the power to enlighten and correct, 
she should risk the possibility of discovery, and nobly 
dare to do as well as to be good. There are not many 
of our sex whose situation and talents combine to 
make this a duty. Generally, before mental maturity 
is attained, they are engaged in domestic duties, and 
engrossed by indispensable cares; but where, with 
cultivation and talents, affluence and leisure are 
united, the world, in general, and woman, in par- 
ticular, may and ought to prefer their claims." 

The case here urged by my mother I understand 
to be that of Miss Ann Lowell, whose intellectual 
powers she seems to have regarded with profound 
respect and admiration, as did all of that period who 
knew her. 

Among my mother's undated papers are the fol- 
lowing, which perhaps, from their subject, should 
have been given a place in connection with her jour- 
nal of this year. 



"Let your morning hours be devoted to prayer, 
reading, and study, and suffer not trifles to break in 
upon, the arrangements you have made. 

"Accustom yourself to frequent use of the pen. 
What we commit to paper is not soon forgotten. 

" Be careful to rise early, by which habit you will 
have time for everything." 

With the above I find the following prayer, evi- 
dently her own: 

"O Father of universal nature! Thou who art 
everywhere present! Thou beholdest me, Thy crea- 
ture, laden with transgressions, and unworthy to 
bow before Thee who art infinitely wise, and pow- 
erful, and good. O Father, wilt Thou, for the sake 
of Jesus Christ, Thy glorious Son, and my spotless 
Intercessor, forgive me ! Pardon all my sins of omis- 
sion and of commission, for His sake. And Oh, wilt 
Thou restrain my wandering thoughts fix them on 
Thee, who art the only suitable object of supreme 
attention and love. Enable me to see Thee as Thou 
art, infinite in every perfection, and altogether lovely. 
May I see Thee in all Thy works, and in all Thy 
ways acknowledge Thee. In prosperity, may a sense 
that every blessing flows from Thy hand add to every 
enjoyment incomparable value. In adversity, may 
the assurance that sorrow, as well as joy, flows from 
Thy hand, and that Thou inflictest chastisements on 
Thy children for their eternal benefit, render me 


1804] CONCORD 

submissive to the rod. And O my God! grant that 
in life and in death, I may be Thine. Suffer no earthly 
object, however amiable, to steal away my soul from 
Thee, but wilt Thou reign supreme in my affections 
through time and through eternity." 




FTER a visit in Lancaster, with which the year 
1804 closed, my mother wrote as follows to 
Mrs. Lee: 

"Concord, Jan. 3rd, 1805. 

" When I left you, I was half determined to defer 
returning to Concord until Thursday ; several good 
reasons combined to convince me I ought not to 
change my resolution, even though tempted by con- 
siderations the most alluring. At nine o'clock I en- 
tered a huge close sleigh, which conveyed . to my 
mind a lively image of the ark; and, allowing the 
Pythagorean system to be true, it has doubtless been 
the receptacle of every variety of animal. What 
strengthened the illusion was its sickening motion, 
which so affected Miss Channing, that she was half 
fainting from Lancaster to Stow. Our travelling com- 
panions amused themselves with agriculture and pol- 
itics, but, had we even been disposed to find 'good 
in everything,' our utmost ingenuity could scarce 
have extracted advantage from conversation either 
local or common-place. We were, however, too much 
engrossed by selfish sufferings to pay profound at- 
tention to the Orators of the day, and, of course, es- 
caped much of the ennui we should have, otherwise, 

unavoidably felt. 


1805] CONCORD 

" I found my friends, as I left them, well, and all 
interested in making inquiries concerning the health 
and spirits of my dear Elizabeth. They unite in 
friendly remembrances to both my friends. Do not 
let Mrs. S. see that sentence ; she would think me 
quixotic or hypocritical for presuming to bestow that 
epithet on angels, if I had not known them a long 

" I am disposed to fill this sheet, and closely too, 
but am surrounded by girls, who are chatting at such 
a rate as to preclude the possibility of writing two 
connected sentences." 

To Susan Lowell: 

"Concord, Jan. 3rd, 1805. 

"* Write me all about yourself.' Indeed, my dear 
Susan, my life is so uniform, my employments, my 
pleasures, so little varied, that to sketch a day would 
be to describe a month. In the wintry season, I sel- 
dom quit the family fireside except for church, or an 
unceremonious visit at the Parsonage. Books, family 
conversation, the pen, and the needle, vary my oc- 
cupations; and, though they would not shine with 
splendour on the page of history, they make time 
pass pleasantly, and, I hope, not altogether without 

To Ruth Kurd: 

"Concord, Jan. 26th, 1805. 

"To one whose life passes uniformly as your 
Mary's, and whose little circle of friends is ever the 



same, your animated description of new characters 
is doubly grateful. You have, my sweet friend, a 
golden opportunity to obtain a knowledge of the 
world without being greatly in danger of contam- 
ination. Improve it, and let no character, no event, 
escape you unnoticed ; but, above all things, attend 
to your own heart, watch those serpents that are 
ever ready to entwine even around our virtues, 
that pride, which assumes the front of noble inde- 
pendence, that vanity which wears the mask of a be- 
nevolent solicitude to please. These, and other dan- 
gerous passions, are the growth of every human 
heart, and to repress them should be the warfare of 
our lives. Nor is it enough to repress them, unless 
we cultivate in their stead the opposite virtues. Par- 
don me, my dear Ruth, if I assume the monitorial 
style. Were I placed in your situation, I should much 
require your friendly counsel." 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"Concord, February 16th, 1805. 
"Since we parted, I have been constantly engaged 
at the Parsonage, and with my Father, who has been 
seriously indisposed. During several days, we appre- 
hended a nervous fever; the most alarming symp- 
toms have now disappeared, and we trust he is con- 
valescent. Sarah, in whose health you have kindly 
expressed an interest, is not essentially better. She 
is now attended by Miss Emerson, whose watchful 
attention to all the little wants and comforts of an 


1805] CONCORD 

invalid, together with her sublime views of immor- 
tality, render her peculiarly fitted for her charge. 

"There are few offices so delicate and so difficult 
to discharge as that of garde-malade. Mary Emer- 
son possesses just the firm decision, the patient vig- 
ilance, the animating faith, and enlivening vivacity 
of mind and manner, that fit her for it. Had I the 
eloquence of Ann Lowell, I would describe the in- 
fluence of religion on the mind, the temper, and the 
life of this uncommon woman ; as it is, I despair do- 
ing justice to her. The expiration of vacation has 
deprived us of our Mercury. Since the illness of 
Papa, he has been literally a messenger; he has be- 
come almost too necessary to the happiness of his 
sister, the gloom of whose confinement he has gilded 
with the sunshine of his mind and heart. Alas, my 
friend! the danger there is in the most innocent of 
all attachments ! fraternal love, while it twines around 
the heart-strings, prepares the poison of anxiety, dis- 
appointed hope, and fond regret, for the remainder 
of life. I never see my friends Sarah and Daniel, 
without a recollection that penetrates my soul ; and, 
at such times, the only balm is faith in the Wisdom 
and Goodness of Omnipotence." 

To Susan Lowell: 

"Concord, March 18th, 1805. 

"And now, how shall I express my admiration of 
your sentiments, acknowledge my sense of their just- 
ness, and yet defend the wish to deviate from them ? 



I confess it was my wish it has been my design to 
become a member of the Society in Bethlehem. By 
a concurrence of Providential afflictions, I found my- 
self, at an age when others are just commencing their 
career, apparently at the close of mine. When I lost 
the three natural protectors God accords to woman, 
Husband, Father, Brother, methought it was for 
no ordinary purpose I was thus afflicted, the fairest 
blossoms of human hope blighted, and the tenderest 
ties of humanity broken. I believed my Heavenly 
Father was disconnecting me with earth, that I might 
be wholly devoted to Him. Till then, though I thought 
myself a Christian, my heart, my hope, my joy, was 
all of this world. But, when I began to consider the 
present life as the infancy of existence, in which I 
was to be educated for eternity; when I saw and felt 
that the title of Christian was synonymous with that 
of combatant, and implied the necessity of encoun- 
tering hosts of external and internal foes ; I thought 
it my duty to avail myself of the liberty Providence 
had granted me, to retire to a situation fraught with 
richer advantages, and blest with greater security, 
than any other I could imagine. And, in this, I 
thought not to violate my filial duties. I should not 
have bound myself indissolubly to the Society, I 
should have, annually, passed some weeks with my 
mother, who is happy in her family, and who would, 
at any time, possess the power of recalling her child. 
You will recollect that, were I engaged in domestic 
life, it would be impossible to remain with her, and 


1805] CONCORD 

I should, probably, be far less at liberty to devote 
myself to her, should such devotion be necessary to 
her happiness. Were I at leisure, I could adduce 
many arguments in support of my favourite plan, 
but I am not, and will only assure you that, since I 
have discovered that by carrying it into execution, 
I should deeply pain my Parent, who does not think 
my improvement would be proportionate to the sac- 
rifices I must, in her opinion, make, I have resigned 
it. Nor should I at this time, my dear Susan, have 
wearied you with this egotism, had not your letter 
insensibly drawn me into a defence of my late in- 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"Concord, March 25th, 1805. 

"The 'Life of Richardson,' by Mrs. Barbauld, 
what a treasure, my dear Ann ! The subject was wor- 
thy the Biographer. 

" I thank you for your interesting sketch of Mrs. 
Klopstock, which has awakened curiosity to know 
more of her. That she possessed a pure and feeling 
heart, and a refined taste, is very evident ; she was the 
beloved of Klopstock. But what were the peculiar- 
ities of her mind, what were her habits, what her edu- 
cation; all, but particularly the two first, are inter- 
esting enquiries. 

"Miss Emerson has been seriously indisposed, and 
I do not believe any ancient Philosopher ever sus- 
tained pain with greater heroism. It certainly is a 



privilege to witness the elevated height to which 
faith and habits like hers may conduct a frail and 
sensitive woman. Unwilling that matter should for 
a moment triumph over mind, in proportion as the 
sufferings of the former increased, she endeavoured 
to interest the latter in reading or conversation. 

* Why,' she would say, ' should we lose any portion 
of existence which may be improved or enjoyed?' 
And in this she is simple and true ; her Philosophy, 
like her Religion, is sincere and unostentatious. She 
does not waste a wish on admiration, the applause 
of the world appears to her an object too inconsid- 
erable to engross the thoughts of an immortal." 

To Susan Lowell: 

"April 1st, 1805. 

" I regret that, with your ardent love of this an- 
imating season, you should quit the country; our 
meadows are becoming verdant, we have the morn- 
ing song of birds, and the evening hymn of frogs, 
both harmonize perfectly with the hours they cel- 
ebrate. Tell me, does the pathos of Cooper, and the 
voice of artful music, compensate for this loss ? You 

* retained your senses,' after listening to Cooper! 
Tell it not in Gath your reputation for taste could 
never survive such an avowal; if you are really so 
outre, conceal it, lest the beau-monde, which has 
hitherto imagined Susan L. to be a civilized being, 
should pronounce her a mere barbarian. Should 
Washington arise from his grave, think you he 


1805] CONCORD 

would excite greater enthusiasm, or should Napo- 
leon invade our country, would the public be more 
agitated than by this celebrated actor?" 

To Mrs. Lee: 

"Concord, May 4th, 1805. 

"Let me again thank you for the loan of Euler. 
You do not know how precious an obligation you 
have conferred on me, unless you have received as 
much pleasure from his ingenious and admirable 
work as it has yielded me. Euler shines with con- 
spicuous splendour in the constellation of sublime 
Philosophers and profound Mathematicians, but his 
most resplendent rays proceed from the principle of 
piety that animated his soul. I shall not rest till I 
make some part of his ideas my own. They can, in- 
deed, scarcely pass through the mind, without leav- 
ing it wiser and better." 

Mrs. Lee, in reply, says : 

"Lancaster, May 19th. 

"This is the first time Euler has been borrowed 
of me, and happy I am to find one who enjoys 
equally with myself a work, as they say, so very dry 
and tedious." 

The following letters are from my mother to her 
youngest stepbrother, Benjamin Hurd : 

"Concord, May 15th, 1805. 

"As you neither came nor wrote yesterday, my 
dear Benjamin, we conclude you determine to see 



us no more till you return from France. Painful as 
we find this idea, it is perhaps less so than a formal 
leave-taking. Accept, before you quit your country, 
an affectionate adieu from your sister Mary, accom- 
panied by a few lines of serious and sincere advice. 

"I am acquainted with the habits, the manners, 
and the customs of the People among whom you 
are going to reside ; I know the fascination of their 
social powers, the enchantment of their elegant and 
varied amusements ; and I know, likewise, how fatal 
to Religion, how destructive to the pure Morality 
of the Gospel, is a life devoted to them. True, virtue 
and vice are found among every People, they are 
confined to no nation or clime but, without big- 
otry, I think I may securely say, in every Christian 
country, the Sabbath is the standard by which to 
judge of national correctness. If that is devoted to 
Him who claims it for His own, and to a contem- 
plation of the sublime truths contained in His Word, 
we may be confident virtue rests on a solid basis; 
but, if the reverse is the picture of truth, we must 
be cautious in confiding, and scrupulous in avoiding 

" In addition to the Bible, you will provide your- 
self a few books of Devotion and Morality; for my 
part, I would particularly recommend some com- 
pendious work illustrative of the truth of Christian- 
ity. For instance, either Lord Lyttelton's 'Conver- 
sion of St. Paul,' Watson's 'Apology for the Bible,' 
or Bonnet's 'Interesting Views of Christianity.' But, 



above all, I would recommend prayer ; God will never 
give you up to infidelity, so long as you feel the ne- 
cessity of a Mediator and Saviour, and pray that 
your faith in Him may be strengthened. 

" I have said nothing of the practice of Morality, 
because, in my opinion, it cannot be separated from 
Religion. Whoever is sincerely pious, will be truly 
virtuous. Be assured, that Religion which does not 
make men more benevolent, upright, just, charitable, 
temperate and pure, is either false, or hypocritical. 
And be likewise certain, that Morality, which is un- 
supported by Religion, like the house built on the 
sand, will fall with the rising tempest. 

"Write frequently, be cautious in choosing your 
society, regular in your hours, modest and decent 
in your dress and appearance, and do not forget your 
affectionate sister and friend, 


" Don't forget tamarinds, oranges and lemons, ca- 
pers, and cream of tartar, you will wish for all on 
your voyage." 

To Benjamin Hurd: 

"Concord, June 28th, 1805. 

"When you receive this, my dear Brother, you 
will probably be surrounded by the ambitious, the 
busy, and the gay, whose ardent pursuit of their fa- 
vourite object leaves little leisure for serious reflec- 
tion on the grand purposes of Man's creation. But 



you, my Brother, will never, I trust, forget that the 
' 'fashion of this world passeth away,' and we are pass- 
ing away with it ; but that, transitory as is the pres- 
ent life, it is the vestibule through which we pass into 
the Temple of Eternity; and this latter considera- 
tion, I am confident, must and will chasten every 
thought, every wish, every pursuit. Oh, let nothing 
be done for which you should, as an immortal being, 

To Susan Lowell: 

"Concord, July 3rd, 1805. 

"With heartfelt joy, I offer my felicitations on 
the return of your brother, dearest Susan. May this 
happy event be the prelude to similar scenes, and 
each give you a faint image of a more perfect re- 
union. I know, indeed, if there be a bliss on earth 
that rises to suffering, 't is that of meeting a dear, 
long absent friend. Our capacity to enjoy must be 
astonishingly strengthened beyond the grave, my 
dear Susan, or we could never sustain the ecstasy 
of meeting all we love, Divine and human. Nothing 
conveys to me a more exalted idea of the perfection 
we shall acquire, than our possessing the power to 
enjoy supreme happiness" 

Among the papers left by my mother, and care- 
fully preserved by my father, is a half-sheet contain- 
ing a diary of several days, written in July, 1805, 
parts of which I copy, as follows : 


1805] CONCORD 

"6th. The heat of the three last days intense, com- 
pany, etc. How does the week close ? Alas ! I have 
indulged far too much the indolence of summer feel- 
ings. Except a little devotional reading, have read 
nothing but works of imagination, and some pages 
in Martin's 'Philosophical Grammar.' Perhaps, how- 
ever, Campbell's 'Travels' do not rank with works 
of imagination. This is certain, I ought to have ex- 
erted more energy; and what attainments, moral 
and intellectual, might I have made! May present 
regret conduct to future wisdom ! 

"7th. Had we not innumerable proofs of the in- 
finite benevolence of our Heavenly Father, and Sa- 
viour, the institution of the Sabbath and the Lord's 
Supper would carry conviction to every heart that 
had experienced the blessed effects of both. Bless the 
Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless 
and praise His holy name! 

"8th. Doddridge recommends aspirations of grat- 
itude in morning devotion, confession and peni- 
tence at night, and this seems the rational order of 
erring and dependent creatures ; but, for myself, hu- 
miliation and supplication are most voluntary in the 
first, grateful adoration and thanksgiving, with 
confession, in the last. 

"13th. Received several interesting letters, one 
from Madame Lambert, who, on account of her hus- 
band's health, returns to the West Indies, with a 
view of passing the remainder of her life there. It 
affected me deeply, but I recovered composure and 



happiness by perusing the 37th, 38th, and 39th verses 
of the 8th chapter of Romans, and by committing 
her to God in Jesus Christ. 

"14th. ' Being justified by faith, we have peace with 
God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.' How enlight- 
ening and consoling is the whole of this chapter, 5th 
of Romans! Redemption is indeed a mystery into 
which angels may desire to look. Like the Pillar of 
Fire, it enlightens all objects, while itself, by its daz- 
zling brightness, remains impenetrable to human 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"Concord, July 15th, 1805. 

"I have not told you with what feelings I heard 
the pious Channing, for the first time, explain the 
extent, and fervently urge the performance of duty, 
from Psalm 119. 'Thy commandment is exceeding 
broad.' If it be the soul of eloquence to penetrate the 
heart, to arouse or to subdue, to humble or to elevate 
its feelings, then Channing is most eloquent. And his 
is not the art of the Orator, it is evidently derived 
from an intimate acquaintance with his own heart, 
and habitual intercourse with the Father of Light 
and Love." 

After a visit in Charlestown, my mother writes to 
Miss Lowell: 

"Concord, September 6, 1805. 
"My little journey homeward was as pleasant as 
a brilliant sun, clouds of dust, and a crowded stage 


1805] CONCORD 

would permit. As we entered Lincoln, the sun set 
gloriously, surrounded by clouds of gold and crim- 
son. I could not but fancy such a scene might arouse 
even the slumbering muse of Mr. G. The evening 
soon became damp, and, unprepared for the change, 
I caught a violent cold, which has affected me un- 
pleasantly ever since." 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"Concord, Oct. 12th, 1805. 

"After a Summer of debility, Autumn wakes the 
spirit to new life, its breezes restore the languid 
frame, its serenity pervades the soul, and capacitates 
it to see more clearly, and feel more forcibly, the beau- 
ties of Nature, sentiment, and taste. Perhaps, at any 
other season I should not admire so much the appear- 
ance of an elm which fronts my window. Probably its 
youth, and expanded branches, which equally expose 
every part to early frost, occasion the sudden change 
of its foliage from green to yellow, without any in- 
termediate shade, while other trees are glorying in 
verdure, or reluctantly resigning leaf after leaf. This 
has a charming effect. At the first coup (Tceil, one 
imagines a golden setting sun is lavishing his whole 
splendour on that single object, the entire tree ap- 
pears gilt. Notwithstanding the frequency with which 
I see it, I am often surprised, on raising my eyes sud- 
denly, with the idea of sunset. And when shall I be 
surprised by a letter from Ann? You cannot imag- 
ine me indifferent to the smallest occurrence that in- 



terests you, and I am ignorant of almost everything, 
even the place of your abode. 

"Have you seen Cooper this season? Do gratify 
me by saying you do not intend to see him frequently. 
I really fear to visit Charlestown or Boston, lest the 
fascination of 'Richard Third,' 'Othello,' or 'Ham- 
let,' should draw me to the theatre." 

She then speaks of Mr. Hoar as "characterized by 
integrity, frankness, candid opinions, and benevolent 

And again, in a letter to Miss Lowell of near the 
same date, she says : " Mr. Hoar has just left us, after 
passing an hour or two, and awakening many inter- 
esting recollections of the past Summer. This young 
man is a valuable acquisition. In any society he would 
be considered such, but in our little village, his 
'price is above rubies.' He mentioned Mr. Rogers' 
intention to oblige me by White's oration ; when you 
see our friend, thank him for the intention, which I 
receive as the pledge of performance." 

Here we have my mother's first mention of my 
father's name, which is repeated in her next date, ad- 
dressed to Miss Lowell: 

"Concord, Oct. 12th, 1805. 

" I thank you for mentioning the Oration which 
reached me last week. The healthful mind and heart 
will find it a rich repast. It is worthy of White." 


1805] CONCORD 

To Mr. Rogers, who was the intimate friend of my 
father, she writes as follows: 

"Concord, Oct. 21st, 1805. 

"Mr. Rogers has indeed conferred an obligation 
on me in the oration of his friend. The performance 
bears the impress of the author's mind and heart, 
sound, perspicuous, delicate and benevolent, such, 
at least, I have ever supposed the one and the other. 
In the friendship of such a man, you possess a treas- 
ure. Long may he live, improving and improved, to 
communicate arid receive happiness. 

"I am delighted to learn 'the desert smiles again.' 
I am surprised you can, for a moment, regret the un- 
interesting bustle of New York. But, to be serious, 
(and pardon me if mistaken wishes for your happi- 
ness render me too much so,) I was grieved to find 
in your letter an expression of the same ennui, and 
indifference to life which alarmed me in Charlestown. 
As a man of good sense, of cultivation, of respect- 
able rank in society, is this despondence reasonable ? 
As a son, a brother, a friend, is it right? As a Chris- 
tian,is its indulgence pardonable? How many sources 
of felicity even in this world are open to you! Who 
can better taste the delights of science, literature, and 
elegant society ? And, as a Christian, an immortal who 
believes the present life to be but the dawn of being, 
but a nursery for eternity Oh, you cannot re- 
gard it lightly ! It is a path, rugged indeed, but ter- 



minating in glory, honour, immortality. Should not 
the celestial rays emanating from the crown that 
awaits the conqueror, shed lustre over the deepest 
shades of life, and animate the combatant to 'perse- 
vere even unto the end ' ? For myself, whatever may 
be the afflictions that wound, or the disappointments 
that deject me, I supplicate Heaven never to suffer 
an impatience of life, till I have subdued every evil, 
and perfected every good quality, which period, I 
know, will never arrive. You will not deem this arro- 
gance; you know the motive whence it proceeds." 

To Ruth Kurd: 

"Concord, November 23rd, 1805. 
"Not the recollection of a certain three months' 
silence, not the gentle glow of friendly resentment, 
which such a cause might be conjectured to originate, 
nor yet a diminution of interest in your happiness, 
or tenaciousness of your affection, my dear Ruth, has 
caused this sleep of the pen. What then ? Why, vari- 
ous intruders, my dear, some in the form of winter 
robes, neckerchiefs, etc., others assumed the more se- 
rious appearance of visiting volumes, to be returned 
after perusal ; and others, more interesting, wore the 
visage of long absent friends. Among the latter, Mr. 
Frisbie would claim a conspicuous place, could his 
presence, at any time, be deemed an intrusion by those 
who know his rare character, rendered more than ever 
interesting by affliction, and its usual effect, a diviner 


1805] CONCORD 

lustre of piety. His health is not good, and his eyes 
still debilitated, but never did the acuteness, the just- 
ness, the elegance of his highly cultured mind, never 
did the delicacy, the refinement, and elevation of his 
feelings appear more refulgent; and never did the 
spirit of religion appear more completely infused 
through the whole mind and heart." 

To Mary Emerson: 

"Concord, 7th December, 1805. 
"To a mind but little accustomed to the abstrac- 
tion of metaphysical disquisition, a minute attention 
to the finest links that unite the chain of reasoning 
is essential. When to this observation, I add my 
dear Mary writes too much like other great people, 
to be always legible, she will not be surprised when 
I acknowledge I have not enjoyed the whole of her 
valuable manuscript. Let me render myself justice, 
however, by saying I was particularly gratified by 
Drew's idea of the Soul, and most of the arguments 
I comprehended, in favour of its immortality and 
ceaseless consciousness, appeared to me conclusive. 
If it is in my power to procure the volume, I shall 
not fail to do it." 




WE have now brought my mother's record to 
the year 1806, memorable as the year which, 
during its closing months, witnessed her introduc- 
tion and growing attachment to my father. 

Her earliest date of this year is in a letter to her 
friend Mrs. Lee, to whom she writes after an inter- 
val of several months, in the course of which, it ap- 
pears, Mrs. Lee has received a large accession of 

"Concord, January 10th 9 1806. 
" 1 know not if I ought to present my congratu- 
lations or condolence on the change in your situ- 
ation. With the bauble splendour of wealth, I know 
you could easily dispense; possessing resources of 
heart and understanding which render you inde- 
pendent of external pomp and pleasure, you would, 
perhaps, have been equally happy in the tranquillity 
of Lancaster, as in the brilliant scenes of Cambridge 
and the Metropolis. But an accession of fortune is 
an increase of power to diffuse happiness, to dimin- 
ish human woe, to discountenance vice, and abash 
folly. I think with pride and pleasure that, by your 
influence in the circle in which you move, it may 


1806] CONCORD 

become fashionable to be a good wife and an atten- 
tive mother; and therefore, on the whole, though 
my friend may be wearied by company, and dis- 
gusted by the vain and the weak, I shall be well 
pleased with knowing she presides in a splendid 
mansion, and rides in a coach circumstances which 
will render those opinions and that conduct subject 
to observation, and perhaps imitation, which would 
otherwise have passed unnoticed. 

" I will send Darwin to our amiable friend by the 
first opportunity. It was not till September I received 
it from Acton, and then, I fancy, not in precisely 
the state in which you loaned it. I thank you for it. 
The notes yield amusement and instruction, but the 
poem appears to me too visionary and florid. Some 
of his philosophical ideas, too, are absurd, some beau- 
tiful, and highly satisfactory." 

To Miss Bromfield: 

"Concord, Jan. 18th, 1806. 

"You will not be surprised to learn that Mr. Hoar 
rises in our estimation in exact proportion to the 
frequency of his visits, for every visit unfolds some 
new, or confirms some previously discovered, excel- 
lence. Possessing that genuine dignity of character 
which is the result of a sound, enlightened under- 
standing, and a heart of incorruptible integrity, he 
commands esteem; while the candour of his opin- 
ions, and the benevolence of his feelings, inspire in- 
voluntary friendship." 



To Susan Lowell: 

"Jan. 23rd, 1806. 

"Poor - ! He is ill formed to buffet the tur- 
bulent sea on which he has embarked ; this he knows, 
and, wrapping himself in the mantle of reserve, seeks 
security in concealment. Is there any event, dear 
Susan, from which a susceptible heart may not ex- 
tract pain, either by reflexion or anticipation, if 
the habit of dwelling on the shades of life be once 
established ? Montesquieu's nature, or, I suspect, his 
habit, was the reverse of this. You recollect he ob- 
serves, 'I have sensibility enough to enjoy all the 
pleasures, but not enough to suffer the pains of re- 

The following, to Miss Lowell, evidently refers 
to my mother's correspondence with Mr. Frisbie: 

"Concord, Feb. 5th, 1806. 

"Again, and most sincerely, I thank you, dear 
Susan, for an admonition which friendship only could 
originate. Your sentiments are just ; I am convinced 
the dangers you portray are not imaginary. Afflic- 
tive circumstances alone have induced me to con- 
tinue the correspondence you deprecate, the last six 
months. To my dear Susan's heart I appeal ; let that 
decide if, in the present pressure of domestic and 
personal woe, I should deprive F. of the sole friend 
to whom his feelings are communicated. His father, 
I am told, is fast declining, that life, so long the 
dearest treasure of his family, is closing closing 


1806] CONCORD 

like Cowper's. We will waive the subject till we 
meet, only observing that friendship, and that alone, 
is professed or felt by either" 

To Ruth Hurd: 

"Concord, Feb. 18th, 1806. 

"Concord has been enlivened the past fortnight 
by the presence of Mrs. S. Thacher, and Mrs. Jones. 
To the latter, when a school-girl, I was much at- 
tached. She possessed an ingenuous simplicity, an 
affectionate warmth, and an unaffected vivacity of 
character, which irresistibly interests us. Time, and 
cruel experience of the perfidy of a cold-hearted 
world, have corrected these prominent traits, or, at 
least, thrown over them the veil of melancholy. Mrs. 
Thacher is unchanged. The plain good sense, and 
uniform feeling, by which she is characterized, en- 
abled her, when young, to form a correct estimate 
of life, and she has been neither surprised by pain 
or pleasure. She mentioned Mary P. with high praise, 
observing she had become one of the most interest- 
ing and amiable girls she had ever known. This will 
give you pleasure, for you probably recollect her at 
a period of her life when this character could not, 
in full extent, have been accorded her." 

To Susan Lowell: 

"Concord, March 4th, 1806. 

"Your letter from Salem, dear Susan, conveyed 
unusual pleasure, not only as it was in itself inter- 



esting and grateful to my feelings, but as it removed 
the apprehensions your unusual silence had excited. 

"Your description of the polished hospitality of 
your amiable hosts charmed me. How closely allied 
are genuine politeness and benevolence! Indeed, it 
appears to me impossible to practise the former, for 
any length of time, (unless stimulated to exertion 
by some important object,) if the latter does not 
shed its light and warmth through the heart. The 
innumerable sacrifices real politeness makes, and the 
restraints to which she submits, must be insupport- 
ably irksome and painful to the cold-hearted and 
selfish. I have ever admired St. Paul's description 
of charity, as a portrait of all that is most graceful 
and lovely, and calculated to put fictitious politeness 
to the blush. 

" The obituary of Saturday probably informed you 
of the irreparable loss my friend has sustained. Such 
a loss! and so heightened by circumstances the 
most afflictive! He is indeed involved in the deep 
mysteries of Providence. A few months since, and 
that beloved parent, possessing a sound understand- 
ing, a vivid creative imagination, a heart of exquisite 
feeling, and sublimated piety and benevolence, dif- 
fused happiness through his cherished family, and 
was at once the object of their pride and their af- 
fection. To his darling son he was peculiarly en- 
deared by a perfect congeniality of taste and feeling, 
and habits of the most tender and familiar inter- 
course. But He who gave hath resumed, in the 


1806] CONCORD 

manner and at the time His perfect wisdom and 
goodness selected as the best. Let your prayers, 
dearest Susan, ascend for that afflicted family. Im- 
plore the widow's God and orphans' Hope, to pour 
into their bleeding hearts the balm of divine conso- 
lation no other balm can be effectual. What an 
asylum, dear Susan, is prayer, from the host of sor- 
rows that follows us through life! and intercessory 
prayer how elevating to the soul, how ennobling 
to our nature! It is one of the most precious privi- 
leges that Christianity bestows on friendship, a 
privilege that leaves us never weak, never powerless." 

To Susan Lowell: 

"Concord, March 18th. 

"We have been much alarmed by the indisposi- 
tion of my younger sister, who has had a cold, sev- 
eral days past, and, since I commenced this letter, 
has, in coughing, thrown off blood, a very little, 
but sufficient to alarm." 

Again : 

"March 27th, 1806. 

" I received my dear Susan's letter from the post 
this morning, as a boon from Heaven; as indeed, 
like her love from which it proceeded, it undoubt- 
edly was. It cheered a dejection of spirits which I 
have feared to indulge, and, till now, have not im- 
parted, save to my pillow ; a dejection the more un- 
reasonable, as my sister has, notwithstanding the de- 



bility produced by diet the most abstemious, uni- 
formly progressed in convalescence. 

" I do not think one can with facility, or certainty, 
penetrate the sentiments of R. Without the appear- 
ance of reserve, she has the reality ; and, by this for- 
tunate trait of character, escapes the indifference 
which the former inspires, and secures all the ad- 
vantages of the latter." 

To Ruth Kurd: 

"Concord, April 9th, 1806. 

"Will you this morning, dear Ruth, receive my 
congratulations on the prospect of retaining our es- 
timable friend R. [Rogers], in Charlestown. Mr. Chan- 
ning, who has just left us, communicated the intelli- 
gence, and I assure you it was welcomed with the 
sincerest pleasure, as was his feeling eulogium on the 
excellence of his friend. Before I proceed to tell you 
how much I was delighted with the conversation of 
Mr. Channing, let me soothe your anxiety for Betsy, 
by assuring you, notwithstanding the vicissitudes 
of weather, she has acquired strength, and is, in every 
respect, better. Were it possible to subdue that self- 
tormenting propensity of imagination to anticipate 
an uncertain, and often an improbable evil, to the 
exclusion of a not more uncertain good, how much 
suffering might be avoided ! Were it possible ! And 
shall a being to whom Omnipotence has said, * My 
strength is sufficient for thee,' doubt the possibility 


1806] CONCORD 

of controlling even the wildest faculty of the human 
mind ? But, in truth, we are equally reluctant to con- 
flict with indolence, by the complete exertion of 
our own powers or to abase pride, as we must, ere 
we acknowledge all our own weakness and unwor- 
thiness, and apply, in sincerity, with fervour, to the 
Source of light and strength. I acknowledge myself 
too much a prey to imagination. I have never found 
the real evil with which I could not cope. Religion 
offers an all-sufficient antidote to every real woe ; and, 
were her sway extensive and supreme, as it should 
be, where were the innumerable ills we feel or fear ? 
Sickness and death, as the dispensations of a wise and 
tender Parent, would lose their corrosive power, and 
disappointment would be robbed of its sting. 

"Mr. Channing's conversation aided my feelings 
in producing this sober page to you I will not be- 
lieve it unwelcome if indeed it be legible. Benev- 
olence was among the topics on which he descanted 
with his usual eloquence and feeling. In painting the 
many modes in which it might be exercised, he dis- 
closed his own benevolent heart. He lamented that 
ladies who are not engaged in the turmoil of busi- 
ness, as is the other sex, should not escape from the 
lassitude and ennui of life by visiting the abodes of 
poverty and sorrow, soothing the one by that sym- 
pathy they so much boast, and alleviating the other 
by the sacrifice of superfluities, and even, (to give his 
idea,) by the exercise of the needle." 



To Sarah Ripley: 

"Concord, May 2nd, 1806. 

"Mary [Emerson] beamed on us the day before 
yesterday, and, like a ministering angel, consoled, 
fortified, and elevated. The happiness that results 
from a connection with her, is it not nearly without 
alloy? We can suffer no anxiety on her account 
she is beyond the reach of real misfortune, and 
this is the inestimable privilege of loving those who 
rest on the arm of Omnipotence." 

To Susan Lowell: 

"Concord, May 7th, 1806. 

"Were it possible, I would join you, though but 
for an hour. To see your happy family reunited would 
be a cordial. But, in the present state of my sister's 
health, I do not even call at the Parsonage. She does 
not progress in convalescence; even the joy of our 
brother's return has not renovated her languid frame. 
Our time attention hopes and fears are hers. 
But what have Christians to do with paralyzing fear ? 
Alas, my dear Susan! is it not deplorable evidence 
of the insincerity of our confidence in the all- wise 
and perfect Controller of events, that we are reluc- 
tant to commit to His disposal 'all we have, and all 
we are'? Oh, for that confidence in God which His 
perfections invite, justify, command! It is, as Mr. 
Frisbie once said to me, ' richly worth a life of blind- 
ness.' Possessed of it, we defy calamity, and triumph 
in death." 


1806] CONCORD 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"Concord, May 10th, 1806. 

"The vessel that wafted hither our friend Aim 
Lowell, returned my younger brother to the embrace 
of his family. He remained with us but few hours ; 
that short time produced an assurance that the in- 
tegrity and purity of his youthful character was un- 
changed; an assurance that terminated most grate- 
fully one source of anxiety. Another, in the illness 
of my sister, remains because we are weak, I some- 
times fear criminally so. Would not a genuine, heart- 
felt confidence in Him ' in whose hands are the issues 
of Life and Death ' exclude this trembling solicitude ? 

" I need not say with how much delight I should 
embrace you, how much I long to hear and to say 
the thousand things understood only by friends. You 
know I love you, and you will feel the pain it costs 
me to say I cannot this month offer, what I would 
wish ever to retain for you, an apartment in my 
dwelling, as your remembrance has ever a place in 
my heart. Previous to my sister's illness, my father 
had undertaken to enlarge a building; and, at pres- 
ent, every chamber, my parents' and sisters' excepted, 
is occupied by carpenters, masons, and domestics." 

To Susan Lowell: 

"Concord, May 19th, 1806. 

"Do you recollect that pathetic little poem by 
Bruce, commencing with, 'Now Spring returns, but 



not for me returns'? It often comes to my heart with 
irresistible force, as I contemplate the pallid, inter- 
esting figure before me ; but faith and hope combine 
to chase the sad emotions it inspires." 

Again : 

"Concord, June 18th, 1806. 

"You ask me of my sister. Patient, composed, re- 
signed to the will of her covenant God, she is an ob- 
ject of congratulation. On the eve of receiving the 
crown of immortality, of escaping from the sorrows 
and pollutions of life, of being admitted to the im- 
mediate presence of her Creator and Redeemer, and 
to the society of the beloved friends who have pre- 
ceded her, and this in freshness of youth, ere she 
is withered by 'the burden and heat of the day,' 
O my friend, what a privilege 1 I check as ungrate- 
ful the starting tear which usurps the place of thanks- 
giving and praise to Him whose promises sustain 

To Ruth Hurd: 

"Concord, July 17th, 1806. 

" Yes, my dear friend, ' every murmuring thought is 
dispelled' by a contemplation of the felicity to which 
it has pleased the Author of all good to elevate our 
darling Betsy. Far from avoiding her remembrance 
as afflictive, we recall, we cherish it, as associated 
with ideas the most sublime, consolatory, and de- 
lightful. She has been, indeed, a privileged being; the 


1806] CONCORD 

purity of her soul, (a purity rarely equalled,) was 
never sullied by an intercourse with the world, and 
her Heavenly Father, to secure it forever, translated 
her to His own abode. How few have lived so inno- 
cently, and so free from personal suffering 1 how few 
have exchanged worlds so peacefully and delight- 

"My dear Ruth, may we, at the hour of death, 
possess her humble confidence, her gentle firmness ; 
and may we be blest, as she was, with the soothing 
presence of some beloved spirit, who may conduct 
us to our compassionate, our adorable Saviour ! How 
rapturous the anticipation of that moment, 

'When souls that long have loved before 
Shall meet, unite, and part no more ; ' 

when we shall be permitted to behold 'Him who 
loved us, and gave Himself for us,' with Mary to em- 
brace His feet, and express our overflowing gratitude 
and love! 

" Thanks, my dear Ruth, for your affectionate in- 
vitation. Our newly awakened fears for Benjamin 
will not permit us to quit pur home for many days, 
until he shall be perfectly restored." 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"Concord, July 18th, 1806. 

"Yes, my dear Ann, we have closed the eyes of a 
sister whose loveliness, delicacy, and faithful affec- 
tion, bound her to our hearts by indissoluble ties. 



Never was a tranquil, innocent life closed by a death 
more peaceful and happy. Firmly confiding in her 
Saviour, reposing her all of hope and happiness on 
Him, she was peculiarly privileged at the hour of 
death, and her weeping but delighted family pecu- 
liarly consoled. I speak not to the world, but to my 
dearest Ann, and she will not impute to enthusiasm 
or superstition a conviction that shed lustre on the 
closing life of a Christian, whose heart was calm, and 
whose mind was clear ; a conviction that she beheld 
our darling Henry, that he addressed her, and at- 
tended to conduct her to another and a better world." 

To Susan Lowell: 

"Concord, July 19th, 1806. 

" Beloved Susan, you have sympathized in the sor- 
rows of your friend, share her grateful joy that an- 
other Angel has entered the courts of Heaven, and 
entered as an Angel should, the presence of the God 
of Love. No terror, no anguish, clouded her brow, 
or ruffled the serenity of her soul : humble, though 
confident, relying implicitly on the intercession of 
her Redeemer, the world of spirits opened to her view 
ere her eye closed on the world of sense. The day pre- 
ceding her dissolution, when her mind was clear and 
collected, she told me she had seen our beloved 
Henry, that he came to her bedside blooming and 
lovely as when he left her, and, embracing her, said, 
smiling, he must leave her for the day, but should be 
with her again at night. We scarce believed it pos- 


1806] CONCORD 

sible she should continue with us till then, but to 
Mamma, with an earnest and solemn countenance, 
she expressed a certainty of beholding him at the ap- 
pointed time. Evening arrived, and brought with it 
emotions of indescribable sublimity. We all felt a 
conviction that he knelt with us around the bed, or 
bent over the pillow of death. The lovely object we 
regarded remained placid and serene ; her respiration 
became shorter, her eye dim, but a faint smile ani- 
mated her face to the last, and thus passed from 
earth to Heaven one of the purest souls that ever in- 
habited this world. As a daughter, a sister, and a 
friend, she was all we could wish few so young per- 
formed the duties of life so well ; but her whole con- 
fidence, her whole hope in death reposed on the mer- 
its of her Saviour. May God grant to us an exit so 
delightful, and, for all the tempests that may arise 
between the present and that blessed moment, His 
will be done! 

"The darling brother, who so lately returned to 
us, is the present subject of our hopes and fears." 

The following to Miss Lowell, relating to Mrs. 
Farnham, shows us how severe a trial my mother 
considered the one which was in store for herself. 

" Concord, August 8th, 1806. 

"To one who has but few ties to this world, and 

whose affections are placed on Heavenly objects, 

death is the herald of joy. Day before yesterday, I 

visited a most interesting object, whose situation is 



widely different, and who is advancing with slow, but 
certain step, to the tomb. Mrs. Farnham, the eldest 
daughter of Mrs. Ripley, is the mother of ten chil- 
dren, seven of them girls; in the bloom of life, 
strongly attached to her family, and feeling all the 
solicitude of an intelligent and affectionate parent, 
she is the prey of consumption. Such a sufferer, my 
dear Susan, makes us blush to weep over our own 
inferior sorrows, and causes us to tremble while we 
ask if our confidence in God be so firm as to enable 
us to meet with composure such a fate." [After speak- 
ing with sympathy of the recent death of an aunt of 
Miss Lowell, my mother writes words which might 
have been appropriately addressed to herself in ref- 
erence to her own coming fate, from which her affec- 
tionate nature then recoiled.] "Do not imagine, my 
Susan, such a deprivation would be to you insup- 
portable. ' God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb,' 
and mingles with the sorrows from which nature re- 
coils, consolations of which the mind has no concep- 
tion till the moment of trial arrives." 

To Susan Lowell: 

"Concord, August 20th, 1806. 
"Had I the pen of A. C. L., I would describe a 
ride with Sarah, which occupied yesterday afternoon. 
More than two hours we were lost in an intricate 
wood, which extends over part of Lincoln and Con- 
cord, and which embosoms two sheets of water of 
considerable extent; and round which we wound 


1806] CONCORD 

through paths overgrown with shrubs, the branches 
of trees on either side frequently striking the chaise, 
and impeding our course, without the power of di- 
recting ourselves into the travelled road. The idea 
of being lost within three miles of Concord is rather 
ludicrous ; but our situation was rendered distressing 
by the charge of Mrs. Farnham's sick infant, and 
the approach of night. I have seldom felt a more 
joyous surprise than when, on emerging from the 
wood, we discovered ourselves to be within a mile 
and a half of home. 

"You have doubtless seen our friends, Rogers and 
Ruth, since their engagement has been announced. 
On no one could I have seen Ruth bestow herself 
with equal pleasure ; the firm, consistent character 
of her friend inspires a degree of confidence justified 
by few men of the world. I have apprehended her 
fate might be united with some one more splendid, 
but less estimable than Rogers." 

My mother seems at this time to be constantly in 
scenes of sickness and death. Her next date finds her 
in Billerica, to which place she and her stepsister 
Sally went on the occasion of the illness of Sally's 
grandfather. To Miss Lowell my mother writes: 

"September 6th. 

"The date of my letter will surprise you, dear 
Susan. The illness of my grandfather Thompson at- 
tracted hither my sister and self; his death, which 
has left Grandmamma afflicted and solitary, detains 



us. Yesterday, his remains were committed to the 
tomb where reposes our beloved Betsy. The scene, 
in itself interesting, thence acquired double power 
to affect us. This, with the necessary exertion of re- 
ceiving and providing for the accommodation of nu- 
merous guests, has exhausted every power of body 
and mind." 

A week later my Grandmother Hurd writes from 
Concord to her absent daughters : 

"Friday, Sept. 12th. 

" I think of you, my dear girls, almost every mo- 
ment, and certainly made a great sacrifice in con- 
senting to your tarrying in Billerica, as humanity 
seemed to demand it ; but the avocations of the week, 
thus far, have required your assistance at home much 
more. Your father has never been in such immediate 
danger since I knew him. Two nights, Tuesday and 
Wednesday, he had the genuine quinsy, which ap- 
peared to be the last struggles of nature. He has 
kept his chamber since, and is better. Benjamin is 
much the same." 

It makes one's heart ache to think of the dear, 
unselfish mother worn out with anxiety and fatigue 
in the absence of her daughters, whom she has given 
up to others at a time when they were so much 
needed at home. Of their return we have evidence in 
a brief but interesting diary of my mother's, and a 
not less interesting record contained in a letter ad- 


1806] CONCORD 

dressed by Sarah Ripley to her stepsister, Mary Em- 

"September 17th, 1806. 'Retire, O my soul, to thy 
quiet rest ! ' Let the serenity of nature be impressed 
on all thy feelings ! The air is mild, the heavens are 
cloudless, the earth, ever changing, yet invariably 
beautiful, presents fruits instead of flowers, the va- 
ried hues of Autumn in place of the vivid verdure 
of Spring. Let thy progress in life be analogous; 
let the warm feelings and bright hopes of youth ma- 
ture into self-possession, confirmed good habits, and 
steady confidence in thy Creator, Preserver, and con- 
stant Benefactor! 

"An eventful Summer has closed. Shall I ever for- 
get the friend and sister whose smiles adorned its 
opening, and who now exists no more on earth ! But 
she exists in a better world, and, through the mer- 
its of a Redeemer, I may yet hope to meet her ; this 
conviction dries the falling tear. Through the past 
season, I have been an interested spectator of the 
progress of disease and death. I have seen the bloom- 
ing girl of twenty, and the hoary head of eighty, 
committed to the same tomb. How soon its doors 
will unclose for me I know not; but this I know, 
religion can make death lovely and desirable at any 
age. Death ! what is it ? The termination of our pro- 
bationary state, the commencement of immortal- 
ity, how interesting! how glorious! O Thou Au- 
thor of my being! enlighten my mind, purify my 



affections, elevate my views, and grant that every 
action of life may be influenced by just ideas of 

The following has special interest for my mother's 
descendants, whose privilege it is to cherish, with 
love and reverence, the blessed memory left them 
by my father. 

"Sept. 18th. A character of rare excellence pre- 
sented in D. A. W. Esq. The world speaks of him 
with respect, his friends with enthusiasm. For my- 
self, I should judge him to possess a sound, correct 
understanding, a benevolent heart, and uncommon 
tenderness and delicacy of soul. To these he adds a 
dignified firmness that gives weight to the milder, 
and more graceful virtues." 

A more admirable sketch of my father could hardly 
have been given by his most discriminating friend, 
after a lifelong acquaintance, than is here given by 
my mother on the evening of their first interview. 

In the letter of Sarah Ripley to Mary Emerson 
already mentioned, which is dated "Concord, Sept. 
19th, 1806," we have an account of my mother's in- 
troduction to my father on the previous evening, 
from which it appears that it was through Miss Em- 
erson's intervention that they first met. Miss Emer- 
son often stayed in Newburyport, where her sister, 
Mrs. Farnham, lived, and where my father was then 
established in the practice of the law. I think that 


1806] CONCORD 

he boarded at Mrs. Farnham's. There Miss Emerson 
became intimately acquainted with him, and, ap- 
parently, made up her mind that he and her fair 
Concord friend were kindred spirits, and should be 
brought to know each other. 

This letter of Miss Ripley's, so carefully preserved 
by my father and mother, was doubtless valued by 
them for the sake of what it contains on this sub- 
ject, which I here copy, as follows: . 

"Concord, Sept. 19th, 1806. 

" My beloved Mary will expect me to write a line 
by so direct a conveyance, and, since the gallantry 
of Mr. White has allowed me time, I shall follow 
one of the strongest propensities of my soul, that of 
speaking to you. We were surprised, and much grat- 
ified by the arrival of Mr. W. Well, sister Mary, I 
endeavoured to execute your wishes last evening; 
and with the result you may be flattered, I think. 
As sister Farnham was not at home when Mr. White 
came, and we wanted to get Mrs. Schalkwyck up 
here, we rode out and brought her home with us, and, 
I assure you, Mary never appeared to greater advan- 
tage. We walked a little, she sang, and conversed 
with unusual ease and freedom, and really, I don't 
think our friend was insensible to her charms. He 
was in fine spirits, and acknowledges the justness 
of our encomiums, which, for one so little acquainted 
with her, is remarkable. Mary, I suppose, will write 
to you, for you have written to her lately, and she 



can say for herself, the fine things she thinks about 
Mr. White." 

It is to be regretted that we have not the letter 
which my mother doubtless wrote to Miss Emerson 
at this time. The following are the next entries in her 

"Sept. 19th. Languid feelings and little exertion. 
This will never do ! 

"Sept. 21st. Enjoyed, in a sense of the Divine per- 
fections, and in confiding every interest respecting 
time and eternity to my Heavenly Father, inexpres- 
sible peace." 

Here she ceases for some weeks to write in her 
diary. The gap, however, is partially filled by her 

To Susan Lowell: 

"Concord, Sept. 22nd, 1806. 
" Mrs. Farnham, for whose health you express so 
kind a solicitude, returned, last Monday, from a jour- 
ney of considerable extent, with improved health and 
spirits. A beam of hope, though faint, dawns on her 
family. The infant declines ; it is at Newbury Port, 
where Mary Emerson supplies the place of her sis- 
ter. Mary E. you should know her intimately, dear 
Susan, for you would mutually love and esteem each 
other. Mr. White delighted me by the full justice 
he rendered to her excellence, acknowledging her to 


1806] CONCORD 

possess a consistent elevation of principle, feeling, and 
conduct, such as he had never known surpassed. 

"Too stupid to offer anything of my own worth 
perusal, I transcribe, for my dear Susan, part of Mary 
E.'s last letter, which I received at Billerica. Speak- 
ing of Niagara, she observes, ' Nothing can seize on 
the affections like the wonders of Creation, for they 
present the grand idea of a God. And may not the 
meanest Christian say, This Being, with all His 
power, His magnificence, His love, His truth and 
justice, is my God! Mine, for the fleeting vicissi- 
tudes of a perishable, and often excruciating, mor- 
tality, and mine for all the grandeurs of an eventful 
and happy immortality! O my friend! when awed 
and sublimated by a sense of His attributes, even 
His works fade on the mind, and all the transactions 
of time disappear. Did not the sublime Apostle mean 
feelings like these, when he spake of living above the 
world while in it? This divine art robs disappoint- 
ment of its arrow, and disarms the whole artillery of 
worldly mortifications.'" 

To the same: 

"Concord, Sept. 22nd, 1806. 

"The messenger who deposited this morning's 
epistle to my beloved Susan in the post office, brought 
me in return her welcome pages. 

"My Aunt North, that beloved relative, whose 
blindness and whose active benevolence you have 
heard me mention, is now our guest, but will soon 



proceed with my uncle, on her journey to Albany, 
there to meet General North, the only brother of her 
husband. 1 She is to me a very interesting object. To 
reflect on her past life, and witness her present ex- 
ertions is delightful. At the age of sixty-one, she was 
deprived of sight. How many would have sunk in- 
to despondence, or, at best, have submitted with quiet 
acquiescence; but she, while feelingly alive to the 
deprivation, bows to the decree of Providence, and 
opens every remaining source of usefulness and fe- 
licity. She has acquired, at this age, the art of wri- 
ting, of sewing, and knitting, without the aid of one 
solitary ray. We have received many charming let- 
ters from her since she ceased to distinguish between 
day and night, all written legibly, though irregularly." 

To Ruth Kurd: 

"Concord, Sept 26th, 1806. 

" I don't recollect to have heard you mention Mr. 
White, except with general sentiments of esteem 
and regard. He certainly appears to be a very inter- 
esting man, and his humane attentions to Mrs. Farn- 
ham and her lovely family prepossess her Concord 
friends highly in his favour." 

J She is described as follows in Hon. James W. North's " History of 
Augusta, Maine": " Madam North was a Boston lady of the old school. 
She had a good person, a cultivated mind, dignified and graceful manners, 
and, being remarkable for her powers of conversation, was the delight of 
the social circle. Her sprightly and spirited remarks, in tones which were 
music to the ear, were peculiarly pleasant and animating. " ED. 


1806] CONCORD 

In the month of October my mother made a visit 
to Charlestown, where she had a serious illness, which 
detained her long from home. In the following letter 
from Sally Hurd, we see that her good mother was 
"given to hospitality." 

"Concord, October 9th, 1806. 
" You must not expect, my dear sister, I shall write 
you a long letter at present, for, as fast as one com- 
pany leaves us, another comes to make their place 
good. We are now in momentary expectation of see- 
ing our Charlestown friends, and, likewise, our Tops- 
field friends. If we are disappointed in the first, we 
shall not be in the last, so do not be anxious for us." 

From my grandmother to my mother: 

"Concord, Oct. 18th, 1806. 

"Your letter, and confirmation by Miss Hale of 
your returning health, has given me pleasure. I think 
you will not need caution, as Cousin Grace says you 
are very prudent, so much so that you declined ri- 
ding with Mr. White. What carried him to Charles- 
town ? Perhaps he wanted to buy the * Studies of Na- 
ture,' or something else not to be purchased else- 

A week later, Sally, in a letter, indulges, like my 
grandmother, in some jests on the subject of Mr. 
White's visit, and closes, saying, "We have constant 
company ; I have scarcely time to think, much less 
to write." 



After my mother's return to Concord she wrote 
the following letter to Miss Bromfield : 

"Concord, Nov. 20th, 1806. 

" Last Saturday, I returned to my tranquil home, 
returned, trembling with apprehension of my broth- 
er's increased illness. My Ann will gratefully rejoice 
with me that I found him much better than my fears, 
his situation is delicate, is critical in the extreme, 
and awakens all the feelings of the past months; but 
I would not excite painful sympathy in the bosom 
of my kind and feeling friend. Let me rather express 
thanks for the pleasure you procured me by your ani- 
mated praise of the 'Lay of the Last Minstrel.' Did 
ever the echoes of Scotia reverberate a wilder, sweeter 
strain ! Scott is, indeed, apoet, his very faults evince 
a master's hand, and scarcely does the polished beauty 
of his finest pictures more delight us, than the sim- 
plicity with which he chants of other men and other 
days. Oh, how I wished you to participate in the 
alternate emotions of pity, admiration, terror, and 
tenderness, the minstrel so successfully inspires!" 

To Susan Lowell: 

"Concord, November 26th, 1806. 
" 'T is the privilege of my ever dear Susan to be 
placed above the suspicion of negligence, or any of the 
petty crimes that mar, and so oft undermine, the fair 
fabric of friendship. A much longer silence would 
have alarmed me, but would not have excited any 


1806] CONCORD 

apprehension that you ceased to love, or voluntarily 
suspended intercourse with your friend. 

"My brother is now much worse. With perfect 
conviction of his danger, he is calm and composed. 
His family endeavour to fix a steadfast eye on Prov- 
idence, and humbly to submit to its decrees, while 
they implore an averting of its keen sorrows. My 
friend, M. M. Emerson, passed with me last Wed- 
nesday and Thursday evening. Her society ever for- 
tifies and elevates above the events of life. Regard- 
ing nothing as evil which tends to moral improve- 
ment, she places sickness, sorrow, and death in a 
sublime and consolatory point of view. My dear 
Susan, you must know her. Ann already does, and 
admires, I am not certain, loves her. A longer, or 
rather a closer intimacy, a more complete acquaint- 
ance with her heart, and all its generous, tender feel- 
ings, is necessary to ensure affection. She is disposed 
to love you, Susan, already, your countenance and 
manner impressed her strongly in your favour, and 
it is among her weaknesses to yield to first impres- 
sions. 'T is perhaps wrong to style that propensity a 
weakness, since she regards it the least deceptive 
mode of judging of those who are not perfectly known 
to us." 

Four days later, my mother makes the following 
record in her diary: 

"Nov. 30th. A lapse of more than two months, 
two interesting months. The rich and varied boun- 



ties, the unmerited mercies, I have received, demand 
acknowledgments, demand a life of gratitude. A 
short, but painful and dangerous, illness, at Charles- 
town, has been succeeded by unusual health. During 
my illness, all that assiduous friendship, all that com- 
passionate tenderness could offer as alleviation, I 
received, and, what infinitely transcends human 
consolation and aid, the light of God's countenance 
cheered and sustained me. Oh, what love, what en- 
tire devotion is due to Him who hath 'healed all my 
diseases, and redeemed my life from destruction.' 
Blessed Source of being and felicity ! add to all Thy 
mercies a heart to appreciate them and to love Thee ! 
"My acquaintance with D. A. W. Esq. has pro- 
gressed. Radical worth ever gains by inspection, 
the more I have seen, the more I have admired." 

We cannot doubt to what "most interesting 
event" my mother refers in the next record. 

"December 1 7th. A fortnight of suspense and anx- 
iety, rendered supportable only by confidence in the 
Father of my spirit. On Him, who careth for His 
children, I have cast my care. To Him I have re- 
signed a most interesting event. O Thou who art 
whose being and perfections are displayed in all Thy 
works, I rejoice that Thou art omnipotent, for Thy 
wisdom and Thy goodness equal Thy power. In Thy 
perfections I behold a supply for all my wants, a 
balm for all my sorrows. Be this my peace, my con- 


1806] CONCORD 

fidence, my happiness, Thou art omniscient, om- 
nipresent, infinite in goodness, perfect in wisdom, in 
power Almighty!" 

A week later the record shows her relieved from 
suspense and anxiety on the subject nearest her 

* "December 23rd. A day ever to be treasured in 
memory, to be embalmed by gratitude to the Giver 
of every good." 

Many years ago my father gave to my sister and 
myself the letters which passed between him and 
my mother before and after their marriage. The first 
in order is the following, from my mother: 

"Concord, December 24th, 1806. 
"Why should I hesitate to acknowledge that Mr. 
White's professions were received as he could wish. 
To his character I am no stranger, it justifies me 
in confessing that, in the approbation of affectionate 
parents, he will meet that of 


Three days later my mother wrote the following 
letter to Miss Lowell. The first paragraph has refer- 
ence not only to her own happy engagement, but 
also to that of Miss Lowell, which occurred some 
months before, awakening my mother's most affec- 
tionate sympathy. 



"Concord, Dec. 27th, 1806. 

"My dear Susan's felicity is a rich source of sat- 
isfaction. Such I have found it when the shades of 
affliction obscured my every earthly prospect, and 
such I have experienced it when, through the open- 
ing clouds, the unexpected sun appeared. That sun- 
beams have visited me, I apprize you, but guard 
the secret a few days, even from Mr. Gorham. 

"My time, my almost undivided attention, has 
been my brother's. Would that I could tell you he 
was better. That he is resigned and composed, that 
his faith and hope fail not, is cause of gratitude ; but, 
my dear Susan, however fixed our conviction of the 
perfection of the Divine government, to contem- 
plate the dear youth without emotions the most pen- 
etrating and affecting is impossible; the brightest 
hopes, the dearest expectations connected with this 
world fade on the mind, and immortality is the only 
idea on which it rests with satisfaction, immortal- 
ity purchased by a Saviour, and endeared by His 

Benjamin's death must have occurred within a 
few days after this letter was written. 





rTIHE first date we have in 1807 is that of a letter 
.A. from my father to my mother, evidently his 
first. Its contents indicate that, as early as the third 
of January, he had, in visiting her, unexpectedly 
found the house to be one of mourning. My father's 
has always been my ideal character. This letter is its 
index. I find in it the same charm that he had for 
me from my earliest recollection to his latest hour. 

' "Newbury Port, Jan. 5th, 1807. 
" I cannot avoid hoping a few lines from me this 
morning will be acceptable to my dearest friend, 
though I write without her express permission, and 
in a very hurried moment. The strong and mingled 
emotions which filled my mind during the few but 
precious moments of my last interview with her, 
prevented my asking this permission, or even ex- 
pressing my gratitude for her goodness, or saying 
any one of the many things which I had thought to 
say. Perhaps, had my situation been different, I could 
not have done all this. The best sentiments and feel- 
ings, those certainly which I value most, I find most 
difficulty in expressing. I always wish them to be 



understood, without degrading them by words which 
cannot express them. But, though my visit to Con- 
cord was of so different a nature from what I had 
anticipated, I cannot regret it, only as it may have 
given pain to my best beloved: and I hope she will 
not much regret an interview which has made, if 
possible, a dearer impression of her excellence upon 
my heart. There are feelings, though I know not by 
what name to call them, which sometimes attend our 
deepest sympathy and sorrow, infinitely more pre- 
cious than any which the brightest moments of pros- 
perity bestow. Such I experienced when I retired 
from your father's door, as from a dwelling sacred 
to grief, too sacred for my intrusion. I felt all your 
affliction, and thought of your divine consolations. 
Many tender recollections of dear, departed friends 
mingled with my thoughts of your lamented, excel- 
lent brother, and made me truly appreciate the priv- 
ilege of solitude. My heart was prepared to yield to 
the most delightful impressions of my loveliest friend. 
I hope soon to have the happiness to see her con- 
soled and happy, with all that real and genuine cheer- 
fulness which her own mind, and our divine religion, 
are so well calculated to impart. She never forgets 
the duties and privileges of life amid its afflictions. 
"I have just read several times over two exquisite 
poems in the 'Anthology' for December, selected 
from James Montgomery. I cannot help pointing 
them out to my friend, as I know they will give her 



"I safely reached home on Saturday evening. I 
found Mrs. F. no better, and probably not so well. 
I am in haste (as you must perceive), preparing for 
a journey to Portsmouth, where I shall pass some 
days. On my return, shall I find a letter from my 
dearest love? Nothing would so gladden the heart of 
her most affectionate D. A. WHITE." 

The following is my mother's reply : 

"Concord, Jan. 7th, 1807. 

" How highly I appreciate the sympathy expressed 
in the countenance, the manner, and the letter of my 
friend, I need not say: at no period could it have 
produced an effect more grateful. The scene I had 
just witnessed when I saw you, in itself most inter- 
esting and affecting, was heightened by every ten- 
der recollection, by an impressive sense of the im- 
mediate presence of Deity, and, (shall I incur the 
charge of superstition?) by a belief that the spirits of 
dear, departed friends were hovering round the bed 
of death, to hail the emancipated soul. If, indeed, the 
shock was not too painful, I cannot regret meeting 
my friend at that moment, I cannot regret the neces- 
sity of ever after associating his image with the sub- 
lime and affecting ideas which a recollection of that 
scene cannot fail to inspire. 'A death-bed 's a detector 
of the heart.' Benjamin's character then requires no 
encomium, but a simple description of his closing 
scene. Tranquillity so unmoved, confidence in his be- 
nignant Mediator and his heavenly Father so fixed, 



-are rare indeed. O my friend! may the ever pres- 
ent, the ever beneficent Being we both adore, con- 
duct us as innocently through life, and receive us as 
tenderly to His bosoni in death! 

"Mrs. F. is *no better.' I cannot think of that in- 
teresting woman without admiration. That in her sit- 
uation resignation can be felt, is the triumph of Re- 
ligion. I cannot conceive of a test so agonizing. 

"The 'Anthology' for December I have not re- 
ceived, but several little poems of inimitable beauty 
by Montgomery, I have read." 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"Concord, Jan. 12th, 1807. 

"Ah my friend ! who could present themselves at 
the tribunal of a Holy, Omniscient Deity, unshielded 
by His love, manifested in Jesus Christ? And with 
this shield, who can tremble to cast upon Him every 
care, to repose on Him soul-cheering confidence, and 
to 'ask in faith, nothing wavering,' pardon and eter- 
nal life ? Confidence in the merits and intercession of 
the Mediator gave to my darling brother the most 
perfect tranquillity in death. Though his moral hab- 
its were remarkably pure, and his life uncommonly 
innocent and useful, he disclaimed all self-depend- 
ence ; and, when my weeping father said to him ' You 
are now happy in reflecting on a virtuous life;' he 
replied, ' I am now happy in meditating on the mer- 
its of a Saviour.' Though his feelings were less ani- 
mated, (he possessed constitutional equanimity,) his 



resignation in sickness, and his faith in the hour of 
death, were equal to my sister's. Both have left on 
memory a savour of Heavenly things." 

To Ruth Kurd: 

"Concord, Jan. 14th, 1807. 

"Ever dear Ruth, reserving for next week an an- 
swer to your last kind letter, for which I most af- 
fectionately thank you, I would now express the so- 
licitude I feel for your health, and that of our dear 
Hannah. Caution the most scrupulous is necessary. 
Do not attend meeting. Communion with a God 
Omnipresent is confined to no spot; intercourse 
with a Saviour who is 'with us always,' is as practi- 
cable in the silence of night, and the pillow may 
form an altar from which gratitude and devotion 
may ascend as acceptably, as from His Temple." 

To Susan Lowell: 

"Concord, January 16th, 1807. 
" Though certain of my ever dear Susan's sympa- 
thy, its kind expression in her letter of this morning 
was welcome and precious. The perfect resignation, 
and firm tranquillity, flowing from habitual religion, 
which marked the illness, and rendered the depart- 
ure of my brother sublime, is balm to our hearts. 
Perfectly sensible to the last moment, confiding en- 
tirely in the Love of God through a Mediator, 
with calm dignity he quitted this world, and with 
fixed hope entered another. 



"If my dear Susan could know, (and she shall 
know,) every circumstance relative to a late event, 
she would instantly acquit me of every shadow of 
disingenuousness. She was the first friend out of 
town, to whom I suggested a syllable, Mary Em- 
erson excepted, who has long been the confidante of 
Mr. White. To know my friend has long possessed 
the esteem of my dear Susan is to me delightful ; she 
will not regard him less warmly for knowing his af- 
fection to be the dearest earthly treasure of her Mary. 
For years I have admired his general character; for 
many months the finer traits of tenderness, delicacy, 
and benevolence, by which he is distinguished in 
private life, have been unfolding to me, and could 
not fail to interest. Our personal acquaintance is re- 
cent ; on his part it has been marked by feeling, del- 
icacy and honour, and your friend has not been in- 
sensible. I have ardently wished to see, and to im- 
part to my friend everything which could interest her 
in an event to me so important. When will that hap- 
piness be mine?" 

My mother's diary of this period, the last, so far 
as I remember, that we have from her pen, concludes 
as follows: 

"January, 1807. Eventful month ! Thine entrance 
beheld a brother committed to the tomb. Thy prog- 
ress has witnessed the growth of an attachment 
founded on esteem the most perfect, confidence 
the most entire. 



"January 18th. On this Thy day, Father of mer- 
cies ! Giver of every good ! I would present myself 
before Thee, to celebrate Thy beneficence. Verily, 
Thou art a Father to the fatherless ! Thou hast not 
ceased to protect and bless me, from the dawn of be- 
ing to the present moment. From Thee I derive every 
blessing, and the value of every blessing is enhanced 
by this consideration. I delight, especially, in record- 
ing the goodness that preserved me from every other 
connection, to unite my fate with that of the human 
being I most respect and love." 

My father to my mother: 

"Newbury Port, Jan. 19th, 1807. 
" I am returned, my dearest love, to my books and 
business, in health, but with little power of applica- 
tion to either. I cannot withdraw my mind from the 
delightful contemplation of the dear object of my 
heart, who inspires and possesses my whole soul, who 
has led all my affections into a most enchanting cap- 
tivity. O my Mary! my inestimably precious and 
dear Mary, permit me this once to pour out my feel- 
ings of love and gratitude ! Yet I cannot. I have no 
words for the fulness of my heart. May I be blest 
with a sympathy in your feelings, which will speak 
better than words ! And * may the ever present, the 
ever beneficent Being,' in whose hand our breath is, 
and whose are all our ways, accept the effusions of 
my gratitude for His Providential goodness, and 



make me worthy to enjoy His richest gifts ! I never 
before realized such a lively sense of gratitude to 
Heaven ; I never before knew the extent of my feel- 
ings ; I never dared to hope in this life for the happi- 
ness I now feel. I am not romantic ; I am solemnly 
serious ; and Oh, my lovely friend, lovely in every 
charm that can interest and elevate the heart, it is 
with a hallowed affection, I yield to your power, in a 
confidence that knows no bounds. I am sure to incur 
no risk in acknowledging the full extent of your 
power over my affections. I feel that it is a heavenly 
power, calculated to improve my heart and life, to 
animate my devotions, and to elevate my eternal 
hopes. May it ever be blest to our mutual improve- 
ment and happiness. May our Heavenly Father ever 
smile upon the union of our affections, and bless all 
our wishes and exertions for each other, and may 
He, my dear love, 'conduct us innocently through 
life, and receive us tenderly to His bosom in death.'" 

Her reply is as follows: 

"Concord, January 21st, 1807. 
"Tears, irrepressible tears, more truly, more 
tenderly than language can, expressed the feelings 
of my heart on reading the letter of my dearest friend. 
And the Source of felicity, 'the Giver of every good 
gift,' alone knows how fervently I pray that your 
hopes may not be disappointed, that we may be mu- 
tual and everlasting blessings to each other. And 



such, I trust, He will make us. 'T is not for a day 
for a year for life no, my dear friend I confess 
to you, were our affection to terminate on this side 
the grave, did its hopes, its prospects, extend no fur- 
ther, I should not have courage to harbour it. But I 
do believe I shall love eternally the virtues I now 
love; I do believe the sympathy of feeling which 
attracted us on earth, will be equally attractive in 
Heaven. I fear to say too much; yet, such is the 
confidence I feel in you, a confidence surprising even 
to myself, that I know not how to unfold to you less 
than my whole heart. Ah, my friend ! if that heart 
should ever be less dear to you ! but I do not fear I 
know that in your character candour and constancy 
are not less conspicuous than tenderness. 

"The storm on the Sabbath prevented my attend- 
ing public worship; I remained at home, and read 
two of Saurin's sermons. If you have not seen his fifth 
volume, you have not seen the perfection of elo- 
quence. On that morning, my soul expanded with 
unusual gratitude to the Father of mercies ; and, per- 
haps, the voice of conscience influenced my choice 
of a sermon on 'Transient Devotion.' It is, all in all, 
superior to any human production I ever met with. 
I cannot refrain from giving you an extract ; I know 
your soul will ascend with the devout author. *O 
Almighty God! we humbly beseech Thee, enable 
us in the offerings we make to Thee, to resemble 
Thee in the favours Thou bestowest upon us! Thy 
gifts to us are without repentance, Thy covenant with 



us contains this clause, " The mountains shall depart, 
and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not 
depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my 
peace be removed. I have sworn that I will not be 
wroth with thee." Oh, that our offerings to Thee may 
be without repentance! Oh, that we may be enabled 
to reply, "The mountains shall depart, and the hills 
be removed, but my fidelity shall never depart from 
Thee, neither shall the dedication which I have made 
of myself to Thee, ever be removed. I have sworn, 
and I will perform it, that I will keep Thy righteous 
judgments. Amen.'" 

" I hailed the unclouded sun with more than usual 
pleasure on Friday ; for I was not a little apprehen- 
sive that, with your interesting companion, you might 
suffer from an unpleasant day. You saw our excel- 
lent Mary [Emerson]. You admire he'r -for her own 
sake ; I entreat you to love her for mine. Imperfect 
as I am, and illy as I have profited by her admoni- 
tions, you know not how much I owe her. Coura- 
geous in correcting, and generous in commending, 
she stimulates her friends to the pursuit of excellence, 
by every motive and by every method that piety, good 
sense, and affection can suggest." 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"Concord, January 21st, 1807. 
"The cordial sympathy of my dear Ann, and the 
approbation and blessing of her revered parent, dif- 



fused a glow of pleasure through my soul. To my 
friend I do gratefully acknowledge the beneficence 
of that Being who has preserved me from other con- 
nections, and who, in the best time and manner, has 
bestowed upon me a heart of inestimable value. I 
fully appreciate it and only pray that I may not 
too highly prize it. Like you, dear Ann, I dare not 
anticipate, fixedly anticipate, future happiness on 
earth. Else should I dwell with delight on the pros- 
pect of being one day near you, of frequently com- 
muning with you, of associating with you and your 
admirable mother, till I should become in some de- 
gree like the friends I admire and love. Am I sin- 
gularly depraved when I confess receiving pleasure 
from a knowledge that even Ann was vulnerable to 
jealousy, when the affection of a friend was its object, 
and that friend was myself? But, most unjust was 
the apprehension that you could ever inspire less than 
the most heart-felt esteem and cordial love. Should 
Providence conduct us to each other, and protract 
our lives, you will, I trust, receive the most entire 
conviction of this truth. 

"Our dear Sarah will probably present you these 
hasty, but affectionate pages. Alas! on what scenes 
is she entering! The family of Mrs. Farnham must 
interest every heart. Have you ever noticed partic- 
ularly the second daughter, Louisa? She has, of late, 
passed some weeks in Concord, and seldom have I 
beheld a countenance more interesting, from its ex- 
pression of tender melancholy, or manners more at- 



tractive from their affectionate simplicity. You know 
the mother, and feel the severe deprivation these in- 
nocents must soon experience. We do, indeed, firmly 
believe the orphans' Friend will be their guardian, 
but we cannot behold the excellent mother of a nu- 
merous family 'fade as a flower,' in the bloom of life, 
without anguish." 

Of Mr. Popkin, who was afterwards her pastor, 
and, throughout his life, one of my father's most hon- 
oured and beloved friends, she says, in reference to 
his sermons : " One would imagine the spirit of Scou- 
gal had descended to animate a second time, the 
form of humanity." 

My father to my mother, in reply to hers of Jan- 
uary 21st: 

"Newbury Port, Jan. 23rd, 1801. 

" Had anything been wanting, my dearest Mary, 
to complete my happiness, your tender and elevating 
letter would have supplied it. Accept my warmest 
thanks for all your goodness. Never, never, I trust, 
will my Mary have cause to repent her confidence 
in one who has yielded to her his whole heart, and 
lives no less for her than for himself. Our hearts, I 
trust, will bear exposure to each other with all the 
frankness of sincere friendship and love. For myself, 
I feel no more a wish, than I have the power, to con- 
ceal anything from my dearest friend. But I will not 
trouble you with more professions; you know you 
possess my whole heart, and you will always find it 



open to your inspection. May you ever view it with 
pleasure, though you find much to correct, and much 
to lament: may the sincerity of its love, and the hon- 
esty of its intentions draw the mantle of your can- 
dour over its errors and imperfections : and may the 
Father of lights inspire me with wisdom and good- 
ness to secure your affection, and mingle my joys 
with yours, not only in this imperfect state of good 
and evil, but throughout our whole existence! 

" I have just finished reading the inimitably beau- 
tiful and excellent story of ' Rasselas,' and am so im- 
pressed with its beauty and excellence, that I can- 
not avoid speaking of it to my dear Mary. The story 
is undoubtedly calculated to leave the mind pensive, 
solemn, and thoughtful, if not gloomy, and I don't 
know that it has not served to give me a sort of ap- 
prehension that my present happiness is too great, 
and my prospects too bright, for such a world as this. 
My mind, however, is not apt to cherish such appre- 
hensions, or of a nature to suffer from the story of 
Rasselas. But, granting the picture of human life as 
here drawn to be too deeply shaded, yet, what pro- 
found reflections, what just and useful observations, 
what accurate and beautiful descriptions from the 
moral and natural world, abound ! What taste, what 
elegance of language, what powers of reasoning, what 
knowledge of nature, of mankind, and the various 
conditions of life, are most happily and forcibly dis- 
played ! What charms of sentiment and imagery, of 
truth, wisdom, and eloquence, are all combined to 



fascinate, exalt, and improve our minds! From my 
heart would I pity and forgive that disposition to 
morbid melancholy in the mighty mind of Johnson, 
which inclined perhaps too greatly to darken the pic- 
ture. At the time of writing this work, he was sol- 
itary, and had just lost his mother ; to defray whose 
debts and funeral charges, it is said, the work was 
composed in the evenings of one week ! No one, per- 
haps, can realize the sufferings of this great and good 
man, without possessing his strong feelings and gi- 
gantic talents ; but he that can contemplate his ever- 
returning pains and sorrows amidst his ardent zeal 
and exertions for the promotion of virtue, piety, and 
human happiness, and not feel his heart melt in rev- 
erential compassion, is surely not much to be envied. 
Johnson had no vices ; and his failings are nothing 
before the bright constellation of his virtues and ex- 
cellences. But I was speaking of his 'Rasselas,' and 
would just add, that though the evils and sorrows 
of this present world are so strikingly portrayed as 
to sink it in our estimation, yet human nature is pre- 
sented in a dignified and endearing view. This distin- 
guishes him from the misanthropist. We find nothing 
to disgust us with our species, and freeze our souls 
with horror. All has a tendency to soften and sol- 
emnize the heart, and prepare it for deeper impres- 
sions of virtue and piety ; and to induce us to exclaim 
with the princess: 'To me, the choice of life is be- 
come less important ; I hope, hereafter, to think only 
on the choice of eternity.'" 



From my father to my mother: 

"Newbury Port, January 29th, 1807. 

"Your letter of yesterday, my dear Mary, has 
proved a most delightful cordial to my spirits. It 
found them drooping under a very severe head-ache, 
which I have suffered through the day, and am in- 
debted for, probably, to intense and long-continued 
application to Selfridge's trial last evening. This pre- 
vented my setting off for Concord this morning; 
otherwise I was well enough. My indisposition was 
owing to an ordinary cold only. Indeed, to this source 
I so invariably trace the slight interruptions my 
health experiences, that I was not aware you might 
be liable to receive any other impression. But, my 
dear, I presume your solicitude has given me quite 
as much pleasure as it possibly could give you pain ; 
so, you see, nothing is lost between us. I have now 
the pleasure to assure you I feel perfectly well, ex- 
cepting a little of the aforesaid head-ache. Selfridge's 
trial, I think, would entertain you, as giving a full 
view of our judicial proceedings, and of lawyers' lives 
and labours. With Mr. Gore, I am sure, you will be 

"On last Lord's Day, being detained at home, I 
also read two of Saurin's sermons. They were those 
on the fear of God ; of the last of which I could speak 
almost as highly as you do of that on transient de- 
votion. I believe I shall become as enthusiastic in 
my admiration of this sublime and eloquent preacher 



as yourself. But how much will be owing to your in- 
fluence, I cannot say. Sure I am always to feel thank- 
ful for that influence. I begin to suspect that your 
power will not be confined to my feelings, but will 
make my sentiments, opinions, and even taste bow 
to it." 

I find that my father has preserved, in the same 
package with these letters of my mother's and his 
own, one which my mother received at this time from 
her friend Mr. Frisbie. This indicates the peculiar 
respect my father felt for their friendship. It also in- 
dicates his own strong and tender attachment to Mr. 
Frisbie, to which I have so often heard him give ex- 
pression. I remember my father's account of his last 
interview with Mr. Frisbie, a few days before his 
death. Mr. Frisbie had had a dread of the last awful 
change a dread which he considered the effect of 
the gloomy religious associations of his childhood. 
In moments of depression induced by disease he 
could not wholly prevent the influence of these early 
impressions upon his mind. But on my father's last 
visit to him, immediately upon receiving him, Mr. 
Frisbie said, "You know what a dread of death I 
have had. I can now not only view it with perfect 
calmness, but the prospect of the future world is de- 
lightful to me." I remember my father's saying, with 
tears in his eyes, that among other visions of the 
future, Mr. Frisbie said, "I shall see your Mary." 

The following is a copy of the letter: 


"Ipswich, January 26th, 1807. 

" If, my dear sister, my visual faculties would per- 
mit, I should have much to reply to your letter. And 
first, I should reproach thee as becometh a disap- 
pointed lover. Knowest thou not that, for more than 
three years, I have been in love with thee myself; 
at least, so saith the world, and the world, thou art 
aware, always concerning such subjects judgeth 
aright. Next, I would ask thee, if thou art now about 
to take thy departure for Bethlehem, as thou speak- 
est of prospects of felicity, and this was once a fa- 
vourite plan of thine? If so, I will e'en bear thee 
company, and take the veil too. 

"But pardon me this trifling: I will be more se- 
rious. I thank you for the confidence and the friend- 
ship of your letter. As I cannot say all I would upon 
the subject, from my eyes, I shall merely observe 
that I rejoice in your prospects, and pray you may 
enjoy every blessing you can reasonably anticipate." 

On my father's return home, accompanied by Miss 
Sarah Ripley, after a visit in Concord, he writes as 
follows : 

"Newbury Port, Feb. 7th, 1807. 
"The day we left you was rather cold, but our 
ride was pleasant, and, having dined, and passed two 
or three hours with our excellent friend at Maiden 
[Miss Emerson], we reached Salem before dark. 
Sarah passed the night with Miss Lawrence, and 
your friend with Mr. Pickering, and all very agree- 



ably. How yesterday morning opened upon us, you 
must recollect. We ventured to set out in the midst 
of the violence of the storm, but, having proceeded 
as far as Beverly, I insisted on leaving Sarah at Mr. 
Brown's, where they strongly urged me to tarry 
also ; but, being obliged if possible to reach home 
yesterday, and fearing lest the storm of snow would 
block us up too long, I continued my journey, and 
arrived at home just as the storm ceased. Sarah came 
on in the stage in the afternoon, and here we both 
now are, grateful and happy. My ride was, to be 
sure, solitary and tempestuous from Beverly, but not 
unpleasant. The dearest and the tenderest recollec- 
tions filled my heart, and made me insensible to the 
raging elements without. My thoughts dwelt on my 
inexpressibly dear friend, and I would have cheer- 
fully encountered all the storms of nature, for the 
joy of seeing that friend. Did you never experience, 
my beloved Mary, that, after parting from a friend, 
dearer to you than all the world, you for some time 
could feel no other wish, but to renew your inter- 
view with that friend ? I am sure you have, and will 
not accuse me of weakness if during the pensiveness 
of the storm yesterday, I found my heart melt with- 
in me, and my eyes overflow, without being able to 
assign any reason for it, satisfactory to the schools. 
Oh, my love ! do not forget to cherish and preserve 
your health, Write only what is necessary but to 
me as much as you can without injuring yourself, 
and no more. Let me know, my dearest love, a few 



lines as soon as possible, and remember you have in 
your power all the happiness of your devoted friend, 

D. A. W." 

My mother to my father: 

"Concord, February 5th, 1807. 

"Friday morning. Am I departing from the letter, 
4 or obeying the spirit of the law of kindness which in- 
terdicted writing ? Till I can receive the opinion of 
my counsellor, I shall determine in favour of the 
latter opinion, and act accordingly. And this, too, 
without personal injury; for, by writing ten minutes 
in the morning, afternoon, and evening, a letter may 
be easily completed without fatigue. 

"Monday morning. My plan was blighted in the 
bud unexpected company, etc., etc., stole from me 
the pleasure I anticipated, in devoting to my heart's 
dearest friend a little part of each portion of the day. 
Your letter was expected with anxiety, received with 
eagerness, and read with delight. But, why attempt 
to express the inexpressible feelings originating in a 
sentiment in itself indefinable, and which can only be 
felt. Let your affection interpret what would be un- 
intelligible to indifference: to that I refer you for 
a picture of all the solicitude, the confidence, the anx- 
ieties, and hopes, that swell the soul, wresting from 
every other object the attention obtruding even on 
devotion. Yes, obtruding. 

"My dear mother peremptorily forbids another 
page. A little cold taken yesterday at church has 



stimulated the kind monitor in my side; it unites 
with her in warning me to close. Farewell, with truth, 
with prayers, constant and fervent, for your present 
and future felicity, your MARY. 

" Do not be anxious. I assure you my cold is slight." 

To this letter my father replies : 

"Newbury Port, Feb. 10th, 1807. 

" Indeed, my dearest love, my feelings at once de- 
clare that you follow both the letter and the spirit of 
the law of kindness, when you write to me. Out of 
your presence, I can receive nothing to be called 
pleasure, in comparison with the delight your letters 
afford. Yes, my heavenly friend, write to me as much 
and as often as you can, without injury and without 
fatigue ; and be assured that volumes to others can- 
not possibly produce so much happiness as a single 
line to me. Your plan I think excellent, and hope 
you will be able in this way to give me happiness, 
without suffering yourself. 

"What could induce you, what could induce you, 
my Mary, to expose yourself at Church in the sever- 
est of weather ? You have all the means and all the 
feelings of devotion at home, and where and what is 
the counsellor who advises you abroad at the risk of 
your health? In vain do you forbid anxiety nothing 
but assurance of your perfect health can prevent it. I 



wish not to alarm you or myself, but your * kind mon- 
itor ' may possibly prove most unkind, at least to me. 
It surely ought not to be needlessly roused. Do, my 
dear Mary, try some expedient to estimate the impor- 
tance of your health to my happiness ; and, then, I 
shall be sure, from your benevolence and compassion 
at least, of all the attention to yourself I wish. I know 
this is all tedious to you, but I cannot repress my so- 
licitude do relieve me by a few lines as soon as pos- 
sible. Tell me you are well, and mean to be kind and 
attentive to your precious, your inestimably precious 
self where are all my heart's dearest treasures, all 
its tenderest joys, and hopes, and wishes. Oh, may 
that kind Being, who loves us better than we our- 
selves, protect and tenderly cherish you, and preserve 
and prepare us both for pure and never-ending hap- 
piness ! 

"Our excellent pastor gave us a very pious and 
excellent discourse last Lord's Day, and very feeling 
and appropriate, on cold weather, from Psalm 147, 
16th and 17th verses. It made me, for the moment, 
almost forget that intense cold was an evil little 
did I think my dearest friend was then suffering; 
though I could not, amidst all the charms of the 
preacher on the subject, forget her, for I am sadly 
exposed to obtrusions but, while my attention is 
withdrawn by them, my feelings acquire animation, 
and return with more ardour and heart-felt gratitude 
to devotion, and I hope therefore to be forgiven." 



My mother to my father: 

"Concord, Thursday morning. 
" Soon after closing my last to my beloved friend, 
I was attacked with every symptom of a lung fever. 
The applications made have reduced the disease. I 
am now sitting up, and much better, though debil- 
itated by bleeding, blisters, etc. I do not wish to see 
you at the risk of your health, or any serious incon- 
venience, but you are constantly in the thoughts, 
and inexpressibly dear to the heart of your 
Ever faithful and affectionate 


"Come not but in pleasant weather. You see I am 
not very sick writing is demonstration." 

As might be expected, this letter brought my 
father to Concord. On his return to Newburyport, 
he writes: 

"Feb. 18th, 1807. 

" I have only a moment before our mail closes ; for, 
if you will believe me, we did not reach home till in 
the evening of yesterday! I lost entirely one day, 
which I might have enjoyed with my beloved Mary. 
The cold on Monday was much more severe than I 
had expected, and when I called at Maiden, our friend 
there [Miss Emerson], at once protested against com- 
ing on the whole way, and would consent to accom- 
pany me only on condition that I would pass the 
night at Salem or Beverly. We accordingly came 
that way, and put up at Mr. Brown's, in Beverly. I 



felt none the better for the journey, but Mrs. Brown, 
with true motherly kindness, nursed me up, and we 
might have come home yesterday morning, had I 
not laboured under a mistake, and supposed I was 
too unwell. Dr. Fisher, however, cured my mistake, 
told me nothing was the matter, and I might come 
as soon as I pleased : and I am thankful to find, this 
snowy morning, that we are safe at home, and very 
well. My slight cold, (the infirmity which most easily 
besets me,) has already left me almost wholly, and 
I have only to think of my ever dear and lovely Mary. 
How happy should I be, could I but look upon you 
once a day, and witness the joy of returning health! 
But health is not necessary to make my Mary in- 
teresting and lovely. I can almost speak of the charms 
of sickness. O my dearest love, what an ornament is 
a 'meek and quiet spirit,' adorned with all the tender 
virtues and Christian graces! Never could I have 
seen my friend more interesting to my heart. I will 
not be anxious ; you are cherished by the attentions 
of most affectionate friends, tenderly guarded by 
your earthly and your heavenly Parent. We have 
always cause for joy, for we are constantly under the 
care and protection of that kind, almighty Being, 
whose tender mercies are over all His works. 

"Adieu, my dearest, my ever precious love. God 
will bless and preserve you, and with your health 
and happiness make entirely happy 

"Your most faithful and affectionate 

D. A. W." 


From my grandmother to my father: 

"Concord, Feb. 19th. 

" 'As cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news 
from a far country.' Our dear Mary is better, and, 
as her amanuensis communicates the intelligence, 
her fever appears to have left her, her sleep easy and 
refreshing. She is still very weak, but better than 
when you left her. We ardently hope she will be 
spared for many years, as her life is very precious to 
her friends." 

To this my mother adds the following: 

"Dearest of human beings, as a tribute of grat- 
itude for past, and the promise of future blessings, 
let us offer to God an entire sacrifice of ourselves. 
In public and in private, let us enter anew into cov- 
enant with the Almighty, who condescends to be our 
Covenant God. Mamma wrote the above, but no eye 
inspects this. I seal it myself." 

In reply to my father's letter of the 18th, my 
mother, made anxious by that letter, writes to him 

as follows: 

"Concord, Feb. 20th. 

"Friday morning. You are not well. I ought not 
to have consented to your returning on so cold a 
day. Write soon, and honestly. Tell me just how you 
are, and, if you love truly love your Mary, guard 
attentively against the foe that most easily besets 



"Saturday morning. I hope I am childish and 
grieving causelessly, but I have no letter this morn- 
ing, and cannot but apprehend. My own health 
continues to improve, but I have little increase of 
strength. If I were well, I should fear less, for it 
would be possible to see you if you were ill, and that 
possibility would be a relief. But you are the care 
of a Being who is equally present in all places, and 
of whose power and beneficence I am, at this mo- 
ment, a monument. I rejoice you are at His disposal 
who wills only the happiness of His creatures, and I 
will cheer my poor heart with the idea that He 
would not so singularly have united our affections, 
had He designed an immediate separation. 

" Let me hear from you soon, and do not give me 
present peace, at the expense of future confidence, 
by deceiving me with respect to your health." 

On February 21st, her friend Sarah Ripley, who 
was then in Newburyport, wrote to her, and my 
father added a postscript of half a page. On Febru- 
ary 23d he wrote again: 

" I need not, I cannot describe, my dearest Mary, 
the emotions I felt at sight of your letter to-day, 
charmingly greeting me in your own fair and steady 
hand, as your letters were wont to do in your better 
health. I am thankful, above all expression, that you 
are so well, and am delighted, as you alone can con- 
ceive, by your letters; yet I entreat you to spare 
your strength, and make no untimely exertions. Be- 



stow all your care and all your attentive thoughts 
upon yourself. I am distressed for the pain I have 
given you, for the moments of solicitude on my ac- 
count which you have suffered amidst such suffer- 
ings of your own, and which I might and ought to 
have prevented. Forgive, I pray you, my want of 
consideration. I know my Mary will forgive me, but 
this will not change the past. I can form some idea 
of what may have been her feelings, from what I 
myself suffered on Thursday. The letter which I ex- 
pected with such confidence, and waited for with 
such anxiety, did not reach me that day, and I 
speak 'honestly' when I say that I could not then 
write to you. Had your letter arrived, as you doubt- 
less expected it did, you would have received a line 
from me on Saturday. But as I then supposed, from 
some cause or other which I could not conjecture 
without infinite distress, you had thought proper 
not to send the letter which you were so good as to 
promise me, I did not think of your expecting a letter 
from me, even were I perfectly able to write it. And, 
on Saturday, Sarah's writing prevented my making 
a long letter ; she delayed it to the last moment, and 
I added without consideration a few lines, when I 
ought to have written a letter. I say without consid- 
eration, for Mary Emerson afterward told me that 
malice itself could not have devised a more effectual 
method to make you anxious. I again entreat your 
forgiveness, for I must have been criminal, or our 
friend would not have thus disciplined me. I was 



under two general impressions, that more letters 
than were necessary would not be beneficial to you, 
and that you could not be solicitous about my health. 
But what a tedious letter this ! Mary Emerson has 
just laid claim to a small part, which I hope will 
enliven the whole. 

"A JDieu, my love, tell your dear friends around 
you how grateful I feel for their kind attentions to 
you. Be cheerful and happy as you are good. A 
most tender and merciful Being protects us both. 
Health will soon smile upon you, and may you al- 
ways smile upon your undeserving, but most ardently 
and constantly affectionate D. A. W." 

Miss Emerson's postscript is as follows: 

"I cannot, my beloved friend, be wholly silent, 
when I recall your sickness and recovery. Do be 
careful, without anxiety, of your self. Hope for every 
thing, for there is nothing too good and too grand, 
here and hereafter, for a Being infinite and happy 
to bestow. Times of prosperity often incite tender 
anxiety. Pass by these, and appreciate thy blessings. 
Happiness is rare, but, perhaps, a large draught 
very healthy. * M. E." 

From my father: 

"Newbury Port, Wednesday, Feb. 25th. 
" What would I have given for a line yesterday, 
telling me how you were on Monday morning! As- 



sure your Mamma how thankful I felt for her kind- 
ness the other day, and intreat that she, or some of 
your attentive friends around you, would give me a 
still more minute account of you. A full diary would 
delight me ; indeed, I wish you had some little Bos- 
well about you to record whatever you do or take, 
all your remarkable sayings and delightful whispers. 
I would give more for his book than for Boswell's 
* Johnson,' inestimable as it is." 

From my mother: 

"Concord, Feb. 26th, 1807. 

" Speak not of forgiveness, most dear and attentive 
friend ; I rather should ask it, for the childish letter 
with which I troubled you on Monday. Blessed be 
the merciful Being who is, I trust, restoring health 
to us both ; for all the suffering He wisely inflicts, 
and for all the rich blessings He kindly bestows, 
adored be His name! 

" I have been thinking, beloved friend, of the de- 
sign of Providence in this illness some good is in- 
tended by it let us not neglect to gather sweet fruit 
from the bitter tree. Let the fruit be, a deeper sense 
of our entire dependence upon God, a more perfect 
devotion to Him, a livelier gratitude, a warmer love, 
a more vigilant attention to our hearts and lives! 
Dearest friend, I write this less for you than for my- 
self; show me this letter when you find me back- 
sliding, re-animate my devotion when you see me 
cold and lifeless, by reminding me of what I owe to 



the Father of Mercies, 'who forgiveth all our iniqui- 
ties, and healeth all our diseases.'" 

My father to my mother: 

"Newbury Port, Feb. 28th, 1807. 

"My dearest love, for several days I suffered an 
inexpressible anxiety which no exertions of my rea- 
son could control, till the arrival of your charming, 
your most heart-cheering letter. I cannot avoid em- 
bracing the first opportunity to assure my beloved 
Mary how happy and how grateful I feel, and how 
fervently I pray that my heart may never become in- 
sensible to the goodness of our Father in Heaven, 
which we are now experiencing. Oh, may my grati- 
tude and love to God not pass away 'as the morn- 
ing cloud, and as the early dew.' But I shall always 
need your gentle, stimulating monitions. May I al- 
ways profit and improve by them! What you write 
or speak, 'less for me than yourself,' may I always 
earnestly strive to improve, as I feel there is, and 
fear there ever must be, a greater need of it for me 
than for you. 

"Let me now again entreat you to be constantly 
careful of yourself now is a most important time 
to your health make no unnecessary exertions of 
your strength, let no cares trouble your mind; re- 
member that, notwithstanding my wishes, I would 
submit to any delay rather than your mind should 
be exercised by any solicitude. 

"Mrs. Farnham is very feeble; she is truly an ad- 


mirable woman. In the multitude of thoughts that 
must so tenderly, so awfully exercise her mind, that 
she can feel resignation, that she can manifest such 
sweet composure, must indeed, as you once observed, 
be the triumph of religion. 

" When I shall have the greatest happiness I can 
now realize, that of visiting my Mary, I know not. 
The two coming weeks are the last of doing business 
for our next court, which almost necessarily confines 

My mother to my father: 

"Concord, March 2nd, 1807. 

"Monday morning. I would not rise this morning 
till I had a letter to inspire me with strength and 
spirits. Your affectionate pages dispersed every cloud 
that rose on Saturday and dimmed the Sabbath ; for 
I had calculated on seeing my dearest friend at the 
close of the week. I am now happy you did not come. 
I cannot wish to purchase the pleasure of seeing you 
for a few hours at the risk of your health, at this ever- 
varying season. Having consulted the almanac, I 
knew the two ensuing weeks must be important to 
your business. I shall not therefore expect you till 
the 'time of service is up.' Are you astonished at my 
legal learning? I would say something more of it, 
but that I must not write voluminously as usual. 

" I continue to improve in health, and Papa thinks 
this illness will prove advantageous, should I be spared 
a relapse. A thousand times I thank you for the ten- 



derness that would shield me from danger and solic- 
itude. But solicitude, of the kind you allude to, has 
never distressed me. I have many kind friends who 
are ready to spare me every care, every exertion. I 
wish to say innumerable things, but fear to write ; I 
would not injure your MARY." 

After the proposed visit to Concord my father 
writes : 

"Newbury Port, March 10th, 1807. 

" My dear Mary will not be unhappy to learn that 
her most affectionate friend is well and safe at his 
office this unpleasant, stormy morning. I did not pass 
through Methuen as I had intended. Finding the 
bridge at Andover destroyed, I turned aside, and en- 
joyed two hours at Madam Phillips,' with her and my 
good friend Farrar, where I found a most cordial and 
warm reception. I renewed my journey about three 
o'clock, and reached home at seven with perfect con- 
venience and satisfaction. 

"What joy would it give my heart to look in up- 
on you with a good morning! The sound still dwells 
most sweetly and most tenderly on my thoughts. 
You are 'in my mind's eye' at this moment, lovely 
and cheering as when, with ' sweet sorrow,' we ex- 
changed it at this hour, yesterday morning. O my 
Mary, with what emotions does my heart anticipate 
the time when these 'outward eyes' shall daily be- 
hold in delightful vision the lovely object, so inesti- 
mably dear and precious to me ! May Heaven, in its 



goodness, speed this time ! May you be blessed with 
health and every favour to make you happy. And 
may our hearts ever be as united in love and grati- 
tude to the bountiful Giver of all good, as in affec- 
tion to each other. Write me often as much as your 
health will allow, and no more and all about your 
dear self. Heaven bless you." 

From my mother: 

"Concord, March llth, 1807. 

"You do not say, 'Make yourself your subject,' 
without sincerely wishing it ; for my beloved friend 
can never degrade himself or his Mary, by unmean- 
ing compliments. I need not say you were constantly 
present to my mind all the day that I turned my eye 
every moment to the window, and watched the in- 
crease and decrease of the storm with a heart re- 
sponding to every variation. The unpleasant weather 
had yesterday a little effect on my lungs. I could not 
have bid you good-morning in an audible voice, but 
to-day I am quite well. 

" I am warned to close by significant glances, nods, 
and, where these fail, by friendly hints that 'the mail 
is closing,' etc." 

Again she writes: 

"Concord, March 12th, 1807. 
" It is a most perplexing mystery to our good and 
faithful Betty, that Mr. White and Mrs. Schalk- 



wyck should have so much to say. * What can they 
find to occupy so much time ? I 'm sure they must 
repeat the same things again and again.' Unless the 
heart of the postmaster should instruct him, I think 
the mystery must appear to him no less dark. But 
in truth, I have now important intelligence to com- 
municate. Yesterday, I dismissed my sick robe, and, 
my cap excepted, clad myself in the attire of health. 
I wished to have written this from the sitting-room, 
but Mamma objected to the morning as too cold and 
windy for a first essay. And, really, I have no very 
strong inclination to make the first floor my stated 
place of residence, till after Court. Company neces- 
sarily produces exertion, and the society of friendly 
acquaintance is far worse than any other. There is 
not sufficient affection to render silence supportable 
to them, and there is not enough indifference to their 
opinions and feelings to render it easily practicable. 
'He who, silent, loves to be with us, he wno loves 
us in our silence, has touched one of the keys that 
ravish hearts.' If Lavater had never written anything 
more visionary, he might have passed for a sage of 
the first order. But this delightful silence, which alone 
conveys the best feelings of the soul, is too sacred to 
be profaned by vulgar use. 

" My dearest friend, I have not written very long, 
but the girls think quite long enough. Adieu, then, 
Most affectionately, 


From my mother: 



"Concord, March 13th, 1807. 
"I know my dearest friend would not have dis- 
appointed me this morning, had not necessity com- 
pelled him to it. He knows the anxieties of an affec- 
tion ever solicitous for the health and happiness of 
its object. By reposing on the perfections of Deity, 
I endeavour to resign myself to all possible events, 
but there are sorrows from which my soul recoils, and 
which, I feel, nothing but divine grace can enable me 
to sustain." 

From my father: 

"Newbury Port, March 13th, 1807. 
"My dear Mary's letter reached me yesterday, and 
greatly delighted my heart, as her letters cannot fail 
to do. This morning's mail I fully intended should 
carry you a few lines, but a severe head-ache caused 
by a slight cold and unusual fatigue, kept me in du- 
ress until it was too late. For several days, I have 
been obliged to confine myself in a close room at an 
arbitration with such a clan of the * sovereign people," 
that I could scarcely breathe with any pleasure to 
myself. Last evening I was released, and to-day I 
choose to confine myself at home, not doubting but 
a little penance at water-gruel will restore me." 

From my mother: 

"Concord, March 16th, 1807. 
"Your letter of this morning, dearest friend, re- 
lieved me from the most painful apprehensions, 



though it informed me of your indisposition. You 
must bear with me, when I am thus unreasonable; 
were my heart less interested, I could more calmly 
see the expected post arrive without a letter. Your 
health is certainly delicate, and requires constant at- 
tention. Pay that attention, I entreat you, for your 
Mary's sake, whose happiness is most intimately con- 
nected with it. You say colds are the only illness to 
which you are subject. Dr. Ratcliffe used to say to 
his patients, when they told him they had only a 
cold 'What, in the name of conscience, would you 
have?' considering them the foundation of every 
other disorder." 

How often I have heard my father attribute my 
mother's early death to the ignorance that then pre- 
vailed, even among the medical faculty, with regard 
to the laws of health. It is evident that, from this or 
some other cause, his health was at this time inter- 
rupted almost as frequently as her own. 

From my father: 

"Newbury Port, March 17th, 1807. 
" My imagination has been feasting itself in view- 
ing my beloved in her 'attire of health,' and Queen 
Esther in all her 'royal apparel' appeared not half so 

Again : 

"Newbury Port, March 18th, 1807. 
"I think you cannot make the sitting-room at 
present, your place of stated residence, without be- 



ing insensibly led to make exertions which may re- 
tard your progress to perfect health, which, surely, 
nothing you could do in the way of politeness and 
civility would atone for. Silence, as you most justly 
observe, cannot be resorted to for relief in the com- 
pany of such friends as you would be exposed to ; 
and, if it could, I should think that sort of silence 
which in your presence could alone be sustained, 
too sacred, not only for vulgar, but for any general 
use. I could not feel willing to have any, even of 
your friends, participate with me in the exquisite 
pleasures of social silence, which are, peculiarly, the 
heart's, and which a stranger intermeddleth not with. 
Lavater's maxim shows he had a heart as well as 
head, and would alone rank him among first-rate 
sages in^the science of human nature." 

From my mother: 

"Concord, March 19th, 1807. 

"Dearest friend, a serious lecture by good Mr. 
Ripley, approbated by Papa, restrains me to one 
page. Most affectionately I thank you for the kind 
pages by which my heart has been daily cheered this 
week. I will not dispute the point of obligation with 
you at this time, and at no time may a point less en- 
dearing be contested by us. 

"My Parents think I gain strength and health as 
fast as I ought to expect. Do not, however, come 
with an idea that I am perfectly well. The truth is, 
my lungs are still very much debilitated. Papa is 



very unwell, we fear a lung-fever. Much love to 
our excellent Mary, affectionate sympathy to Mrs. 
and Miss Bromfield, and for yourself everything 
your heart can ask from your MARY." 

From my father: 

"Newbury Port, March 20th, 1807. 
" Notwithstanding all I have said, and intimated, 
to my beloved Mary about writing, and its injurious 
effects to herself, which I confess almost amounts 
to a prohibition to write at all, yet I cannot possibly 
be disappointed of a letter, when I only hope, and 
have no particular reason to expect one, as was the 
case yesterday, without feeling my heart sink with- 
in me, as if a blow of sudden misfortune came upon 
me ; and it takes some time and many efforts to raise 
it, and rightly restore all its circulations. You will 
think me inconsistent or capricious, but I hope I 
shall be neither ; or may suppose that I wish to en- 
joy all the happiness your letters give, and, should any 
evil accrue to you, on you to leave all the responsibil- 
ity, but this, I am sure, is not in my thoughts. My 
dear Mary's candour and affection will, I hope, ever 
take away all difficulty in interpreting the feelings 
and wishes of my heart. Frankly, my dearest love, 
I must say, you cannot omit writing to me without 
exposing my heart to much suffering; yet I must, 
in reason, add that I would rather encounter this 
suffering than your health should suffer any incon- 



From my father: 

"Newbury Port, March 21st, 1807. 
"One sentence only of my beloved Mary's ' page' 
would have charmed my heart. I care not how much 
her kind friends restrain her, when her health requires 
it, sure I am she cannot be so restrained as to fail of 
delighting me, if she takes her pen at all." 

My mother to my father: 

"Concord, March 21st, 1807. 
"I have only ten minutes to say all my heart 
would dictate to my best beloved friend, and what 
time would suffice for that purpose ? You know some- 
thing of your Mary, and may judge if she would, or 
would not, submit to any mere inconvenience, rather 
than subject her most cherished friend to pain. Alas! 
to how much pain and anxiety have I already sub- 
jected you ! when my most fervent wish and prayer 
has been to be only the source of happiness to you." 

Again : 

"Concord, March 23rd. 

"Monday morning. Harriet entered my chamber 
this morning with a kiss, and ' Cousin, did you hear the 
stage pass ? ' ' Yes. ' 'And do you expect a letter ? ' ' Not 
much.' She drew from her bosom your precious let- 
ter, the most welcome visitant I could possibly have 
received, the writer excepted. Beloved friend, for your 
attention to yourself, I thank you a thousand times. 
Be not anxious, but fail not to implore of Him who 



healeth, the exercise of His power, if it consist with 
His will, and our ultimate happiness. For I confess 
I desire not life to be less than a blessing to my 
heart's dearest friend ; and He who knoweth all things, 
to whom the future is present, alone knows if I should 
prove such." 

My father in reply: 

"Newbury Port, March 27th, 1807. 
"I have almost thirty minutes this morning to 
write to my dearest Mary, and could I say as much 
to charm her heart as she did mine in ten, I should 
feel perfectly happy. How can my dearest love 
speak of subjecting me to 'pain and anxiety,' which 
she must know I experience only so far as it is in- 
separable from the affection which is, indeed, the 
source of all that my heart deigns to call happiness 
here below. You are therefore just what your prayer 
has been, 'only the source of happiness to me.' You 
have taught me what happiness is, you have inspired 
my heart with feelings which a whole life of pain 
would not counterbalance. I cannot express by 
words, nor even by actions, the pure love and ten- 
derness which fill, and constitute the happiness of 
my heart. Oh, could I but daily and hourly enjoy 
your sweet society, and bestow my exertions in im- 
proving your health, and promoting your happiness, 
what a constant cause of gratitude to Heaven should 
I have!" 



Again : 

"Newbury Port, March 28th, 1807. 

" From what I have written to you about our dear 
Mrs. Farnham, you will not be surprised to learn 
that she continued through the day, yesterday, tran- 
quil and easy, resigned and happy, and in the eve- 
ning, breathed her last, in perfect composure, and 
free from pain and distress." 

Again : 

"Ipswich, March 31st, 1807. 

"Though I have made a public and most solemn 
profession of my faith, and dedication of myself to 
God, yet I feel full of imperfections, and liable con- 
tinually to deviate from the standard of elevated love, 
devotion, and purity which the Gospel enjoins. Oh, 
may my sincerity make my heart an offering accept- 
able to a holy and merciful God ; and may my life 
prove such as I now humbly hope and resolve to 
render it ! Then, dearest love, we shall be happy here, 
and supremely blest forever in the presence of our 
Heavenly Father." 

The following is her reply: 

"Concord, April 1st, 1807. 

" Could I give language to the feelings your letter 
of this morning inspired, you would receive pages 
more expressive of the tenderness which fills your 
Mary's heart, than you ever have done. Dearest of 
human beings, you have a new claim on my tender- 



ness, my esteem, and confidence. Most gladly, most 
affectionately, does my heart acknowledge it. And 
the Almighty Parent to whom you are devoted, the 
God with whom you have entered into covenant, 
will most surely direct, preserve, and bless you. 
Eternal Truth is pledged, and *the mountains shall 
depart, and the hills be removed' ere you shall be for- 
saken by Him, who is 'Omnipotent to bless.' May 
He, in His infinite goodness, grant that we may be 
permitted to tread the path of life together ; that we 
may mutually encourage, strengthen, and console 
each other; and, when His will shall terminate our 
present state of existence, may He decree that we 

'Together sink in social sleep, 
Together, freed, our happy spirits fly 
To realms where love and bliss immortal reign.'" 

From my father: 

"Ipswich, April 3rd, 1807. 

" You cannot easily conceive what delight my heart 
enjoys from the contemplation of my dear Mary, even 
amid the jargon and litigation of the bar. It is indeed, 
if possible, more inexpressibly delightful from this 
very contrast. To turn from scenes of human deprav- 
ity to view and contemplate all that is lovely and 
endearing in human nature, to retire from the agita- 
tion of noisy and angry passions, to indulge the pure 
and sweet sensations of love and joy Oh, my Mary, 
this is pleasure I cannot describe, but do this mo- 
ment richly enjoy. How blest am I to possess such 



a friend! I fear you will think I almost ought to 
apologize for filling my pages in this way. I know my 
Mary is not desirous of it, but I really have not time 
to say anything but what the moment pours forth. 
I must now return to all the aforesaid jargon, litiga- 
tion, etc., but hope to quit them entirely, and reach 
home in course of to-day." 

From my father: 

"Newbury Port, April 4th. 

"Most devoutly do I sympathize and concur with 
you in your prayers that we may be kindly preserved 
to ' encourage, strengthen, and console each other,' 
and be made mutual and everlasting blessings. I feel 
most sensibly how much I shall need your gentle 
guidance, your mild corrections, your stimulating 
influence in treading with you the path of life ; and 
becoming prepared with you, and like you, for ' realms 
where love and bliss immortal reign.' My hope rests 
in what I trust is the sincerity of my heart, and in 
the goodness of the Father of lights and God of love. 

"The minute has come for me to close. Before I 
see you next week, I hope to have decided as to a 
house. This I find more difficult than I expected; 
something or other very material is wanting in almost 
every situation I have viewed." 

From my mother: 

"Concord, April 9th, 1807. 

"You mentioned your intention to decide respect- 
ing a house ere we met. In fixing, you will recollect 



that closets are very convenient, though not abso- 
lutely indispensable ; a painted kitchen floor is much 
preferable to one unpainted, when washed, it is 
soon dry, this, however, is not very important; but 
a good well, and accommodations for wood, may be 

"This is an unusual exercise for Fast Day; I hope 
not a transgression of duty." 

From my father : 

"Newbury Port, April 10th, 1807. 
" I hope to find you have taken the softened air 
with advantage and pleasure. Indeed, it has almost 
been my hope that, should this delightful weather 
be indulged us next week, you might be able to ride 
with me to Charlestown. I cannot remove from 
my mind an inexpressible solicitude till Heaven has 
blessed me with the most exquisite and exalted hap- 
piness I can conceive of in this life. The perfect re- 
establishment of your health is, I am induced to be- 
lieve, as all your friends do, connected with this my 
happiness. They all assure me the air of Concord is 
not propitious to you as would be that of this place. 
And, at length, I have engaged the southwesterly 
half of a very well-built new house, in a fine situa- 
tion for enjoying the gentle and health-inspiring 
breezes of this season, with the mild and cheering 
rays of the sun. I cannot but think your health would 
improve better in such a situation than where you 
are, and cannot but hope your happiness would not 



be diminished. Any personal inconvenience or delay 
I am sure I would cheerfully submit to, that you 
might take the time most agreeable to yourself, but 
should that time very soon arrive, how greatly re- 
lieved, and how unspeakably happy, should I be." 

After a visit from my father, my mother writes 
as follows: 

"Concord, April 15th, 1807. 

"'Surely the light is sweet, and it is a pleasant 
thing to behold the sun.' But never do his rays so 
gladden the heart as when the dear idea of a beloved 
object is blended with them. On opening my eyes 
on this fine morning, gratitude to the Giver of all 
good, united with and increased by the tender rec- 
ollection of my friend, filled my heart. Emotions 
the most delightful were, however, blended with a 
sense of my own un worthiness, and 'what shall I 
render for all these mercies,' was the involuntary 
language of my soul. Oh, may I never lose the Giver 
in His gifts ! Singularly blest as I am, may my grat- 
itude and devotion be proportionably ardent and ac- 
tive! To you, dearest and best, I write and speak 
the first thoughts and feelings which arise: to each 
other, we can never be egotists, we can, at least, 
never disgust by egotism. 

"How much I feel your absence! I busy myself 
with imagining your occupations, your pleasures, 
your companions, the subjects of conversation, your 
tone of voice, and expression of countenance, but this 



does not equal reality ; and, to say truth, I had rather 
hear and see you one hour, than spend a fortnight 
in imagining how you might look, and what you 
might say. 

"My chamber grows rather cool, you will not, 
therefore, regret an early adieu. Generous, tender, 
best beloved friend, you know that you possess the 
heart of your MARY." 

To Ann Bromfield: 

"Concord, April 16th, 1807. 

"My ever dear Ann requires no written assurance 
of my tenderest sympathy, she knows how sincerely 
I have participated her sorrows. Dear Ann, I have 
felt have felt! can the bosom ever forget to feel, 
the poignancy of the pang inflicted by the sudden 
departure of an object idolized from infancy ! And 
I know the afflicted can receive consolation from no 
other source than the immutable perfections of Deity. 
Those perfections are all engaged to promote the 
ultimate happiness of His children, and not one of 
them can be lost. 

" My heart would long commune with yours, but 
a more than usual pain in the side warns me to 

From my father: 

"Newbury Port, April 17th, 1807. 
"Dearest love, I had not thought it possible I 
could realize in your absence such exquisite happi- 



ness, as your letter gave me yesterday. Never is my 
heart more softened in tenderness and love, than 
when I have journeyed home with the dear image 
of my Mary, after enjoying the sweet charms of her 
society and affection. How I thank you for your 
most noble, generous, frank, and tender affection! 
How does my heart ascend in pure and ardent grati- 
tude to the Father of mercies, the ever beneficent 
God of light and love, 'whom we both adore!' 

"The chairs we spoke of are already painted, but, 
instead of dark, as I mentioned, what they call bam- 
boo colour was thought best for us. If you prefer the 
dark coloured, just say so in your letter to-morrow. 
Would you like a little settee with them, for the sit- 
ting-room ? Such an one, and very pretty, may be had. 
The white chairs for the best chamber are ready, with 
the rest, to be taken to the house to-day." 

My mother's reply: 

"Concord, April 18th, 1807. 

"I have been engaged with company till it is al- 
most time to send my letter to the post-office. How 
much rather, dearest and best beloved friend, should 
I have passed the morning in the only kind of con- 
versation now permitted me to enjoy with you. 

"Yesterday, I rode four miles with our friend 
Sarah, without fatigue. I think, should it be conve- 
nient for you to be here on Monday or Tuesday, I 
shall probably be able to accompany you to Charles- 
town with advantage on Wednesday. 



"The chairs you mention will, I am sure, please 
me. As the sitting-room is small, a settee would be 
better dispensed with. Have the goodness to take 
the size of the windows, that curtains may be fitted 
to the chambers. Also, to inquire if mirrors can be 
procured reasonably at Newburyport. The risk in 
transporting them would be considerable. 

"My heart breathes ten thousand affectionate 
wishes for your felicity. Let me rather say, for ours, 
for there can be no separate happiness or misery 
with my dearest friend or his MARY." 

From my father: 

"Newbury Port, April 18th, 1807. 

"I have nearly a half hour this morning, before 
the mail closes, which I cannot turn to better account 
than by conversing with my beloved Mary. She is 
now the object of my tenderest cares and solicitudes, 
as well as the source of my sweetest joys, and why 
should I not yield to the impulse of my best affec- 
tions, which cling to her dear image in my mind, and 
constantly direct all my thoughts to her. Every morn- 
ing, after reverencing the 'ever present, ever benefi- 
cent Being whom we both adore,' I should wish to 
dedicate my first sentiments and feelings to the best 
and dearest friend of my heart, to my ever lovely and 
beloved Mary. 

" We can ever converse together without reserve 
or restraint, and give to each other our first thoughts, 
as they arise, for we know each other's hearts, and 



that the dearest happiness of each consists in giving 
happiness to the other. Certainly, the most exquisite 
joy of my heart arises from its power of giving joy 
to yours, and feeling itself the object, and in some de- 
gree worthy, of your affection. Indeed, here is all my 
earthly happiness, nothing else merits the name. 
I cannot cease to feel that I am most highly blest, 
or to express my feelings to you. They are the feel- 
ings which are ever first in my heart, and therefore 
must be expressed to you. And, I trust, dearest love, 
we are both of us infinitely above the necessity of 
disguise, or even of what is called policy." 

My mother, a few days later, went to Charlestown, 
from which the following letter is dated : 

"April 27th, Monday morning. 
"Notwithstanding the remarkably unpleasant 
weather, your Mary continues as well as when she 
parted with the friend who is all the world to her. 
To say any object is capable of bestowing complete 
pleasure in your absence would be an untruth. I do 
indeed feel from home, without the kind, sustaining 
arm of affection, without the soothing voice of sym- 
pathy, or the eye beaming tenderness and truth. But, 
if I can know you are in health, and depend on the 
happiness of seeing you in the course of a few days, 
I shall be content, and, I hope, grateful. We are go- 
ing to be very notable this week. Don't apprehend 
anything however from my industry, I am, and 



shall be, very prudent. Adieu, dearest and best of 

"With unalterable fidelity and tenderness, your 


From my father: 

"Ipswich, April 29th, 1807. 

"I cannot deny myself the pleasure of retiring a 
few moments to converse with my beloved Mary 
this morning, before I shall be debarred the privilege. 
We must soon have good weather, when you may 
freely receive and enjoy the smiles of blooming na- 
ture as well as of your friends. These smiles of nature, 
I delight to behold. But one smile from my Mary 
more penetrates and charms my heart, than all that 
nature ever gave or can give. 

"It will give you pleasure to learn that I am at 
Swasey's, very commodiously and agreeably situated 
with a number of choice companions, superintended 
by the Judge." 

Again : 

"Ipswich, May 1st, 1807. 

" Agreeably as I am situated here, I cannot feel at 
home, nor enjoy any of its genuine pleasures, for 
these are pleasures of the heart, and cannot be found 
where the heart is not. Nothing, therefore, but the 
dear society of my Mary can be home to me. I hope 
I shall find a few lines, to-day, from you. Not a word 
have I heard since your dear letter of Monday morn- 
ing, and what effect this damp and heavy air has 



had on your lungs I cannot but fear. Don't consider 
me, dearest love, as complaining that you have not 
written. You had reason to expect I should not be 
here so long, and I had hopes by this day to have 
visited you. I cannot now do it, till after Monday, 
as a cause is assigned for that day, which requires 
my presence. I will, however, repress anxiety, and 
humbly trust in the goodness of that Providence 
whereby we have ever been preserved and blest." 

From my mother: 

"Charlestown, May 3rd, 1807. 

"Many months, I believe I may say years, have 
elapsed since I wrote a letter on the Sabbath. Yet, 
on this Sabbath, so interesting to your feelings, dear- 
est and best beloved friend ; this Sabbath, which, like 
the first, presents Nature in the morning of beauty, 
and on which the Lord of Nature invites us to re- 
joice in His beneficence, I feel not that I can greatly 
err in addressing you. Though detained from public 
worship, and surrounded by friends, I have not failed 
to derive a precious joy from the hope that my best 
beloved friend was enjoying the sacred privilege of 
communing with his compassionate Redeemer. 

"Your heart will unite with mine in gratitude to 
the Being who has so far restored my health. If life 
and health be dear, it is principally owing to that 
attachment which has bound us so firmly to each 
other ; and, if I welcome the strength and ease which 
evince a freedom from disease, with greater rapture 



than I ever yet did, it is because I love rny dearest 
friend with inexpressible tenderness. 

" My kind cousins have been constantly occupied 
with our concerns, and much has been accomplished 
by them and sister Sally, without calling forth the 
smallest exertion of my powers. 

" I rejoice in your pleasant accommodations at Ips- 
wich. An agreeable home is universally, and justly, 
regarded of the first importance; and I know not 
why a temporary home should not be considered im- 
portant in a high degree. Of our short life, how great 
a part is passed in these temporary homes. When, 
therefore, I can know you happily situated, though 
but for a week, I shall experience an expansion of 
heart which fervent devotion, or genuine affection, 
alone can create." 

After receiving a visit from my father my mother 
writes : 

" Charlestown, May 7th, 1807. 

" Thursday afternoon. Never did the rain beat more 
tempestuously, never, at least, in the opinion of your 
Mary, than during the two hours allotted for your 
ride to Salem. How you supported it, what are your 
feelings, and what the state of your health to-day, I 
am yet to learn. Oh, may you continue very, very 
many years to be blest with the health you have, of 
late, enjoyed 1 I cannot suppress the tender anxiety 
which constantly agitates my heart when you are 
absent ; an anxiety certainly unworthy a Christian ; 



but I hope that He who created the human heart 
susceptible of the strong, mysterious attachment 
which forms of two beings one, will pardon what is 
weak and erroneous in us both. And, surely, dearest 
friend, we shall not less sincerely adore, or endeavour 
to imitate Him, for the affection we bear each other. 
That affection may sometimes render us insensible 
to all else; but, generally, will it not animate devo- 
tion, and shed a benign influence on our hearts and 
lives ? 

"You know my whole heart; it expands with 
grateful joy to Him who formed you what you are, 
with nobleness of soul to bear a knowledge of your 
influence over the heart of another, and with tender- 
ness to love 'as the world loves not!'" 

My father, on reaching Newburyport: 

"Newbury Port, May 8th, 1807. 
" Here I am, dearest beloved, in good health, and 
happy. I reached Salem the evening I parted with 
you, seasonably, rode to Ipswich yesterday morn- 
ing before breakfast, attended to what business called 
me there and arrived at this place, (I can't say home,) 
last evening, without having suffered from the vi- 
olence of the storm, though I manfully faced it all 
the way. To be sure, I had not a very gay ride, but 
it was by no means an unhappy one. The winds and 
rains rushed upon me rather furiously, but the ten- 
der, the ever precious, recollection of the dearest and 
loveliest of friends kept alive within my heart a 



serene and sweet joy. And, on my arrival at Ipswich, 
I found in your heavenly letter everything to elevate 
and cheer my heart. Hesitate not, dearest love, thus 
to improve your time on the Sabbath. To write thus 
must be a holy exercise, worthy of such a day, and 
calculated to produce in the heart which is devoted 
to you, and aspires to be devoted to Heaven, the 
heavenly sentiments and feelings that exalt your 

"During the interesting Sabbath you mention, 
while enjoying 'the sacred privilege of communing 
with our compassionate Redeemer,' I thought much 
of you. The tenderest recollections of my best and 
dearest friend could not fail to mingle with the feel- 
ings which the affecting occasion inspired, and to 
give my heart a deep impression of the holy and 
sublime joy, which this sacred privilege can never 
fail to inspire us with, in the presence of each other. 
Heaven grant that we may often enjoy together this 
sacred privilege here, and enjoy forever hereafter the 
blessedness to which it leads and tends to prepare 
our hearts ! " 

My mother in reply: 

"Charlestown, May 9th, 1807. 
"How joyfully I received your letter from the 
hand of cousin Joseph yesterday afternoon, I need 
not say. Heaven be praised you escaped injury on 
the tempestuous evening, when I fancied everything 
terrible would assail you! Don't pride yourself on 



superior courage and fortitude. Your Mary, too, has 
met real evils and dangers, and, when they menaced 
herself only, she has not shrunk from them ; but you 
know exactly when, and where, and to what degree, 
she is a coward. 

" I am well pleased the coaster cannot be here till 
Thursday or Friday. There are so many last things 
to think of and to do, that I doubt if all would have 
been in readiness had it come early in the week. I 
have been writing to Concord this morning, and feel 
somewhat fatigued. Adieu, therefore, ever dear, ever 
precious to the heart of your affectionate 


From my father: 

"Newbury Port, May 9th, 1807. 
" Your charming letter, dearest love, rejoiced my 
heart last evening. It was a new thing to possess such 
a blessing as a letter of my best friend cannot fail to 
be, on the very day it came from her hand. Whether 
this idea, or some other cause, produced the effect, 
I know not, but my heart expanded with uncommon 
emotions of joy. I am almost as unable to express 
the feelings your letters inspire, as I ever have been 
the sweet magic of your presence. They are ines- 
timable treasures to my heart, and my tender and 
best beloved Mary will, I know, bestow them upon 
me as freely as it is proper she should make the ex- 
ertion. She knows that nothing has such power to 
increase the ardour of my affection, as the manifes- 



tation of her own. Indeed, I could not love, as my 
Mary knows I now do, had not this manifestation 
been so frankly made. To know I entirely possess 
the heart I adore, perfects the happiness I feel 
the happiness resulting from 'that strong and myste- 
rious attachment which forms of two beings one.' 
Without such knowledge this happiness, the only 
happiness I expect on earth, must be imperfect. Our 
affection, I firmly trust, will ever receive the approv- 
ing smiles of our Heavenly Father, 'who is love, and 
dwelleth in love.' If, at times, this affection 'renders 
us insensible to all else,' He will pardon the excess 
of it, since His goodness has inspired it, and since, 
generally, it will, I am sure, 'animate our devotion, 
and shed a benign influence over our hearts and 

From my father: 

"Newbury Port, May llth, 1807. 
"My anxiety, constantly alive and tender, is 
alarmed more easily than is rational or manly. Im- 
agination, if I have not continual assurances of your 
safety and health, is too fond of acting an unfriendly 
part with my feelings. Such apprehensions, I confess, 
ought not to find place in a mind resolved to trust it- 
self and all its dearest interests to the good and wise 
Providence of God. But, with my best and loveliest 
friend, I hope to be forgiven if my heart is too ten- 
derly and anxiously devoted to one whom His own 
goodness has formed so excellent and so lovely. I feel 



that it can never be possible for me less sincerely to 
adore, or endeavour to imitate Him, for the affection 
which devotes me to such a heavenly friend. Let us 
endeavour, dearest love, to repose in His goodness 
with entire confidence. 

"Nothing, I hope, will occur to retard the time 
when I shall be entirely blest. Mr. Toppan, who is the 
most careful coaster, and has a new sloop, will set 
out on Wednesday, and return here on Saturday, un- 
less unexpectedly prevented, and can take anything 
we wish to have him bring. I intend coming to see 
you on Wednesday, and hope to be able to attend to 
every command of my dearest love, all her wishes 
are commands. The stage is just departing, and I 
must bid you adieu, leaving to your own heart to 
understand the tender and constant prayers for your 
health and happiness, which are offered up by the 
heart of your affectionate D. A. W." 

My mother in reply: 

"Charlestown, May 12th, 1807. 
" What would have induced me to believe I should 
have requested my beloved friend to delay, even for 
an hour, an intended visit? But I have come to this. 
Be not alarmed, however, no rival has supplanted 
you, no discovery has shaken my confidence in you, 
nothing terrible has occurred. The truth is, I am 
engaged with a mantua-maker, and, unless you can 
remain in Charlestown till Friday, I must request 
you to delay your visit till Thursday. I do most cor- 



dially wish to see you, that, too, is another truth, 
and no mantua-maker can detain any portion of 
my heart, nor any great proportion of my attention 
from you. 

" I enclose the measure of the cornice, which you 
will have the goodness to direct to be made imme- 
diately, and painted white. My dear friend, can you 
pardon this incoherent scrawl? Could you see my 
situation, I know you would. The variety of voices 
sounding in my ears, the variety of questions asked, 
and observations made, distract my attention, but 
have no power to withdraw my heart from you. 

"Adieu, and remember, if you can be absent from 
Newbury Port till Saturday, I entreat you to be 
here to-morrow ; otherwise, Thursday will, I hope, 
bring you to your most affectionate MARY." 

From my father to my mother, addressed to Con- 

"Newbury Port, May 19th, 1807. 

"After enjoying so much the sweet society of my 
dearest and loveliest friend, it is not wonderful if, 
to-day, I feel in unusual solitude. Human beings do 
indeed surround me on every side, but in vain may 
I look for the charm of society, without my Mary. 
Her kind, endearing voice and smile, warm from 
the purest of hearts, impart a fulness of feeling and 
felicity which all the world would not purchase from 
me, or for me. But why should 1 attempt to express 
what I have so often found inexpressible ? I need not 
do it. [ 309 ] 


"The coaster on which I depended has not yet 
gone to Boston. He still says he shall, if possible, go 
so as to return the first of next week. I have written 
to Jno. Hurd, to send the things by the coaster now 
at Boston, if he can ; if he does not, I presume we 
can do without them for a few days. I hope you will 
not find it necessary to make a postponement of the 
time contemplated. I have engaged a hack to come 
up on Saturday, [May 23rd]. If you should wish to 
return by any other route than the direct one through 
Andover, be so good as to mention your wishes. We 
might return so as to dine with some of your friends, 
if you should think it best" 





IN' the Columbian Centinel of Wednesday, May 
27th, 1807, we find the following notice: "Mar- 
ried In Concord, on Sunday evening last, by the 
Revd. Mr. Ripley, Daniel White, Esqr. of Newbury 
Port, to Mrs. Mary W. Van Schalkwyck, of the for- 
mer place." 

We cannot but wish that her letters from her new 
home had been preserved as carefully as those which 
were written from the West Indies. But not one 
have we of the many she must have written to her 
mother from Newburyport. 

As it is, we get our first glimpse of her through 
a note addressed to her by Miss Bromfield, the 
kind "Cousin Ann" of my childhood. One of the 
greatest pleasures to which my mother looked for- 
ward in Newburyport was the companionship of Mrs. 
and Miss Bromfield. These friends had suffered re- 
peated bereavements during the winter preceding 
my mother's marriage. It is to the recent loss of a 
beloved brother that Miss Bromfield refers in the 
following note, which we may suppose was written 
soon after my mother's arrival in Newburyport. 



"Monday morning. 

"My very dear Mary, So entirely have I en- 
tered into your feelings, that the sorrows of my own 
heart have been silent, without an effort, when I have 
seen, or even thought of you ; so much have you oc- 
cupied me that I decided, without hesitation, to save 
you what I could of the awkwardness of sitting up 
to receive company, by my presence, and volubility 
of course ; but, as the time approaches, my foolish 
heart misgives me, and, as Mr. White will be with 
you, and is more extensively acquainted with the in- 
habitants than myself, I shall decline being with you. 
You will fully enter into my feelings when I tell you 
that, until I visited you, I have not voluntarily seen 
any one for the last three months, save Mr. White, 
and Grandmother's 1 family. To the ladies who are 
with you, and to your honoured lord and master, 
present us suitably. If the day is good to-morrow, 
I will come early after dinner, and escort you all to 
our little parlour, where I hope you will consent to 
pass a social afternoon, without the addition of any 
other company." 

It appears, from a letter addressed to my mother 
by her cousin Ruth, that the day to which Miss 
Bromfield's note relates was not the only one given 
by my mother to the reception of her friends. She 
says: "I hear the good people of Newbury Port 

venerable Madam Atkins. 



availed themselves of the appropriated days to mani- 
fest their respect and civility." 

From these papers it is seen that the custom in 
Newburyport at this time was the same with that 
of Boston twenty years before. Mrs. Ticknor, in 
writing of her mother, the beautiful and admired 
Mrs. Eliot, a bride in 1786, says: "At that time, 
as in many succeeding years, newly married ladies 
'sat up for company' for several days. These visits 
were not returned in the present brief, cool, fashion, 
by bits of pasteboard, but by liberal tributes of time, 
a half-hour in the morning, an hour in the after- 
noon, or a volunteered tea-drinking, according to 
the degree of intimacy enjoyed or wished for." 

Miss Bromfield's note illustrates the informal so- 
ciability of 1807, and we may suppose that my mother 
received, as well as made, many visits like that pro- 
posed to her by Miss Bromfield, in her own "little 
parlour." Indeed, we are not obliged to draw alto- 
gether on our imagination for this picture. Not many 
days since, I had the good fortune to meet one who 
had had experience of my mother's hospitality, a 
granddaughter of the beloved "Grandmother At- 
kins" mentioned in Miss Bromfield's note. I had 
known her in childhood and youth as " Cousin Susan 
Tyng." From the number of people unrelated to us 
whom my sister and I were bidden, at that early pe- 
riod, to call "Aunt," and " Cousin," I think it must 
have been the fashion of the age seventy years ago. 
Susan Tyng married, late in life, Mr. Newton, of 



Pittsfield. She is now a widow, more than fourscore 
years of age. Half a century had elapsed since we 
met, but being in this neighbourhood for a few days, 
she sent me word, by a mutual friend, that she should 
like to see me, adding that she had often held me 
on her knee. She was a charming old lady, made the 
more so to me, doubtless, that she spoke with such 
enthusiasm of what she had enjoyed, when a girl, 
in visiting my mother in Newburyport. 

"I was very young," said she, "not more than fif- 
teen; your mother used to ask me, and the young 
cousins with whom I stayed, over to tea, they lived 
in the same street, right opposite her. She talked 
with us as if we had been of her own age. We thought 
we were in Elysium when we took tea with her. She 
was beautiful, you know, with something angelic 
about her appearance." 

Among the warmest friends made by my father 
in Newburyport, before his marriage, who received 
my mother to their hearts and homes, were the two 
families of "Grandmother Atkins" and of her eldest 
daughter, Mrs. Searle. Madam Atkins was always 
called "Grandmother" by my father and mother, 
as she was by a large circle of friends, and the un- 
married daughter, who lived with her, was almost 
as widely known as "Aunt Becky." My sister and 
I received our first impressions of the beautiful in 
nature from Aunt Becky's garden. To us it was par- 
adise primeval, and, to this day, it lies in my memory 
as more delightful than the most charming gardens 



I have known in later years. Indeed, as was said by 
one of the granddaughters, " both house and garden 
seemed the centre of everything qualified to delight 
or improve." Grandmother Atkins full of years, and 
of "that which should accompany old age," died be- 
fore I was old enough to remember her. Aunt Becky, 
however, lived to bestow upon the children of my 
mother a kindness which wiU never be forgotten by 
me. Most of all, however, did we love dear Aunt 
Searle, and her daughters. They took in the mother- 
less children after my mother's death, and watched 
over them for months with all a mother's care. One 
of the most delightful recollections of my childhood 
is that of sitting on a footstool at Aunt Searle's feet, 
and listening to the stories of olden time, with which 
it was her wont to give us instruction as well as 

Nothing could exceed the devotion of her daugh- 
ters to my mother. They were the cousins with whom 
Susan Tyng stayed when they lived opposite my 
mother, and with whom she shared the visits upon 
which she looked back with so much interest in her 
conversation with me. Often have I heard from their 
lips enthusiastic accounts of the charm my mother 
had for them. Especially did dear Cousin Fanny en- 
dear herself to us by her affection for my mother, 
which was unbounded, seeming to glow as warmly 
during the closing hours of her own long life on earth 
as it did during the four brief years of their intimate 



The following letter was written by her, in 1818, 
to the little daughter who was only six months old 
when left motherless. It was written on her eighth 
birthday, and gives a graphic description of the 
mother whose memory was so fondly loved by the 
children so early bereft, as well as by her friends. 

"Brookline, December 12th, 1818. 
"Yes, my dear Mary, I will, with pleasure, write 
you a letter on the anniversary of your birth-day. It 
was a very interesting day to me, as it gave to your 
dear parents another darling, and, I might hope, to 
the world a blessing, in the little being who was to 
inherit the name, and perhaps the virtues, of a most 
excellent mother, whom I dearly loved. I wish I could 
distinctly paint to you one who came so near perfec- 
tion. She was beautiful, her person small and delicate, 
a profusion of beautiful dark hair adorned her head, 
her eyes were blue and had a sweet expression, her 
teeth were white and regular, her smile most lovely, 
but of this beauty she seemed unconscious; her 
thoughts were not given to her own charms of mind 
or person, but to the merits or the wants of others. 
Wherever she could do good or give pleasure, there 
were her thoughts and affections occupied. She was 
ever ready to sympathize with the afflicted, and to 
rejoice with the happy, to inform the ignorant, or 
listen to the wise. Her powers of mind, and infor- 
mation on all subjects worthy of attention, were as 
uncommon as the beauty of her person, and a modest 



sweetness gave a charm to everything she said or did. 
Her natural disposition was gay, and this gaiety of 
heart survived many afflictions, and animated the 
social and domestic circle. Her piety was ardent and 
sincere, rational and enlightened. She was, for a 
time, placed among a people destitute of religion ; 
this shocked her feelings, and led her to study the 
subject closely, and be able to say why she believed 
in God and Christ. My dear little friend, it will make 
you sad on this day to reflect that you have lost, and 
could not have known, such a parent, but you will 
make a good use of the day, if you resolve to imi- 
tate the excellences you hear of her possessing. It 
will not be expected of you to be as beautiful, but 
you may be as good, and as much beloved." 

Mrs. Searle was left a widow in 1796, with a fam- 
ily of two sons and six daughters. 

Our next record is from the pen of her daughter 
Margaret, afterwards Mrs. Curson. She grew up un- 
der the roof, and in the garden, of her Grandmother 
Atkins and her Aunt Becky, herself the fairest flower, 
whose uncommon loveliness lasted throughout a life- 
time of more than fourscore years and ten, and still 
lingers in the fragrance of a beautiful memory. The 
letter now before us is addressed to her cousin Mary 
Eliot, afterwards Mrs. Edmund D wight. It bears 
evidence of having been written in the year 1807, 
consequently but a few weeks after my mother's 
marriage. It was given to me by Mrs. Dwight's 



daughter Mary, on account of the pleasant picture 
it contains of my father, at this bright season of his 
happiness. I copy other portions of it as illustrating 
the beloved writer's character and manner of life in 
her youth. 

"Monday evening, July 27th. 

"My dear Mary, I have just returned from a 
walk to our favourite glen, where I believe I have not 
been before since last summer, when you and Harriot 
Spence were with me. Our names still remain as we 
left them on the birch tree, and have altered less than 
those who inscribed them. My feelings have altered 
as little, I believe, as either of the three, but I have 
felt more light and free from care than I did this 
evening. Indeed, I hardly think I was right to leave 
Aunt Becky without an auxiliary, but these little 
walks gratify Caty and Lucy [her elder and younger 
sister], very much, and I always fancy that a beau- 
tiful prospect, and a fresh gale from the river, dissi- 
pate a few clouds from my head, though I always 
have more remaining than I wish for. 

" The weather yesterday and to-day has been very 
delightful to me. I had time yesterday to enjoy it; 
I spent an hour or two yesterday in the garden in 
the morning, and read Thomson with much pleasure. 
We had no company in the evening, and I again en- 
joyed the garden, and sat up late, reading Beattie, 
without feeling that I did wrong, as Grandmother 
wanted some attention. I don't know whether you 
have ever read this life of Beattie. We admired his 



* Minstrel' together, and I think you would feel in- 
terested as I do, in anything connected with its au- 
thor. I have extracted one or two passages which 
struck my fancy, and will send them to you. 

"I was delighted with White this afternoon, 
where is there such another man? I fear I * ne'er 
shall look upon his like again.' He was riding on 
horseback, and stopped at the door to ask how 
Grandmother did to-day. I asked him if he would 
not come in. He hesitated, he had been dining with 
a company of Salem gentlemen at the bridge, and 
could not leave them, but he jumped from his horse, 
and said he would just go into the garden, and get 
a bouquet for Mrs. White, ' as a remembrance from 
you,' he added. I ran into the garden, and gathered 
as good a collection of carnations as I could, some 
myrtle, and a pea-blossom, they were very hand- 
some. He said something of my taste in arranging 
them, of his Mary's fondness for such things, put 
them in his bosom, that the gentlemen need not 
think he was a 'goose,' and rode off to join them. I 
believe there never was any human being more per- 
fectly happy, and never one that more deserved to 
be so." 

Since I began to prepare this record I have re- 
ceived many gratifying expressions of the high es- 
timation in which my dear father was held by all 
the membersof Mrs. Searle's family, which give some 
idea of his charm as a companion at the age of thirty, 



when he first met my mother, and, added to our own 
recollections of him, lead us to the conclusion that 
his presence and discourse had no small share in mak- 
ing his home in Newburyport the "Elysium "of which 
Mrs. Newton, after an interval of more than three- 
score years and ten, retains so delightful a memory. 
My grandmother writes : 

"Concord, August 18th, 1807. 

" I ardently long to see you. It is more like three 
years than three months since you left us. The por- 
traits of your grandparents and Uncle James I have 
taken down to make way for some pictures which 
Isaac brought, and I wish I could convey them to 
you. If you know of any means, I will endeavour to 
secure them from injury, but think it not probable 
till the snow falls. ' Tis eleven o'clock, my eyes begin 
to fail, therefore I wish you peaceful slumbers, and 
retire myself. 

" * The morning dawns, and heavily, in clouds, rolls 
on the day,' as it has done of late. The very great rains 
impede, and almost destroy, the labours and hopes 
of the husbandman. Mr. Ripley says it is in judg- 
ment, and calls on us to reform, as it is for our mani- 
fold transgressions." 

From my father, written while he was attending 
court in Salem: 

"Salem, Nov. 4th, 1807. 

" I have a few moments allowed me to drop a few 
lines to my dearest wife. We have a very interesting 



and dignified Court, Parsons, Sedgwick, Sewall, 
and Parker. I have never before seen the Chief Jus- 
tice on the bench. He is a wonderful union of dig- 
nity and pleasantry full of the oracles of law, and 
the charms of wit. I have an agreeable time here, and 
am in good health, but my heart knows not happi- 
ness in the absence of my most tenderly, most dearly 
loved Mary. How much I experience of sweet recol- 
lection, and tender solicitude, I need not, I cannot 






ROM my mother to Ruth Hurd : 

"Newbury Port, Feb. 3rd, 1808. 
" Mr. White is indifferently well. The vicissitudes 
of heat and cold have somewhat affected his health, 
to say nothing of his heavy sighs for our degraded, 
involved, unhappy country." 

In the following letter from my grandmother, we 
see that her political views were in sympathy with 
my father. To those of us whose inherited prejudice 
against Jefferson has yielded to the attractive pic- 
tures given of him by his honoured descendants, the 
utter despair of the country under his administration 
may seem, to say the least, excessive. It is interest- 
ing, however, as showing us the spirit of the times. 

"Concord, February 13th, 1808. 
" In the zenith of political perturbation, I assume 
the pen to tell you what is going forward to rouse 
the feelings of every rational being. Almost four 
hundred Democrats have passed by us, preceded by 
a very large band of music, to the Court-house, where 
they expect to judge the people. What will be the 
result of such measures we cannot tell, but may eas- 



ily conceive, if they make the progress in this county 
they have of late. I may not live to see the devasta- 
tion, but you, my dear children, are my greatest anx- 
iety. Did we not hope for the protection of Divine 
Providence, I know I should immediately give up 
all ideas of better times. I hope the measures you 
have adopted will excite more tranquil sensations 
in your breast than mine can, at present, possess. 
You will say, as Sally does, ' Mamma always antic- 
ipates evil.' If it is an error, I am, this moment, 
guilty, for I can not see any good. S. Dana was more 
erect than ever in the procession. We are to have 
twice the number on the Fourth of March." 

The first child of my father and mother, a daughter 
named Mary Elizabeth, for her two grandmothers, 
was born on March 27, 1808. 

In writing to Miss Susan Lowell, my mother says, 
some years before her marriage to my father: 

" Among the fairest portraits of felicity sketched 
by a youthful imagination, that of a parent sur- 
rounded by many beings attached to each other by 
the tenderest ties of nature and affection, ties which 
herself contributed to form, was most cherished. 
But, alas ! how numerous the unseen thorns that en- 
twine with the wreath of love, and wound as surely 
as its fragrance delights ! Separation, sickness, death, 
are inevitable, all how insupportably dreadful, un- 
less considered in connection with another and a 
better world." 



My mother found in the maternal relation the 
happiness of which, in earlier days, she cherished the 
imagination. Cousin Fanny Searle has often spoken 
to me of my mother's peculiar charm in that relation, 
and of the look of love and tenderness she used to 
see upon her face when her eye rested upon her 

Our next record is in the following extract from 
a letter addressed by Margaret Searle to her cousin 
Mary Eliot: 

"April 22nd, 1808. 

" Spent half an hour with Nancy, and then went 
to see Mrs. White. I found our celestial friend more 
like an angel than ever. Her eyes have regained all 
their lustre, and beamed on me surcharged with af- 

And again: 

"June 16th, 1808. 

"Sunday morning we had a charming visit from 
Mr. White and his Mary, who never looked more 
beautiful, or appeared more lovely." 

My mother wrote as follows to my father, who 
was in Salem: 

"Newbury Port, June 28th, 1808. 
" Convinced the storm of last night awakened the 
solicitude of the Husband and Father, I write, dear- 
est beloved, to assure you we are in safety and in 



health. Nothing of the kind equally severe has been 
known here for many years, but I have not heard 
of any worse consequence than the destruction of a 
large elm back of Mr. Farnham's, by which the roof 
of the house was considerably injured, and the family 
extremely terrified. The tempest was preceded by a 
perfect calm, and a close, intense heat ; at sunset, the 
lightning commenced, and for an hour and a half, 
exceeded anything I ever witnessed ; the atmosphere 
appeared on fire ; loud peals of thunder were rendered 
more impressive by a hurricane of wind and hail. I 
then experienced how true it is that we derive 
strength from the weakness of others ; being, not- 
withstanding my natural timidity, more composed 
than any one, little Mary excepted, who slept with 
all the tranquillity of innocence in her mother's lap. 
"You doubtless think I have written enough. For 
my health I have, but finding it the sweetest occu- 
pation when absent from you, I am not disposed to 
resign it; for your sake, however, I will close with 
an affectionate adieu." 

A week later my mother was in Concord, for a 
short visit. In a letter from my father, from Boston, 
dated "July 5th, 1808," he says, "The day was 
marked by the melancholy tidings of Mr. Ames' 
death. The people of Boston have voted to have a 
public funeral here, and appointed Mr. Dexter to 
deliver a eulogy to-morrow at the funeral." 

My grandmother wrote after their return: 


"Concord, August 29th. 

"I congratulate my dear children on the recovery 
of their beloved child. None but a parent can ex- 
perience those tender sensations entwined around 
the heart, when disease attacks our darling. May 
she be spared, and crown your wishes in their full ex- 
tent, but may you be enabled to say ' All, all is right, 
by God ordained or done.' I have seen the delight 
of my eyes, and my fondest expectations, removed 
by death and distance, but firmly believe it is infinite 
Love that directs and supports us. Why, then, should 
I repine? I do not, nor ever will, but, while I am con- 
tinued, will endeavour to fulfil the duties assigned 

" Sally's cough is as bad as ever. She is abroad on 
a horse every fine day, and longs to visit you, but I 
know not when any of us will. If it is possible, I 
determine to before the cold weather takes place. 

"I perceive, by to-day's paper, you are not dis- 
posed to be submissive to higher powers. I believe 
there are many refractory in every town, but I dread 
the consequences of opposition. The embargo has 
had a serious effect on every class of men. It is im- 
possible to get cash for your labour or materials. 
The only cash I have heard of for many months has 
passed from Mrs. Paine to Stephen Minot for his 
house, which is fifteen hundred dollars. So many 
pence are scarcely in circulation in this town." 



We have no letters either to or from my mother 
during the month of September, 1808, to show what 
may have been her anxiety at that time for the 
precious object of her hopes and fears. 

My grandmother's next letter, however, of Octo- 
ber 3d, indicates the suffering of those unrecorded 
weeks. I extract from it the following: 

"The heart that cannot sympathize with those 
who are in trouble must surely be a very depraved 
one, but when, by experience, we feel every pang 
for those whose lives are entwined with our own, it 
is acute. Our dear little babe has suffered much, but 
your last letter has, again, revived our hopes." 

These hopes, alas! were destined to disappoint- 
ment. The letter which must have been written con- 
taining the sad intelligence of the dear child's death 
was not preserved. From other records, we learn 
that she died on the eighth of October, 1808, having 
lived only six months and eleven days. I have often 
heard my dear father speak of her as parents always 
do speak of the early lost. I remember, too, his tell- 
ing my sister and myself, when we were quite young, 
of the beautiful calmness with which my mother 
met the event, performing the last sad offices her- 
self, and suffering no other hand to prepare the lovely 
form for its last resting-place. 

Our next date shows us that my mother left home 



soon after her great loss, to visit her friends in Con- 
cord, whence she wrote to my father, as follows : 

"Concord, October 24th, 1808. 
" I write, not to commune with you, for that I do 
sleeping and waking, at all times ; not to assure you 
of my tenderest love, for of no truth can you be more 
persuaded than of that ; not to speak of my health, 
for it is neither better nor worse ; not to charge you 
to guard your own cautiously, for you cannot neg- 
lect that on which your Mary's happiness is so de- 
pendent. For what then ? For the pleasure of writ- 
ing to you, best beloved. If it were not for the shame 
of childishness, I believe I should ask to return home 
next week. My friends here are very good and atten- 
tive, but nothing can compensate for the want of 
my husband's society. Recollect me, darling, to all 
our friends. Offer Mamma's best regards, with my 
warm affection, to dear Mrs. Greenleaf, and ask her 
to remember me when she looks at the flowers." 

So far as I remember, this is the first mention I 
have met, in my mother's correspondence, of "dear 
Mrs. Greenleaf." "Aunt Greenleaf" she was to my sis- 
ter and myself, and no kinder nor better friend had 
we during the dreary years of our motherless child- 
hood. She was a neighbour of my father and mother, 
to whom she became warmly attached. I have been 
told that after my mother's death my father was in 
the habit of dining every Saturday at Col. Green- 
leaf's, whose house was like home to him. 



From my mother to my father: 

"Concord, October, 1808. 

" Nothing less potent than the hope of improving 
my health could reconcile me to this separation. *! 
am, indeed, almost home-sick. Far from finding the 
remembrance of the little girl fade from my mind, 
she is present more constantly, and in more affect- 
ing forms, when her father is absent. But I trust I do 
not repine, convinced that 'all is right, by Him or- 
dained or done.'" 

From my father to my mother: 

"Newbury Port, October 29th, 1808. 

" I find it more gloomy to enter our dwelling at 
night than I had thought of really my sleep is slack 
in coming to my eyes. Darkness, or some unknown 
magic, impresses in a peculiar manner the tender rec- 
ollections of my absent wife, and dear little daughter. 
A thousand little incidents that occurred with me 
and our precious little darling are forcibly brought 
to my feelings, and I realize more than ever the loss 
we have sustained. Religion, alone, can supply us 
consolation. She is immortal, and there is power to 
restore us to her, if she cannot be restored to us. 
May our hearts and lives be prepared for greater and 
purer happiness than this world, with all its affec- 
tions and blessings, can bestow." 

Again : 

"October 31st. 

" I am unhappy in your absence, and can entirely 



sympathize in your feelings as to the dear little girl, 
for she is, too, to me, 'present more constantly, and 
in more affecting forms,' in her mother's absence. I 
feel a peculiar melancholy over my feelings to-day, 
and cannot feel at ease till I witness your state of 
health and have the power of guarding you myself. 
Adieu, most tenderly beloved." 

From my mother to my father: 

"Concord, November 4th, 1808. 
"My beloved friend, I cannot be happy in your 
absence, and never again, unless compelled by im- 
perious duty, can I consent to so long a separation. 
I find I love you more deeply and tenderly than I 
even imagined. You have bound me to you by ties 
even stronger than those of love. How can I think 
of your uniform tenderness, of your patience, can- 
dour, and generosity, without feeling your superior- 
ity to all the other beings I behold ! Yes, my dear- 
est friend, when we were united, I certainly loved 
you, sincerely loved you, but the sentiment was 
weak, compared with that I now feel. Do you think 
many wives so happy, after eighteen months' mar- 
riage, as to place their hands on their hearts, and 
affirm this?" 

From my father: 

"Newbury Port, Nov. 6th, 1808. 
" I find a melancholy sort of pleasure in suffering 
my mind to revert to many little incidents and 



scenes, which we have both witnessed with our dear 
little Mary. At times, I feel an almost inexpressible 
regret for her loss, which nothing but your presence 
can soothe. Dear love, we have lost much, but we 
have much to praise and bless God for. The child 
of our love is immortal and happy." 




EARLY in 1809 my father and mother moved 
from the house in Fruit Street, which was 
their first home, to one in State Street opposite Mr. 

The following letter was written by my mother to 
Miss Mary Harrison Eliot, shortly before Miss Eliot's 
marriage to Mr. Edmund Dwight, and removal to 

"April 16th, 1809. 

'"Think of you pray for you and love you!' 
Yes, sweetest Mary, the tear, the glow, which your 
unexpected and most welcome letter called forth 
last evening, witness for me that your remembrance 
will ever be dear, and your happiness precious to me. 
With less than your own feeling, you would not 
have comprehended what I could not express at the 
parting moment. Aware that ere we met again, an 
event must have taken place so interesting, so im- 
portant, as to involve eternal consequences, I could 
say but little of the many things that pressed for 
utterance. Nor can I now tell you how warmly I 
hope, and how firmly I believe that event will make 
you wiser, better, happier, for it unites you with a 
Christian, with one who will not only be the be- 



loved companion of the present life, but who will 
'allure to brighter worlds and lead the way.' It opens 
to you new sources of felicity, it enlarges the sphere 
of your influence, and, in a mind and heart like yours, 
will awaken the best and noblest energies. I will no 
longer intrude at this interesting moment but, it 
may be, some weeks hence, when you are tranquilly 
established in your own sweet village, and your par- 
lour wears the smile of home, you will delight me 
by describing your situation and feelings, and re- 
ceive, in return, more largely of mine. 

"Adieu, sweet Mary, blessings attend you!" 

To Miss Margaret Searle: 

"Newbury Port, April 25th, 1809. 

" Tuesday evening. I have been waiting, my dear 
Peggy, for a bright moment to address you ; a mo- 
ment of health, of spirits, and of leisure. Such an 
one has not arrived, and, as I know you have no 
taste for insipidity, I have chosen the reverse a 
season of darkness, of solitude, and silence. 

"Wednesday. An unexpected and unwelcome 
visitor, last evening, substituted his conversation for 
the pleasure I anticipated in passing an hour alone 
with you. Part of this morning has been passed 
pleasantly at your Mamma's, where all your friends 
are well, and happy in having Miss Jackson at pres- 
ent with them. She confirms the agreeable tidings 
of Miss Lowell's restoration, which your letter gave 
us reason to hope. Heaven certainly preserves her 



in pity to her friends, to whom her peculiar character 
can never be restored in any probable combination 
of genius, sensibility, and virtue, which the world 
may in future admire. 

"How much I have to say to you of our Mary, 
and her interesting mother! How propitiously 
Heaven smiled on our dear Mary's journey! Who 
could have expected such a week in April! And 
what fine moonlight evenings now give that peculiar 
charm to the country a charm which, almost be- 
yond any other, tranquillizes, softens, and elevates 
the feeling soul. When you write to her, have the 
goodness to recollect my affectionate remembrance, 
and to her mother render my affectionate respects 
acceptable. You know we all feel for her, I should 
rather say, all but Mr. White. He affirms that, in 
this degenerate age, to unite a daughter to a truly 
deserving, excellent man, who estimates her worth, 
and will ever, from principle as well as feeling, exert 
every power to shield her from evil, is an event al- 
together joyous. 

" I would say something of our admiration of Mrs. 
Grant, but half a page and five minutes are worse 
than nothing, where such a wonderful union of tal- 
ents and virtues is the subject. We do admire her 
as much as your heart can wish." 

The following letter from my grandmother was 
written, evidently, on receiving the news of my birth, 
which occurred May 4th, 1809. 



"Saturday, May 6th. 

"My heart and soul are with you, my dear chil- 
dren. May the goodness of our merciful Father per- 
fect His work, till complete health is restored. Could 
I expand my wings, gladly would I administer all 
the assistance in my power. I have been a prisoner 
since the last day of March. Sally's cough is invet- 
erate. I long to see the infant with my dear Mary, 
but cannot tell when I shall." 

My grandmother's devotion to duty is illustrated 
at this time. "Her heart and soul" are with her 
daughter. She "longs" to go to her, but Sally re- 
quires her presence. She knows all is done for my 
mother that the most thoughtful friendship can sug- 
gest, but no one can do for Sally what she does. For 
herself, she asks only to do the duty assigned her by 
the providence of God. From that duty she never 
turns aside to "follow the devices and desires of her 
own heart." Well might her daughter write of her, 
as she did on one occasion: "my revered mother." 

From my mother to Fanny Searle, then in Mil- 

"Newbury Port, July 9th, 1809. 
" Delighted as I was with your letter, dear Fanny, 
I was almost ashamed that your generosity should 
have preceded my fair promises. That you are blest 
and blessing, enjoying and improving, gaining health, 
and an acquaintance with the fair face of Nature, al- 
most reconciles me to your absence, and this you 
will receive as no inconsiderable proof of affection. 



" It seems you have discovered a secret which has 
long been in my possession. And you really begin 
to suspect you have a taste for the simple and sub- 
lime beauties of Nature ! I could have assured you 
as much long since, and have often wished you might 
realize the pure and exquisite pleasures of which you 
were susceptible. I pretend not to understand why 
the feelings are ennobled, why the heart swells, and 
the eyes filled with tears turn to the Source of be- 
ing, on viewing material objects; but, sure it is, the 
sun sinking behind distant mountains, gilding and 
crimsoning the clouds of evening, enkindles a glow 
of devotion, which would be ill exchanged for all the 
pleasures of earth. This devotion, this sublime feel- 
ing, does not arise from reflection ; here, I believe it 
is true, 'when we begin to reason, we cease to feel;' 
or, to speak more correctly, while the ecstasy of feel- 
ing exists, we are unable and unwilling to analyze 
its nature, or to trace its cause." 

After a visit from my mother, my grandmother 
writes : 

"Commencement Eve. 

" Sally continues much the same as when you left 
her. She is evidently declining. It is a journey we all 
must take how soon, or who goes first on the way, 
we cannot tell ; but, to set out with a firm and joy- 
ful prospect of future happiness, I know not any 
situation so enviable." 



The following, from my grandmother, is of spe- 
cial interest, from the tribute it contains to her in 
the relation she sustained to her stepchildren. 

"October 29th. 

"I hope to hear, very soon, our dear infant is bet- 
ter than it has been. I wish I could say we were. 
Sally says, with Job, 'Wearisome days and nights 
are appointed me,' but hopes she shall be patient 
under her trials, which are truly distressing. We sup- 
posed, last Sabbath evening, that she was dying. She 
took a separate and affectionate leave of all her sur- 
rounding friends ; she then called me. ' Mamma, re- 
member me affectionately to Mr. White and Mary. 
Tell them I love them, and wish them every bless- 
ing, here and hereafter. And now, Mamma, how very 
pleasing your reflections must be. I never regretted 
the loss of my own mother, and now thank you for 
your tender care.' She continued talking for some 
time, and appeared ready for her summons. Monday, 
she revived, and is now a patient sufferer." 

Again she writes: 

"Concord, November 29th, 1809. 
"My dear Children, This day, at three o'clock, 
Sally exchanged her abode here for a blissful im- 
mortality. She left us in ecstasy greater than I can 
describe. Her uncommon suffering she bore with the 
greatest patience. Her last expressions were: 'My 



God, I love Thee, I adore and bless Thee. My Sa- 
viour has pled for me, and my sins are all forgiven ; 
I am sure of it, and, this glorious day, angels shall 
waft me to my Saviour, and He will present me to 
my God.' She retained her senses to the last breath." 

From my mother to my father: 

"Newbury Port, December 13th, 1809. 

" I know my dear Husband will consider the simple 
intelligence of our continued existence worth the 
postage of a letter, however clumsily communicated. 
The time of your absence, which appears very, very 
long to me, has not been undiversified by company 
and events. I suppose your apprehensions all awake 
at the mention of events; but as none of them have 
been fatal, or even promise durable consequences, 
good or evil, I shall leave you to the amusing sug- 
gestions of your own imagination, till your much 
wished return. Soon after you left town, Dr. Verg- 
nies called, and expressed an opinion that Elizabeth 
had the measles ; time has not verified his predictions. 
I endeavour to make her say, * Papa, Papa,' but she 
seems rather to prefer 'bubble, bubble;' which, 
whether it be an omen of innate vanity, or of pro- 
found reflection on the emptiness of all things, I can- 
not determine. 

" I have seen a letter from Ann Lowell, in which 
she says the serious part of the Boston world are an- 
ticipating war with Great Britain. Alas ! " 



The year 1809 closes with the following letter 
from my mother to Miss Fanny Searle, who was mak- 
ing a visit in Boston. Her friend Mrs. Lee, here men- 
tioned, was doubtless Mrs. Henry Lee, a sister of the 
venerable Dr. Jackson, both of whom we, of later 
generations, have known and loved. 

"Newbury Port, Dec. 31st, 1809. 

" The last evening of the year has ever been to me 
peculiarly interesting. Mr. White is on a visit of 
charity to Capt. Wyer, Elizabeth sweetly asleep, and 
I cannot resist the wish to make you the companion 
of the ensuing hour, my dear Fanny. And, first, let 
me thank you, which I most affectionately do, for 
the kind letter I received last evening. I feel your 
absence sensibly ; and the best substitute for your- 
self I find in your letters, and the belief that you are 
surrounded by friendship, virtue, and genius. I know 
you enjoy much, and delight in thinking you will 
not enjoy less in the retrospection of your present 
pleasures. You do well to prolong your visit. Your 
charming friend, Mrs. Lee, will long bless you, I 
trust ; but, on Miss Lowell's lustre the eye fixes more 
fondly, from the conviction that it will soon cease to 
irradiate our humble sphere. 

" Mrs. Grant's letter has, indeed, delighted me ; not 
only because it is distinguished for her elegant sim- 
plicity of style, her piety, her sensibility, her domes- 
tic virtues, but because it assigns a reason for giving 
to the world her private correspondence, which goes 



directly to the heart, and satisfies the most fastid- 
ious delicacy. When we meet, we will say more of 

" I now descend to a humbler subject, but one not 
less interesting to you, I hope. Elizabeth has gradu- 
ally thrown off her cold, which continued oppressive 
several days after you left us ; she progresses finely, 
and demonstrates the perfection of her organs of 
speech. Kotzebue has said fine things about Nature's 
three holidays ; he should have made them three times 
three. Her first perfect word can hardly afford me 
more pleasure than her first feeble effort at articula- 
tion. Gate laughed at me the other evening for say- 
ing she articulated very well, it was true, neverthe- 

" See, my dear Fanny, I have prattled away two 
pages. When I sat down, it was my intention to have 
taken a serious retrospect of the past year, and to 
have called on you to aid me in putting in practice 
the good resolutions which humiliating self-exami- 
nation inspires. 

"The hour, the fire, and my paper, warn me to 
close. Good-night, my dear Fanny. May the Father 
of angels and of men protect and bless you." 





ROM my mother to Ruth Hurd, who was then 
visiting in Portsmouth: 

"Newbury Port, March 5th, 1810. 
" I am sure your heart will not suffer you to ac- 
cuse me of negligence, my dear Ruth, though your 
affectionate letter is still unanswered. The truth is, 
I am just recovering from one of the most unsocial, 
obstinate, vile colds I ever entertained for so long a 
time. And, though I endeavoured to soften its ob- 
duracy by the most attentive politeness, it ceased not 
to persecute me from room to room, till it finally 
drove me to my chamber, where it held me a priso- 
ner two or three days. Not so has my dear Ruth been 
abused. I have heard of her sparkling in Assemblies, 
'fairest where all were fair,' for it is a law of so- 
ciety, if not of nature, that all ladies look well in 
ball-rooms. All do not, indeed, trip gracefully 'on 
the light, fantastic toe,' but they tell me fashion 
has pronounced agility much better than grace, 
and that rope-dancers and wire-dancers would wrest 
the palm from the fair Sisters, should they conde- 
scend to wind the mazes of a modern dance. This 
account of the present state of things greatly dis- 



mayed me when I thought of you, for, though I 
have often marked in you the line of beauty, I never 
yet witnessed the delectable jump. 

" Our little Elizabeth improves daily, her golden 
hair increases in quantity without diminishing in 
lustre, and every week adds to the expression of her 
true blue eyes. My husband is well, and was never 
more agreeable, excepting that he is a little given to 
reading political pamphlets, and to grieving over 
the weakness or wickedness of our rulers." 

From my mother to my father, who was then at- 
tending court at Ipswich, in the month of March. 

" Wednesday morning. 

"My dearest husband needs no additional proof 
of my weakness, else could I give him such a picture 
of the delight Mr. B.'s promise of his return, and the 
disappointment his letter gave me, as it is better 
to omit. I rejoice to know you are well, and submit 
to wait for the pleasure of seeing you so long as duty 
shall demand your absence. We too are well. Eliza- 
beth never was more alive and lovely. 

" Our friends, Caty and Fanny Searle have passed 
both the last evenings with me, and I have had the 
Memoir of Miss Smith, and have more than realized 
every expectation. She must, indeed, be considered 
the wonder of the age. Her portrait is prefixed to 
the volume. 'Tis the very face you would choose, 
'soft, modest, melancholy, female fair.'" 



My mother to Miss Bromfield : 

"Newbury Port, March 5th, 1810. 
" That you went to town at this time may be con- 
sidered truly Providential. To one whose mind and 
heart are open to the truth, each day confirms this 
most consoling and delightful doctrine of our Relig- 
ion. I know of nothing else which can console us un- 
der many sorrows, or enable us to 'possess our souls 
in peace,' amidst the little cares and crosses which 
chequer the brightest life. But why say this to you, 
whose faith, so much more constantly operative 
than my own, produces the habitual 'joy of believ- 

From my grandmother to my mother: 

"Concord, March 7th, 1810. 

"I have made it my earnest prayer to bear with 
resignation the many disappointments of life, pre- 
suming it will all turn out right in the end, and must 
wait with patience till our Almighty Parent permits 
me to see you. I am almost sick with thinking I 
cannot when I wish ; but when I view the other side, 
and know that you are blest with one of the best of 
husbands, and not so far off as you might have been, 
and how much superior your lot is to many others, 
I have the greatest reason to exert all my powers 
in gratitude, thanksgiving, and praise. 

"I have not been a mile from home since June 
last. Therefore I hope you will come, as soon as the 



roads permit, and make happy your affectionate 
mother, P. H." 

Again, from my grandmother: 

"Concord, April 3rd, 1810. 
"Our Democrats rejoice in the new election. 
They have carried their point so far, we expect 
to lose our Representative. Mr. and Mrs. Merrick 
passed last evening with us. We were gloomy, as 
the papers assured us we had lost our Governor. 
This morning, our hopes are revived ; five hundred 
majority. Laus Deo!" [Referring, doubtless, to the 
state of the country, for my grandmother was no 
less a patriot than she was a Christian, she now closes 
her letter as follows] "Adieu, my dear children, 
may you live to see better days ! ' There 's a Divinity 
that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we will.' 
Let us ever remember we are blest beyond our de- 
serts, and hope, in due time, we shall reap the re- 
ward of a well-spent life." 

A week later, my grandmother writes: 

"April 13th. 

" Do you not think your mother very, very good, 
my dear Mary, to drop her work which is almost 
finished, to write an answer the very day she re- 
ceived yours ? I think you say, 'What could you do 
better, Mamma?'" [After giving a piece of village 
news, she says] "You know it is Court week, and 



a very full Court, by reason of some of the worst 
crimes." [After detailing some of them, my grand- 
mother exclaims] " It is dreadful to know the de- 
pravity of the times ; the state of our political affairs, 
and the present degeneracy of the times are enough 
to distract those who observe, and look forward to 
the event which will take place soon ; 'dreadful post 
of observation darkens every hour.' I feel for you, my 
children. I shall experience but a small part, as the 
time draws nigh, according to the course of nature, 
when I must depart. 

"Mr. Merrick and I have our caucus, and settle 
the nation sometimes ; at other times, we hear of so 
many aggravating circumstances, it is our firm opin- 
ion we shall have to bow the knee, if not the neck, 
to Baal." [Referring to the Massachusetts Senate, to 
which my father had been elected, she says] "I think 
Mr. White will not have a very pleasant situation, 
with such a wasp-nest round him, but I hope he will 
convince and convert one-half of them, and take the 

bandage from the eyes of the blind." 


My mother to Mrs. Gorham : 

"Newbury Port, April 26th. 
"My Husband has been three days at Ipswich 
Court, and I have no prospect of seeing him till Fri- 
day evening. This should serve as a preparative for 
his longer absence, which I have hardly patriotism 
or fortitude enough to enable me to think of with 



composure. No one can make a greater sacrifice of 
feeling to a sense of duty than Mr. White does on 
this occasion. A great many very good people, who 
have no idea that a manly heart can ache at the pros- 
pect of a few weeks' separation from a family, think 
they offer sufficient consolation, when they assure 
him his interest will be ultimately benefited by this 
temporary sacrifice." 

Towards the end of May, my mother went to Con- 
cord to make a visit. In a letter to my father, who 
was in Boston, she says : 

"Concord, June 1st. 

"Have the kindness to give Cousin Mary two 
dollars, and request her to procure me a green bon- 
net. I should prefer thick silk, which, if she cannot 
obtain, I would thank her to get me a straw. A straw 
bonnet will be three or four dollars." 

My mother to Ann Bromfield: 

"Newbury Port, August 28th. 
" I must be brief, and can do little more than grate- 
fully acknowledge kindness, and assure you of my 
affection; for, since you left us, I have been quite 
sick. A slight hemorrhage of the lungs reduced me 
last week to a whisper ; digitalis, and milk, and Dr. 
Vergnies, with the blessing of Heaven, have almost 
restored me, but I fear to make any exertions yet, 



therefore, say nothing of Channing, of your dis- 
appointment, and my disappointment. Your account 
of Miss Lowell grieves me. May Heaven yet pre- 
serve her! A heart full of love to our dear Susan, 
and prepare to tell me everything she says and looks 
and does." 

My grandmother to my mother: 

"Concord, Sept. 3rd, 1810. 

"Your letter and cambric reached me on Sat- 
urday, accompanied by three elegant volumes from 
Thomas Hurd, (Boswell's ' Life of Johnson,') with a 
billet, requesting your Papa's acceptance, as a token 
of his gratitude for his advice. It was very pleasant 
to me, as I have been entertained to-day. 

" I am truly sorry when you suffer from ill-health. 
Sarah wrote me a line that you were much better, 
my spirits were much elated. I opened your Aunt 
Gould's letter. She wrote, ' Your amiable daughter 
looks like a drooping lily.' Down went the spirits 
right into the shoes. I long to see you, but cannot 
tell when I shall. Providence will send me in the best 
time and manner, I doubt not. I do not yet despair 
of seeing you this fall. 

" Our papers give us pompous accounts of the Em- 
press B te. I hope she will do much good, but I can- 
not think she can perform miracles. 

"Our Democrats are very silent respecting their 
friend Bidwell. We have heard P. Morton is to be 
Attorney General, like unto like. 



"Thus far I have written by twilight. I will now 
conclude with transcribing one of Dr. Johnson's let- 
ters to his mother, which exactly suits my present 
thoughts, as applicable to you. 

"'Your weakness afflicts me beyond what I am 
willing to communicate to you. I do not think you 
unfit to face death, but I do not know how to bear 
the thought of losing you. I pray often for you ; do 
you pray often for me. I am, dear, dear mother, your 
dutiful son, S. J.' 

"Does not this portray an affectionate heart? I 
cannot write more. At present, we have workmen 
to provide for. Write soon, if but ten lines. Adieu. 
God bless you all." 

Again, from my grandmother: 

"Concord, Sept. 29th. 

"My dear Mary, Did I not endeavour to make 
it a study to bear disappointments with some degree 
of fortitude, I should, at the present moment, be al- 
most sick. In expectation of seeing you the last of 
next week, I have been pleased as a child with a rattle. 
The prospect is now cut off for some time. Isaac's 
children are very sick. Their cough is so violent it 
seems as if nature must give way. That is not the 
whole cause. I cannot, on any consideration, procure 
any one to take care of the house in my absence. 
Your Papa has made every exertion, but there is no 
prospect for a month or six weeks to come. It is un- 
doubtedly for the best. 'The smoothest course of 
nature has its pains.'" 



The desired visit was made in October. On De- 
cember 12th my mother's third daughter was born. 
Again my dear grandmother is kept from her daugh- 
ter's sick-bed by her sense of duty to others. " Grand- 
mamma Thompson," the mother of Dr. Kurd's first 
wife, to whom my grandmother was as a daughter, 
died of lung-fever at this time, and she was obliged 
to be with her. 




IT is with sadness which I cannot repress that I 
enter upon the record of the year 1811, of which 
my mother did not see the close. We have nothing 
further from her pen except her letters to my father, 
who, from January to the following June, was, most 
of the time, separated from her by his duties in the 
Massachusetts Senate. Their correspondence during 
that period is of affecting interest to us, even when, 
as in many cases, their letters contain little more than 
bulletins of health, and expressions of tenderest so- 
licitude and affection. 

The earliest date of the New Year is the follow- 
ing from my father: 

"Boston, Wednesday evening, Jan. 23rd. 

" I have the happiness to assure my dearest love 
that I am safe and snug at my lodgings, and accom- 
modated very much to my mind. I have a chamber 
at Mrs. Vose's, in School St., with brother Nash, 
two good beds and a fire-place. 

"Now, my dearest Mary, I have to pray you to 
be careful of yourself, and not to make any effort to 
write. Above all, let your mind be as free from care 
and anxiety as possible. Rest your confidence in that 



kind Providence which has so often, and so greatly, 
blessed us. You are the constant object of my 
thoughts and prayers, and may you realize all the 
health and happiness we so ardently desire." 

My mother to my father: 

"Netvbury Port, 23rd January, 1811. 

"If possible, I will this morning commence my 
journal, which, though it will contain nothing of the 
wonderful, and little of the wise, will not be uninter- 
esting to my dear, dear Husband. 

" Thursday morning. Your thrice welcome letter, 
beloved Husband, was a cordial of which I had need. 
To know you are well, and pleasantly situated, that 
you have the best society, and the disposition and 
power to enjoy and. improve by it, are all sources of 
rich consolation. I rejoice too that you are not alone. 
There is only one disadvantage in this arrangement, 
but the bed is an altar from which the purest in- 
cense often ascends to the throne of the Almighty. 
There you will remember us. There you will sup- 
plicate pardon, strength, and patience for your most 
imperfect Mary. I am well as usual this morning, and 
have as many causes of gratitude and joy. Why fall 
these tears ! Take care of yourself, dearest, and write 
soon and minutely to her who sees but you in the 
world, and who is for life, and she hopes forever, 

Your affectionate 



My father to my mother: 

"Senate Chamber, Jan. 24th, 1811. 

"Yesterday, when we assembled, one of the Fed- 
eral Senators was found missing, and the Democratic 
members seized on the opportunity to attempt an 
alteration of the rules of the Senate, so as to deprive 
the President of his power to vote, which would give 
them, on all occasions, a majority. This produced an 
altercation that kept us together from morning till 
near four o'clock in the afternoon, and the subject 
was finally postponed till to-day, when our absent 
member arrived, and put them to shame. They have, 
therefore, gained nothing but to expose their mean- 
ness, and to put us more on our guard. 

"I went last evening to see Cooke in lago, and 
he fully equalled my expectation, it was a person- 
ation of character entirely beyond anything I had 
ever witnessed." 

From my father: 

"Senate Chamber, Jan. 25th, 1811. 
"Though I wrote yesterday, and though nothing 
special presents for writing to-day, except acknowl- 
edging the precious letter of my most dearly beloved 
wife, yet I cannot refrain conversing with you in the 
only way at present permitted. I was alarmed, at 
opening your letter, to find three pages, lest it should 
have produced too much exertion for my dear Mary. 
But I cannot say with how much tender sensibility 
I perused it. Absence, however short, makes me most 



sensibly feel my dependence on you for happiness. 
And your expressions of love could never have given 
my heart more exquisite delight than I experienced 
this morning, for never was this heart more entirely 
and tenderly devoted to you than at this moment. 

"Cousin Hazen White is now in town, and has 
been very attentive in watching opportunities to see 
me. I believe he feels really grateful to you for your 
regard in the naming of our Isabella. 

" We have had another very unpleasant day in the 
Senate, in consequence of the sudden indisposition 
of brother Ashmun, from Hampshire County. I like 
to call him brother, for he is not only a lawyer, but a 
most excellent fellow, and a companion at my board- 
ing-house. We had to wrap him up, and bring him out, 
in order to stop their mischief. But, after all, they 
produced a committee, to answer his Excellency's 
speech, of their own sort. The President had the nom- 
ination, but, there being a majority of Democrats in 
the Senate without his vote, and as they voted 
against every nomination of a Federal member, but 
one, they have a majority of Democrats on the com- 
mittee. I, with Mr. Ashmun, had the honour to be 
voted down by them. I, therefore, have not the trouble 
of writing the answer. This, however, is a matter of 
trifling consequence. The thing I most fear is the 
turning out of Mr. Pickering, a Senator of the United 
States, which we have hitherto had the good fortune 
to prevent, and hope we shall have during the ses- 



In this letter my dear sister is spoken of by the 
name her mother gave her, and that not the name 
by which we knew her. "Cousin Hazen White" was 
a son of my father's half-brother William. He mar- 
ried, in 1808, Isabella Frink. She was beautiful in 
person, and interesting in mind and character, a 
favourite with my father. She died November 9th, 
1810, a month before my sister's birth. My father 
and mother were deeply affected by her death. It is 
not surprising that my mother named her little girl 
Isabella Hazen. But she was not destined long to 
bear the name. On the day of her mother's burial 
she was named, in baptism, Mary Wilder. 

From my mother to my father, without date: 

"Newbury Port. 

" I bear the extreme cold as well as could be ex- 
pected. This is not the temperature I could wish, 
but spring will come. How many anticipations do I 
indulge! Oh, may our Heavenly Father grant that 
we may tread the path of life together, supporting 
each other in sickness and affliction, and enjoying 
together the blessings with which He has crowned us! 
May we see our dear children grow up, blessing so- 
ciety, and blessed themselves in life and death! 

"How good you are! Your letter of yesterday has 
just gladdened me. I am glad you have seen one of 
the master characters of Shakespeare, since your con- 
science did not forbid the pleasure." 



Again : 

"Newbury Port, Jan. 26th, 1811. 

"Most dearly beloved Husband, Your letters are 
such cordials a none but those who deeply love can 
conceive of. May you be but half as happy in receiv- 
ing mine, and I shall be almost content. I enter into 
all your difficulties, and share in every feeling; I am 
grateful for everything you tell me, but when you 
tell me, dearest love, that I am so tenderly beloved, 
my heart and eyes overflow." 

My father to my mother: 

"Boston, Jan. 27th, 1811. 

"My dearest may, indeed, be 'almost content,' for 
I am sure my letters cannot be more interesting to 
her, than hers are to me. I have enjoyed a very de- 
lightful day, a most charming sermon from your 
beloved Channing, a most precious letter from my 
beloved wife, between meetings, and a very excel- 
lent discourse from Dr. Kirkland, who preached for 
Mr. Channing this afternoon. When engaged to 
dine the other day at Mr. Lee's, I was prevented 
by being kept, most of the afternoon, at the Senate 
Chamber, and they were polite enough to invite me 
to dine with them to-day, and attend their meeting. 
Mr. Channing is, certainly, a most heavenly preacher, 
and, if it will give you any satisfaction to hear it, I 
can truly say that I received more delight from him, 
this morning, than from the celebrated Cooke. I 
went to see him almost beyond the quiet of my con- 



science, but I was with such men as Judge Brigham, 
and other 'grave and reverend seniors.' I saw him in 
'Falstaff,' and 'King Richard,' but he did not im- 
press me so strongly with his excellence as in ' lago.' 
He has now left Boston, and right glad am I. 

"In the Senate, we expect a very disagreeable 
week ; brother Ashmun remains seriously indisposed, 
and, I am afraid, will not be out for some days, which 
will give the Democrats ascendency. I really pity 
him, for he suffers, not only from sickness in a strange 
place, but from solicitude on account of the partic- 
ular importance of his health at this time. But he has 
every attention, medical and friendly. Dr. Warren 
has been with him, and thinks he will soon be well. 
My time is much occupied on committee business, 
in passing on petitions, revising bills, laws, etc., and 
I have little time for visiting. I heard at Mr. Lee's 
that Mary Emerson was in town, and hope to see her 
before she goes to Concord. I am told that Mr. Emer- 
son is too unwell to preach, and his friends are ap- 
prehensive about him. I have not seen him. 

" How does my whole heart join in the prayer that 
we may together tread the path of life, and enjoy the 
rich blessings with which Heaven has crowned us 1" 

My mother to my father: 

"Newbury Port, Sabbath. 

" I hope I am not wrong in devoting a part of the 
Sabbath in writing to that beloved friend who is in 
all my thoughts, and is, even as myself, remembered 



in all my devotions. Devotions! Ah, how little do 
the wandering thoughts, the imperfect desires, the 
feeble resolutions of such moments deserve to be 
called devoted to an Omniscient, Almighty, and All 
Wise Being! Well may we, or, rather, well may 1 
say, 'Forgive the sins of our holy things ! ' Yet, my 
beloved will rejoice to know that tender solicitude 
for him has made me more earnest in my supplica- 
tions, and has produced some good to myself. 

"Did you see Mary Emerson in town? She was 
going to Concord the next day, but intended send- 
ing for you to her brother's, whose state of health is 
considered almost desperate. 

" Please to remember my chocolate when you come 
on Saturday." 

Again : 

"Newbury Port, Jan. 29th, 1811. 
" Your letter, dearest friend, reached me last eve- 
ning. I rejoiced in your Sabbath, and almost feel that 
I ought not to lament your absence while you enjoy 
the precious privilege of listening to Channing. I, too, 
am right glad Cooke has left town, not that I ap- 
prehended danger to my Husband from frequenting 
the Theatre. I know he only saw the ideas of Shake- 
speare brought into action by genius. But, how great 
is the danger to young men whose principles are un- 
formed! I am in the humour for sermonizing, but you 
can well dispense with all I would say, and I have 
other things to write. You will call at Mrs. Eliot's 



and see Margaret Searle, Eliza [afterwards Mrs. 
Guild], and Mary Dwight of Springfield [afterwards 
Mrs. John Howard], a sweet girl, and warm Fed- 
eralist, who knows and admires Mr. Ashmun and 
his wife. 

"Heaven grant us the happiness of meeting on 
Saturday. Should anything necessary prevent, do not 
fear the disappointment will make me sick. I shall 
submit, and, while you are in health, submit with 
tolerable cheerfulness." 

From my father to my mother: 

"Boston, Jan. 30th. 

"No, dearest Mary, it is not wrong to devote a 
portion of the Sabbath in writing what awakens so 
much devotion and tender affection in the heart of 
your husband. With all my imperfections, I can most 
truly sympathize in your good feelings and senti- 
ments, and I pray that I may be made better by such 

"Mr. Ashmun is much better, and, if fair weather, 
may probably be out to-morrow. The enemy have 
gained no advantage from his absence, but a silly and 
Democratic answer to the Governor's speech. I know 
nothing to prevent my being with you on Saturday 

From my mother to my father: 

"Newbury Port, Thursday, February 1st. 
" If your indulgence has spoiled me, whose is the 



blame ? I had no reason to expect a letter yesterday, 
yet I was a little disappointed to receive 'no' from 
the post-office. I know and grieve for your constant 
confinement and employment, this painful week. I 
hope I shall learn all about yourself, and hear of Mr. 
Ashmun's recovery, from your own dear lips, day 
after to-morrow. But make no effort to come. I would 
not have you ride late, or in any way risk your pre- 
cious health, even for the pleasure of seeing you. 1 
can do without you another week, though there is 
no pleasure on earth I desire half so much as that 
of embracing you. 

" We are all well as usual, and so are our friends. 
Ann passed the day yesterday. In the morning, I had 
Channing's incomparable sermon [on the death of 
Ann Lowell] ; in the afternoon, Nancy read us Miss 
Lowell's pious, feeling, and poetical version of many 
Psalms. The little book is a treasure. ' Being dead, 
she yet speaketh.' 

"Now tell me as much about your own dear self, 
and continue to love as you are beloved by your 


From my mother to my father, after his proposed 

"Newbury Port, 3rd February, 1811. 

"Monday morning. My best beloved, may God 

preserve you ! my heart is oppressed with anxiety. I 

should so rejoice to know that you reached the Hotel 

in safety last evening, and that you determine, this 



morning, to wait for the stage. I will not suffer my 
mind to dwell on any of the dreadful possibilities 
that may have befallen you in this tremendous storm. 
I have had some moments of extreme suffering, but 
I fly to our common Protector, and, while I sup- 
plicate mercy, I feel almost certain you will be pre- 
served. Do not trouble yourself a moment on our 
account. Mr. Stewart kindly made paths for us this 
morning, and we have wood enough in the house to 
last two or three days. I am sitting by a fine fire, 
and, could I know you safe in Boston this evening, 
I think I should be happy. I do not ask a long let- 
ter, but a line, a word, as soon as you arrive in 
town. Oh, may you be preserved and blessed, dear- 
est, dearest friend! I feel how weak and helpless I 
am without you. I think I could bear almost any- 
thing while sustained by your presence and affection, 
and I shall be strong and well again, if I know you 
are safe and well again in Boston. Adieu, Beloved." 

Again, from my mother: 

"Newbury Port, 5th of February. 
" Tuesday evening. Beloved Husband, where are 
you? What would I not give to have that question 
answered as I wish! I am not sick, but I am most 
unhappy. Could I only know you safe and well, 
though still at the Byfield Hotel, I should be con- 
tent, but a turnpike-road, very deep snow, not 
even the mail has been in from Boston from Sunday 
till this afternoon, and it was brought on horseback ! 



My dear, dear Husband ! may Almighty Power and 
Infinite Goodness protect you, for the sake of our 
babes, for there is a grief which I fear I could not 

" We are all well, if we could only know you were 
so Adieu, ever tenderly your 


From my father: 

"Boston, Feb. 5th, Tuesday. 
" Scarcely ever in my life, dearest Mary, had I 
more reason to thank God for any personal favour, 
than I now have for my safe arrival here. You may 
easily conceive of my anxieties on the way. Indeed, 
I felt them before I started from home more than I 
was willing to disclose to you. I feared I might be pre- 
vented reaching here in season to take my place at the 
Senate board, but, had I been inclined, I did not feel 
quite well enough to come away on Sunday morn- 
ing. I reached Topsfield very well, and in good sea- 
son on Sunday evening, and had a very good night's 
sleep. There I found a man with a sleigh, bound to 
Boston. On Monday morning, the inn-keeper, with 
four or five stout men and horses turned out to help 
us on our way, but, after proceeding about two miles, 
they gave it up as impracticable, and we returned 
to the Hotel and dined, when two other men with 
sleighs arrived, bound to Boston; so, after dinner, 
we all set out again, with shovels as well as horses 
and men, and made out to proceed about seven 



miles, when we were compelled to take shelter for 
the night in a not very comfortable habitation. This 
morning, we set out again, and succeeded in reach- 
ing Boston this afternoon. You told me not to ven- 
ture on horseback, but I had no other way, but to 
come on foot; and, as the other men were good 
enough to precede me with their sleighs, I was en- 
abled to ride almost the whole of the way, whereas 
they walked behind their sleighs a great part of it. 
The snow was, in some places, drifted extremely, 
some banks from twelve to twenty feet deep. But I 
am safe at my lodgings, and feel very well ; I believe 
I have taken no cold. 

"The Democrats have acted like the very old one, 
and have given the Federal members of the Senate 
great trouble and vexation. Brother Nash and Pick- 
man, as well as myself, were absent yesterday, and 
so were two Democratic members, which gave them 
only a majority of one. They have, however, been 
able to do no essential mischief, but, had I not come 
in before to-morrow, they would have had an op- 
portunity to choose their Senator for Congress, and 
oust Mr. Pickering. We are now all on the spot, and 
Mr. Ashmun is quite recovered." 

From my father: 

"Boston, Feb. 6th, 1811. 

" I find our good and excellent President had his 
feelings put to a severe test by our absence. They 
attempted an alteration of the rules of the Senate, 



and obliged him to resist them, and they threatened 
to put him out of the chair, and other abusive threats, 
etc. Our friends met on Monday afternoon, deter- 
mined and expecting to continue in session all night, 
in order to prevent mischief; but, very accidentally, 
had the power to effect an adjournment; and, next 
morning, before the Democrats could effect much, 
Mr. Pickman and Nash came in. Two expresses 
were sent on for them on Monday, by Colonel Thorn- 
dike and others. My friends suffered so much by 
our absence that I think I shall not expose them 
to it again, if possible to avoid it. I did not before 
know that I had the power to lay the devil, but, 
had I been here, all their base attempts would have 
been at once hushed. 

"Don't think, however, my beloved, that I had 
not full compensation, in visiting you, for all my fa- 
tigue and sufferings. The delight my heart received 
in embracing my dear wife and children, and witness- 
ing their improvement, cannot easily be balanced by 
anything in the opposite scale." 

Again : 

"Boston, Feb. 7th, 1811. 

" I feel now quite as well as before my journey, 
which does indeed impress my heart with religious 
gratitude. I believe, from the manner in which I have 
sustained this fatigue, my constitution possesses more 
vigour than my appearance indicates. 

"Last evening, Jacob Bigelow called to see me; 


he says he has formed a connection in business with 
Dr. Jackson ; so that he occasionally visits Dr. Jack- 
son's patients, and takes charge of all the applications 
which Dr. J. cannot attend to. In this way, he will 
become acquainted with the best people in town, 
and be soon introduced to respectable practice. He 
appears to be much engaged, and, I have no doubt, 
will have very good success." 

From my father, again: 

"Boston, Feb. 8th, 1811. 

" We have had a very pleasant time at Mr. Brooks.' 
Col. Thatcher was there, who was from Monday morn- 
ing to Wednesday evening in getting from Newbury 
Port to Boston. Last evening, in caucus, Mr. Gore 
and Mr. William Phillips of this town were agreed 
on as the candidates for Governor and Lieutenant- 
Go vernor. It is expected they will both consent; 
though it is probably very unexpected to Deacon 
Phillips. He is a very modest man, but greatly dis- 
tinguished for wealth, benevolence and piety, and 
said to be a very sensible and well-informed man. I 
hope he will not decline being a candidate, as I be- 
lieve him to be the best man we can select to oppose 
the opposite candidate. I have expressed my deter- 
mination not to be a candidate for the Senate an- 
other year, but my friends here beset me with every 
argument to shake my resolution. Colonel Thorn- 
dike, after many flattering things, took the liberty 
to say that the people in Essex would not be recon- 



ciled to it, that they would curse me, and say that 
I ought not to have come for one year only, merely 
to gratify my curiosity or vanity, etc. Now, if you 
think it best, I shall resolutely persevere in my deter- 
mination, whatever may be said or suffered, though, 
on some accounts, it would be pleasant to be here a 
second year, were not the sacrifice too great. Absence 
from you and the children I feel more than incon- 
venience as to business, though, on all accounts, I 
ought to be at home. I shall get off if I well can, 
even should you leave me entirely to myself." 


"Boston, February llth, 1811. 
" Having been disappointed, by the storm, in din- 
ing with Richard Sullivan last Monday, he was po- 
lite enough to renew the invitation for to-day. Mr. 
and Mrs. Fay, and John Sullivan were alone pres- 
ent. Mrs. Sullivan is a very sweet and lovely woman. 
This afternoon, I have been engaged on a Commit- 
tee to consider the subject of a Hospital to be es- 
tablished for lunatics, and other poor and disabled 
patients. It is contemplated to grant the old State 
or Province House, worth about forty thousand dol- 
lars, for this purpose, provided that individuals can 
be found to contribute a hundred thousand dollars. 
You will not doubt what my opinion on the subject 
will be. Dr. Warren appeared before the Commit- 
tee, and entered into a very interesting discussion. 
He stated instances and described scenes of suffer- 



ing, that the world thinks little of, and which, he 
said, were known to but few except physicians. I 
hope we shall be able to get the sanction of the 
Legislature to the contemplated institution. Dea- 
con Phillips stands ready to advance twenty thou- 
sand dollars to it, and many others will follow his 
example in proportion to their ability." 

My grandmother writes at this time: 

"Concord, Feb. llth, 1811. 

"After an absence of twelve days, the delightful 
sun has again revisited us, the hearts of many are 
made glad by its appearance. 

"I long to hear how you do in the absence of your 
husband. Miss Emerson did not give me any satis- 
faction. She said if you were not sick, you would 
be, by excluding the light and air. I do not want 
anything to make me more anxious than I have 

It would seem that Miss Emerson was in advance 
of the age, or, at least, in advance of good Dr. Verg- 
nies, and his adherents, on the subject of the laws 
of health. 

The following letter from my father was evidently 
written after receiving, from some other hand than 
my mother's, an account of her increased illness. 

"Boston, Feb. 12th, 1811. 

"The anxiety I feel, dearest wife, is inexpressible. 
What would I not give to be able to fly to you, 



and take upon myself all your pains and sufferings ! 
But I can do nothing, not even contribute to re- 
lieve or soothe them. My mind is wholly occupied 
about you, and I am little fitted for anything else. 
But I would not add to your suffering by any con- 
cern about me. I should be perfectly well, could my 
heart be at ease. Its best consolation is in suppli- 
cating the Father of all mercies for you and me. At 
present, I feel nothing akin to happiness but in pray- 
ing for you. I will cherish the hope that our prayers 
will be heard." 

Again : 

"Boston, Feb. 13th, Wednesday evening. 
"I called the other evening at Mr. Gorham's, by 
his invitation. He had a small party of gentlemen, 
composing a law-club, as Mr. Lowell, Prescott, 
Jackson, Dutton, etc., and the evening was very 

Again : 

"Boston, Feb. 15th, Friday evening. 
"Dearest and loveliest of human beings, you know 
not how inestimably precious you are to me. I must 
see you to-morrow evening, if possible, yet do not 
expect me, for it may not be in my power to come. 
How much I suffer in this absence from you, I need 
not, cannot, express, but, dearest love, you have a 
friend Almighty, who is ever present with you, and 
will sustain and comfort you." 



From my mother to my father, on his return to 
Boston, after a visit to his home: 

"Feb. 20th, Wednesday afternoon. 
" Let us bless God, dearest friend, that the term 
of your public duty has almost expired. Ah, how 
much have I sacrificed to it! I rejoiced to know you 
reached town in safety." 

From my father: 

"Boston, Feb. 21st, 1811. 

"Your letter of yesterday, dearest love, greatly 
relieved my heart. Your hand-writing distressed me, 
as it carried evidence of painful exertion for my 
sake. How ardently does my prayer respond to yours 
that I may soon be at liberty to return to you. But, 
to my sorrow, the prospect now is that we shall be 
kept here into next week. The business of the Sen- 
ate crowds upon us. We have been in session to-day, 
from a little after nine o'clock in the morning, till 
about eight this evening, excepting an adjournment 
to dine. It is now about ten, and I write in the midst 
of chit-chat, and cannot write you as I should wish; 
but incoherencies, etc., you will excuse, and will not 
try to read to your injury. If it can give you com- 
fort, I am determined to come to you on Saturday 
again, if I must return on Monday. 

"I received a letter of yesterday from your 
mother, and wrote her an answer immediately to- 
day, as well as I could in the midst of business. She 
had heard, through Mary Emerson, of your illness, 



and I endeavoured to give her all the information 
about you in my power." 

Miss Emerson seems to have been but a Job's 
comforter to my grandmother, who, always in de- 
mand at her own home, was never at liberty, it ap- 
pears, to follow her heart's promptings and go to 
my mother when most needed by her. 

From my mother: 

"Newbury Port, Saturday, Feb. 23rd, 1811. 
"Your letters were cordials, my dear Husband. 
They were given me together at a moment when 
my anxiety was painfully excited. I have continued 
to improve in strength, notwithstanding the extreme 
cold, to which I have not been insensible, though my 
chamber has been kept warm by Fanny's care. When 
can you return ? I ask myself the question often, and 
as often sigh, but I believe it will be in the best time." 

From my father: 

"Boston, Feb. 25th, 1811. 

"Dearest Wife, We are now in session full of 
business. To-morrow has been talked of for the Leg- 
islature to rise, but it will probably be later per- 
haps Thursday or Friday. I shall probably be with 
you the day after we rise. I am very impatient un- 
der confinement, but you will, as I do, bear it bet- 
ter when you know that I have made, and commu- 
nicated to my friends, my final resolution not to be 
subjected to such confinement again." 



From my mother, in reply: 

"Tuesday evening. 

"My dearest Friend, I am out of spirits. The dis- 
appointment of this evening is almost too much for 
me. I almost feel as if it was determined we should 
not meet. I calculated on this day or to-morrow 
well, be it so ! I am not worse, Dr. Vergnies says ; 
on the contrary, he told me to assure you I am do- 
ing well. I had better not write, than send so sad a 
letter but I told you, in the beginning, I was out 
of spirits. 

"Why don't you speak of yourself? No subject is 
half so interesting. You have been indisposed, and 
you say nothing of your present health." 

From my father, in reply: 

"Boston, Feb. 27th, 1811. 

"Your letter of last evening, dearest Mary, would 
quicken my speed to you, were it possible to get my 
liberty. I hope and trust we are to meet, and meet 
under the smiles of Providence, notwithstanding this 
bitterness of disappointment. I feel it most sensibly, 
and pray it may not be repeated. To-morrow, we 
confidently expect to rise ; in which case, I shall hope 
to be with you on Friday. But I shall fly to you the 
first moment in my power, and I pray God to have 
you in His holy keeping. Your letter is written in 
lower spirits than I could wish, but I will indulge 
the hope that you are really better." 



Miss Emerson, in writing to my mother some 
weeks earlier, says, " Somehow, I do not connect the 
idea of illness in you with unhappiness. It rather 
seems like renewing an opportunity for your forti- 
tude, and your husband's unaffected and interesting 
tenderness." But those of us who are less sublimated 
than Miss Emerson can hardly read this record of 
"fortitude, "and "tenderness," without a painful sym- 
pathy, to which there is no relief till the husband and 
wife are together again. 

I have often heard my father speak of what he suf- 
fered in these repeated separations from my mother 
during her prolonged illness, especially in their latest 
separation of this kind, which we have yet to record, 
and which was attended by peculiarly distressing cir- 
cumstances. But my mother was no less patriotic 
than my grandmother. She felt that my father's duty 
to his country was one to which even her comfort 
must yield, and it was doubtless with her sanction 
that he changed his determination not to leave her 
again for public life. 

We have nothing more from my mother's pen. 
We have only my grandmother's letters, and two 
or three from my father and other friends, to give 
us an intimation of what they endured during the 
remaining months of my mother's life, from "sus- 
pense between a weak hope and a great fear," of 
which Fdnelon says, "nothing is a greater trial to hu- 
man nature." 

At this time, the Rev. William Emerson, father 


of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and minister of Chauncy 
Place Church, was seriously ill, and his sister, Miss 
Mary Emerson, writes to my father and mother: 

"Boston, March 14th, 1811. 
"Dear Friends, I have been here a fortnight or 
less, and once heard from Concord, but not from you. 
Will you let me have that satisfaction ? By this time, 
it is probable, you are altogether better, dear Mary. 
But, whether that is the case or otherwise, you are 
resigning yourself and enjoyments into the hands of 
a kind and tender Parent. Your health, dear Sir, I 
hope, did not suffer any injury from the fatigues and 
storms to which your duties exposed you. Your chil- 
dren are well, it is hoped. This weather is unfavour- 
able to invalids, for, how is it possible they should 
gain health, while deprived of the vital and life-giv- 
ing source of inhaling hourly the fresh air ? My brother 
remains in a critical and feeble state. But, till he can 
journey, we can form no decided opinion. Many think 
he will not recover. If the cause originates in the at- 
tack he had two or three years since, probably he will 
not. This between ourselves. It is painful to exhaust 
the sympathy of one's acquaintance, or to disappoint 
them of something new. How little does the com- 
monplace regret soothe the heart, and how depres- 
sing the run of constant inquiry ! " 

My grandmother went to visit and nurse her 
daughter late in March, but became so ill herself 
that she was obliged to return to Concord. Early in 



April hopes were revived of my mother's recovery. 
Miss Mary Emerson wrote to my father and mother: 

"April 13th, 1811. 

"My dear Friends, You are afflicted still. But 
you are recovering, Mary. My brother recovers no 
more. God is taking him away, and blessed be His 
name! How much better, Oh, infinitely better than 
to outlive his mind, his exertions, his friends ! Should 
it not be the prayer of every Christian that they may 
not survive any of these, but especially his moral im- 
provement? And, unhappy must the one be who is 
so wedded to life as to lose a desire to depart when 
their improvements stagnate. But I feel not much 
of these great things, an unaccountable heaviness 
weighs down my spirit, pray for me that a visita- 
tion so painful and admonishing may be improved. 
I long to see you; do, if possible, write." 

My grandmother made my mother a brief visit 
late in April. After her return she writes: 

"Concord, April 25th, 1811. 
"After much rain and heavy wind, my dear chil- 
dren will be glad we reached home on Monday. Do 
not think it unkind I did not stay longer. It is ab- 
solutely necessary to be at home." 

And again: 

"Concord, May 4th, 1811. 
"It seems a little age since I left you. I do not 



feel very well, and every sombre shade is displayed. 
I ever remember with gratitude the mercies shown 
in restoring you to your friends, and, had it been 
best, should have rejoiced to have your habitation 
nigher, when I could have seen you and yours often, 
and watched the progress you made in health and 
strength. Do not, for a moment, doubt I would sac- 
rifice my own, to give you health and vigour." 

It may strike some of my grandmother's de- 
scendants who shall read these pages as almost un- 
natural on her part that she should have left my 
mother, when she was so ill and her life so near its 
close, to the care of "Aunt Bromfield" and "Aunt 
Greenleaf," instead of giving her the comfort of her 
own presence. But those who knew Dr. Hurd would 
understand the case. The arrangements of his home, 
as well as his own personal exactions, were such as 
not only compelled her presence there, but also made 
her life so laborious as to awaken the sympathy of 
her friends, especially of her husband's brothers and 
their families, by whom she was most intimately 
known and most warmly beloved. 

My grandmother again writes : 

''May 30th, Election Day. 

"They are well as usual at Mr. Ripley's. Mr. Em- 
erson's death was truly affecting, but they, one and 
all, bear it, as Christians ought to, with becoming 
fortitude and resignation. 

"When I shall see you is only known to the Su- 


preme Being. I long to kiss you and the little ones, 
and sincerely hope you will, once more, realize a 
portion of health. Mr. White, I fear, will not have 
many more pleasant companions than he had last 
year. The opposite party are numerous, they 

'Fill every rank, in each profession blend, 
Power all their aim, and ruin all their end.'" 


The following, from my father, who was again in 
the Senate at Boston, is the last letter we have from 
him addressed to my mother. 

"Boston, Friday morn., May 31st, 1811. 
"My dearest Wife, I feel an inexpressible solic- 
itude and desire to be with you. I have not received 
a line from home since I have been here, but hope 
to this morning, and pray that it may bring me good 
tidings about you. I shall endeavour to be at home 
this evening, if I can find a passage after the choice 
of counsellors ; if not, to-morrow. I hope not to be 
under the necessity of being here many days to- 
gether, after this week. All I can now do, my dear- 
est love, is to commend you to the Father of all 
mercies. Oh, may He support, comfort, and bless 
you with health! is the constant prayer of 
Your affectionate 

D. A. WHITE." 

Could my father have foreseen the events of that 
night, no business, however weighty or pressing, 
would have kept him from his home. It was the 



night of the great Newburyport fire of 1811. The 
record in the Salem Gazette of that period is that 
"the fire broke out on Friday, May 31st, at half- 
past nine in the evening, in a stable, near the mar- 
ket. At two o'clock, Saturday morning, the fire was 
raging in every direction, with irresistible fury. About 
four, the danger diminished, and, at six, the fire had, 
in a great measure, spent its fury. The number of 
buildings destroyed was about two hundred and fifty ; 
property destroyed, one million. No life was lost. 
Seventy-six families were deprived of their homes. 
The streets ravaged were State, Market Square, Me- 
chanics' Row, Pleasant, Middle, Water, Centre, and 
Liberty Streets." My father's home was on State 

I must have been very young when I was first 
told the story of the fire, for I can hardly look back 
upon the time when my mind did not contain a pic- 
ture of my angelic mother, as, according to the rep- 
resentations given me, she passed unmoved through 
that night of terror. My dear father was the great- 
est sufferer. What language can depict his agony 
as he drove from Boston to Newburyport the next 
morning, under the impression, received from ex- 
aggerated accounts, that not a house was left stand- 
ing in State Street. He could never speak of it with- 
out emotion, and never so far recovered from it as 
to be able to hear the bell rung for fire without 
change of colour and evident recurrence to the pain- 
ful memory. More than once, under such circum- 



stances, he has spoken to me of the subject in his 
thoughts, and dwelt upon the scene, to him of un- 
equalled sublimity, which my mother's chamber pre- 
sented when, on his arrival at home, he entered it. 
"There she lay," he said, "just as I had left her, 
with nothing in her look or manner to remind me 
that anything unusual had occurred." 

By those who were with her through the night, I 
have been told of the presence of mind, calmness, and 
self-control with which she quieted those around her. 
Every one in the house, and others who came in to 
offer their aid, were agitated by distressing appre- 
hension for her. Too feeble to move herself, what 
should they do for her, was the question. To move 
her might cost her her life ; yet, if she remained where 
she was, death seemed inevitable. She decided, her- 
self, what to do. She said, "I will stay where I am 
until the flames reach the next house. Meantime, have 
a carriage in readiness for my removal when that shall 
occur." The fire stopped at the next house, and she 
was safe. 

Dear Aunt Smith used to say, " Your mother was 
quite calm, and told us just how to pack the china, 
and glass, and clothing so that they should be all 
ready to be moved when the time came." Cousin 
Fanny Searle, whose mother lived in State Street, 
happened, at the time the fire occurred, to be stay- 
ing at Aunt Becky's, in the upper part of the town. 
So great was her anxiety for my mother that she 
walked alone, a mile and a half at midnight, passing 



by her own mother's house to go to her. She said 
she was, herself, greatly alarmed and agitated, and 
she described, much as my father had done, the con- 
trast presented by my mother's aspect of serenity and 
peace. My mother's cousin Benjamin F. Gould was 
staying in Newburyport at the time. He went im- 
mediately to my mother, to serve her in any way he 
could. He has often told me that he should never 
forget my mother's appearance that night. "She 
seemed to me," he said, "more than ever, to belong 
to another world," Doubtless, she had then let go 
her hold on this. 

The noise and confusion in State Street, created 
by preparations for rebuilding, made it necessary to 
remove my mother to a more quiet part of the town. 
It is to this removal that my grandmother refers in 
the following letter: 

"Concord, June 21st. 

"This morning we received your letter, my dear 
son, which brings such intelligence as I expected, 
that Mary would suffer after the fire, from the fa- 
tigue, anxiety, and distress that must surround her. 
I cannot afford you any assistance ; my heart is with 
you, but it is so poor an one, it can do no good. I am 
very glad you have moved, and hope the air will be 
salutary, and long to have her able to ride here. My 
love to her, and, if I could fly to her, would run any 

"Your Papa, although he is out all the day, has a 
very tedious time with his broken rib. It has not yet 



perfectly united, he has not dressed or undressed 
without the assistance of one, and often two of us. 
He could not rise alone if we were surrounded by 
fire. He has now five hundred under his care in vac- 
cination. We shall have Isaac and his family with us 
about a fortnight, till they move into their house." 

This letter from my grandmother shows how lit- 
tle she was prepared for my mother's death, which 
occurred only one week after this last date. While 
she "had faith to believe" that my mother "would 
enjoy better health," and was looking forward to her 
being "able to ride to Concord," "the silver cord was 

My father thought my mother's life was shortened 
by the fire, and the removal that followed it. I have 
no record from his pen of the closing scene. He often 
talked to my sister and myself of the faith and peace 
of our mother's last hours ; and among my earliest 
recollections is his telling us that he read to her the 
fourteenth chapter of John only fifteen minutes be- 
fore she ceased to breathe. 

Nearly half a century later, the only words spoken 
by her upon her death-bed, which were written down 
at the time, came to us like a voice from the eternal 
world. This invaluable record was made by my 
mother's dear friend, Ann Bromfield. I copy it as 
follows : 

''June 28th, 1811. Evening, Friday. Day before 
yesterday, the 26th instant, I passed some hours with 



my precious Mary White. This almost sainted mor- 
tal is now, perhaps, passing the ' dark valley of the 
shadow of death.' Perhaps, the silver cord is broken, 
and she is now a spirit among the blessed, wel- 
comed by those objects of affection who had gone 
before, and on wing towards the vision of God and 
of the Lamb. Why do I not feel greater joy at this 
sublimely cheering thought, why not glorify the Be- 
ing who has emancipated her? My faith is weak, 
not so, hers. She told me her hopes in a few emphatic 
sentences, the last time I sat by her. ' In my Father's 
house are many mansions,' she said, with distinctness ; 
and, after a long pause, added: 'I am thinking of 
my Saviour. He is the good Shepherd, and I am His 
sick lamb. He will carry me in His bosom.' After a 
long pause, she added, that she had always thought 
that passage which says, ' I go to prepare a place for 
you,' and, 'not for you only, but for all those who, 
through you, shall believe on my name,' worth all the 
rest of the Bible. I could mention more, but my 
strength fails me. 

"I pray, Oh, my Heavenly Father, for her, her 
husband, and all of us, that this communion here be- 
low, may have helped to fit us for nearer communion 
with Thee. 

"30th, Morning. We were prevented from going 
to meeting this morning, by the carriage disappoint- 
ing us, and I shall use the time with more satisfac- 
tion to myself than in going out. Yesterday morn- 
ing, at half-past seven, my beloved friend breathed 



her last, desirous to be gone, and full of hope and 
trust in her blessed Saviour. I have lost, in her, an 
invaluable friend. Her strong, and vigorous, and 
highly cultivated mind was a resource when I needed 
advice; the pure and animated devotion of her af- 
fectionate heart, always kindling with sympathy 
from its keen, and refined, and regulated sensibility 
at every sorrow of its beloved objects, was my 
consolation and support. It has pleased the infinitely 
wise and good God, in the course of six months and 
a few days, to deprive me of two l friends who were 
equally distinguished for their genius and piety. Oh, 
that the warning voice may not be sounded in vain ! " 

Twenty years after making the record quoted 
above, this dear friend, with whom my mother's 
memory seemed always fresh, wrote to Mrs. Curson 
as follows, of a religious service in which she had 
been greatly interested: "The text chosen was that 
beautiful and affecting passage which my beloved 
Mary White told me, only a few hours before she 
passed from earth to heaven, was more precious to 
her than any other: 'I pray not for these alone, 
but for all those who, through them, shall believe 
on my word.'" 

This passage of Scripture has been associated with 
my mother in my mind all my life, for although I 
learned first from Miss Bromfield's journal of its hav- 
ing been upon her Lips during her last hours, I was 

1 Miss Ann Lowell died in December, 1810. 



early told that it was her favourite. Of the Epis- 
tles, that to the Ephesians was her preference. 

I have now before me papers left by my mother's 
devoted friend Fanny Searle, marked by her, " Writ- 
ten at the time of Mrs. White's death." This heart- 
felt tribute of affection deserves a place here. 

"Sunday, June 30th, 1811. Why have I omitted 
to write so long when I have had so many subjects 
of interest ? Why have I not, in this way, aided my 
memory during the illness of my dear friend ? I have 
witnessed her gradual decay till, from horror at the 
thought of her death, I became reconciled to, and 
even wished it. I have listened to and looked at her 
with admiration and love, yet I have not preserved, 
as I might, the recollection of all she has said, and 
when shall I see any one like her? never, I be- 
lieve, in this world. Oh, that I may so pass through 
this life that I may meet her in a future ! If any one 
is fitted on earth to join the spirits of the blessed, 
it is herself. Her piety, her purity, her delicacy, re- 
finement, and elevation of mind, have fitted her for 
a far more perfect and exalted state of being. Through 
the merits of her Redeemer, she joyfully committed 
herself into the hands of her Heavenly Father. How 
consoling such a death ! " 

"July llth. 

"Spirit of Resignation! cheer my soul, 
And teach me through life's pilgrimage to rove 
With cheerfulness and animated joy, 



Such as the Christian, social, state demands. 

Oh, that no selfish, no excessive grief, 

May steel my heart to others' joy or woe, 

Make me unmindful of remaining good, 

Or useless to my friends ! May the vain thought 

That no one, now, has such sweet love for me, 

That none has power now to charm like her, 

Never too far enthrall and hold my mind ! 

The hour of solitude alone may claim 

These recollections, these dear thoughts of thee. 

Then may I think thy virtues o'er and o'er, 

How pure, angelic, and heaven-taught thy mind, 

How full of grace and loveliness thy life, 

How every look and action, like thyself 

With winning sweetness, drew our hearts to thee ! 

Who, like thee, in the bold defence of truth, 

Feared not to argue in its sacred cause, 

Convincing the gainsay er! Who like thee, 

Still timid and distrustful of thyself, 

When no such cause aroused thee ! Who, like thee, 

So meek, yet eloquent, so firm though mild, 

So ardent in another's interests, 

Yet, in thine own so patient, so resigned ! 

No ! thine ethereal spirit here on earth 

We shall not see again. In memory's eye, 

May thy still cherished image lead us on 

(Those who were favoured with its transient view) 

To emulate, and, distant, follow thee ! 

May solitary musings on thy worth 

Fit me to act my destined part on earth, 

And train me for that heaven where thou art gone ! 

Oh, that my trials here may end in that, 

A blessed union, an eternal rest, 

Through that Redeemer to whose saving love 

Thou didst commend thyself and slept in Him ! " 



Some years since, my dear friend, Cousin Sarah 
Searle, who was specially devoted to my sister and 
myself when, soon after our mother's death, we were 
under her mother's roof, at my request sent me the 
following recollections of my mother. 

"You ask me to embody in language my recol- 
lections of your beautiful mother, and I will try to 
do it. I was a timid young girl, perhaps twelve years 
of age, when she came to reside in Newburyport. 
My elder sisters, who were companions of your fa- 
ther, were very glad of the addition to their society 
which her marriage gave them. They met frequently, 
and I often saw them together. I remember dis- 
tinctly her person and countenance, their extreme 
delicacy and refinement ; only a thin veil of the spirit 
they presented to the eye, conveying a sense of the 
most gentle dignity, exciting respect, delight, and 
love. Her voice was charming to me, affecting me 
like sweet and tender strains of music. When I went 
of errands for my sisters to her house, she would 
make me come in, and sit down with her, and she 
would talk with me, which seemed great honour con- 
ferred upon me. I remember her saying that she 
thought the sense of smell more allied to the spirit- 
ual than the other senses. She was, at the time, offer- 
ing me a honeysuckle from a vine which grew at her 
door. She spoke to me of Rogers' 'Pleasures of Mem- 
ory, 'and read to me some extracts she had taken from 
it. She tried to elicit and feed any love of the beau- 



tiful she might find in me. She seemed to me like 
my then idea of an angelic being." 

Margaret Searle wrote at that time to her cousin, 
Mrs. Edmund Dwight, as follows: 

" I cannot speak of Mrs. White as I ought. I have 
ever thought her as much like an angel as any spirit 
clothed in flesh could be." 

These memorials of my mother, written when her 
presence was but just withdrawn, by those who were 
with her during her life on earth, are of great value. 

The following notice of my mother was written 
for the " Port-Folio," a magazine of that period, and 
appeared in the Newburyport newspaper on the day 
of her burial. I have never been told by whom it was 


"Died in Newburyport, Mrs. Mary White, wife 
of the Hon ble Daniel Appleton White, aged 30 years. 

'"Oh, 't is well with her, 

But who knows what the coining hour, 
Veiled in thick darkness, brings to us.' 

" It is the solace and support of Christians, amid 
the gloom and the depravities of life, that their Divine 
Master has, indeed, never left Himself without a wit- 
ness. His blessed promise, 'Lo, I am with you al- 



way,' is never forgotten ; and some pure and spotless 
spirit has still been permitted to hover on earth, to 
remind us of our relation to Heaven, to instruct us 
by its virtues how to act, to teach us, by its sorrows, 
how we should suffer, and, at length, entwining round 
our hearts the golden and silken cords of piety and 
love, to draw us, in the still 'lingering light of its 
upward track,' to its own blissful mansions of virtue 
and repose! 

"When such an one goes before us, it is impos- 
sible to speak what we feel; to describe our own 
sense of the loss, or to give others an idea of its 
poignancy. Yet is it proper and fit, that those who 
loved Mrs. White as fondly as ourselves, should share 
our sympathy; and that those who knew her not 
should be told of the inspired talents, the refined 
and trembling sensibility, the mild, silent, and ele- 
vated virtues which bless and embalm her memory. 

"A mind of brilliant and commanding genius 
united its expression in her features with that of 
feelings ardent, chastened, and sublime. Her coun- 
tenance, indeed, discovered something so unobtru- 
sively interesting, so unearthly, so spiritual, that we 
could only regard it as an image of the impress of 
God on the soul, when it first came forth on the 
morning of creation, lovely, meek, and amiable, from 
the hands of its Maker. Her society and her writings 
breathed the purest spirit of piety, of benevolence, 
and religion. These, indeed, were her Muses. They 
inspired her conversation as they animated her life; 



and she never approached the sacred ground on 
which they dwelt, without an expansion of mind, 
and an elevation of language. I knew her once when 
her spirit was buoyant as the breath of summer, joy- 
ous, animated, and sportive as the visions of youth- 
ful fancy; when light and happiness were scattered 
in her path; when she appeared only to cheer, to 
console, and to bless ; when her life was a constant 
scene of active usefulness; when her gentle spirit 
flew out to meet the mourner, and her 'bountiful 
hand scattered food to the hungry, and raiment to 
the naked.' I knew her, too, when, as if to show 
that the heart is sometimes permitted, even here, 
to shine forth in all its moral sublimity and grandeur, 
the hand of God was laid heavily upon her, and her 
languishing body seemed sinking to earth, as it w r ere 
to exhibit, in broader and fairer light, the purged 
sanctity of her soaring and celestial spirit. Her eyes, 
beaming with that hallowed splendour which some- 
times irradiates them before they are to close for- 
ever, seemed fixed on the smiles of her Saviour, and 
her soul bending before the footstool of her God. 
One would almost have thought her shadowy form 
that 'incorruptible body which is destined to be the 
soul's last covering.' 

"May that gracious Being who is the Wisdom of 
God, and the Power of God, who was Himself once 
on earth to bear our sorrows, and expiate our sins, 
support the heart-broken mourners under the dispen- 
sation which has taken her to Himself. May He bind 



up where He has bruised, may He heal where He 
has smitten, and pour balm where He has wounded ! 

' Oh, from her sorrows may we learn to live, 
Oh, from her triumphs may we learn to die!'" 

My mother's grave is in the Newburyport Cem- 
etery. On her gravestone are inscribed the follow- 
ing words: 

"The charm of genius, taste, tenderness, 
And sweetest piety, all was thine." 

I find this inscription written on a page in my 
father's handwriting of that period, followed by lines 
which are so appropriate that I copy them here. 

"Farewell, pure spirit! Vain the praise we give, 

The praise you sought from lips angelic flows; 
Farewell! the virtues which deserve to live 
Deserve an ampler bliss than life bestows." 

"Each pensive hour shall thee restore, 

For thee the tear be duly shed ; 
Beloved till life can charm no more, 
And mourned till pity's self be dead.' 

My mother's many friends mourned, as long as 
they lived, her early departure. To my grandmother, 
that event "left a void in the affections which could 
only be filled by reunion with her in another world." 
Mrs. Rapallo, in writing to me, says: "I saw your 
grandmother only once after your mother's death. 
She was at your father's in Newburyport. She had 



long been accustomed to sorrow. She seemed calm 
and tranquil. She said the last tie that bound her to 
earth was now broken, and she had only to wait." 
Ten years she waited, her days a fulfilment of Fa- 
ber's prayer: 

"O Lord! that I could waste my life for others, 

With no ends of my own ! " 


She died November 26th, 1821, aged seventy-one 
years. She knew " labour and sorrow," but, with her 
firm religious belief, "earthly care was heavenly 
discipline," and "chastening," however "grievous," 
yielded, at once, "the peaceable fruits of righteous- 
ness." Thus was a life ennobled which, in many of 
its details, seemed to her friends unsuited to one of 
her refined and intellectual tastes. 

I now close this record, as I began it, with the feel- 
ing that her memory, and that of her gifted daugh- 
ter, deserve to be held in affectionate reverence by 
their descendants to the latest generation. 




DR. JOSIAH WILDER was fourth in descent from Thomas 
Wilder, who came from England in 1638, and settled first 
in Hingham, Massachusetts, where he was made freeman in 1641, 
was living in Charlestown in 1651, removed to Lancaster, Mas- 
sachusetts, in 1654, and died in 1667. He had three sons, Thomas, 
John, and Nathaniel. His son Thomas was born in 1644, and died 
in 1717. He married Mary Houghton, June 20, 1668. His oldest 
child, as far as known, was born in 1680. It is not improbable 
that he lost children in the Indian massacres ; the troublous times 
prevented the preservation of town records until the beginning 
of the next century. Very little is known of him during or after 
the war. There are indications that he fortified his house, and 
made it a place of protection from the Indians for other families. 
He had two sons, James and Joseph. The former, Colonel James 
Wilder, married Abigail Gardner, daughter of Andrew Gardner, 
Esq., of Lancaster, October 20, 1709, and died in 1739. He had 
two sons, James and Gardner. James (also a colonel) was born in 
1711, married Martha Broughton, and died in 1 774. He had three 
sons, James, Josiah, and Asaph, and a daughter, who married 
Dr. Prescott, of Keene. Josiah, born in 1744, married Mary, or 
Polly, Flagg, August 28, 1 774, and was the father of Mary Wilder. 


IN the "History of Augusta, Maine," by Hon. James W. North, 
a genealogy of the Flagg family is given, from which the fol- 
lowing details are taken. The name was spelled Flegg in Eng- 
land, and for eighty years after they came to America. 

The earliest English ancestor who is known with certainty, 
William Flegg, died in 1426. His son Thomas, who died in 1471, 
had a son William Flegg, of Swafield, Norfolk County, who was 



living in 1521 ; he had a son Richard, of Shipdham, whose will 
was proved in 1587. Richard's son John, of Whinbergh and Ed- 
ling's Close in Yaxham, died in 1617, and his will was proved in 
Norwich. His son Bartholomew, of Whinbergh andShipdham, Nor- 
folk County, had a son Thomas, baptized at Whinbergh in 1615, 
who came to America in 1637 with Richard Carver, on the Rose, 
or the John and Dorothy, and settled at Watertown, Massachu- 
setts. He is said to have come from Scratby, in the Hundred of 
East Flegg, Norfolk County. His son, Lieutenant Gershom Flagg, 
was born April 6, 1641, lived in Woburn, and married Hannah 
Leppingwell, or Lepenwell, April 5, 1668. He was killed by In- 
dians at Lamprey River, July 6, 1690. His third son, John, was 
born May 27, 1673. He married Abiah Kornic, and died in 1732. 
In 1717 he owned an estate on Hanover Street, Boston, where 
the American House now stands, which he bequeathed to his son 
Gershom, who was born in 1 705, and married Hannah Pitson in 
1 737. (She was the daughter of James and Hannah Pitson, was 
bom in 1711 in England, and came to this country with her par- 
ents in 1714. There were Pitsons in Guilford, County Surrey, and 
they may have come from that town. James Pitson, born in 1683, 
died April 10, 1739. His wife, born in 1688, died February 28, 
1749. They were buried in the old Granary Burying-ground.) 
Gershom and Hannah Flagg had seven children, of whom Mary, 
or Polly, was the sixth. She married Dr. Josiah Wilder in 1774, 
and their daughter Mary, born in 1780, married Daniel Appleton 
White, May 24, 1807. 


DANIEL APPLETON WHITE was bora in Methuen, Mas- 
sachusetts, June 7, 1 776, and died in Salem, March 30, 1 86 1. 
His ancestor, William White, born in 1610, came to this country 
from Haverhill, Norfolk County, England, in 1635. He settled 
first in Ipswich, then in Newbury, and finally in Haverhill, all 
in Massachusetts, and died September 28, 1690. John White, his 
only son, married Hannah French, of Salem, November 25, 1662, 



and died in 1668, at the age of twenty-nine years. His only son, 
Captain John White, was born in 1663-4. He married Lydia Oil- 
man, of Exeter, New Hampshire, October 26, 1687, and died 
November 20, 1727. He had fourteen children, one of whom, 
Timothy, graduated at Harvard College in 1720. His fourth child, 
Deacon William White (also a captain), was born January 18, 
1693-4; he married in Boston, June 12, 1716, Sarah, daughter 
of Samuel and Mary (Emerson) Phillips, of Salem, and great- 
granddaughter of Rev. George Phillips, of Watertown ; he died 
December 1 1, 1737. His son John was born February 7, 1719-20; 
he removed to Methuen about 1772, where he had a farm of 
three hundred acres, between the Spicket and Merrimac rivers, 
now in the centre of the city of Lawrence, and died July 11, 
1800. He was twice married: first to Mrs. Miriam Hazen, by 
whom he had six children ; and on February 1 8, 1 767, to Eliza- 
beth Haynes, herself one of a family of twenty-one children. She 
had eleven children, of whom Daniel was the fifth. 

Five of his ancestors, Samuel Appleton, Thomas Emerson, Ed- 
ward Oilman, Samuel Symonds, and William White, were among 
the first settlers of Ipswich. 


SHERLOCK, Enlightens and convinces the reason. Massil- 
lon, Penetrates the heart, and elevates the affections. S. 
Clarke, Elucidates the obscurities of Scripture. Fenelon's dem- 
onstration of the existence and attributes of God delightfully sat- 
isfactory to the reason and the heart. His reflexions useful to 
every Christian. Witherspoon, Watson, Wilberforce, Fuller, Watts, 
Baxter, Doddridge, Necker, Lyttelton, Miss More, Mrs. Cha- 
pone, Gisborne, Mrs. Rowe, Paley, Johnson, Blair, Hervey, Bar- 
bauld, Clarke, Gilpin's "Exposition," Pascal's "Thoughts," Sau- 
rin, Mason. Two treatises on the Sacrament of the Supper, " The 
Practice of Piety," John Newton's Letters, miscellaneous ser- 



mons, and small tracts of divinity, Fordyce, Wilkes, "The Gos- 
pel Its Own Witness," Francis Xavier, Hunter's "Sacred Biog- 
raphy," in part. 

Millot's "Elements of General History," Robertson's "History 
of Charles Fifth," Hume's " History of England," in part, Gold- 
smith's "History of England," " Peter the Great," "Charles 
Twelfth," by Voltaire, Echard's "Roman History," "History of 
France," H. Adams' " History of New England," Hutchinson's 
"History of Massachusetts," Robertson's "History of South 
America," "American Revolution." 

Moore's "Travels through France, Germany, etc.," Brydone's 
"Travels in Sicily and Malta," Smollett's "Travels through France 
and Italy," Montagu's "Travels in the East," Bruce's "Travels 
in Africa," Denon's "Travels in Egypt," Mariette's " Travels 
through Syria and Palestine," Moritz' "Travels through England 
and Wales," Akenside's "Tour to the Lakes," Ratcliffe's Travels, 
Brissot's "Travels through America," Cook's Voyages, La Pe- 
rouse's Voyages. 

"Rambler," "Spectator," "Guardian," "Tatler," "Idler," 
"Lounger," "Mirror," "Adventurer," "World." 

Buffon's "Natural History, Abridged," Goldsmith's "Animated 
Nature," in part, Steele's Works, Cicero's Orations and Epistles, 
Pliny's Epistles, Mrs. Barbauld's Poems and Hymns, Miss Sew- 
ard's Poems, Ossian, Johnson's Poems on various subjects, Prior's 
Poems, etc., Dryden's Poems, Armstrong, Somerville, Milton's 
"Paradise Lost" and "Paradise Regained," "Comus," " Samson," 
and smaller poems, Shakespeare's Plays, Young's " Night 
Thoughts," Tragedies, and Poems, Pope's Works, Thomson's 
"Seasons" and Tragedies, Cowper's "Task," Poems, and Letters. 

In French, Voltaire's and Racine's Tragedies, Boileau's Sat- 
ires, Moliere's Plays, Helvetius' Poems and Epistles, Poems of 
De Lisle, Works of Florian, Fenelon's "Telemaque" and Dia- 
logues, etc., Rousseau's "Emilius," and "Eloisa" (also in English), 
Works of Madame de Genlis (also in English), Saint- Pierre. 

Akenside's "Pleasures of Imagination," Rogers' "Pleasures of 



Memory/' Campbell's "Pleasures of Hope," Merry's "Pains of 
Memory/' the Works of Addison, Knox, Gray, and Swift, the 
Poems of Churchill, Chatterton, Collins, Cowley, and Spenser. 

This list is evidently incomplete, no English novels or biographies be- 
ing included in it, but is of interest as showing, to some extent, what 
books were accessible to women at that period, and read by them. Miss 
Austen's and Sir Walter Scott's novels were not published till after her 



AFFECTION, fraternal, 107, 209 
Amazons, women neither babies 

nor, 123 

Ames, Fisher, death of, 325 
Andre, quotation from, 183 
Angels, guardian, doctrine of, 

Anthology, the Monthly, 186; 

contributions to, 187-191; 

references to, 254, 256 
Arminius, doctrines of, 1 69, 170 
Army, English, in Egypt, 162 
Ashmun, Mr., 353, 356, 358, 

359, 362 
Atherton, Salla, 73, 125, 153, 

154, 181; letter to, 74 
Atkins, Becky, 314, 315, 317, 

318, 377 
Atkins, Madam, 312, 314, 315, 

317, 318 
Augusta, North's History of, 

246, 391 
Augustine, St., quotation from, 


Authoress, difficulties of, 203 
Autumn, beauty of, 127, 197, 


BAINBRIDGE, battle of, 87 
Balls, 25, 161, 193, 341 
Bancroft, Dr., 20 

Barbary, powers of, 42 

Barbauld, Mrs., Life of Richard- 
son by, 211 

Basset, Captain, 47 

Beattie, Life of, 318 

Belisarius, song about, 19 

Bermudas, dangerous, 47 

Bernard, style of acting of, 1 63 

Bethlehem, Penn. (see Moravi- 
ans, the), 97, 152, 210, 269 

Bible, value of the, 174, 175 

Bidwell, Mr., 347 

Bigelow, Eliza, letter to, 24 

Bigelow, Mrs. Elizabeth, 6, 35 

Bigelow, Dr. Jacob, 6, 23, 24, 
35, 36, 363, 364 

Bigelow, Rev. Jacob, 6 

Blanchet, Dureste, 26, 27; 
letters from, 36, 37; letters 
to, 32, 33 

Blanchet, M., 87 

Boisaubin, Baron Van Schalk- 
wyck de, 27; letter from, 28 

B te, Empress, 347 

Bonaparte, Napoleon, 213 

Bonnet, book by, 214 

Bonnet, a green, 346 

Books, list of, 393 

Boswell, 347 

Botany, religious influence of, 



Boyd, Mark, "Reminiscences" Channing, Rev. William Ellery, 

of, 96 

182, 218, 347, 355, 357, 359 

Bromfield, Ann, description of, Charity, woman's duty concern- 
98, 99; letter from, 312; ing, 231 

letters to, 100, 124, 127, Chapone, Mrs., letters of, 14 

138, 143, 146, 147, 148, l6l, Cheverus, M. De, 38, 39 

164, 176, 179, 196, 199, 208, Choate, Captain, 70, 79, 81 

21 1, 218, 219, 225, 233, 235, Chocolate, bring, 357 

248, 256, 262, 297, 343, 346 ; Church, Chauncy Place, 1 1 5 

mention of, 195, 311; ac- Church, First, 1 1 5 

count of Mrs. White's last Church, ruins of, in Guadeloupe, 

hours, 379-381 


Bromfield, Henry, house of, 7, Clark, Samuel, letter to, 52 

98 Coaster, send furniture by, 306, 
Bromfield, John, 100 308, 310 

Bromfield, Mrs. John, 99, 147, Company, the Plymouth, 7 

311, 374 
Brooks, Mr., 364 
Bruce, poem by, 233 

Communion, Holy, 123, 150, 

178, 217, 302, 305 
Conversation, value of, 145 

Buckminster, Rev. Joseph Ste- Cooke, George Frederick, act- 

vens, 200, 201 
Burrell, Miss, 20 

ing of, 352, 355, 356, 357 
Cooper, acting of, 212, 220 

Burying-ground, old Granary, Correspondence, advantages of, 


CALLENDER, Lydia, 5 
Calvin, John, doctrines of, 169 
Campbell, "Travels" by, 217 
Centinel, the Columbian, 39, 

83, 84, 311 
Chad wick, Captain, 75 

134, 165, 183; with men, 

109, 149 
Courcelle, Madame Sophie, 44, 

62, 65, 68, 72, 91 5 letter 

from, 39 
Courcelle, M., 38, 40, 41, 44, 

46, 50, 61, 62, 63, 65, 66, 

68, 70, 71 
Coutoute, Mile., 62, 68, 91 

Channing, Francis, 182, 230, Cowper, Wm., on his mother's 

Channing, Miss, 206 

picture, 1 39 ; on winter, 1 60 ; 
175; Life of, 191 



Criticism, Kames' essay on, 1 22 EGYPT, Denon's tour in Upper, 
Cruiselly, Madame, 50 
Curson, Mrs. Margaret (see 

Searle, Margaret), 317, 318, 

381 ; letters from, 318, 319, 

324, 385 

DANA, Mr. S., in procession, 

Dancing, modern, agility not 

grace, 341 
Darwin, Dr. Erasmus, poem of, 


Dead, prayer for the, 170 
Death, on, 100, 101, 102, 11 6, 


192, 235, 237, 241, 255 
Delgres, mulatto leader, 85, 87 
Democrats, the, 322, 344, 345, 

347, 352, 353, 356, 362, 363 
Denon, tour in Egypt by, 162 
Desbordes-Valmore, Madame, 

Desert, passage of English army 

over, 162 

Dexter, Mr., 177, 325 
Drew, philosophy of, 223 
Driving, on the art of, 126 
Duties, Gisborne's Female, 1 22 
Dutton, Mr., 367 
Dwight, Mrs. Edmund (see 

Eliot, M. H.), 317, 334; 

letters to, 318, 324, 332, 385 
Dwight, Mary (see Howard, 

Mrs. John), 358 


Eliot, Eliza (see Guild, Mrs. 
Eliza), 358 

Eliot, Mary Harrison (see 
Dwight, Mrs. Edmund), 317, 
334; letters to, 318, 324, 
332, 385 

Eliot, Mrs. Samuel, 313, 334, 

Elm, a golden, 219 

Embargo, Guadeloupe, 5 1 ; 
Massachusetts, 326 

Emerson, Charles, 118 

Emerson, Mary Moody, de- 
scription of, 113; mention of, 
112, 113, 165, 186,208,209, 
21 1, 212, 232, 242, 243, 244, 
245, 249, 258, 262, 269, 274, 
278, 356, 366, 369, 371; 
sketch of life, 114-117; says 
of herself, 117; letters from, 
245, 279, 372, 373 ; letters 
to, 120, 128, 158, 223 

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 114, 
115, 117 

Emerson, Rev. William, 114, 
1 85, 1 86, 356, 371, 372, 373, 
374; letter to, 186 

England, anticipated war with, 

England, Goldsmith's History 
of, 172 

England, Moritz' Travels 
through, 179 



"Estelle," Florian's, 135 
Eugenia, signature of, 121 
Euler, the ideas of, 213 

, James, 5; portrait of, 


Flagg, Mary or Polly (see 

Kurd, Mrs. Polly) 
Florian, works of, 1 35, 1 36 
FAITH, on, 232, 245, 256, 257, Foote, Mrs. Mary Wilder (see 

277, 286, 329, 331 
FalstafF, Cooke acting, 356 
Farnham, Louisa, 263 
Farnham, Mrs., 237, 238, 242, 
243, 244, 255, 256, 263, 281, 

Farrar, Mr., 283 
Fashion, follies of, 136 
Fast-day, writing on, 295 
Fay, Mr. and Mrs., 365 
Federalists, the, 352, 353, 358 
Feke, Robert, portraits by, 8 
Fenelon, 201 ; quotation from, 


Fever, yellow, 53, 67, 95, 96 
Fires, incendiary, in Guade- 
loupe, 86, 90, 91 
Fire, the Newburyport, 376- 


Fisher, Dr., 275 
Flagg, Elizabeth (see Bigelow, 

Mrs. Elizabeth), 6, 35 
Flagg, Gershom, 7, 8, 36; por- 
trait of, 320 

Flagg, Grizzel Apthorp (see 
Gould, Mrs. G. A. F.), 2, 6, 
7, 347; letters from, 2, 10 

White, Mary W.), 57, 153, 

349, 354 

Foote, Rev. Henry Wilder, 57 
Fortune, on a friend's accession 

of, 224 
France, troops from, expected, 

63 ; arrived, 69, 76 
French, traits of the, 72, 75, 76, 

77, 214 
French, translations from the, 

Friend, defence of an absent, 

Friends, reunion of, 171, 176, 

216, 268 
Friendship, on, 120, 129, 130, 

132, 153, 171, 176, 192,248 
Frink, Isabella (see White, Mrs. 

Hazen), 354 
Frisbie, Professor Levi, 103- 

106, 145, 146, 222, 226,228, 

232, 268; character of, 104- 

106; letter from, 269; letter 

to, 106 

GARDEN, the Atkins, 3 1 4, 3 1 7, 

Flagg, Hannah (Pitson), 8, 9, Gazette, the Salem, 376 

10; letter from, 9 

Genealogy, Flagg, 391 


Genealogy, White, 392 
Genealogy, Wilder, 391 
Generosity, mistaken, 137 
Gessner, Salomon, 133 
Gift, the Mother's, 14 
Gisborne, "Female Duties" by, 


Godwin, the novelist, 122 
Goldsmith, History by, 1 72 
Gore, Mr., 267, 364 
Gorham, Mrs. Susan C. L. (see 

Lowell, Susan Cabot) 
Gorham, Mr., 367 
Gospel, St. John's, 171, 172, 

173, 174 

Gould, Captain Benjamin, 6 
Gould, Benjamin Apthorp, 6, 


Gould, E., visit from, 1 85 
Gould, Mrs. Grizzel Apthorp 

Flagg, 2, 6, 7, 347 ; letters 

from, 2, 10 

Gould, Hannah Flagg, 7, 
Governor, speech of, 358 
Grammar, Martin's Philosophi- 
cal, 217 
Grant, Mrs. Anne (of Laggan), 

334, 339 

Greenleaf, Colonel, 328 
Greenleaf, Mrs., 328, 374 
Guadeloupe, 29 ; voyage to, 45- 

49; insurrection, 45, 50-52; 

plot of negroes, 62, 63, 64; 

struggles between French 

troops and negroes, 85-87; 

return from, 94, 97 ; Histoire 
de, 50, 87 

Guild, Mrs. Eliza (see Eliot, 
Eliza), 358 

H., Miss, 148 
Hamlet, Cooper as, 220 
Happiness, rare but wholesome, 

Harrington, Rev. Mr., baptized 

by, 13 
Harris, Rev. Thaddeus Mason, 


Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 125 
Hayley, Life of Cowper by, 191 
Health, value of, 142, 273, 295 
Helvetius, 171, 183 
Higginson, Miss, 168 
Hill, Elm, 73, 126, 159 
Hoar, Elizabeth, 108, 1 12, 1 14, 


Hoar, Samuel, 108, 220, 225 
Holidays, nature's three, 340 
Holland, Captain, 92 
Hospital, a Boston, 365 
Hospital, Val de Grace, 95 
Hotel, Byfield, 360 
Hotel, Topsfield, 361 
House-furnishing, 298, 299, 


House, State or Province, 365 
Howard, Mrs. John (see 

Dwight, Mary), 358 
Howard, Rev. Dr., 112 
Hurd, Benjamin, 1 7, 233, 235 ; 



illness, 248, 249; death, 252, 
255-257 ; letters to, 213, 215 

Hurd, Betsy, 16; illness, 229- 
234; death, 234-237 

Kurd, Grace, 171, 247; letter 
to, 101 

Hurd, Dr. Isaac, 15, 17, 18, 
36, 97, 159, 208, 240, 288, 
374, 378 

Hurd, Isaac, 17, 34, 36, 46, 82, 

Hurd, Jno., 310 

Hurd, Joseph, 1 8 

Hurd, Joseph, 305 

Hurd, Mrs. Polly, birth, 5, 
youth, 1 1 ; poems by, 11-13; 
marriage to Dr. Wilder, 1 ; 
children, 1 ; marriage to Dr. 
Hurd, 15; character, 2, 15- 
18, 335; prayer by, 157; 
death of, 389; letters from, 
13, 79, 159, 240, 247, 276, 
320, 322, 326, 327, 335, 336, 
337, 343, 344, 347, 348, 366, 
373, 374; letters to, 14, 45, 
47, 51, 60, 64, 66, 69, 71, 
75, 76, 84, 90, 91 

Hurd, Ruth, 18, 19; engage- 
ment, 239; letter from, 200; 
letters to, 21, 31, 134, 144, 
222, 227, 230, 234, 246, 257, 
322, 341 

Hurd, Sally, 16, 323, 335; last 

illness, 336; death, 337; 

letters from, 44, 163, 247 
Hurd, Thomas, 347 
Hurd, Thompson, 16 

I AGO, Cooke as, 352 

Ignace, mulatto leader, 84, 87 

Imagination, dangers of the, 

189, 230 
Immortality, 100, 176, 187, 

192, 216, 221, 222, 223, 234, 

236, 241, 261, 268, 293, 329, 

331, 336, 382, 383 
Introduction, xvii-xx. 
"Italian," novel called the, 141 

JACKSON, Dr. James, 339, 364 

Jackson, Miss, 333 

Jackson, Mr., 367 

Jefferson, President, 82 

Jenks, Miss, message to blue- 
eyed, 185 

Jones, Mrs., ingenuous simplic- 
ity of, 227 

Johnson, Boswell's Life of, 280, 

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 159, 191, 
266; his "Rasselas," 265; 
letter to his mother, 348 

Journal, is it well to keep a, 173 

Journals, 154-156, 168-174, 
204, 217, 218, 241, 242, 244, 
249, 250, 251, 258, 259 



KAMES, essay on Criticism by, Leighton, Miss (see Lee, Mrs. 

Elizabeth), 128 
Letter- writing, 134, 149, 183 
Library, the Boston, 147 
Life, uniformity of, 207 
Lounger, the, 147, 150 
Lowell, Anna Cabot, 167, 168, 
177, 203, 209, 333, 338, 339, 
347, 359, 381; poems by, 

Lowell, Judge, 167 
Lowell, Mr., 367 
Lowell, Susan Cabot (see Gor- 
ham, Mrs. Susan C. Lowell), 
147,150,166,167, 195,197, 
199, 347; letters to, 166, 
197, 203, 207, 209, 212, 216, 
218, 220, 226, 227, 229, 232, 
233, 234, 236, 237, 238, 239, 
244, 245, 248, 252, 257, 323 
Lowell, Mrs. Susan Cabot, 167 
Lyman, Mr., 41 
Lyttelton, Lord, book by, 214 

King Richard, Cooper as, 220; 

Cooke as, 356 
Klopstock, Mrs., 211 
Klopstock, 147, 211 
Knapp, Mr., 145 
Knight, Betty, 17, 284 
Kotzebue, quotation from, 340 

LACOUR, "Histoire de Guade- 
loupe" by, 50, 87 

Lacrosse, General, 40, 46, 50, 

Lambert, Madame (see Marci- 
lius, Madame Lambert), 76, 

Lancaster, charms of, 183 

Landeville, M. and Madame, 
51, 52 

Lavater, quotation from, 285, 

Lawrence, Miss, praise of, 1 84 ; 
mention of, 269 

Lee, Captain, message to, 151 

Lee, Mrs. Elizabeth, 128, 131, 
138, 143; letters from, 133, 
on society, 139, 213; letters 
to, 132, 135, 137, 142, 143, 
150, 162, 181, 198, 206, 213, 

Lee, Mrs. Henry, 339 

Lee, Mr., 356 

Lee, Thomas, 143, 144 

MAHOMET, on the sense of 
smell, 184 

Maitland, General Frederic, 96 

Manse, the Old, 125 

Marcilius, Madame Lambert 
(see Madame Lambert), 76, 

Martin, "Philosophical Gram- 
mar" by, 217 

Massillon, quotation from, 155 



Mead, Rev. Mr., 14 
Medici, Lorenzo di, Roscoe's 
Life of, 141 

Nature, Studies of, 247 
Navigateur, Gessner's Premier, 

Melancholy, on the fault of Newton, Letters of John, 172 

indulging, 106, 146, 221 
Memory, Rogers' Pleasures of, 


Merrick, Mr., 344, 345 
Merrick, Mrs., 344 
"Messiah," Klopstock's, 147 
Metaphysics, Miss Emerson's 

love of, 119, 223 
Milton, John, "Paradise Lost" 
by, 114; religious teaching 
of, 174, 175 
Minot, Stephen, house sold by, 


"Minstrel," Beattie's, 319 
Minstrel, Lay of the Last, 

praise of, 248 
Money, on love of, 160 
Montesquieu, words on sensibil- 
ity by, 226 

Moonlight evening, 139, 141 
Montgomery, James, poems by, 

254, 256 

Moravians, on the, 97, 1 52, 21 
Morning, on the early? 180, 183 
Morton, P., to be Attorney- 
General, 347 

N., accusation of, 131 
Nash, Mr., 350, 362, 363 
Nature, love of, 127, 134, 189, 
190, 197 

Newton, Mrs. Susan (Tyng), 

313, 314, 320 
New Year, resolutions for the, 

Niagara, Miss Emerson's letter 

about, 245 
North, James W., History of 

Augusta by, 246, 291 
North, Mrs. Hannah (Flagg), 

5, 245, 246 

North, General William, 246 
Norton, Professor Andrews, 

letter to, by D. A. White, 


OSSIAN, on the beauties of, 138, 

Othello, Cooper as, 220 

P., Mary, improvement in, 227 

P., Mr., different opinions con- 
cerning, 195 

Paine, Mrs., house bought by, 

Parker, Mr., 321 

Parsons, Mr., 321 

"Paradise Lost" read by Miss 
Emerson, 114 

Pelage, Magloire, 46, 50, 51, 
62, 64, 78, 88 

Phillips, Madam, 283 



Phillips, William, 364, 366 
Pickering, Mr., 269 
Pickering, Senator, 353, 362 
Pickman, Mr., 362, 363 
Pitson, Hannah, 8, 392 
Pitson, Hannah (see Flagg, 

Hannah Pitson), 8, 9, 10, 


Pitson, James, 8, 392 
Poets, devotional influence of 

the, 175 
Poets, Johnson's Lives of the, 

Politeness, benevolence allied 

with, 228 
Popkin, Rev. John Snelling, 

264, 273 
Port-Folio, obituary of Mrs. 

White in the, 385-388 
Portraits, the Flagg, 8, 11, 320 
Poverty, on relief of, 231 
Pownal, Governor, 7 
Prayer, 169, 229, 257, 351 
Prayer for the dead, 1 70 
Prayer, intercessory, 229 
Prayers, 58, 156, 204, 250, 

259; by Mrs. Hurd, 157 
Prayer-book, Church of Eng- 
land, use of, 172 
Prescott, Mr., 367 
Providence, a directing, 172, 

173, 343; a protecting, 32, 

192, 280, 323 
Pythagoras, system of, 206 

RADCLIFFE, Mrs., novels of, 23, 

Rapallo, Mrs., reminiscences by, 

4,5,7,10,15,26, 38,43,94, 

"Rasselas," the beauties and 

merits of, 265, 266 
Ratcliffe, Dr., his opinion of 

colds, 287 

Red-breast, to protect the, 1 80 
Renard, M., hospitality of, 68 
Repertory, the, 150 
Richardson, Mrs. Barbauld's 

Life of, 211 
Richebois, M., 6l, 71 
Richepance, General, 77, 84, 

85, 86, 96 

Rio Janiero, yellow fever at, 82 
Ripley, Daniel, 115, 209 
Ripley, Rev. Ezra, 115, 125, 

170, 171, 288, 320, 374; 

letter to, 53-55 
Ripley, Rev. Lincoln, 115 
Ripley, Rev. Samuel, 115 
Ripley, Mrs. Samuel, letters 

from, 118, 119 
Ripley, Sarah, 90, 115, 125, 

208, 209, 263, 269, 277, 298, 

347 ; letter from, to M. Emer- 
son, 243 ; letters to, 126, 183, 


Rising, on the evils of late, 1 69 
Roads, on travelling over bad, 




Roche, Madame De La, 38 
Rockwood, Ebenezer, 107; let- 
ters to, 109, 136, 151, 159, 
193, 195 
Rogers, Abner, 220, 230, 239; 

letter to, 221 

Romance, the Sicilian, 141 
Romane, Madame, visit to, 71 
Roscoe, Life of Lorenzo di 

Medici by, 141 
Russell, James Russell, 167 

S., Mrs., 207 

Sabbath, writing letters on the, 

302, 356, 358 

Saints, communion of, 201, 202 
Saurin, Rev. Jacques, sermon 

on transient devotion, 261 ; 

on the fear of God, 267 
Schalkwyck, Antoine Van, 25, 

26, 27, 28, 37, 38, 39, 80; 

letters from Mary Wilder, 

29; Madame Courcelle, 39; 

Henry Wilder, 41 ; to Henry 

Wilder, 42; marriage, 39; 

death, 60-63 ; obituary, 84 
Schalkwyck, Baron Van, 27; 

letter from, 28 
Schalkwyck, Mrs. Mary Van 

(see White, Mrs. Mary 

Scott, Sir Walter, "Lay of the 

Last Minstrel," 248 
Searle, Catherine (Caty), 318, 

340, 342 

Searle, Fanny, 315, 324, 342, 
377 ; letter from, describing 
Mrs. White, 31 6; letters to, 
335, 339, 382 ; poem by, 382, 

Searle, Lucy, 318 

Searle, Margaret (see Curson, 
Mrs. Margaret), 317, 318, 
381; letter to, 333; letters 
from, 318, 324, 384, 385 

Searle, Mrs., 314, 315, 317 

Sedgwick, Mr., 321 

Selfridge, trial of, 267 

Senate, Massachusetts, a wasp's 
nest, 345 

Senate, President of Massachu- 
setts, 352, 353, 362 

Sensibility, on the value of, 22, 

Serizidt, General, 76, 78, 85, 

SeVigne, Madame de, quotation 
from, 31 

Sewall, Mr., 321 

Shakespeare, characters of, 220, 
354, 357; quotations from, 
151, 177 

Sherlock, sermon by, 171 

Shroud, Mary Emerson's, 117 

Silence, charm of social, 285, 

Simmons, letter to Rev. George 
Frederick, 118 

Simple, David, 183 

Smell, the sense of, 184, 384 



Smith, Miss, Memoir of, 342 
Snow-storm, heavy, 359-362 
Society, follies and defects of, 

136, 139; in Salem, 160; 

Portsmouth, 200 
Socinian, 175, 200 
Soley, Miss, 128, 138 
Solitude, on the advantages of, 

127, 154, 165 

Sorrow, sympathy and, 254 
Spence, Harriot, 318 
Spring, the charms of, 162, 1 80, 

197, 212 
Spy, the British, quotation from, 

Stage-coach, journeys in, 165, 

206, 218 
Stepmother, Mrs. Hurd a 

model, 15, 16, 337 
"St. Leon," Godwin's, 122 
Stuart, Mrs. Bromfield's portrait 

by, 99 

Sullivan, John, 365 
Sullivan, Mr. and Mrs. Richard, 


Sully, great qualities of, 137 
Sunsets, beautiful, 127, 143, 

190, 197, 219, 336 

TERRITORY, beautiful Western, 

Thacher, Mrs. S., good sense of, 

Thatcher, Colonel, 364 

Theatre, on attending the, 163, 

220, 354, 357 

Thompson, Mr., death of, 239 
Thompson, Mrs., loneliness of, 

239 ; death of, 349 
Thomson, James, poems of, 1 60, 


Thoreau, Mrs., 172 
Thorndike, Colonel, 363, 364 
Ticknor, Mrs. George, about 

sitting up for company, 313 
Time, improvement of, 156, 

182, 188 

Times, a Tale of the, 158 
Toppan, Mr., coaster, 308 
Topsfield, night in, 36 1 
Tracy, Mrs. Thomas, 99 (see 

Bromfield, Ann) 
Tree, balm-of-Gilead, 102 
Tronquier, M. and Madame, 49, 

Tyng, Susan (see Newton, Mrs. 

Susan), 313, 314, 320 

UDOLPHO, Mysteries of, 24, 

VACCINATION, five hundred cases 

of, 379 

Vale, Bromley, 167 
Vale, Elm, 116 
Vergnies, Dr., 338, 346, 366, 

Vibert, Captain, 63 



Voltaire, reference to letter by, 

Vose, Mrs., 350 

WAITE, Mrs., 114 
Walker, Mrs. Martha, 26 
Wall-flower, merits of the, 180 
Warren, Dr., 356, 365 
Washington, George, 82, 212 
Waterford, Emerson home in, 

115, 116 

Watson, works of, 214 
Weather, influences of the, 142, 


West, Mrs., novel by, 158 
Whip-poor-will, the, 141 
White, Daniel Appleton, 220, 
242-244, 246, 247, 250, 251, 
253, 258, 319, 320, 322, 324, 
345 ; genealogy of, 392 ; en- 
gagement, 251; marriage, 
311 ; letters from, 253, 259, 
264, 267, 269, 272, 274, 277, 

356, 357, 358, 359, 360, 368, 
369, 370 

White, Harriet, patient sweet- 
ness of, 202 

White, Hazen, 353, 354 

White, Mrs. Hazen (see Frink, 
Isabella), 354 

White, Mrs. Mary Wilder, 
birth, 13; childhood, 13-15, 
18-20; youth, 23-26; en- 
gagement, 26, and marriage 
to Mr. Van Schalkwyck, 39 ; 
voyage to Guadeloupe, 45; 
loss of brother, 53; loss of 
husband, 6l ; fevers, 67, 69, 
91, 198, 274; engagement to 
Daniel Appleton White, 251 ; 
marriage, 311; children, 323, 
334, 349; loss of child, 327; 
illness, 346, etc ; death, 380 ; 
descriptions of, and tributes 
to, 5, 19,28, 154, 316, 324, 

279, 281, 283, 286, 287, 289, White, Elizabeth Amelia, born, 

290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 295, 334; 338, 340, 342 

297, 299, 301, 304, 306, 307, White, Mary Elizabeth, birth, 

309, 320, 325, 329, 330, 350, 323 ; death, 327 

352, 355, 358, 36 1, 362, 363, White, Mary Wilder (see Foote, 

364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, Mrs. Mary Wilder), 57, 153, 

370, 375; letters to, 251, 349, 354 

255, 260, 271, 274, 276, 280, Whiting, Mr., 20 

282, 284, 286, 288, 290, 292, Wilder, Henry, 4, 35, 102, 103, 

294, 296, 298, 300, 302, 303, 107 ; letters from, 34, 35, 41, 

305, 308, 324, 328, 329, 330, 

338, 342, 346, 351, 354, 355, 

45, 52 ; death, 53 ; obituary, 
83; tributes, 55-59 



Wilder, Dr. Josiah, birth, 1 ; 
marriage, 1 ; death, 2 ; char- 
acter of, 2, 3; death of, 3, 
126; genealogy of, 391 

Wilder, Mrs. Josiah (see Hurd, 
Mrs. Polly) 

Wilder, Maiy (see White, Mrs. 
Mary Wilder) 

Winter, severity of, 159, 161 

Wollstonecraft, Mary, 111, 123 

Women, neither Amazons nor 

babies, 123 

Woods, lost in Concord, 238 
Woods, walks in Sudbury, 198 

YEAR, resolutions for the New, 


Year, the Old, 162, 340 
Young, Rev. Edward, "Night 

Thoughts" of, 114, 175 


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