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Letter, Sarah Stetson to James A. Stetson, Feb. 17, 1845

[Feb 17, 1845]

Feb 17th 1845
My Dear Father
I have just thought I would I would write you a letter I am very much obliged for your box – this noon we received the valin tine1 which come in the box there has been a freshet I will tell you what kind of a freshet it was to be sure it was water but the cakes of ice came so abundantly that it filled the river and this morning Mr Atkins and Mr Haven and some boys went on the cakes in the river and pushed them down so that the wheel could run I have had a new pair of boots since you went away they are very good except there is an iron-peg sticking through the sole of the boot and it makes my heels sore George wants that I should tell you that Miss Ford read a story about a man who was in pursuit of whales He took a cake of ice to be an island at first and afterwards for the whale he was in pursuit of at last he found out that it was a cake of ice and he thought he was very much deceived George sends his love to you. Grandmother and mother have got mary2 quilt on the frame in aunt nancy’s room and Mrs Paul and Mrs small is helping them Aunt nancy and Mrs Small Grandmother send their love to you3 Mr Ruggles sends his love and best respects to you Lucy sends her love and a kiss the second volume of Flowers for children has come George Thompson has got both volumes4 My mother said before the annual meeting that perhaps I might have a doll after it was done I thought I wanted a doll but now my mind is changed for I see that I can spend my mind time in a better way We have established a new paper called the miniature where only the young people of the educational Department are to write We are going to have it every Saturday evening and up to Mr Mack’s house and after the paper is read we are to have an hour of plays – I have often thought When I read over your letter that those boys who chewed tobacco must not have been brought up very well for most every good boy must know better than to do such a thing. if Miss Shackford is their now give my love to her and best respects to her and tell her I want she should come to the community and stay a few months here. For it is very long since I have seen her give my love to Lucy and Isaac and the boarder that sent me that duck that I am very much obliged to him for it the boarder that I mean is the one that lives at Mrs Atkins. I hope you Will correct my letter as I have yours In one place in your letter It says you went away and I did not with any very curious incident Now you left out a word you must begin When Writing to any person not to leave out words and then when you Write to [king?] George you will not leave out any words I expect the word you left out is meet, as, I did not meet with any very curious incident. Mrr May was here day before yesterday he had not had any breakfast but asked him to has did not take off his coat but got his trunks and his other things and went right a way he said he would be back with his Wife was coming back in a fort night5 give my love to Mrs Garrison and wendy and and in the answer to this letter tell how the little Frances does6 answer this letter when you send a box

Excuse the bad spelling and writing of the letter for I have a bad pen
From Your affectionate d[aughter] Sarah Frances Stetson
Anna Benson has got a box worked with beads on the top and in it is a green ship it is glass and it has a mast and all the rigging is glass

Addressed: To My Father


  1. Valentine.
  2. Mary’s.
  3. Anne Paul lived at the NAEI for a year from June 1844, sponsored by abolitionist friends in Boston. Originally from England, Paul had married an African American minister who had subsequently died, and she faced both poverty and ostracism from conventional social circles for having made a “mixed” marriage.
    Pamelia or Pamela Small (1795- ) had come to the community from Norwich, Conn., when it was founded in April 1842 and was a member until May or June 1845.
  4. The reference is probably to [Katherine Parker Gordon] Fresh Flowers for My Children (Boston, 1842); “George Thompson” was George Thompson Garrison (1836-1904), eldest son of William Lloyd Garrison and Helen Benson Garrison, who lived at the NAEI while he attended the community’s school.
  5. This was Charles May, who had left the NAEI a few weeks before.
  6. “Wendy” was William and Helen Garrison’s third son, Wendell Phillips Garrison (1840-1907). The Garrisons’ daughter, Helen Frances Garrison, had been born in December 1844.

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