Letters and Transcriptions

Letter 1:

Dear Laura,

I suppose by this time you have made your visit at Sandy Hill, Henry has gone to Delhi, and when you return the house seems quite deserted, and at times the thought of one who is never to return comes over you with a weight almost insufferable but god has promised that he will never leave or forsake you, may you enjoy his presence as you have never before done, and learn to know the heights and deapth (depth) [sic] and langth (length) [sic] and breadth of the love of God.

I suppose you wish to know something about my journey and you will naturally suppose that my ride to Schenectady today was not the most pleasant when I tell you that I was all the way in doubt whether Emily was in the car or not on my arriveing [sic] at S- I hurried out that I might if possible ascertain and the first individual I reconised [sic] was J. Drummond and Emily was not with me he replyed [sic] she is safe on board the Utica carrs. Had I not had to see to getting my baggage on board the Packet I don’t know but that I should have broken out upon Emily and also on Wilcox for not bringing her to me had he been tending to his own business Henry would have found her a seat with me. When I had got that perplexity of mind and found myself quietly seated on board the packet boat I discovered that I was about used up and I set for several hours with my eyes closed and my head resting on my hand and for several days my head and eyes were in such a emotion that I was really afraid I was going to be blind. We had very pleasant company on the Packet among others two very interesting ladies from Flemington particular friends of Ms.Eddy and her connections there. We reached Rochester on Friday evening about sunset and found Uncle __and Samuel at the landing of the boat on my arrival the friends were all well and gave me a very cordial reception. They were expecting an antislavery convention to commence on the Wednesday following to continue three days, during the time the erection of the Holley monument was to take place. They urged me to stay and thought I should loose [sic] my standing in the Liberty party if I did not, the temptation of course was very great and as my head and eyes required rest, I concluded to remain through the week. I spent the week very pleasantly. I went up and spent one night with Laura at the farm it is very pleasant there but I fear that Joseph and Laura are not as well calculated to make money by selling fruit and vegetables as Ms. Holley was, they picked about ten or twelve quarts of strawberries a day which I was there and told them at three shillings a quart but I should think their vines ought to have yielded forty or fifty quarts but I expect the frosts and then the ….

…drauth [sic] (drought) injured them. There is a prospect of their having five or six hundred bushels of peaches. Peaches are very abundant all through the country.  On the Monday morning following I left Rochester in the carr for Buffelow [sic] and reached there about two o’clock it had been showering all the way and the clouds looked rather tempestuous and I did not like the idea of taking a lake passage under such circumstances and concluded to take a carriage and go to Mr. Dunbar’s. I was very cordially received found Dr. Austin and his wife boarding there and was happy to find that they sympathize with me on the subject of shared reform abolition so when I heard Mrs. Austin converse I could hardly believe that she was once Lois Patterson I seldom meet with a more devoted Christian than she appears to be. I called at Mr. Hubbard’s and spent an hour or two very pleasantly and after partaking of a real __ tea returned to Mr. Dunbarto pass the night. The next morning at nine o’clock Dr. Austin took me in his bugey [sic] to the boat. But before I go out upon the lake I must tell you something about poor Maria Bacon. Ms. Hubbard told me that sometimes in church Mr. Bacon came to the Reverend Hapkins and enquired of him if he could not tell him of someone [sic]who would take his daughter into their family and learner to work and be a mother to her. Mr H-  took him to an excellent lady that had just lost her only daughter about Maria’s age and the lady agreed to take Maria to fill her place. Accordingly Mr. Bacon brought her there but the first night satisfied the lady that she was so ungoverned and shiftless that she could not think of taking her. Her father then took her to another good place and they kept her until about two weeks be gone. I was there and then turned her upon her father again Mrs. Austintold me that when she was in Le Roy Maria was there and stayed with her a few weeks but she had been about from one to another and no one felt any responsibility about governing her until she seemed to be a menace wherever she went. She told the lady she was within Buffelow [sic]about her brothers stealing her away from her Mother and said if they had let her staid [sic] with her she should have made a good girl for her mother was always kind to her. Thomas kept school in Le Roy last winter and boarded and schooled her. I saw a young man from Williamstown College who I was very much pleased with he told me he was well acquainted with Henry Bacon. He said he was an excellent scollar [sic]and a devoted Christian. But to go back to the boat it looked as if it might be pretty rough and I made up my mind that I should be very sick and I thought I should prepare myself for it and get into my birth [sic] (berth) and lie there all day but lady said to me you had better go out on deck and I took her advice and got a pleasant seat and did not move from it until we were called…

…to dinner for which I had a very grave? appetite and enjoyed it very much I then took my seat again where I remained until [sic]tea was announced that I also enjoyed, and about nine I undress and got into a very comfortable birth (berth) and had a very good night’s rest and at about the same time that we left Buffilow [sic]the morning before we reached Cleveland where we found plenty of carriages ready to take us to the different Hotels I of course preferred

the one from the Temperance [sic] rally, as I found Prof. Stowe of LaneSeminary and __ Beacher did who came up the Lake in the boat we had no difficulty in getting to the Temperance house but on arriving there I found the stage for Oberlin had left about an houre [sic]before and I had no other way but to control my self [sic] until [sic] the next morning. I went into the Palor[sic] (parlor)where I found a number of ladies some had come in from abroad to attend a religious convention that was to be held there. I soon became acquainted with some of them and found them very agreeable one of them was from Painesville and was well acquainted with Mr. Williams____ she told me that William Williams was liveing [sic] in Cleveland perhaps you may recollect of his being at Solomon ___ when we were there as we were coming from Poryumach? as I expected(covered by stamp)day would hang rather heavy I thought I would call their (Covered by stamp)and they insisted on my staying there until I left Cleveland which I was very willing to do as I found it a very pleasant family particularly Mrs.Williams I think one of the loveliest women I ever saw[.]The next morning at eight I left in the stage for Oberlin about ten or twelve miles from Cleveland I met Mr. Finey [sic] and several others from Oberlin going to Cleveland to attend the convention among them was Henry Peck and Frank they kept on and returned the next evening the convention having passed a vote that they would not let the Oberlin people say anything [sic], the object of the meeting was to promote pure and undefiled religion. I reached Oberlin about five o’clock just as the people were assembling for their weekly lecture the stage stoped [sic] just as [sic] Mr. Mahan and the children were coming but to the elections had my baggage carried in and met with them into the chapel and heard an excellent sermon from President Mahan and then went to the Presidents where I received a most cordial welcome from them all. I found they had my room fitted up in very handsome state waiting my arrival. I do wish you could come in and see how pleasantly I am situated here I think you would want to stay.Mr. Mahan received a letter from Mr. Streeter the afternoon I arived [sic] here wishing him to be at the____ to attend the examination of a school on a similar plan of this week after next Mr. and Mrs. Mahan expect to go and I have talked some of going but have concluded to defer it for the present [.]Mrs. Mahan saw Sarah at Hudson about a month ago she said she appeared very happy she wanted Mrs. Mahan to come and see…

On the side of the doc:

____ ____ and remember me to Mr. Willardand all that inquire for me

… her for she thought she could not tell what a good husband she had got until she had got until she had seen him at his own house. Frank appears to be very happy here and I presume he has been doing very well, but he had got an idea that he was going home after commencement and I expect it would be difficult to satisfy him to remain but it well be with reluctance that I shall take him from hereat any rate and unless his mother understands this is that he may be with Henry I do not think I should be persuaded to. I wish you would call at Mr.Shipherds and tell them that a Mr. Hayfordcame from Ms. Shipherdat Michiganon Monday of this week and left the family all well and very happy and prospects flattery I wish you also to call at Mrs. Stuarts and tell her how to have the box directed to Mr. Rice if she has not already found out I. J. R.Amherstburg Essex Co Western District Province Canada carr of gillet & Denir’s Detroit if Mr. Grant forwards it they will know how to direct it. And I _ you should call at Mrs. D?and tell her that her friends are all well and if she is coming on hers or you have any other opportunity to send I wish you would send my __ __coller with lace trimming that I must have left somewhere you may find in a band box of bonets [sic] in the front room closet and a long strip of broad footing with thread edging on it. The footing is not bobineth? but open work and also my black velvet ribbon if you find it about __ Porter may be coming about this time and I am expecting James Hart soon. I received a letter from him at Rochester. Do not fail of writing soon I expect to have an opportunity to rech [sic] (reach) Blake? in about a week if you have an opportunity send this to him or write and let him know you have heard from me. Tell me what Mr. Woodbury did with my pew __ mother. I have written in great haste and have not time to read it over to see if it is intelligible this morning at nine o’clock I went to Mr. Finney’s first class of lectures and at eleven to the second class and this afternoon have been to __ and received a __call from Mrs. Finney and I want to get it to the office before dusk.


June 28, 1844

from her mother

Mrs. Laura Willard


New York

Letter 2:

Oberlin, July 29, 1844

By the time this reaches Troy, I hope you will have returned from a pleasant journey and found everything at home as it should be. I received your letter by Mrs. Daudry(?) informing me that you had received no letter from me since I left. I ____ if you had inquired(?) at the office a week(?) before for a letter for Ms. Laura Willard you would have received one, I sent it off in great thanks and did not think at the time that I might to(?)___ to the care of Ms. Willard I hope it will not be sent to Washington for I have no time to ____ in writing ___ to ____ there I am as much ____  in ____ here as I ever was. Last week, I made an encounter in Canada to work ____ ____ and enjoy(?) it very much. I told James Hart(?) that if he would come to Oberlin, I would go with him to the Canada Chipon(?) I suppose it was very doubtful whether he came and had made up my mind that I should not go if he did come as I felt as if I had ____ about as far from home as I cared about giving and ____ when you ____ me that James was giving to Wisconsin(?) with ____ ____ he had got his work laid out and I did not wish to ____with his land(?). Two months ago today(?) Sir(?) Finney gave the two ___ ____ in ____ a ____ of this walk(?), and Henry Peck ___ to his Father (to know if he was willing that he ____ ____ some friends in chichoigan(?) as his health ____ some ____ from study(?) and he thought the journey would be of ____ to ____ His(?). Father ____ his ____ ____ James was at Manchester(?) and he thought he ____ by all means to ____ his vacation in ____ James thought the____ like to go up the Lake with Henry and so came immediately on and reached ____ ____ ____ Wednesday afternoon. He told me that he was going to have the most(?) morning and he wanted(?) me to ____ my ____ of going to Canada with him. Henry Peck also ____ me to go, and he and Ms. Mahan(?) and other friends thought it would be a great ____ and ____ ____ to Me(?) and Ms.____ to ____ a most(?) from me, and the most marry at five(?) ____ Henry James & myself ____ on our way to Cleveland(?) to take the ____. ____ to ____ to go to Detroit(?) as the ____ do not ____ stop(?) at ____ which is 21(?) miles below Detroit(?). We found an excellent ____ at Cleveland(?) and at __ fast(?) force(?) are left the ____. As(?) good luck would have it the ____…….

Legend: (guess), (____) unknown

(minister) of Amherstburg with his wife and two other (ladies) were on board the boat and they had made an (agreement) with the (Capt) of the boat to stop at Amherstburg, and at (one) (o’clock) that night we (landed) at (A)(.) (Mr.) (Padin) the (clergyman) went with me to a publick house which was but a short distance (from) the landing where I had every attention shown me that I could wish I went immediately to bed and slept finely untill about six o’clock, then arose and got breakfast the (land)(lady) knew Mr. Rice and sent a man to inform him that I was there(.)  Mr. Rice soon came down and took me right to his house which I found very comfortable as the (wether) was warm (.) Henry X James (kept) (on) (to) Detroit as James had several boxes of books that he wished to (see) to the (landing) of in Detroit (before) he came to (Malden), you know James is not very (communicative) but I had (learnt) from him that he was not (expecting) to make a fortune in (speckualating) in (books) as his (whole) (amount) of (stock) (had) not (cost) him over two hundred dollars (but) as I did not go on to Detroit with him as he wished me to I thought it was some what (doubtfull) (whether) (he) returned to see Mr. Rice. (There) is a (little) (boat) that runs regularly between (Malden), (alas) Amherstburg it came in about seven o’clock on (Friday) evening and Mr. Rice went down and found him on board, (he) (brought) him home with him and insisted on his (sharing) the hospitalities of his home with the rest of us which James seemed very willing to do – Saturday morning we went out to call on the coulored people and spent most of the day, and I am sure I (never) spent a day so (pleasantly) in (making) (calls) as I did that day – (All) that we (called) (upon) had made (their) escape from slavery and it was exceedingly interesting to (hear) (them) (tell) how (they) managed to escape and what (hardships) and (fatigue) (they) (endured) in getting away and their suffering (for) (fear) they (should) be taken and (carried) back and (especially) (their) (trial) (on) account of (leaving) (behind) (them) (their) (friends) (perhaps) (a) (Husband) had left a (wife) and (children) or a wife (her) husband or children had left (parents) that they should never see again and they (manifested) as much (feeling) about it as any other (people) (would).  The most that I (talked) with (were) (those) had (learnt) (that) (they) (were) (to) (be) (soald) from their family and (separated) (probably) for ever (some) had managed to (get) (their) families with them and (some) had (escaped) (alone) at (the) (risk) of (their) (lives) (-) They all seemed to feel as if they should have no mercy shown them if they should be (overtaken) (-) I asked one of them what he (would) have done if he had…

Been pursued he said before he would have been taken he would have killed his pursuers as quick as he would have killed a black (snake) but he seemed to have a kind heart and said he should be very glad to see his master _______ and  would do him a favor as quick as he would anyone. Several that I (own) had been visited by their masters. One woman told me that her master had been to see her and spent two or three days with her and she had a good house and I presume she treated him as well as he had been accustomed to be at his own house. He tryed (tried) to persuade hi(m) to go back with him and said he would give her free papers but she had not much confidence at any rate. She had no idea of accepting his offer, nor did I see ___ that had any  __ position to go back while slavery exists. But they (will only) if emancipation was to take place we would not be here long, the (most) of them have a little place and manage to get along somehow. Most of the _____ _______ about in that part of Canada are French Catholics and are generally poor and at _____ fifty years behind the Americans on the opposite side and it is very s____ That the coulored people can get any money for there work if they get any money they generally have to go to Detroit and ___ the _____ of being taken by their  master or someone who they have employed to watch for them. There is about thirty in that neighbourhood (that) have escaped from one general (LAylon?) of Kentucky he has been ___ there to see them and has tryed (tried) to persuade them to go to the Wes__ or to lyberia but they ___ to remain where they are they appear very happy particularly in their _______worship. __ had a meeting and/on Saturday evening, and there servesis (services) on the Sabbath which were very interesting. Jann__ _____ the meeting in the afternoon. He appeared to be very much interested in the people, and Monday Mr. Kid and he were out looking about and they saw a small boat just starting for Detroit. And they jumped on and came back with all James books baggage and all I had said nothing to him about stopping them but I found that he had learned from Mr. Kid that there was a _____ to do in that region within/whether to labor with him or he ____ select______ other field within ten or twenty miles of him as he M____ . Mr kid learnt from him that he was going to Wisconsin to establish  Sunday schools and do anything he found to do and that that he was taking his books along to establish (libraries?) But i expect from what he (sent?) he thought he could do as much good there as he could in Wisconsin and concluded to stop at least for _ which he had not really decided what he should do when I left and I thought I would not attempt to influence him but I really hope he will remember with Mr kid for his own sake. I do not know of anyone who do think is so ___ ____ ___ to draw James out and set him to work as Mr. Kid. I presume he can teach James in any branch of science and learning as well as divinity and I have never seen an individual who I think has made greater advances in ____ than he has. I am sure that Mr. Kid will do everything in his power to make him happy and content(id?) and if he can do good anywhere (others?) will get him at it he will stay in Mr kid family and Mrs kid is quite an interesting woman and she said she would do all in her power to make it pleasant for him. ____ have but ____ ___ a day and then nothing but bread and _____ or ______

Line 1: but miss ???? said if he wanted anything different she would ???? it for

Line 2: him should much matter he should be there than to be in Wisconsin

Line 3: ???? ???? any he thinks that it is as important a ???? as any

Line 4: other and if he was going to ???? ??? would he should want just

LIne 5: much men as he ???? to ????with him – yes ??? to have left

Line 6: there or ???this day ??? as this ???? ???? that they ???? or ????

LIne 7: ???? there ??? us to come along that night but ??? ???? two other

Line 8:boats in ???? with it and it ??? ???? ???? ????

Line 9:to ??? ???? to ???? on ???? many and ??? a boat from there

Line 10: I had a half a ???? in ???? and to where a way this ??? i called on this ???

Line 11: I found them ??? in ???? ???? ???? and furniture for ???

LIne 12: than ??? they ???? me very much to ??? ??? day with them

Line 13:??? ???? his ???? ???? ????? with brother in law ???? but it

Line 14:did not ??? ??? his wealth and he thus gone into the commission ?????

Line 15: in of work the farming all ??? to mark them in this for i did not ???

Line 16:this ??? man they told me he was very well but did not ??? out at all

Line 17: I am ???? a letter from blake I have received none from him ???

Line 18: I have ???? here I wrote to him by ???? ???? two weeks

Line 19: ago ???? ??? He will be in Troy about the time this reaches you

Line 20: and I hope you will write me in ??? better or if he is not there

Line 21: ??? I hope you will write me a long letter your ??? and tell me what

Line 22: you know of him – ???? me is ??? Willand and Clarence and to

Line 23: ??? which you write to him and tell him I want this should write

Line 24: to me remember me ??? to this ???? for ??? ????

Line 25: ??? Hart and ???? Willand and tell him Willand ??? she ???

Line 26: come here and stay until after commencement i think she would

Line 27:enjoy a visit here very much ms. ???? would be very happy to

Line 28: have you to come directly to her house I have heard a number of the ???

Line 29: ???? a ???? that ??? would come ???? ???? ???? of ???? to have her come

Line 30: I wish you would try to ????? her to come ????

Line 31: if she ???? to come the commencement is this first