November 8, 2008

Ellerslie Letter

This is a 4 page handwritten letter (no envelope) that is written by a mother to her daughter in July of 1848. It seems her mother has taken a trip to Ellerslie (at least that is what I think it says) and she describes the place and her incredible time spent there in great detail.

I’ve quoted some parts of the letter to give you a better idea…..

“July 24, 48

My Dear Child,

Here we are at last in one of the loveliest spots I ever beheld; nature has done great things for it and acts if she has not exhausted her resources as the novel writers say, has certainly used them to great advantages and I think were you to spend a week here you would be quite a convert to the idea of a country life. The ladies here seem to think that with a visit to some fashionable watering place in the summer and some weeks spent in the city during the winter, you might find it quite endurable especially with some chosen companion like (male or female) Camellia, to relieve the ______of family society. We are awakened by the sweetest songs of the feathered Hibe, how much more harmonious and soothing than that of bells, are regaled with cream by the gallon and fruit by the bushels. Flowers bloom around us in bewildering confusion. Fruit hanging in such clusters invite the hand to pluck it on all sides. The Delaware peruses its simplified courses between hills where height emulates the distant mountains and the evidence of whose sides is reflected with marvelous distinctness from it’s clear bosom. The village smiles at our feet and to ____all we can have a shower bath every afternoon…….When we meet we can compare notes and see whose place is the most beautiful, Mrs. Jacob’s or Dr. Paul’s. He and your father are gone today to the “Meadows” some twelve miles distance……We are called to pray at 7 in the morning at which all are punctual. Breakfast some after then the family disperses to their several employments then meet in the hall at eleven when Miss Lidney reads til one at which hour we dine after which each attends to her chambers to sleep or not as inclination dictates and then comes the bath then tea then a walk around on the river returning from which we all seat ourselves on one of the delightful piazzas until the evening……If a pair of Mary’s slippers can be found bring them with you. Also a white petticoat that was lying folded up in my room……..Yours truly affectionate mother.”

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