• Early New England Letter: Likes Daguerreotype; Unitarian Minister Coming to Thanksgiving

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    3 pp, 8 x 10, November 17, 1850, Tyngsboro, MA, to Batavia, NY, son or daughter, of Eliphus and Lucy Rutland, writes to family.  Unsigned but complete with much detail about farming and family.  Although not mentioned by name, the writer speaks of the Unitarian Minister from Boston joining the family for Thanksgiving Dinner. This could have been the famous abolitionist Theodore Parker, who was serving in Boston at the time, and who was one of the Secret Six, a group of progressives who helped fund John Brown’s raid on the U.S. Arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.  The author also speaks of a family daguerreotype, which a young family member looks at frequently.  Always interesting to read about the use of early photography and especially daguerreotypes.


    “…Uncle is as well as can be expected for a person of his age. He is so deaf tis hard work to make him hear. He was deaf when he came here but his sickness made him very deaf. He goes to church but can’t hear a word of the preaching. He says it counts the same as though he could hear so he must go for example sake. He is a great reader. He reads all the time…I never saw a young person read as much as he does…He had a first-rate garden this year. He and I planted it and tended it…He raised three or four bushels of rye and about forty bushels of potatoes this year…Potato rot is very bad…It commenced raining and the wind blew a dreadful hand. I was afraid it would blow the roof off from the house…but it passed…I am going to clean this week and then we have to prepare for Thanksgiving…We expect Cousin Stoddard & family from Boston…and the Unitarian Minister and family here for Thanksgiving…I had given you all a special invitation to come and to spend the day…with us…Having roasted turkey, chicken pie…


    “…You and Henry must come and help Delora break the wish bones…I must tell grandmother she looks at the dagarytipe (daguerreotype) every day or two and wishes it really was grandmother.  She says I must tell you she goes to high school and she can read first rate…”


    With manuscript 10 cent postage.


    Folds, some soiling and foxing.  Some wear in the folds. Seal tear striking through several words. Creative spelling corrected in translation for easier reading.


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