Thursday, September 12, 2013

1852 Letter from Elizabeth H. Pomeroy at Westfield, Massachusetts; Westfield Normal School

Letter dated 1 November 1852 from E. H. Pomeroy at Westfield to her "Normal Sister" Lizzie, who may have been Miss E. J. Adams.  

The two were, or had been, fellow students at Westfield Normal School at Westfield, Massachusetts.  The letter writer was Elizabeth H. Pomeroy, originally of Suffield, Connecticut.

The letter came with paperwork from the seller that indicated that the recipient was at Machias, Maine, but I don't see any reference to Machias in the letter, and, if the envelope survived, it didn't stay with the letter.

I found an 1889 Westfield Normal School catalog that contains the name Elizabeth H. Pomeroy, as well as Mary Viets and Clarissa Bancroft who are mentioned in the letter, and possibly to Lizzie as well, though I didn't see an Elizabeth or Eliza or Lizzie Adams.  

According to the catalog, Elizabeth H. Pomeroy hailed from Suffield, Connecticut.  After studying at Westfield in 1851, she taught at Suffield for a year, followed by two years teaching in Carroll County, Illinois.  She married New York native William G. Fielder and was living at Marquette, Michigan, with her husband and two daughters, at the time the catalog was published in 1889.

Her 1907 death record gives her birth date as about 1829, and her parents as Erastus and Harriet (Cobb) Pomeroy.  Erastus's parents were Asa and Jerusha (Smith) Pomeroy. The 1850 Census of Suffield, Connecticut, shows Elizabeth and Jerusha living together.

Erastus had died in 1832.  I don't have a death date for Elizabeth's mother Harriet (Cobb) Pomeroy, but perhaps she had died by 1850 as well.

Elizabeth had at least three children, daughter Harriet Williams Fielder, who died in infancy; daughter Mina Louise Fielder, born 4 October 1862 in Illinois; and daughter Mary Elizabeth Fielder, born 9 December 1867 in Illinois. 

Her 1907 death record indicates that her husband William G. Fielder had predeceased her.


Westfield, Nov. 1st 1852

My dear sister Lizzie,

I am again seated in my chamber thinking of you and as I cannot call to see you as I anticipated I will take my pen and converse a while with you.  I arrived home safe on Friday afternoon.  I was very much fatigued.  Not long after my arrival one of my friends sent for me to come and see her and much to my gratification I found a Cousin that I had not expected to see.  She has been teaching, and she thinks some of coming to Westfield with me next term.  Have you heard from your home yet? So let me know as soon as you decide.  Write to me how your Mother is when you hear.  For I can truly sympathize with you.  But we know that He who doeth all things well, does not willingly afflict us.  Tell Miss Smith that I was disappointed in not seeing her again Friday.  Give my love to her and tell her to write to me.  Give my love to all the normals.  Did you go to church yesterday.  I did not.  Mother is much pleased with our pictures.  She thinks mine is perfect and says that you look natural.  I do not know how many times I have looked at you and it seemed as if you would speak to me. You cannot imagine how highly I prize it.  I will put in a card for you to give to Miss Viets and Clara Bancroft if you please.  How does Miss C. P. get along.  I am anxious to hear all about you.  Write to me soon, very soon.  I hope that we shall meet again soon. It seems much longer than it really is since I saw you but I know that you will take the trouble to read this scrawl if you can pick out the words.  It is written in my lap and it is almost dark. Henry does not get much better.  He has the Typhoid Fever.  I came up this afternoon in the rain and shall go back tomorrow if nothing happens.  Excuse all mistakes.

Good night, Dear Lizzie.  This  is from your Normal Sister, E. H. Pomeroy.

Miss E. J. Adams

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or if you can shed any light on the letter's recipient, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

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