Thursday, November 26, 2020
1839 [or 1859] Letter from Sarah at Waterford, possibly Connecticut or Maine, to Miss Temperance Miller at New Lyme, Ohio
1839 [or 1859] letter from Cousin Sarah in Waterford, presumably in Connecticut, but possibly in Maine, to Miss Temperance C. Miller, or Temperance P. Miller, in New Lyme, Ohio.
Sarah is eager to hear from Temperance and even more eager to have her visit, especially with "Rollin", in whom Sarah has a romantic interest and worries about the cessation of his letters. ...if he goes to Maine this spring he must set out very soon & if you accompany him I may soon expect to see you... Temperance, let your next letter be a long one & write as I once told you, all you think, all you feel & all you know that you think would interest your Cousin far away.
New Lyme, Ohio, was settled by people from Lyme, Connecticut, not far from Waterford, Connecticut. Among the settlers were George Miller and his wife Temperance (Chadwick) Miller. The name Temperance appeared in successive generations. Sarah was presumably a cousin back home in Conneticut, or possibly Maine.
If you have information on the identities of Miss Temperance C. or P. Miller, then at New Lyme, Ohio, and her cousin Sarah, please leave a comment or contact me directly.
Transcription - bound to be errors; please advise corrections!
Waterford April 20, 1839 [or 1859]
When I received the post the many pleasures & trying scenes; through an ___ Providence has cotinued an unworthy recipient of divine favors, I am often led to exclaim, Why is it thus? Sometimes I feel disposed to murmur & at others my spirit freely acquiesces, with whatever is my lot. But these happy moments are of short duration to produce my salutary effect upon my natural disposition. For if but one thought of Dear absent friends pervades my heart, almost every other object is forgotten. Why must it be so? Life is very short & even this short space must pass to oblivion. I still am not permitted to enjoy the society of dear affectionate friends, as we are journeying through "its steep ascent or flowery slope", toward the silent tomb.
Were it not for the sweet hope, beyond the reach of earthly connections, that I sometimes indulge, of meeting them to dwell forever in one eternal spring & never never more to part. How would every object be clothed in one perpetual gloom & the joyful prospect that I now anticipate. Would gloom & the joyful prospect that I now anticipate, would present only a scene of deep & dark despair. I have often thought even were the Infidel sentiments time. How much more happiness profess # the Infidel would enjoy, and I he but indulge the hope of a blessed immortality & Everlasting life beyond the grave.
My Dear Cousin, I do expect to see you this summer in Waterford, I do expect if you ever visit us it will be this season. Now do not disappoint your friends by becoming a missionary first; for then you will perhaps think you have more important business to attend too. Neither shall I consent (perhaps you will not care for that) to you becoming an assistant clerk, for you know then you must attend to your customers - & if you become a farmers Lady you must stay in the kitchen to oversee the dairy, feed the cats & try to please honey. as well as you Can - (I s'pose I should try to do so, too, if I was thus situated). But you must make them all wait, until have you spent one year with Sarah & at the expiration of that time, if you feel disposed to listen to their solicitations, I shall consider my demands at an end. The season of youth is the best time to travel, the best time to visit. & a state of single blessedness the best; to enjoy life & happiness, so says nearly every Married lady; that I ever heard give her opinion on the subject & many of them have done it gratis. Temperance, when you Come, bring the little ___ [horse ?] you spoke of & put in all letters you have a similar nature, for you know it could not do my mischief & it might afford much pleasure. -
You say Old Rollin sometimes speaks of me. I am pleased to hear, that I still retain a place in his memory. I hope in his prayers. I have many times hoped he would take the trouble to write to me, but it seems he never has. If he should even be, Cousin, I should then consider. I had a great Claim upon him, or in other words a right to expect he would occasionally write if no more than perhaps a little in your letters - if he goes to Maine this spring he must set out very soon & if you accompany him I may soon expect to see you. Temperance, let your next letter be a long one & write as I once told you, all you think, all you feel & all you know that you think would interest your Cousin far away. That is I mean everything that concerns yourself. I hope to hear from you soon & to see you in a few months at longest. ___ may heaven's blessings attend you forever & when you come to a throne of Grace for yourself, remember your unworthy Cousin - with sincere affection, Sarah.