Saturday, January 8, 2022

1846 Letter from John Dunning Coburn (1816-1849) in Brunswick, Maine, to future wife Miss Mary Sophia Kimball (1820-1907) in Ipswich, Massachusetts

1846 letter mailed at Brunswick, Maine, by John Dunning Coburn (1816-1849), "Dunning", to his future wife Miss Mary Sophia Kimball (1820-1907) in Ipswich, Massachusetts.  

A transcription appears at the end of this post.

John and Mary would marry on 26 March 1849, but John would die shortly after, on 6 July 1849.  Two decades later, Mary would marry Rev. John Quincy Peabody (1825-1895).

  • Elizabeth
  • Tebby ?
  • Bath, Maine
  • Portland, Maine
  • Rachel - John's younger stepsister Rachel D. Dunning (1824-1847); sadly, like John, Rachel also died in young adulthood, the year after this letter was written

It appears that John Dunning Coburn and Mary Sophia (Kimball) Coburn Peabody were cousins, who shared grandparents Peter Coburn (1764-1832) and Elizabeth (Poor) Coburn (1766-1841).

If you have corrections to the information above or in the transcription below, or if you have information to share on any of the people mentioned, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers. 


Oct. 15, 1846
Dear Mary,
I have hoped against hope that I should be able to leave here and make the proposed visit to Elizabeth but I fear it must be surrendered. Business must be attended to & unfortunately we have so many of our hands & overseer sick that I could not feel right to be absent as long as it would require for us to make our visit & doubly do I regret that I wrote to you as I did & prevented you going when you could have gone so well with Daniel. Had I foreseen such obstructs as have arisen, I should have at once written for you to go. Trust me I would not have been the means of losing so great a pleasure to you as your visit must have been have been to you. Of course you will let our Tebby go as you may think but for her. My love and a kiss to her. I am just setting off for Bath. I can add no more than that. I may be in Portland on Saturday. If I am I will try & run up over Sunday to your house. Mother is well. Rachel about the same, rather better than when I last wrote. Sincerely, affectionately, Yours, Dunning

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