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Manuscript Correspondence Addressed to Anna Angier Fay and Lavinia Fay - 14 Letters dated 1819-1847

Edmund Fay (1778-1827)
Wife Anna Angier Fay (1787-1827)
Daughter(?) Lavinia H. (dates?).

Massachusetts: 1819-1847. A group of fourteen (14) manuscript letters addressed to Anna Angier Fay (1787-1827) and her daughter Lavinia H. Fay (dates unknown) of Southborough, Massachusetts. Senders include Anna's sister Eliza Angier Warriner of Frankfort, Maine, and friends of Lavinia.

Four of the letters are from Eliza, who writes Anna to ask for news and to discuss religion with much zeal. The 1843 letter from Eliza to Anna excerpts news from her own received letters including one from their Uncle Roland Angier, who emigrated with his family West: "[The family] did not know how far they should go, but wanted to go to Iowa ... they are all in good spirits. They went with their own team, had a very large covered wagon, so large that they could all ride and carry some of their furniture beside. Uncle Roland called it the Great Western." Eliza goes on to copy out portions of Roland's letter, which details some of the hardships he and his family faced, such as competition with other emigrants for work: "The flood of Emigration is so great that I think a poor man can do better here [Indiana] than to go farther at present ... the fleas are very troublesome ... besides there are rattlesnakes here".

A letter dated 1837 to Anna Fay via Nathan Fay alludes to a family tragedy or grievance; though the signature has been sadly sometime excised, it appears to be from another Angier sister other than Eliza or Anna. The remaining nine letters (1841-1847) are all addressed to Lavinia Fay from her cousin C.B. Angier of Worcester, and Lavinia's friends: Aaron and Catherine Haynes of Amherst, Lucia of Sudbury, and Catharine A. George of South Wrentham. From the letters, we can glean that Lavinia was a well-liked young woman, particularly by her cousin C.B. Angier, a sensitive soul who pours his heart out in his writing. He writes of religion, local news, and how the extended family fares. In his letter dated February 5, 1846, C.B. speaks of his desire to move West to be an educator: "[I have always] felt that it was my duty to get an education and do all that is in my power to spread education among the destitute in this Western field. But there are many obstacles in the way when I think of doing that ... Proff. Pratt thinks it is my duty to get an education ... I tell you there is a need of educated men in the West".

We learn from Lavinia's friend Lucia in an 1846 letter that Lavinia is a beloved Sunday School teacher ("I need [only] to look at you, surrounded by your little infant scholars, in the Sabbath school, & think how happy you looked ... ") Lucia herself was a teacher, but has since "transformed ... into a tailoress girl". The final letter in the group, however, shows that Lavinia must have fallen out of love with her "little infant scholars", too, and ultimately quit teaching. Her friend, Catharine A. George of South Wrentham, writes: "I think you were wise in giving up School teaching, it is a very pleasant employment but the care and the anxiety is very wearing, it is hard work" Very good to fine; some light toning and dust soiling, remnants of wax seals, the occasional short tear, one small excision to letter dated Aug. 17, 1837, affecting 3 lines of text; sender's name excised, and some text loss from tears, on letter dated Feb. 5, 1846.

Price: $425.00

Item #20000222

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