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Emerson Family A Collection of Letters to the Emerson Family. .Ireland Depot, Holyoke, MA.1847-1857
Emerson Family A Collection of Letters to the Emerson Family. .Ireland Depot, Holyoke, MA.1847-1857


 
Price: $325.00

Product Code: 20000175

Description
 
A collection of eleven (11) letters belonging to the Emerson Family of Holyoke, MA. The majority of the letters are send to Ireland Depot, which was the name of the town's post office from the mid 1840s to mid 1850s. The letters date from 1847 to 1857, with the bulk of the correspondence between 1848 to 1850, and between Lovina H. Fay Emerson (1822-1897) and her friend Catherine A. George Bates (1826-1879). Eight of the letters are folded stampless posts, the other three have their corresponding envelopes. The six letters written by Catherine A. George Bates to Lovina, which start in 1847 congratulating Lovina on her recent marriage to William.  The letters discuss a variety of topics, but the main thread  is Catherine's conversion to Christianity, her conversion in 1848 along with Catherine's friend Susan Pond, local events, updates on sickness in the area (highlights being the death of Catherine's nephew due to dysentery, her father's bout with typhoid fever, and her own bout with the mumps), and Catherine's (rather unsuccessful) attempt to comfort Lovina on the upcoming birth of her first child by telling her of the death of Susan Pond's newborn twin boys. There are three letters from Paesiello Emerson (1832-1927), to his sister Mary Frances Emerson (1833-1853), who are William's children from his first marriage. Paesiello had moved from the family homestead to Ashland, MA for work, while Mary was still living with their father and his new wife, Lovina, in Holyoke, MA. Paesiello writes updating his sister on his life, such as sleigh rides and his new membership in the local division of the Sons of Temperance while also poetically waxing about nature and the changing of seasons. The last two letters in the collection are one-offs. The first is to William Emerson, the patriarch of the family, about a shipment of lumber being send to him and the request for payment. Depending on the census record, William is either a carpenter or farmer. The last letter is from a C. B. Angier, a distant relative of Lovina (her mother's maiden name is Angier), and provides a short update on their life. Below are excerpts from the letters: "I think I felt the importance of religion I saw myself to be a great sinner but I did not want you to know it. I remember well one Sunday evening there was quite a number went forward for prayer. I felt as if I must go, I tried to stand but Satan whispered in my ear that if I went no one would believe that I was in earnest that I could do it better where I was & I listened to him and sat still. I think now if I had broken away from him then I might have found peace. You thought I was indifferent, I was miserable for I was trying to be a Christian and have no one know it." - Catherine A. George Bates to her friend Lovina H. Fay Emerson, June 22, 1848 "It has been quite sickly about us, one little child buried today. One case in particular I must tell you, a lady 35 years old, on who belonged in this neighborhood & always lived with her parents (who are quite aged) was married & went to her home with every prospect of happiness, before she had scarcely begun to enjoy it was called to die, just 4 weeks from the day she was married, she was buried at the same place where she stood a bride, she lay a corpse." -  Catherine A. George Bates to her friend Lovina H. Fay Emerson, September 21, 1848 "I have just finished loading the lumber for you. A part of the boards are not such as I stands [sp?] have had you, but they are at the depot. I though I would send them, there are 2330 fit [sic] I also send more of the short timbers which you will please see that it is unloaded & kept safety. What you can not sell ??? please send me the money for the lumber as fast as possibly convenient and greatly oblige." - H. Williams to William Emerson, May 1, 1849 "... I came home, I found little Frank (that is Brother Hiram's youngest child) very sick with Dysentery. He had not been well for a week or two before, he had 10 teeth besides there were his stomach teeth & two others were swollen very hard which caused his sickness. The Doctor said it was a very doubtful case. Mother & others that saw him said he could not get well. I thought perhaps he might altho I knew he was very sick. Wednesday he seemed considerably better. Thursday he was very restless. Friday everything he took he vomited. The disease had gone to his head, he would throw it from one side to the other in dreadful distress through the day. Saturday his hands & feet were very cold, could not warm them, thought he could no live the night out but by rubbing he seemed to get a little rest. He was so thirsty, could raise himself & grasp the tumbler & look so wistful as if he thought we could help him, the Dr. told us he thought he would have spasms, but he did not, he grew weaker and weaker until about 6 o'clock Sunday night. Mother was over him & noticed a change & called to us, it was but to see him gasp his last breath. He had turned his eyes towards the window and thus without a groan or struggle he fell asleep in the arms of his savior, just like the going down of the sun, altho set forever to this world it shall dawn in a bright & better world, as I gaxed [sic] upon him now still in death & kissed his cold lips I said is this death? As this was the first I ever witnessed. The impression I received is pleasant, Oh! that I may so live that when I die it may be as well with me as I believe it is with him... the mother appears calm & resigned to this event as well as looking forward to a time not far distant when another treasure may be sent to her, I shall feel very anxious to hear from you after you receive this, as the critical time of which spoke is near at hand. You must keep could courage [Lovina is pregnant with her first child will be born in October 1849]. Friend Susan was very sick when her children were born, only think she had two sons, one weighted 3 1/2, the other 7 pounds. The latter was dead, the little one lived two days. She was so disappointed when it died, she got a long remarkably well herself & has been very well during the summer. I wish you could see her, it would do you good, she wished me to give you her love and good wishes... I think I have not written you since the California fever has done such destructive work, carrying off its hundreds and thousands, from their homes and the enjoyments of life where and for what do they thus sacrifice their lives? For gold that shall perish, it appears strange to me that so many are ready to leave all & go. I am thankful there has none of my relations gone as yet, but numbers of friends & acquaintances have gone. Some have arrived there & others that have not been heard from. "  - Catherine A. George Bates to her friend Lovina H. Fay Emerson, September 23, 1849 "I haven't anything to do and have not had much for two months past, I have carved my earned my board and that is about all. If I don't have something to do before long I shall be sick or crazy or something else. But there are signs of business being better before a great while. I still board at Mr. Montague and I think I shall as long as they will keep me. Last Friday I took a sleigh ride about five miles with another person who I shall not name here. It being a pleasant afternoon we had a first rate time and got home at last safe and sound." - George P. Emerson to Miss Mary Emerson, January 4, 1850 "But spring has come and with it pretty blue birds, how pretty they sing in the morning. Winter has gone and with it the cold blistering days and nights with its long evenings and cold snows. Summer will soon be here with its long hot sultry days and soon will be the days when we shall hear the distant muttering thunder and see the dark black clouds with its forked lighting... I joined the Division of Sons of Temperance four weeks ago last night and I like them very much." - George P. Emerson to Miss Mary Emerson, April 2, 1850 "Your letter came to hand soon after date, it found me watching by the sick bed of my dear Father, he was taken sick the week after I came home with Typhoid fever... he complained of his dead did not seem to know or remember anything, said it did not seem like his own head... the Dr. came but not do anything for him, we dismissed him & called another & one to consult & before night they bled & blistered him & give him medicine which roused him, he would talk one day about everything, did not know us at all, the next would sleep all day so sound that we could not wake him... my health has been good except about 3 weeks I had the mumps, they went to my head & I had sores in my ears, it was bad but I felt so anxious about Father that I did not mind it." -  - Catherine A. George Bates to her friend Lovina H. Fay Emerson, July 21, 1857 . For the entirety of her letters in these collection, Catherine (sometimes spelled Catarina in census records) signs her name C. A. George, as she does not marry a man named Lafayette Bates until 1862. William Goddard Emerson was born on January 21, 1806 to Reuben Babcock (1755-1844) and Hannah Goddard (1761-1857) in Northborough, MA. As William does not have the same last name as his parents, he might have been adopted or for some reason changed his name later in life. William had twelve siblings. He married Susan Perkins (1804-1843) on October 13, 1831, and had five children: George Paesiello Emerson (1832-1927), Mary Frances Emerson (1833-1853), Ginevra Emerson (1836-1838), Arthur Emerson (1838-1841), and Marcellus Emerson (1843-1878). After Susan died in 1843, he remarried on August 8, 1847 to Lovina H. Fay (1822-1897). With his second wife, Lovina, he had four children: William Francis Emerson (1849-1931), Annie Elizabeth Emerson (1859-1941), Mary G. Emerson (1861-1863), and Henry Howard Emerson (1865-1943). He died on April 19, 1887 of old age.