This letter to Mary Elizabeth Knickerbocker is from Mary Emma Robinson born 14 Apr 1838 in Canandaigua, NY to Horatio Nelson Robinson and Emma Rogers Tyler. She married Howell Cowles Merriman and died 4 Jul 1921 in Jordan, NY leaving one son, Paul Rossiter Merriman. She was 16 (SIXTEEN!!!) when she wrote this letter. Elbridge is in Onondaga County, NY, west of Syracuse.
Elbridge, Nov 26th, 1854
My Dearest Mary,
You can imagine my surprise and delight when your dear letter was brought to me last Monday eve. I suppose of course that you had forgotten that there was such a being in existence as myself, but I was very happily disappointed. I suppose you have received my token of forgiveness on this. I mailed it almost immediately after receiving your epistle. Now I want to see you dear Lizzie you must certainly next summer come and pass a few weeks with me I should enjoy it so much and am very sure you would too.
You would enjoy it so much more in the summer than winter we could have such delightful walks and rides. I have thought so much of you during the past summer, and so wished to see you. I am very much occupied this winter in finishing up my studies we have a fine Academy here most beautiful new building in the Gothic style; we go into it a week from next monday; and next summer I expect to be through with going to school, not that my education will be at all complete, but I shall be through with the drudgery of committing daily lessons. That will be grand won’t it? Oh Lizzie how much I should like to see your new piano when it comes, you must be very much pleased at the idea of having one all to yourself. We have not one yet, I practice at the Academy two hours every day. Next Thursday, Thanksgiving day how I shall think of the girls at school and Cart[?] Thanksgiving day, but I believe you were not there then were you? You know Mrs. Tooker had a sociable in the evening.
You can’t know how much I thank you for the news you gave me of the girls at school, I have so wanted to hear how the old school goes along, so the next time you write you must tell me all you can think of about them.
Are Miss Dickson and Miss Reynolds there still? Miss Noges[?] is still there I infer from your letter. You ask if I like piano music better than I used, I do a great deal better since I have taken times[?], I was so very homesick I did not like anything or anyone excepting you. Do you known how many graduated and who they were this last July?
My dear Lizzie, you urge me to give the subject of religion my serious consideration. I am now doing so and have already made up my mind to join the church (the Episcopal) the first opportunity, which I trust will be soon. There is no Episcopal Church in this village, but there is one two miles from here at Jordan. I know that in this world we cannot be happy truly unless we are Christians and certainly in the world to come we will be miserable unless we have been meek and humble followers of the lowly Jesus. Will you tell me in your next darling Lizzie how old you are? I have forgotten who is the oldest. I was 16 last April.
Give my best, best love to Mary Pulver and tell her I wrote last. Lizzie Jessup has not written me and I do not care much now. Oh! Nellie Titus how I should like to see her! I wonder if she has forgotten me. Does Louise Palmer teach at Mr. Tooker’s Academy? What in the world has become of Mary Platt? Marcellus is only about 6 miles from here. Lizzie do you remember the evening in my room in the wing that you and I and Lizzie Jessup drew our profiles on paper from the shadows on the wall, I have them yet and shall always keep them, they are very beautiful indeed, particularly mine.
When you come to see me you shall have the pleasure of looking at them.
Lizzie I cannot bear to think that I shall never see you again in this world I trust and hope it will not be so, but if it should I pray that we may meet in the bright land beyond the skies, where those that have “lived and loved together here shall meet to go no more out forever.”
Truly and affectionately, Emma
[PS on top of page 1 as she ran out of space] Write me very, very soon dear Lizzie and answer a few of my many questions it if is possible. Truly your loving Em.