Beckwith, Harris, Knickerbocker, letters, Losee, Sharpe, stanford, tivoli, victoriana
This is the last letter in this series of posts. I do not know why my great-great-grandmother kept just these six, surely she received many more if the contents (and jibing for more frequent communication as in this example are any indication!). Perhaps each had a special sentiment that she treasured in some way. I have two favorite odd things about this letter, myself – the catty comments about the “Pine Plains make believe” and the bit about the stolen night gown. I would love to know the context!
Attempts to figure out who Mollie Harris from Town of Stanford, Dutchess County NY in 1855 was have been fruitless. It is likely that she married before 1860 and that “Mollie” is short for something like Margaret. If anyone has any clues, please comment!
Stanford Oct 24th 1855
My dear Mary Libbie
The apparent neglect of your kind and most welcome letter received nearly three weeks since, I assume my dear friend has not been intentional. You have to I admit had reason to think me another of your pretend friends, but I assure you my silence was not caused by forgetfulness of my promise much less from indifference, but now that I have an opportunity of writing I will not fill the sheet with excuses, ‘tho I might and reasonable ones too. When I received yours I was very busy making over my minno[?] dress. On Friday of the same week I went to North east, Cousin Mary Pulver closed her school on that day, that evening we were invited to the Edgar Clarks you recolect[sic] the new house we passed Mr. C’s Daughters have a Piano and we had the pleasure of having Miss Louisa play. Saturday evening Cousin Mary Clark invited company. Sabbath day attended Church and spent Monday evening with Louisa. Tuesday went home with Mary to Hillsdale and spent several days we went to Hudson and had our hats trimmed for fall, every day which I was there I thought I would write to you for Mary wished to write with me she wished to send many kind messages, she “hoped you would consider her a true friend not one of the Pine Plains make believe and would like very much to correspond with you” I went from there to Amenia, and returned here last Saturday. Sunday it rained and it is raining very hard today if it had been pleasant I should have went to Cousin Jordan’s I do want to see Cousin Libbie so much to have not seen her in three weeks she was expecting your Pa & Ma* out that week, did they come? I regretted not seeing them I have heard so much of your Ma I know I should love her.
I have not seen Laura yet nor none of the Pine Plains Ladies Laura’s youngest Brother died while I was away, her sister is very felle[?] the fever has left with a cough I am informed they are fearful she will not recover I would like very much to call there and I intend to the first opportunity.
I have heard Mary Eno studies at home and recites to Miss Allerton.
And now to answering the charge of taking your night-gown it is rather a severe charge but as the said article was found in my possession I must plead guilty I presume you would not have suspected me if I had not previously taken articles such as shoes etc., if your Ma has been out I supposed the property is restored and I am clear.
You were very kind to send me the pattern so I will write you when I get a hand worked like it.
How are those eyes? have you been to New York if not when do you expect to? I suppose you are enjoying the society of your friends Jennie & Mahallia? [Mahala Clarke, see her letter] Do forgive this time and set me an example of promptness.
[written upside down on top of page 1 very tight spacing] Friday afternoon, I came to Cousin Jordan’s last night found them all very well, we are going to the village as soon as we can get ready – how we wish you were here to go with us, Cousin Libbie sends her love to you all. Do write very soon my dear girl to your sincere friend Mollie
[written on top of page 4 upside down] It is such a dark rainy day I am almost homesick. Do write very soon to your Affectionate friend Mollie Harris
*this is MEK’s father Edwin Knickerbocker 1808-1875 and step-mother Catherine Sharpe 1821-1893. Her own mother, Eliza Ann Beckwith died in 1843.
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