Business and political letter


Date Written

July 19, 1838

James Allen Danforth was 18 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Allen Danforth, was 42 when it was received.

James Allen Danforth died 24 years, 9 months, 13 days after writing this.
It was written 185 years, 2 months, 14 days ago.
It was a Thursday.

July 19, 1838

Dear Father,

The day after you went away I went over to Kingston to spend the day and I had a very good time whilst I was there, there was an Italian gentlemen came along with a hand organ and played on it. There was all sorts of war figures. There was one woman grinding coffee. It seems dreadful lonesome now you are gone. Aunt Genny has gone to Aunt Betsey’s and Lucie Ann has gone to Kingston. We are all well here. I hope you want forget my pearsol and Aunt Betsey’s jewsharp and Elizabeth’s slate pencil. I expect Aunt Genny will come here again tonight. I wish you would tell me what day you are coming home. I expect James will read the whole of this, but I don’t care. I want to go down to Apple Grove to school very much. Lydia S. Torrey and Elizabeth and Mary Russell are going. I should not want to go more than one quarter. They ask 32 dollars for your board, schooling, and to find your pens, paper, books and ink. I cannot write anymore because James wants to write.

From your daughter,
Lydia Ann

July 19, 1838

My Dear Father,

Your daughter Lydia Ann has written one page of this letter and I suppose it will of course need one more from me to finish it. I believe every thing has gone on about as usual since you went away from home. Aunt Betsey has been quite sick since you went, but she is now better, and thinks she shall be as well as usual in a day or two.

Your letter from Taunton, enclosing a note of the Cohannet Bank was received yesterday, by the mail, and the proper entries made on the books as you directed. Mr. Lane also brought me the check which you gave at Taunton, for which I got a check on Boston (Suffolk Bank) payable to H. M. Barney, cash. A letter was received from M. Goodwin, Jr. of New Bedford, enclosing the opinion of C. H. Warren, Esq. on the security of several individuals of that place, which I suppose Godwin had offered as endorsers to the Savings Institution. The names he considered perfectly good security. Mr. Davis and Mr. Loud were shown the letter and they thought it would not require an answer as he was told when he applied that he could not have money here at present. Mr. Loud had not heard of it before, but he said the less the Institution had to do with these “New Bedford Fellows” the better. He wrote Geo. Hooker and J. Chamberlain the morning you left, notifying them that they could have the money they applied for, if, in the opinion of certain individuals, the property they were to mortgage was worth, the sum he named. No answer has yet been received from either. About 30 dollars has been paid to depositors and one hundred received.

Nothing in the insurance line has been done.

I suppose I have been rather particular in writing about these matters, but not worse so than I thought you would like to have them.

The college gentlemen have made their appearance in town again, which I thought would be especially agreeable to you, since Harriett is so agreeable to them, and as Watson is so attentive to her---dress. I have not seen her walking main street since you have left and as you are so great a favorite with the young girls! (so you say) I think the reason must be the principle attraction has left town. Mrs. Cushman’s child is better, and so is Mr. Davie who has been out today. While I am about sick folks, I will say that Mother wishes me to write that she is better: I did not know she was sick, did you?

The Reading Room was deserted by all good Loco Tacos, and true last evening on account of the reception of the news that Louisiana had gone for the Whigs, horse foot and dragoons. This is the first election that has been held for members of the next Congress. May the result in all exhibit as fair again for the Whigs, as this state has. There was a lecture in our meetinghouse last evening on the constitutionality of the late temperance law, which prohibits a man for drinking less than 15 gallons at one time.

Quite a number of our first men talk of attending the Webster dinner in Boston on Tuesday next, but whether they will bring so monstrous a thing to pass, time alone will show. It requires so great an effort to get the Whigs in Plymouth to the Ballot box that it would indeed be a wonder if they accomplished so grand a thing as to go to public dinner.

I hope you will give us a good, and a long description of your travels by letter as I fear that your journal will not be entirely filled up. It was very pleasant here until Wednesday noon, and I suppose you must have had a very fine time on your passage.

Give my best respects to Mr. Sampson, and tell him that I did forget his request when he left Taunton, although I did not comply with it. This subject was rather above my kens. Ask him that if he does not know that every word I say about “girls” is marked, numbered, laid away, and packed up for farther use. So much for girls.

I hope you will not forget to look for a place of some kind for me in the city, for I begin to think it is almost time I was about something. It is now nearly a year since I have done anything of any consequence, and they will tell me I am “contracting large habits”, which, however great the news may be to them, will be none at all to me. I shall probably get through with writing for Mr. Lord either the last of this week or the first of next. I hope the remainder of your travels may be as pleasant as they seem to me to have been so far.

Your affectionate son,
James A. Danforth

Allen Danforth, Esq.
New York City

Scans of Letter