Mention of sinking of the steamboat 'Lexington'
Jan. 29, 1840
Margaret Miller Ketchum was 32 years old when this was written.
The recipient, George Youle, was 12 when it was received.
Margaret Miller Ketchum died 53 years, 7 months, 13 days after writing this.
It was written 181 years, 2 months, 12 days ago.
It was a Wednesday.
January 29, 1840
I was truly glad, my dear son, to receive a letter from you a few days since. It came in time just to save you a good scolding which I had in store for you. You should not forget that you have friends at home who are anxious for your welfare and whose hearts are gladdened by every token of your affectionate remembrance. I should write to you more frequently if I could, but I have many cares and am not always able to dispose of my time in a way that is most agreeable to me. But I have always time to think of you which I very often do and to pray that you may be in all respects a good boy. A good boy! How many things does that include. I wish you would think of it and endeavor to fall short in nothing that tends to constitute that character. We have received your monthly report. I learn from it that you have a fair but not what I should consider a high standing in your class. Your reports are now made out in such a way as to enable us to compare your standing with that of your classmates and I see that several of them have the advantage of you. This should not be so my son. You should have a place among the first. T want to see you begin life with the desire to be among the foremost in everything that is good. I fear you are too much taken up with play and at this season of skating the affairs of your heels are made of more importance than those of your head. Your father was talking this morning about sending you a sleigh. I should be glad for him to do so if he finds an opportunity because I am anxious that you should have bodily exercise, but I am almost afraid that it will prevent you giving proper attention to your studies. Do not my dear son think I am finding fault with you. I do not wish to do that, but only to urge you to exert yourself to do well.
We have nothing very new at home. Your father has been to New Haven. He went by land with out own horses and had a cold disagreeable journey.
The melancholy disaster which occurred so recently to the ‘Lexington’ filled me with apprehensions and I could not have reconciled myself to his going by water at this inclement season. As it was I was extremely anxious on his account and felt truly thankful when he reached home in safety.
Your brothers are well. Morris improves in reading every day and is master of about half the multiplication table. Little Frank talks of you frequently. He comes to me every few days with a pitiful face and says “poor Franky’s finger. Dordy pinched it in the balu [sic]”. He bets us that you are “comin’ next sring (spring)”. Charly grows finely and one would suppose from his maneuvers with his little mouth that he fills very proud of two teeth that showed themselves a few days ago. Catharine is still prosecuting her studies with your Aunt Anicartha. You must not forget that you owe her a letter. Indeed I hope we shall hear from you very often. I am now called to the nursery and can only add many assurances of the affection of your,