1810: Betsey Taylor to Angelina Pratt

Though the year is not given, this letter was clearly written in the early 19th century. The author signed her name Betsey Taylor but gives no other clues as to her identity and does not appear to be related to the recipient of the letter, Angelina Pratt nor her friend Lucia. I think it is likely she attended school with them at the Middlebury Female Seminary in Middlebury, Vermont, which opened its doors in 1801.

Stampless Letter

Addressed to Miss Angelina Pratt, Middlebury [Vermont]

Pittsford [Vermont]
April 26th [18xx]

Dear Girls,

Just returned from walking very much fatigue[d]. I have taken up my pen to write a few lines to you all not forgetting the promise I made you when I saw you last. I started from Middlebury [Vermont] about three o’clock and got into Brandon about six. I left there at sunrise and arrived at home at 8 in the morning. I met my friends with pleasure and with a kiss. O girls, I am happy as happy can be. I have not seen a frown since I left you girls. I know how to prize it now. I feel rid of all burden for there never was a day but what I was fretted at about something. One thousand pounds would be no temptation to me to be placed back there again. Every one of my friends, young and old, say they never see me so poor before. They thought I have had a fit of sickness, My health is poor.

Oh girls, excuse this great big [ink] blot. I was rushing up tears just now just now and turned over my ink stand. I expect that _____ awful creature by this time, but I got out of the noise now. My eyes ache very much and I shall have to leave you. My pen is very poor. It is the very one that Mr. Moser made when Lucia and I was up chamber together when the eavesdropper stood by, you recollect it. Girls, please to call to the post and see if there is a letter for me and if there is, I wish you would send it by Mr. Moser when he goes to Brandon and likewise the answer to this for I think I shall be there or some of my friends so as to get it. You must write an answer soon for I shall leave this place within two weeks. Lucia, let my friend see this letter. You know who you must not let him see it neither but you may read it to him.

Give my respects to all my friends. When I left you that morning, I expected to see you again but I called on Miss Haynes and the stage called for me there sooner than I expected. She could not wait for me to go back to bid any of you goodbye. I was very sorry indeed. Give my love to you all. Do not forget to write by Moser. So adieu from your affectionate friend, — Betsey Taylor


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