This letter was written by Mary (“Matty”) Hubbell (1786-18XX), daughter of Wolcott Hubbell (1754-1840) and Mary Curtis (1756-1841), of Lanesborough, Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
Matty wrote the letter to her brother Julius Caesar Hubbell (1787-1880). “At the age of fifteen, Julius walked from Lanesborough, Mass. to Burlington, Vermont, there took a boat and rowed to the mouth of Champlain river, now the Big Chazy river, and walked to Champlain, where his brother, Silas P. Hubbell, was practicing law. There he studied law with his brother, serving some seven years, the last three years doing most of the office business. He later walked from Champlain to Chazy, where he established himself in the profession of law, which he continued successfully until his death.” Julius married Anna Moore (1793-18xx), the daughter of Judge Pliny Moore of Champlain, New York. At age 12, Anna travelled from her hometown of Champlain, New York to Litchfield, Connecticut where she spent the year studying at Sarah Pierce’s Female Academy.
Addressed to Julius C. Hubbell, Post Master, Chazy, New York
June 29th 1819
I suppose my dear sister does not feel conscience smitten at the thought that poor me has been so long neglected just at the time I began to be quite happy in the idea that the good resolutions you had so lately made, could not so soon be forgotten. Now I will forgive you for the last time on condition that you do not forget me again.
So [brother] Loring has taken his departure, and I probably never shall see him again. I have not the least doubt but every one regretted the necessity of his leaving for he was a favorite with all who knew him. Which way do you think his fortune will lead him? I believe Nancy Ashman really loved him as she did a brother. I have not heard what progress is made towards matrimony by her and Freeman. I think it cannot be very great as I have heard nothing of them this some time. If Freeman does not mary her, I shall have a very degraded opinion of him for it has been too long the talk to be broken off.
I am happy to hear you had the pleasure of seeing Mrs. McDonough. If I recollect right, he is nothing remarkable for elegance of form or face. I saw her several times when I was in Middleburg though I was very young then and probably was not a very correct observer.
I believe you would pity me from the bottom of your heart were you to see me, one minutes on the bed, the next writing this letter, then saying, oh dear, if I were at home, what good care they would take of me. You will by this time desire to know what is the matter. I have a swelled face which has been very painful for a whole week. It is now gathering on the inside and I am in hopes it will soon break and relieve me. I mentioned to Mama that I had a swelled face. If you think it will giver her anxiety, you better not give it her. I can eat nothing but custards and I am quite a sorrowful looking picture, I assure you. But I hope soon to be well enough to go to school for I am so lonesome I hardly know what to do with myself.
You say Miss Page has come. How large a school does she expect to have and what does she teach? I presume Uncle Josey will be on the alert. All attention and quite in love and Eliza, I presume, will be favored beyond the rest. You never tell me who Eliza’s particular beau is. I believe it cannot be because I have not asked a sufficient number of times. I believe she has entirely given up writing me, though I presume Miss Hitchcock and herself are very regular in their correspondence. Miss Catherine often asks me why I don’t talk as much about her as I used to. I hardly see what she will do for company now Miss Hitchcock is gone. I suppose Mr. P. does not intend getting married till his return. Perhaps Miss Hitchcock would not have him. I think this lost opportunity would be extremely mortifying to him. I think his pride must be humbled much.
You seem to think I shall be disappointed if you should surprise me by coming with brother Pliny for me. I believe when I see you, I shall frighten you to death with joy (now who knows but I shall be quite disappointed and shall meet you with great calmness and composure). I presume it is to be hoped on your part. Now tell me in what kind of style you expect to come, and about the day you expect to be here of nothing happens.
From your very affectionate sister, Matty
My Dear Brother,
I was really rejoiced to find you had not entirely forgotten me. I presume you expect that I am going to pay you some great compliment upon letter writing, but how disappointed you will be when I tell you they — meaning your letters — apologize for themselves so do not attempt it again.
So you have been frolicking off to Plattsburg and going out to dinner parties and evening parties and all that. It is really quite grievous that a man of so much talents and beauty should destroy himself by such dissipation. It follows, of course, that you are leading your wife into the same scenes. I think of a great deal that I might say as advice but time will not permit me. Be not surprised if you receive it in a following letter.
You see to feel great apprehension for my beaux. They are all in good health and seem to be very anxious to know who this Mr. Hubbell is with whom I correspond with so much but just to tease them (you know as I always like to). I pretend it is a great admirer of mine and I suppose it gives them great anxiety and heartache and so forth. Now I think this needs no apology at all. I am sure my dear brother will excuse me when I tell him I can hardly sit up long enough to write. From your dear sister, — M
P. S. Do answer this next mail.