This letter was written by Loring Curtis Hubbell (1798-18XX), son of Wolcott Hubbell (1754-1840) and Mary Curtis (1756-1841), of Lanesborough, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. We learn from this letter that during the summer of 1828, Loring C. Hubbell was the acting agent in charge of the Naval Stores at the Navy Yard at Pensacola, Florida. In May 1829, he is shown as the Clerk to the Commandant of the Navy Yard with a monthly salary of $50.
Loring wrote the letter to his brother Julius Caesar Hubbell (1787-1880), and Julius’ wife, Anna (Moore) Hubbell, the daughter of Judge Pliny Moore and Martha Corbin of Champlain, New York. Family records say that Loring Hubbell was engaged to Lucretia Matilda Moore (1802-1860), a sister of Anna Moore, who had both attended Miss Pierce’s Academy for Young Ladies in Litchfield, Connecticut. When Loring went away to war in Florida, however, Lucretia married Abraham Devick Brinkerhoff and Loring married Amelia Noriega — the widow of Col. Jose Noriega, in 1829, but she died after bearing him only two children. When Loring returned to Chazy, a widower, he found Lucretia a widow, and the former sweethearts were finally married.
Julius, Loring, and another brother, Silas P. Hubbell, were all lawyers.
Addressed to J. C. Hubbell, Esqr., Counsellor &c., Chazy, Clinton Co., New York
Pensacola [Florida Territory]
1st June 1828
I did not think, my dear sister, that my last letter to you, some six months since, would have been a dead close to our correspondence, but you & Juliann, my brother writes, have come to the conclusion that I have grown very naughty in this “land of the sun.” But I must get back into your good graces & assure you that in a worldly point of view, I think I am quite good, good by comparison here. I mean, after all, what would you expect of an old cracked patched up head like mine? Vous etes une femme d’espich [You are a woman spy?], what would you do in this waltzing serenading delicious country in my place? Sigh & talk sentiment & with uplifted eyes & fluttering heart no doubt, worship at a distance, that loving lovely & charming counterpart of an angel — woman — je ne le crocraipas! mais c’est assez.
I see by Brother Julius’ last letter that you have had a gay winter, marriages &c., & above all that Juliann has got a beau. Who is he? I have received one letter from her only since I left Norfolk, Virginia, but never on that subject & my brother Julius did not mention his name so I shall learn that from the Gazette, if he marries her. That is a consolation because one would like to know the name, at least, of so near a relation. I had that she and P. would have made a match of it. It is so easy to love one whom one sees every day, but she has been much away & has probably formed an attachment. I say probably. I know no more of which is going on among my friends at the North than if I were in India. If my friend P. is in love & wants curing, tell him to visit this country & drink of our Lethean waters — one voyage across blue water, one month under our blue heavens, would heal up, amalgamate, cement, & mollify that most uncomfortable companion, a shattered heart.
Witness my avoid du ____, to wit: 162 lbs., plump cheeks & goodly person. “If Heaven had tongues to speak as well
As starry eyes to see
Oh think what tales it would have to tell
Of wandering youth like me.”
But I must not make you think I am mad or worse. Don’t you want to see in about, let me see, one year from this, a lovely creature, a l’espanol c’est a dice, black eyes, hair, brunette, full of grace & wit & breathing of this land of flowers? Do you believe that I who boast of being so refined as to admire such perfection, can be very, very bad? You don’t? Well write to me then.
Affectionately yours, — L. C. Hubbell
My Dear Brother,
I would have answered your kind letter sooner but have been much engaged & did not notice your question about John Perkins till recently & can answer that “he lies.” I secured him, he promised, but paid nothing, I am quite sure, & your note is with my other papers in the hands of Bishop Perkins, Esqr., Ogden. I want to go north but can’t yet. I now am acting Naval Store Keeper of the Navy Yard in the absence of the incumbent. It increases my pay, is a high & honorable trust. I live with Commodore W.’s family, ¹ see the best company, much of the beau monde, am quite French & Spanish &c. There is much gayety just now. The Natchez ² is in, have her Band ashore every night, season delicious &c.
Very affectionately, your brother, — L.
¹ Loring is referring to Commodore Melancthon Taylor Woolsey (1782-1838), who was in command of the Navy Yard at Pensacola from late 1827 to 1831. Commodore Woolsey was a native of Plattsburgh, New York, which was near Chazy.
² The Natchez was a sloop-of-war first commissioned in 1827. She patrolled Caribbean waters as part of the West India Squadron. Ports of call included Santiago, Havana, Campeche, Vera Cruz, Tampico, and Pensacola.
The 6 May 1828 issue of the Republican Star (Easton, MD), reported that: “The U.S. ship Natchez, captain [George] Budd, arrived at Pensacola on the 1st inst., from a cruise on the south side of the Island of Cuba & Gulf of Mexico. Officers and crew all in perfect health. During the absence of the Natchez, she sent out two of her boats on a cruise, on the north side of the Isle of Pines, but neither heard of or saw any pirates or piracies on the coast; or any other interruption to our commerce.”