1841: Eliza (Walker) Richards to Francis Warrener

This letter was written by 24 year-old Ann Eliza (Walker) Richards (1817-1883), the wife of Frederick Richards (1817-1875). She was the daughter of Caleb and Ann (Sybert) Walker of Charleston, South Carolina.

How Eliza Richards might have looked

She wrote the letter to her brother-in-law, Francis Warrener (1805-1866), who was married to Sarah Wilcox Richards in Hartford in January 1839. Francis and Sarah had at least three children, the oldest — Frederick Augustus Warriner (1839-1879), is mentioned in this letter. Eliza and Frederick Richards’ eldest child, mentioned as well, was Caroline Sebring Richards (1841-1847).

Frederick Richards was the son of Simeon Richards (1782-1844) and Percyette Savage Dowd (1784-1844) of Hartford, Connecticut. Richards was a merchant and later a Director in the People’s Bank in Charleston, S.C.

Note: The family name is spelled variously as Warriner or Warrener.

Stampless Letter

Addressed to Mr. Francis Warrener, Bridgeport, Connecticut

Charleston [South Carolina]
September 27, 1841

My dear brother,

It is with a glad and thankful heart, I now sit down to answer your kind letter of the 22nd of August with the only excuse I can offer for not doing so earlier, Frederick was away and I could not bring my mind to write to any one but him. He returned home yesterday and I embrace the first opportunity of repairing my apparent intention with the hope of receiving your pardon.

Your Northern air has been so beneficial to Frederick as almost to reconcile me to his having gone away this summer; yet I am afraid if circumstances call him away again, I should be just as unwilling to have him leave as ever. His absence creates a void which no one can supply but himself. You are aware of this from being left alone a short time this summer. What a dreary world this would be if we had no one to love, no one to share our joys as well as grief. we would be too miserable to enjoy life and would sit mourning for the day to come, to ease us of our burden. But God has graciously given us kind and dear relatives and we cannot be too thankful for them.

Nothing could have given more pleasure to both Susan and myself than to have shared with you the festivity of Rebekah’s and Justin’s wedding, for you were all at home together, and only wanted us to make the circle complete. As it was, we could only join you in heart and wonder how it all went off — no doubt delightfully — for all such parties do. I have heard a strange rumor of your being very busy playing the agreeable to all the pretty girls that were there, thinking I suppose, you were privileged, because Sarah was there, but you should not be excused on that score, for when my husband is tried for running away with your wife and sister, I shall certainly summon you to answer for the same offense.

Susan has written to Hartford today. Her health has improved during the last month very much and I am in hopes she will receive permanent good by continuing the same remedies for some time longer. Her physician has been compelled to leave the city on account of his health. I should regret much if he could not attend her this winter for he treats her case entirely different from anyone else and she has improved enough to make me hope for success.

I look forward with pleasure at the though of seeing you all, but I do not know when it will suit again for me to do so. It will not be at any rate until my little girl is old enough to travel with me for I know it would please you all to see her. I hear you say, “that is just like a mother.” If it is, I am no more than mortal and apt to think like all other mothers, that every one must love, what we thin so much off.

You must give my love to Sarah. Tell her, she must not scold too hard for the freedom I take of writing to you alone, but you were so kind to think of consoling me when in trouble that I could not but have you share my joy with me. I often think of your little boy and wish to see him. I used to fancy Caroline resembled him but she has altered very much lately and no doubt he has changed since I saw him last summer.

I should like to have a letter from you and Sarah very soon, and shall expect it and shall endeavor to reply sooner than to the last. I will now wish you every happiness this world can bestow and believe me your affectionate sister, — Eliza

Another Letter from Eliza [Walker] Richards to Francis Warrener, dated 1843


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