This letter was written by Eunice Pomeroy (1776-1860), the daughter of Ralph and Eunice (Belden) Pomeroy. Eunice was married first (1807) to Rev. Amos Bassett (1773-1828). She married second (1832) to Dyer White (1762-1841), a lawyer in New Haven, Connecticut.
Eunice wrote the letter to her son, John Glover Bassett (1807-1845). John was married first (1833) to Henrietta Clark Kirtland (1812-1840), the daughter of Samuel Cook Kirtland and Harriet Bostwick of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Henrietta died in Louisville 28 April 1840. From this letter, we learn that John has recently taken a second wife but her name is not revealed.
Little is known of John Bassett. In 1831, an advertisement posted in the Spirit of the Times newspaper in Bridgeport, Connecticut, stated that John G. Bassett and Jesse Sterling had formed a partnership and opened a dry goods store under the name Sterling & Bassett. In 1836, John was elected a vestryman in St. Paul’s Church in Louisville. Perhaps John engaged in the dry goods business in Louisville as well.
Mention is made of a woman named Jane in the letter. This was Jane Eliza Kirtland (1817-1893), the sister of John’s first wife Henrietta. Jane married (1844) to Munson Hawley (1803-1891), the son of Abijah and Mary (Summers) Hawley.
Addressed to John G. Bassett, Esqr., Louisville, Kentucky
New Haven, Connecticut
April 15th 1842
My Dear Son,
Your paper of the 6th has just been handed me & I would express my sincere desires that the connection you have formed may be attended with the divine blessing, that you may be mutual comfort to each other while life is continued & be subjects of the precious promises made to true believers in Christ. Also that a solemn sense of your responsibility as Christian parents your children (by divine grace assisting you) may be reared in ways of usefulness and duty should their lives be continued, & to enjoy happiness forever should they be removed from you.
My affectionate love to your wife. Tell her I welcome her as a daughter who will, I expect, share largely in the affections of my heart when we become more acquainted & I shall hope to see you both in course of the summer.
I yesterday returned from Bridgeport. I went at this time on account of Mary’s illness. She is now recovering. She will probably be weak for some time. She was taken on the third in church & went home. Dr. Simons was soon called & found she had the scarlet fever of the very worst kind. Her throat was dreadful. I was sent for on the fourth & took the 5 o’clock stage & was soon there. The disease increased until after the 5th day when some favorable symptoms appeared, more feeling in the throat, &c. I thought of writing to you but Dr. Simons assured me that if he considered her case utterly hopeless, he would let me know. Some, whom he thought would die, had recovered. He had not lost one patient & he had had a number as the disease is prevalent.
The kindness of friends & neighbors was unremitted but we did not think best to have watchers. Mrs. Kirtland & Jane took care of her every night & I was near. Mr. Coit ¹ was very attentive, called often. One time Mary was so much distrust he did not think best to offer prayer. She asked after he had gone, “Why did not Mr. Coit pray with me?” Henrietta was kept away as much as possible but she had a slight attack tho’ not sufficient to interrupt her play much. She is so lively that she almost personifies perpetual motion.
I have not heard from Derby since I wrote. The season is so forward that I suppose they are much occupied. The repairs of this house were commenced last week enlarging the kitchen has been given up & it is now expected only to build out the Library, the south side of the house, & make a room in the garret, so probably it will be completed sooner than was at one time expected. Henry asked me this morning what disposal I would have made of the money he was to pay me the first of May. I had not consulted you, & I asked him what he would advise. He said some of it was in notes on good responsible men with good security & he would guarantee them. He thought it would be better than to have Bank Stock while every thing was so fluctuating. He would arrange it so that I could have the interest semiannually or leave the notes paid & invest in any other way whenever I choose. I shall like to know what you think of it.
18th. I have kept my letter to hear from Mary before I sent it. I have just received a letter & she has continued to gain since I left, now has her clothes on, & sits up a little. Jane says she talks a little, reads a little, sings a little, & scolds a great deal. The Dr. does not visit her now but when she was so bad he found it necessary to call three times a day. We all feel very grateful that H. is very well. Excuse all my blunders. There is so much confusion & write soon & particularly to your affectionate mother, — E. White
Aunt Betsy desires kind love to yourself & wife with best wishes for your happiness.
¹ Believed to be Rev. Thomas W. Coit, D.D., Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in New Haven, Connecticut.