1846: D. Warren Shepard to Abner T. Allen

Abby Kelley Foster

This letter was written by D. Warren Shepard (1826-Aft1880) who became a merchant in Warren, Worcester County, Massachusetts.

Warren wrote the letter to Abner T. Allen (1813-1901) who moved from South Warren, Massachusetts to Chagrin Falls, Ohio in November 1838 with his brother Amasa I. Allen (1818-1906). This was at the time that the railway opened between Worcester, Massachusetts and Springfield, Ohio. In New England, the Allens left behind his parents, Pardon and Ruth Allen, and siblings. Abner T. Allen married Eunice Shepard (1814-1886) in September 1839. Amasa I. Allen wed Wealthy Holmes (1822?-1893) in 1851. They are considered pioneers of Chagrin Falls.

Shepard describes listening to a lecture by Abby Kelley Foster, the radical social reformer whose name became synonymous with radical abolitionism.

Stampless Letter


Addressed to Mr. Abner T. Allen, Esq., Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Warren [Massachusetts]
June 15th 1846

Respected friends,

It has been a long time since we have heard from you. This mute messenger will inform you that we all enjoy very good health at present & hope it will find you enjoying the same blessing. I have been at school & kept school for almost 2 years, though in the most busy seasons of the year have been at home. I have been this spring but shall stop in a few days to go to haying. My health has not been such for a year or more as to allow me to work at any advantage, at least to lift or do any kind of hard labor. I have been to Boston & stayed around the sea shore for a number of days & also went out a little from the land, & I find my health to be much improved, though that might not have had any effect. yet I know not to what else to attribute it.

While at Boston I attended an anniversary of the American Antislavery Society & heard she that was Abby Kelly (now Mrs. Foster) speak. She said she & her husband had been at Chagrin Falls & that 2 thirds of the legal voters there are disunionists or are in favor of separating the northern from the southern states. Now judging from the state of feeling here on that subject I am a little inclined to think it cannot be so. If it is, I should be glad if you would let me know that I may be satisfied. If not, let me know & the truth shall come out.

To come to the point, I confess myself to be the uncompromising for to disunion & will ever lift my voice against it. In this section of the country, too much error has already been propagated by the organs of the third, or self-styled Liberty Party. The fruits of this unprincipled party are too plainly visible in Massachusetts to be mistaken. But perhaps you will think I am a zealous politician, yet I pretend to nothing of the kind.

But enough of this. How do your crops appear? Should the weather not be too dry, I think that hay will be very good this season & all kinds of fruit abundant.

Since I have commenced writing, I have heard that one of Uncle Arba’s children is very sick. It is next to the oldest, I think, though a little better than it has been. The rest of his family are well. Aunt Eunice & Jerusha enjoy good health for persons of their age. Grandfather & Grandmother have enjoyed very good health for a year past.

Father has gone to New York State via New York City. He started Friday & Mother is going to meet him at Albany today. They will probably stay a week or so. Have not heard from Vermont for some time. The last we heard they talked of going to Wisconsin (I mean Mr. Fowler & family).

There is nothing new or interesting going on here at present & I fear I shall weary your patience if I have not already so for the present, I’ll stop.

Yours, &c. — D. Warren Shepard

P. S. Horace has gone to live with Uncle Calvin, has bought land with him & will probably stay there for some time, if nothing happens. Uncle Horatio & family are well as far as we have heard. He has joined the Temperance Society & has become an industrious & worthy citizen. Excuse mistakes for I have written in much haste.


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