1847: Catharine (Burr) Ufford to Mary Polly Burr

This letter was written by Catharine (Burr) Ufford (1812-1858), the wife of Rev. John Ufford (1810-1881). Catharine was the daughter of Ozias Burr, Jr. (1773-1845), who was born in Connecticut but moved to Worthington, Ohio, in 1816. Ozias married first, Lois Jennings (1776-1797), who died leaving only one daughter, Lois Burr (wife of Charles Sherwood). Lois is mentioned at the end of the letter. Ozias married second, Elizabeth Nash Couch (1776-1834) — Catharine’s mother. Catharine’s siblings included Philo Burr (1799-1883), Dr. Jonathan Nash Burr (1800-1889), Charles Edward Burr (1803-1882), Erastus Burr (1805-1891), George Couch Burr (b. 1807), Levi J. Burr (b. 1810), William H. Burr (b. 1815, died in the Mexican War), and Philander Burr (b. 1820). Ozias married a third wife, Clarissa Thompson (1782-1864), before his death in 1845. Clarissa is the “mother” that Catharine refers to in this letter.

Gravemarker of Ozias Burr — “I shall never again be welcomed by a father’s voice or greeted by a father’s smile.”

Rev. John Ufford was the son of Elijah and Persis (Peabody) Ufford, both natives of Connecticut; the father was a merchant. Mr. Ufford was a resident of Stratford until he was about 14 years of age, and then lived in Bridgeport, Conn., some five or six years; in 1832, he came West to Ohio, and located at Gambier; here he entered Knox College and graduated in 1837; in 1839 he was ordained, taking charge of his first parish at Maumee City, Ohio, where he remained one year; was then in Newark, Ohio, one year; he then went to Virginia and remained some two years, engaging in teaching school; Mr. Ufford then took a parish in Northampton Co., Va., where he remained about eight or nine years; then to Maysville, Ky.; from there to Muscatine, Iowa, where he remained until 1861, when he entered the army and was made Chaplain of the 6th Iowa V. I.; after the capture of Vicksburg, on account of his health, he left the army, in 1863, he came to Delaware, since which time he has been the Rector of the Episcopal Church. — Source: History of Delaware Co., Ohio – Publ. Chicago: O. L. Basking & Co., Historical Publishers; 1880 – Page 647

The Ufford’s had two children prior to Catharine’s death. They were John Latham Ufford (b. 1843) and Henry P. Ufford (1847-1892). Both children are mentioned in this letter and the latter was clearly an infant so I’m going to say the letter was written in December 1847.

Catharine wrote this letter to her Aunt Mary Polly Burr (1783-1874) who did not marry.

Charlton Glebe was property on the eastern shore of Virginia in Northampton County originally held by Col. Stephen Charlton (in Church Neck).

Stampless Letter


Addressed to Miss Mary Burr, Bridgeport, Connecticut

Charlton Glebe [Virginia]
December 10 [1847]

My dear Aunt,

Page 1

When my husband returned from the North he said you gad been looking for a letter from me for a long time. A few words will explain this apparent neglect. The first time I was able to sit up long enough after the birth of my little boy was to write to you. The letter was finished and sent to the [post] office. Why it never reached its destined place, you must enquire of Uncle Sam. Our letters are often lost  or miscarried, and this frequently causes us and our friends much anxiety. Through the blessing of God, we are all well.

Mr. Adams has commenced moving and we are busy preparing for house-keeping and laying in our stores and provisions. Last week we put up 2,000 weight of pork and next week we expect to put up 2,000 more.

So if you will come and see us, we can give you a plenty of pork and sweet potatoes. We have put away thirty barrels of the latter. I begin to feel as if I should have as many irons in the fire next year as I can well turn. It is to me no small matter to feed twenty mouths and provide clothes for the bodies. Mr. Ufford is very busy in gathering together the necessary articles for the farm, and it must necessarily occupy much of his time for the year to come.

Page 2

And now I would like to know how you are getting along through this cold winter. It has been the coldest for the season it was ever known here. Indeed, I do not think I ever knew a colder November at the North and December has come in with snow and ice. If you have it as cold in proportion, you must be all housed up. I often wish I knew how you are getting along. Are you at the old place, or have you broke up and gone to Bridgeport? Where is Mariette? Is she married? Or has she returned to spend the winter with you? How I would like to step in and spend some of these long evenings with you. I expect to be lonely enough after Mr. Adams family leaves — especially nights when my husband is absent, as absent he must be part of the time. I expect to live weeks and perhaps months without seeing a white face but I shall have a plenty of black ones about me, and if we all keep well, I think will get along well enough.

Page 3

I received a letter from Philander last week from Worthington [Ohio]. He had gone there for a short time. Was in hopes to get into some kind of business. If not, would return again to his school in Kentucky. He says it looks strange enough at home and so it must with the old furniture sold and scattered over the county. Mother had left. I had a letter from her a short time ago. She seemed sad and desolate and I think she must be so for the few friends she has left take no interest in her. Philo and Charles are administrators on the estate. I  cannot realize that I have no longer an earthly parent. That I shall never again be welcomed by a father’s voice or greeted by a father’s smile. But while I sorrow, it is not as those without hope. The years 44 and [4]5 will long be remembered. The messenger death has come to me, once, twice, and thrice, and taken from me a child, a brother and father. Though soon it will again come to call me to yield to the grave, my idol trusts I know not be will it come to myself. Oh, that when he comes we may be found ready and find death but the messenger Jesus sends to call us to his arms.

I hope to hear from you again very soon. I shall be glad to see you here in the spring or any time you may find it convenient to visit us. We shall both be very glad to have you with us as much as you can content yourself in this out of the way place. We have had our friends to visit us frequently during the summer and fall but I suppose we shall not see much of them through the winter. I have been down about Eastville several times this fall. I expect to go again next week and stay until New Years, then come home and shut myself up with the little ones until warm weather. The children are both well. My baby is the quietess little thing I ever saw.

Remember us to Lois and family and all enquiring friends. Mr. and Mrs. Adams assure much love. They often speak of you and express a wish to receive a visit from you. Others often enquire after you and wish to be remembered. Write very soon. Yours with much love, — Catharine Ufford


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: