1847: Lucy Cary Morse to Annie L. Brigham

What Lucy Morse might have looked like in the 1840s

This letter was written by Lucy Cary Morse (1830-18xx), the daughter of Hazen Morse (1790-18xx) and Lucy Cary (1793-1860). Other siblings mentioned by Lucy in her letter include Alpheus C. Morse (b. 1818), George Hazen Morse (1820-1884), Moses Morse (b. 1824), and Charles A. Morse (b. 1828). Hazen Morse was a silversmith and engraver.

Lucy wrote the letter to her friend, Annie L. Brigham, who is otherwise unidentified. The letter is not dated but I’m going to guess it was written about 1847.

Stampless Letter


Addressed to Miss Annie L. Brigham, (Care of Richard Bradley) Concord, New Hampshire

Haverhill [Massachusetts]
Friday Evening

Dear Annie,

Page 1

I have been waiting patiently for the last two weeks to hear from you but have been much disappointed. Perhaps you have forgotten that such a person exists as Lucy Morse, but I can assure you that I have not forgotten you, nor the many pleasant hours I have spent with you. Oh you little rogue, to forget to write to me after my writing that long letter week before last. If it should happen that you had not received my letter, I will take back all this, and excuse you. Otherwise, I cannot.

Perhaps you have written and I have not received it. If so, you must inform me in your next, and I hope that will be soon.

Page 2

This evening I am seated in our dining hall where there is a nice wood fire, which to me is more cheerful than any other kind. I always prefer sitting here on this account. Alpheus, George, Frank, and Charlie are at home this evening, but Moses is absent. You cannot think how I miss him. It seems as though half the house was gone when he is away. I have not been quite so lonesome as I expected to be for Charlie has been at home for some time on account of his health, and Annie and George are now sitting here. Alpheus also comes up every night. We have some jolly times here in the evening, I can assure you. We have had one Candy Scrape as it is called, and expect to have some more soon. Oh! If you could only be here, Annie! I should enjoy it better. we should then have some pleasant chats together about Hampton and old friends.

I am actually ashamed as I write this for my pen is so bad that I cannot write two words without some horrid scratches, but I have hunted the whole house through and cannot find one to suit me. It is enough to weary anyone’s patience to write with such a pen. However, I know you will excuse.

Page 3

The boys are now preparing to start for a Gunning Scrape. They are to start early in the morning. I suppose you wonder who I mean by the boys but I always call all my brothers boys, let them be ever so old. And it comes so natural now, I expect I shall always continue to do so.

Only think I weigh 110 pounds. I am growing quite large. I hope it will be eight pounds less before I write again. I do not fancy being quite so large. If I was told I should not mind being fleshy, you are just about right for you are some later than myself.

I don’t think you will be much instructed or entertained by the contents of this letter, but I am nearly asleep, which accounts for the sleepy manner in which it is written. If you are able to make any sense of what I have written, you will accomplish a great work. I believe I have written with three or four different pens, however I will not scribble such a manner next time. I will leave this now and finish tomorrow if I can find anything which will interest you.

Saturday morning,

Page 4

My ideas have not as yet been aroused and this letter will certainly be a very uninteresting one, but I hope you will not cease writing to me because I write so poorly. I live in the hope that ___ shall improve soon.

I am obliged to write another composition today. We have them every week now. I suppose it is much better for us, but still I dislike it so much that it is a great burden to me. I wish you would send me some of yours.

I should like to look in upon Moses now and see how he is and where he is. I suppose he is full of his fun and nonsense as usual. I think he would be glad to be with us sometimes. No doubt he often thinks of home and wonders what we are now about. I do wish he could be here at Thanksgiving. He has usually been at home, and we shall miss his always cheerful face. However, I must reconcile myself to his being absent, for probably he will be gone a number of years before we shall see him. I miss the Piano for he was practicing from morning till night, and for exercise he would jump around the house cutting up all manner of figures to make us laugh.

I suppose you see Mrs. Brown quite often. Please give my love to her and little Hattie. I should love dearly to see them.

I shall feel very much disappointed if you do not answer this soon. I hope you will not delay so long for I have now written two, You must certainly write a long one for I shall wish to hear all the Concord news. You have always written long letters so I have no cause to complain. Annie, I shall certainly expect to see you ‘ere long and shall feel badly if I cannot have that pleasure. I tried to persuade Moses to allow me to keep that miniature but he would not, so I am obliged to go without.

Oh dear, this pen distresses me, but I am most done for want of ideas so I must bear it.

Tell that cousin of yours she must take good care of you and keep you in good order. No doubt you are little wild — especially when you think of the sea-bathing at Hampton.

I shall be obliged to write here without lines so you can imagine what the writing will be. I wish you had been in Haverhill last week. We had some very pleasant excursions in the woods in search of leaves and Roxbury Wax-work. I suppose you know what that is. It is a beautiful red berry. We gathered quite a parcel. You shall see it when you come. I have been to a few parties since last winter and have had one here. I guess you will think I was crazy when I wrote this, for I have written the last part upside down but it cannot be helped now. I must finish this soon for I have got that horrid composition to write. Give my love to all I know and please don’t forget to write soon. I am ashamed to send this but you certainly will not show it. From you ever sincere friend, — Lucy

Annie, Moses left a hair bracelet in his room when he went. I want to know if it is yours. Do tell me when you write. Annie — my sister — thinks it is braided beautifully. You must tell me in your letter. I have it in my possession and I should prize it much more if I knew it was yours. It is very wide and handsome.

When I see you I shall inquire if you have shown this. I feel ashamed to have it seen even by you, much more by any stranger, for certainly their first impression would not be very favorable if they should read this letter full of mistakes and misspelt words. A stranger would be apt to think I did not know how to spell better, but I can assure you it it not that, but it is because I am careless, and have written in a hurry. If you can only see it, you will do well. Do write soon. I shall not write again till you have written.


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