1848: Nancy (Hoyt) Conterman to Sally (Mead) Benedict

What Nancy Conterman might have looked like

This letter was written by Nancy (Hoyt) Conterman (1817-1858), the daughter of Azor Hoyt (1791-1871) and Ruth Benedict (1795-1864). Nancy married Adam L. Conterman (1819-1902) in 1841. They had four children, George H., Betsey, James L., and Nancy. The three-month old “little son” Nancy mentions in her letter was James Lawrence Conterman, born June 1848, and died April 1865 as a 16 year-old soldier in the Federal Army.

Nancy wrote the letter to her Aunt Sally (Mead) Benedict (1785-1862) and Uncle Thomas Rockwell Benedict (1784-1851) — the post master of Ephratah, Fulton County, New York.

Stampless Letter

Addressed to Mr. Thomas Rockwell Benedict, P. M., Euphrates [Ephratah], Fulton County, New York

West Monroe [Oswego County, New York]
September 15th 1848

Respected Friends,

As an opportunity presents itself I cheerfully improve it. We are all in a good state of health at present and hoping these few lines will find you the same. We have not heard anything from you this long tome and we think that it is a curious affair that our relations forget each other. Mother has rotten to you a number of times and we have not had any answer and we have concluded that you have entirely [forgotten] us.

Father and Mother have had the ague the most of the summer, but they have got better now. They are able to work some of the time. They have looked for you all summer but all in vain. I have tried to have them make you a visit this fall. They think it is your turn and if you will come this fall, we will wait on you with pleasure. We think that [you] have nothing to hinder you at all as Jasper and his wife are there to take care. And where is Mister Shulb’s people? Are they all well and doing well?

Caroline _____ is taking her comfort in her new house. Please give my love to her and all the rest of the friends. Aunt Sally, we have got a little son three months old and he is very smart. We think if you hear anything from the East, please to let us know it. The last we heard, they were all well. Please to write to me as soon as you get this. You must overlook the mistakes as I seldom write and I will close this.

As ever, your sincere friend and niece, — Nancy Conterman


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