This letter was written by William Henry Harrison Thayer (1813-1888), the son of Isaac Thayer (1763-1850) and Abigail Lamson (1774-1842). William was married to Sarah Ann Lewis (1813-1862).
William wrote the letter to his sister, Elvira (Thayer) Lewis (1806-1874), who was the wife of Ahira Lewis (1804-1892) of Morristown, Lamoille County, Vermont.
Addressed to Mr. Ahira Thayer, Morrisville, Vermont
Barnard, Windsor County, Vermont
January 3-day, 1849
On our return home it began to rain near Montpelier. We spent the night at Esq. Robison’s in West Roxbury…good time with old friends. Some mud next morning. Found all all our friends well in Randolph. Arrived at home the next day in safety.
We had a wet fall & till recently an open winter. Not any snow to mention till Friday 22 of December ’48. Then it fell six inches; some more since. So now the wind is heaping it up. Yesterday was a stinging cold day & also today. Strong wind from the northwest. Not but little moving out.
Salmon & I was at Randolph last Saturday. Found all well. Our aged Father is very well for him. Then I can see from one visit to another that he fails. Uncle Abner Washburn is dead. Was buried last Friday. Esq. Cheney is dead; he died some time since. Also brother Bancroft died 2 or 3 weeks since.
Our family are all well & all at home this winter except Elisabeth who is attending the seminary at Springfield, Vt. She attended the fall term & thus far this winter. Brother S & sister Julia are well. She looks natural. Their boy is a noble one. He lays flat on the floor and goes just like a good swimmer. Mrs. O. Cox inquired of me the other morning if we were expecting you down this winter saying she has some dried apple for you. Mr. Robert Chamberlain’s daughter Fidelia died last week.
O, I got some news at Randolph. Brother Isaac’s wife has a fine babe 2 weeks old. Emeline’s health is comfortable. Not very smart. So much noise yet they expect some of their boarders will leave soon. Mr. Powers & wife are well. 30 or 40 attend the Academy.
We have enjoyed some good meetings in this district for some months past. God meets with us to own & bless: some have been reclaimed. Some were serious yet they linger while that which cometh upon them maketh haste. O, how astonishing that when God offers pardon to guilty sinners, they should object, present excuses, and refuse to accept the pardon and be saved from their sins & wages — deaths — not so where the criminal is condemned to the gallows. A fact “some years since this was 3 or 4 men condemned, had their trial, found guilty 9and] received their sentence — were taken back to the dungeon to await the day of their execution. I, says the then acting Judge Johnson of Rome, New York, visited them, sent in the sheriff informing them that Judge Johnson had arrived. O, what a moment of anguish. They were taken into his presence. O, what ecstatic joy came over their condemned spirits as he offered them pardon! Did he urge them to accept? Was it necessary for him to pleads with them or engage others so to do? No. O, the very announcement melted down their hearts. All embraced the pardon and lived. How long at the longest a span. What was at stake a gasp of breath. O, would to God, condemned sinners would at once accept the pardon purchased by the life blood of Christ & offered to them by the Lord. Yes, would they would be wise and secure peace with God and live forever with the blessed in Heaven. Truly beloved God does bless those who strive to live loving and being loved of God. It is soul refreshing to draw near to God to breath in a heavenly atmosphere. I know there is trials for the Christian to encounter — yet sustaining grace is imparted to overcome. O, to see the Christian coming off conquer, yea more than conquer through Christ who have loved us & given himself for us. O, how safe to have God take care of us and ours. I love to cherish the thought that although at some distance from each other in body, yet in spirit we meet and mingle around the same mercy seat daily. Well let us be faithful & by and by through grace we will join the happy throng on high singing redemption through the blood of the Lamb. Often think of you all. Please write soon. Write freely and ____ly. Wife sends her love.
6th. The cold weather continues yet. Good deman for wood & hay. Should like to receive a visit from you. Often think of Lucy. Wonder what she is doing. Suppose Harrison is attending school & is learning fast. Should like to know what kind of a stove you have bought. Is it a good one. Ours is Grangers reimproved, No. 4. Warrented good to draw bake well & not crack.
I guess the engine has now and then a snow drift to plow through. They make the snow fly terribly & they do it up quick. And of course horses step and look round — so wild it is a caution to all to look out for the cars. They do up great business, operate on a large scale. Uncle Ebin & wife are usually well. Expect Brother Moses Beetle will move into Uncle Ebin’s next spring to carry on his farm. Mr. Bains has bought & moved on the widow Fuller farm. Clark Chamberlain has just lost his old mare. She was kicked. Please come or write soon.
Yours in brotherly love, — W. H. H. Thayer
Much love to all.
Down at Brother Salmon’s all are well. Adelbert is smart & glad to see us. It was so cold last week that we did not get down here so Adelbert is all rejoiced to see us. Write soon & tell us when you are coming down. Yours in love.