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Letter to E. S. Colby, M. D., Cincinnati, Ohio, from Maria, Claremont, New Hampshire, December 26, 1837

... withing range of the Cabanas stands an advance battery; at the head of bay on its south side stands Castillo Atares, commanding the city, part of the harbour, and interior approaches to the city; on the South West, and West sides stand Castle Principe. James Clarke, Havana, Cuba 1835


Letter: Claremont, N. H Dec 26th 1837.

My very dear Friend

Christmas is over – our company is gone – and now I come to thee But what shall I say? Out of the abundance of my heart, I can hardly wait to express one thought or sentiment at the time But first allow me to return my grateful acknowledgements for your opportune & precious letter. It came just as I had returned from following to the tomb the infant daughter of our beloved Eliza. The beauteous babe “just came to show how sweet a flower in Paradise would bloom” - She remained with us but two brief weeks - & then her gentle spirit turned, sickened, from this wicked world, and sought a more congenial home in the bosom of her Saviour. Sweet babe, thou knowest not that thy bed is hard & cold neither canst thou realize the tears of sorrow and disappointment - shed by thy doting Parents to see their fond hopes thus early blighted! – Perhaps - I am saying too much about the little thing but, I watched her through life, composed her little frame in death – and, Dr. Colby – I loved her. It rejoiced my heart greatly to hear of the awakening in your city - & most earnestly do I pray that Christians may be quickened so as to feel the worth of souls around them – that they shall lift up the voice & cry aloud - until the Lord visit the whole place, with his Salvation. Now my dear friend will you bear with me a little - while I relate to you some of the recent exercises of of my own mind. For many weeks past I have been conscious that I was not living in the enjoyment, or exercise of that true & living faith which works by love, purifies the heart & overcomes the world. I read the word of God - but it did not affect my heart - its rich promises were not for me, & I was filled with unbelief. Others, I thought might go on to perfection, but I could not. I limited the power of God I believed that there was something more for me to do than simply to trust - or believe in Him - who justifies the ungodly - I prayed - but fear it was not with the spirit. ‘twas to satisfy conscience I could not live so & began to experience earnest longings for a full Salvation - The following words dwelt much upon my mind - “The very God of peace Sanctify you wholly - and I pray God your whole spirit and soul, & body - be kept blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he who calleth you, who also will do it” I searched - & found them, & knew that the spirit of Eternal truth had spoken them - & he could not lie – therefore I must believe in spite of unbelief. -

Immediately, I was filled with strong desires for the power of the Holy Spirit to rest upon my heart & bear witness with my spirit that I was a child of God - I felt that “this was the will of God even my Sanctification”, and that “the same God over all was rich unto all that call upon him. - O! My dear friend, how differently now, does the bible appear to me, - its Sacred truths are now all mine - all addressed too me, & I believe that God will hear my prayer & give me that perfect love - which casteth out all fear. My heart looks very bad to me, & my sin of unbelief very henious [heinous]. I am a perfect sinner & Jesus is a perfect Saviour - therefore I will be no longer faithless, but believing as for myself - so do I pray for you dear friend - that we may be like minded - knowing what the will of God is - Sometimes I feel so anxious to see you - that we may read, & talk, & pray together - & provoke each other to love & good works - that my spirit almost breaks from her tenement to meet you. But I trust, dearest friend - that we do meet daily - & our spirits blend around one common mercy seat. Sin, looks so odious to me, & I discover so much of it in all my doings that I have frequently of late been most desirous to depart & be where sin & sense molest no more. I need more grace

28th Have had company most of the time since I commenced this & hope you will excuse me for the delay - As it regards - their shoes - my dear friend let me inform you that I wear booties always in the winter & much of the time in summer - because my feet bloat very much, - and now believe me, my friend - I am a very clever child about minding my Mother – particularly when I can’t help it, – but to be serious - I do endeavor to follow all of her advice respecting my health - & am generally - quite willing to, tho I vex her righteous soul sometimes - without doubt - & am always sorry for it.

Dr. Colby, I have for a long time thought that you was just the right one for me, & now I know you are - from your treatment of this “idiosyncracy” of mine. Mild measures & valereine [valerien] tea are just what I fancy - & I am confident that either of them without the flannel will prove more efficacious than both of them with it, but we will have this story to be settled with sundry other matters, such as counting the lines in our letters, etc. – I will confess that you get more on a sheet than I do & you are a dear good creature to do so. I only wonder how you can read with my degree of complacency - what I do write however I will not quarrel with you about this - but promise to talk the more - when I see you

O! I wish I could see Mother Colby – & cultivate an acquaintance with her – have [hea]rd her excellencies spoken of - by Mrs. Tappan, of Bradfor[d] but I do not expect to meet with or be known to her - till you come Then, may I not hope to see her? I will tell you why I thought it might appear more silly in me, than yourself - to express impatience etc - Some of the “lords of creation” say, that a lady should be quite passive - in such matters & express none of her own feelings - but wait quietly, & silently, all their pleasure But it is my fashion to express something akin to my feelings, occasionally

You ask - if I should be prepared for such a failure as, your not coming next season? I will honestly tell you - the bare question & thoughts that I might not see you the coming year caused a sudden pang at heart, that made me almost despair for a little time - of ever seeing you - But fear not my dearest friend - I trust I shall be prepared for whatever awaits me I certainly shall not attach any blame to you - or doubt your constancy should you fail to come - neither be so unreasonable as to expect you to come without the means - Again, accept my thanks for your generous confidence & honesty - Let us endeavor to wait cheerfully the leadings of Providence & rely upon his goodness - with unshaken confidence - Not long since I had a dream - & it was all a dream, me thought - intelligence came that you had arrived in town - very unexpectedly - & I was in constant expectation of seeing you - I heard that you was at the hotel - & was on the look out for you - The tears began to gush into my eyes - I trembled exceedingly - & awoke O! do not serve me so again will you? - but when you come in town do call & see me - Why is it my dear friend - that we weep for joy? It is an undefinable emotion to me - for it amounts almost to pain

I did not present your note to my father dear friend – because I thought it would seem to imply that we had had some previous conversations upon the subject - & I feard it would offend him – It was perfectly proper - with that exception – I have never thought that he doubted your honor in the least - but he likes to be consulted - & I had no confidence to converse with him, without a few words direct from yourself - because he has not been inclined to treat the subject with any degree of candor - But I will not burden you with what perhaps is one of the least of my trials. Hope these things will make me better

(written in the middle of the right side of page four)

I thank you very much for the Philanthropist – read it with interest - particularly those pieces – your pencil has touched Shall be happy to get them by paying postage so you need not trouble yourself about it - Did you receive a paper the National Eagle from me last summer? I sent one which contained an interesting story – “Losing & Winning” – My cup of happiness - would have been full - could you my dear, have been here to spend Christmas with me - I looked around upon the crowded assembly - in church but could not meet that glance dearer to me than all others

(written in left margin of page three)

Our dear Eliza has been very, very, sick – is slowly recovering – but cannot sit up more than 15 minutes. She is still afflicted with nervous toothach[e]. Dear girl, I thought we must lose her ay one time – She sends her love to you & hopes to be well when you come to see us. She anticipates much pleasure in seeing you

(written in left margin of page one)

Received a letter from friend Smett [?] the same day with your own, was doubly blessed – He is pretty well now, but has been seriously threatened with sickness – Miss Clarke has left C- & I probably shall never meet her more this side of eternity – Miss W. sends love – she is the same good girl yet - & the widower cannot have her

(written in left margin of page two)

No, No - dearest friend I have no apprehensions whatever that you will prove false – I have perfect confidence in your honor – I do’nt know about your growing so fleshy – shall begin to be jealous that you will look so young & fair – you will not like to own me ladyship – but no matter – I shall be proud of you, if not of myself Let us be perfect, be of good comfort be of one mind & may the God of peace be with us – is the prayer of Maria

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Submitter: Phillip F. Schlee E- mail: schlee@ksu.edu

Notes: Letter to E. S. Colby, M. D., Cincinnati, Ohio, from “Maria,” Claremont, New Hampshire, December 26, 1837; from the Phillip F. Schlee Collection.

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