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Letter to Mrs. B. C. Attwood, Bangor, Maine, from her brother, “Benjamin,” [Gilbert], Boston, Massachusetts, July 7, 1842



Boston July 7. 1842
Dear Sisters
We returned home last Sat. in improved health – we had a pleasant time at the Springs – they must be very popular with Bostonians ere long, now the journey there is so easy [–] Little Eliz was really homesick for 2 or 3 ds. – no appetite & continually asked when we were to go home – when leaving, she wd not say she was sorry to go, but the contrary – Mr Wood, the Baptist minister & she were good friends & she says she wd like to see him here, but will not consent to go back — we were urged hard to stay another week by a West India man & 2 ladies — because we wd not stay, they also left, for Niagara etc. — company will increase there now & last 2 months – Mr. Ph. Marett & family go this week — We go next week to board a short time to Mr Gilbert’s in Newton – they do not take any boarders now [interlined “as Mrs. G. is in slender health”] but will take us, as we shall put them to very little trouble

– The floral procession of Mr. Barnards was a splendid affair & yielded them $1000 – Benj was among the 600 children, carrying flowers – when he spied me out in the crowd, he tossed a Bouquet at me, which I caught – they sold all their Moss Baskets etc in a very few minutes – the display was fine.

– Aunt & Uncle Price [?] were so smart as to go to see the Procession of the Baptist Sund[a]y School, which joined Mr. Barnards – they also rode to Roxbury yest.* The fire works on the eve of the 4th were fine, as usual – the list was 150 rockets, all fired at once, they made a great racket – Hope H & L will enjoy their visit, they must give us some leaves from their Journals – Hannah must let us know how her head ache is – if Magnetism is likely to help her, she must get some other good doctor to aid her – presume she will become quite a Magnet – Benj was quite pleased with his letter from Mary

– We have nothing intensely interesting in this quarter to enlighten you with – No more wars for down East, now the Boundary question is settled — Little Rhoda is also quiet – what will the ardent spirits do? They ought to join the “Cold water Army,” unless they loose all their animal spirits – O dear, we shall have no more “Specs of war” to see through our Specs, might as well wear leather ones – “Cucumber times” are plenty here, we can send you some, if you wish – perhaps you prefer the cucumbers only

– Love to all as if names were specified by Your Affectionate Bro Benjamin

* I called to see them the day before we went out of town – There sat the old gent. & his wife comfortably over a little wood fire, strongly reminding me of “Jo Anderson my Jo John” [–] he said he was the happiest “critter” on the earth; formerly he had met with trials & misfortunes, – now he had enough property to live on – he was happy in his family & enjoyed his existence, being free from all pain, tho’ fe[e]ble – he s[ai]d he was dead to the World & was ready to leave it at a moments warning – he has strong faith in the promises of the Gospel & confidence in the goodness of his Creator – It is probably this enviable & happy state of mind, which keeps him alive so long – It was a happy thing that George was permitted to live long enough to reach his parental home & there to prepare his mind for his last great change. We must all leave this state of our existence, sooner or later – best friends must separate – May we “live in such a state as never to be affraid to die” & may we all meet again, in that blessed abode where sorrows & trials cannot reach us.

Lost Faces Ancestor Photos from the 1800s

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Notes: Letter to Mrs. B. C. Attwood, Bangor, Maine, from her brother, “Benjamin,” [Gilbert], Boston, Massachusetts, July 7, 1842; from the Phillip F. Schlee Collection. [Note: “John Anderson, my Jo” is a poem by Robert Burns (1759-1796) – the first line of each stanza is “John Anderson, my jo, John,” – “jo” means “sweetheart”]

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