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Letter to Jacob Sharpless, care of Dr. Parrish, Philadelphia Pennsylvania from Blakey Sharpless, Weston



Weston 7 mo. 31st. 1814.

My Dear Brother Jacob:

Thy letters of 22nd and 28th instant lie before me and I have concluded notwithstanding I have “the care” and my duties thereby increased, to essay a letter which may serve as a reply to both. It is true, that is like returning kindnesses by the summary, and an inference might be drawn to my prejudice; but I will endeavour to adapt my feelings to the circumstances of the case, and only say on that subject, that thou art my brother, that thou knowest my engagements and state of my health, which has latterly tended very much I have thought, to distract my letter- writing qualifications. In fact I take up my pen not with my usual alacrity but more like a person who feels that he owes a just debt without the means of honestly discharging it, and a letter for thee whom I love and whom I have freely communicated with [interlined “I will be candid”] received before the Yearly meeting from Cousin Joshua Lloyd is yet unanswered, and occasionally when I recur to the circumstance I feel a little as I have felt when I have neglected to perform what I new to be right, until after the proper time. The foregoing explanation of my apparent or real deficiency in a proper attention to my correspondents may a little illustrate my conduct in letting a long time elapse after receiving a letter before a reply, or in answering two by one. ---- If my letters as stimuli act upon the excitability of thy mind and at all, occasion a delectable sensation, I am pleased and feel that I have not written in vain.

I believe as the period elapses which I have to fill up according to the custom in the case of a departing teacher, the committee to whose care the provision of a Successor was committed, have not been idle nor unsuccessful, and that I [take] my leave when that period expires. — Thou spoke in a feeling brotherly manner in the subject, and to set thy mind a little more at liberty, I can state that my health is better than when on our Bucks County tour, though frequently I feel a strong desire to be at liberty when I cannot, and when the pressure of some disease or some corporeal effection, is so great as to disqualify both body and mind, from any other than a reluctant discharge of the real duties of my undertaking. Then it is my dear brother that I feel the effects of what thou feelest free to call “an arbitrary system.” But my great attachment to the establishment and interest therein will make it long feel dear to me (as a place at which I have spent many a happy hour) and induce me to defend it when I hear it abused and explain some of its apparently arbitrary rules. This of “three months previous notice” is a rule calculated to be wholesome in its effects, by enabling the com. to supply themselves timely with a new teacher. They informed me when on a visit at the school Six weeks ago that they did not wish me to stay longer than I could discharge my duties without much oppression, at the same time expressed their reluctance and regret at being obliged to part with me insinuating that my services had been acceptable from the first. It may be said this last remark was made probably to cajole me into a longer stay, which I believe was by no means the case, they were kind [and] did not wish me to stay longer than would be proper.

Our nominal Cousin M. Newbold has truly met with a great loss, if her J. possesses the sensibility most lovers do, no doubt he may succeed in consoling her and in removing the poignancy of her grief. I heard from home lately; they were well. Our family is also healthy. I was nearly omitting to mention our having the company of Caleb Richardson, he is on his way to visit his family. I have sometimes thought my brother Jacob might absent himself two or 3 days from his studies and visit Weston[.] (written in left margin)

Sister and myself are pretty [well] and unite in love to thee affecty.

Blakey Sharpless

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Letter to Jacob Sharpless, care of Dr. Parrish, Arch between 3rd and 4th Sts., Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania], from Blakey Sharpless, Weston, [Pennsylvania?], July 31, 1814 -- From the Phillip F. Schlee Collection, Manhattan, Kansas

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