Letter from Julia B. Abbott to Jennie Reed, September 25, 1860

In this letter from September 25, 1860, Julia B. Abbott writes to Jennie Reed, wife of Samuel Reed, discussing various family news. She notes that she attended the anniversary exercises at the Theological Seminary in Andover, Massachusetts and enjoyed it very much. Among those "celebrities" she saw and heard were Professor Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher.

My dear Friend,

Just two months ago today, your long kind letter was penned, and soon after received by your (I am afraid you will say) ungrateful friend while too ill to more than glance at it, and satisfy myself of your welfare. I was able however, next day to give it an attentive personal for which I was well repaid by its contents. I promised myself to answer it very soon, but as soon as fully recovered from the attack of fever, from which then suffering, I was obliged to be busy in preparing for my visit here. Since coming here, writing writing [sic] has been out of the question except those to Mr. Abbott, which must be written. Sister has had company, or we have been visiting, the whole time. Most of the time the family has numbered fourteen. Mother is down here now, and we have been visiting more than usual. Last eve, we took her to visit some friends who live four or five miles from here. Their house is nearly two hundred years old and good as ever yet! It was built to keep out the Indians, with double doors & c. All these things interest me very much. My health is much better here than in Concord. We get the sea breeze in the afternoon then too. Sister has horses she can drive, and we ride every where we go, even to Church for it is a mile and a half from our house.

This suits me. You know I was never fond of walking and now-a-days less than ever. You may well say you would enjoy visiting New England. I know you would. It is a delightful change for me. The Anniversary Exercises at the Theological Seminary, were exceedingly interesting. I saw and heard a good many celebrities. Among others Prosfessor [sic] Stow [sic] , preached a most instructive and amusing sermon before the alumni there was Professor Phelps, whose wife wrote "Sunny Side" & c. Henry Ward Beecher and wife, and many others. I saw Mrs. Stow [sic] and daughters, sitting in the [piaggs] of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" as we passed. I like the society here very much. Where was it in Musc you used to be? Were you ever in this town? I am anxious to attend the meeting of the American Board in Boston, next month. We think now of doing so. How I wish you could be there! You have been quite favored with calls from Mr. A. (If favor it is). How I have wished I could be with him then. He always enjoys it but I tell him I don't know about there [sic] young lady cousins. They are said to be dangerous things. Seriously I am glad if he was able to be of any assistance to Miss Hurd in shopping expedition, and thereby oblige you. He writes me that you are going to Muscatine this month. I hope you will write me all about our friends there. Poor Mrs. Beldin, how I pity her! I hear sad news about Brannon. I hope it is the last. I am sorry enough for Mrs. Risley. What did they say about the Dr? and who was it talked so? You will have a nice time I know. Give my love to those I have mentioned, to Mrs. Dutton (if you think it will be agreeable) to Mrs. Patterson. Mrs. Norton, last but not least dear Auntie Brewster, and to all others, who inquire and whom you know I love. I should love dearly to see them all. By the way do you hear anything more of Mrs. Bailey's project? My sister's health is very good. I received a letter from her a few days ago. They are boarding with sister [Nin] who lives there and is housekeeping. They are much pleased with Philadelphia, now, at first Lucy was homesick.

I am glad dear little Annie is so healthy. Georgie and Charlie are very well, as happy as boys can be. Georgie attends school and is leasining [sic] fast. Charlie divides his time between the store and the house. (Mr. Parker is a merchant) and gets a great many rides in consequence. He is an universal favorite. He is sure to find the way to everyone's heart directly. Mrs. Bailey whoudwould hardly know the little fellow, with rosy cheeks, an [sic] flying curls, to be the same bald-headed boy whom people thought so ugly and whom she was always defending. They both send love and kisses to Annie.

Please remember me kindly to your good Husband. I hope to have a full account of your visit to Muscatine as soon as possible. With much love for you and Annie.

I remain as ever, Yours affectionately
Julia B. A-

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Julia B. Abbott to Jennie Reed
  • Extent: 6 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 26
  • Date: September 25, 1860