Monmouth Historic Inn

Christmastime in 1860!!

December 23 2014 | News

Merry Christmas! Today's Blog is a letter from Mary Quitman to her husband, Henry. How interesting to read what she wrote this same time of year nearly 154 years later! 


Providence Dec. 27th 1860


My dear Henry, A Merry Christmas - -

                                      You will see from the above I have at last reached Providence, I wrote to you the day I left N. Y. which I presume you have received. Jenny was much better the day I came over but Christmas day she was quite sick with fever.  Mr. Nauton’s old maiden Sister had a Christmas tree and children’s party Christmas night. Jenny had set her heart upon going and had never seen a tree of that kind I took her and Monks. I wish you could have been here it was really a lovely sight – besides the tree, a gentleman of the family came in dressed as Santa Claus, and acted his part admirably.  The children firmly believe they have seen St. Nicholas. He had various baskets of pretty things which he gave the children there were about fifty little children. Monks was not at all afraid of him and he gave her a likeness so a little Santa Claus landed with every kind of toy. Jenny poor little thing as soon as she had seen the tree and Santa Claus she came home, so Monks remained to receive her own and Jenny’s presents. They were certainly the favored guests. I am more anxious to go home upon the children’s account than my own for ever since you left almost one or the other has been sick and I have been doing nothing else but nurse. I like Providence quite well for a northern place. Mr. Manton’s family and friends have been exceedingly polite. We are invited to dinners and parties. One of Mary’s neighbors sent me a lovely basket of flowers and it brought back the dear sunny south so vividly. I enclose the card she sent with the flowers. Today we are going to ride and see the print works and the sights generally. WE will return to N.Y. the day after New Years. I live in hopes of getting a letter consenting to my going home. I hear when in N.Y. so much that makes me feel so uneasy concerning the state of the country. Please tell what you really think about things. I am afraid we will not have a snow ride as there is no appearance of snow at present. I long for home as I think to be among strangers at the time makes one desperately homesick, though everything is pleasant and every one kind, everything is so different. Who made your nogg, and did Rose send you any cake? Never mind my dear old fellow I hope I shall have that pleasure for mine exclusively the remainder of my life. Do write often for your dear letters are my pleasures. I feel as if I could hear you speak sometimes. I write so frequently and send such miserable sounds I fear you do not rejoice over their advent. I am determined to go home and stay and misuse everything so much and take such an interest in everything I will not realize I am so far out of the world. I would not care if you staid or could stay more with me when I am at home but life in that large house alone (for the children are outdoors most of the time) I feel very lonely. I am determined though to take a lively interest in everything in and out doors.

Please send in your next letter the length and width of the shelf of the mantelpiece. I am going to make a cover, something pretty and new for your mantle piece, also the bookcase dimensions. Jenny says she will write you a long letter about what St. Nicholas brought her, she instantly named her doll “Henrietta” the dear children every time they are pleased they wish for Papa. Mr. and Mrs. Manton desire their kind regards and Alice sends her love. Believe me always

                                                          Your devoted wife

                                                                                      Mary G. Quitman