Monmouth Historic Inn

May 16, 1853 Letter from Eliza Quitman to her son, Henry

April 2 2015 | News

The letter below is interesting in many ways - one of which is how travel on the river was done and feared in the 1800's.  How far we have come from the Steamboats!  Also, as we enter this Easter Tridiuum, we see that faith and its fruits have been an important aspect of life at Monmouth even way back when - especially in the Quitman household.  It would seem that Eliza Quitman did, indeed, have a strong faith background, which evidenced itself in numerous ways, as we read in her letter.  Good, kind words at this time in our world when Eliza Quitman's words of advice to her son - regardless of our faith beliefs - cross all lines.  Be sure you come visit us for the 3 R's - Romance, Relaxation and Rejuvenation - as so many others have done through the years.  The spirit of Eliza Quitman's words live on - and we welcome you!

          Monmouth     May 16th 1853

My dearest Son,

                                 Thinking you will have time for this letter to reach you before sailing I write to assure you of the continued health of us all and also that of your other relatives.  I saw from the telegraphic dispatch in the newspaper the safe and rapid passage of the Steamer Shotwell to Louisville and trust that we may ever receive such a welcome account of your safety.  The Eclipse is this week to make a brag trip up.  I have heard that Capt Sturgeon has made a large bet in money that he will this trip beat everything on the Mississippi - O how fearful it is to travel upon such a boat.  The safety of the public is not at all considered.  The good neighbours of Natchez have a report that you are going to make a brag trip in going to Europe.  What is a brag trip do you know?  I am sure that I do not.  I do think we of Natchez are growing to be the silliest people in the world.

                                 Uncle Henry has been down spending a week, he regretted much not having seen you, said he had no idea that you would leave so soon, as your Father had written but a short time previously saying that you would leave probably sometime during the Spring not naming any particular time, Mr. Tyler too has got off for the Hot Springs.

                                  My dear Henry I hope that you and your excellent friend Mr. Jordan may enjoy your trip, keep in health and lay in a store of useful knowledge, the reminiscences of which will always be pleasant to you.  One great means, perhaps the greatest in fact, in ones life is to cultivate and practice a high order of virtue, by virtue, I mean what St. Peter says = we must add to our Faith, virtue knowledge and to knowledge temperance, and to that patience and to that godliness and to godliness brotherly kindness and to that charity.  For if these things abound in you, you will see the glory of the Creator in all His works, and consequently your happiness will be gained.  All your Sisters send their love to dear Brother.  Remind Mr. Jordan of his promise to write to me.  Give him my affectionate remembrance.

God bless and preserve you my dearest Son is daily the prayer of your


          affectionate Mother

                                  E. Quitman

Let me hear very often of you, or from you my dear boy.