It always touches me to read Eliza's letters to her son, Henry. Her letters are filled with such deep affection and love for her son, and it's so nice that she left behind these tangible memories of those sentiments for their descendants. Wouldn't it be nice to leave words such as these for our children and their descendants? Alas, letter writing is no longer the norm these days; text messages and emails just aren't the same and are so fleeting . . . Until next time, safe travels through this wintry weather.
Monmouth Sept. 4th 1852
My dearest Son
A few days since I had the pleasure to receive your affectionate and long expected letter. Rose also received one from you at the same time which made her little heart bound with happiness, she has answered it I think, and I doubt not has given you all the news, except one piece which I will keep for the end of the letter. I am truly glad that you can pass your time pleasantly to yourself otherwise it would be most wearisome. I should think you could make a Mosquito house of this brown netting which would be far more agreeable to sit in than being devoured by those furious little insects.
I am glad to hear the prospect is so good for a crop both sugar and corn, there has been a great storm which has done much damage to Mobile lately. Did it reach the Live Oaks & what injury did it do the place? Natchez & neigbourhood are in a remarkably healthy state this season for which great blessing all ought to be thankful to the Great Giver of all good. My heart’s best affections are sent forth daily for the continual health of my beloved Son. That it has been excellent so far I thank our Father in Heaven under whose almighty care you always are, but do not I beg of you grow too fat, upon fish & oysters. I should enjoy some of those nice fish very much and live in hope (the great anchor of the soul) that some day it may be convenient for me to do so.
Uncle Henry is getting your boat built in Philadelphia. I hope that you may have many a pleasant sail n it. Little Sister Lida sends a letter to you by this mail. She seems to be quite as anxious as Rose to have Buddie Hennie for a correspondent. I suppose if you should make your stay much longer that Freddie will be sending you one also. Will you be surprised to learn that you Sister Louisa is really engaged to be married to the Rev. John L. Chadbourne? It is settled that they are to be married but when I do not know. He is now here and your Father, Mother and Tonie approve of the match, and hope that it may meet the approbation of their Son and brother also. He is a most excellent, honorable exemplary man, indeed there are but few young men at this day to be found, who are his equal. He has a fine, pure mind and it is well stored and cultivated, and I doubt not but that in time he will be a distinguished minister of the Church, I have heard his talents highly spoken of in that way by those who had a sight to know. All our relations and friends have a high regard for him. I hope that my dear Henry will be pleased with one who dearly loves his sister and who passes every requisite to make her a happy woman. With the love of all to you.
I am your devotedly affectionate
P.S. How much longer do you intend staying at the Live Oaks?