East New Market


27 February 1839

Elizabeth Waggaman to her son, John C. Waggaman

(Collection of Frank Collins, Fort Mill, SC)

[The year the  letter was written (1839) was established by the mention of the marriage of Mr. Winthrop and Matilda Pitt.  This marriage is recorded in the Dorchester County marriage records on 4 September 1838, George W. Winthrop to Marilda Pitt.]

East New Market, Md
18 3/4 (cents)
Feb'y 27th
Mr. John C. Waggaman
Carmichael Green Cor, Pennsylvania

New Market - Feb 24
My Dear Son -

Your kind letter came safe to hand last mail.  My apology is my bad sight, I let your specs fall and broke them and never been able to spare the money to replace them.  I cannot suit myself about these.  I shall have to go to the city some time.

Cousin Henryetta R. has been spending some time with us.  I think her one of the finest of her sex although a Catholic.  Dr. Handy called to see us yesterday from Wilmington and wants to move here immediately.  Says there is no place like Maryland.  Dr. Richard Hayward has settled near.  He is a very moral fine youth.  I think will do well.

They celebrated old Washington's birth here by a ball.  Dr. H. says in Wilmington it is celebrated by prayer and fasting.  May our Lord and Master speed the time that we may do the same, for great is the need.  Religious matters seem to have but small weight with the people generally.

Mr. Manning has purchased that large brick house belonging to Dr. Rick.  Is putting it in elegant order.  Reports say he is hunting for a wife.  They pledge much about him.  He and William  were here yesterday.  William is courting Deborah Collins.  She is a very smart girl and says Will is too big a fool.

There is a young gentleman from Delaware comes here sometimes.  He is rich.  Reports say Wm Manning is worth seventy thousand dollars.  I like him better.  He stands very high among the first gentlemen of the county.  In point of honor and integrity, I think she would do well.

We got a letter from our Olean Catherine a few weeks ago.  She was in very good spirits, but never says what she or Henry is about.  Only they were boarding and Henry's business called him to Florida very often.  That Mary had grown a great big woman.  Sent her love to me.  She often wishes you would go south.  She says you might get a fine salary as a teacher.  Aunt Waggaman and the children are in Baltimore.  Christun is going to be married to a poor man in Annapolis.  Young Bland, Son Skinner, the old people, are much put up about it.

I felt very thankful, you got your shirts at last.  We thought they were lost and somebody had worn them out, much to my grief.  I had some nice socks knit for you in hopes last Spring I might get an opportunity to send them.  I kept them a year.  Found not chance to send them.  I took a mighty liking to our Methodist preacher and gave them to him.  He was very thankful and gave me an affectionate prayer for my household in hopes the Lord will provide some for you in their place.

Seymore came to see me this Winter and brought his bills of repair the house  is quite comfortable, and a good well of water.  He keeps after me to enclose the garden and yard and when I come to settle with him, he only paid me nine dollars.  That did not much more than pay the taxes on it.  I took his obligation for this year and would give him no chance for any more bills.  I had a great mind to turn him out, but it was too late.  I have got all the bill to show you for satisfaction.  They are very neat people.  They keep up the enclosure very good.  I hope you will  come and judge for yourself this year.

My dear child, you do not know how much pleasure it would give me to put my arms around your neck once more.  I sometime think I never shall see you again.  My spirits are very fluctuating.  I sometimes think I have outlived all my friends, and all my money.  A family of six or seven is not to be supported with out many trials and difficulties.  Stephen has got so sickly he is of no us to me, only an expense.  Carter has been down all the Winter.  Carna has grown very fine stout girl to her age.  Virginia takes all I can raise to make her look respectable as lean.  I sometimes tell her I wish she was not so proud.  She would not have the little black horse although a very clever little body.  She could not have him.  Grandmother, Aunt enjoying good health and spirits.  They have been to Baltimore to see the quality.  Returned very gay.  They often speak of you.  Cousin H. says you are her brag piece.  Every thing in john.  Is right.  Whenever she speaks of you, she laughs, but any of the rest its with a sigh.

Your affectionate Mother, Eliza Waggaman

My Dear brother,

I take this opportunity of writing to you.  I now go to school to Mr. Winthrop.  I am going to learn Latin.  I go the papers that you sent me.  I wish you would come home.  I want to see you very bad.  I have just got through the English grammar.  I am ciphering in Emerson's arithmetic.  This Winter we have had forty five scholars.  Have you had a cold Winter?  We have not.  I would be very glad if you will write to me.

Your affectionate Brother, H.P. Waggaman

I read Mr. Sprague's beautiful piece that you sent me to read and like it much.  I wish you good health.  Farewell.  I went out and left Henry to fill up my paper.  You can judge him.  We never said a word respecting any subject.  Its all his one diction.  He said he could  not think of anything to say.  You would laugh at him.  Mr. Winthrop married Matilda Pitt and is much of a gentleman.  Believe me your affectionate.

Eliza Waggaman