United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Bruen, Luther Barnett--Correspondence
Fort Hamilton Dec 6th 1812 Dear Wife: It is past four o' clock and a dark rainy afternoon, so dark that I can't read what I write. But having been in the city yesterday and acquired while there a realizing *decider* of the value of paper, I thought I'd see what I could do in the way of economizing it. This sheet is my first effort and I want you to let me know how it strikes you. I have a considerable amount of such paper when I left home and I suppose I have yet, which has become quite valuable. If we can use it in this way for letters to those who care more for what is written on the paper than the fashion or pattern of the paper itself. Paper costs twice as much as *chord* last spring and is constantly advancing. I wish you would bring on with you all that United English letter paper; I don't know where it is, in one of the ottoman drawers, I believe._ I could not find that book for Mary at Liggate's, but he is to inquire the price at Scribner's and let me know what it is. I don't know whether you directed me to buy it or not; I shall do so any way, if it is not too expensive._ By the way tell Mary to take all the books on art in my library to keep them till I want them. She might as well be using them as not; such now they are of no use to anybody not even the owner. If however you think you would like to use any of them, you have the preference of course. If the sheriff should get after my personal effects, she might save that much from the general wreck-- I think the old colonel (Burke) is beginning to show signs of mental dilapidation. He is not at all the man he was when I first knew him, and he is evidently failing rapidly. I fancy I can see a marked change in the last few weeks. By the way, he has taken a great "shine" to Mary's sketch and if there were much prospect of her appreciating it, I would like to have her copy it for him. But by the time she could get it done, I am afraid he would hardly know enough to recognize it. _ What is the reason you have never said anything about the way Mary's efforts have been received by the family. Is not the subject worth a few lines? Are you aware that I have a hopeful nephew or two in your locality where names you hear not feigned to mention hitherto? Where is Quince where is Dave Corwin & what are they doing? You have scarcely mentioned the name of one of Elija's or Priscilla's family. How is Sammy? and what is he doing? I might go on old information but their is certainly enough to put you on the track of giving me some interesting if not useful information. Tell Robert to write to me soon & let me know if he is going to Washington this winter. letter to-morrow, but not very strongly as it is more than probable that I shall have to wait until Monday. _ You ask me to give you some news. Well that is rather hard to do. We are pretty near as much isolated as you are in D., and get our news from New York. You ought to get the papers somehow._ The Independent this week has a very sanguine article from *Greeley*, a trifle too sanguine, I fear, but then it is pleasant to read such hopeful *raticinations*. It also contains *Bercher's* Thanksgiving sermon, which I have not read, but mean to. *Bercher* has another *startling* article on the President and his administration, which I suppose you would like to read. *Beg* the Independent of *lang.* The wash woman came the other day for her money. She said her bill was twenty two dollars and Emma says it is right, but as I could not find any memorandum from you showing how much we owed her. I paid her ten dollars and told her I would write to you about it and pay the balance in a week or two, with which arrangement she seemed very well satisfied. I sent you two (2) dollars in Postage notes in my last and will send you $XX in this letter and some more P. notes, if I can. I am anxious to hear how you are getting along with the children and hope I shall get a letter tomorrow, but not very strongly, as it is more than probable that I shall have to wait until Monday. We raffled for the Afghan today and DuPont won it. Are't you mad. Tell Sella and Robby to be good children till they get the measles and Frank to hurry and get-well. Tell Robby that Col B. wants to see him very badly. Give them all many hugs for me & pass my love around *away the Roth*. L.
Catharine Mitchill '31 Collection of Family Letters, Wellesley College Library, Special Collections