United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Forrer, Sarah Hastings Howard--Correspondence; United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Women
Dayton March 8th 1862 My Dear Augusta I received thine of March 2nd on Thursday afternoon, Howard went Wednesday evening and Husband in the morning, but no letter, sometime in the afternoon Lizzie *Haun* came over with it; twas put into Uncle's box. Tell Sella Grandmama is very glad she has been so industrious as to kint a Sontag for herself, I would like to see it. I am sure she must be improving greatly from all I hear, and we hope it will not be long before we see her and you all. We received two Independents this evening, I have been looking for a paper with some local matter worth sending, but did not see anything till today and not much then, but Howard says he will put it into the office tomorrow. I hear Mr. Stetson is living in N.Y. quite out of business and that Mrs. Stetson has rented a house and takes a few boarders. Maurice Harreson is in N.Y. with a niece or nephew, I do not remember which, who is under the care of a physician, She is staying at Mrs. Stetson's as is Mrs. Carnes also, and some few more, I believe, Cincinnatians chiefly. Mr. Conrad , who told me, says these boarders are their only means of support. What a change!! Mr. & Mrs. *Chase* staying in Urbana with Mary this winter, but expect to go to N.Y. as soon as the weather is warm, and hope they can board with Mrs. Stetson, Mary *Mardos* has been very ill, but is now better, though still very low. Mrs. Richards and Mrs. Williams are well. Should we not receive another of Demerest's fashion books by this time? Is it not quarterly? And has thee received one for March? I suppose one is due. Father has made an Elayere, I do not know how to spell it, like thine, and I am very proud of it. We have put all the little things on it from the *maulle pure* besides many others. He has also made Mary a portable easle which she likes much. I have given her a box for pallet brushes and colors, and she will soon be ready for her sketching. I think she almost envys thee thy opportunities of visiting the studios. She has painted a very pretty fruit piece but has not done much else, for she has not been quite well. I think of visiting Sister Mary sometime in May, and I wish to take Mary with me. I think it will do her good And I wish to go before Betty leaves because I do not wish to leave a stranger in charge of the house. Our men still talk of buying but do not close the bargains, I do hope something will be done this spring and John seems to think there will be, John showed me a letter from Luther in which he says he will sell his Ludlow house for 4000, I almost wish I had known he would sell for that sum before I bought in the country. It is so nearly finished and comfortable I would have been strongly tempted to buy it. Not that I do not like my purchase, but I know I cannot build such a house as yours, with all the souvenirs and comforts it has for that sum. I was anxious to go into it as you know, and still hope we may be able to leave here , Of course we do not wish to occupy it to prevent the sale, if it must be sold, If you rent it I think you will be sorry, we are taking very good care of it and shall continue to do so while it is in our care. I went down and took up all the carpets yesterday and will dust them and beat them in Camphor to keep them from moths. I still hoped thee would be home and kept them down after cleaning in the fall but I believe it is better to put them up. And if thee should return the house will be clean and can soon be put in order. I suppose John McMahon would enjoy the snug home vastly, but I cannot help hoping if it is rented it may be to us or that thee may live in it thyself. It is very provoking to be obliged to stay here feeling that we have no home in it any longer, and just waiting. You know what you wish and will do that, whatever it is, after you have considered well, I hope, whether it is to sell or rent, and let us know what to do with your goods. We will do the best we can for you. I do not know when we can build I expect to pay all for the place this summer, but will not be able to build yet. I am *impeded* sometimes, if we can go from here and your house is occupied or sold, to put up a room or two joining the cabin and go there to live. I think I would rather do it than move about town in every dirty place, for two or three years. There is one good room and a loft, and I might put two shed rooms for beds for Mary and Howard. I think we could live, We would not entertain much!! I suppose we could live though. And be more comfortable than in running over town. But it is not worth while to worry about these things. We shall all get settled some of these times. I do not suppose it is thy duty to find Uncle Joseph's family. It might be and probably would be Sister Mary's or Mine, if we were in N.Y. But thee has a husband and young family and it would be neither profitable nor agreeable to associate with them. I do not know exactly what Mary knows about the girls, but from hints Joan Murray dropped (which I did not understand at the time) and from something Mary wrote lately, I fear young Jeanette has strayed off entirely, I am not afraid to see them and would try to find and help them if I could do them any good. And if I could not, in the way of money, I would still *see* and try to advise and comfort. But thee cannot. Luther has no business to be annoyed with such a case and ought to protest against his wife and children being brought into contact with such persons. Love to all Kiss the little ones for me and Grandpa. Mary is at Jerries this evening.
Catharine Mitchill '31 Collection of Family Letters, Wellesley College Library, Special Collections