Download Full Text (12.2 MB)
New York 10 Jany '73
Dear Sarah, I don't know what report you have had from this quarter since I last had this pleasure, but I believe Mary has written once, & perhaps others. It was but natural that you should wish to be kept advised of Emma's condition, and I having a little idleness in my hands will fill up the gap [cross out] with a little idle gossip. Emma has been so [cross out] wonderfully well through all her sickness that it can hardly be said that she has been sick at all. We may not see her down stairs next Sunday to dine with us, but she will eat as heartily as the bch of us sitting up in her room.
Her baby partakes of her general good health & constitution and is getting on & flourishing astonishingly. He grows every day and every night, and already begins to assume properties that would do credit to something more than a doll baby. Carrie is so delighted with her nephew in every way, that she is unmindful that the little thing is outgrowing her [deletion: bab] dolls clothes with which she has been covering its nakedness since it came to the light of this world. Fortunate it was for the mother that the aunt had a wardrobe ready for it, equal to the occasion. Her knit jacques , overskirts, and underskirts were a good fit, and just the thing that was wanted in the emergency. Her friends have
been very kind, attentive and considerate since the birth of her child and Emma has already drawerfulls of all sorts of things that are needed now or will be useful herafter - I wish you could see some of the beautiful gifts of flowers that have bee sent to her - one of the last ones in the form of a cradle with a tiny baby in it, of the old fashioned shapes with a covering for the head, the rest open - made of wine and covered with exquisite flowers. These little attentions are pleasant and gratifying to the mother; what the baby thinks of them I am not advised. Emma already begins to lay down laws for the government of his first born child, and to hear her you would suppose she had arrived at years
of discretion, and that this little "beggining of wisdom" was yet to be a marvel of goodness & all perfection - God grant that the hopeful mother may not be disappoint. in her training her child to what he should be, and to all good. But much is to be learned, my dear child Emma, and you, quite as much as your baby, are but in the beggining of wisdom. What is to be the future of you or your baby, "I, nor you, nor nobody knows."
There Sarah, is a letter full of baby & Emma - of the rest of us, I have only to say that all are well, & with love & greetings to all [illegible] goodby. James.
Whitney, James Frothingham and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from James Frothingham Whitney, New York, New York, to Sarah Whitney, 1873 January 10" (1873). Papers of Anne Whitney (MSS.4): Correspondence. 1347.