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Miss Anne Whitney
Care of R.H. Manning Esq
No. 54 Courtland St.
[blank, embossed seal, no writing or discernible image]
[embossed upper left corner - Carson's Congress ?]
Sunday P.M. Jan'y 1st 1860
My New Year's wishes dearest are not lessened but sobered by the delay in their utterance caused by a call from Geo. Skelton + the announcement of his grandmother's death that took place this P.M. at 1/2 past 1 oclock. Yesterday father saw her doing her usual work, but impressed by her increased feebleness urged upon her the absolute necessity of finding somebody to assist her + while he was there Martha went out in pursuit of a person of whom she had had heard. As father had to leave before her return, I had resolved to go down early tomorrow if no one had been found + do what I cl'd till a better person sh'd take my place. Better is it for our poor Aunt that her sufferings have not been prolonged into the new year + well too may be for me that another sad lesson teaches me that right action + not good intentions are of any avail. This morning for the first time she had a fire made
in her room before attempting to get up. While dressing, she fainted & the Dr. being called in, gave her opiate (I suppose) + she slept most of the time I think till she died. Only a few minutes before, she for the first time expressed the positive belief that she cld not recover. She has been surrounded by kind + attentive friends, but I cannot but feel reproach that we of her family did not make more earnest effort to overcome her reluctance to have an efficient assistant with her all the time; for we have more clearly seen than those all the time with her how ill she was. We however were deceived by the temporary rally under the influence of whisky + thought she might still farther improve. I doubt if any one will be more saddened by her departure than mother, + for her sake I feel more sadly the uselessness of my late formed purpose. I grieve too for Aunt Tufts that Sarah's situation shd have prevented her from being in C. as much as she desired. Evng - Edwd + his family have been with us to day. He & C. have been to a society meeting
in wh Mr Fuller had a decided majority of friends wishing to settle him - tomorrow the legal voters of the parish will probably give him a call. I am sorry enough on my own account, but far more sorry for a great number of the people who almost hating him feel it their duty to listen to him. I sh'd like to hear a good word spoken for him by someone who has known him from childhood + thus remove the disagreeable impression made upon me by all the man says or does. I am ashamed to dislike any person with whom I am so wholly unacquainted.
Yesterday while Carrie + I were gone to W. Newton with Aunt E. we missed a call from Mary S. wh. I very much regretted not having seen her for more than a week. The mercury today has been too near zero to tempt me to a drive over to her, but I hope to go soon. We hear that a thermometer at the village this morn'g said 12. but ours was not quite 4 below 0. at our Sunday morn'g breakfast hour. Katie heard F. Kemble for the first time last week in Hamlet + though enjoying it much + admiring a good deal, says she can't understand the extacy many express. I saw for a moment the returned school master. He has grown grey + thin + old but is the same peculiar genius as of old. Henry L. is pretty well a Katie calls herself ditto.
Aunt Sarah + Edwd have been with us this evng - They tell us that Mrs. Eskildson has been very ill.
A very nice looking little book by Mrs Dall came to us to day from the club - "Woman's Right to Labor," + as far as I have read a very good + well written book.
My interest money came in promtly last evng - I shall have to let some of it fly directly but other some I have let to Edwd, knowing no better way to preserve it till a time when I may need it more.
Do you read the papers in these days? or get up any excitement over the times? Do you not fear to go South of Mason + Dixon's line where the slightest expression of anti slavery opinion brings the fiends from L-C to its judgment. Mr Parker's letter is too war-like to suit my taste or principles - but I must say that my blood often boils within me at the relation of Southern outrages. How below human was the treatment of the poor Irishman Power in Columbia! There certainly can be no union with such devils. Mr Brown certainly cld not take you there. I am not sure that I shall not lose respect for him if he can live in such a city. Did you see Mr Greely's speech on the "Woman Question," to the Mormons?
Last night old + new year excitement kept me long awake - to night I must at least give my eyes rest. [illegible] So dearest hoping you will comprehend the love wh can find no expression. I am with ^special love + new years wishes for all whom I always care for + love - believe me
ever thine own Sarah
[written up the side of the page] Though Edwd is to be the bearer of this letter, I shall direct it to Courtland St. + it may give you the first notice of his arrival.
Whitney, Sarah and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from Sarah Whitney, to Anne Whitney, New York, 1860 January 1" (1860). Papers of Anne Whitney (MSS.4): Correspondence. 354.