Rhode Island was a refuge for many different
religious sects; including Quakers, Jews and others. Westerly was the largest
town in the area of Clarks Falls, Connecticut and a market for the farmers in
the area. The letter below was written by a Quaker lady to her son in
Centerville, RI. It is apparent from the letter that the family were farmers
and members of the Society of Friends living in the Clarksville area. I have
reproduced the letter as written with misspellings and colloquialisms
Falls to Westerly is 5.7 Miles)
17th of 9th Mo, 1880
My Ever Precious Child,
This week has nearly passed without my writing to
thee, not but that I have thought about it very often. In
first place, we have been very busy. Thy father gathered some wild grapes,
cooked sifted & helped boil down & I drove to
sugar & it is nice & stiff. (Grape Jelly)
washing & had all of
ironing done 4th day eve. Fifth day thy father & I went to
meeting, only four of us, but we had an excellent mtg. Four
(????) and two sermons. Thy father said we had a good meeting.
Harriette D. Collins came home with us. We took dinner in Francis' room as we
had made lamb soup that as I furnished half
or Sarah did
cooking. I furnished pie, biscuits, tea & sugar soon after dinner.
I went with Harriette to make calls. Went to Tyler & Lisa Stuarts,
widow Dolly Hair & from there went to see Susan Ann Eccleston who is sick.
She raised a little blood & she said it frightened her almost to death for
her father & mother had raised blood & she had expected to have
consumption (Tuberculosis) & I
suppose she thought now it had come. We found her sitting up. She had rode out
Lizzie Dalton was not as well that morning, had had a run of her heart
fluttering. That brought me back as far as
town & then found
Perry children had got home, I went in and made
them a call. Vira seemed to think it rather short, but then I had to come home
and get supper.
Had a letter from Beckie today, she could not tell when they should get away,
there are so many under brother's care and more coming, her sister Lizzie had
lost her baby daughter. Beckie had written for her parents to go to GT. B.
not identify place-Possibly Great Britain)
now so as to be at
fair. Beckie was not well.
Berdin had engaged two rooms at
Collins home & sent to
for Angie &
their daughter, too bad that he did not bring them with him.
Today thy father sold 112 lbs of pork at 9 Ĺ a lb. Yesterday he & I
said they got mad at him, she called him Zekiel. Francis took them to
& sold half of them & I meant to
have taken some hens your father had dressed but forgot it then & when Abel
got back with the
pork and with
poultry not sold, he fed Jettie, ate his own dinner & took them to
& got $3.00 for six hens. I think we did well for our day. They have sold
three lambs and are to go next second day (Monday).
today & he says he will have
forty cts a lb for
Good Night my darling boy. Sweet be thy sleep & dreams
(At this point,
Electra stopped writing for
night to continue again
Itís a glorious morning, perfectly lovely. All as well as usual. The enclosed
is to pay for 9 pounds of
muttons which we are to have. Francis said he would credit his part to
thee. He has someone at work for him today.
All Join in love to
Ever lovingly thy mother
Electra Jane Collins
thee will get this all right,