Boudinott, Delight Sargent. to Ann Eliza Worcester Robertson. 1865-1884, n.d. [197, 357, 472, 621, 673, 514, ND8]
Manchester March 21, 1865
My dear Ann Eliza.
Having found your address I undertake what I have long desired to do, that is, to write you a letter. About all that I have known of you, and other members of your fathers family, since the commencement of present war, is, that you all left your loved homes among the Creeks and Cherokees, stopped somewhere in Wisconsin, for a season, (how long I never heard) and that you now reside in Kansas. I judge from your address, that you are in some way connected with an Indian educational institution. I am glad that your interest in the much abused sons and daughters of the forest, has not subsided, and that, like your excellent father, if you cannot do for them what you would, and where you would, you persevere in doing what you can. Doubtless this is well pleasing to Him whose favor is to you better than any earthly portion.
If this reaches you, I trust you will give me at least, the outlines of your history since you last wrote, almost five years since. I would not cease to love and communicate with those whose characters, positions, and interests of every kind, have long been very dear to me. Of course I shall hope to hear through you, of your mother, brother, and sisters. Oh how gratified I should be to see each and all of you.
I occasionally see (or did last year) in the Vermont Chronicle, something from your brother in law, Dr. Hitchcock, from which I infer that the Cherokees and the few left among them to seek their good, have passed through heavy trials.
I trust those among the number who are christians, have found these afflictions though hard to bear, producing choice fruits. This is the christians privilege, wisely ordered by One who only knows how to wean his people from this world, and fit them for one where all tears are wiped away, and disappointments forever cease. If you know ought of our dear Miss Thompson do not forget to tell me of her.
I was deeply affected two years ago when the Cherokees abolished slavery,--have been grieved on account of their internal divisions, and ashamed, that Stand Watie, William and Cornelius, should choose to espouse the rebel cause. The last I knew of C. he was at Richmond, representing rebel Indians in Jeff Davis Congress. This was last autumn.
You may not know that Frank, was a Lieut in the Union army, and that he died suddenly of heart disease, at Yorktown, last May. His wife was with him at the time, but on the eve of returning to New York. She brought his remains to Conn. where he lies beside his three sisters. A few moments before his death, he was teaching his little son to repeat the verse "Now I lay me down to sleep" etc. I know but little of his wife, except she resides with her friends in New York City.
Henry Church, Eleanor's husband, married again some years since, as did Case, Mary's husband. I know little of them.
I have not kept house much for five years past,--sometimes board and at others, stop with relatives. My life is a lonely one. My health generally such as to enable me to accomplish more than I do, if I had a home and family to look after. I have spent most of the last three years in this place. Have now no relatives here, except a neice and her family.
I have spent considerable time in laboring for the comfort of our sick and wounded soldiers, having in charge the oversight of Soldiers Aid Societies, in this section of Vermont. I will send you a pamphlet with this. We hope this cruel war is almost over, but this is only hope.
Will you not write me soon, now if my eyes recover, I will write you again. I wish to know all about the Orphan Institute. When was it founded? Who supports it &c.
I suppose you know that your Uncle J. and wife, have a flourishing school in Burlington. Several of our Manchester girls are there.
I must close by an affectionate remembrance to your husband and children.
P. S. The condition of my eyes is such, as has been such that I have not written as much in three months as I have written to you on this sheet.
Rochester, October 17, 1871
Dear Mrs. R.
If I should commence this letter by saying that I cannot remember when I last wrote you,--"the same old story," would probably drops from your lips, after reading the first sentence I think how ever, it is a year or two, but am not quite willing to admit that, like most persons of my age, my memory is failing fast, if I do not remember all that I wish or ought. I am certain that I shall never willingly forget my love and respect for your honored parents, nor their dear children. The eventful scenes through which I passed, while associated with them, and other loved missionaries, forbid this. If I know myself the interests of our great redeemer's kingdom, especially, as I see it extending into the benighted regions of this world, is my greatest joy and comfort. Last evening, after reading the continued accounts of the awful conflagrations at Chicago, and other places farther west, and then the agitating and fearful disturbances in New York City, together with threatening aspect on the other side of the Atlantic, I could only exclaim, where, 0 where do people look for comfort and support, when they deny an overruling providence, and refuse to recognize the hand of the Lord in these sore calamities.
Yesterday, I listened to animated discussion in the Horse Cars concerning Chicago. A rich, but I suspect miserly old man, declared that the city was only receiving its just due, for, said he, "if there is a God, he is just as well as merciful." He said much more, to make me fear that he was not sharing in blessedness of giving, to relieve the suffering. Our great country has indeed received a terrible blow in this sad calamity, but the children of God have a place of refuge, and it ill becomes those in prosperity to with-hold sympathy. It is little that I can do except to pray, but I thank my Heavenly Father who gives me a heart to do this, remembering that this is not to be lightly esteemed.
When in Troy, I frequently hear something of your mission from Presbyterian publications, of course I read these with more than ordinary interest, but I seldom hear directly from William or his family, or Cornelius except when you write. Frank's wife and child I met last year. She continues to travel with an Opera troup, sometimes leaving her little son with Mrs Gunn, a lovely woman, Franks cousin. It grieves me to see her thus employed; but she says that she knows no other way to obtain a living. It would be difficult for me, or any one to convince her to the contrary, so long as Christians countenance and support institutions like those she chooses.
I have been spending the summer with my nephews and neices in this beautiful city, much of my time in sight of the American garden of nursyries, fruits and flowers. These, as you may know, supply nearly all America and some foreign lands, with trees and seeds. This however is not Rochester's greatest beauty. The goodly churches and pastors, and noble institutions of charity, are its crowning ornaments. But a worldly spirit is not wanting, and it is not easy for all christians to say of it, "thou shalt come no farther.
I am concerned for any place, when I see prayer meetings neglected. Do you see signs of a general revival of religion in our land? Some do just now. But is there not much returning to the Lord with weeping and supplication called for, before this great blessing can come.
I expect to return to Troy and pass the winter with my friend Mrs. L. L. Stewart. Do you know that I have no earthly home. But I am not friendless, and have many merices to be thankful for. May I not count among those in store, soon to be received, a letter from you and your mother if with you. I thank her much for all her letters, and depend more upon them for particulars concerning your families than any source.
I know less and less about your relatives in New England, had only a glympse of your Boston uncle a year since at the meeting of the American Board at Brooklyn. That was a grand meeting--made doubly interesting and and affecting by the division of the missions between the Presbyterian and American Board. But no harm has come from this,- doubtless an increase of good.
Is Miss Thompson still with you? much love to her if she is--also your husband and every member of your father's family.
When I write to John Blunt, at Galena will tell him of you. He is a Rail Roadman. I must close now.
Yours as ever,
P. S. My address will be still 67 5th St. Troy, NY.
Mr. S. her husband, after exhausting his earthly treasures in founding Oberlin found a large return in the sale of his justly celebrated cooking stove, but his liberality toward every good work threatens to leave him with a stinted supply of earthly support in his declining years. Like his excellent helpmeet, his heart is fixed, trusting in God, and if ever I saw people who have an undisputed right to claim the promise, "Light is sown for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart, they are such. Their views and habits in the use of worldly goods, would remind you of your honored parents, and you would, with me, praise the Lord for such company.
I can never forget how much I am indebted to your dear parents for comfort and counsel in a season of sore trials. I have not visited Conn. since Eleanor's death, though I hope to do so the coming summer. E's daughter is a cripple, from what cause do not know. Mrs. Brinsmade is the same good woman, but declines more rapidly than Grandma Gould, her noble mother. I hear that Mrs. Beach (Cornelia B) is less even-minded and cheerful, than is desirable, though a respectable woman.
I am deeply interested in your mission and hope to hear of its continued prosperity, in spite of the ever changing aspect of Indian matters in your vicinity. If I had the means I should much love to visit you, taking the old Cherokee country in my way, sad as the reminiscences by the way would be.
The contents of the letter alluded to, at the commencement of this, were as follows. H. K. Corning a wealthy New York christian merchant while spending the summer in Manchester one day handed me the little booklet, a copy of which you had previously sent to me, remarking that the story was to him a touching one. The next day I read to him extracts from your letter which added to his interest in the little work, and your mission. On hearing me express a wish that I had a hundred to distribute he replied, that he had assisted in the publication of Sophie, and authorized me to ask them of your missionary, the author and publisher, whose name I do not remember. He said they would be sent by Express or mail, without expense to me. This is the substance of the unanswered letter. Can you throw any light upon the subject. If so, and if the pleasure of receiving them, on any terms is practicable, please let me hear from you soon. Their circulation here, would do good, though I should expect to divide with Vermont friends who, as I do, highly esteem Mr H. Corning.
My address is Young Men's Christian Association Rooms, Broad Way, Troy, N.Y.
My kind regards to your husband, Miss Thompson and your dear children.
I wish to write to your mother and Leonard, but have an impression that they are not in the place they were. If not to much trouble please send to her my first sheet written hastily in the night; and ask her to write me directing to the care of L. L. Stewart, Troy N. Y. or 67 Fifth Street.
[Postcard postmarked Jun 12 12M Troy, N.Y. and addressed to:]
Mrs. A. E. W. Robertson
90, 4th St Troy June 11. 1880.
Dear Mrs. R. I am glad you had a visit from Moody. Did he offer to take ten of your girls into his school at Northfield. If so and you send them, can you make an arrangement for us to see them on their way, Many I think would like to see them though I have some doubts about his plan if he has one. When convenient let us hear from you on this subject. Love to all D. S. B.
90. 4th Street
Dear Mrs R.
One week last Sabbath Rev. Dr Irvin informed his congregation that he had invited Capt Pratt with his six Indian boys whom he met at Saratoga to speak in our church in the evening. Of course I went with all the friends I could muster and they were many. I told Capt P. who I was, also the boys and was happy to meet your Robert Stuart and another Creek whose is forgotten The large assembly was delighted, but our money we saved for Alice who came later. Several of our ladies were at her meeting and contributed there (Saratoga) so that what she received her was less than otherwise but I belive she has secured the prayers of many which you have learned brings money when needed I suppose the sum she received at Saratoga, with what she is receiving here and at Waterford also Lansingburgh will be nearly if not quite $1000.
I should have urged her to visit Rochester and Wells College where my neices are, but she reminds me that commencements are near, and they must have their day.
My visit with her was altogether too limited to please me, but I told her somethings which I have told you about her honored grand parents, and if I cannot recover some lent papers, shall use my memory to rewrite for her and send to you if my failing sight allows you see what work I make even without pen and ink.
I told Alice I would write to day, so you may know although she is tired, is doing well and yet exhausted. I wish that I could see some whom I tried to train engaged in a like work. Mrs Brinsmade, Elanors good aunt died two months since at the age of 88. E's daughter is kindly cared for, a music teacher in the Gun school which her dear cousin Mrs. G with the aid of her daughter and husband keeps in operation at Washington Conn. Mrs G writes me that Frank's son is a fine boy, though delicate and is kindly cared for, by his step-father.
I do sympathise with you and yours in all your trials that I know of and would be glad to write you a long letter, and so would Mrs Stewart whose love you have though she is not here. You will doubtless her from again in the coming autumn. My best love to Mrs Moore and husband and your sisters too
As ever D. S. B.
N. 4th Street
Dear An Eliza
I might have told you ten days since that the Bed coverings in my care, for yourself Alice and Gracie, with an apron for each were ready; but waited to learn if there would be room for them in the Waterford Box. How soon the latter will go, have not yet learned or whether there will be room for articles in my care do not know but wishing you to particulars about them will tell you now.
For your bed is a large, handsome covering tied instead of quilting with red, white, and blue worsted. It is to you a gift to you from my dear friend Miss Lucretia Redfield of the Day Home. Gracie saw her when there with me and Alice a moment when in Troy at the Second Street Pres. Church. The Log Cabin quilt (large) is altogether the work of my own hands, of course not very sewed with my defective sight, but is pronounced the handsomest of the three. Most of the sample pieces were given me by a merchant friend There is no cotton inside, but is quite as heavy as if it had. Dear Alice will receive it as my gift to her. She may al- look before long for some reminisences of your honored father which I promised her. They will not be equal to those I prepared several years ago, when Rev. Dr Eady his Colleg chum was anxious to write at least a Tract concerning him. But they were lost by a Saratoga lady with whom they were left for me some twelve years since. Think you met his daughter at Lansingburgh. I mean Alice met her. Dr E died soon after his purpose to write the Tract. If you have a file of the Cheroke Phoenix or of the Missionary Herald published between 1828, and /35 you would find all; also the Records of the United States Supreme Courts of that period would greatly help I am glad to hear of the Academy at Vinita, though have yet to learn whether the little town is in the Territory or in the U. S. Rev Mr Harwood I was well acquainted with some years since My neice who wrote you from Wells College, Aurora, had something to do with your Organ, and other matters is now at Springfield Missouri. She may visit you sometime.
Of the quilt for Gracie, I must be more particular. The small pieces were given my by a young merchant from his sample package. The long stripes I purchased with money given me by a Mr Kellog whose mother was my school companion. You received directions from him at our Depot when leaving Troy for Dartmouth three years since. He invites to dine with on his or her birth day. I heard two years since, Yesterday he contributed to pay the fare for sendind the quilts, &c. Mr Cushman's taste selected the Calico, and during the two weeks I spent with them, Mary and Margaret (two lovely girls) thred my needles, cut some pieces, basted some and did all they could, while their dear mother furnished the lining and sewed most of the long stripes on her noieseless sewing machine. Mr Kellogg's money paid for the quilting
The Card you will find attached to the quilt was printed by one of the daughters. It gives me too much credit, but will send it, just as they wrote. If Gracie does not write to them when she receives it, I shall be sorry, the Calico apron is for yourself, the white ones for A. & G. made by Mrs J. House & daughter. I hope to procure a quilt for Mrs Moore, or your Hannah just which needs it most.
If Mr Cushman goes to California, may visit you. Mrs C. is the daughter of an friend of mine, and neice of the first Mrs Hambor of Constantinople. Just now they shut in at Newtonville for the winter Somewhat relieved from their pecuniary troubles but still unsettled Please write soon & say to what place we shall direct our box.
90. 4th Street, Troy March/84
Dear Mrs R.
Thank you for your late letter. It has been through the Bushes, is now among the Houses, doing its appropriate work I trust.
Did I mention in the "Reminisences that when your father removed his relation from the the East Tennessee Presbytery, Rev Dr Anderson (Presbyterian) President of Maryville Seminary, said, We have lost the only man who can bear contradiction without becoming angry. Also that when a distinguished clergyman (still living at Saratoga) at a dinner given to the Presbytery, that the freedom given to colored people was no blessing to them" af- a moments pause, Brother S. please changes with them before further judgment was the only reply and that from your father No more was said on that subject during dinner. Among the guests was Professor E. who a few years previous was silenced by this same Pres. for saying similar words in the pulpit. If Professor Hoyt or Professor Pope were living, they might confirm what was said of him when chairman of the Examining Committee. His examinations are so critical the students are afraid of him.
I find myself multiplying similar instances, but must say no more now.
I hope you will not delay writing for the St. Louis Evangelist. I shall want several copies. To whom shall I send the pay? We hope to see Alice again, and Gracie must not fail to visit the Cushman's if consistent. Their troubles are not yet ended. We are praying that a field may open to Mr. C. They are only three miles from me, but the River, the ice and a large body of snow is between us.
Did you know their relative Miss Beach concerning whom Mr. C. wrote you, was the lovely woman drowned when the Columbus was wrecked off Martha's vineyard. Her body was the first washed upon the shore, without a bruise I knew her mother and other relatives. Her mother died in an insane asylum Her only brother leaves a daughter who promises to be like her aunt.
I am writing too much for my eyes, will get some one to read a long letter from my neice at Springfield Mo. and then perhaps add something.
March 6. My neice Miss Fowler is now in Drury College A letter just received says she is contemplating a a trip to New Orleans, or Fayetteville You may see her some day. Mr Bush is unable to feed himself.
Dr. Webber is gone and his place supplied by Dr Anderson of 0shcosh
I intend to send the quilts as soon as the fourth is finished, the pictures sooner if Alice comes this way. I do sympathise with you in your numerous trials
Yours as ever