1831: Mary Hale to Alice Little Hale

This letter was written by Mary Hale (1807-1859) to her sister Alice Little Hale (1811-1889). They were the daughters of Thomas Hale (1773-1836) and Alice Little (1775-1819). The letter is directed to the care of their older brother, Benjamin Hale (1797-1863) in Hanover, New Hampshire, where he was at the time serving on the faculty of Dartmouth College.

Alice L. Hale married Rev. John Charles March (1805-1846) in April 1832.

The “Mrs. Baker” mentioned as being in ill health and dying may very well have been Mrs. Mary Baker, widow of Capt. Edmund Baker, who died in Newburyport, Massachusetts on 19 September 1831 at age 65.

[Editor’s Note: This letter is not dated but I believe Prof. Hale was only at Dartmouth between 1827 and 1831 so I would place this letter about 1831, prior to Alice’s marriage. An educated guess – Sunday, 14 August, 1831.]

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[Addressed to Miss Alice L. Hale, care of Prof. Benj. Hale, Hanover, New Hampshire]

Belleville, [Massachusetts]
Sunday evening.

Knowing my dear sister Alice that you will expect sister Sarah Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning, I thought I would write to soften in some measure your disappointments. Yet, I believe it is not yet positively decided whether grandfather goes tomorrow or Tuesday but there is not much doubt but he will wait until Tuesday as Uncle Josiah [Little] commences his journey on that day. It is quite uncertain what time Uncle Moses [Little] goes as Marian is quite sick of a fever and they think it is typhus fever. I shall not send this letter if Sarah should, but shall if she should not.

Aunt Deacon is rather more feeble or not quite as well to day as usual. After she had walked across the room a few days since, she injured her side in attempting to regain her chair. She fell on the arm of it and she has been troubled with it most of the time since. There is no apparent injury but she probably bruised it a little.

Mrs. Baker is undoubtedly failing and I believe the opinion is that it merely a possibility about her recovery. Miss Smith leaves Rochester tomorrow & I really do believe that there is truth in a report.

I hope you will enjoy yourself vastly commencement day and wish very much that Sarah could be with you. She feels somewhat disappointed in not going. You must dress yourself as becomingly as possible & feel very happy. I heartily wish that I could be there.

Jane W. Russell has written to you by sister Sarah and sends much love to you. I believe all move about the same as when you were here. I wish that it had been so that brother Edward had made us a visit before the commencement of his lectures. My love to him. He must attend very closely as these will be his last lectures. My love to my dear Father & say that we are all very well and getting along nicely. George says he hopes he will come home this week for they will “be out of bodies soon.” James White says he loves dear sister Ally best. Love to Benj. & Pars & kiss Ally & Benny.

Your affectionate sister, — Mary Hale


For information about Benjamin Hale, click here and here.


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