1832: David Damon to Norwood Damon

This letter was written by David Damon (1787-1843), son of Aaron Damon (1761-1828) and Rachel Griffin (1761-1839).  David Damon was married to Rebecca Derby (1787-1852) and they were the parents of at least seven children born between 1816 and 1829. David was a Unitarian minister. He graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 1811. He also helped found Cambridge’s Harvard Lyceum, studied theology at the Andover Theological Seminary, and was pastor in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, from 1815 to 1827. He was pastor of the West Cambridge Unitarian Church (now the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington) from 1835 to 1843. In 1841, he gave the Dudleian lecture at Harvard.

The letter was addressed to David’s and Rebecca’s oldest child, Norwood Damon (1816-1884) who was born in October 1816 in Lunenburg, Massachusetts – making him not yet 16 at the time. It appears he was on his way to Framingham, Massachusetts, with the hope of obtaining a situation as teacher in a select school. Norwood went on to a useful career as a Unitarian minister.

Stampless Cover

Page 1

Bottom of Page 1

Page 2

Bottom of Page 2

Page 3

TRANSCRIPTION

[Addressed to Mr. Norwood Damon, Framingham, Massachusetts]

Amesbury [Massachusetts]
August 31st 1832

Dear Son,

As we know that when a person first gets to a new & strange place, he likes to hear from old friends, I have thought best to write a few lines to meet you upon your arrival in Framingham, though I have not much of any consequence to communicate.

Yours of the 18th dated at Stow [Massachusetts], but postmarked at Lunenburg [Massachusetts], was duly received, inclosing another, which, agreeably to your request, I put away among my papers unanswered. I will just remark, however, that you have not made exactly the right disposition of that letter. If you had anything which it would be of importance to communicate to us in case of your sudden decease which it would not be of importance to communicate if you continued to live, you should have left it sealed with the proper directions about opening superscribed among your own papers, or put into the hands of a trusty & friendly third person. It may also deserve your grave & deliberate reconsideration whether there can be any thing which it would be of consequence to communicate after one is dead which is at the same time of no consequence to communicate while one lives – especially to one’s nearest, best & truest friend. I cannot very easily conceive of any such thing in ordinary cases & have therefore inferred that probably your communication is rather a boyish than a manly affair. Perhaps if it is of consequence, you would do well to write the same things in substance, seal & superscribe as aforesaid, & put it in your own trunk, & then give one notice thereof, in which case I could burn the letter I have; for it is possible my papers may be rummaged over without my knowledge, or I am as likely to die as you are, & probably more so, & in that case all the papers I leave would immediately be examined by others.

And here I am reminded of one thing, which I need not keep till I or any body else is dead, or make any _____ of at any time. It is this. As I am older than you & of course more likely to be the victim of Cholera & of every other disease, & as you are the oldest son, & come to years of some direction, I will say to you very solemnly: Into your hands I commit, in case of my disease, the protection of your mother. Whatever you do or do not, be sure you do this one thing – take the best care of your mother. See that she is provided for & treat her with the utmost kindness & respect as long as she lives. And here I have done with this matter.

Your mother has had quite an ill turn a few days ago; & for a little while, was even dangerously ill, but is now very much better & getting well very fast. She had talked some of going a journey this fall & now I am fully determined she shall go if it is a possible thing, for she can go better & it will do her more good than it probably would if this turn had not happened. In that case, we may shop our way through Framingham, but it is not likely we can start till October, if at all. I shall be the more inclined, if practicable, to take a journey your way for several reasons – your bills must be settled somehow, your mother is much delighted with my & Miss Blackburn’s description of Framingham, & since she has been ill herself, I have a notion she is a little figetty about you, your health &c.

We have no Cholera here & there has ceased to be any fear of it except among the intemperate, the ignorant, the vicious & the cowardly. Let persons be uniformly careful what they eat & how much they eat, remove all filth, be moderate in all things &c. & the danger is next to nothing here in N. England. This, I think, is now fully proved.

I wish you would write us a few words the first thing you do upon receiving this to let us know that you have arrived at Framingham, where you are to board, whether you have engaged a school, where it is, & if so, when it is to begin. If you have not engaged one, let us know as soon as you have, with the place where & the time when, it is to commence. Probably it will be best for you to make a visit at home before you begin unless you should begin very early. We once in a awhile see some one who has seen you — for instance, Rev. Mr. [Christopher T.] Thayer of Beverly a few days since. And yesterday a young Butters of Townsend, who by the description he gave of your person & appearance, I presume he saw you at Lunenburg last Saturday. By the way, I have heard flying rumours that brother [Rev. Ebenezer] Hubbard is about winding up at Lunenburg. Is it so? There is not a particle of news stirring in this region that is worth one cent.

Your affectionate father & mother,  — D. & R. Damon

[Editor’s Note: Norwood wrote at the bottom of this page:]

Thursday, September the Six, 1832. I began to board at Mr. Joneses in Framingham.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Civil War Letters of George Messer

Company F, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Jeff's Prayers are as Effective as Abe's

The Civil War Letters of George S. Youngs, 126th New York Vols

Soldiering is a Very Uncertain Game

The Civil War Letters of Lemuel Glidden, Co. K, 145th Indiana Infantry

Tough as a Pitch Pine Knot

Letters of John Whitcomb Piper, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

An Honorable Peace

The Civil War Letters of Frank B. Knause, 6th Michigan Infantry & Heavy Artillery

Looking for a Rebel to Give him a Pop

Letters to & from Sgt. John Henry Ward, 93rd PA Inf

Civil War Letters of William H. H. Kinsey

Co. H, 28th Illinois Infantry

Spared & Shared 14

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The 1863 Diary of Thomas Wilbur Manchester

A Rhode Island Soldier in the American Civil War

The Daniels/Stone Digital Archives

A Collection of Family Civil War Era Letters & Ephemera

Spared & Shared 13

Saving Civil War History One Letter At A Time

Spared & Shared 12

Saving history one letter at a time

Dear Nellie

Civil War Letters of Thomas L. Bailey

Homefront Letters to Mark Rankin

Co. B, 27th Massachusetts Vols.

These Troubling Times...

The Civil War Letters of William H. Walton, Co. B, 3rd New Hampshire

Reluctant Yanks

The Civil War Letters of Joseph F. & B. Franklin Orr, Co. F, 76th Ohio Infantry

Hunting rebels as a dog would a fox....

The Civil War Letters of George W. Scott of Co. I, 46th Massachusetts (Militia)

The Civil War Letters of William Hunt Goff

Company H, 24th Massachusetts

The Charles Wetmore Broadfoot Letters

Aide de Camp to Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes

Spared & Shared 11

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Billy Yank & Johnny Reb Letters

Civil War Letters Transcribed by Griff

To the Front

The Civil War Letters of David Brett, 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery

Dear Jack

Letters received by Dr. John William Crapster O'Neal

For the Union

Civil War Letters of William Freeland, Co. F, 132nd New York Infantry

I shall be Willing to Suffer

The Civil War Letters of Marquis Lafayette Holt of the 3rd New Hampshire Infantry

"Shall the Union be Preserved?"

The Civil War Letters of William Henry Hodgkins -- Co. B, 36th Massachusetts

The Civil War Letters of William Busby

A Private in Co H, 20th Iowa Vols

Diary of Henry Knox Danner

The Civil War Experience of a Private in Co. K, 30th Pennsylvania Infantry (1862-1864)

Franklin S. Twitchell

Co. B, 13th Connecticut Infantry

The Civil War Letters of Henry E. Mumford

A Colored Soldier of Co. B, 29th Connecticut Infantry

No Babies Play

Letters of Joseph Hazen, Co. F, 20th New York Cavalry

I Long to See You Again

The Civil War Letters of Willis McDonald, Co. F, 17th Connecticut Infantry

I stood in my tracks

The Civil War Letters of Benjamin F. Hulburd, 7th & 2nd Vermont Infantries

This fight will tell the story

Letters by Harlan P. Martin, Co. E, 123rd N.Y.V.

The Rebecca Breidenstein Collection

Letters addressed to Rebecca by both her first & second husbands during the Civil War

The Smoke of my Rifle

A small collection of letters by Capt. Augustus Alonzo Hoit of Co. G, 8th Maine Infantry

Trumpet of Freedom

Civil War Letters of Cyrus E. Ferguson -- a soldier and bugler of the 15th Iowa Infantry

The Bowdoinham Letters

Civil War Letters addressed to the Brown Family of Bowdoinham, Maine

"I am for war, till slavery is dead"

The Civil War Letters of Jerome Bonaparte Burrows, Captain of the 14th Ohio Independent Battery

"All glory to our flag -- and to those who defend it!"

Seven Civil War Letters by Col. Augustus Abel Gibson

"Mother, don't worry about me"

The Civil War Letters of Caleb & John B. Chase, 3rd & 9th Minnesota Infantries

"They will get but little duty out of me"

The Civil War Letters of Silas Townsend, 29th Mass Infantry & 3rd Mass Cavalry

"Teach my Hands to War..."

The Civil War Letters of John Hancock Boyd Jenkins, 40th New York Infantry

"It is Life or Victory Now"

The Civil War Letters of Pvt. Eli Caress, Co A, 50th Indiana Volunteers

In the Trough of the Sea

The Civil War Letters of Dr. Allen Smith Heath from Aboard the USS Daylight

From the Bottom of My Heart

The Digital Archives of the Hodgdon/Rayner Letters

Spared & Shared 10

Saving history one letter at a time...

When I Come Home...

The Civil War Letters of George Morgan of Company F, 11th New Hampshire Infantry

%d bloggers like this: