1833: Sophie (Bradford) Hill to George Bradford

This letter was written by Sophie (Bradford) Hill (1800-1841) to her brother George Bradford (1788-1846). Their parents were William S. Bradford (1758-1824) and Elizabeth Sears (1760-1828)

Sophie was married to Chase H. Hill. She and her brother George are both buried in the Rocky Hill Cemetery at Wethersford, Connecticut. George is reported to have died 30 September 1846 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

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[Addressed to Mr. George Bradford, New Bern, North Carolina]

New York
February 17th, 1833

Dear Brother,

As novelty and variety usually delight man as well as woman, I have somehow taken it in my head that he novel circumstance of receiving a letter from me would be not an unpleasant interruption to the train of your daily thoughts, I therefore commence writing, tho without the expectation of filling my sheet with interesting news, or of saying much of consequence to you, except that we are all well, from Fanny & Charlotte you have probably heard recently.

I see by the papers that Grimes has been at New Bern. You say in one of your letters to Fanny or Charlotte, that you hope I may never know the want of a brother. I believe you[‘re] sincere in wishing me all [the] good that the world can afford, but should I never need a brother’s assistance, I think there are few who would more fully appreciate a brother’s affection than myself. Perhaps you think, or have thought me ungrateful. I trust I am not. I shall not forget the many kindnesses you used to do me, nor the pleasure you took in seeing me pleased, but I am not very abundantly supplied with patience. So after a silence of years on your part, I sometimes imagine that your long absence from your sisters has weakened your affection for them, and almost numbered them with the forgotten. But these gloomy ideas of mine should find some excuse in consideration of my ill health and weak condition, both of which I think have improved a little since the long sickness I had two summers ago.

North Dutch Church in NYC

Your old friend, Johanna Cooper (or Huypers) died of a fever last fall. Her father was taken sick immediately after, and has not been out till within a few weeks. I was sorry to have the old gentleman very sick, but I am very sorry he has got so well as to be able to preach, for he has preached 3 Sabbaths out of the 4 that he has been able to go out at the North Dutch [church] where Mr. Bulkley has a slip in which he and Betsey have offer’d Mr. Hill and myself a seat whenever we choose to go there. Brownlee, DeWitt, & Knox are still station’d over the two churches.

I expect there have been many alterations and improvements in this City since you left it, which — were you here — would cause you to look about you with considerable interest. At Rocky Hill, the changes are very trifling except at our own dear home. There the alteration is sorrowful in the extreme. Yet still it is to me the dearest spot that earth can boast. And do you not intend to visit it the coming summer? You say you hope to and will if business will allow it. This pleasing expectation has been held out to us for so many successive seasons, that I dare not flatter myself it will soon be realized. Yet I will still hope that the coming one will prove more fortunate to us in this respect than former ones have.

I intend going to Connecticut early in summer (and perhaps I may reach New Hampshire again, tho’ it is so long journey for me). Betsey also goes “home” every summer. We board in the same house, occupy the rooms on the second floor so that it is but a few step from one room to the other. Of course neither of us stay alone much of the day. Mrs. Brainard lives in Catherine St. still. She is one of the old fashion’d “true blues” and I think a sincere friend to our family. She enquired about you the last time I called on her. Said she wished very much to see you, but old Joc. Slu__ bah! They have Mrs. Welles with them this winter. You know, of course, that she is a widow of several years standing, and I would not say for a certainty that she will not stay a few years more. I have little more to say of her than Joc.

Mr. Wright resides in Brooklyn still. He has built a very pretty house and lives very neatly indeed. His daughter will soon be a very accomplished and wise young lady with considerable cash. You had better come on and court her, & who knows but you would succeed. You would stand a better chance with her than with her father, I think, for money is his hobby. But I think any poor man to take her with all she’ll have would get but a bad bargain. But money might make her agreeable to some. Her mother is the best woman in the world.

Sister N., I know very little about this winter. She look’d very well when I left Connecticut in November last. I shall send this by the first packet so if it is a little old, you need not be surprised. I have written two letters today, two last Saturday, and have two more to write tomorrow, and shall write you again soon or “one of these days.” In the meantime, believe me to be Mon cher fren — Sophie.

P.S. Betsey says give my love and say I would write him but for my old eyes [and] that she wants very much to see you. I suppose she thinks her old eyes are not so dim but that she would know you, but they serve very well for an excuse for making me her secretary the two past years. I do not consider it a very laborious office. Yours, — Sophie.

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