A woman named Sarah wrote this letter to her cousin, Lucius Fowler Thayer (1797-1843), the son of Dr. Nathaniel Thayer (1759-1824) and Nancy Fowler (1761-1847).
Addressed to Lucius F. Thayer, Westfield, Massachusetts
[Friday] June 8th 1838
My dear friends,
It was my instruction to have written you long before this, but I have had so many cares that I have found no convenient time. I suppose the first question to be asked were you to see me would be, have you found your trunk. It is very easily answered — No! And never shall! When I went to Springfield from your house, we had the same driver that brought me to Westfield. When we arrived at the stage house in Springfield, I enquired for Mr. Kingsly — the agent, but he was out & I did not see him. After the driver had taken me to Mr. Stillmans, he stopped & we had considerable conversation. Said that he recollected well about taking off my trunk & putting it into the house, and knew then upon reflection that it was mine that he put on for a passenger — according to directions as he believes. At any rate, he put on two trunks for him, supposed he was going to Albany but did not know. Promised that every effort should be used to find it. Mr. Stillman was not satisfied with this but went immediately down in the evening to see Mr. Kingsly. He told him that he would write on — and if he did not get it by that means, he was going himself to Albany some time in April and if possible, would find it. But I have heard nothing in this way. I staid in Springfield one day, then took the stage for home. I have had two opportunities of sending directly to Albany; once by a young man who was going to Ohio. He told me if it was there, he would certainly find it & was to write me if he found & sent it on. But I heard nothing from him. After that, a man from Ellington was a going to move goods to Albany for another. I also sent by him and have him an advertisement to be put in an Albany paper with several copies to be put up in different taverns on the road. Perhaps he left one in Westfield & you have seen it. I do not know whether he was to or not. I offered him a considerable reward if he would bring the trunk to me and he seemed to feel quite interested in it. I have not seen him since he returned. He sent me word that he saw the proprietor in Albany. Said that he thought probable that he trunk was stolen, but that it was not impossible that it had gone to Schenectady or Utica. If so, he was going there soom himself and would search for it, &c. And thus it stands. I suppose I must be reconciled to the idea of never seeing it again. It is rather hard for many articles I valued more than money. Mr. Parsons — or rather Mr. White — was very pofure [?] in his promises of restoring the trunk, or making it good by paying the money. I should like to see him do one of the two. What do you think, Mr. Thayer? Are they responsible, do you suppose? But I have written enough about this trunk affair.
Wednesday Morning, June 13th. I was unexpectedly called away last Friday and since that I have deposited two letter in the office, & now I will try to finish this. I believe I mentioned to you that Brother A. had gone to the South. He took over two or three hundred dollars worth of goods with him and I suppose paid considerable more than they were worth. Had them of ‘Pease & Hayden’ institution. When he got on them, found that he could not sell them as they represented, & finally made considerable sacrifice. Immediately on his return (which was the first of May) Pease & Hayden put an attachment on all his property — stock, hay & real estate. Brother H. came directly to Ellington, carried me down & gave me a mortgage deed of all his land &c. and Brother B. a mortgage after mine for the consideration of $108. He had previously mortgaged a piece of land for $800. He feels very much distressed — does not know what to do. Thinks he should make an assignment & let his creditor do the best they can. He came up last Friday. Wants me to go down and if I can, assist him about relieving the attachment. He thinks it would be so much better for the farm if it could be kept & sold together. I really feel quite troubled about it. I suppose I could raise a sufficient sum for the purpose, but do not know as it is prudent. I think I shall go down by & by with Brother B. Perhaps he will do something about it.
You enquired particularly about it when I was at Westfield, whether I had security, &c. &c. So I thought I would just tell you the situation no more than what I expected. When I returned to Ellington in the Spring, I found that the committee here had been waiting sometime for my arrival. He called at Brother Clarks the eve that I got home, & I concluded to teach the centre school in this place. They pay me eleven shillings per week, furnish me a Sabbath home & very good boarding places in the district. I like very much indeed. Have about 30 scholars.
Last Sabbath I spent in Ellington. Saw Mr. Pember, the gentleman who went to Albany. Said that he enquired for my trunk at every stage tavern between Springfield & Albany. Said they seemed to understand all about it as soon as he mentioned the name of the trunk. The proprietor in Albany said there had been much enquiry for it, but that it could not be found.
Yesterday noon I called in to Dr. Talcott’s, Mrs. T’s brother — a Miss Chittenden enquired particularly about Aunt Fowler & Family. Said that she had boarded with them some years since when she was traveling & had visited there once since. Wished me to send her love to Aunt F. She resides in Guilford when at home; came from there a few weeks since. Said that Aunt Fowler was quite unwell & was afraid she would not continue a great while.
Your affectionate friend & cousin, — Sarah