This letter was written by Joshua A. Tilden (1812-1879), the son of Walter Tilden (1784-1872) and Rebecca Hones (1785-1843). Joshua wrote the letter to his wife, Caroline (Carpenter) Tilden (1813-1843) who was visiting family back in Connecticut. She was the daughter of Ralph Carpenter (1770-1850) and Mary Spicer (1783-1858) of North Coventry, Connecticut. I note, however, that Caroline died some six weeks after this letter was written. Family records say she died in Brooklyn, New York on 6 October 1842 when she fell from a building. Joshua was a merchant in Utica. After his first wife’s death, Joshua married a woman named Margaret A. Hodges (b. 1813) and moved to Brooklyn where he made a living as a manufacturer of sewing silks. In 1879, after going deaf and suffering financial reverses in his business, Joshua committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Addressed to Mrs. Caroline Tilden, North Coventry, Connecticut
Utica, [New York]
August 22, 1842
I rec’d your letter of the 14th giving your safe arrival home. I should have answered it before but I expected one from your father by what you wrote — but I have not received any.
I am as well as usual. Business quite as dull as ever. No money in market. Promises quite plenty – that is all I can get. But I suppose it will make but little difference as there is a Millerite preaching here who says he expects hourly that this world will be annihilated so that will settle all debts – a good receipt that.
There was an exhibition by the pupils of the New York Institution for the Blind here one evening last week. There was 17 of them – some male, some female. There was a brass band composed of the blind which played several delightful airs. They also had a piano which the girls played most sweetly accompanied by their voices. They read & recited several lessons in different branches most admirably. It was altogether the most delightful exhibition I ever attended.
Louisa is about the same as she was when you left here. Catherine is as smart as a trap. Mary gets along very well.
I am now going to hear the Millerite so I can’t write more this evening. Hannah must behave herself for I have a man for her – a Nestorian Bishop right from Persia [and] a native of that country. He has a beard about a foot long, his skin rather tawny. He was at our church yesterday [and] delivered himself of a speech at the first church.
Last evening I received a letter from Jerod Fish stating the death of his father who died the 30th day of last July.
I wish you to write and let me know when you start so I can meet you at the depot.
Yours affectionately, — Joshua Tilden