This letter was written by Eunice (Masters) Stebbins (1794-1871), the wife of Charles Stebbins (1789-1873) of Cazenovia, New York. It was written to their daughter, Lucy Stebbins Gallagher (b. 1821), who married Rev. Mason Gallagher (1821-1897) in 1845.
[More research to come]
[Addressed to Mrs. Mason Gallagher, Oswego, N.Y.]
Cazenovia, [New York]
July 7th 1852
Dear daughter Lucy,
I received Mr. G’s letter on Saturday. He seems to imagine I may come to see you this week, and I do not know but I might return with him if he came to Manlius to preach next Sunday if I did not expect company. Mr. Clarke from Oyster River and Mrs. White from Derby are visiting at Geneva and at Bel[l]ona and are to leave there the last of this week and I have written to them to make me a visit and shall expect them. Therefore, I cannot come to see you untill they have made me their visit. Perhaps it will be as well to wait untill your Aunt Louisce returns to Hamilton for I should feel rather more easy to leave Aunty Sylvester without any care of her. It is probable that Louisce will go next week. She talked of it this week but has not been very well & I did not think it best for her to leave me untill she has a good visit.
Sophie made me a long call this morning. I took her down under the Apple tree in the garden where I have a bench placed to sit upon and we had quite a talk. Sophie feels very bad about business matters of Jenny’s husband who is closing up his concerns and selling off. Poor Sophie takes all their burdens upon her shoulders and cannot bear to think of any body’s losing money by her brothers or brothers-in-law. Any thing else, she could get along with. I tryed to comfort and council her as well as I knew how and sympathised with her too. I have seen that Sophy has felt more than any one all along and would not go out unless obliged to.
Jane came back from the Springs much improved in health and appears quite cheerful. They do not tell her much of business affairs, and she is so hopeful in the disposition and so confyding that she is not affected by such things.
Mr. Fairchild had a little party last evening for Mrs. Kent and family (Ann Strawbridge that was). Jane went but Sophy would stay to attend to the Baby untill 9 o’clock. She went down to get a little ice cream.
Helen has given up going to Middletown for the present as she expects so much company and I tried to persuade Sophy to go, but she thinks she must not indulge herself in any way. She spoke of her visit to you winter before last as the happiest portion of her life, at least since she lost her Mother. The day after she came home and saw Jenny, and talked with her brother Terry, she knew all was going wrong and care and trouble has followed ever since. That one so pure minded and good has her feelings so tezed is to be lamented. She has such a sense of justice that it is hard for her to be reconciled to events. However, I hope and trust that she will view things in a proper light and events over which she can have no control, be willing to let go without worrying and troubling herself if all do not get their due. The consequences is enough for her, that is, I mean it is enough to have Terry lose his property and Jane to be poor. But Sophie does not seem to mind that.
I have gone on talking or rather writing to you as if I was talking for I know how interested you are in all that concerns your friend.
We are all well. The weather is quite warm. Charles has begun to droop last week but is feeling better now. He will have to go again to the sea shore in August and has concluded to go with Professor Upton who delivered a lecture here last winter. He has written to Charles. He came across him in New Haven last summer. It will be pleasant for him to have such good company.
Sophie sends her love. Give mine to Mr. G and George. We want to see George very much. Aunty speaks of him often and wants to see him too.
Your affectionate Mother — E. Stebbins
P.S. Mr. Smith is over the chills but is still quite weak. He preached for us last Sunday and is to preach next Sunday. After then he thinks of travelling for his health for a few weeks but says he will return and preach for the Parish if his health will permit. He is generally liked here and accepted by a few and, of late, his preaching is very acceptable. If Mason comes to Manlius on Sunday, hope he will come here. E. S.
- From The Leading Citizens of Madison County: “Charles Stebbins, a native of Williamstown, Mass., and a graduate of Williams College, class of 1807, came to Cazenovia in 1810, making the journey on horseback. Entering the office of Hon. Perry G. Childs, he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1813. His death, after many years of active practice, occurred at his home in Cazenovia in March, 1873. Eunice Masters, with whom he was united in marriage, was a native of Schaghticoke, Rensselaer County. This town was also the birthplace of her father, Hon. Josiah Masters. Her grandfather, James Masters, a farmer and powder manufacturer of Schaghticoke, was born, it is thought, in Connecticut, of remote English ancestry. Hon. Josiah Masters continued both the farming and the powder-making, and took a prominent part in public affairs. He was appointed County judge in 1808. He served successively as a Member of the Assembly and as a Representative in Congress from 1805 to 1809. Although his public duties sometimes necessitated long absences from home, he always retained his residence in his native town. He married Lucy Hull, who was born in Derby, Conn., and who spent her last years in Schaghticoke. Five children grew to maturity in the home of Charles and Eunice (Masters) Stebbins–Lucy, Mary, Catherine, John, and Charles.”