1853: Ellen M. Plympton to Ira Copeland

This letter was written by Ellen M. Plympton (1828-19xx), the daughter of William Plympton of Foxborough, Massachusetts. She married Henry A. Field on 12 October 1853.

Ellen wrote the letter to her friend Ira Copeland (b. 1831), son of Francis Copeland (1803-1882) and Judith Washburn Kingman (b. 1809). Ira married Caroline Frances Reed (b. 1834) on 1 December 1853. Family records say Ira was an inventor and manufacturer. For many years, he served on the school committee in North Bridgewater (now Brockton).

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Addressed to Mr. Ira Copeland, Fall River, Massachusetts

Foxboro, [Massachusetts]
September 28, 1853

My Dear Friend,

So many months have elapsed since I received your last kind and welcome letter that I fear you may think by this time that I have forgotten you, or that your letters have ceased to interest me. But now that I have commenced a letter,let me hasten to inform you that such is not the case, but must plead the old excuse (want of time). Hardly a week has passed without my thinking of you and that another week would bring me time to give you an answer. But away with excuses — perhaps you been so busy you have not thought of my neglect. Perhaps you are married, who knows.

I heard from you not long since by the way of my brother in Boston tho’ it was some time ago that he saw you, Both brothers are together and we are quite lonely here at home tho’ I must say that home never looked so pleasant to me before. Is it because I have lived away from it more, or that I am so soon to leave it? For I must inform you that I am expecting to be married soon — and shall be very happy to receive yourself and lady with the small circle of friends that will meet at my Father’s house Wednesday Eve October 12th (hour not set). Yes, after due consideration, have finally concluded to take upon myself the cares and responsibilities of a wife. I have a pleasant home and a large circle of friends to leave, but consider it a duty and by making another happy, shall I trust be contented and happy myself. Expect to go to Ashfield and stay until Thanksgiving or rather first of January, then to New York City, perhaps live out to Brooklyn, cannot tell yet.

I think you are fortunate in always finding New Church people wherever you go, for I know it must be much more pleasant being with those of the same faith of your own, and I should think very beneficial mingling in such society as those you boarded with in Fall River. Do not know whether you are there now or not, and hardly know where to direct this.

We have had a friend from Maine here visiting — a cousin of mine; a fine girl, strong-minded, a great talker, and a firm believer in the doctrines of the New Church. I talked with her considerable on the subject (Mother too, and would have been glad to more had she stayed longer). Showed her the books you gave me and found her familiar with them all. Said she would like very much to see and converse with you on the subject. She talks just as you do about it, and as T. S. Arthur writes. There is expected to be a large meeting at Mr. Bird’s next Sabbath, have engaged a man from Boston to address them.

Address by Rev. Samuel Wolcott for Rock Hill Cemetery in Foxborough.

Our new burying ground called Rock Hill Cemetery is to be consecrated next Tuesday [4 Oct 1853]. They have prepared seats for 1500 and intend having a fine time. Have [Rev.] Mr. [Samuel] Wolcott of Providence and several other speakers for the occasion. Your friend E. W. Bure is at home yet, and at home all the time — at least he does not go into company at all and seems to live by himself, and be dead to all the world around him. His father is prudential committee this year and some think that he will ___ to have Edson take the school again tho’ he was not liked at all before. Willard Hewins has been in the Boot & Shoe trade and recently failed, tho’ for not a very large amount. I think L. Hewins is preparing himself for a teacher [and] is now at Holliston at school.

My sheet is nearly full and must quit writing the news. Should like very much to see and become acquainted with Miss Reed and believe it would be valuable knowing that you think it worth cherishing. I wish you much happiness in her society and you both have my best wishes for happiness in each others love. Hope you may sometime visit me in a home of my own. Shall ever remember you with friendship & respect and be glad to hear from you at any time you choose to let me. Tho’ a married woman, shall still be — Ellen

P. S. I enclose a bird’s-eye view of the shops. Presume you have seen it before. If I do not see you here, will send you another card if I find out your address. Hope you will come.

  • T. S. Arthur

    Timothy Shay (T.S.) Arthur (June 6, 1809 – March 6, 1885) was a popular 19th-century American author. He is most famous for his temperance novel Ten Nights in a Bar-Room and What I Saw There (1854), which helped demonize alcohol in the eyes of the American public. He was also the author of dozens of stories for Godey’s Lady’s Book, the most popular American monthly magazine in the antebellum era, and he published and edited his own Arthur’s Home Magazine, a periodical in the Godey’s model, for many years. Virtually forgotten now, Arthur did much to articulate and disseminate the values, beliefs, and habits that defined respectable, decorous middle-class life in antebellum America.


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