1863: Lucy to Francis Jennette (“Nettie”) Filley

An advertisement by M.L. Filley, 287 River Street, Troy NY

This letter was written to Francis Jennette (“Nettie”) Filley (1846-1869), the youngest daughter of Marcus Lucius Filley (1807-1892) and Caroline Amelia Filley (1815-1899). Marcus and Caroline were not only husband and wife; they were cousins.

Not much is known of Nettie except that she attended the Saratoga Female Seminary in 1860 and that she died of typhoid fever in St. Louis on December 9, 1867 at the age of 21.

Marcus Lucius Filley moved from his home in Bloomfield, CT to Lansingburgh, NY where his uncle Augustus had also relocated. Marcus opened a law practice in Lansingburgh in 1832 and became partners with Jacob Lansing in 1834. Marcus was active in the formation of the Republican Party in Rensselaer County during the 1850s. His brother Oliver Dwight and cousin Chauncey Ives were also active Republican Party organizers. Both men served as mayors of St. Louis and leaders in the Missouri State Republican Committee.

Marcus married Caroline Amelia Filley, a cousin, in 1835. They were the parents of six children. Marcus gave up his law practice in 1854 and purchased the Green Island Stove Works on George St. in Green Island. He partnered with L. Newberry forming Newberry, Filley & Co., which was in existence through 1858. In addition to the foundry, the company operated a store on River St. in Troy, NY . Newberry and Filley also set up business in Chicago, IL . During the 1860s, Albert Lyman took on the New York City market and opened a store on Water St . Perley A. Child would later manage the New York business. Giles Filley, a cousin, sold Filley stoves out of his store in St. Louis and George Meriwether managed the Dallas, Texas store of Meriwether & Filley.

Stamped Letter

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Addressed to Miss Nettie C. Filley, Troy, New York, care of Marcus Lucius Filley

Lanesboro [Massachusetts]
September 2nd 1863

My dearest Nettie,

I received your letter Monday evening and I am really very much obliged to you for writing so soon, and for once in my life I am going to answer immediately.

This is a beautiful afternoon, quite warm, though not at all uncomfortable. I should have had a cool time for my visit after all, but perhaps it will be just as pleasant some other time.

You must have had a delightful time in Pittsfield. It did not rain quite hard enough to keep your Mother here, did it? I think we might have had a real nice time this week if you had only staid. Uncle William and Aunt Martha went to Lee yesterday. They are coming back today. Kate and Carrie came up here yesterday afternoon and staid all night. Mother is almost sick today. She has a real hard cold, and a sore throat. But I hope it will be nothing serious.

A Carte de visite from the 1860s

Mr. Read has not left town yet but I suppose he will in two or three days. You will find that picture enclosed. I hope you won’t drown it at first sight. I shall expect to receive two “carte de visites” very soon. Don’t fail to send them. I will send you some ____ jam if I possibly can. We can’t get any around here but if Grandpa goes in to the mountains, I will be sure to think of it.

Last Sunday afternoon, Charley Gorlick and Lawrence Hopkins were at church and after service they came up here and made a very long call. Lawrence is going into the army [and] has a Lieutenancy. He is recruiting in Pittsfield now. I was right glad to see him and he promised to come up again, but I don’t know whether he will or not.

I haven’t had a glimpse of Mr. Hubbell since you left. Probably he is so disconsolate that he secludes himself entirely. Really, Nettie, I think you were quite smitten with that young man. I guess your Mother thought it would not be safe for you to stay here any longer. It was really getting dangerous.

Now my dear, I hope you will excuse this dull letter. You know it is such a short time since you left that I haven’t anything new to tell you. I am very glad you enjoyed your visit so much. I should have been very happy to have made it much pleasanter for you. I hope you will continue to write to me often. I am always glad to hear from you. I would write a longer letter if I had anything interesting to tell you. Mother & Fannie send a great deal of love to you. Write soon and believe me as ever, your loving friend, — Lucy


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