Letter from Polly Coffin to Eliza Baldwin
Address: Miss Betsy Baldwin, Brookfield, under cover
My dear cousin Betsy
It is with the sincerest concern and affection that Ive heard of the
sickness and distress of your family, but from the account my uncle gave
in his last letter would fain hope you are all recovered, and that
you are in better Health than before you was sick, I am very anxious to know how your Disorder is,
you complained of last fall, I wish you would be particular to me, send your letter to Luke, he can
convey it any time. I wish you would write to Sally Parsons, she spends the winter at Newbury and in one of her last letters to me she mentiond you with the greatest tenderness & wish to know how you
do and to have a letter from you, this I send by Mr. Josh Gee Whittemore, who is going to Virginia to settle you remember the good Soul, I know, it is with the greatest reluctance we part with him, he
promises me if it is a possible thing he will call on you, I dare say you will treat him with kindness.
I want very much to hear how my dear Aunt is after her fever, it is I believe a new kind of Sickness to her, it may possibly be of great service to her, as for my uncle. I almost think he has forgot us all or he certainly would, when he is so nigh as Boston run down and see us, at least I think I should if I were he, if his image had not been deeply imprest on my mind I should certainly have forgot his looks, I believe it is nigh 4 years since I saw him, but I shall never forget him or cease to love & respect him. My poor Eli has been gone almost a year, lives in the midst of wood, and wild beasts, no inhabitants within seven or eight miles of him, a great contrast in his way of living now and what it was before he went away, but he gets money and that was what he went for, -- but I am sick to see him.
Betsy I long to have you here in good health & spirits, I don't
think there is a week passes but Mr.
Coffin and I speak of you, especially Assembly Nights which come once a fortnight. I dont believe but that you would have your health better here than at Brookfld. you must try it this summer, there is Gallants enough stand ready to attend you, I dont know what you did with them at your house, we
had given Mr. F. up entirely, was just going to put on mourning for him but was agreably disappointed by the return of the Gentleman, he run away & never told any body when he was going, nor has never told any body what success he met with, I think my dear you seem to be thick beset, I wish I knew who was the happy swain, for I suppose the matter has been determind this some time & certain Mr. W. seems as much in for't as any body I've seen, he desired me last evening to tell you he believes you had forgot what he told you about his letter that he should write with something that made no mark till it was held to the fire when the heat would draw out the wrieing and that what he mentiond about Lemmons or Limes was to put you in mind of it, he wishes to hear from you, he claims a promise of a letter, if only as a common acquaintance, I belive Betsy he is very loth to give up the pursuit, do tell me if I can't think of any way to get you here for a Neighbour, there is nothing but what I should be willing to do, but you must write me in confidence and depend on secresy. you must suppose I wish to be acqauainted with your affairs -- my Sisters send thier love to you I believe some of them are writeing -- present my best Duty & love to my uncle and Aunt and believe me dear Betsy yours with
Mr. Coffin joins in above [?salutation]
Gloucester, March 19, 1784
Undated letter from Polly Coffin to Eliza Baldwin
Address: Miss Betsey Baldwin, Brookfield, Favour by Mr. Isaac Procter
Reverse: Betsy Baldwin 1784
My dear Betsy
It is a long time since we have heard from you, except by Mrs. Procter, and she told us you had some thots of coming here this winter in a Sleigh, and we have been looking out for you, till now, we give you up, pray tell me how you all do, I am really unhappy to live such strangers I long to [know] how your Mama is as to her health, I would fain hope she has lost all those disagreabl feelings that formerly made her life so uncomfortable, pray Betsy write and tell me all your family matters, and tell me whether you are not almost married for I hear you are, I hope will have a good husband, for I don't know how many hearts will be broke when you are married. I heard a gentleman say the other day, he had rather have Miss Betsy Baldwin with only a decent clothing than any Lady of his aquaintance with a fortune of 200- sterg, and who do you think that was? Why I will not tell you, unless you will come to Cap Ann to ask me. If you wont guess who he is, I dont suppose if I tell you his name begins with a W.
I suppose you have heard that [?Dads] Coffin has mov'd over here, the girls are often wishing for you, as for their single brother, he pursues the same plan as when you was here much to the regret of his Friends, I fear he will not be so happy as we could wish. We were all at Lynn last week, had a fine frolik, Mr. Parsons was settled there about a month ago, and we went to visit upon the Maddam home, they live in a sweet place as ever you see.
I must run from one thing to another as fast as I can, and dont let
me forget to enquire after my uncle Parkman. Poor man I feel greived for
him his Life has been a scene of trouble of one kind or another, I hope
he will meet with something to chear his Last days, we had a letter from
him and Mr. Coffin
would have answered it, but we never have heard where he was, our poor Mrs. Brigham was cut of in the midst of her days, I did hope to have seen her once more. I dont know how my grandmother can support those repeated shocks, I am sure I pity her! I should think her age and infirmities were as much as she could bare.
Write me soon my dear Betsy and pray give duty and Love to your Papa
and Mama and except
sincerest love & friendship in which Mr. Coffin joins your most affect
Cousin Polly Coffin
My little girls insist on their love being presented to aunt Betsy as
they call you and my dear remember us to Mr. Banger.