Letter from Benjamin Gilbert to Betsy Baldwin
Address: Miss Betsy Baldwin, Cape Ann
Date: August 14, 1786
Miss Baldwin --
Once I wrote you from New Haven but my epistle was unfortunate, &
never arrived. I have again taken my pen to address you at Cape Ann. My
acquaintance with you gives me the fullest assurance of your Candor &
will not allow me the least apprehension of censure. I need not therefore
apology for this essay of my true, sincere friendship.
You will find this small Present installed in my Brother's Epistle. Its companion will I flatter myself recommend it to your candid perusal. I will not murmur if you read his first. Mine contains only the warmest sentiments of friendship -- his a subject more endearing, I fancy.
I have visited New Haven since I bade you Adieu. I have again returned
to my native Brookfield. But
my hours are lonely & uncheering. It was my custom, in my former visits to Brookfield, when I felt
gloomy & dull, to put on my hat & walk up the hill -- I usually entered the first house that met my
view -- it was always yours -- it always remained in the same place & I knew full well where to find it. There I dispelled care & sorrow -- there melancholy fled & cold indifference too -- with precipitation. After spending an hour or two in lively chat -- have retired home & felt happy.
Although you have often complained of my unsociability let me assure
you that Business & not a want
of inclination prevents my more frequent visits. But the subject of these visits is now absent, she has
retired to the east. I have now no resource but my old friend the pen. Would time permit I could with
pleasure by his assistance take you by the hand & lead you in fancy through all our social occurrences. I would first visit our last & lead you up the long lapse of time to the dawn of our acquaintance -- we would visit one by one our many happy interviews. I would even lead you back to that time when emboldened by your generous condesention I first professed with simple freedom to say, how fare you -- but time is not allowed me, I have only time to say -- We all enjoy health in the North, likewise our friends at the South. We prosper as usual but these are insufficiant -- we are
Gloomy in your absence.
Your Sincere friend
Ps Our Family desire Love to you --