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Catalog Number 2016.02.0022
Object Name Letter
Date 1836
Title 1836 July 28 Margaretta Mason Brown to Mary Watts Brown
Scope & Content Letter from Margaretta Mason Brown (Baltimore, MD) to Mary Watts Brown (Frankfort, KY). Margaretta discusses purchasing items for Mary Watts Brown's new home. She speaks of purchasing carpets and mirrors in Philadelphia. [The pair of pier mirrors mentioned in the letter are still in the Liberty Hall collection.] She also lists items that she has forwarded to Mary.


Baltimore, 28th July 1836 Thursday

My dear Mary,

We arrived here yesterday afternoon in safety and found Mr Duncan's family well, though in affliction. Mr Duncan's Mother died suddenly ten days ago, from apoplexy. She had been preparing to set out with her family for the white sulphor [sic] Springs, and was to have gone the day after, but "he in whose hand her breath" was, thought proper to remove her to "that bourn where no traveller returns." Oh that we were wise, that we would consider that, that we would remember our latter end." Mr D's family is quite small, four of his children being absent.
We were detained in Philadelphia much longer than we expected, or than was agreeable, as our lodgings were very expensive, and we had few acquaintances. Your Uncle was detained in hopes of making some arrangement with Mr Ingersoll, by which he could obtain the $5000 or more, which he had calculated upon with the greatest certainty; but in consequence of some pending law-suit, Mr I. does not think proper to part with the fund in his hands, lest he should not have enough to meet the demands against the Estate, provided the Suit went against him. This state of things will I fear be the source of disappointment to you, as it has been to us, for it has prevented your Uncle from purchasing many things for you which he intended to have procured. Still however he has purchases two carpets for your two common rooms-44 Yds. Each, and one for my room 49 Yds. leaving those for your parlors until some other occasion and hoping that you may be made comfortable at least, during the winter with what he has sent. Having $128 remaining from your Piano, I thought I could not lay it out to please you better than by purchasing a pair of mirrors. We met with a pair which we thought would answer, though by no means such as were in your Uncle's house-Their price was $160 pr pair-your Uncle adding what was necessary to make up the sum. I hope they may arrive in safety In a box containing my Sunday School books (marked with an X) Orlando will find his locks. I subjoin a list of the boxes forwarded that you may know if they all come to hand

1 Box - two looking glasses1 Box - Piano
1 Do - Clock shade1 Do - books
1 Do - Plate 1 Do - Paper hangings 60 pieces
2 Bales carpeting -1 Trunk containing sundry unimpor-

tant articles of clothing, which we detached from our travelling wardrobe. Your Uncle says that Mr Parker must be informed that these articles are all addressed to him, and that he will settle with him for the expenses of transportation, when he returns. Tell Gratz that in this said box of S. S. books, he will find his book slate, and also Parley's fables, together with a very small globe-which is for him; and that when every thing excepting the books is taken out, he must replace the books very nicely and not suffer any of them to be lost until my return; and should that never take place, he must send them all to Mrs Love, who will know what to do with them. I have a blue black silk dress for you in my trunk, which I fear will be out of fashion before you get it, as tight sleeves, are getting more into favour, though the large are still generally worn-

Remember me affectionately to your Mama and Henrietta. Tell the former, that I can readily imagine, (and sympathize with her for,) the anxieties which she experiences on account of her Son; but beg her not to indulge altogether in gloomy anticipations; but rather to look forward to his return with reinvested health and spirits. She may have often heard me remark, that my own afflictions, have invariably come from a quarter, from which they were not anticipated, and therefore it is useless, and worse than useless, to inflict upon ourselves a double share of suffering. I am certain this is good advise [sic], though unfortunately I do not always act upon this principle myself, and have therefore suffered much from the apprehension of evils which have never occurred. I saw James P. B. several times in Phila He is quite the same J. P. B. that he ever was. More of these matters when we meet. Having just arrived, I cannot say when we will leave this; but unless something unexpected occurs which it is necessary to communicate, I do not expect to write again, until we reach the White Sulphor [sic], and from the accounts of the crowd already expected arrived, and the numbers expected I think it very uncertain whether we shall be able to obtain accommodation - I am told too, that you have to encounter hords [sic] of vermin, which is a most appalling circumstance to me. Hitherto I have been so fortunate as not to be annoyed by a single insect on all our journey. Tell Gratz, that I have not seen a single flea since I left home, the consequence, I suppose, of having met with no house dogs nor kept company with any little folks who frequented the stable lot. I wrote to Mary Y. from P. I believe my letters have been double the number of those I have received. Love to all-affectionately your aunt

M. Brown

[written on the side of the page] Mary is well

[Address Block with postmark]
Mrs Orlando Brown

People Margaretta Mason Brown
Mary Watts Brown
Mary Yoder Brown
Benjamin Gratz Brown
James Percy Brown
Henrietta Brown Reese
Elizabeth Watts Brown
Elizabeth Love
Search Terms Pianos
Philadelphia, PA
Presbyterian Church