Mill Boy Letters

December 7, 1830

LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION
 
WRITTEN BY HANNAH GILMAN
TO HER SON ALFRED GILMAN

  
Dear Son, Nashua Dec br 7, 1830
  
 If I dont write much, I think much for your comfort, by Mrs. Blodgett I send you two pair of drawers hope you will receive them in a reasonable time as the cold is increasing, and think it is time to put them on, they will save you from a great many akes and pains, you cant be two carful of your health, it is better to keep it, than it is to recover it after it is lost.  Mrs. B. expects to spend some time with her husband in Lowell, you will have an oppertunity to see her, she will tell you all the news, I cannot tell you much about the business here, the establishment is changed, of course thus will be new officer, however I expect Mark will hold some office here.- with my best wishes I must conclude by good nigh.  your ever affectionate mother 
  H. Gilman
  P.S.   If you please you may fill up this sheet and send it back the first oppertunity, or fill a new-one.

March 31, 1831

LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY HANNAH GILMAN
TO HER SON ALFRED GILMAN

  Nashua March 31, 1831

My Dear Son,

            Your letter I received Monday afternoon it gave me much pleasure to hear from you.  Am happy in devoting a few moment to you, in expressing my hearty acquisence, in the congratulation, and the pleasure we anticipate in the connection that will soon take place in our family, and I hope we shall realise the endearing ties of Daughter, Sister and Wife.

I am anxious to be with you and want to know how soon the house will be ready have not heard any thing particular from Mark.- you have given quite a recommendation of your friend hope I shall have the pleasure to see and become acquainted with her, but don’t be in too much haste, “let your moderation be known
unto all men“ remember you are young yet, but you may secure the friendship and esteem of the good and such I hope is your friend.

 Although I am anxious to be in Lowell, my time has passed pleasantly here, a number of friends has called, have not spent many lonely hours.  The week after you and Mark left me, I visited five afternoons, and had company one day.  The last week I had a party it consisted of our neighbor Miss T. and P. Miss Hutchings.
Mrs. Manning, two Daughters, and Franklin, Julia Ann, and Maria Esty.

My Dear, do not think your Mother, has become dissipated but happy in the enjoyment of friends, and social society is what I always prize.

 I preceive by your letter you were agitated, and hope you will not let your gaiety carry you beyond your self.  I have weighed well the sheet you sent me it does not meet my idea of things, you must not forget the golden rule “neither do nor say to men, what you would not take again.”

 I know very little of the feelings and the thinking that influences the mind of the community in general, but this I would recommend that knowledge, and influence on the character, which will improve the mind and mend the heart.  Lift up a high and exalted standard to virtue, and sincerity, and guide your pen with discretion.

 I must tell you I left disappointed in the production of the sheet, expected it would be a different work, something for the Ladies.  May you keep up your spirits by changing the spirit of the sheet and that must be done by altering the head and be no more a foolish but a wise son, and let maternal love influence your whole character for the sake of your dear and ever affectionate Mother.

                                                          H. Gilman

April 1st – My love to Mark and to your self hope we shall meet soon.  Mrs. Esty and Caroline spent the day here yesterday they are all well.  Hannah and Willis has been down this week.

June 22, 1832

LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY HANNAH GILMAN
TO HER SON ALFRED GILMAN

                                                        Lowell June 22 1832

My Dear Son.
    
   I received your wednesday noon, very happy to hear from you, I sent your trunck filled with such things as  I thought would be most  nessary or as you requested, write soon after receiving, this, Mr Brewster and wife and son came here Wednesday morning, & expect  to be in Boston Monday next I shall write you by them, before I began to write I expected my letters, I have been very lonesome since you left but be
assured I shall bear you in mind with the greiveated love and affection, May you so order your life and character as may be a wishing happiness to the decling years of your affectionate

Mother Gilman

July 3, 1832

LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY HANNAH GILMAN
TO HER SON ALFRED GILMAN

                                               Lowell July 3 1832

My Dear Son,

   My not writing before this date needs excuse as I did not get your letter till Monday noon and I fear it may be some disappointment in your plans in respect to your clothing no you did not name when you should send them should be pleased to have the care of them, while I remain here give me partiular
directions where to send them, and how I am to receive them

   Your letter caused me many emotions such as I have well Weighed in my mind yes no gratitude, obligations to a Brother and Son – the interest you take in the family the concilating feelings, the good at heart, and the love and welfare for a Parent endears my love to  you as a Son, may you always cherish good feelings which lead to virtue and happiness – when you say I am wrong, and essentially wrong, I pass it over knowing you are not acquainted with the affair, I did not make you acquainted at the time, two weeks before the wedding, I knew the family intended I should have my home, sweet home, my happy home, where I had nourished cherished my Family is it easy to give it up, no my first flowing tears convince it is not. Could I attend the the wedding where I was so lightly    I should felt very cheap the next day she, she expected I should leave. the second day a friend came in and told me I was going very soon. I was surprise and said I expected to visit my children but did not know when I should leave Lowell from that time she assumed her slight toward me and continued till the bureau was moved after that did not speak nor take notice of me for a week so she continued her whims till Mary came, now who is in the wrong? Things are now come to a test, I do not reproach myself, she wanted all the room and everything in the house. 
Since Mary left here M. has been very pleasant she is reserved At times but think things have milder aspect, have I not Reason to call every Christian virtue into exercise, hope I do forgive, For our redeemer says if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither Will your Heavenly Father forgive your trespasses, upon this ground I act, as I hope to be forgiven—When I left Nashua we understood That she was mutually agreed to be one of  the family except she Would take the lead that was agreeable and this would be my home and I Should visit when I pleased. Although perplext and distrest I would Not do anything to hurt the feelings of my children even in this case. I could defray my expence in various ways for I ever wish to be useful In some way or other and not be dependent nor work so hard As in times past. But wish to do what is most conciliating to the feelings of My my dear children as I love them all  

Do not give yourself any uneasiness for what has happened On my account and make no difference in your conduct but pass it all Over as if nothing had happened, I commend  myself to my heavenly Father, who is the father to the fatherless, and the widows God, if I have Done right he will maintain my cause, if not I alone must Suffer. I hope Mary will not have any unfavorable impressions On Ms. Account, as I did not oppose him I only said it was too soon after His confinement to be married you see my Dear how transient 
Our happiness is, and that I should be the cause of so much uneasiness, Who of late yours have enjoyed peace and tranquility, I pray Dispensation may be scantified to each of us that we may-------
Sublime happiness that cannot be taken from --------
Especially yours ever affectionate Mother,
  
                                                                  H Gilman

PS   I have seen Mr. P.  he will call and have the
        Money in a day or two –Mark wishes me to
        Say he will write as soon as he has time he’s
        Been very much engaged of late. The Factory
        Is stopt and we are having a four days
        Meeting at Mr. Blanchards

August 2, 1832

LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY HANNAH GILMAN
TO HER SON ALFRED GILMAN

                                                         Lowell August 2, 1832

My Dear Son,
 
   We received notice of your leaving Boston for Bangor saturday and noticed the weather everyday for a week, and by the appearance concluded you must have a dreary time. I am happy to hear you arrived their safe and found Stephen, and his family well, and a pleasantly situated and have wished, myself one of your
society if I had known of your going think I should accompanied you there, as Stephen has a claim on my first visit according to promise. (in a letter as he may recollect). I see no prospect that I can please myself with a visit there very soon, as the season is advancing and I should not like to take the voyage alone, should be happy to see the family together and think she is a wife after my own heart.- Kiss the little ones for their grand Mother, tell Stephen I long to see him- you have experienced a variety of scenes in a you left here and have had an opportunity of seeing the eastern country which I think is very pleasant, and have contemplated with you all its scenery I think it is altered very much, and hope you will give me a discription when you write. Your voyage was rather a hideous one, but the toils was sweetned by agreeable company which makes everything pass pleasantly, which you know by experience you have seen many handsome ladies no doubt but hope you have not seen any one to erace a former impression, permit me to give you
a caution against the snares and temptations young men are liable to, they are not aware beauties are dangerous creatures as the Poet says.

             “Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll
             Charms strike the sight: but merit wins the soul”.

Mark wrote you the 21 of July and mentioned Mr. Meacham wished to engage you to work for him twelve months, he has not had any answer to his letter,-there is not much news going all the conversation is about the cholera, many girls have left for fear, many are alarmed, there are some cases of the Diarhea which is thought a prelude to the cholera it may not have anything more than a complaint of the season.
Maria went home about two weeks after you left here, Hannah went and spent two weeks, in her absence, Mr. Damon was married. Mark and myself attended the wedding we had a very pleasant time and were highly pleased. Hannahs’ health continues very good, Marks’ health has been very poor this number of weeks past so much so he has applied to a physician, he talks of taking a journey, to visit Exeter and Portsmouth, you did not give me credit for the last letter I wrote to you Boston, I feel anxious whether you received it or not should like to know, remember our love to Stephen and his wife we all write Mark, Hannah, Elinor, and Mother, receive a share yourself, I anticipate you enjoying all the comforts of a domestic circle, may perfect tranquility and every social enjoyment, with health, prosperity, permanent happiness preside over you all, is the prayer of your affectionate Mother.

            H. Gilman

August 22, 1832

LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY HANNAH GILMAN
TO HER SON ALFRED GILMAN

                                                         Lowell August 22, 1832

My Dear Son,
         
   I have been daily expecting to hear from you, the distance is so great, after I have given my letter time to reach you, and for an answer in return. I feel impatient to hear, yet feel confidence in that protecting power that has preserved you, through the dangers of the Sea, that he will keep you in health and safty.My Dear, do you not realize these blessings, and view the hand of providence in all the events of your life? I hope you do, and feel grateful. you have a Father, in Heaven who watches over you, if you put your trust in him, he never will leave nor forsake you. You must be sensible your Mothers care has been over you for good, through life, and my anxiety for your interest, and welfare is as great though absent, a nd at so great a distance as ever and my thoughts are with you, I look back on the many scenes that is past, the evenings we have enjoyed, you have retired from labor and soothed the gladsome hours with the sound of the flute, or in social conversation, and all has been cheerful and happy. But we read, “It is not in man that Walketh, to direct his steps”, things are changed it is ordered by a wise providence, and I desire to be resigned, and seek that happiness in retirementthat cannot be found in a continual round of company, it is in retirement our affections are raised to God and our souls refreshed and quick, talked of a journey, they went to Exeter, and Portsmouth it was the last of themonth he was full of business in the counting room, and preparing for the journey he could not attend to answering your letter (that he received about the same time) till he returned, then he made inquiry concerning the trialand found it was not coming on in Sept. he says, as I am writing he will defer his letter to some other time and give me a notice, to communicate to
you,-Marks health is not improved by his journey, the jaundice appears to be his greatest trouble, he looks miserable but still attends to his business as usual. they had a pleasant visit and found all our friends well,
in addition to the family Miss Hutchins is here as a boarder (He says), she has been here a number of weeks and has not had any business, you may judge what kind of a boarder she must be, Hannahs sister Caroline is here making a visit. I have a very imperfect account of the news that is passing to give you any relation.-there is a controversy arisen between the editors of the Evangelist and Observer on Baptism that has caused much excitement, some say they tremble for the editors of the Observer, for my part I think the Observer has good grounds to maintain their side. If there is any place I wish to be in most is to mingle in your society with Stephen, and his little family is what I have always anticipated, as you have found the way. I think to wait till another season, If I should live and do well to visit Bangor. Mark has given me a little note it is this “Mr. Ames says there is not much probability of the law suit coming on at the next term—Mr. Billings intimated something about settling but did not say much about it. Mr. Ames thinks Mr. Billings will not let the case go to trial”- Mark did not say any thing to Mr. Meacham after receiving your letter, as he stated this sum he would give you, and he thought he would not agree any other terms than what he had name.

     We all untie in love to you , and to Stephen and his family,, Mark & Hannah
began to think what , and in that life that is everlasting in the word---
 is the prayer of your affectionate Mother.

                       H. Gilman

P.S. I forgot to mention I expect to make a visit to Exeter and Portsmouth in
 a short time, you may direct letters to Lowell to Marks care if I
 am not here he will send them on, but shall write the first opportunity
 after leaving. I think you must want your Mothers care in your
 clothing,-your shirts and stockings, have thought you must want a supply as
 your making so long visit, shall take your clothes with me as I expect
 to Winter some where in my journeying.

March 19, 1833

LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY HANNAH GILMAN
TO HER SON ALFRED GILMAN

 
                                                         Portsmouth March 19th, 1833

My Dear Son,

   This day commerates one of  much interest in contemplating the past, present and future, this day
twenty one years gave birth to a Son, though wayward in disposition, always possed nobler feelings, of love and affections, which mutually yielded to a Mothers’ love it was love that cherished you in infancy and watched over your youthful path, it was love that spread a mantle, over every faltering step with a desire to see you speed your way to an honorable maturity, - I wish you a happy new year in this new Era of your life, may it be crowned with the choicest of blessings from your heavenly Parent when mercy and bountifull
providence has guided your various scnes of life-in realising his goodness do not hesitate to form a character that will participate in every virtue and grace a Christian enjoys, it leads to substantial happiness in this life, and everlasting, with all the happy spirits round your heavenly Fathers’throne. there is nothing can destroy a Mothers’ love all things will pass away but that will live forever it’s a pure friendship, “when
heart meets heart reciprocally soft, each others pillow to repose divine.” Such is my affection for you my Dear Son it breaths a calm complacency in every act. I am ever anxious for your welfare and happiness, and participated in the enjoyment of a visit from you and Dorcas, I realized the pleasing discription, was happy to see her
and heard many praises bestowed upon her. I hope your business continues to be good, it is like hearing to receive a paper the last number was the twenty third of February should be glad to hear if the regular number was lost on its way. It is by the politeness of Miss Penhallow you receive this, as the favour of a visit has made up in part my long silence. I hope you will excuse this coming late, and send me one very soon, my visit was very short in Maine I did not get but two or three miles and was obliged to return the traveling was so bad. Stephen concluded it would best for me to go down in the stage soon as the traveling is suitable while I stay here hope to hear from you often. How does Mark do is his health restored? He is so silent I cant hear a word about him. Mary is very well her babe grows finely, I have not much news to tell you, except their has been a weding in the family. William Nutter was married last Tursday evening to Miss Betsy Downing of Newington. remember my love to Mark and Hannah, and accept a share for Dorcas and for you self. From your affectionate Mother. 

             H. Gilman

November 5, 1833

LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY HANNAH GILMAN
TO HER SON ALFRED GILMAN

                                                          Boston  Nov. 5th  1833

My Dear Son

   You may be surprised to find my letter dated from this place. I left Bangor the 26 of Oct. and arrived here
the 29th received your letter the evening before I left and congratulated you and your dear bride with much happiness. I write this at Mr. Mardens. Mrs. is very well has lately been confined with a young daughter. I expected to find Mr. Lyford in Boston have not seen or heard any thing of him, wish you would write me if you know what he has concluded to do, if he moves his family here think I shall spend some time with them,
am happy to hear Marks health is improved and of the little son and mother, all are doing so well,-my love to Eleanor shall spend my time with Mrs. M. till I hear from you or Mr. Lyford, left Stephen and his family well. May alls dear children accept the love and affection of their mother

            Hannah Gilman
 

July 16, 1833

LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY HANNAH GILMAN
TO HER SON ALFRED GILMAN

                                                Bangor  July 16th 1833

My Dear Son,

I received your kind letter on Tuesday following your took the stage Wednesday for Boston, drank tea at Mr. Mardens found them well, went to New Bedford in the evening about eight, Lydia left there at seven to go on board the Tremont. Capt. Emory for Bangor, Mr. Mardens son went with me to Mr. P.s we found Lydia was gone, he started for the vessel, she had loosed from the wharf waiting for one of their hands he engaged my passage found a couch called for me, went to Mr. Marden, took my baggage bid them good night and went on board at bells ringing for nine, with a company of thirty four passengers and very good accommodations, we were under sail with fair wind and good weather in a few minutes after I went on board, but did not enjoy any thing for twenty one hours, was unable to leave my birth, till we were in still water. I went on deck where we hailed the sight of land the vessel anchored nine miles from Bangor when a steam boat came up and towed her in, when in thirty four hours from Boston we were safely landed in Bangor. I left Portsmouth Wednesday morning at eight, Friday morning at half past eight I was in Stephens house. Heaven has answered your prayers, in bringing me safe here, everything has ben prosperous, I, thank the Father of mercies for every favour he has bestowed. My Dear Son, may the richest of Blessings attend you and your intended for life, you have my daily and fervent prayers for your best welfare and happiness. Heaven will smile upon you in obeying its precepts to your mother, in love, and honor, which you have confirmed upon her, which you receive my gratitude, you may raise your affections to him who orders all events that you have his approbation, “a willing mind is accepted,” in all your kindness and good wishes for your ever dear mother. “He that goeth forth bearing precious seed shall return bringing his sheaves
 with him,” in this is love and joy that I cannot express, that I have gained a Son it is from the principle of love grace is renewed and we are sanctified don’t let the world beguile you of a blessing he that honoreth his mother honoreth God, who knows the thoughts of all hearts and will bestow the choicest blessings on them who keep his commands for in “keeping them there is great rewards.” Though absent and far distant from you my affections are the same and am happy to have a dear Son with whom I can hold converse by writing and whoe feelings are recepical and ardently hope to realize the time when I shall greet and be greeted by my Dear children and find you happy in a wedded life. The prospect is pleasing with one who is affable in her deportment and amiable in all her accomplishments and virtue to render the union agreeable, one that I highly esteem. Lydia was very happy to find husband and little ones well and they as happy as could be to see their mother, the little son is a fine healthy child. Bangor, that was twenty seven, or eight years since was a lonely place with a few solitary inhabitants has now almost the appearance of a city. There are new buildings all around. You know this situation commands a great prospect of the town, the new building that have been put up this season are more than we can number. They are in every direction we can see. A large seminary is building near here, the corner stone was laid the day we arrived. I expected an opportunity to send this by the way of Exeter, your Aunt Elizabeth is here on a visit when I came she expected to return in a week or two, her friends has prevailed on her to make her visit a few weeks longer, when she goes to Exeter I shall write to you and as many letter as I can find time. To my other children I find things as described the children as pretty as I expected and Lydia a very good wife, with good government, every thing pleasant and agreeable. I expect you have some news for me by this time, I feel
anxious to know how you all do. Write me all the news you think will be interesting. Give my love to Mark, and Hannah, to Eleanor if she is in Lowell. My health has been very poor all the spring, felt unable to perform my journey when I set out, sea sickness and a (paper is ripped off) helped to improve it, and feel quite well. The weather is warm last week, this situation is airy and pleasant every thing is beautiful around us. Stephen and Lydia remember their love to you & Dorcas to Mar, and Hannah, and all enquiring friends.

   I regret it is so ordered I can not go in your festival, my heart will be there, with love to your self and Dorcas, breathing this prayer, may you be happy, may you be Blest and the smile of Heaven rest upon you. From your affectionate mother,

Hannah Gilman
Bangor July 30th, 1833