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Lowell Mill Girl Letters

December 16, 1847

Courtesy: Ohio Historical Society, Lilly Martin Spencer Collection 
Transcribed: University of Massachusetts Lowell, Center for Lowell History

Boston Voice of Industry Office 
Dec 16, 1847 
To Mrs. A.L. Martin

            My Dear Lady 
                        Your kind letter of Nov. 1st should have been answered ere this but for the multiplicity of  
business it has been referred for which you must excuse me. 

I am happy to meet you in an epistle which brethren in Spirit of Reform. I and most of my correspondents are Reformers yet they [ ?? ] to [ ?? ] the subjects in – to this rolling boil which – the whole prison family you have came to well mostly on the Rights of Women.

I think you are – right in your  -- as to the certainity – our – is a the Lords of Gods creation in scripture and 
as much liberty of known but the own not like you we 

I wish I could have me sometimes when men tell me how best of my affairs for I guess you are better qualified to meet them then my little self.  It always -- we feel is best that I almost cry and angry too, yet I know it will not do to give way to such feelings. I think 23 might have a being that on matters and things I love vastly such is maybe with that – view feeling angry  --  with my view. I must --  forget to acknowledge  
the reception of your $100 to help us   --  it comes in a time when we need (on the --)  I have no primary intent in the paper. I spent 8 months of time & -- money to voices live and I will live many years a thorough Reform getting 
for if my join you and so tired but a few orders I know your goodness of our to learn from you at any time!  -- you like the voice in the new forms? my kindest regards and believe we truly thy friend 
 M. [
Mehitable] Eastman 

May 31, 1848

Courtesy: Ohio Historical Society, Lilly Martin Spencer Collection 
Transcribed: University of Massachusetts Lowell, Center for Lowell History 

                               Prisoners Friends Office 
                               Boston May 31, 1848 
Dear Madam 
Today at an anniversary meeting of the N.E. Anti-Slavery Association Mrs. Folsom handed me your letter in which you are pleased to inquire for me.  It is true Madam I owe you an apology for not answering yours but you will excuse me when I relate the reason for the delay of its reception.  I was called home to Franklin, N.H. on account of illness in my mother’s family here I remained 4 weeks and when I came back I found a large pile of letters mostly business to answer and more-over let me tell you my good friend I am [--] been since the reception yours making preparations for marriage I know you will excuse me for what must have seemed neglect on my part your communication.  I gave to [--] and it was handed back to me & is now in my possession the reason you have had no paper of late is [--] is [--] and & quite doubtful about 
it being published again in the present [--].  They do say it has been a loss my expectation of marriage in as much as I have not contributed at all for you well know I have too much to think of to write anything edafying 

Mrs. Folsom wishes me to say she has been woeful persuative but will ever go on to advocate the Right of Woman. She goes against doing the least thing to help the present government and so declines to send you a  letter through the Post Office. I love Abby but I tell you she seems quite [--] at times. She asked me to say she cannot agree with your friends, [--]  why & before I –at I have forgotten. I will retain your communication for your brother.  I expect to be married next month. Now what do you think of this? 

When I tell you he comes to be one of the best of men.  We agree [--]  in all the the Reforms and he is  truly a Woman’s Right Man However, you be pleased to address me again [--] - to the care of Isaac Child  
Boston Locomotive Works Lest you might not recognise my new name lately presented me by legislation.  I gave this [--] it for [--] fictitious name in writing for a long time past & as Mr. Child approved of me doing I thought it at present having been troubled with 2 ladies of the same name in Lowell.

About the 4th of July I hope to receive a letter from you for I fancy I would enjoy your agreement. I assume your spirit & if rights manifested which I have no doubt of will do good. I am your truly in friendship & the persuation of Equal Rights. 
             Maria [Mehitable] Eastman

November 14, 1848


Church St. no. 3 Lowell3 Nov 14 1848 
My Dear Husband, 
            A few moments after I left you I was on the way to Lowell near Marz which carried the passengers 
along Jupiter like and less than I hour I was in the Lowell Depo (on Depot as some say). I found Aunt well, also sister4 who was in rather percarious situation, unpleasant too, but I soon attended to her wants by my 
influence which was of great avail with Rev, by who meanes she is now teaching the school she has long expected. Tomorrow I leave for Franklin5 as I learn my niece & nephews are expected at home on Thanksgiving day so I shall not visit Goffs6 till I return & perhaps not at all.

To-day I met the P.M.7 & said he “There is a letter in the office for you directed in your old name” so I went to get it. You will laugh when you read & see the author thought he was addressing a Whig.8 It is a printed 
document asking me to tell something of the influence of the Tariff of 46  It was no doubt intended for before Election as the mail markings on the 2d inst are printed

  1Mehitable “Maria” Eastman b: 25 Mar 1816, Franklin, NH d:  
     2 Apr 1853, Boston, MA; parents: Phineas Eastman and Judith  
     Gale; married 1848: Isaac Child. 
  2Husband – Isaac Child b: 1 May 1792, West Roxbury, MA d: 23  
    Dec 1885, Boston, MA. 
  3Lowell, Massachusetts. 
  4Sister – Sophia A. Eastman b: 1822, NH d; CA; parents Phineas  
    Eastman and Judith Gale; married 1851: Harrison Gilman Eastman  
    b: 7 Feb 1822, Concord, NH d: 1886/1893, CA. 
  5Franklin, New Hampshire. 
  6Goffs, New Hampshire. 
  8Whig Political Party. 

on the 31st of but last. The gentlemen will have my mind and thereby find he has made a mistake and we by the Great Issue in a Nutshell accompanier my answer that I am a “Free Soil Woman”9 one on 2 sentiments will convince you what the man thought. 
 “With a view to procure adequate information, I have addressed circulars to all Our distinguished Whigs in the various walks of life.” 
 “You will, therefore, perceive the importance of prompt & efficient action in whatever you may be pleased to do.” It was mailed at New York & unpaid!!

I read it to the [----] P.M. & had a good laugh. This lead to an argument about the Free Soil Movement & they were “supprised to see me talk so, but knew my husband had instructed me & converted me in the bad movement.” Mr. Foster has made me a pesent of a bottle of Comfound. Will you write me so I can get it Sab day? I hope you will not be unhappy in my absence if I thought you were I should be the same & Marz would soon bring me to you, as fast as the Depo remember me to Mrs. Warren & her 
Methinks I see you, siting to the desk missing my prancing and my prating more. I flew around this morn as usual making Sophia cough and enquire if I acted so before you.

It is 11 O clock and I must retire to dream of you.  So Good Sir, Good Night.

            Thine own Maria 

[on cover] 
Isaac Child 
Boston Loco-motive Works 
Boston, Mass.

M.M. Child at Lowell 
Nov 14 1848

9Free Soil Party and Movement – opposed to admitting into the  
     Union any new states which allow slaves.