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Lowell Mill Girl Letters

July 22, 1849

Courtesy: American Textile History Museum 
Transcribed: University of Massachusetts Lowell, Center for Lowell History 


Lowell July 22 ed 1849

Dear sister1

            I now seat myself to improve a few moments this beautiful Sabbath morning in pening my wandering thoughts to you, I received your letter was glad to hear of your prosperity, I began to think your mind had become so ingrosed in your domestic affairs that you had forgotten you had an Old Maid sister2  at he city of spindles. My health is very good for this hot weather, it has been very warm here this summer, I am running six looms in the same old corner that I did last summer I think very often how you used to come up to see me, I have not received a visit from my bird as yet this year. I do not know as I can write any news that will be interesting to you but I will try and see what I can think of, Eliza Marshall has left the mill and gone home to fix to be married. The girls in this old front chamber remain about the same as when you left, Malinda sends her love to you and says when she gets rich enough she shall come and see you. The girls in the mill are all about the same as when you left, Jane has gone home she is courted up to her ears, It seems rather lonesome to me here now I am left all alone. I expect you and Lucy3  are having a fine time about these days. Orrin4 calls to see me once in a while he tells a great deal about going down East. He is dotting upon having a good time and I hope he will not be disappointed, he wants to have me go down with him says he will pay my fare down and back but I think I cant afford the time, Lucy5  wanted to know what kind of a time I had the fourth. I had a very good time but did not go out of the city for some obvious reasons, I went to see the firemens' performance in the forenoon, and in the afternoon I went to a boat ride and in the evening we had a fine treat at 44. Truman went to Boston and took Miss Mary Ann Fostick6  with him. Eliza P is here she and True has some hard feelings but get along quite well since Eliza went home, We are looking for John Gilrease down next week, then for some fun, I believe the rest of the boys are well they plague Bill Stevens as bad as ever about the walk, There was a great party down there the fourth, I believe I have written about all the folks but Thankful she was up here and stayed a week at the fourth she and Mr. Pool7 have dissolved partnerships, I will tell you now about my walk I took last Sabbath. I went over to the old yellow meeting house in Dracutt to church in the afternoon and after tea I went up to the Cemetery. I thought of the last time I went before and I think you will remember it too we sat down on a stone near the place we did then and spoke of the change that had taken place since, 
Freeman8  is in the gold regions if living I supose and you are married. How little did we think where we should be at this time. When I looked round on the marble Monuments and newly erected Tomb stones it reminded me that Death had not been idle, on every Avenue I could see some new traces of its busy hands, But my thought are wandering on to solemn subject to suit your mirthfulness although to my mind it is a most beautiful subject of contemplation. I have written I hardly know what but I find my paper comeing short and I have not written half I had in my mind,  Tell L9  I have written her two good long letters since she went home give my best respects to Mr. Knowlton10  if they would be acceptable, Remember me to friends, I hope you will write to me again and not delay so long again, You must think of me occasionally as 
I shall you, The girls all send their love excuse mistakes for I am in a hurry I have not been writing an 
[----] I am going to church write soon Adeline N. Colburn11

[on cover] 
Mrs. Rebecca Knowlton12 
Farmington Falls, ME

1 Rebecca F.A. Colburn b: 1831, MA married Sylvanus Cobb Knowlton b: 1827, Farmington, Maine

2 Adeline N. Colburn b: 1828, Maine married Franklin Tenney Colburn b: 1830, Dracut, Main

3 Lucy Vaughan b: 1820 married John Knowlton, Jr. B: 1820 

4 Orrin Haskell Lufkin b: 6 Apr 1823, Rumford, ME married 1847 Fidelia Godwin 

5 Lucy Vaughan 

6 Mary Ann Fosdick b: 5 Jun 1825, NH parents: William Fosdick and Lydia Randall

7 Thankful and Reuben Pool – 1850: Lincoln, ME, 1880: Peaks Island, ME 

8 Freeman? 

9 Lucy Vaughan Knowlton? 
10 Sylvanus Cobb Knowlton 

11 Adeline N. Colburn b: 1828, NH married Franklin Tenney Thissell b: 1830, Dracut, MA 

12 Rebecca F.A. Colburn b: 1831, MA married Sylvanus Cobb Knowlton b: 1827, Farmington, ME