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Lowell Mill Girl Letters

August 8, 1847

Courtesy: University of Massachusetts Lowell 
Transcribed: University of Massachusetts Lowell, Center for Lowell History 

   Sabbath morning Aug 8th  ‘47 
Dear Elisabeth1 
            I received your letter and perused it with the greatest pleasure imaginable still I envied you your 
comfort I do wish I could be with you would not I enjoy myself too?  I’ll bet I would   Now let me see what news have I got to write I cannot think of one item  O! yes I have been out sick two whole days I was dreadful sick I sewed all the time just as fast as my fingers would enable me to lucky for me my old man did not inquire about me wasn’t it?2 You asked me about Marrilla3 she is dead she died at the Hospital4 the next morning after you left Lowell Ruth Damon5 was with her when she asked her what she should tell her Father  Marrilla answered tell him I die perfectly happy I feel sure I shall see him in Heaven I sincerely hope she will don’t you?  how bad to die so far away from all friends who care for you among 

  1Elizabeth M. Stevens 
  2Miss Mary Lucinda Hovey, operative Suffolk Mills; called in sick at the mill  
     to stay home and sew 
  3Miss Marrilla W. Williams, weaver Lawrence Mills; b: 1830, Albany, VT  
     d: 27 Jul 1847, Lowell, MA 
  4Lowell Corporation Hospital, dysentery 
  5Miss Ruth Stearns Damon, weaver; b: 30 Aug 1823, Kirby, VT d: bef 1877;  
     daughter of Ebenezer Damon b: Ashby, MA and Rhobe W. Sheldon b: RI;  
     Lowell Institute for Savings Records 

those whose only wish is as seems to be to have you out of sight that they may get your money and clothes &c forgive me for speaking so bitterly I could not not help it for I think the treatments she received during her sickness was anything but fair and when she died it was six oclock in the morning and she was burried at two in the afternoon & I would just tell you another truth but I dare not put it in black and white. 

But I am writing all together differently from what I intended when I commenced this  I am very sorry your health is not good I hope you may get well by the time I come to see you for if you do not I am fearful what the result of my visit would be  I think now I shall be up there in September if you like.  I have had one letter from Abby since she went home and I answered it in a hurry (the same as you will think I have yours) she wrote that she should return to Lowell in about 3 weeks from this I was over at 22 the evening after I got your letter I told Sarah Cross she said she roomed with Martha she was dreadful sick after you left and the day that I was over there she had had her dress on the first time  Experience took care of her I don’t doubt she had the very best care Sophronia Tuck6 is sick now she is in the care of Dr. Birnham7 I beleive the rest of the girls are all well they all seemed very much pleased to hear from you and wished to be 

    6Miss Sophronia Tuck, operative Suffolk Mills, boarding at 22 Suffolk Mills;  
        b: 1830, ME; boarding at 12 Suffolk Mills; family moved to Grundy County, Il;  
       married Velasco L. Fuller b: 1836, NY 
    7Walter Burnham, Jr., physician; b: 12 Jan 1808, Brookfield, VT  
       d: 1883, Lowell, MA; business at Central and Middlesex Sts. 

remembered by you  Abby Fiske8 in particular she is getting ready to leave these diggings  I don’t think anything more to write now only I have changed my boarding place again.  what you think ob dat ha?  Ill tell you why Miss Hemmageway9 took five paddies to board10 and I can tell you such work as they made I would not stay so you see I just put-off and came to 18 on the Suffolk11 here I am now.  the old woman12 makes or tries to make us all go to meeting but you see she can’t drive me and she has almost given up the idea that she can Everything else I like much better than I ever have else- where. I was thinking if you had any pigs they would have been set at liberty when you was eighteen  I wish I could have seen you that day I should have given to something to remember I’ll warrant you  You see I have written the little shroud 
as I promised you I would if you will write me again in my answer I will send the Silver moon  I have not written anything as yet worth reading and I will not weary you patience by writing any more nonsense dont forget to direct your next letter to No.1813 instead of 2614 Sincerely Yours now & ever 
                                   Mary L. Hovey15

PS  if you dont write me another letter before long I shall be after thinking you dont consider this worth your notice any how now you mind that you you see I did not forget to write you a letter full & long as your own if not longer  Lucinda16 

[on cover] 
Elizabeth M. Stevens17 
Leyden, Mass. 

    8Miss Abby Fiske: b: 1821, ME; daughter of Abner Fiske and Olive Littlefield;  
        1847 Lowell, MA: operative; 1860 Biddeford, MA: dressmaker 
    9Miss Sophronia Hemenway, BH Keeper #26 Suffolk 
   10Mrs. Sarah Parker, BH Keeper #28 Suffolk Mills, 46 boarders at least 29 Irish 
   11Mrs. Hannah Tenney Morrison, BH Keeper #18 Suffolk Mills, 10 boarders  
        at least 3 Irish 
   12Mrs Hannah Tenney Morrison b: 3 Jan 1792, Bradford, MA d: 13 Nov 1880,  
       Billerica, MA; 1847-1870 Lowell, MA BH Keeper #18 Suffolk Mills;  
       married 1876 Franklin Davis Morrison  b: 26 Nov 1788, Corinth, VT  
       d: 6 Apr 1835, ME; daughter of Adelaide Clinton Morrison b: 27 Nov 1833, NH 
  13Mrs. Hannah Tenney Morrison, BH Keeper 
  14Miss Sophronia Hemenway, BH Keeper 
  15Miss Mary Lucinda Hovey, operative Suffolk Mills, boarding 18 Suffolk Mills  
      formerly 26 Suffolk; b: 29 May 1828, Lyme, NH d: aft 1910; daughter of Dudley  
      and Rubie Hovey; married Frederick Hiram Herbert b: 4 Nov 1823, Haverhill,  
      NH d: 25 Jun 1869, Waco, TX 
  16Miss Mary Lucinda Hovey 
  17Elizabeth M. Stevens