Belknap County New Hampshire

“. . . border ruffians ...”
“... three dead at one time ...”

~ 16 April 1856 ~
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Red Circular Postmark:
         APR 17
U.S. postage stamp, Scott #11:
         Three Cents
         Mrs. James Hobbs
         East Sanbornton N. H.
Letter’s author:
         (Daughter) Anne
Sanbornton Bridge,
         April 16th 1856
My Dear Mother
         It seems a very time I heard from home “not one jot or tillle” since Town Meeting. I have hoped to get a line from some of you but none has appeared. I should have expected to have seen somebody from “Hard Scrabble” had the traveling been better. The streets are nearly dry here now. Last week was rather an exciting week with us. Tuesday Eve a negro lecturer at the brick church on anti slavery -- a company of border ruffians, the inmates of our rum shops here, congregated in the entry and disturbed the meeting, and the lecturer on his way back to the hotel was knocked down & almost divested of his garments -- some of the students who took his part or attempted to -- received several blows. Lizzie & I did not go -- Col went alone. The next evening the ladies had a public meeting at the Sem. The same drunken mob assembled, threw stones through the windows, made strange noises &c. -- about thirty of the students rushed out all in a body and put them to flight; but they returned & filled every outside door -- the ladies remained about an hour before they venture out & then accompanied by gentlemen. I never more frightened in my life. I got home safe however between Col and Mr. Hunt on the other. -- Don’t go to Kansas to see “border ruffians,” we have a plenty such here. The citizens however are having indignation meetings & are determined to put an end to rum selling here -- for there would be no such villains were it not for that accursed drink. -- Mrs. Pillsbury little daughter aged 10 years died Sunday last with the Scarlet fever -- her sister is sick also with the same -- but I believe not dangerous. Mrs. Dea. Morrill died with consumption last Saturday also -- a Mrs. Curry (lived in the Seven Nations) died a apoplectic fit making three dead at one time. Today a gentleman from Rhode Island came here and purchased a horse for $125 -- He hitched him at Mr. Forrest’s store for a short time and when he unloosed him, he took fright at something, jumped forward, fell & broke his skull -- So went the $125 -- I guess I’ll not tell any more calamities and in fact I think of no more just now -- Our term closes next Wednesday morning -- I shall go up in the first train the same day. I am well and prospering well. There seems to a fair prospect for school next term -- the school will continue in the Sem. The Meeting house is going on finely -- They are also hauling the foundation for the new Sem. There will be only we three teachers next term. I more than half wish I could rest this Summer -- but I don’t know how I am. Susan Sargent has gone out west, got there safe and likes well. I have received two papers from Edwin recently. How do you all do -- Are you well. Did you fast last Thursday -- We did a we had a sort of picked up dinner. Noting but Oysters, Chicken, bread, dough nuts -- pudding & two kinds of pies. Where is Caroline Burleigh now. Do you think she would suit Mrs. Fletcher for a girl to wash, iron, sweep &c -- she says she cannot keep us next term unless she can get good help. She is not very well and is tired doing all her work alone -- She has sent to a girl but has received now answer -- I should see you soon I hope so. I’ll not scribble any more.

         Love to all,

From the Collection of Frederick Smoot
Provenance: eBay Online Auction 1998

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