George and Martha Sprague to Andrew and Ruth Fletcher, Mary Pratt, and Lydia Colton, 1843 July 2 and July 8
I recd. with much gratification your letter of May 25th/43. the 25 day of June. And this circumstance. I must plead as an excuse for you not receiving any return at an earlier period. Why a letter should be a whole month in coming is not for me to say. You will probably expect an apology from us for not writing you. Be assured that it was not because we have not often planned and made calculations for a visit. but the probable cause was because we never, in fact, started- We intended to have gone down by Wheeling, but Martha's health was poor for some time. She was quite sick for a few weeks commencing about the 20th June. this put her work behindhand and it was determined to go in the winter and carry Cornelius & Levi without fail as soon as the new clothes were made [ ], but the great thaw come on just as I was on the point of starting a journey which I was obliged to make to the south part of the state. And as soon as the road would permit I was off, absent two weeks, got home about the last days of Feb.y. just as the great snows commenced. the result is well known, and still we are planning a visit- with as much certainty of performing as we had never been disappointed in our anticipations. but wife gives up the idea of a visit until after haying. and if life & health permit, we intend to visit you as early in the fall as possible.
You will expect me to write all the news. but I hardly know what would be news and what would not. I will scratch my head and try to think of every thing that would be interesting. And First. the children and our own family enjoy good health, or at least our usual health. I attended meeting at Wolcott near Davenport's today and saw Cornelius. You are probably aware that he lives with David [Andrus]. He is well contented, and I believe has as good a place as could be obtained any where. His Grandmam did not like it very well that I did not send him to her Brother Mills, however managed so to explain as to escape a flogging. We think Levi's health is improving slowly. Mercy was here a few days ago and decided that he was straigther, etc. &c- Did you know that she is married again?- If not this will be news that she was married to a man in Lowell Vt. name of Crocker, 13th March last- She moved her goods a few days since. She says she has no things belonging to the children. but she has some things that the children shall have when she thinks they are old enough to take care of them &c. the farm remains unsold and the rent almost all in arrears, though we believe it secure, but the hard times has prevented a collection of the demands, so that I have not sec. enough to pay the interest due to Jas. Coburn. this operates rather against my interest. I hope to see you before long and then I can tell you of many things which is not convenient at this time and in this way-
You wrote that there had been a great revival of religion in your vicinity. This is verry gratifying, and peculiarly so- because we allow ourselves to indulge this hope that you are benefited by it. Is it indeed so? There has been some awakening and revival here. a large number have joined the churches. among the rest is Sister Abigail- she has joined the methodist church- Almost all have been more or less under the influence of religious impressions. the interest has probably in a great degree abated, yet we hope many will continue to progress who have not given evidence that they have made verry great advances in the course. During the winter season meetings were held almost constantly in our vicinity during a great part of the week and were well attended. and as we hope with verry beneficial results. There are but few who felt disposed to mock and make light of religion yet some then are, and some there probably ever will be until professors live agreeably to their profession.
It is a great thing to be a Christian. So great indeed that for one I sometimes despair of ever attaining that happy distinction. but I feel a determination never to leave off striving for it. I hope when I see you that we can rejoice together. and may we have many such meetings to cheer us on our way through this world of troubles, afflictions & trials. for we read that we must have tribulation But I feel verry incompetent to say anything upon religious matters which would be interesting- I cannot Close without saying a few words to Mary
George Sprague to Mary Pratt My dear Mary
I was glad to have you write a little in the letter I received from your Uncle & Aunt. I perceive you are learning to write. I can discern that you have a good steady hand and by trying you may attain a fine hand writing. I wish you to take much pains to write. A neat hand writing is verry pretty especially for a little girl. But you must not expect to attain to it by trying once or twice. but be not discouraged. and as soon as you can write well. learn drawing- and you may even begin now. Take your Slate & pencil and imitate every thing you can see- Try it Dont be discouraged. Try again. Let this be your motto Try I want to say many things to you and will endeavor to before I send this, but must now go to milking. So good evening my dear Mary. I hope to see you before long and hope I shall ever hear that you are a good girl, and remember your creator in the days of your youth. practice in the ways of piety & virtue while young
It is now a week since I wrote the above and I hope to have an opportunity to send this to the Post office verry soon. Ann has written something for you which will probably be as acceptable to you as though I had written. You must write every opportunity Please accept this from your friend
Geo. F. Sprague
George Sprague to Lydia Colton
And now a word to Lydia- And first are you not out of all patience with regard to what we are oweing you? All I can say is that I am sorry, verry sorry that it has so happened. And I hope that we shall see you this fall and satisfy you amply for your disappointment. Martha sends her respects to you and if Convenient we should be glad to receive a visit from you this summer.
Respectfully YoursGeo. F. Sprague
I shall be under the necessity of making rather an awkward formed letter
Martha Sprague to Mary Pratt Craftsbury July 8th 1843Much Respected Friend
It is with pleasure that I improve this opportunity of writing you a few lines in this letter. I was much pleased to receive a few lines from you & to hear that you enjoyed good health &c. Mary I wish that you would come up this summer & make me a visit it seems a great while since I have seen you but I hope that you will come up this summer. Cornelius is well, & lives at David [Andrus'es], he is well contented, he often speaks of you & says that he wants to see you very much. Levi is well as common. I believe they think his back is rather gaining, he says that I must tell Mary that that she must be a good girl & that he wants to see her very much. your grandmother has not been out since last winter. I suppose that our folks will not visit you before fall & it would not be possible for me to come . Although it would be a pleasure highly prized by me. I have not seen Lucy Parham since you wrote she lives down on the river at deacon Mason's. her Father moved last winter so I do not see her very oftenunless it is to meeting. I hardly know what more to say but I have almost half a sheet that had ought to be filled so I must think of something I have enough to tell you if I could see you & I hope you will not fail of coming up this summer. Elvira [Andrus] has taken our school this summer There has been a great revival here the past winter & many have been converted & have turned from their evil ways to take up their Cross & follow their savior. but the good work is we fear considrably subsided I can think of no news to write so I must close
Mary dont forget to write
Yours RespectfullyMartha A Sprague
George Sprague to Andrew and Ruth Fletcher Mr. & Mrs. Fletcher
will please accept this most bungling letter for want of a better and accept of Our most affectionate regard for their welfare & happiness. And write as often as convenient for we wish to hear from you often and wish to so arrange it that the children may visit as often as possible
Yours affectionatelyGeo. F. Sprague
Mr Andrew FletcherWatervilleVermontCraftsbury VtJuly 13