1848 Stampless Letter, Lyme Ct Antoine Michel Martial Expected To Die For Sale
Traveling the Paper Trails of American History
"Poor Aunt Martial must be suffering beyond every thing."
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3 page stampless letter written by Ellen Lord and her aunt Nancy Lord on June 4, 1848, at Lyme, CT, to Ellen's cousin Sarah A. L. Noyes at East Painted Post, Steuben County, NY. Letter measures approx. 7 3/4" x 9 3/4".
Ellen Lord and her aunt Nancy Lord express their concern about "Aunt Martial" and give news of a family visit to Lyme, CT.
Ellen begins the letter: "Poor Aunt Martial must be suffering beyond every thing. It is a great wonder that her health holds as good as it does. I think there must be a change soon either for the better or worse." She goes on to give details of her visit to Lyme where she enjoyed a picnic, a dance, and horseback riding: "William & myself took a ride on horseback last Monday. I had the old white and William rode on his horse. we went around through Sabtown and stopped to Margarets and then went down through town. I had quite a number of compliments that was that I looked and rode very pretty."
She writes of her family attending church: "Father felt quite proud to have us all here to church with him. his chin was longer than ever, we were never all of us here together before & perhaps never will be again." She relates news on members of the Palmer, Hancox, Moore, and Griswold families. She sends her love and kisses to "dear little Willie" then turns the letter over to "Aunt Lord."
Nancy Lord writes: "Ellen writes you that there is no change in your Dear Papa. she is mistaken. he is much more feeble and has not the use of his limbs as he used to have. it tires him to walk as far as Richards so he is out of breath when he gets their and that is but seldom. I think you will say what is Mama going for if Papa is not well. I am going to get some money for we have got to have the Barn and Crib s[hin]gled and to get your Papa cloath for a coat. shall be gone but one day." She continues: "my heart achs for your Dear Mother what she has to passthrough. I hope the times are better in France but there is no hopes of her Husband. I should not be surprized to hear he was dead now."
Nancy Howe (1792-1866), Sarah Luther Howe (1796-1867), Eliza Luther Howe (1801-1884), and Catherine Howe (1807-1846) were the daughters of Capt. Thomas Hilliard Howe and Sarah Luther. In 1821 Nancy became the 2nd wife of Dr. William Lord (1763-1852) of Lyme.
In 1824 Sarah Luther Howe married Capt. Allen Porter Holdredge (1794-c. 1828) and had daughter Sarah Anna Lord Holdredge (1825-1912). In 1836 the widow Sarah married Dr. Antoine Michel Martial (1782-1848) of Nantes, France. He had served with distinction as a surgeon in Napoleon's army and was awarded the Legion of Honor. He was also given a set of gold pistols by the Emperor himself. In his later years he served as American consul at Nantes. He passed away in July 1848 and his wife stepped in, serving as vice-consul until she returned to the U. S. and settled in Bristol, RI. See A History of the Episcopal Church in Narragansett, Rhode Island... (1907) and Bristol: Montaup to Poppasuash (2001).
The letter seems confusing with Nancy Lord referring to herself as "Mama" but also writing about Sarah's "Dear Mother." At some point William and Nancy Lord adopted young Sarah Holdredge. In 1845 she married Henry Babcock Noyes (1814-1889) of Elmira, NY, the son of Thomas Noyes and Hannah Phelps. See the Elmira (NY) Gazette (May 29, 1845) and the Corning (NY) Journal (August 1, 1889). At the time the letter was written, Sarah and Henry had a son William Lord Noyes (1846-1866). The combined volume Memorials of William Lord Noyes and Mrs. Sarah Luther Martial was published in 1869.
Catherine Howe married William Lord Jr. (1806-1862), the son of Enoch and Esther Lord and nephew of the elderly William Lord. Their children mentioned in the letter include: the writer Catherine Ellen Lord (1827-1904), Mary Isabella Lord (1829-?), and William Allen Holdredge Lord (1834-1853).
In April 1850 Ellen Lord married Clement Deming Hancox (1833-1892). They settled in New Jersey where he worked as a steamship captain. They are buried in the historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.
Ellen's sister Isabella married mariner Joseph Lewis Gardner (1799-1877) as his 2nd wife. She lived in Bristol, RI, and passed away before 1900.
"Georgie" in the letter is Georgiana Lord Parsons (1830-?), the daughter of Eliza Luther Howe and her husband James Parsons. Georgie married merchant Edward Covell (c. 1818-1876) and lived in Elmira, NY.
Sabtown was an area north of the town of Lyme. See History of the Ely Re-Union... (1879).
Postal History: faded and incomplete red Lyme CDS with manuscript 10 cents rate mark.
Condition: age toning, small tear repaired with archival tape, soiling, foxing, hole affecting 3 words.
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1848 Stampless Letter, Lyme Ct Antoine Michel Martial Expected To Die: $33