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Letters from Rachel (Butler) Boyd to Anna (Butler) Butler

[Letter from Rachel (Butler) Boyd to her sister Anna (Butler) Butler, daughters of Elnathan . (See graphic below.) Rachel lived in Rockville, Massachusetts, and was married to Amos H. Boyd. Carlos would be their nephew, the son of their brother Charles and his Cuban wife Paulita. "Mr.B." would be Rachel's husband. "Mr. & Mrs. Ranney from Chicago" would be Lucy Smith and her husband , Henry Ranney. Lucy was the daughter of Rachel & Anna's sister Lucy. "Silvester and Jeannie" are Rachel & Anna's brother & sister-in-law. Silvester (or Sylvester) worked in the produce exchange in Chicago. They apparently had no children of their own and had raised Lucy when her mother died when she was about a year old. Amelia & Frank are Rachel's daughters. Frank's name is really Francisca and she would have been 19; Amelia would have been almost 24. Her other daughter Marianna (29) was already married with three children, and I guess she just didn't mention her because she didn't live at home anymore. "Charles Wm. the poet" would be the son of Rachel & Anna's brother William. Clara is her unmarried sister Clarissa. -- Susan Csaja]

Rockville Aug.11th/63

I have not forgotten my dear sister that I have been for some time indebted to you for a letter. You write me so seldom, your letter should not long remain unanswered, for it need not be a great task to keep a correspondence with you.

I am very glad to know you had courage sufficient to leave home and make such a long visit in N.York. Trust you feel better for it. I heard through Mr. B. of some of your movements - But did you visit at Carlos'? Mr. B. spent nearly four months there and only saw him twice - was never invited to his house. Did you go there? I have heard so much of Carlos' hospitality or rather inhospitality that for a Butler he seems a queer specimen. We last week received a visit, no, I should only name it a call, from Mr. & Mrs. Ranney from Chicago. They had been visiting in Cleveland, Buffalo & Albany - stopped in Boston two or three days; came here one day at 5 o'clk p.m., left the next morning at 9 a.m. Were going to Old Orchard Beach, Saco, to spend a few days - thence to Montreal and home by way of Toronto - Their tour was to be one of business and pleasure combined. We were sorry not to have seen them longer, but enjoyed what we had of their time very much. I had not seen Lucy for six years - She is much prettier than I ever before knew. Quite a nice splendid-looking lady - and talks as fast as ever her own mother did. We like Mr. Ranney very much. He is quite tall, of a good figure & good face - plain and simple in his manners, perfectly gentlemanly, free and social with no apparent disposition to make a show. He calls himself twelve years older than Lucy; I could not think by his looks there could be half that difference in their ages. They appeared very happy in each other, and both behaved extremely well - I hope very happy that they have been here for even so short a time. Silvester and Jeannie are both very well. I learned nothing new respecting them as Jeannie and I correspond very frequently. My family are just now all together - just balance the table again. Amelia returned ten days ago from a visit of six weeks in Saco, Biddleford, Portland and Spring Vale. Frank came last week from school. She has been a year in the same school and will not probably return there. She has enjoyed much and improved both in mind and manners. It is very pleasant to be together again.

Mr. B. has been suffering for more than a week with rheumatism in his hip - has had a severe and sudden attack - Is better of it now so that he has been to Boston today but came home tonight as he said "half crazy with the teethache and longing to meet some big man whom he could give a severe kicking" He is at this moment lying on the sofa, warming us all not to "come near" him - We do not fear him much - He met "Charles Wm. the poet" on the street in B., he was looking very well and smart, only exchanged the compliments of the day with him - I have not heard from Clara since you came from N.Y., have written her once - I should like to hear from you both - Will you not write again soon. Mr. B., Amelia & Frank send kind regards to you all.

My love to all your children-

yours affectionately
R. P. Boyd

[Letter from Rachel (Butler) Boyd to her sister Anna (Butler) Butler. The new grandchild would be Alice, daughter of Samuel & Ann Marie (Butler) Wright. Ann Marie died the next March 1864, Anna (Butler) Butler died in April 1864, Alice died in 1868 and Samuel died in 1871. Samuel & Ann Marie's 2 sons, Willis and Edward, were brought up by George and Lucinthia (Hutchinson) Butler, Ann Marie's brother & sister-in-law. Clara and David were Rachel & Anna's sister and brother, both unmarried. Amelia married into the Richardson family. -- Susan Csaja]

Rockville (Mass.) Nov. 21st, 63

My dear Sister Anna,

More than a month ago I received what I called (as coming from your hand) a long letter, containing what I prize still more, a picture of yourself. It is a capital likeness and it seems when I look at it as if it might speak to me. I am very much obliged to you for both, very much indeed. Three days before you wrote, Mr. Boyd left home for Europe, and as I wrote to Clara just after that event, I knew you would hear from me through her and I would wait until I could tell you something of him, when I wrote to you. I have received two letters from him during this past week, the last one written the morning after he arrived in London, the 29th Oct. He had a voyage of 21 _ days between N.York and London, a full week longer than he expected; had stormy weather, and heard winds all the way, consequently a very rough passage. But he had been perfectly well all the time - had never lost a meal, or a night's regular sleep, and had gained some in weight. Had enjoyed the journey very much, as he found very good society on board the Steamer, and the twenty one days had seemed short to him. I hope I am truly grateful for his kind preservation for I learn from the papers that the month of Oct. has been a particularly unfortunate season for navigation. Much damage has been done to vessels and one Steamer has been wrecked near our own coast, others have been delayed. The last Steamer that arrived in Boston from Liverpool was 16 days on the ocean - the usual time is 10 days. He hopes to be able to return home before the winter closes, but could not make any calculation about it.

Now to your letter. I am surprised that you have another grandchild just where it is. If I could have had the privilege of distributing, I would have placed it in one of the other two families that belong to you. But probably that would not have been a wise arrangement, and I am willing to leave such matters in the hands of Him who never errs. I am happy for Annie has a daughter, she must be pleased with the change. I hope she is well now, and happy with her little ones. They certainly require a deal of care and make a great deal of hard work for us mothers, and often we are apt to think them troublesome comforts; but they are given to us when we are young, strong and energetic, when we have a taste for the care of them, unlike what may be expected in later years. They grow up seeming more and more a part of ourselves, until they are almost inseparable companions for us, and we think how much we should have missed, if we had had no children. I think a couple of old people without children a very unenviable pair. I believe you love babies, so if your health is comfortable as I hope, you will enjoy the care you can give to this little one. Much love from me to Annie and my congratulations to her and Mr. Wright. Amelia, Frank & I now compose our family - a horse and some fowls are all the stock we have to care for. A man comes once a day to take care of Fannie's stable and give her coat a combing - all else we do ourselves. We harness her in the barn that joins the house, ride out of it, and ride in again, and unharness. Wood and water close by the cooking stove. We go outdoors to hang our washing, which is the only thing we need go out for. So you see we are very comfortably situated. We miss Mr. B. company very much, but the girls have acquaintances away from Rockville that call on us quite frequently, so we do not suffer much from loneliness. Next Thursday is our Thanksgiving. Amelia is invited to spend it at Mr. Richardson's. Frank and I are invited to Milford. I think we shall go as Marianna advised it, thinking it would be less lonely. I believe she is invited to dine with some friend in Boston. She and her family are well. A. and F. have just retired for the night. They jointly said, "give my love to Aunt Anna, cousin Annie with all the other cousins, and a kiss to each baby," in which I will join them. Remember me particularly to Clara, and David; the former will probably see this letter, and it will do for her for the present. I'll write her when I have something to tell her of my husband. Again I thank you for your letter, do write again.

Yours affectionately,
R. P. Boyd

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