Hibbard, Deborah
 
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Courtesy: American Textile History Museum
Transcribed: University of Massachusetts Lowell, Center for Lowell History
 
[Probably written by Deborah J. Hibbard]
 
To: Miss Sarah H. Hibbard
Manchester  Oct. 8 1845
 
Dear Sister Sarah.
 
Can it be possible I just
looked at the last letter I received from you which was
a year ago last month. I intended to have answered it
in five months as that was the period of time intervening
between mine & yours, but my time was so
occupied that I had no leisure for that even. as I was
not absent from the mill only when my health
would not admit of my working which was several
weeks in the course of the winter. I have not been
to Gilford1 but once since I first came to M.2 that
was a year ago last April. During the hottest weather
this summer I spent six weeks at [Londonderry],
Lowell & Boston most of the time at Aunt Jenny’s
then I thought of writing you but Brother Henry & wife
came there on a visit & he said he did not know
according to the last letter that father's folks received,
whether you were still in Cherokee or had gone beyond
the rocky mountains or had been murdered so that
will account for the reason why you have not received
any letter for the last six months. Harriet3 is 
now at Londonderry so I opened two letters for her, one
from you & the other from home friends at home are
as well as usual excepting Hannah who was threatened
highly with a fever, from Capt A. Blaisdell has
buried his daughter Martha 16 years of age. 

O I long to get home once more but here I am exercising
all the self denial possible just to lay by a little
money & no one knows what for. I have tended four
looms nearly a year & a half & have only ninety dollars
in the bank sometimes I can say labor itself is pleasure
then again when all worn down I sigh for rest. I have 

  1New Hampshire
  2Manchester, NH
  3Harriet Hibbard b: 1818
 
 

had trials & vexations which is the lot of all in a factory
village like this you will wish me to explain I suppose
well the case is I have a great many enemies some
envy me on account of my good fortune, others for
my good looks & genteel carriage other for my
youthful appearance because strangers take me to
be about twenty five & six years of age other hate
me because I have had good advantages & have
improved them Some have treated me respectfully
especially those gentlemen who have employed me
such as agents & overseers they looked up to
me that has excited the envy of the ladies & some of the
married ones have even been jealous of me 
should you believe it possible at this time of
life? but so it is I should not write this but
I wish for sympathy as I dare not make a friend
of any one in this place for they would betray me.
I have prospered in some respects have managed
so as to board in a private family most of the
time & part of the time with my overseers which is
considered very popular. Last summer a year ago I had
charge of a little girl who was born at the south &
her mother was a molatto & had been a slave
I took great pains with her exercised all the authority
of a parent over her for about eight months when
she visited some friends since that she has
been capable of taking care of herself although I
give her advice & she often calls me mother she is
now quite a pretty young lady. Last June while
I boarded with my overseer his youngest child
not ten months old was taken sick & died rather
suddenly I watched by its cradle for the last
two nights & one day & saw the lovely creature breathe
its last for the first one & the impression that
scene left upon my mind can never be effaced
there stood the friends weeping around while the spirit
gently fled to God who gave it & O it is my prayer
I may be prepared to meet the lovely Emma beyond 
tomb. Harriet4 is now doing some sewing preparatory
to marriage5 which I expect will take place about
Thanksgiving time Br Babcock's folks were at
Andover at the anniversary they called on us & were at
[Gilford] no news except Dr.Hendrick's family have gone
to the West. Miss Susan Tuck graduated last 

  4Harriet Hibbard b: 1818
   5Amos Webster
 

August & is now teaching in Manchester has fifteen
scholars, report not out yet Sister Hannah6 visited
us this summer Martha A7 is in the Mill
There is a second Baptist Society formed in
this place at resent under the care of the
Reverend Mr. Foss. Miss Susan Tuck is
courted by a minister Did you receive a
[bolt] of clothing a while ago I [assisted] them [some]
write as soon as you receive this

P.S. 
Mrs. Nutter is married to a Mr. Thompson. Br. to 
Mahala. Sally Hill is dead, died in Manchester
Good night its dark

  6Hannah Bibbard b: 1821
  7Martha Hibbrad b: 1823

 

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