Rice, Sarah H. 1838 08 19 [VHS]
 
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VERMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY
MONTPELIER, VERMONT
HAZELTON RICE PAPERS

LETTER WRITTEN BY
SARAH “SALLY” H. RICE1 
EXCERPT2 

                                                                     Union Village3 Aug. 19th 1838

Honored Parents, Brother Sisters & Friends

It is with pleasure that I now seat myself to converse a few moments with you, we 
received your letter the 15th, was glad to here that you was all able to work. My health is 
very good indeed, & has been ever since I came here except one evening I went to 
meeting. They preach a great deal of Slavery here and I swalowed so many it made me 
sick but I went out and puked them up and felt better. I like living here very much indeed. 
I live with very nice people have enough to eat and drink and enough to do and I think if I 
am not contented here I never shall be eny where. There is 7 in the family, Mr. Holmes & 
wife 3 children there other hired girl & myself. We have 3 cows now, our folks have all 
been to meting to day but my self I think I shall go this evening. I have the privelage of 
going to meting half the day Sunday, & Sunday eve. There has been several deaths of the 
small pox in this village sinse I came here, but I don’t know of any case now…I should 
like to see y[ou a]ll, but I don’t know when. I have been to meting this evening and saw 
Mary she is well. My best respects to all. It is getting late and I must close, 

Sally Rice

I must just you see what I have bought: 1 bonnet ready made 1.25, 1 pare seal skin shoes 
1/25, 8 yards calico 12 ½ cts yard 1 dollar. I will send you apeice of my dress, also a 
piece like a dress Mrs Holmes gave me. So good bye.

  1Sarah “Sally” H. Rice b: 23 Jan 1821, Somerset, VT 
    d: 15 Jul 1904, Rochdale, MA; parents: Hazelton Rice 
    and Rhoda Stone; married 1847: James M. Alger b: 1818, 
    Worcester, MA; James worked: Railroad engineer.
    At the age of seventeen, Sally Rice left the small farm in Dover, 
    Vermont, on which she had been raised, to strike out on her 
    own. Over the next several years, her letters to her family tell 
    us, she supported herself and tried to save a little money working 
    as a domestic “help,” doing housework and, at least for a short 
    time, in a textile mill.
  2Excerpted by Old Sturbridge Village.
  3Union Village, New York.
 
 

 
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