1861: Unidentified “Ned” to Sister

This amusing letter was written by an unidentified young man named “Ned” which was probably short for Edward. He wrote the letter to his sister. Ned was most likely a resident of Hartford, Connecticut, and his letter contains clippings from two local newspapers that were printed in late June 1861.

[Note: This letter is from the personal collection of Richard Weiner and is published by express consent.]


Hartford, Connecticut
Saturday Morning, June 29, 1861

Sister Mine,

I leaned while at dinner that advices had been received of your safe arrival in that country located so much nearer sunrise than we are. I am pleased to learn the fact and I suppose the next I shall hear will be that you have commenced rising early, or at least before breakfast, for fear the time may hang heavily on your hands. I send my horses and buggy so that you can amuse yourself until breakfast is ready.

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 2.07.05 PMDrive slowly for the weather is hot. As we are all more or less interested in military matters, a little news on that point may not prove uninteresting. You ma think this is not entirely original. Well perhaps it is not.

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 2.08.09 PM

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 2.13.07 PMYou must consider how much easier it is to use other people’s ideas than our own. The next thing in order is music. You know I am fond of that and so are the shad eaters. We attended in a body and the time passed very pleasantly. Mrs. Preston thought to take the palm from Mrs. Strickland but she didn’t carry gems enough for the course of the evening. Mrs. S. was presented with a silver cup of which this is not a good representation. I have been to great expense in obtaining these cuts, having been obliged to send to—to—to—mapping for an engraver.

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 2.17.18 PMThe inscription on this is not the same as was on the cup presented. I make this run ink for fear you might get a wrong impression.

When you are spoken to you must always answer or you may fare as some others have. So you see it costs something sometimes for not being civil.

In the way of improvements I have to note. The secession cause has yet some friends but I shall expect to hear that this item is not true.

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 2.26.40 PMCome Ellsworth on them by all means. Accidents will happen in the but regulated families and of course our Military family are not exempt.

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 2.29.48 PM

Well. I have given you a pretty good idea of matters and things as they exist but I wish to impress upon your mind the property of behaving yourself. People judge from appearances and to give you some idea how essential some idea how essential it is I give you this.

And now in conclusion, I have to remark that this world is all a cattle show as you will no doubt believe when you see the account of the last grand show.

There. I have cut up two newspapers and racked my brain to write you a letter and I hope you will be satisfied until I write again.

Yours brother, — Ned


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