THE ATTIC

1823 LETTER
Lydia (Bosworth) Parmele
Wife of Henry Parmele 1785-1821
Joel, Nehemiah, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, John, John

This stampless, folded letter was written by Tary Clark of Philadelphia to inform her friend Lydia (Bosworth) Parmelee in Albany, N.Y., that she had delivered a baby boy who had a few days later.

The sad news made its way north via an acquaintance where it awaited Lydia at the printing office of Mr. Clark, probably a relative.

Henry and Lydia had at least three children. Two are known: Caroline, (born between 1804 and 1810) and Francis "Frank" Burdette (1815-1883). Several of Frank's letters survive.

Philadelphia, May 25, 1823

Dear Madam,

It is a long time since we have had the least account from you. I have been attempting for the last three months to write you a few lines as we lived in so much Friendship while you resided in our city. I think we have forgotten each other so far that there has not one line past these six months. I must now relate to you my troubles within the last three months.

On the tenth of March I was delivered of a fine boy which you must readily conclude was a great affair here. We gave him the name of Samuel, and when he was 3 weeks old Caroline was seized with a most severe illness, which she is just now getting the better of. We watched day after day for her death. I expected it, when my baby was taken suddenly and died with 3 days illness.

This was too much almost for me to bear to part with so great a pet(?) he was from his birth a fine pat(?). Healthy baby but it was the Lord's will to take him & he now sleeps in heaven but, indeed Mrs. Parmele, I cannot describe to you the hardship it was to part with that baby, losing the only son and Clark you know craving a son and so fond of the boys.

I must now give you a description of the times, which are very dull as to printing it is very hard and everything else as bad. Markets are reasonable. At present wood is low and this is some comfort. We have not kept any borders since Christmas last and I have some more comfort in that time than I have since we have kept house. How often do I think of our old chit chats and tea drinkings as ...

... Mr. [Henry] Parmala used to say, I cannot give you much account of Mr. Dainty's move than I believe they are all well, and as to Mr. Sewell I have been there two or three times since you left here. Mrs. Sewell doesn't enjoy any better Health than she formerly did and to the race(?) street people, they get along pretty much in the same way.

Aunt Betsey is crippling about with her lame back and the Girls flying about. Ann to be sure is a great tippy(?). The old Lady has gone to Lancaster to spend the remainder of her days. Grandmother still talks of coming home as she used to do and begs you will keep a bright lookout for her this summer. I do not see why you can't take a trip to Philadelphia to see your old Friends.

Now I hope sincerely that after you receive this you will not fail in writing and giving me a correct account of [Lydia's children] Caroline & little Burdett. Our children often speaks of him. I send this letter by a young woman who is on here from Albany with Mr. Chester's family, Mr. Ralston's daughter Hannah Charlotte. Betsey's family and my own family and myself all join in love to your own.

Wish to get to that part of the world still continues and I hope will take place soon. Now I hope you will let nothing prevent you from writing and d---- to clever alley so I must bid you good life.

And remain your Friend,
Tary Clark