Esther Spooner to her mother Mary Spooner, Aug. 3 1862

Mary is once again away, traveling with her sister-in-law Hannah and nephew Charles. Esther writes from home in Seaside (North Plymouth). She is 27 years old, and comments that her unwillingness to socialize may lead to her remaining unmarried, though she does not seem to mind the prospect. She speaks candidly about her introversion and also her thoughts on the war effort, believing that every unmarried young man should enlist in the Union army, as she updates her mother on all the social goings-on back in Plymouth. 

Plymouth Aug 3. 1862.

Dear Mother,

Father & I have been writing to James to-day and I am going to send him a little bundle in Schuyler’s valise Thursday. I shall send those socks. I had a letter from him, or rather Father had one from Frona, which amounts to the same thing; Friday I will send it to you. I am very glad you are so much nearer Sea-side and shall be glad when you are at home, though we don’t need you. It is impossible for me to write you any news for I hardly ever go to town and few take the trouble to visit me, but for all that I am quite contented and don’t see but what there is as much prospect of my being an “ancient maiden” as ever. Sometimes I think I should like to get out, but as I cannot where is the use of fretting? I enjoy my flower garden very much. I have got some splendid fuscias & nasturtions. I sent Helen a bouquet she said it was the handsomest she ever saw and was very much pleased. James’ business comes on slowly, owing to Charles Doten’s illness, but he is out now and as soon as he is strong enough it will be attended to. I am going into that den of horrors, the house, for James tomorrow forenoon if I can get a chance. I get along very well with the work and do not mind the heat except ironing. I have only hired Mrs Connor to iron once and that was for some skirts. Father’s tax this year is to be 31 dollars & some odd cents and we must save up to meet that. I have some good things for him to eat and try to do well by him. I am glad you sent that collar for me to do up. I can just as well as not, do send some more. I shall send this one to you in this letter if I have time to do it before I go in town. I fixed your bedroom carpet last week, took up the pieced breadth & put down a whole one. I made some blackberry jam. Father likes huckleberry cakes & I make them quite often. There is to be a smashing Gurnet Party this week. I shall refuse before I am asked, I had rather stay at home. Molly makes me calls when she has nowhere else to go and Hannah comes every day and sometimes brings her work and sits awhile. I like to have her very much. Tidd also makes me frequent calls, though they are mostly short ones. We eat broth with them to-day & very nice it was. Father enjoys going in there Sundays very much. It is no matter about the yarn, only if you could have got it it would have been nice. It was so soft & warm. It was Mrs. Hodge’s companion who gave up the journey, he was sick but he is better and they may go yet. Cousin M. & Aunt Russell came out here and they poked round in all the nooks & corners and eat some of my cake and praised my pies & then they went upstairs and Cousin Mary looked in all my bureau drawers, you know she always used to tease me to let her, and they praised my housekeeping & Aunt Russell looked at my jelly & said I was a good girl. So I felt fine for two days. I am very glad of the tarten [tatten?] and think it is very pretty. I shall give Frona some for Maud if she wants it. When I wrote about a calico dress I meant for you to get one for yourself. I can get along very well indeed without one but you will need one this winter. Mr. S. is very well. He is still out of business and does not think of coming here at present. He ought to go to war. Who can go better than he? But he has some very odd notions about it so I cannot say anything. But I think the young men ought to go. Horace is going and I think James Thurber will eventually. If anyone has a spark of patriotism now is the time to show it. & I would have every young unmarried man go and fight the battle & have the rebellion quelled & the slaves free, for that will be the result if we conquer. That is my view of the case.content

Cousin Sally has gone back to her house, she is well but very weak. Mary Holmes is about the same. Sometimes better, again worse. You know how it is in such cases. Charlie Spooner staid here last night. He came to see his father and he is in Ponds, so he came here. He had breakfast and dinner here and then went up to Horatio’s, he just came to say he was going to sleep with Weston to-night & he is going up to Ponds tomorrow. He looks well & was very neatly dressed, evidently he is well taken care of. Molly has gone to Church. She has to do the pious for the rest of us. You will be glad to hear that the sink-room closet is cleaned and the rags & papers sold. I cleaned the closet & carried the rags down to the store. We are not so much troubled with flies as usual. I keep the doors shut till the sun is down & am careful not to leave anything standing round. But mosquitoes, oh my! Give my love to Aunt Hannah and Charles, I suppose he is with you by this time. I hope Aunt H. is better. We were all very anxious about her for awhile, fearing she might be sick away from home. I mean very sick. Sharon seems much nearer. It is quite late and I want to retire so I can rise early, and get my work done before I go to town. I am coming home time enough to cook peas for dinner. We have only had them once before for father does not care about them much. I hope to hear from you again soon. Father sends his love.

Good night from your daughter Esther.

Monday Morning. There is a chance for this to go into the mail so I will send the collar next time. E.

Frona Spooner to her father-in-law Ephraim Spooner, July 27 1862 < > Esther Spooner to her mother Mary Spooner, c. Aug. 24 1862