Mary Spooner accompanied her brother Bourne Spooner (1790–1870), his ill wife Hannah (1792–1868), and their sons Charles (1824–1882) and Edward (1830–1887) on a trip to seek medical treatment for Hannah at the natural mineral pools found in Sharon Springs, NY. Bourne founded the Plymouth Cordage Company, and his wealth allowed him to travel and take Mary with him. When away, she writes to her family back home in Plymouth, fretting over them and updating them on her condition and those of her traveling companions.Sharon Springs
Thursday Sept 4th 56
We arrived here today at 12 oclock after a most delightful journey. The weather since we left has been as fine as one could wish, I think I never knew four more perfect days. Sister Hannah has borne the journey wonderfully. We think her better than when we left home, but still can judge better in a day or two as the excitement of coming and meeting with Charles and Edward could be likely to make her forget herself and appear better than she is.
Charles does not look as well as when he left home—he is fully satisfied this is not the place for him and does not intend staying much longer. How long we shall stay I suppose will depend upon the effect of the waters upon Hannah—I wish I knew you were all well at home. I assure you, it would add much to my comfort, as I cannot forget all I have left behind, though thinking does you no good.
I only wish you and James and Esther could take such a journey as I have, and shall not rest satisfied until you have. I was agreeably disappointed in N. York, it was a much cleaner, better looking city than I expected and not a pig to be seen, so I could not make a comparison between yours and the city pigs. We stopped at the La Farge house, one of the finest houses in the United States my friends say, and it was certainly was the finest I ever stopped at.
The sail from there to Albany up the Hudson I cannot begin to describe. It was far more beautiful than anything I ever imagined, there was so much variety in it and the scenery so constantly changing, sometimes the river, quite narrow, then winding round beautifully, and the land sloping gradually to the water and then suddenly rising to mountain height, and here and there a beautiful country seat all together was more picturesque than anything I ever saw in painting.
I am writing in the room with Bourne, Hannah, Charles, and Edward and talking with them I can hardly make join [?] hand of what I write.
Tell Esther I hope her heart will be encouraged and her hands strengthened for all they find to do. How is Lucy? I forgot to say good bye to Mary, tell her I trust she will do the best she can.
I did not forget Wilsons Ornithology (a great word) for James but had not time to do anything about it, hope to on our return. Love to Mrs. P. &c &c
All send their Love