1800: Susanna Gore to Oliver Whyte

This letter was written by Susanna (Whyte) Gore (1756-1832), the daughter of Capt. Benjamin Whyte (1724-1790) and Elizabeth Aspinwall (1729-1785) of Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts. Susanna was first married to Nathaniel Seaver (1748-1792) by whom she had at least seven children — one of whom is mentioned in this letter, that being Edward Whyte Seaver (1785-1864). Susanna married her second husband, Samuel Gore (1751-1831), in 1795. Samuel had previously been married also and had at least nine children of his own, one of which — John Gore (b. 1780) — is mentioned enjoying an evening cigar with his father in this letter.

Published in the Augusta Herald on 26 December 1805

Ad in Augusta Herald on 26 December 1805

Samuel Gore was the son of Boston merchant John Gore (1718-1796) and Frances Pinckney (1726-1796). He worked as a house painter in Boston with a shop on Court Street, at the corner of Gore’s Alley, now Brattle Street. Known as a true “son of liberty,” Gore was a documented participant in the Boston Tea Party of 1773. He was also the first treasurer of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association, a Freemason, and a member of St. Andrew’s Lodge. His younger brother Christopher Gore (1758-1827) was a Harvard-educated lawyer and the 8th Governor of Massachusetts (1808-1810).

Susanna wrote the letter to her younger brother, Oliver Whyte (1771-1844) who married Elizabeth Richardson [or Grafton?] in 1812. Oliver was a merchant in Petersburg, Georgia, where he also served as the post master, at the time this letter was written. By 1805, Oliver had established himself as a cotton broker in Boston.

Stampless Letter

Stampless Letter

TRANSCRIPTION

Addressed to Mr. Oliver Whyte, Post Master, Petersburgh, Georgia

Boston [Massachusetts]
April 24th, 9 o’clock & past P.M. [1800]

My dear Brother,

Your must esteemed favor of 30th March came to hand the 22 instant. I was very much gratified to hear of the safe arrival of your goods. The dispatch lay snug in at the Vineyard & received no injury. I expect she is now returning to Boston again. If she brings any news, I shall give it you by first opportunity after her arrival.

I am very happy to learn Mr. Ripley’s conduct through the whole of his misfortune has been honorable. I hope he will very soon be in good business again to be blessed as his merits deserve. Note the content of your letter, the name of a Jacobin is so obnoxious, I do not wish to defile myself or trouble you with my thoughts upon them. I trust without fear our approved Constitution — lover of virtue & true religion —  will be everlastingly supported by our all sufficient friend. What is frail man? May we put our trust in God & no evil can destroy us if any foreign scum is collected. I doubt not he will be so fit to cleanse our bar___ & provide us with such commanders as shall steer their course to the land of true patriotism & sink in oblivion & shame such as those cruel heroes Czar Bonaparte & Cromwell (let us recollect our dearly beloved Washington, revere his virtues, & follow his examples as much as possible. Then I am sanguine in the belief of being well provided for).

Aspinwall is now with us, it being vacation. He is a remarkable, active & attentive child. I go tomorrow, weather & health permitting, to see Edward. He has had the measles upon him. The clock is now striking ten. All the girls gone to bed. Mr. Gore & John nearly finished their cigars; therefore, they will soon be for bed, & I will wish you a good night’s rest, a good sermon for you tomorrow, & then retire. When I return from Quincy, I will call upon you again.

Sabbath evening, 8 o’clock

I have now returned about one hour since. Therefore, I find myself rested enough to converse with you cheerfully.

This morning at ½ past 8 o’clock, George & I stepped into the chaise. The horse, in his usual humor, took us to Edward’s lodgings by ten. I found Edward well enough to ride. Therefore, George took him a short distance. A five, or a little past, I left him doing very well. After enjoying a very pleasant ride, arrived safe. I found all the girls at their books; also Aspinwall. I have not seen Mr. Gore since I returned, he being out upon his usual excursion.

Having nothing more of consequence to say, shall wish you as an agreeable night’s rest as your affectionate sister desires, — Susanna Gore


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