I believe this letter was written by Thomas Cutting Love (1789-1853), the son of Robert Love (1757-1846) and Mary Cutting (1758-1790). The “girls” referred to in the letter may have been Thomas’ older sisters, Lois Love (b. 1782), Mary Love (b. 1784), and Betsy Love (b. 1786). Thomas married Maria Malby (179901864) in 1824 and became the first judge of the court of common pleas in Buffalo, Erie County, New York (1828). His residence was in Newstead, Erie County, New York.
The identity of Olive Wood, whom Thomas addressed as his cousin, has not yet been revealed but she is probably connected to the Margaret Love (1762-1853) and Ebenezer Sparks (1758-1832) union which was the first marriage recorded in Dover, Windham County, Vermont.
Addressed to Miss Olive Wood, Dover, County of Windham, State of Vermont
Hartford [Washington County, New York]
June 16, 1812
With pleasure I improve a few moments in writing to one for whom I have respect. I have the pleasure of writing in health and hope these [lines] may find you enjoying the same.
As for news, I have none — or at least I don’t expect I have any as I am the last that write. Everybody in the neighborhood has written &, of course, have written all the news. (I return.)
Again, Olive, I return with a trifle of news. I have just now got hold of the girls letters & have broke them open & whereby I have been able to gain a knowledge of them great & important _____, and quite a frolic I had of it too for they both chiseled round after me like smoke but I read the whole of them as you may see they have been broken open. Therefore, you must forgive my impertinence for it was absolutely necessary for me to know what they had written in order that I might know what to write, &they wouldn’t let me see them before they were sealed.
I find nothing of importance to write, but one thing I will venture to write & that is you with myself have just begun on the theater of life & therefore it is necessary we realize the importance of our making such a beginning as shall distinguish us from the mean ones of the Earth. May you prize virtue far preferable to rubies. Remember that the path of virtue is strowed [strewn] with marrow and fatness, but one side of that is the thistle & the thorn. Let us remember that there is a day of retribution approaching when you & I have got [to] render a strict account to an impartial judge. Then how reasonable is it? That we ever act with a wise reference to that day? & try by ourselves to know whether we are willing all our actions should be made known. Time fails me & I must close this epistle.
— Thomas C. Love
P.S. Give my compliments to Jonathan & give now also to your father & mother & Samuel if he is there.