1839: D. Sutton to Benjamin T. Taylor

This letter was written by someone named D. Sutton to a boyhood chum named Benjamin T. Taylor of Petersburg, Virginia. It seems clear that both young men were residents of tidewater Virginia and probably born about 1820. Nothing further found. The letter contains somewhat risqué language for 19th century correspondence.

Concord Academy was located in Caroline County, Virginia. It was run by Atwell Coleman and his brother, Frederick Coleman.

Stampless Letter

Stampless Letter

Addressed to Benjamin T. Taylor, Petersburg, Virginia

Concord Academy
May 7, 1839

Dear Ben,

It is with mortification that I discover that you are so exceedingly ceremonious in your communications. I alleged in my former letter the reason that compelled me to overlook answering your letter as the proceeding and considered that sufficient of itself to support my assertion and to vindicate this more strongly I backed the letter to you which I certainly would not of done on any other circumstances and had ascribed its not being answered to your negligence but still pleased am I to find it to the reverse.

Presuming that you feel a solicitude to hear from your relations, it is with pleasure that I can mention that they were enjoying good health when I left the neighborhood which was but a few days since. I remained in paradise only ten days during which time I enjoyed every luxury which mortal could desire. I was at the races in Richmond two days where I fruitlessly expected to meet in with you. Telling somewhat sensibly my keeping when I returned to Richmond from the races accompanied with several others, we went to visit the concubines whom you know profess a “wondrous gift to quench a flame.” After remaining with them a few moments, my ambitious passions became somewhat irritated by their enchanting enticements and presently becoming so entirely captivated, I was compelled to subdue my confused emotions by arrogantly requesting her to accept of my arm and conduct me to her room whilst with my other hand I collared my extended number bidding it to remain peaceable a few moments. Soon its eager desires became satiated but owing to my bodily exertions during the day

Miss B.’s ____pish ____  ____ away the night
Till coughs awaked him near the morning light
What then he did I will not presume to tell
Nor if she thought herself in heaven or in hell

Now I will commence a far different topic.

On my arrival here from King William, I found a ticket to a party awaiting my arrival. The day came dawned in cloudless beauty but soon it was succeeded by a storm. Yet this produced not the least delay and soon I found myself remarking the beauty which adorned every corner of the room. Ere long little cupid began to play around my heart but being not content with that made a desperate leap to endeavor to discourse its contents but his arrow was entirely too blunt to penetrate and as yet my heart has not recovered from the shock. The Miss Coleman’s honored us with fair beauty on that illustrious day and intend giving a return party about the last of the month after which I will tell you the result of the battle between cupid & myself there.

I was very much surprised to hear that Miss Agnes had taken such a long trip. God bless her soul. I wish she may get married before she returns. Mr. Coleman said he saw her in the cars coming from Petersburg to Richmond and that she looked mighty pretty. I sneaked off and said “nothing at all.”

Give my best respects to Miss Lavina and say to her that I missed her company whilst at home very much. Wallace & Lewis had just returned from Glocester when I arrived at home. Wallace looked very dejected at meeting at H. Court House.

I will now conclude my letter by asking to answer it immediately if you think it merits one.

Your friend, — D. Sutton


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