This letter was written by Clarissa Dougrey Denison (1826-18xx), the daughter of James Denison (1779-1853) and Rebecca Couch (1788-1863). Clarissa had three older sisters who are all mentioned in this letter, viz: Abigail Jane Denison (b. 1812), Mary Ann Denison (b. 1819), and Elizabeth Stebbins Denison (b. 1822). Clarissa married William C. Morehouse.
Clarissa wrote the letter to Clarissa (Bontecou) Dougrey (1785-1850), the daughter of William Bontecou (1763-1807) and Hannah Storer (1766-1842). Clarissa was the wife of James Dougrey (1781-1838), a native of Ireland, who emigrated with his father to the United States in 1790. James became a merchant and eventually purchased a distillery and turned it into a brewing and malting establishment in Lansingburgh. Their daughter, Julia Dougrey (b. 1821) — mentioned in the letter, became the wife of William Brownell Cory in 1845.
Addressed to Mrs. Clarissa Dougrey, Lansingburgh, [Rensselaer County] New York
Redding Ridge [Connecticut]
November 20, 1843
It has been a long time since I have heard from you or any of the family. I looked for you all summer but in vain. A. Jane & Elizabeth have been sick with the Typhus Fever & now Mother has it but is on the recovery. Father put his knee out of joint last summer but it is so he limps on it now.
Mrs. Edwin Lyon has died with the consumption since you was here.
Our worthy minister Mr. Todd has left us & a young man by the name of Atwell has taken his place. Tell Julia I think he would suit her well. He has a fair complexion, hair the color of hers, blue eyes, & is a very sociable man. Col. Meeker, Maj. Hanton, D. R. Crofus & John Osborn have all got married.
I think you would not know me if you were to see me now as I am the taller of the girls with the exception of A. Jane. Tell Julia I think I can beat her riding horseback as I rode thirty miles in one afternoon.
There has been a great excitement a few miles from here with the Methodists and Millerites. The latter went so far as to pull out their false teeth & cast their jewels underfoot. The Methodists staid on the ground two weeks and the Millerites over a week when the college boys & others from New Haven came and broke up their meeting. That ended their camp meeting &c.
Mary Ann and Elizabeth wrote to Julia but received no answer. Please write as soon as convenient by giving me all the particulars and news of the day. I should like to have you & Julia come & spend the holidays with me but if you should fail to come now, you may certainly come in the summer to stay. I must bring this to a close as I wish to attend the funeral of Uncle Fairchild’s sister which is to take place this afternoon.
Father & Mother & the rest of the family join in love & respect to you & the rest of the family.
Yours truly, — Clarissa D. Denison