This letter was written by Dr. John Henry Fromberger (1811-1885), a physician who lived in Red Lion Hundred in a brick home near Dragon Creek known as Damascus in Delaware. He was the son of Susan Elizabeth Higgins and Henry Fromberger who were married in 1811. When John’s father died in 1818, his mother remarried in 1820 to Robert Porter. John graduated in 1832 from Jefferson and Washington College and earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania Medical College at Philadelphia in 1835. He married Elizabeth Smith about 1850 and was a surgeon with the 53rd Pennsylvania Infantry during the Civil War.
Fromberger wrote the letter to Rev. Hugh Hamill (1808-1881), an 1827 graduate of Rutgers College who afterwards received his theological training at Princeton. After serving the Presbyterian church at various locations, he settled in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where he joined his brother Samuel as a teacher at the high school, and continued as a preacher.
The identity of Mr. How, the subject of this letter, has not been confirmed. He appears to have been a patient of Dr. Fromberger’s who is anxious to travel to Saratoga — most likely to visit the mineral springs there so that he might regain his health.
Addressed to Rev. Hugh Hammell [Hamill], Lawrenceville, New Jersey
August 8th 1844
Rev. & Dear Sir,
At the request of Mr. How, I hasten to address you a line to say he is much better & fast recovering from his indispositions, & thinks he will have the great pleasure of accompanying you to Saratoga. He has been sick for 10 days past and at one time his disease threatened to be of the old character with which you are already acquainted. But he is happily relieved and unless he has a relapse, we think he will be ready to join you on Saturday or Monday at fathers.
So you have to defer your day of starting. We consider it of much importance that he be under the care and inspection of some prudent experienced & careful person like yourself and you must really put off going until he joins you. If he is not there by Monday’s boat, you may conclude he cannot come. He has some preparations to make and money-matters to arrange and does not think he can leave on Saturday but you may expect him on Monday.
I feel thankful & happy that he is so much better for I apprehended all that he went through at one time. There is much sickness and it is of the utmost importance to Mr. How, I think, that he leaves home, and certainly there is no place that would benefit him so much as Saratoga.
We would be afraid to trust him alone & I know the pleasure it must give you to have him along. I wish I could join you but you know my business. I might as well think of going to the moon. I can’t go and am sorry.
The boat by which I send this is in sight so I must close wishing you a most pleasant trip. Mr. How will write to Trenton on Saturday for fear you will miss this letter. Remember me kindly to your brother and all the friends & believe me yours, most affectionately & sincerely, — J. H. Fromberger