This letter was written by Ebenezer T. Abbot (1804-1853) whose wife, Elizabeth Nesmith (1815-1846) died on 31 December 1846 — just a few weeks before this letter was written. Ebenezer wrote the letter to his brother-in-law, Robert Dinsmoor Nesmith (1818-18xx), the son of Col. Jacob Martin Nesmith (1786-1863) and Martha Dinsmoor (1787-1858) of Windham, Rockingham, New Hampshire.
Ebenezer T. Abbot was “an energetic business man and a very successful farmer” in Windham. He belonged to the Democratic Party which was always in the minority so he seldom held public office. He served as a selectman in 1842-43. After Elizabeth’s death, he married Betsey Dow (1818-1854) in 1849.
Robert D. Nesmith left Windham when he was 20 years old and became a woolen goods manufacturer at different times in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire, and near the end of his life in Pennsylvania. He married Nancy H. Osgood of Westford, Massachusetts.
Addressed to Mr. Robert D. Nesmith, South Berwick, Maine
Windham [New Hampshire]
March 16th 1847
I now sit down to fulfill my promise in writing you to tell you how I am getting on with my business. Since you were here, most of the time I have been confined to the home until yesterday. I intend to be very careful hoping I soon shall be well. I received your bottle of bitters (if that is the right name). I think I am benefitted by taking them as well as applying a little on the outside. A few days after you were here, I had something from the Doctor. I showed him the bottle you sent. He told me they would come in first rate after I had taken what he left. Accordingly I have been taking yours for the last few days.
You have probably seen by the Election returns that New Hampshire is right side up once more — or pretty nearly so. I was not able to be out either day. Isaac McGaw is town clerk & Representative. Jeremiah Morrison, [Jeremiah] Hills & Nathaniel Clark [are] Selectmen.
Charles was here and spent a few days as week since. He looked in good health. I received a letter from Lucy a few days since. They were well and expecting to go to housekeeping soon. You cannot tell dear Brother how lonely I have felt for the last few weeks confined to the house day after day and then come night, many has been the night I could not sleep after one o’clock. The hours would seem almost the length of days, weeping with pain & sorrow for that gentle hand to smooth the aching limb and a kind look to waive away the pain. That comfort was not for me to enjoy as it had been in years that were past. Her gentle spirit I feel is not far from me but a thin veil separates us. I pray we may once more meet never to be separated.
Irving was here yesterday. They were all well at your Father’s then. Remember me to Thomas. Write soon.
From your affectionate brother, — E. T. Abbot
Please accept my thanks for the bottle of medicine.