This letter was written by George Arthur Priest (1828-Aft1887), the son of Benjamin Priest (1796-1879) and Nancy Cooledge (1803-1875) of Hillsborough, New Hampshire. He eventually became a physician and relocated to Manchester, Massachusetts. He never married.
Priest wrote the letter to his chum, Benjamin Franklin Hutchinson (1836-19xx), of South Danvers, Massachusetts. He was the son of Benjamin Hutchinson (1802-1871) and Martha Abigail King (1805-1877) of Essex County, Massachusetts. He was married to Augusta Susan Hanson in 1865. He served in Co. C, 5th Massachusetts Volunteers, during the Civil War.
There are several references to the Academy at Francestown, New Hampshire, and a tribute to its principal, Harry Brickett (1818-1891).
Addressed to Mr. B. F. Hutchinson, North Danvers, Massachusetts
Hillsboro [New Hampshire]
July 1, 1849
Right glad was I to receive a letter after so long a silence from an old friend and chum. It is now some what over a year since we have had an opportunity to associate with each other either in the halls of science or elsewhere, but thank heaven we still have the means of communicating our thoughts and desires &c. however wide the space that separates us.
Without any more of these prolegomena, I will now proceed to let you know what I have been doing since we parted. I taught school in my own district last winter and enjoyed a very pleasant time. I attended school at Francestown in the spring and must say that I preferred it to that at Hancock though there were some good fellows there whose society I could have wished to enjoy. Mr. [Harry] Brickett — the principal — I think an excellent teacher. He is a grand scholar and understands his business and strives to be thorough yet does not take the way B_____ did to enforce his precept.
Cooledge has by this time, I suppose, become an accomplished scholar. He is to deliver a Greek oration on the 4th of July and intends starting for home the 5th. Wonder if he has found a fair maiden to suit his fancy as Frank did. The Misses Fowan are well — both teachers. The fair ____ in this town, the Township at Hancock Village. She attended school at Francestown in the Spring. I am glad you have concluded to resign your title. I think your chances of reaping any profit are small.
Do you study any nowadays. I can not find much time to do so when farming as I now am. I read nearly through the 8th book of Virgil during the spring term and likewise studied surveying and trigonometry and think I got a pretty good knowledge of both. I have a compass and have been practicing some during my leisure hours. I think I shall return to Francestown this fall. You spoke of visiting this part of the country. If you do, you must call upon me without fail. Tell Pri____ that he must write if that fair one will allow him time. Give my respects to him.
You must excuse blots and bad writing for you know that I do not profess penmanship, “Scribe.” Friend Pike is at home this season farming, well and happy I presume. Write often as convenient and believe me your humble servant, — G. A. Priest