This letter was written by 17 year-old Mary Emily Platt (1828-1852), the daughter of Dan Platt (1796-1856) and Emily Ford (1791-1869) of Watertown, Litchfield County, Connecticut. She wrote the letter to her sister, Elisabeth Ann Platt (1826-1898).
It appears from the letter that both Mary and her sister Elisa were employed as seamstresses; Mary in Watertown and Elisa in New Britain, Connecticut.
Mary’s father was the son of Joseph Platt (1754-1833) and Mabel Clark (175-1815) of Milford, New Haven, Connecticut.
The Platt sisters were cousins of Amelia Persis Moss (see footnotes), the daughter of Martha Platt (1803-1891), so Dan Platt must have been Martha’s brother.
Addressed to Miss Elisa A. Platt, New Britain, Connecticut
January 18th 1852
Your letter of December 21st I did not receive until last Friday afternoon as I did not return from Plymouth until then. I went there Monday before Christmas. I intended to have written you before I left home. I had a great deal to do and they came for me sooner than I expected so I have been obliged to defer it until I wanted very much to send you a happy new year but I had neither pen ink or paper. I said to Mrs. T___ that I should like to write too if she would furnish me with the utensils but before I was ready she had forgotten all about it. I thought I would not ask again so I let it go, as you see. I thought you would [think] it very strange my not writing. I have now given you the reason why I have not done it. I enjoyed myself very well — worked both Christmas and New Years, of course.
Dr. [Samuel T.] Salisbury was married last week to Miss Amelia [Persis] Moss [of] Cheshire — probably you know that cousin. He brought her home the day they were married, I suppose on account of old age — Mitchel’s illness. I understand he intended to go to Providence for his wedding tour.¹
Edwards and his wife have gone back to Hartford as here after he has not been here since that day you saw him.
Father had a letter from Miss Dowly saying that she arrived safely. A few lines were directed to the female department — nothing of consequence. She wrote that they thought those daguerreotypes were very good indeed. I have not written to her though I intend to soon.
How does Laura get along since she got married? Griswold is keeping house, I suppose, in your old shop or in the shop that Garlic used to occupy. Success to the mean fellow. The farther he gets from me the better I shall like him.
Jane has gone to Milford to spend a few weeks. It is dull times now with the millinery business. You ask how is my cough. I must tell you I have another of those colds. As yet it has not made me sick and I hope it will not. As a matter of course I expect to work on such occasions if no other. Do you have any snow over your way? we have a supply here. The snow is now falling fast — a tedious time it is. This is the fourth stormy sabbath we have had. I do not see how you get to and from the shop [in] such stormy weather. I hope you will be careful of your health. It is more valuable than gold or velvet. Be wise for time; be wise for eternity, and you are a happy girl.
Write often as you can. I want to hear from you. I was very lonely after you left but made work take my time and attention so I lived it through. Have you had the quinsy ² yet? They say people are apt to have several season after they have once had it. Take a spoonful of black pepper when it is coming on and it will prevent it. I must close. Give my respects to all enquiring friends.
From your affectionate sister, — Mary
¹ Dr. Samuel T. Salisbury (1814-1874) suffered from locomotor-ataxia — Parkinson’s Disease — which eventually proved fatal. Dr. Salisbury married Amelia P. Moss (b. 1829), the daughter of Lloyd Moss (1794-1876) and Martha Platt (1803-1891) of Cheshire.
² Quinsy or quinsey is a recognized complication of tonsillitis and consists of a collection of pus beside the tonsil in what is referred to as Peritonsilar space.