1826 Letter written by Mary Whitman Putnam
Submitted by M. L. Hearn Moore
Mary Whitman married Samuel Putnam on 15 August 1806 in Sudsberry, Middlesex County, Massachuesetts. In 1826, she wrote a letter to her mother, Jemima Porter Whitman, and a sister. Mary Whitman Putnam lived in Crawford County, Arkansas, (later Sebastian County.) The letter was published in Arkansas Pioneer and Allied Families by Mrs. Larry P. Clark, 1976, Public Library, Russellville, Arkansas. The letter follows:
January 1, 1826
Dear Mother and Sister:
It being the first day of the year, I take the opportunity to write a few lines after waiting upwards of two years in hopes to receive some more from you, but have not had any only by way of Joseph Putnam. (He was in Lexington, Kentucky.) He wrote us and gave us what information he could of you. I should have written before, but my thoughts have been principally taken up about my future welfare. My inquiry has generally been what should I do to be saved? And I hope it has been the inquiry of you all. I hope that we shall all meet upon the banks of sweet deliverance to join in one perpetual strain of praise to our Redeemer. Though I am situated in the wilderness, you might suppose it was a lonesome situation. We have moved about 10 miles from the river on account of our health. Our nearest neighbor is about four miles distance and the woods are inhabited by bears, buffalo, wolves, panthers, wild c ats and various kinds of wild beasts, and the largest kind of venomous snakes. They killed a great many very long rattle snakes last summer about the house.
They have killed a bear within 100 rods of the house. Yet I feel no dread. I am perfectly satisfied and contented.
We are all in perfect health. We have nine children, six daughters and three sons. Our youngest was born March 7, 1825. We call his name Nathan Thomas. Angeline is up at the missionaries upward of 100 miles from here, at school.
My dear Mother - I desire to see you once more, but it is uncertain whether we ever meet on this earth again but I hope we shall meet in a better world never to be parted any more.
May the Lord bless you all abundantly with his grace. Trust in the Lord for he is good, all his ways are pleasantness and his paths are peace.
I remain you affectionate
Sister and Child
Mr. Putnam and the children send their best love to you all. Please write soon for I want to hear from you very much. Direct your letters to Arkansas Territory, Crawford County and they will come directly here.