Lee Family Letters

Contributed by Susan Lee Brown


Rev. Addi Lee was born in Stanstead, Quebec, Canada on July 18, 1816 the son of Jonathan Lee and Mary Moulton. He left Canada in 1837 and went to school at the Wilbraham Academy in Massachusetts. Following his education he first came to Delaware County, where he was a supply preacher on Sunday and taught school on weekdays. He then went on to be a circuit rider in Delaware, Schoharie and Greene Counties. He married Mary Bagley (Bagly) April 18, 1844 in Prattsville, NY and spent his last years living in Ashland where he taught at the Ashland Seminary. The following is a letter written to them by Mary Bagley Lee's brother Willis L. Bagley (Bagly) when the Lee's were living most likely at the time in Roxbury, NY. It has been transcribed as written.
 
Ashland  21st  1853
 
Dear Brother
 
You must excuse me for not writing to you before. I have just returned to Ashland but not in very good health. I have been sick most all the wile I have been gone. I was obliged to go to the Hospittle and stay one week. My sickness has been mostly feaver and auger. I feel a grate deal bettre now I am at home onse more amoung the mountains. And shall be able to go to work again in the corse of a week or two. I may come out to make you a visit some time during the winter. I will not promise sure. Have you bought that plase if you have and need any of my assistance in paying for it do not fail to let me know it and I will do all I can for you. I shall stay here this winter the folks are all well at Windham and are very anxious to hear from you. I have no particular news to write to you Therefore I will close by sending my love to you and all the rest of the family write soon.
 
yours affectionately
Willis L. Bagly
 
I have a few words to write to you that may be news. Tell Sister that Albert Jones is dead and will be berred to day. I pity them for it is a very bad day.
 

The following group of letters were written to Howard, Foster and Wilbur Lee, the young sons of Rev. Addi Lee and Mary Bagley (Bagly) of Ashland, NY. They were written by the children of Rev. Lee's sister, Mary Lee Morrill, who lived in Stanstead,Quebec, Canada, where Rev. Lee was born and raised. At the time these letters were written, sadly both Rev. Addi Lee and Mary Lee Morrill had passed on but their children kept in touch with letter writing that continued back and forth for a few years. The Morrill children at the time these were written were between the ages of 16 and 9. They have been transcribed as written.
 
Stanstead March 6th 1860
 
Dear Howard
 
It has been a long time since we have written to you I know, and do not wonder that you have forgotten some of the names. I was very glad to find out that there was a letter in Grandma's for me I tell you. When she took it out she said it was for Eugene and she handed it to me and I read one side and turned it over and found that the other side was for me and you had better think that I was glad. If you say that you like to write to the girls best why do you not write oftener. Now I must write the names or I am afraid I shall forget it so here they begin Julia is the oldest Emma next and Anna is the youngest. We have not made any sugar yet but the weather looks now as though we should soon have some. I wish that you could be here then. You wanted to know how many cows we milked we had sixteen last summer but I do not know how many we shall have this summer as we have not got any little calves yet. Tell Aunt Mary that Uncle Alonzo is dead he died the 4th of February he was brought up where my mother was buried. Father and Grandmother was to the funeral but we only went to the graveyard he leaves a wife and four children but one of them is married and he has got a little child the other two oldest are larg enough to take take care of themselves the other is only two or three years old. I cannnot think of much more to write and even if I could I should not have any room as the rest want to write a little. Write often
 
Josey Morrill
 
Dear Willie
 
As all the rest are writing I thought I would put in a few lines. We have not got any little birds or doves as you have but Eugene is trying to tame a little rabbit that he caught in the sugar house it has got so tame that it will eat out of your hands. I should like to have you write often.
 
From
Anna C. Morrill
 
Dear Cousin Howard
 
You must not expect much of any news from me because the girls have written most all of them. As Josephine has written how many cows we have got I will write how many Sheep we have we have about 40 sheep but we have not got any little lambs or calves yet. I wish that we could send you maple sugar as well as we could a letter. We have got a very good mother she sends her love to your mother. I see that I have not written a very long letter but you must excuse me for this time. Excuse all blunders and mistakes for I see that I have made a great many.
 
Write soon
From your affectionate Cousin
Julia E. Morrill
 
NOTE: At the time this letter was written the mother of Julia E. Morrill was dead. I believe when she makes the statement  of having a "good mother" she might be referring to her Grandmother, Deborah Lee, the stepmother of Rev. Addi Lee and Mary Lee Morrill.
 
Dear Cousin Howard
 
I see a few lines that are not filled. I want to say that I should like to have you come and help me make and eat sugar. I have a fine time a killing squirrels and rabbits. I have not any room to write any more.
 
So good bye  Wm Eugene Morrill
You must ask your mother to let you come
 
Stanstead March 6th 1860
Dear Cousin Foster
 
It is with much pleasure I seat myself to write a few lines to you. It is pleasant today there is not much snow on the ground and so we have to go in wagons. Pa has not made any new sugar yet but I am in hopes he will before long. I suppose Josephine has written all of the news and perhaps you would like to know our ages Eugene is 16 Josephine is 15 Julia is 13 I am 11 and Anna is 9. We didnot have but 3 mos. Schooling this winter. Josey and I studied Book-keeping Grammer Adams Arithmetic Colburns Spelling and reading and we went through them all but our reader. Julia went through the same all but Book-keeping but Phisiology instead. Gene studied the same as Josey and I did all but Colburns Arithmetic. Anna studied Adams Arith Colburns Arith Georgraphy Reading Spelling and Writing and she got the prise in her spelling class. You must excuse me for this time for I am afraid that I am not writing anything that will interest you so good bye.  Receive this from
 
Your Cousin
Emma R. Morrill
Be sure to answer this when your mother writes to Grandma.
(written on the margin of Josey's letter)
to Howard
If you knew how glad we was to here from you I do think that you would write oftener give my love to all tell Aunt Mary to write often.

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