The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 929 pages of information about The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss.
Does any body in Portland take their paper? [9] The children are all looking forward to Christmas with great glee.  It is a mercy there are any children to keep up one’s spirits in these times.  Was there ever anything so dreadful as the way in which our army has just been driven back! [10] But if we had had a brilliant victory perhaps the people would have clamored against the emancipation project, and anything is better than the perpetuation of slavery.

Our congregation is fuller than ever, but there is no chance of building even a chapel.  Shopping is pleasant business now-a-days, isn’t it?  We shall have to stop sewing and use pins.

* * * * *


Another care-worn Summer.  Letters from Williamstown and Rockaway.  Hymn on Laying the Corner-stone of the Church of the Covenant.

The records of 1863 are confined mostly to her letters written during the summer.  In June she went again with the younger children to Williamstown, where she remained a month.  The family then proceeded to Rockaway, Long Island, and spent the rest of the season there in a cottage, kindly placed at their disposal by Mrs. William G. Bull.  They passed through New York barely in time to escape the terrible riots, which raged there with such fury in the early part of July.  A few extracts from her letters belonging to this period follow: 

To her Husband, Troy, June 10.

I hope you’ll not be frightened to get a letter mailed here; anyhow I can’t resist the temptation to write, though standing up in a little newspaper office.  We were routed up at half past five this morning by pounds and yells about taking the “Northern Railroad.”  On reaching Troy the captain bid us hurry or we should lose the train, and we did hurry, though I pretty well foresaw our fate, and after a running walk of a quarter of a mile, we had the felicity of finding the train had left and that the next one would not start till twelve.  The little darlings are bearing the disappointment sweetly.

4 P.M.—­After depositing my note in the Post-office, we strolled about awhile and then came across to a hotel, where I ordered a lunch-dinner.  We got through at twelve and marched to the station, expecting to start at once, when M. came running up to me declaring there was no train to Williamstown till five o’clock.  My heart fairly turned over; however, I did not believe it, but on making inquiries it proved to be only too true.  For a minute I sat in silent despair.  Just then the landlord of the hotel drew nigh and said to me, “You don’t look very healthy, Mrs.; if you’ll walk over to my house, I will give you a bedroom free of charge and you can lie down and rest awhile.”  Over to his house we went, weary enough.  After awhile, finding them all forlorn, I got a carriage and we drove out; on coming back I ordered some ice-cream, which built us all up amazingly.  The children are now counting the minutes till five.  One of the boys is perched on a wash-stand with his feet dangling down through the hole where the bowl should be; the other is eating crackers; the landlord is anxious I should take a glass of wine; and M. is everywhere at once, having nearly worn out my watch-pocket to see what time it was.

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The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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