Nabby had requested a letter from her cousin, and Sarah being married (and older, I presume), laments that she is not sure she will have anything of interest to tell her single cousin. But here, she tells Nabby many things and paints an alluring snapshot of life in a coastal village during Revolutionary War times. Apparently, Sarah has attended a party where she “partners” (dances?) with a handsome Captain who is her “favorite” among the soldiers and she asks Nabby if her friends have also met any attractive soldiers. The rest of the letter is filled with bits of happy gossip about love, courting, and anticipated unions and marriages. The missive ends when another friend interrupts Sarah for a short visit and perhaps tea.
Women’s letters are notoriously scarce and so I have imagined that this one was tucked away by a beloved granddaughter or niece who found it equally charming. It’s a simple domestic letter written by a young wife during an extraordinary time. But for me, a woman possessed by the past, what I read between the words was as satisfying has having watched a full length Merchant Ivory film.
Picture Credit: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Subject: Mrs. Pierre Bacot