A Letter From John Fairbanks to Nancy Prescott, 7 Sept 1822

This letter, also sent to me by the Halifax National Archives, was written by my 4x great-grandfather John Eleazer Fairbanks to Ann “Nancy” Prescott, his wife, in September of 1822.  John was on a business trip to Liverpool, England and missing home quite a bit.  In this letter “Lydia” is Lydia Prescott, the sister of Nancy Prescott Fairbanks.  The “little girls” are his daughters Catherine Prescott Fairbanks ( b 1820) and Ann Blagden Fairbanks (b 1822).  I think John’s penmanship and his sentiments are both rather lovely.

[Note: The “McNab” mentioned in the letter is almost certainly a relation of Ebenezer McNab who married my 3x great-aunt Margaret MacKenzie.]

To: Mrs. John Fairbanks, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Per Aurora [the ship which carried the letter]

Liverpool 7th Sept. 1822
Dear Nancy,

I have already written you twice since my arrival, once by the August Packet and on Saturday last by the Packet ship Panthea which sail’d for New York on Sunday – The Aurora, Capt. Nelson, now furnishes another opportunity and although I have nothing either new or interesting to communicate, I cannot allow her to sail without letting you hear from me.  In my letter to McNab per packet was the history of my mercantile proceedings thus far and must refer you to that letter for any information you may wish on the subject – but for fear that my letter may by any chance not reach him I ______ a statement of the sales of our property here which in that case you can snow him.  It is my intention to go to Glasgow on Monday next in one of the Steam Packets.  I wish this journey was over and I was once more sailing on my voyage homewards as I find my disposition for wandering considerably abated.  My happy and comfortable house with you and our dear little children seems now to have charms for me that no other scenes can possibly pofsefs and it is only in the hurry and bustle of businefs and the ever varying changes of a large commercial city that I can feel my thoughts for a moment diverted from my home.  The retirement of my own feelings and reflections on my pillow will make me feel comparatively unhappy until I again join you.  A Mr. LePage of P. E. [Prince Edward] Island is frequently my companion and in our rambles about this town notwithstanding all the beauty, variety, and novelty of objects which surround us, we have finally made up our minds that either Halifax or Charlotte Town [Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island] are either far pleasanter places and both heartily wish ourselves safe home again – I long to hear from you but shall feel cruelly disappointed if the Packet does not bring me letters – she is daily expected at Falmouth – I am enjoying very good health and notwithstanding a heavy cold and cough, the roast beef of Old England and a moderate supply of good ale seems to agree well with me. I only hope you are in as good health as well as our little girls.  Give my love to Lydia and all other friends –

And believe Dear Nancy

Your affectionate husband

John E Fairbanks
Net Sales of Cargo L 601.19.7
” “” Brjg.                      460. 0.0


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About cthomas1967

Seeking to bring my ancestors out of the shadows of history and into the light. I have always been interested in history, and at a few different times I tried to do a family tree, but wasn't able to do it with the technology that was available then. On a business trip I visited the World War I Museum in Kansas City, MO and it was a very impressive establishment. While I was there I remember thinking, "Didn't my great-grandfather father fight in World War I? And wasn't his brother killed alongside him in some famous battle? I wonder if I can find out where he died." That's what started it all. View all posts by cthomas1967

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