Letter from Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks – 13 Nov 1855

A partial letter from my 3x great-grandmother Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks Duff to her cousin Mary Martha Fairbanks Twining.  In this letter my grandmother mostly discusses some sewing Mary had done for her and the family, knitting with her sister-in-law, and the education of her children.

[Transcription follows the letter itself.  Click on the images to enlarge or download.  Letter courtesy of Catherine Duff & Family.]

Pages 1 & 4

Pages 1 & 4

Pages 2 & 3

Pages 2 & 3


Braco Nov. 13th 1855

My Dear Mary,

I received a large parcel from you on Friday quite unexpectedly as I did not even know the Packet had left Lunenberg [Nova Scotia].  We had had a good deal of stormy weather and I thought she was still here.  The chemises were in very good time and fitted me very nicely.  I am greatly indebted to you for the pains taken with them.  The workmanship was excellent and the hem edging just what I liked. I thought the cotton very strong and good.  It is a real luxury to have a whole set again after wearing such rags as I have been doing for the last few months. The children too feel the comfort of theirs.  How you

== Page 2

managed to get through them so quickly, I don’t now, for there is a great deal of sewing in them and had it not been for your kindness I should have been without for some time longer for I cannot sit at my sewing long at a time and now in the evenings I do not feel very able to exert myself in that way.  But with all your help, we have got on nicely with our work and are beginning to feel that we may almost take some rest now.  Aunt Margaret is a grand knitter and having promised some now I could work.  She is busy preparing the children’s feet for winter.  She says I must tell you with her love that we never would have got on at all without your assistance as it comes just when most-needed and which we greatly [appreciate].  The enormous contents of the parcel gave a great

== Page 3

deal of pleasure.  You are almost too kind dear Mary for you are continually remembering the children in one way or other and they want me to send a great deal of love and say how much they thought of what you sent them that I fear would not be an easy matter, for Annie is half-crazy about the frock collar (having an extraordinary fondness for dress), and William is greatly taken up with his book.  They still go to school and I hope may make some progress although unfortunately we have not such a thing as a good school here.  The little coat and pinafore were very nice and will be very useful indeed the latter is a nice pattern.  I am much obliged to you for thinking of the shirts.  I have a few, but these are very nice indeed and I am glad to

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have them.  I don’t think you have charged me with all I owe you in the amount, for I think there must be some things unpaid yet.  I am sure about two or three parcels one 1/3 and the other 9 1/2.  I did not put them down at the time but perhaps you will remember yet.  You must not defraud yourself for you have had trouble enough with my things.  I intended asking you to purchase me some material for a dress for my Annie but when writing last to Annie as I wanted her to fit me with a pair of slippers, her feet and mine being somewhat of a size, I asked her to get it and send in the same parcel, but very likely she has not bought it yet so I mean to trouble you about it as it was nearly as nice looking woolen plaid.  I expected about 2/6 a yd, I wanted enough for dress

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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