Letter from V. Noyes to her Sister, August 12, 1844


Dublin Core


Letter from V. Noyes to her Sister, August 12, 1844


Religion; Clergy; Children; Brothers and sisters; Death


In this letter to her sister Zoa, Varnum talks about various acquaintances of theirs. Mr. Samuel Harris has died, and Bartlet Benton and Ann Harris have disgraced themselves due to the fact that they "were pretty intimate last summer." He also talks about how his children are doing and his vocation as a minister. He believes that the state or religion in his town is low and complains about professors of religion. He concludes by informing Zoa that he has not heard from brother J nor brother A.


Noyes, Varnum


Loose, The College of Wooster, Special Collections, Noyes Collection






Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Special Collections Grant




eng (English)





Text Item Type Metadata


Guilford Aug 12 1844
Dear Sister
I should not perhaps have
written so soon had it to been for a partic
ular reason. Esq Hosmer started for New England
last Thursday with his wife son and two daugh
ters. He is going to Vermont and informed me
that he should travel down Connecticut
river from there to Mass. I urged him to
cross the river and give you a call which he
seemed inclined to do. As he goes in a private
conveyance he will not probably be in your
part of the country under two or three weeks.
I thought I would drop you a line so that
if he should give you a call he might not
take you entirely by surprise. Besides I did not
know but you might be from home and
might not see him [?earn?] if he should call
unless you had notice. He goes in a very com
fortable way having a covered two horse carriage
and can journey at his leisure. I hope he will
call and if he had not so much load of his
own I should be glad to have you return
with him. When I see any of my neighbours going
cart it generally excites a desire to go with them.
But it is difficult for me to leave. Perhaps you
would like to hear something about us though
if Mr Hosmer should call they can tell you
more than I can write. It is a time of health
in the place. Mr Samuel Harris is dead. He
died about two weeks since, and there is reason
to fear without that preparation which is ne
cessary in order to be happy here after. He
has left a large family who will sensibly feel
his loss. The Baptists are building quite a splendid
brick meeting house a few rods east of the
Congregational house. They calculate to have
a bell so that we may expect before long to hear

"the sound of the church going bell" in these back
woods. The Congregationalists have no minister
at present. There are some reports about Mr Cham
berlain unfavorable to his moral character
I know not whether true or false. I think the
Congregational Church will most likely run
down. Dr Hopkins has moved away. Zoa, Whitney
and his wife have gone to the Methodist and some
others talk of moving away. Mrs Dix remains with
us yet and I rather think she will continue to do so.
Two or three professors of religion have moved into
the place who will probably unite with our church.
Our Sabbath school does not prosper remarkably
Mr. Chaplin is not a first rate superintendent.
We have no bible class this summer. We have
a pretty good congregation on the Sabbath. I am
delivering a course of sermons on the ten com
mandments. Yesterday I preached on the seventh.
The house was well filled, many having a curios
ity to know what I would say on this difficult
subject. There is need enough to preach on this subject
though I do not know as it will do any good.
You perhaps recalled that Bartlet Benton and
Ann Harris your scholar were pretty intimate
last summer. They have badly disgraced them
selves and their parents feel pretty bad about
the matter. I believe the parent are quite as
much to blame as the children. Mrs Harris
is quite unwell and I think her troubles wear
upon her health. We have a new store opened
which makes [?form?] in our little vilage. Alex
ander Whiteside has commenced the study of
medicine, and has joined the masonic lodge.
He thinks of teaching again next winter. Mr Wase
is now here and calculates to stay a few weeks.
Mrs N enjoys good health, and is in good spirits. She
has rather too much work to do. Sarah has been
to school but will now be at home and
relieve Mrs N. of some [?care?]. Edward, Francis

and Martha have also been attending school.
Henry we have had to keep at home to help his
Mother. He is a very good hand to take care of
little Harriet. Gilbert grows finely and makes
quite a sprightly little boy, full of mischief
and of course needs much watching. The babe is
healthy and the mother thinks quite a decent little
girl. We think [--to me--] of trying to leave some of
the older children to [?braid?] in order to busy
them when we have no school.
The state of religion among us is low. The prayer
meeting on Thursday is thinly attended. It does ap
pear to me that the world is uppermost in
the minds of most professors of religion, though
there are some who seem engaged. The difficul
ty between Mr Dowd and Mr Harris is not yet
settled, though there is some prospect that it
may be before long. I do not think they can
expect to prosper, while harbouring such feelings
as they do towards each other. The cause of
religion suffers from the conduct of such mem
bers. I sometimes think it is no wonder that the
cause of religion makes no more advancement
considering the conduct of its professors. Two
or three disorderly professors can counteract all
the efforts of the minister and the rest of the church.
I should be glad if you were here to assist in
instructing a bible class and other ways. I should
undertake the instruction of a bible class myself
if my health would persist, but I am afraid
with my health to undertake it. I hope the
church in Westmoreland will labour without the
pastor and not put the burden wholy on him
I have not yet received any letter from Judge Baker
A correspondence with him or any other of my
old friends would be very agreeable to me.
I have sometimes thought of writing a letter to
the church of W. but as I am a stranger to the
pastor it might seem out of place.
[Note: the following is written vertically in left margin]
Mrs N unites with me in love to you all. I have written a mixed up mess. come and see us soon as you can.

When I commenced this I supposed Mrs N would
write some but as she is being this morning at
the wash tub, and we are calculating to go out
and make some calls this afternoon she thinks
it impracticable but intends to write you before
long. I want to hear how you all are especial
ly our aged mother. You must therefore write
soon. I hear nothing from brother J. If you
know any thing about him please to communi
cate it to me.
[Note: the following is the address written vertically]
Guilford, O 25
August 14
Miss Zoa Noyes
[Note: letter continues horizontally]
Tell brother A that if he does not write me
soon I shall get out of patience and write
him again. If he was incapable of writing I
would have nothing to say, but he has already
given evidence that he is up to the business
so that I shall be under the necessity of attributing
his neglect to disinclination. I wrote mother the [illegible]
July and shall hope for an answer from her
and also from Sister N. Affectionately yours V. Noyes
[u]write soon[/u]

Original Format



Noyes, Varnum, “Letter from V. Noyes to her Sister, August 12, 1844,” Letters from Harriet Noyes: Missionaries and Women's Education in Nineteenth Century China, accessed August 15, 2022, https://noyesletters.org/items/show/1023.

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