This letter was written by Sarah Maria (Snow) Upham (18xx-1832), the first wife of Henry Upham (1799-1875). The couple were married in 1827. Maria was the daughter of Gideon Snow (17xx-1853) and Ruthy Wilhelmina of Roxbury. Henry was the son of Jabez Upham (1764-1811) and Lucy Faulkner (1770-1828). Henry was a whole commission cotton merchant in Boston.
Maria wrote the letter to Hannah Rogers (1806-1872), the daughter of Daniel Dennison Rogers (1751-1825) and Elizabeth Bromfield (1763-1833). The letter was mailed to the care of Hannah’s brother, Henry Bromfield Rogers (1802-1877) who was married in 1832 to Annie Mason Perkins (1802-1880). Also mentioned is Hannah’s brother John Rogers (1800-1884) who was married in 1827 to Sarah Ellen Derby (1805-1877). Hannah Rogers married William Powell Mason (1791-1867), a successful Boston lawyer, prior to 1834.
Addressed to Miss Hannah Rogers, Care of Henry [Bromfield] Rogers, Esq., Boston, Massachusetts
April 25th 1828
I have just a few moments, my dear Hannah, which I shall improve in acknowledging the receipt of your letter to Washington & bespeaking a welcome on my return to our dear home, which is not [made] less truly for having roamed so far from it tho’ I trust & believe many northern prejudices are overcome. I sincerely wish the extreme states would mingle more with each other — that the intelligent & well educated of each part of our country would travel enough among their distant neighbors * to become acquainted with their systems & feelings by personal observation. The Southerners are more known to us than we are to them. Few visit their cities for other motives than gain, & it is generally those who cannot succeed at home in their vocations. Hence we are considered selfish & cunning & Yankee is another name for all that is despicable & ungenerous. Why does not their charming climate & added to that, their cordial welcome, win us sometime from our fireside in the same manner that our healthy breezes induce them to leave their unfriendly summers. The intercourse would be delightful. We should find much in each other to admire, much to repress unkindly feeling & give us really the union we profess. I would gladly contribute my portion annually.
* This certainly implies a contradiction. I regret it but cannot now arrange my ideas more elegantly. You must endeavor to imbibe the excuse without regarding little inaccuracies.
Mr. Upham is exceedingly amused by my ready promise on leaving each city we visit, to return to it for a longer time — a wish he feels as strongly as I do — & how could he otherwise? New objects of interest have presented themselves in rapid succession for our contemplation & we have had time to mourn the loss of the kind & delightful friends by whom we have been surrounded in our city. We find ourselves among others equally interesting & as desirous of promoting our enjoyment in another. When we left Savannah, we fancied we were bidding adieu to hospitality but we have as yet experienced no diminution of it — & tho’ nature has not since been seen in her summer garb, we have felt that the chilling atmosphere of the more northern cities has had an effect on the hearts of the inhabitants.
In Washington, enjoyment is offered in so many & such varying forms that we were totally insensible of the flight of time. I never knew the days pass so rapidly, altho’ at night we could never realize that we had accomplished any wonderful exploits. There is great variety in the society & we were fortunate in commanding the most interesting. We saw much of Mr. [Daniel] Webster whose feelings are as delightful as his talents are splendid, & his powers overwhelming.¹ I have had a most charming opportunity of eulogizing him with Miss Jeannette Hart this month. She is as enthusiastic in her admiration of his genius & character as I am. And I never saw any human being look so beautifully as she did when animated by her own glowing description of him.
I became quite interested in politics and wait with anxiety the papers & account of votes &c. &c. I am constantly asked whether I am a Jackson, or an Adams lady? I always reply “administration.” Mr. Upham says it is for the sake of Mr. [Henry] Clay my feelings lean to this side of the question, & it may be so. We were quite charmed with his manners & agreeable society.
It is not enough to convince you that Baltimore was interesting in a great degree when I tell you we enjoyed at Mrs. Caton’s the society of the venerable Charles Carroll and of his daughters Mrs. [Mary] Caton & Mrs. [Catherine] Harper, with other interesting members of his family. All are devoted to him & he is the center around which all their wishes & plans revolve — to which they are all subject.
Dr. Stewart & family & Mr. Lloyd — a friend of Mr. Upham’s & a most agreeable, cultivated & polished young man — were devoted to us & made us acquainted with every object of interest in their city with which I was much pleased. We find our friends the Palmers quite well except Elizabeth who is looking very pretty but suffering a little from indisposition. Augusta’s friend has returned to New York. I am sorry not to see him. Many Bostonians are here. Mary Apthorp is better tho’ confined to her chamber. Mrs. Amon & E. as usual. Elizabeth says she is very well. We have not seen the “wonderful” in this celebrated city. The weather has confined me at home where we have enjoyed the society of our friends. Tomorrow we have engaged to go with Mr. & Mrs. Smith to see the Lions & take tea with them, & dine with Mrs. Palmer. You would admire Mrs. Smith. Ask Abby about her sweet friend & tell her I think her almost as lovely as her sister & much more so than the world in general.
Since writing the above, I have received your letter & return many thanks for your recollection. I wish I could acknowledge more obligations of a similar nature & a letter also from my dear Mother. Has she not been wonderfully cheerful? You know not how happy it has made me. I am delighted to hear such good accounts constantly of our dear mother. Offer our very affectionate respects to her & thanks for thinking so frequently of us. I regret your brother has found it necessary to go to New York for his health. ____ remedy is a new one & I shall call him “malade imaginaine” not genuine dyspeptic, if dissipation from a cure. Our regards to him & Mr. John Rogers. Much love to Ellen & kisses to their children.
I was never so shocked as at the sad event that has occurred here. I deeply feel for poor Mrs. Miller on this painful journey. I have been writing to Mary Jane today. She will suffer much & I truly sympathize with her. Mrs. Miller left here today. I saw her last evening. She was greatly distressed.
Will you send word to my dear mother that we are very well. Mr. Upham sitting by the fire reading Waverly which he quit for a moment to add his most affectionate & dutiful remembrances to those as his interesting consort to their parents, sister, brothers, & friends — particularly to you. I may not have time to write to Mother by this mail. I had a visit today from one of my most delightful friends — Mr. Richards. I hope John may arrive here & return with us. Tell Father not to write to Providence as we cannot get the letter. The stage meets the boat & we shall not make a visit of pleasure so near home.
Mrs. Derby has just arrived, I am so careless that I forgot to apologize for my letters or rather I think their appearance unworthy of this attention. But have really written in great haste & beg you to __ uncommonly indulgence. & Ever believe me truly yours, — Maria
¹ Daniel Webster’s wife (Grace Fletcher) died on 21 January 1828 and he had just returned to Washington D. C. in early February after seeing to her burial in Boston and distributing his three surviving children in schools and with temporary guardians. He was a newly-elected Senator (a Federalist) in a Democratically-controlled Congress with little to do; he suffered from depression during this period but campaigned for the re-election of John Quincy Adams against Andrew Jackson.