This letter was written by Catherine Mary (Havens) Huntington (1771-1839), the daughter of Nicholl Havens (1733-1783) and his second wife, Desire Brown (1744-1828). Catherine was married to Henry Huntington (1766-1846) about 1796. They had several children — some of who are mentioned in this letter: Catherine H. (b. 1797), Frances (b. 1799), Anne (b. 1801), Henrietta Desire (b. 1803), Gloriana (b. 1808), Elizabeth (b. 1811), Henry (b. 1813), Benjamin Nicoll (b. 1816), and Lucy (b. 1818).
Catherine’s husband, Henry Huntington, was elected as assessor and school commissioner in Rome, New York, in 1800, and 1803—7 was chosen supervisor. In 1804 he was elected to the State Senate, the first one in Rome. In 1806 he was a member of the Council of Appointment, and 1808 and 1812 was presidential elector. In 1816-17 he was elected to the Assembly, and in June, 1821, was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention. He ran twice for lieutenant-governor, 1822 and 1826, but was defeated on both occasions. The Bank of Utica was started in 1812 and in the following year Mr. Huntington was elected as its second president and held the position until a short time before his death, a period of thirty two years. He died in Rome, New York, in October, 1846.
Catherine wrote this letter to her son Henry Huntington, Jr. (1813-1854) while he attended school at Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut. Henry died in Hartford, Connecticut, when he was only 39 years old.
Addressed to Mr. Henry Huntington, Junr., Yale College, New Haven, Connecticut
Rome [New York]
March 20th 1832
My dear Henry,
I believe Elisabeth has written to you since we heard from you by your last letter addressed to me, and now we begin to think it quite time to hear again from you. Your friends here are all tolerably well except your cousin Edward who has the measles, tho’ I believe not very badly. Catherine is still at Pulaski. we heard last week she and Henrietta were well. They were daily expecting George Wright there. I suppose you have heard that Miss Mary Wright is married.
We hear very seldom from your sister Frances. She is unable to write herself, but our last information from your Aunt Faith assured us that she was gaining her health and strength quite fast. The other members of the family were well.
We have had a very long, cold winter. This month has been for the most, cold, stormy & unpleasant. We have a great depth of snow on the ground now tho’ for the two last days the sun has shone and carried off a great quantity of it.
I suppose your vacation will commence now in about a month and you talk as if you had some idea of staying at New Haven till the commencement of the next term. This I do not approve of and wish you to think better of it and come home. Your Father thinks you had better come home and wishes you to let him know as soon as you can what you will probably want when the term closes to settle off your bills. I wish you to take a retrospective view of your clothes and bring home such as are out of repair and what things you leave behind, have carefully disposed of so that you may find them safe when you return. You can have no idea, my dear Henry, how much we all wish to see you and I must flatter myself that you will feel happy to see home and your friends here again — if God in His mercy permits it to be.
Benjamin has grown very much the past winter. I think he is quite as tall or taller than you are. He has not been home for a month. You are very silent respecting your health or your situation at New Haven as it respects the comforts of your living. I think a cessation from study and your journey home might possibly be conducive to your health. Cousin Charles’ friends are well. My love to him and Jedediah.
We have had 19 weeks of sleighing this winter. It has been unusually sickly through the season and many deaths. There are a number of sick about the village now — some with measles and some with scarlet fever. How grateful and thankful ought we to be that our lives are still preserved, and we know not what a day or an hour may bring forth.
Your sisters desire much love. May God preserve and ever bless you my dear Henry, prays your sincerely affectionate mother, — C. M. Huntington