1864: Anne (Robinson) Minturn to Lloyd Minturn

Anne (Robinson) Minturn
This letter was written by Anne (Robinson) Minturn (1827-1917) to her husband Lloyd Minturn (1810-1873). Lloyd was the son of Jonas Minturn and Hester Robinson. He died on 8 August 1873 at Ferrisburgh, Addison county, Vermont. Anne was the daughter of Rowland Thomas Robinson (1796-1879) and Rachel Gilpin (1799-1862).  Anne’s father, “received the ‘guarded education’ many Quakers sought for their children at the time and met Rachel Gilpin while studying at Nine Partners, a boarding school in Duchess County, New York. The two married in 1820 and returned to Rokeby. Rowland tended the Merino sheep farm and mills established by his father, but found his true calling elsewhere. Radical abolitionists and religious perfectionists, Rowland and Rachel were among the earliest and most outspoken opponents of slavery in Vermont and the U.S. He worked actively in antislavery societies from the local to the national, she kept their home free of slave-made goods, and together they sheltered dozens of fugitives from slavery.” “Rowland and Rachel Robinson named their only daughter after their dear friend and “sister” Ann King. Schooled mostly at home with her brothers, Ann was more sympathetic to her parent’s beliefs than her brothers were. She married Lloyd Minturn, a considerably older distant cousin in 1848. Ann and Lloyd had a son and two daughters, and she and the children were often back at Rokeby for short stints when Lloyd picked up stakes and started over in some new line of work in a new place. Widowed in 1873, Ann ran an apple farm in Shoreham until her death.” See Robinson Family Letters, 1757-1962/Rokeby Museum.


Waterloo [Seneca county, New York] May 15th 1864

My dearest Lloyd,

It seems a long, long time since I received a line from thee. Thy last was written during the heated term asking me to send thy summer clothes. This I did as soon as I could get them ready and they were forwarded on Friday last, I believe.

I hope nothing worse than the heat and the intense excitement about the Army of the Potomac has prevented thy writing but I always feel anxious about thee & the time seems very long when I do not hear from thee often. I hope soon to hear that the last horse is sold & that thee will soon be with us again—but do not be uneasy about us. I believe everything is going on as well as it can with such very unfavorable weather to contend against. I think it rained every day last week; unless Monday was an exception, & the ground of course is thoroughly soaked—saturated as thee says.

Today has been lovely although the sun rose clear & went very soon into a cloud. The place is sweet now—the grass was never greener or thicker. Each day the trees & hedge grow more beautiful. The peach & cherry trees are pink & white with their burthens of bloom and the air is fragrant with hyacinth & flowering currant, and musical with the murmuring of bees & the songs of the robin, the bob-o-link, & the gorgeous oriole. It is indeed most lovely here & every day I wish thee here to enjoy it with me.

Isn’t thee thankful that the noble fighting Army of the Potomac has at last a leader worthy of them? —one who will preserve himself & them from the horrible torpor—by the smell of gunpowder & the roar of cannon? Perhaps we may be thankful that “the Honest” wants to serve a second term. He dare not imperil that prospect by hampering Grant, though I don’t doubt his Queen—if not himself—is quaking with fear lest Grant should make himself too popular. I suppose it is very dreadful for me to feel so when President Lincoln is so honest & tells such pertinent anecdotes and —– is so honest,” but I cannot feel that honesty, rare as it is, is the only thing that is requisite in a leader—especially a leader who is to conduct us over such quicksands, through such bogs as lie in our future path. But God is over all, and it cannot be that He will suffer a hollow peace to arise over all these wasted lives, these broken hearts—no, not wasted lives if henceforth our country is truly free.

Apropos of all these matters, Judge Hadley is one of the delegates to the Republican Convention, and Billy, the pirot of Richard Hart’s Hardware concern  has thrown Judge Hadley overboard. It must be a delightful sensation to the judge to feel that he has done with the Irish.

We dined today off the second cut of the fore quarter of [brother] Rowley’s heifer who was sacrificed yesterday and weighed, when dressed, 1,000. The beef was most excellent, tender & juicy—& Rowley thinks that heifer was worth more than $15.00. He—poor boy—is dreading his departure on the day after tomorrow. He goes back to Mr. Anthony’s. They have raised the board to $3.50 per week. It is a great price but I did not know how to avoid it. They have raised the price of board at the Seminary too and it certainly will not answer for him to stop going to school—so old as he is & no farther advanced—and really it is worth more to board with Rowley with his boy—appetite—-than most men except day laborers.

Rowley has just come in to make a visit and just now is teasing me to tell him how thee offered thyself to me. So of course I can not write very well. Father & the children send much love. Please give mine to all—and I am always thy own—Anne.


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