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I have not another scrap of paper but this
my dear mother or I should not so offend your eyes
& my own. I received your letter Friday evening just
as I was going to a party at the Talbots & this is the
first leisure moment since that I have had to
answer it. I was glad to hear of your escape from the
perils of the sea & astonished at Molly's vagaries.
I am quite in doubt whether you would prefer to have
me come back to you now or not. I believe I shall wait
for an answer to this; you will get this letter Tuesday morng
& I beg you to let me know by Wednesday's mail
what you wish me to do. I have gained a good deal of health
& strength, & I feel able to buffet the trials of city life.
Lizzie is of course in fine health & spirits. She & Ann C.
are going Monday to pass a few days in Springfield with
a cousin of Ann's. We have all been in a state of delicious
excitement since the arrival of Miss Martineau. She sent
her letters of introduction to Judge Lyman Wednesday
announcing that she should arrive here Friday eve 9. We
afterwards heard that she had changed her plans &
gone to Springfield & we expected her Friday noon. Mr. Lyman
intended to be all devotion to her as in duty bound in
his father's absence he had rooms lugaged for her at
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Miss Harriet Martineau (1802-1876), a famous English author and abolitionist, enjoyed celebrity treatment when she arrived in the Connecticut River Valley in the mid-1830s. She had come to the United States in 1834 to write a book about the young nation and published "Society in America" in 1837. In this letter, Mary Cochran of Northampton, Massachusetts, reports to her mother the comings and goings of Miss Martineau. Cochran describes much anticipation as Miss Martineau's travel plans to Springfield change and respected citizens jockey to spend time with her. After a trip to the top of Mount Holyoke, Cochran finally is able to "drink in her (Martineau's) conversation" and reports that "(y)ou could not hear her speak ten words without being impressed with the majesty of her mind." Cochran reports that she eventually mustered up enough courage to take up Martineau's "speaking tube" (Martineau was slowing going deaf), and hold a conversation with her about her travels.
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Letter to Mary Cochran from daughter Martha Cochran regarding Miss Martineau
| author Martha Cochran (1808-1872)
| date 1834
| location Northampton, Massachusetts
| height 9.75"
| width 7.75"
| process/materials manuscript, paper, ink
| item type Personal Documents/Letter
| accession # #L05.141
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