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Deerfield Feby 15th 1794
I received your's of the 30th of
Jany---in which you manifest a tender
Regard for, and firm Attachment, to my
Niece---Miss Hannah Taylor--and purporting
that you had agreed with her, at some future
Period, to enter into the matrimonal State--
& craving the Approbation of myself and Wife,
to the Measure--- I take proper Notice of --
and thank you for your very complaisant
and respectfull Address to me upon the Occa-
sion---It is true during her Minority
from seven years of Age, she was by her Father
committed to my Care, in the Course of which,
and since, her kind and dutifull Behaviour to-
wards me and my Family, has much endeared
her to me, so that she seems more like a Child
than a Niece---She has therefore my best
Wishes, for her Happiness, in an Establishment
which may be for Life-- But not withstanding
the Relation, she stands in to me, I do not hold
myself at Liberty, to controul her, in her Incli-
nations, in Regard to that which more nearly con-
cerns herself, than any other Person.
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It was customary in the 18th century for a young man to ask the parents or guardian of the girl he wished to marry for permission to continue his courtship. Samuel Field (1743-1800) of Deerfield, Massachusetts, was the uncle and guardian ("since her kind and dutifull behaviour towards me and my Family, has much endeared her to me, so that she seems more like a Child than a Niece") of Hannah Taylor (born 1722). The letter responds to the request by Elihu Hoyt (1771-1833) to marry Hannah. Field admits that he does not pretend to control Hannah, but he feels the match would be a good one and he extends to Mr. Hoyt his best wishes for success in courting her.
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Letter to Colonel Elihu Hoyt
| author Samuel Field (1743-1800)
| date Feb 15, 1794
| location Deerfield, Massachusetts
| height 7.5"
| width 6.0"
| process/materials manuscript, paper, ink
| item type Personal Documents/Letter
| accession # #L99.167
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