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tlineopen  Silver Ephemera & Documentation
tline3open  My dear Melina

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Author Topic:   My dear Melina

Posts: 4095
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 01-05-2005 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
By a stroke of serendipity (which sounds so much nicer than "dumb luck"), I recently acquired a letter from the silversmith Thomas Fletcher to his wife Melina (Veron), who was staying in Lancaster MA. I think it is interesting enough to post in full:

Philada Tuesday Aug 26.1828

My dear Melina,
You made a small mistake in directing your last letter which came to hand this morning – instead of Fletcher you wrote Fleather, and I should not have got it if you had not put the number of the street on it.

Tim Veron says if he had a wife that didn’t know how to spell her own name he would give her a blowing up – I tell him we shall see what he will do when he has a wife.

To be sure, a little more care in spelling would not be amiss -- The Post Master at Lancaster made a mistake also by marking it Sept. 23 – instead of August – what is the matter with the folks in Lancaster – they had better go to school to Mr Carter –

I answered your letter before it came, as you will see by mine of last Sunday, wherein I informed you that I should not leave here till about the middle of next month – and I told you I thought you had better leave Lancaster about the first of next month, -- and stay at Boston two or three weeks – You say you have written to Martha Sejourney [sic] {1} that you should be there the first week in September and I think you had better go soon after you get this, and write to me as soon as you can after you get there – we will determine afterwards which way we shall come here – The sale of Mary’s {2} furniture is fixed for the 9th or 10th of September – my sale will not commence till about 2 weeks after and I intend to go to Boston & fetch you as far as New York & leave you there till the sale is over–

--- [page 2] ---

Ma Veron has not written to Mary or anyone else since she has been gone – but we heard from her last night by Miss Pattersen who has just returned from there – she was well, and in good spirits.

Mary seems very well contented at Mr Eaton’s – Mr Stone is at home and Mr Braser (?) expected tomorrow – Mrs E is not expected for several weeks – perhaps she may come with us. –

The weather has been very warm for the week past but today it is almost insufferably hot – Thermometer above 90 – so you must excuse me if I don’t write a very long letter –

The city is still very dull no business doing – but I am still occupied in attending to repairs – I hope to finish this week. –

Mary took a walk with me last evening in Washington Square – it was very pleasant – the moon was very bright & we said perhaps Melina is just now looking at the moon and thinking of us – We met Mr & Mrs Merrick {3} – she looked something as the moon did – that was at the full – She said she was very well – Merrick said he had just met Charly walking with some fair damsel – I suppose it was Miss H. and perhaps she was explaining away his suspicions about her trip up the North River with him – I am told they deny it. –

Tell mother I should like to come while you are there but my business will not admit of it. You can keep money enough to pay your passage to Boston say 10 or 12 dollars & give the rest to Betsey or pay it away yourself –

In haste Your loving husband


I shall try to send you the things you wrote for – Tell Lewis {4} he must behave well when he gets to Boston –

--- [page 3] ---

Tell Thomas I shall not undertake to advise him what to do – he has got his own fortune to make and he must choose for himself – I have met with bad luck in giving advice to Timothy and I am determined not to fall into the same fault with him – my trade will give him a living if he is industrious and the best would not if he is indolent.

He must determine for himself –


{1} Martha Williams (25 Aug 1768 – 1828; daughter of Henry Howell Williams and Elizabeth Bell) married Daniel Sigourney (23 Feb 1769 -16 Apr 1818; son of Andrew Sigourney and Ann Hammett) on 28 Jan 1798 in Boston MA.
{2} Undoubtedly Mary (Veron) Gardiner. The sisters of Fletcher's wife, Mary Holland and Louise Leroy Veron married, respectively, the silversmith brothers Sidney and Benjamin Gardiner. Sidney, who had been Fletcher's partner, had died suddenly in May 1827.
{3} Probably Samuel Vaughan Merrick (4 May 1801-18 Aug 1870) and his wife Sarah Thomas. He was an important civil engineer, founder of the Southwark Iron-works, and charter member of the Franklin Institute. Their first son, John Vaughan Merrick, was born 30 August 1828, which would certainly explain her "at the full" appearance.
{4} Lewis Veron Fletcher, who was born 28 March 1820.

And then there are the questions:
-- What sort of sale did Fletcher have planned? With business slow, was he thinking of selling up and trying elsewhere? He did stay on in Philadelphia and eventually prospered, but it is worth noting that as late as January 1829, he was advertising as ". . . the surviving partner of FLETCHER & GARDINER." This may be an indication that Sidney Gardiner had been the driving force, at least in the eyes of the public, of the partnership.
-- Who was Thomas, seeking career guidance? And Timothy?
-- And what exactly happened on that trip up the North River?

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 01-05-2005 04:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is great!!!

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iconnumber posted 01-05-2005 09:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for labarbedor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any chance Braser is Brasier?

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Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 01-05-2005 09:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is, blast it, the one place the writing is a touch smudged. I have looked at it very carefully and I think now that it reads Brauer

I have made some high res tif scans of the pages in case anyone would like to see the originals. Be warned; the files are very big -- about 28 mgs each.

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iconnumber posted 01-06-2005 06:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for t-man-nc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is wonderful... Nice find!


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iconnumber posted 01-06-2005 07:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a detail of the name in question

I suppose Brasier is possible, but he was very consistent in dotting his i's and there is none here that I can see.

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iconnumber posted 01-07-2005 01:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We read this as "Braver," but it could be "Brauer" if the u is badly formed.

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June Martin
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Posts: 1223
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iconnumber posted 01-09-2005 09:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just wonderful. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your good fortune at coming upon it.

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