Letters sent from Stoughton, Massachusetts

1795, 1833, 1844, 1846, 1848, 1854, 1855 and 1858

A letter from a 17 year old Stoughton Girl 

- January 23, 1795 -

This letter was written by a 17 year old daughter of a Revolutionary War Soldier.  Jerusha (Jones) Monk (1778-1822) writes to her parents who were living in Dorchester.  At this time she was living with her Uncle Peter Dickerman on Central Street in Stoughton. It would appear she is helping with the family of Peter Dickerman in Stoughton. Jerusha would later marry in 1810 to George Monk a Revolutionary War Soldier from Stoughton.

                         Stoughton January ye 23d AD 1795

                         honoured parents I sit with pleasure to write

                         to you to let you know that we are all well here

                        and i hope these few lines will find you you and yours

                         to uncle was in boston last wednesday and he saw Nancy

                        and she was well uncle Peters family is well uncle

                        Jonathan lathrop was down here last weak and his

                        family was well then and lemuel is published

                        Please give my love to all my brothers and sisters

                        nehemiah send his love to you all do ask 

                        billy and betsy to come up here at thanksgiving

                        Pleas to give my love to mises condon adviseing             

                        her to take care of her muchuk do write to me

                        as often as you can do come and se me as soon as

                        you can       my love to Jery

                        time calls so I must forbare

                                        So I remain your dutiful daughter

                                       Jerusha Jones

JERUSHA JONES, born at Dorchester, Massachusetts 18 November 1777; died at North Bridgewater (now Brockton), Massachusetts 27 August 1822, age 44 yrs., a daughter of Elijah and Jerusha (Dickerman) Monk of Dorchester.  Her marriage intention was filed at Stoughton 14 January 1810, and she was married there 1 March 1810 by Rev. Edward Richmond to GEORGE MONK, born at Stoughton, Mass. 15 January 1764; died at Windsor, Massachusetts 27 September 1834.  George was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and received a pension.  Jerusha's death notice appeared in the Village Register and Norfolk County Advertiser, Friday, 30 August 1822, p. 1: "In North Bridgewater on Tuesday last, Mrs. Jerusha Monk, aged 44.  Funeral this day 3 o'clock, at the Rev. Mr. Huntington's Meeting-house."


        i.    Jerusha Catherine Monk, bapt. at Stoughton 4 October 1812, and is mentioned in her father's will in 1834.


A letter from Stoughton - May 4, 1833

The letter was written by Mary Fenno Crane Wales to her future husband living in Hollis, New Hampshire, Samuel Thomas Worcester (1804-1882). Mary was the daughter of a Revolutionary War soldier Samuel Wales (1760-1845) and Mary (---) Wales (d. between 1833-1836) of Stoughton.  She was born there April 2, 1802; died April 22, 1874. Mary and Samuel T. Worcester must have met while he was at college at Harvard in the early 1830's.  They were married May 13, 1835. Samuel was the son of Revolutionary War Soldier Jesse Worcester (1761-1834) and Sarah (Parker) Worcester (1762-1847).  Samuel was born in Hollis, N.H. August 30, 1804; and died in Nashua, N.H. December 6, 1882.  Samuel graduated Harvard University in 1830, and served later as U.S. Representative to Ohio.  The letter speaks of her mother not being well.   And that an Aunt Gill will be taking care of the ill mother soon.  Also mention of a Jackson family is mentioned about their treatment towards her.  Samuel T. Worcester would later become the author of History of the Town of Hollis, New Hampshire From Its First Settlement to the Year 1879 with many Biographical Sketches of It's Early Settlers, Their Descendants, & Other Residents. (Boston: A. Williams & Co., 1879).  For a photograph of Mary F. C. (Wales) Worcester, and an engraving of Samuel Thomas Worcester.  Click here for more genealogical information on Samuel Thomas Worcester

                                                                                                                                                        Stoughton May 4th 1833 -

My dear Samuel

                My letter will necessarily be of huf to-day; for my time is much occupied and has been so ever since I have been here, with Mother.  I am however happy to say that Mother is recovering, which as I had expected to inform you in this letter that she was no more.  She has been very ill.  On Monday, if nothing occurs to present Aunt Gill will take my place, and I shall on tuesday return to Charlestown.  I wish you to direct my letters to Boston, Care of Samuel, for I do not know what may happen.  It is now Saturday and I have not received any from you this week, and should feel very anxious, did I not recollect that you probably directed to Charlestown.  I hope it is so, and that you are well, and doing well. I have not learned to hear will perfect calmness our separation, nor do I wish it.  Sometimes I would I was more stoical, and yet the thought of being less sensitive is not pleasant.  I long for a renewal of verbal intercourse, and August seems at very great distance.  But no more of I now - 

The Jacksons carried out their coldness to the end.  These "kind officers" were not however much needed or found.  All that has happened is will.  The principal super or regards it not, while he who is done it and but, approves.  You may expect a letter next week from Charlestown in the mean time do not measure my affection for you by this letter.  You last was in regard to [---] and constructiveness, what I wanted.  You seem to doubt whether a journal would be interesting.  Nothing that regards yourself would be uninteresting to me.  Have'nt you an occasional thought that could set your pen in motion for me, if it is only to tell me that you have not forgotten me.  Let it be foolish.  If every thing of this kind is foolish, then I must write different letters to you - more cold and formal.  Shall I Remember to answer this question in your next.

                                                                                                                            Yours as ever

                                                                                                                                        Mary F. C.      



            A letter from Stoughton - December 8, 1848

            This letter was written by Shepard P. Briggs of Stoughton to Samuel Breck, Esq. of Taunton, Massachusetts.

                                                                                       Stoughton Decr 8 1844

                                                Samuel Breck Esqr sir Mrs. Drakes

                                                daughter is at her mothers in order to meet

                                                you there shee will stay there

                                                two or three Days you had better

                                                comes as soon as you receive this


                                                                  Yours &c.            Shepard P. Briggs


[Acquired from auction - October 2006]  Postmarked Stoughton - December 18, 1844 - 10 cents stampless cover

  Two letters from Stoughton - November 5th and 20th, 1846

These letters were written by Rev. Dr. Calvin Park of the First Congregational Church.  He was born at Northbridge, Mass. 11 September 1774; died at Stoughton, Mass. 5 January 1847. He graduated Brown University in 1797.  First Congregational Church 1825-1840. He was first invited to preach to church in May 1825. Dr. Park was installed as the first minister of the First Congregational Church 13 December 1826. He resigned the office 24 May 1840, however he continued until Rev. Henry Eddy was installed 4 November 1840. This letter was written to Rev. Willard Pierce of North Abington, Mass. accepting and later declining an opportunity to preach.  Rev. Park's health was declining and he died less than two months after writing the second letter.


                                                                                       Stoughton Nov. 5, 1846

                                                  Rev. Mr. Pierce

                                                                  Dear Sir,

                                                                                 I am sorry to hear of your

                                                protracted sickness.  I have no doubt that you ex-

                                                perience the benefit of associated your heavenly

                                                Father to with sent chastisement.  Should you con-

                                                tinue unable to preach to the first Sabbath in December

                                                I will endeavour to preach to your people on that

                                                day.  If I should not be able to preach on account of

                                                ill health or any other cause I will send you word in


                                                                            Affectionately your sincere

                                                                                                    friend & brother


                                                                                                                Calvin Park



                                                                                       Stoughton Novr 20, 1846

                                                    Rev & dear Sir,

                                                                        I have been unwell for several 

                                                    weeks so much so as not to be able to attend

                                                    meeting on the Sabbath.  In some respect I am

                                                    better, but there is no probability that I shall

                                                    be able to preach at present.  I hope therefore you h

                                                    will make no dependence upon me to preach for

                                                    you the Sabbbath mentioned.  At some future time

                                                    I hope I shall Deo volente [God be willing] have the pleasure 

                                                    of conferring in you a favor equal in

                                                    value to the one which I must now withold

                                                                        Affectionately your sincere friend,

                                                                                                    C. Park


            A letter from East Stoughton - October 30, 1848

This letter was written by H. S. Leadbetter a young laborer to Ebenezer Cushaman in Paris , Maine.  Leadbetter was living with the Fessendon family and working in his shop in East Stoughton, 30 October 1848. This shop was located near the Railroad line to North Bridgewater (now Brockton) as he speaks to the "cars" with much interest. This letter includes the original spelling from this young laborer].

                                                                          East Stoughton   Oct the 30 1848

                     I take my pen in my hand to write a few

                    lines to you and to let you no that i am well

                    and am taking first rate comfort here

                    to fesendonís.  I am to work in to the schop

                    and git a long first rate, I like it very

                    well the [railroad] cars pass here 7 or 9 times a tay they

                    come within a half of a mile of us so neer

                    that we can see them.  Nelsons folx are all well

                    the last time that I heard from them

                    thare are two famileys liv in the house

                    with us if it want for that i should

                    like it much fitter, and four work in the

                    shop with me.  I am in a hurry and cant

                    write it verry well I want you to write it up

                    to me as soon as you git this tell

                    the boys down

                    thare that i should like to see them

                    and go to school to but that cant

                    be done i sole the stockings that you

                    sent up by me, if you git this under three

                    of four months you will do for i never

                    new you to get one less than that time

                    I do not hav to work evenings now

                    but I shall hav to lime by I like

                    to liv here very much ---


                    [p. 2]


                    Donít let enny body

                    See this will you

                    None of mister sturtevants


                                H. S. L.






                [p. 3]


                H. S. Leadbetter

                a down Easter A down

                Easter they call it down

                East down to Paris

                Donít you let ennny body read

                This letter will you for if you do

                i will not write you a nother

                one I shall be down theare

                in 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or 8

                years, it was a dam long rode

                up here rite soon


        H.        H



                          A letter from East Stoughton - February 15, 1854

The letter was written by Mrs. Ann Amelia (Alden) Blanchard of East Stoughton to her niece Miss Ann A. H. Alden of Turner Village, Maine. Nine days after writing this letter Ann would give birth to her daughter Flora Williams (Blanchard) Hathaway, b. Stoughton, Mass. 24 February 1854.

Ann Amelia (Alden) Blanchard, was born at Stoughton, Mass. 3 August 1826, the daughter of Seth and Betsey A. (Littlefield) Alden.  Ann was nineteen years old when she became the second wife of the widower Isaac Blanchard (age 35).  They were married at East Stoughton  by Rev. Isaac Smith 9 May 1846.  The following letter in my collection discusses the problems of measles, and dysentery that had hit East Stoughton during the past year.  Also Mrs. Blanchard discusses the benefits and disadvantages of niece seeking to teach in Stoughton. At the time of the 1910 Census Mrs. Ann Blanchard was living with her son Isaac Blanchard at 15 Main St., Avon [formerly East Stoughton], Massachusetts. She died at Avon on 27 February 1912, aged 85 yrs. 6 mos. 24 dys., and was buried at the Union Cemetery in Brockton, Massachusetts.


                                                                                                                                                        East Stoughton Feb 15th (54)

Dear Niece

                    I hasten to answer your letter which I recieved [sic] yesterday.  I was very happy to hear from you and to hear that your family were well.  Your friends here are well as usual except Seth's oldest child, he is very sick indeed he had an attach of what they call the dysentery a few weeks since, but got better and is now taken down again, they think the cause is worms, he is very weak indeed, I should think the chance for him to recover was rather small, still it is possible he may.

The measles have spread here this winter pretty througher [sic] they have had them in Mrs. Algers family in Southards and Judsons they have generally been pretty light but there has hardly any one escaped that had not had them before.  Mrs Alger has removed from where she foremerly [sic] loved into a small house she has bough on the street that heads to the depot from Uncle Davis, your father will know where it is.  In regards to what you requested of me I will say that the agents are not chosen in either District to procure teachers they do not usually have a school meeting for that purpose untill [sic] about the 1st of April, the winter schools have not yet closed.  I would also say that I think the schools here could be rather large to undertake for your first one the primary Department in our District averages from fifty to sixty scholars and the Grammar Department nearly as may I do not know so much about the number of scholars in the other districts but it has the name of being a very difficult school to manage.  I should be happy to see you and assist you in procuring a school here for they pay great wages to expierenced [sic] teachers.  I should think from 3 and half to 4 dollars a week, the schools are also very long, they generally calculate to have school about nine months in a year.  I would say all I could to encourage you to teach but have written just what I should advise a daughter of my own that is for a first attempt not undertake one as large as in our districts but you must write me again soon I will not delay answering as long again.  Remember me to all your Fathers family and also to your Grandfather's family.  Ada wants me to send her love to all the folks yours Affectionately

                                                                                                                                                Ann A. Blanchard

             A letter from Stoughton - December 2, 1855

The letter was written by nineteen year old Henri L. Johnson (1836-1927) of Stoughton to his cousin Miss Melissa T. Lamb of Waukegan, Lake Co., Illinois.

Henri L. Johnson, born at Stoughton August 8, 1836, a son of Lewis and Esther (Talbot) Johnson.  Johnson was a noted local Historian, a pioneer Shoe Manufacturer, and highly honored citizen of Stoughton.this town, passed away early Friday evening, at his home, 224 Lincoln street, after succumbing to a stroke which he received a few days ago, that followed weeks of failing health. He died at his home at 224 Lincoln St., Stoughton in 1927 at the age of  91 years..

                                                                                                Stoughton Mass. Sunday Decd 2 / 55

My dear cousin

                    The sheet that I have selected is rather small but would probably contain more news than I am able to write you.  I received your letter rather sooner than I had anticipated one and have delayed the answer on account of Thanksgiving and the attending circumstances in order to it.  Perhaps as a substitute for an incomprehensible complication of compiled nonsense which would have to be the alternative a few observations with regard to Thangsgiving [sp] in the east might be interesting.  Not in accordance with the proclamation of his Excellency is the day observed.  I do not import bad motives two any one from this fact.  There are some who heed his advice whether he acts the principl;e with which he advises others and in "attitude of prayer" devoutly returns thanks I know not.  With those who are honest and conciencious this is consistent I suppose a similar proclamation would be issued if he had just suffered from a universal famine.  However let that pass.  Had I time and space to record the preliminary arrangements for this eventful day I could show you by how many his edict is unobserved.  During the week preceding thousands of half starved turkies suffered - decapitation, were stripped of their feathers and offered for sale at the modest price of twenty five cents per lb and every thing else in this ration, thus placing them above the reach of many who were enjoined to return thanks for the bountiful supply of that which they could not have.  To the many it is a day of pleasure.  And as such until such speculating merchants as out present R.N. Excellency, shall by fair reduction place the staff of life within the reach of the honest and laboring poor I recomend it to all if he longer.  To me the idea is absurd, to think, of men who putting an advance price of thirty or fifty per cent on the producers price or the first cost will offer it for sale to a man who is unable to buy it and then askd [sp] him to return thanks for the favor.  Well so the worlds wags.  I menat to have written of the occupation of the day and evening the almost insumerable dancing parties etc. and not imposed quite such serious meditations upon you.  But having written I shall send it and thereby submit it to your consideration.


                                                                                                                                    Yours, Henri L. Johnson




                          A letter from Stoughton - September 5, 1858

The letter was written by Susan Chapman (Blazo) Leavitt while living in Stoughton. Susan was the grandmother of the author Robert Keith Leavitt (1895-1967) who wrote about her life living in  Stoughton in the book "The Chip on Grandma's Shoulder" in 1954.  This book accounted the events of Susan's life in Stoughton when she lived with her son Robert Greenleaf Leavitt (1865-1942) a Harvard Graduate and Botanist.  The names of the actual character's in the book are changed, but a copy at the Stoughton Historical Society gives the actual names of the residents.


The photograph of Susan (in the center) late in life is through the courtesy from her great-grand daughter Mary Freeman of Maine. The photo from the book cover of "The Chip on Grandma's Shoulder" by Susan's grandson Robert Keith Leavitt (1954) has a artistic sketh of Susan to the left.  The photo of Robert Tibbets Blazo is the school teacher, and father of Susan mentioned in the letter.

Susan was born at Parsonsfield, Maine 16 February 1839 at the Blazo family homestead (now listed on the National Register of Historic Places).  Susan was a daughter of Robert Tibbetts Blazo and Mary (Freeman) Blazo.  She married 6 March 1858 to Rev. John Greenleaf Leavitt (1834-1885).  Her husband Greenleaf served as a school principal at the Parsonfield Academy in 1861, and was later a minister. Susan died at her home in North Parsonsfield, Maine 13 February 1922.

This letter mentions "Greenleaf and I have been to see the new cemetery today.  It is being laid out in a kind of a forest" they are discussing the early history of the Evergreen Cemetery on Washington St. (Route 138) and Gay St.   This letter was obtained for sale on the internet in August, 2005 by the webmaster from a dealer in Dearborn, Michigan. 

                                                                                                                        Stoughton Mass. Sept. 5/ 58

   Dear Friends at Home,

            I received motherís letter last Tues. and was very glad glad to get it as I am every thing that comes from home. I am glad to hear from week to week that you are all well and doing well.  I am glad that quilt is done though I dont expect to need it now if we come back to P[arsonsfield]. as we are thinking about.  I shall be very glad to see you all again, and the home place and indeed everything & everybody that belongs to North Parsonsfield.


            We are well and doing well Greenleaf and William work every Day and donít spend their money for amusement of which there

are a great plenty here. Greenleaf and I have been to see the new cemetery today.  It is being laid out in a kind of a forest.  An artificial pond is mostly completed and many lots are laid out.  Some of them contain beautiful monuments, many have flowers and trees.  I saw a number

of graves with pots a of gathered flowers in the heads of them.  Two little graves had shells placed in circles on them.  We supposed they were the childrenís playthings when living.  It will be a beautiful place when completed.


            Arolyn and I are studying Algebra a little. We think of Studying something else.  Father I Wish you W would send G[reenleaf

Latin grammar if you can without costing anything; we want to be studying it this fall so we shall not forget.


            I suppose our preserves are Doing well, and the rabbits.


            I am some tired and Sleepy or I would write you More.  I suppose the pri[n]cipal Thing is to know that we are well Ė


                                                                                                    Write all of you

                                                                                                                    Good night



P.S. We send love.


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[Note: All letters transcribed above are from the personal collection of the webmaster, unless otherwise noted].