Goodhue, Nancy M.
Autograph Letter Signed, Columbia, Tennessee January 11, 1857 to her sister

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        This 1857 Tennessee letter was written by Nancy M. (Brown) Goodhue (1835-1917), the daughter of Abel Brown (1790-1878) and Nancy Hoyt (1796-1848) of Rockingham County, New Hampshire. Nancy became the wife of Augustus Frederick Goodhue (1829-1912) about 1856. Augustus was the son of David Payson Goodhue (b. 1803) and Octavia Tilton (b. 1805) of East Kingston Township, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. Augustus was a Civil Engineer and went to Tennessee in 1856 to work on the railroads in that state. After Nancy and Augustus were divorced, he re-married Mrs. Margaret J. Brown on 24 August 1868 in Clark County, Indiana. She re-married shoe manufacturer John O. P. Clifford (1834-1917) on 1 September 1869.

              Nancy addressed the letter to her sister, Amanda Malvina (Brown) Bartlett (1825-1881), who resided in South Hampton, New Hampshire, with her husband Edmund B. Bartlett (1812-1888).

Columbia, Tennessee, January 11, 1857

        Dear Sister,

              Your letter was as gladly received as mine. [I] began to be rather impatient to hear from home and friends. Had received one letter from Olive soon after I got here, and one come from Nathan to Augustus with yours.

               I believe when I wrote you we were on the Ohio. We were longer on the river than we expected to be. The boat was very slow and the wind blew so hard that we had to lay over one night and day. You need not have felt any anxiety about the wind. If we were on land, there was no danger, and on the river there was none. The river is very narrow [and we] could anchor any time when there was danger. I was sick two or three days on the boat [and] took a mustard seed emetic and blue mass which helped me. It was caused by the bad water, I think. We had to drink the river water and the Ohio and Columbia [rivers] are both muddy all the time. [They] look very different from our rivers.

               We arrived in Nashville the next Thursday after I wrote you. [We] stayed all night [and] came out here Friday. Found it a very pleasant place and everything nice and convenient — very nice folks, &c. My room is pleasant — large, front chamber, carpeted — have a fire in it — have the darkies to await on me. Should you not think I might be happy? I have not been homesick yet nor wished myself back. I should rather live there than here if I could do as well but as it is, I can make myself contented here. I am lonesome at times — not very often. You know I always liked to be alone when at home more than some people.

     Augustus has been gone two nights out on the road. The rest of the time he has had work in the office and [I am] some lonesome when he is gone. I do not expect perfect happiness — never did expect it [and] do not expect it now more than ever. There are little perplexities in everyone’s life if not real trouble, I suppose. The days has been in mine and always will be. Augustus does everything to make me happy that he can.

              I am very sorry they have had trouble at Father’s again. I was in hopes they would live in peace for the future. I did not expect [our sister] Jemima would stay. She said she should not. I suppose Hannah thought she could have Charles there as much as she pleased [but] that would not do. She would not suit Father. I should think Jemima would know that. I have wrote to her [and she] said she would answer them if I would [write]. I hope you did not go over to Mr. Towles and not call to Father’s. You must go home often. Father is getting old and will not live many years at the most. I think he must be very lonesome now [and] expect he misses me.

              I have not heard anything about those railroad accidents or I did hear of one — the one on the same route we came on. The train before ours, I believe I heard something about but did not get the particulars.

              You need not feel any uneasiness about the negroes. That is all over. There has not been any [disturbances] very near here. They have hung two or three in some parts of Tennessee — I don’t know where. This man we are with keeps his straight. He treats them well but they have to mind him or get the lashes.

               What is the reason Emily has not written? I suppose she has got mine and answered ‘ere this. Tell the children that we have lots of little darkies about as large as they are — all sizes. I have not been to any of their cabins yet. Have you any snow? We have not here. Has been a little once [but] not enough to cover the ground. Is rather cold. They think it is dreadful cold but we should not call it so up North. My health is very good. Think the climate will agree with me — as well as North — perhaps better. The [cousine] is different from ours — have roast turkey two or three times a week. They are very much afraid I shall starve because I don’t eat more. Their things are all made rich.Don’t have any raised bread — all the same as we make fire cake — baked in little biscuits. They are very nice but I should like a piece of raisin bread. Don’t have any pies good for anything — have them made out of peach [and] no sweetning in them but eat preserve on them — crust made so [  ] it will melt in your mouth. Kill 20 hogs at a time and keep them all himself.

                I wish you to write often and tell me all the news. Tell Sarah she must go to school and learn how to write. Then write me a letter. We had lots of company here at Christmas — dancing every night — had them one week — egg nog plenty [and] I got a little tight.

         As my sheet is full, I will now bid you goodbye. — Nancie M. Goodhue