(Wheeler - Stanton Family Letters)
Letters of members of the Wheeler – Stanton family, of Newton Corner, Massachusetts, 1862-1864

10 letters, 31 pages, neatly inscribed in ink, several retain original mailing envelopes, very good legible condition.

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Group of letters pertaining to the Wheeler and Stanton families. Daniel N. Stanton, one of the correspondents, is a distant cousin of Henry Brewster Stanton of New York, American social activist, abolitionist and reformer. Henry Stanton’s wife, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was the pioneer advocate of woman’s rights.

           Daniel N. Stanton married Harriet C. Wheeler on May 2, 1864. Harriet was born about 1839, she was the daughter of Samuel and Jane Wheeler, of Newton Corner, Massachusetts. She had two sisters: Mary C. and Elizabeth W., as well as a brother Albert, who was serving with the 44th Massachusetts Regiment. There are a few letters from one of Harriet’s friends “Katy.” Mary Wheeler’s letters indicate she was living in Northhampton, Massachusetts under the care of a Dr. Edward Denniston. Denniston ran a home for invalids at Springdale, Northampton, Massachusetts called the “Springdale Water Cure,” it was devoted to the relief and cure of chronic disorder and disease.

     Boston, January 26, 1862, Daniel N. Stanton to Hattie Wheeler

     “My dear Hattie,

          According to promise I take the most agreeable and pleasing opportunity to write the only one I love. It appears so very strange when I consider and carefully reflect on the past circumstances of our acquaintance that we should have been so mysteriously brought to believe that we could lose each other.

           Often when engaged in my daily avocation have I thought of you then I would try and banish such thoughts forever from my mind, but it certainly seems to have been a foregone conclusion that I should under any and all circumstances lose you.

            There is one promise that I have been determined to keep and that was never to allow myself to use artificial influence to accomplish what I so much desired. I knew that such affection would never last if won fairly and honorably, that however great might be our troubles and trials, we could look back on the past and without a regret say that as we were true in the beginning we would hold out true to the end. Many are the vices and temptations which are hourly surrounding us in this unfriendly world. Such we must meet with defiance.

          I have seen those who have started with all the bright hopes of a future before them in a short time sunk to the depth of degradation with all their imaginary hopes blasted forever. This I am sorry to say has often been caused by their own folly.

          I could meet all other trials but if from any deception of mine I were called on to meet with disgrace with the one I had idolized it would be far preferable to me to seal up my earthly cares before I ever feel the pangs of such a curse…”

 

     Sherborn, August 7, 1862, Katy to Elizabeth Wheeler

     “Dear Lizzie,

          I received your letter late on the 8th and was very thankful to hear from you. I am very sorry you are so unwell and your father too. It seems as if all the afflictions come at once. You speak of going to the beach. Now Lizzie won’t the sea breeze be too much for you. I think if you should go farther up in the country it would be more beneficial you would not be exposed so much to the East winds. …

           You may laugh Lizzie but the inhabitants of Sherborn are very patriotic they have held three meetings to get fourteen volunteers. Wilson spoke one night. Charles Train the next, I don’t know the third one. They will hold one tonight, believe it will take two to finish off, what do you think of that. The ladies are pulling lint, making shirts and shoes and every they can think of for their comfort…”

      Howard Hotel, New York, October 8th, 1862, Daniel N. Stanton to Hattie Wheeler

      “Dearest Hattie,

           Another day has past and I am still in this city. I don’t think I am any better prepared to say when I can leave than I was two days ago; something is always comeing up to prevent me from starting. I know you fully appreciate my condition and are willing to wait with patience, I have been feeling lonely and at a loss to know what to do evenings since I got here being so long in the society of one who had a faculty of cheering me in my uncomfortable hours it comes hard to be parted from her. Last night I went over to Brooklyn to hear Cassius Clay & Henry B. Stanton speak. The Hall was crowded to overflowing and the people cheered them to the top of their voices…”

      Newton, November 9, 1862 to Mary Wheeler from her father

      “Dear Mary,

          The Storm continues & I have not been out today neither have any of us. Mr. Crane & Juliet Wheeler are here, Sam is at home clearing up his attic room. I rec’d your letter of 6 & 7 inst yesterday morning, same time I sent you a little letter from Hattie. Your letter was quite a relief to us, as a few days before I learned from Mr. Dickenson that you was too sick for miss “Hattie” to leave you to go & here Mr. Goff lecture, we presumed you had one of your sick turns but as you did not say anything  about it we suppose it passed off without your being very sick. I notice what you say about removing you appear to be satisfied with your new “room” (or rooms?) if it but one room, the Doctr should not charge, but for one & board for two -  the 2 $ for fires is 2 $ pr week or that’s what he has charged you for the past 5 weeks …on his bill which I got yesterday a pretty tall bill … it seems by the papers that the 44 Regt with others have captured 3000 Rebels at Plymouth NC we hope to have a letter from Albert giving particulars…”

      Sherborn November 23, 1862, Katy to Mary Wheeler, Northampton

      “Dear Mary,

          I was much pleased to have a paper from you I heard in particular where the 44th went in Battle was some afraid that Albert was either killed or wounded, however I heard they had a hard time of it. These are sad times, Mary I see no prospect when the end will come. I suppose you are aware that I have been to your house and staid three weeks. I did not calculate to stay more than a day or two of course. I did not take any clothes only what I had on except a common dress, while there I helped Hattie clean up the house and we did clean in earnest. Cleaned out all the closets washed all the china. Hattie and the girl cleaned all the paint and windows. I put down all the chamber carpets washed all the muslin curtains and ironed them including yours. When I left everything looked as nice as wax. …”

      Newton, January 8, 1863, Samuel Wheeler to his daughter Mary

      “Dear Mary,

           I rec’d yours of yesterday this morning and was sorry to learn you have been sick again; it appears to me that those attacks come oftener than they did, but are of shorter duration … I have just written Albert a long letter & we sent him a box of “fixins” yesterday, you can keep his record of 12 pages till I come up as it will cost you 3 postage stamps…”

      Northampton, April 12, 1864, Lizzie Wheeler to her father

      “Dear Father,

          By this time you have rec’d a telegram from Mary saying that she will go home tomorrow with Dr. Huntington in the afternoon train which reaches N. C. about 11 p.m. Dr. H called on us quite unexpectedly yesterday & hearing that Mary intended going home soon offered very kindly to take charge of her if she would go Wednesday afternoon… For myself I stay a few weeks longer as we think best – Dr. Denniston will go to Springfield with Mary & see her safely in the cars – She is not very smart today tho’ she thinks she shall be able to go. If not you must not be disappointed-…”