The 1855 Letters
The first saved letter from a person other than Anna appeared late in 1854.That letter from Martha to Mittie must have been one of many during their first year of separation, especially considering Mittie’s pregnancy. In mid-December, Martha and Anna along with Susan and Hilborne West traveled north. While Susan and Hilborne traveled on to Philadelphia, Martha stayed in New York to be with Mittie during her confinement.32 On 15 February of the new year, Martha wrote to Susan, who had just returned to Philadelphia from New York, after the birth of Anna Roosevelt on 7 January. While Mittie and Thee settled in with their new daughter, Martha remained in New York to help out.
New York Feb 15- 1855
My very dear daughter
I received your sweet little note a few days since, and hope before this time you are much better of your cold, and that Hill is quite well. Mittie is much stronger than when you left, and the baby has grown very much. The little cheeks are more puffy than ever - (The peppers). I am quite well darling and walk every day when the weather permits - Yesterday it rained so much that we could not get out, and it threatens again today - I was pleased with Irvine’s letter which you sent me and have one from him of a later date. I received a note from Marion [Dunwoody] yesterday Mr & Mrs Dunwody [John and Jane] were with them at McPhersonville - She says her little baby can walk. Does it not seem strange? Nothing from Mr Blodget yet - Mittie received the trunk the day before yesterday. She is delighted with the choc
kolate, but says you need not get any more until you hear from her again. She thinks she can obtain it here. She wished you to get her stockings exactly like Annas; only by the size of her own stocking which you have - If you have not already purchased mine, you need not do so until I go to Philadelphia. Mittie wishes you to get her a gause [gauze] ball and send with the stockings. Mittie begins to swell a little, but I suppose the Dr can control that. What a relief it is darling that she is so much better - I think if the weather becomes fine we will take her downstairs in the dining room next week, and in a few days afterwards perhaps to drive out. I do not think she will get strong until she breathes the fresh air. Give our love to Mr & Mrs West, and much to dear Hill Goodbye for the present darling
Your affectionate mother
Mittie says I must thank you very much for the chocolate & crackers -
Widowed twice, Cousin Marion Dunwoody lived with her widowed brother James in the mid-1850s. She cared for his two remaining sons, John Henry, about 3 years of age, and Marion Glen, about 16 months old. They lived in McPhersonville, South Carolina, near Pocotaligo where James served as pastor from 1845 to 1855.
Another source from February 1855 gives us more news of the family. Hilborne West wrote to George Hull Camp of Roswell on the 14th of that month about some grass seed he had purchased for him. At the end of his letter he reported:
Mittie is much better. Day before yesterday she walked across the room. Her little daughter is also quite well. Anna has returned from her trip to New Orleans in good condition. Mrs. Bulloch is well.33
Anna’s trip to New Orleans had been aboard her half brother Captain James D. Bulloch’s steamship, the Black Warrior. Captain James escorted Anna aboard on 9 January, just two days after little Anna’s birth. Brave Anna embarked on a winter cruise and nine days later arrived in New Orleans, where she and James took rooms in the St. Louis Hotel for the next five days. Their return trip included a stop in Havana, Cuba, and a north Atlantic gale.
James Dunwoody Bulloch, age unknown
Once the ship was back in New York, former passengers of Captain Bulloch’s during the Black Warrior Affair hosted a dinner in his honor and presented him with a coin silver speaking horn to honor his bravery and conduct during the Black Warrior Affair of 1854. Perhaps Anna graced her brother’s arm for the event.34
The horn’s inscription reads: Presented to Capt. James D. Bulloch of the Steam Ship Black Warrior as a Testimonial of the high Regard and Esteem of his friends the Passengers January 1st 1855.
Speaking horn presented to Captain James Dunwoody Bulloch
SS Black Warrior as engraved on Captain Bulloch’s silver speaking horn
Sometime early that year Anna King of Roswell wrote to Martha the following:
Dear Mrs Bullock35
Mother has told me of the trouble you are in, in regard to Mittie’s baby – as I have a very excellent reciept for preparing food for infants, I thought I wd send it over as you might like to try it. I send the reciept wh Mr King copied for me, as you may find it necessary to be particular in preparing the food – as I use it for my children when they are much older, usually about 6 months. I take a more simple method of preparing it. It is as follows – Put as much gelatine as you can take up with your fingers to soak in water for a few minutes – then put in the milk to boil – & as it boils up once, stir in a dessert spoon-ful of arrow root – dissolved in a little milk. – then dissolve the gelatine upon the fire, in a little water, & stir into the milk - add
a puliverized sugar, & boil – about 20 minutes stirring all the time – Use a little more than ½ pint of milk & nearly as much water –
Yrs very truly
Anna W. King.
Anna King was the wife of the Rev. Charles Barrington King and sister-in-law of Dr. William Nephew King. By this time, Anna had borne four children, three of which survived. Receipt (Anna misspelled the word) is an old-fashioned term for recipe. Arrowroot, as mentioned before, is a starch obtained from the rhizomes (rootstock) of several tropical plants. It was often used as a thickening agent, much as cornstarch is used today.
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