Poor Family Papers, 1791-1921. John and Lucy (Tappan) Pierce. John Pierce to Benjamin Tappan, 1810-1814. A-132, folder 9, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

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No 48. Boston, 8 March, 1810.

Dear Sir,

I am in town, not only to attend Thursday Lecture, but alas! for me, to preach it. I am now at you son John's store, and can spare you 10 minutes.

Thursday before last, 22 Feb. I brought out Eliza and Elisabeth, who had been tarrying in Boston with her aunt.

The next day, brother John & wife with their two children came out, & spent a generous day with us. I forgot to mention Wm's daughter, who is really a fine child and who appears not only contented, but happy.

On the 26 Feb. I attended the funeral of Mrs Howe at Dorchester, my beloved Aunt, the only surviving sister of my mother. She was a truly pious and intelligent woman, and has left a long written legacy of advice and instruction to her children.

1 March I dined at Mr Tyng's, who lately married Betsy Higginson. We had a considerable party.

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Last sabbath, brother Edwards and Lewis spent the day with us.

On Monday, we had, what has been a rare thing with us, a funeral. It was that of a Mrs Blanchard, a poor woman, Aet. 66.

Our people have been very generous in subscribing to the relief of Capt Clark and his carpenter, who lately lost a new valuable house by fire. We have already had upwards of $800, which will be little more than half the loss. Brookline people were always famous for deeds of charity.

Lucy still keeps about, a week beyond her calculation. We are anx iously looking out for the event. I shall go out at noon to prevent a surprise. I hope, through the smiles of a kind prov idence, to announce to you good tidings in my next. In the mean time, with my best regards to mother & our family connexions, I am your affectionate son,

John Pierce.

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48

4 March, 1810

N48

Mr Benjamin Tappan,

Northampton.

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No49. -------------------------------------------------Brookline, 22 March, 1810.

Dear Parents,

As I predicted, my present letter is to announce to you the joyful tidings, that Lucy is safely confined with another daughter. To par ents it will be expected, that I shall be some what particular in detailing circumstances, though as Eliza writes, it will probably be a story twice told; yet I may possibly mention some circumstances, which escape her recollec tion or knowledge.

Lucy had waited so long beyond the 1st of March, that she became almost impa tient for the great event to arrive. Her nurse, a poor woman, was fortunately sent for by a woman in Roxbury, who had not previously engaged her, and there she has staid 3 weeks of our engagement, so that she will sustain no loss by waiting for us.

Monday afternoon, the 19th, Lucy was so disagreeably affected with the heart burn, that she took, of her own accord, while I was gone to the Association in Boston, a dose of epicac. But, she was so fearful of exceeding

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the proper quantity, that she took merely enough to produce a great nausea throughout the afternoon and night. Early tuesday morning, the 20th she sent me down to get a good large potion of mother's catholican, I mean butternut physick. This she took, before she arose. But the only effect was to operate most powerfully as an emetick. On rising late in the morning, she had some omen (I cannot tell what, mother will know) which she always has on the morning of her confinement, which convinced her, that the event was not many hours distant. Unfortunately, as I considered it then, I was to be engaged the whole day in examining schools. The first thing I did was to go to the Doctor's, and see, what his engagements were for the day. He was just preparing to go to the schools; but said, he would not go to the upper one, three miles distant; but would go to that near Mr Heath's at 10 1/2, and would call by the way to see Lucy. When we came down to Mr Heath's district, I expected to meet the Doctor, but he never came there

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at all. I grew very impatient. But on arriving home at 12 1/2, I found Lucy was in so little of a hurry, that he had gone to see a patient in Roxbury. I accordingly dined with the Committee at Laughton's, and in the afternoon examined the lower school. By the way I called in at Mrs Clark's, & gave her the bulletin of the hour. She came without Lucy's knowledge about 3 o'clock. I did not get home till nearly 6. By that time, Lucy's pains were regular, and had considerably increased. She would not let me go for Mrs Walley, till 7. This happened just right; for Mrs W. with her [illegible - whole?] family had spent the day at Dedham. The Dr soon came; and she contined as usual in such cases til 10 3/4 in the evening, when she was delivered of a fine stout daughter. If she is dressed before I go to Boston this morning, I shall endeavour to weigh her, and let you know the result.

This prodigy turns out to weigh but 9 1/4 #. I suspect Lucy intends to call her Ferroline after our good neighbour Mrs Walley.

We desire to be affectionately remembered to all our family connexions.

J & L Pierce.

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