Elizabeth, Letter 1-015: To Julia Scott

Francisco Javier Fernández ChentoWritings of Elizabeth Ann SetonLeave a Comment

Author: Elisabeth Ann Bailey Seton .
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New York 16th April 1798

Colonel [Aquila] Giles1 has just called to say that his Deputy leaves New York for Philadelphia at three oclock. My children are both in my charge poor Mammy2 being sick a bed, but nothing shall ever interrupt the course of my affection for you3 or prevent my expressing it when­ever it is in my power. I am very anxious to hear of your arrival and I hope you will satisfy me, if it is only by putting the pen in Maria’s4 hand, who will be an excellent Substitute when you are either busy or lazy, with the advantage also of giving her the habit of writing, and do not fear to lessen my pleasure in hearing from you by so doing for you know that one of the first rules of my happiness is to be satisfied with good in whatever degree I can attain it, besides which it is very material that absence should not efface me from Maria’s remembrance as I have not yet lost the Hope that my Anna may one day be as dear to her as you are to me—difference of Age after a certain period is very immaterial and rather adds to affection by creating that kind of confidence we have in those who are at an age to Judge of our particular feelings, and yet have more experience to give weight to advice—I forget that Futurity has no part in your calculations, but where it is the source of pleasurable Ideas I am very fond of dwelling on the good it offers—

You meeting with your Family must have been a scene of so much pain to you as well as pleasure, that I please myself with the Hope that it is over—And may Heaven grant you Peace in return for all the sor­row and confusion you have passed thro’ Here—

Poor Miss Chippy5 will write I suppose by this opportunity—She is a proof with respect to myself, how liable we are to err in our Judgments respecting others except we thoroughly know the motives of their ac­tions for unfeeling and unkind as I must appear to her in affecting not to understand her oddities of behaviour I really and truely pity her Situa­tion—She was at church yesterday; tho’ I had not the pleasure of meet­ing her Eye—My Father is murmering still at the manner of your departure, and never comes in without saying something about you—

Give my very best love to dear Sister Charlotte6, and tell Brother John7 that I never shall forget him.

Kiss your children for me and think of me as I am,

Yours most affectionately E.A.Seton

  1. Colonel and Mrs. Aquila Giles were New York friends of Julia  Scott. Aquila Giles was a lawyer and wealthy landowner in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.
  2. A servant in the Seton household
  3. Julia Scott’s husband died in March 1798. Elizabeth spent many hours with Julia in her time of sorrow, helping her to pack her belongings and close her house in preparation for her and her children’s move to Philadelphia. Until the time of her death. Elizabeth maintained a correspondence with Julia.
  4. Maria Litchfield Scott (1789?-1814) was the daughter of Lewis Allaire and Julia Sitgreases Scott. In 1812 she married Peter Pederson, consul general and chargé d’affaires of His Majesty, the King of Denmark. to the United States. She died in Copenhagen, Denmark, November 7. 1814.
  5. Probably Miss Shipton, a mutual friend of Elizabeth and Julia
  6. Charlotte Sitgreaves. sometimes called “Lott” was the daughter of William and Susanna Deshon Sitgreaves and the sister of Julia Sitgreaves Scott. After her sister Mehitabel’s death Charlotte married her widower brother-in-Mw. James Cox, January 4, 1787, at St. Paul’s Church in Philadelphia. James Cox was the president of the Pennsylvania Insurance Company.
  7. John Sitgreaves (1763-1798) was born in Philadelphia. the son of William and Susanna Deshon Sitgreaves and brother of Julia Sitgreaves Scott. He never married and died of yellow fever.

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