The Fassett Letters - Letter #36

Date: April 2, 1857
Place: Placerville
From: Ann
To: Mother
Placerville, April 2, /57     
Dear Mother,
                             You wished me to write if I were willing to live in your part of the world again. Taking every thing into consideration I think not. When I think of all the dear ones there I long Oh so much to see you and feel almost willing to live anywhere to be near you, but when I look at Parker and see how healthy he is, scarcely sick a day in the year, my mind recalls what he suffered there and I say no. I never want him to live there again. Dwight too has none of that ‘awful cough’ (as P– calls it) that he had there so much. The children are all so well, they hardly know what it is to feel bad. P– is very much opposed to leaving Cal– unless I was discontented and unhappy here would not consent. Then he would sacrifice every thing, for never woman had a kinder husband than unworthy me. He has done, and will do everything in his power to make money enough for me to visit you, but misfortune has pursued us. no fault of ours though, we have worked hard and saved it all. Our children must be educated and that takes money. besides where such a family as ours have to be supported with only one pair of hands, and no capital to go on, money does not come in very fast. But I do not feel bad about it as I hope you will all be here before long. when once here our delightful climate will keep you, sure. Enough of this. As I hope to leave here soon shall I describe my cottage to you? Rough planks as they came from the mill, stood on end for the frame, floor of the same, (how the slivers did prick the children’s feet) clapboard roof, doors, a plank planed with leather hinges and a button on the inside, and (oh extravagance) one window with 12 panes. It (the house, not the window) is 12 by 20 ft, all in one room. The childrens bedroom was built of cloth, when winter came P– boarded it up with clapboards, plank or anything that came handy, that has a hole with a sliding board for a window. last year he built a milk room, ditto, we have a woodshed too. my stove stands there in the summer. Where do I keep my furniture did you say? why behind a calico curtain, stands my bed, trunk, and my 3 dresses, P– ’tother pair of pants, (he aint but one coat positively) childrens clothes &c find plenty of room to hang up. by the head of the bed stands a little round table, with my work-basket, a few books and your pictures, a cupboard in one corner, a pine table to eat on, a cooking stove, cradle, 3 chairs that Chit gave me last year, a low rocking chair (sewing chair without arms) Mrs Harkers gift, with a trunk, and a candle box or two for seats include it all. no, P– bought Sarah a little rocking chair this winter. Shovel and tongs we never had, but I forgot the clock & a looking glass about 8 by 10 given to Clara. The boys give me all the boxes I want some with leather hinges make nice trunks and one with rockers makes the cradle, only I had to cover it with calico because it was so rough, 2 years ago we lined this room with unbleached sheeting, and last year we put matting on the floor. Remember that the house was built by P– and the bedsteads, tables, cupboards, &c were made by him without paint, only I painted the front door with some paint Mrs. Harker gave me. I would not write this before, for fear you would think ‘poor Ann’ was suffering, but have been very happy here and do not want anything better while here. Uncle Elias told me once that himself & wife “eat, and drank, sat, and slept,” in the same room. wonder if it was furnished like mine. I dont care who sees this letter, we have no pride about for it is our own, honestly earned and paid for. but what a mess I have scribbled and left only room to say we are all well. P– teaming, boys at school, Ann & daughters at home. baby grows finely, the smallest one I mean.

[The following in squeezed in upside down above the salutation on the first page.]
much love to all. We look to Chittenden up soon. Write often as you can. in looking this over find many mistakes account for them by saying I hurried to write while Jane was asleep. she is trying now hard to wake so good bye for the present. Ask Sarah if her one baby prevents her writing to us. I have 5. ever dear Father and Mother your affec– daughter   Ann.
[This was Ann’s first mention of Jane, her new baby. Sarah’s new baby is Clarence Fassett Castle, b. Oct. 12, 1856. WAC]

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