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Middleton.  Nov. 22d 1852

 

My dear Mollie

 

                        I received your letter this noon.  So glad to get it.  Molly, you are eighteen!  I did not think you could be so old.  The story of eighteen years of your life is told.. When will it be finished.  Molly!  Life is passing away and we can’t hold it.. if only the love of life would pass away too. .  My dear, dear Molly, I do wish you so many good wishes.  If I could make life pleasant to you how quickly I would do it.  I wish you were coming home Thanksgiving.  I am so glad I am going home.  I am going to have five studies beside my drawing.. I don’t know as I shall have time for anything else.  After all, it don’t seem right to be so engaged in study even.  Oh! It seems so pleasant to think of seeing father and mother again.  But, Jose is gone. 

 

            “Oh: home is not home without thee!”

 

Friday evening

 

My dear Molly..

                        We have no school studying this evening. . All the girls are in our room this evening. . We are having some stirring speechs on the Maine Law.[1]  Hon. Penny Clarke has the Chair . . we don’t boast a stage.  My bed-mate Miss Hurd has now ascended . . but as their remarks are not particularly delicate I won’t favor you with them. . Molly, my heart turns from this noisy room to the silent heavens that we looked at together up in the “high school-room.”  The cross shined as bright as it did then and I seem to see the Dipper and the Great Bear.

 

“Going forth its princely way among the stars

            In slow and silent brightness”

 

Every night after the girls are in bed and I have extinguished the light I stand at the window and look at the stars. 

“Come to the land of peace!

Come where the tempest hath no longer sway,

The Shadow passes from the soul away

The sounds of weeping cease!”

I have just finished a letter to Jose.  I think so much of her love . . after all, Molly, love is all we want. . Love human and divine.  Jose wrote to me on Thanksgiving day . . She was alone on that day . . Mr. Smith was in Michigan.  She had a great time preparing her turkey (for she had one if she was alone)

            Mollie, I wish you so much happiness for your 18th year . . happiness for you in life . . happiness in death . . Mollie, may our friendship live beyond the grave . . I know it will.

            “The Lord be between me and thee while we are separated from one from another.

            Emily 

 

For awhile when I was reading your letter, I walked with you on the Cores & looked down into the dark waters of the Adriatic . . I have just been studying the History  of Greece . . “Land of dead heroes” . . How grand the lives of some of these old warriors are.


 

[1] “Map Showing the Extent of Prohibition in the United States,” in

Henry S. Clubb, The Maine Liquor Law: its Origin, History, and Results,

Including a Life of Hon. Neal Dow  (New York: Fowler and Wells, 1856).

Temperance was perhaps the most popular reform movement of the period.  Driven largely by activist women’s energy, local societies spread throughout the nation and in the mid-1850s became politically active in many states.  This book charts the growth of state and local societies, with an account of Maine prohibitionist Henry S. Clubb.  The “Maine Law” outlawed the sale of liquor, but the term became shorthand for any form of control, from outright prohibition to mild restriction.  As the map shows, the movement was widespread throughout what became the Republican heartland, and early Republican state and local organizations could not ignore its influence.  [From http://www.librarycompany.org/Republican/exhibition/Republican%20label%20copy/LabelsDefault.htm

By the early 1850s, for example, most temperance advocates had endorsed the Maine Law, the nation's first prohibition measure, and state after state across the North and West passed bills modeled upon it. [From: http://www.assumption.edu/ahc/Intros/intro1850s.html]