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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1558751
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · History · #1558751
Letters from the 1820's written from a young woman to a friend about her life.
word count: 1,949



To: FowlerLisa@ancestry.com                              From: SLovell52@ancestry.com

Subject: Cobbler Family Ancestry                    Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009



Lisa Fowler,

      In response to your post for information on Robert Cobbler and the Cobbler family in Osterville, Mass around 1835, I believe I have some letters from one of the family members. My ancestor Kathryn (my 4th great-grandmother) was from Osterville and moved to Charleston, South Carolina to marry Capt. Jacob Lovell in the early 1800’s. And passed down in the family are a collection of letters to her from a Temperance Cobbler who still lived in Osterville. Maybe Temperance was a daughter or niece to Robert. I scanned the letters into Word and attached them to this email so you can see if you recognize any of the names as apart of the Cobbler family you are looking for.



         -Steven Lovell



* * * * * *



January the 19th, 1825



Dearest Kathryn,

Congratulations on your marriage! How lucky you are to have a Captain in the navy fall in love with you, although I am very sad you had to move to Charleston to marry him. I miss you so much! Is South Carolina as warm as they say it is? I hear they do not get much snow, how strange that must be. Hannah has also been wed of recent. Remember when we said she would be the last out of all of us to be married? Well, Mr. Bowen took a fancy to her it seems and, after a month, they married. Mr. Bowen is old and cannot see very well and must have mistaken her for some great beauty, for it is obvious she has little beauty. I have more beauty than she but no one has come to seek my hand, at 18 I should have a few suitors. Father says his new shoe shop is right near the docks and hopefully more sailors will see it and purchase some boots. What is the point of being a Cobbler if you cannot sell any boots? With you gone, the old ladies who gather in the market have nothing to gossip about. Those old ladies still think they are the ‘moral proprietors’ of the town. Their group has grown to about half-a-dozen and recently they have resorted to stand outside the pub and harass the men about drinking too much and telling them they should get back to work. Please write back to me soon and tell me of Charleston and your husband!



From your loving friend,

Temperance Cobbler



* * * * * *



April the 1st, 1825



Dearest Kathryn,

I am glad to hear Charleston is to your liking. It must be hard to be living with your mother-in-law. Well, I guess since your husband is away a lot it makes sense for you not to live on your own. Brace yourself for I have some very important news. As of last week I am engaged! Not long after I first wrote to you, I was in my father's shop and a good-looking man by the name of Benjamin Crocker walked in the door. His fishing ship was in port for a few days and he wanted some new boots and he heard my father’s store was the best. Well, we got to talking and before I knew it, the sun was setting! After a week, when his ship was supposed to set sail, he told me he resigned from his ship to get a local job. Two weeks later he proposed! You should have seen Hannah’s face when I told her. She must be miserable with that old dog. She has even resorted to befriending the old women and gossiping with them. Please write back soon, or else I shall be married by the time I get your letter.



Your loving friend,

Temperance Cobbler



* * * * * *



July the 21st, 1825



Dearest Kathryn,

I can not tell you enough of how well things are going for me. Benjamin and I were married in May and shortly thereafter he bought a place just outside of Osterville in Wianno Village. Oh, the house is so lovely- it is even right on the water’s edge, although I am starting to suspect Father gave Benjamin money to buy the place. It would be like Father to just buy the whole property. Benjamin is working for Father now running his store in Wianno. I did not believe the business was doing that well, but that is something for men to worry about. We, dear friend, have much more important things to worry about. You are a few months pregnant and I am certain I am too! I really want a boy, it would make Benjamin very happy. I do fear I will not be able to write you again for awhile, I still do help out a little with Father’s store and I will be busy preparing for the baby. But, after the baby is born, I will write you. Please do write me when your baby is born and many blessings on you both!



Your loving friend,

Temperance Cobbler Crocker



* * * * * *



June the 6th, 1826



Dearest Kathryn,

I wish things were going as well for me as they are for you. First, I must congratulate you on your son. I am sure little Peter is a perfect angel. I also had a son, he was born in late April and we named him Adam Frederick. He is wonderful but money is low. Father and Benjamin argued last month over Benjamin’s position in the store and Father stopped giving us money to pay off the house. Benjamin wanted more responsibility and control over the store he was managing. The various fishing jobs Benjamin gets now are not enough to sustain us. Benjamin has talked about joining a merchant ship that transports goods to Baltimore. The money would be good but I do not know if I want him to go so far away from me for such a long time. What if something happens to him? But I may not have any choice in the matter. Benjamin says he will do anything necessary to get money. I tell him of my worries but he says he is strong and he misses being out on the open sea. I will write to you again when I get the time.



Your loving friend,

Temperance Cobbler Crocker



* * * * * *



October the 24th, 1826



Dearest Kathryn,

I first must congratulate you on your second pregnancy. How wonderful it must be to have a growing family with a husband who can support you. Benjamin left early last month with the merchant ship. I have received a letter from him when he was in port somewhere in New Jersey. With it he sent some money, but I am afraid it will not be enough. Mother has been urging me to move back in with her and Father. Father is no longer mad at us and he too has asked me to move back. But I am a married woman with a child, how can I move back with them and still be respected? I do not want people to pity me as a poor woman who has no choice but to move back in with her parents. I will stand strong for my son, husband, and for my reputation! I know Hannah Bowen and those retched old women have started talking about me. They always get quiet and start whispering when I walk by. Oh, how I wish you were here with me.



Your loving friend,

Temperance Cobbler Crocker



* * * * * *



February the 12th, 1827



Dearest Kathryn,

I regret to tell you that things are no better here than they were before. Things have actually gotten worse. Remember little Elise Massey? She was the girl with red hair and always wore blue. Well, in December she told me the most horrible story. She said Hannah and the old ladies in town were saying that Benjamin had been married before and is still married to the woman! He never said anything of this to me before and I could not believe it. I immediately went to writing a letter to Benjamin, who is docked at Baltimore. Not two weeks ago I received a letter back from him, but it said nothing of the supposed wife! He just went on to say that it was very nice there, how the weather was warm, and that he does not trust the returning ships with the money he wants to send back. So I am to receive no money from him for awhile. If nothing changes in the next few weeks, I will be forced to move back in with Father and Mother.



Your loving friend,

Temperance Cobbler Crocker



* * * * * *



April the 7th, 1827



Dearest Kathryn,

It is difficult for me to put my pen to this paper. My little son is dead. Not long after I moved back in with Father, Adam was struck with an unknown illness. He lasted three days without eating before the Lord took him to Heaven. With all that has gone on in the past year, I do not know how much more I can take. Last month Benjamin wrote to me that his return has been delayed because of some bad storm. What am I suppose to write to Benjamin? What if he blames me? I do not even want to know what Hannah and the old women will say about me now. Dangerous thoughts are running through my mind. I feel so helpless. How I long for the days when we were just children before you were married. Long before Benjamin stole my heart and before the Lord took my son away from me. Oh, please write me of some good news, for I am in desperate need of it.



Your loving friend,

Temperance Cobbler Crocker



* * * * * *



February the 29th, 1828



Dearest Kathryn,

I fear this will be my last letter to you. My health keeps declining and I find I barely have the strength go outside anymore. For the fourth time Benjamin has written me his return has been delayed again for one reason or another. I can not recall the reason this time. In only one line he expressed grief for the lost of our son. I have now lost all hope that he is to return at all. Looking back, I can not help but laugh at the fact that he has still not sent any money since he left. I am so happy for you, Kathryn. You left Osterville and have married a wonderful man, whose affections you are sure of, and have had two beautiful children. Cherish them.



Your loving friend,

Temperance Cobbler Crocker



* * * * * *



To: SLovell52@ancestry.com                              From: FowlerLisa@ancestry.com

Subject: RE: Cobbler Family Ancestry                    Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2009



Steven,

          I am so glad you sent those letters to me. As it turns out, Temperance was the niece of Robert and daughter of William Cobbler. It is a shame that there are only eight letters, but Temperance had such a sad life. After I read the letters, I did some research into the life of Temperance Cobbler Crocker. I could not find any documentation, but I did find a tombstone in Barnstable-Osterville Historical Cemetery. It reads:

                  In memory of Mrs. Temperance wife of Benjamin F Crocker,                   

                            She died March 8th 1828, In her 21st year.

                                    With love divine & pure delight,

                                        On faith’s celestial wing,

                                With sweet repose she took her flight,

                                      For death had lost its sting.
© Copyright 2009 mdnghtdrgnfly (mdnghtdrgnfly at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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