Benjamin Franklin Butler to William Howard Allen, 23 November 1818
B[enjamin] F[ranklin] Butler to W[illia]m H[oward] Allen, 23 November 1818
Novr 23d 1818
My dear Brother,
Your last letter found me in a state of "single blessedness" for the time being, in which I yet continue, my wife having been out of town for more than a fortnight on a visit to her friends & our friends below. I had supposed that Lydia had informed you that the miniatures would not be obtained at Albany, Mr. Ames not taking any thing but portraits and there being no other painter here. I regret exceedingly that we are unable to comply with your wishes, for I can easily conceive how much pleasure it would give you in a distant land to gase on the images of those so dear to you. I have received two letters from F. L. Folger informing me of the approaching departure of <Lt.> Weyman (by whom I shall expect this letter to be handed to you) of which I have advised our friends at Hudson. Mary was with us for a fortnight. She took Harriet with her when she left us, who has been some days at Hudson & is now at my fathers. I shall bring her here on Thursday & take special care to keep her from making many visits so long as this has been. I was at Hudson last week for several days, found the family well and in good spirits. Mother appears to be in good health & well satisfied with her affairs. Lydia sometimes sighs for you, and Mary is become the very picture of health & happiness. Capt Coffin is delighted with your attention to Robert and expects to see him a Commodore at least, before he dies. I saw no special alteration in the town, the streets were as muddy & the pavements as rough as ever, the usual set of loungers together with Dido & her progeny were sauntering at Hollys, business dull & money scarce. How like you the appointment of Chief Justice Thompson to the head of your department? He is a man of stern principles, respectable talents, & amicable disposition, rather distant & reserved, but modest & unassuming, a little petulant at times but on the whole obliging & courteous. As to ships & ship tackling he is profoundly ignorant, he knows more of solving knotty law points than of splicing ropes, and could analyze a special plea much better & with greater ease than he could hoist a sail or mount the shrowds. I have nothing either of interest or importance to say to you, & shall therefore save you the trouble of reading what would be devoid of both. We shall hear from you & write you twice or three times. I hope before you sail, and when that pleasure shall be debarred us, our prayers shall be offered for your happiness & prosperity.
In Haste yours cordially