Benjamin Franklin Butler to Harriet Allen, 29 July 1816
B[enjamin] F[ranklin] B[utler] to Harriet Allen, 29 July 1816
July 29th 1816
I was very agreeably surprised, on finding our dear friend, your ma, at <meeting> yesterday morning. I spent the last evening with her, and am commissioned to inform you that she will remain here 'till Wednesday. Don't be frightened. She will positively go down with the girls on that day. Laura begged, Jane said she would stay, Mrs Jenkins intreated, Judge S. consented, and between all, your Ma concluded to leave the charge of her household at Hudson to Lydia & yourself for a day or two. Pray do you & Lydia be good girls, and let your ma stay with her friends, as she wishes. I know she will be pleasantly situated. Lauda is happy, & Jane delighted with Albany. Mrs. Allen is perfectly well, & in good spirits, she told me to say so to you, for fear you might suppose her stay was produced by ill health. Now, tho' you say that she sometimes conceals her illness from you, I dont know that you have any right to disbelieve me. My love to Lydia. I am unable to say how much I was pleased with Laura's present, nor what I think of the person who sent it. But I shall accept with the greatest avidity, her proposal to be the bearer of a similar one to you. In the mean time believe me, affectionately your own,
P.S. Don't think that I intend the above in any way as an answer to yours. I only wrote it at the suggestion of Mrs. A, to give you notice of her stay with us. I intended to have sent it by Mr. Alsop. But i have just learned, (1/2 after 8) that Miss Olcott & Miss Edmonds go down with the boat. Last evening they were rather undetermined, and this morning Olcott told me they wanted to stay to keep company with Mrs. Worth, till Wednesday. For your sake I am glad that they go. For my own I sincerely regret it. What is loss to us, will be "great gain" to you. But we have already been favored with more of their company than we had reason to expect, perhaps more than we deserved. I do think with you that A. M. O. C. T. & C. P. are three lovely girls. But I will never say
yes no to your question. For I know that there is one "finer girl in this world." One who has long had my whole heart & my undivided affections and who never shall be forsaken by me, because I know & am able to appreciate her worth. If you can find this girl, do say to her that I am and ever shall be her faithful and affectionate friend, that I never will forget, and as far as lies in human power, never give her reason to regret the day when she permitted me subscribe myself yo her own Franklin.