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[Benjamin] Franklin [Butler] to Harriet Allen, 18 November 1817

My dear Harriet, 

What am I to do? I promised you a letter on Wednesday by the last mail, and it is now within 15 minutes of 5 at which time the mail closes. I did intend to have written you a long letter and actually commenced one before dinner but had proceeded but a few lines when I was broken off & have ever since been prevented from writing. Do you remember last December of my being very much driven by the Atty Genls sales which deprived you of your letters for a week or two? We have since the 12th of this month been busily engaged in the same kind of employment and nearly as much pressed as we then were. I hope you will excuse me for giving you such a hasty scroll as this is, and I will endeavour the next time I write to be more at leisure. I would not trouble you with such a lean letter as this is, were it not that I am afraid you will be alarmed & disappointed at not hearing from me. The other day I mentioned that Mr Stanton was expected here & that Mr Chester had gone down, I was mistaken, Mr. O. did not go down. I was much disappointed for I had anticipated a great deal of pleasure in hearing Mr S. and also in receiving a very long letter from my dear H. I wish I had time to write you, if the mail did not close till tomorrow I could do it this evening but the old saying is that time & tide wait for no man. So it is with post masters &c at the hour of closing but how dull they are in reaching the port of destination, especially when bearers of letters from those in love. Do you write me at length, let me know how you enjoy yourself & every thing else that concerns you. Let me see perhaps I shall receive a letter tonight by the mail. But I must stop. Dear H. Remember me & pray for me & may Heavens choicest blessings & the peace of those who are blessed by the love of God be showered upon you. 

In haste your affectionate 


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Source: N New York State Library
Collection: Benjamin Franklin Butler Papers (N)
Series: Series 3 (17 February 1815-2 December 1821)