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B[enjamin] F[ranklin] Butler to Harriet [Allen] Butler, 5 May 1823

My dear Wife,

Once more we are about starting, and I think we shall certainly get off this morning. Indeed there is nothing to prevent it any further. On Saturday I was quite at a start to as to where I should spend the sabbath, whether at New York, or here. There is a church at the little village about a quarter of a mile from the V. P:s where someone from New York, belonging to the Dutch church, usually preaches. Understanding they are to have an excellent preacher from town, and thinking it would be more peaceable and quiet at the island that in New York, I at length determined to return, and accordingly came back on Saturday P.M. Unfortunately however th a slight accident prevented the Steam Boat from mooring, & the wind was so high that the minister we expected, was afraid to venture down in the ferry boat. In the afternoon, we went to hear a Baptist, but here again were disappointed by the non attendance of the preacher. So that we had no preaching throughout the day, very much to my disappointment & regret. Most sincerely do I regret, my dear H, that circumstances have left me so long without hearing from you. It is my hope that in to

New York. My dear wife will excuse this broken epistle. The Breakfast earlier than usual this morning, in order to enable us to leave at 8 oClock, <take> interrupted me, and I am now at N. Y. in the very true point of starting. The weather is cold but rather pleasant than otherwise, & I anticipate a pleasant passage. The first paper I took up this morning announced the death of poor Spencer, The shock to me was very great. Within a renewed ^& unpromising^ <esteem> he seemed to have a good heart. Poor fellow I regret I did not see him, tho' I avoided his room from the best of motives. Another proof this of the uncertainty of life. O May we be prepared for this event, this sunderer of ties the dearest & most holy, of which man is the subject. His poor wife & children, I feel for them from the bottom of my heart. Adieu. The time is short. Kiss the dear little ones. Tell little Mag I love her, and tell Hatty, pa's darling is not forgotten. Love to all.

Truly yours

B. F. Butler

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Source: N New York State Library
Collection: Benjamin Franklin Butler Papers (N)
Series: Series 4 (3 December 1821-31 December 1824)