From Jerome and Allie to "Dear ones all", December 23, 1860

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From Jerome and Allie to "Dear ones all", December 23, 1860


Peirce, Jerome
North Orange, MA.
Billerica, MA.


From Jerome and Allie to "Dear ones all"
Envelope is addressed to Capt. F. Jaquith, Billerica, MA.


Jerome and Allie Peirce


Jerome Peirce Collection, National Park Service


HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington




NPS, Civil War Study Group, Barb Davidson (Transcriber)


For educational purposes with no commercial use. Courtesy of National Park Service, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP, FRSP 16095-16102 (FRSP-00904).








Letter #244


North Orange, MA.

Text Item Type Metadata



No. Orange [Massachusetts] 23rd Dec. 1860
Dear ones all,
Sabbath eve once more and that in midwinter with us, and it does seem so far off to the friends. But then in these troubled times, it does also seem pleasant to be in some snug corner of the good old “Bay State” and with warm fire and bread enough for the present necessities. Peep into the outward world and be thankful for present benefits.
Not that I am desponding for out of present chaos and distress, I believe will come order and prosperity and even “Union” if we wait patiently.
Allie and Lou [Lulu] are just retired, the latter has a bad cold which has made her quite ill for some days, and then we think her eye teeth are coming, so that it is all A [Allie] can do to take care of her, but as she is no worse and even playful and prattling we hope all will [???] well. Allie cannot write this time I think, but I suppose her doings have been pretty much as ever, but gets quite tired, but I believe as well as usual. The boil has, or is, disappearing.
A few days ago we recd. [received] a very cordial and pleasant letter from Albert Smith inviting us down and to make it our home with them, etc., but she and Lou [Lulu] of course could not go and I before mentioned that I should not. Accounts from Boston are very gloomy, business down and a hard winter in prospect. Suppose it will affect us, although I shall keep doing for the present.
By the way, I am at my old trade a little. Some days ago, while at Athol, spoke with a furniture dealer, an acquaintance of and trader with Bro. [Brother] J [Joseph] about ornamental work as I had seen some on sleighs that he sold (for you must know that they “dicker” in everything here), made him acquainted with my little knowledge of the art, so sent for me to ornament a sleigh, which I did yesterday P.M., bouquets on back inside of dasher, etc., and in consequence shall do a whole set of furniture this week, and if business comes up, I think there is quite a little show ahead in that line. I think much of my art yet, and it will perhaps be a great help to me here. I merely mention this for you. And Abby or any of you that think there is something grand in winter as I rode home from A [Athol] last eve. J came for me. It was a great snow storm and the woods was perfectly beautiful, loaded with the silvery coat and I felt really sentimental over winter!
Old Sully looks grey like some grand monarch of the Vale as he is. We have some ten inches or a foot of snow (and as much rain a few days since I should think), but it is excellent sleighing.
At home this A.M., read Dr. Bellow’s sermon from the “Inquirer” on “The Providential necessity of the present crisis in affairs”. Liberal, kindly, but progressive view of things, and if good sermons could save the Nation, certainly ‘twould be done. But I can’t say much about it, but came hope a great deal notwithstanding.
Our Christmas festival comes off tomorrow eve, and rehearsed the pieces to sing this P.M. with quite a company at Mr. Johnson’s “up the hill”. I mentioned before I believe, we have a great deal of sickness here. Mr. & Mrs. Ballou have the lung fever and are in great danger I expect.
But how is your Sabbath? Am very happy to hear there is a prospect of another pastor whom I hope you will like. I see a Mr. Barber is settled in Tyngsborough. Where is Mr. Chaffee?
Thanks for the letters, papers, etc., Frank also, write often. May you gain much in “Paradise Lost”. Realities are intruding fearfully upon my poetical inclinations, but I shall meet the future all the better for it. Mary, your token for Lou [Lulu] was quite fine. Her health has prevented her reading much of late, but still she gabbles over “boggle”, “coggle”, “Pretty little girl”, “that’s pretty”, and “Abagail” quite plain much to the amusement of her many friends. Shakes her hand a “day day” whenever I leave the house. Almost walked today.
Hattie, what are you reading? Hope you [are] well and happy. Mother, we understand and appreciate what you say about Hattie or any one visiting us in these times. It was a “sacrifice” abandoning my visit to you and the City this season. But must close. When shall we meet? May this find you well and let us hear often. Love to each and all.
From affect. yours,
Jerry [Jerome] & Allie

NOTE 1: The envelope accompanying this letter is addressed to Capt. F. Jaquith, Billerica, Mass. That was almost certainly Allie’s father, Franklin Jaquith, Sr., who lived in Billerica, Massachusetts.

NOTE 2: In various census and other records, Jerome’s occupation before he enlisted in the Union Army is listed as “gilder.” The term usually refers to someone who “covers something with a thin layer of gold.” However, a broader definition is “someone who adorns something (maybe unnecessarily) that is already beautiful.” Therefore, his occupation could be interpreted as someone who decorates furniture. He is also identified as a “chair painter.”

NOTE 3: Rev. Levi Ballou was the minister at the church in Orange, Massachusetts, when Jerome and Allie lived in North Orange. He gave the sermon at the funeral service held for Jerome on June 19, 1864. Jerome was also the “Sabbath School Superintendent” at that church.

Original Format




Jerome and Allie Peirce 1860, From Jerome and Allie to "Dear ones all", December 23, 1860, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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