18 September 1775738

    Norwich Sept. 18th 1775

    Honored and dear Sir

    I received your favor of the 5th of August, and should have gratified myself by answering it, if an opportunity of sending directly to Braintree had offered but this is the first since I left you. Be assured Sir that as long as any affection remains in my breast to the memory of my dear partner, and which will remain tell I cease to breathe the vital air, so long every near relation or friend that he was fond of must be dear to me and there can be none nearer than a parent.

    To pretend to inform you of what I have felt, and what I still feel, on the painful reflection on what I once enjoyed would be undertaking a task too great for my pen to execute. Alas! I find it very different from what I have often been told would be the case, that time would wear out the greatest sorrow. Mine I find is still increasing. When it will have reached the summit I know not. I dread the thought of going among my friends that were his friends and acquaintance—as though they were enemies—and feel a secret pleasure in thinking we are not likely to see Boston this winter. I feel sorry to renew your grief if it had subsided but my heart is too full to write to the father of my husband and not mention a word of him.

    Forgive me, Sir, the pain I have given you and may the God and fountain of all good sanctify this afflictive providence to our everlasting happiness and may we be enabled to say from the heart as well as the lips “his holy will be done.”739

    Upon opening the trunks of my dear partner I found two greater curiosities than those which I now send you. These are some other books of history and politics which as they are very handsomely bound, I should not chuse to send so long a journey, for fear they should be hurt. I hope some time or other you will have an opportunity to peruse them. Everything in his chests returned safe except his watch which I suspect was stolen as one of the chests was broken open when Mr. Boice went on board. But in the same chest I found near one hundred £ sterling in cash, and it seems strange they should take a watch and leave the money. I have now sent you by Mr. Mason the journal and all the letters you have not seen before. You will be pleased to remember Sir, that I set a high value on them, both on my own account and my sons. If you incline to take a copy of the Journal it will be very agreeable to me, but the one that is in his own hand writing I must beg you would return before winter together with the letters. My father or brother will be down in a month or six weeks. If they should not you may have some other opportunity you can trust. The pamphlets you may keep as long as you please.

    Josiah has been very ill with a fever, but through the goodness of God he is now so well as to ride out. I told him I was going to write to you and he of his own accord sent his duty.

    Please to give mine to Mama, and my love to my sisters Mrs. Storer, Betsey and Nancy. My parents and sisters desire their sincere regards may be returned to every branch of your family.

    Accept Sir, of the affectionate and dutiful regards of your

    Abigail Quincy