To Elizabeth Haven Wardrobe

    Newburyport, Massachusetts        16 February 1822

    Dear Elizabeth—

    Mrs. Thacher & I have promised ourselves the pleasure of making you, your Uncle and aunt1 a short visit this winter, on our way to Biddeford, but for some time my health has been less vigorous than heretofore, & growing old, & the weather becoming very cold, we have finally given up our expected journey and visit—

    But we are never theless desirous of seeing you, and beg you to make us a short visit, say a week or ten days, as your good uncle and Aunt can be willing so good a Girl should be absent from them; The sleighing is now, and probably will continue to be very pleasant for some weeks to come—Now if you will only step into the accommodating Stage that leaves Portsmouth [New Hampshire] at eight or nine oClock in the morning it will land you at our house about twelve or a little after—We live on the great high street, three or four doors before you reach the Stage house; The Drivers all know our lodgings, & will obligingly land you here—We will endeavour to be as agreeable as possible, & make your time pass as pleasingly as all our means and faculties shall enable us—

    Nancy and Elizabeth Jones [Thacher] are delighted in the thoughts of your visit; who will also contribute their mites to make you forget that you are, while here, twenty five miles farther distant than your ordinary residence, from the place where, we hope, you were lately very happy in a short visit2

    We were anxious, had it been possible, to have made our visit to Biddeford while you were making all our friends happy on the other side of the [Saco] River—but I was then too unwell to encounter a winters Journey—

    My health is no[w] pretty good, & so is Mrs. Thachers, only that we in turns, now and then utter a few groans because of some Rhumatic pains, which I some times suspect are only the effects of old age—To all which there is no remidy so effectual as pleasant faces, che[e]rfull conversation & pretty girls—come then, our dear Elizabeth, & for a little space increase these remidies & invigorate them with a new spirit—

    I must not forget to add, we verily believe you will be gratified with the chat, & humour of our dear little Sarah Gray Sawyer3—We all take delight in her airs, & specimens of intellect—

    Be pleased to make our most affectionate and friendly regards to your good Uncle & Aunt—And assure them it always affords us pleasurable reflections to hear of their health and happiness, as they are travling with us the down hill of life—Elizabeth, dont think that youth, or even middle age, is the only period in which people can enjoy life & be happy—I have gone through all the stages of the ordinary life of man, except the last, & only two years and two months will compleat that & crown me with three score & ten; & beleive me, tho I can look back with delightfull retrospection on all and each of them, yet this last stage thus far has been the most tranquil & pleasurable than any of the preceeding—

    With all the feelings of good wishes & prayers for your health, happiness and long life—we are your affectionate friends—

    [. . . .]

    * * *

    ALS, GTP-Biddeford. Addressed in care of Joseph Haven, in Portsmouth, N.H.; postmarked, Newburyport, Mass., 17 Feb. GT signed on behalf of SST. Omitted text is a postscript adding the Thatchers’ daughters Nancy and Elizabeth Jones’s greetings.