fig. 14. Henry Savage Thacher, by Joseph Greenleaf Cole (1829). Courtesy of Northeast Auctions. Cole (1806-58), a Newburyport, Massachusetts native who was active in Boston and Portland, painted pendant portraits of Henry and Elizabeth Haven Wardrobe Thacher seven years after the couple’s marriage.

    fig. 15. Elizabeth Haven Wardrobe Thacher, by Joseph Greenleaf Cole (1829). Courtesy of Northeast Auctions. This is one of a pair of pendant portraits of the thirty-year old sitter and her husband, Henry Savage Thacher. The couple—George and Sarah Savage Thatcher’s only children for whom images are known to exist—lived long enough to sit for a daguerreotype, currently in private hands.


    To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    Cambridge, Massachusetts        23 March 1823

    My dear—

    I felt rejoiced yesterday to find the week was drawing to a close, & I should have a day of rest—I had several invitations to dine; and as many to tarry in the city and go with my friends to their respective places of worship—For to go to meeting in Boston on sunday is as much the fashion, as to go to the Theatre, to an [dance] Assembly or a tea party on a week day. And tho I would not expose myself to the charge of being uncharitable—or to judge my fellow christians too hardly—I am led to think there may be as much of piety & religious feelings in one of those places of fashionable resort as another—

    I say I was glad when Saturday came, because it gave me an opportunity to retire to our friend, [Abraham] Biglows & there enjoy a true sabbath of rest from the labours of the week, & the noise of the city—I set down here & take clear comforts not even a cat or a dog scratching at the door to come in or go out—The Girls [Nancy and Elizabeth Jones Thacher] go off to meeting, & Mr. Biglow, now there is no church, goes into his chamber, & leaves me to my papers & book—

    Fryday night I was at a grand Jam at the Chief Justices [Isaac Parker’s]—and tarried till about ten, when all the company departed—I saw several ladies who enquired particularly after your Ladyship—Mrs. Bradford1 Miss ——- Boardman2—some enquired about Anner, & some after Nancy—The evening was sociable & pleasant. I ought to mention among those who enquired for you, Mrs. Codman3—she remembered your having spent an evening at her house, when she was Mrs. Ashman, in Northampton [Massachusetts]—I told her you had not forgot the pleasures of that evening, & always on my return from the Western Circuit, make particular enquiries of the health &c of Mrs. Ashman.

    Except fryday evening we have been engaged in Law business every evening during the week. And we expect to be as much engaged for one or two weeks to come, tho I think we shall get home the next week.

    [. . . .]

    I hope our winter is nearly over—I heard <covered by wax seal> spring Birds, this morning, rejoicing in the warm sun with their sprightly notes of thanksgiving—How different man is from other animals, these rejoice & give thanks in the Spring, & fast in the fall. But men fast in the spring & give thanks & dance in the fall—

    Remember me to all the household—

    Yours most affectionately

    * * *

    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Newburyport, Massachusetts; postmarked. Omitted text refers to upcoming sessions of the Supreme Judicial Court.