April 24, 1843 letter to John & Rebecca Adams from Phebe Berry

April 24, 1843

To:  John & Rebecca Adams, Somerville, NY

From:  Phebe Berry, Malone, NY

Her health has been better the past three weeks. She was glad to hear that they had a good time getting home and was surprised to hear of the sudden deaths there in their absence. She is thankful and grateful for the care she received from her parents and wished they weren’t so far away so that she could repay them by caring for them as they grow older.

Scan of 1843-04-24 Phebe Berry to John Adams

Malone April the 24, 1843

Dear Parents[1]

I intended you should hear from me before this time when you left but I have neglected it. My health is better. I have been quite smart for three weeks past, so well that I and Mother[2] have done the work without a girl. Harriet left us just three weeks ago to day. She has been quite sick with this disease in the throat but she is better now. I was glad to hear that you found your things in as good order as you expected and that you had so good a time in getting home for we had a dreadful storm here, and I was a fraid you would have as bad a time as Mother and I had but David[3] got home Monday without any trouble and said he left you all quite smart. I was verry much surprised to hear of the suden deaths there in your absence and it seems as though I could not have it that Margaret and Mrs Bishop[4] are no more in that society that will ever be near to me all though the the strongest ties that bind my affection to that loved place be torn a sunder yet there will remain an attachment for those friends in my boosom which nothing but death can ever obliterate.

I have not much news to write. There has not any thing transpireg of any importance here since you left. I have not seen Grand Father or any one from Constable since you left. But have heard that Aunt Lavinna was well enough to be around out doors and had made Edgar a pair of pantellons and done some other sewing. There hasent been any sickness about here since you went home excepting Mr Brown child that is dead. My complaint has been better. I got a medisin of an old lady that I thought was better than oak bark. I have neglected useing it for too or three days and I am not quite so well to day. I thank you and I feel as if I could not be greateful enough for these preasents and if I could express the feelings that I have every time I go to that Bureau whare we have in time past had the pleasure of laying our things side by side that it has gone from one that is more deserving than I. One that has toiled early and late through wet and dry for me and I knew not till now how to prise her worth and now must it be that I cant repay that gift of Love and gratitude. Must they go so far from me that though you should in your decline of life need my care and assistence as i have yours that we cant be neer enough together to know any thing about each other. I have an opertunity to send this Letter to the Office and I must draw it to a close. I have wrote most the hole of it with Ellen[5] in my arms and I wish her Aunt Ellen[6] or her Grand Ma could had her for she is a little rogue. Thats what I say. I am all a lone this after noon with the Children. Mother is over to St Parlins helping her quilt. I dont expect to do without a girl much longer and I wish i could have you Ellen yes and Emulous[7] too. Do write as soon as you get this for I want to hear from you verry much for if my health is as good as it is now i should want to come and see you if you went to the _______. I dont know as you can read this but I have no time to draw it of but read what you can and then burn it. Give my Love to all inquirers.

This from your Daughter

Phebe Berry


[1] John and Rebecca (Lawrence) Adams

[2] Her mother-in-law, Mercy (Fish) Berry

[3] Her husband, David F. Berry

[4] The letter had been folded many times and it was difficult to read if it was Mr. or Mrs. Bishop

[5] Her daughter, who was born November 23, 1841

[6] Her sister, Ellen Adams

[7] Her brother, Emulous Adams

Poem written to Charlana Adams by Phebe Adams


To: Charlana Adams

From: Phebe Adams

These poems were written in 1838 or 1839 as a goodbye to Charlana Adams by her sister, Phebe Adams, and a couple of friends. Charlana was leaving New York and moving to Michigan, where she taught school in 1839 in Portage, Michigan. Since the entire document is in the same handwriting, and the last line appears to be the start of another poem, it is assumed this is a copy made by either Charlana or Phebe.

Scan of 1839 Phebe Adams poem to Charlana Adams

H  Humility is a christian _____

If I am never more to meet with you
Then farewell my Dear Sister I must bid you adieu
If often many foreign lands you see
Tis I pray you to keep in rememberence of me.

You go but not to Indias sultry climes
Or to Europes distant shore
But you go to the Michigan
And we may part to meet no more.

And if perchance fate should ordain it so
Which truth and time alone can tell
Remember your dear Sister Phebe A
That she most sincerely wishes you well.

Faretheewell the tie is broken
You belong to us no more
Now the parting words are spoken
And the closing scene is ore.

We have shared in sweet communion
Joys no strangrs heart can tell
Now we burst the bands of union
And in sadness say farewell.

I will oft remember thee
When with your friends I meet
Allthough far distant you may bee
Your memory will be sweet.

From your truly affectionate Sister Phebe Adams

I Ireland belongs to Grt Britain

May heavenly angels their soft wings display
And guard you on through every dangerous way
And in evry state may you most happy be
And though far distant sometimes think of me.
Laura Merriman, Somerville, Aged 17, 1838
To Miss Adams

The time has come that we must part
It is affecting to my hart
Will you think of me when this you see
Though many a distant mile from me.
The respects of William Bishop
To Miss Adams

When oft in solitude you rove