Museum logo

Archive Record

  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 1949.272.017
Object Name Letter
Scope & Content Half-folded handwritten letter from Sarah A. Sibley to her brother Alexander Hamilton Sibley in California, dated July 8, 1850, thanking him for gifts, including two shawls (1949.272.015 and 1949.272.016), and relating news about friends and family in Detroit. The letter reads:

July 8th, 1850
My Dear Alexander,
I intended to have written to you by the last steamer but the time for me to write passed by without my knowing it so I was obliged to defer my letter for a couple of weeks. I can hardly express to you our delight at the beautiful presents you sent us by the Brady. They arrived quite safely and the taste you have shows in selecting the shawls for us all is quite wonderful. I had no idea that you knew so well what color to select as appropriate. Miss Trowbridge has carried her shawl from one end of the avenue to the other to exhibit it as she said it was so warm that she could no wear it at present, and she could not wait she was so anxious to show it, so every friend & acquaintance she has, has had a peep at it. She is as tickled as a child with a new plaything.

The color of mine is exquisite, and so is the embroidery and the crimson ones you sent the children are perfectly gorgeous. I never saw anything more beautiful. They are enchanted with them. The nice paintings are very beautiful also. You was not wrong in supposing that I would appreciate them, for they have been quite a study for me ever since I received them. All of us unite in thanking you most sincerely. I think Mama likes the Daguerreotype as well as anything you sent, it is so excellent. I do not think you look any older, for we heard that the war and tear of California life has made you prematurely gray. Still my dear Alexander, we are dreadfully disappointed in hearing from you, that you would certainly stay a year longer in California. Mr. Beady has tried to persuade us it is all for the best, but it is a very, very long time to look forward to. Mama gets very impatient and lonesome sometimes, in thinking of the long distance that intervenes between her and her absent sons. She misses poor Fred sadly. She had a long letter from him yesterday. He finds it very lonesome there, and Henry and his wife have not yet returned. He likes the country very much, but the state I think if he could either take the quarry or enter into any good business here, he would be quite willing to return. Devereux Williams has gone to add to the list of Detroiters in California. He came to see if we had any letters or any package to send, but we could not think of any thing we could send, which you had not already in California, and you have so often told us not to write by private hand that we never think of doing so. I suppose you have heard of the marriage of your friend Mary Steward. She was married in May in Washington. She had a grand wedding according to Mrs. Steward's notions, and she and William Gray are now in Ireland. They took out letters of introduction to a great many grant people in England and France, and expect to enjoy their trip much. They will return in September. Mr. Gray has engaged a house opposite to Mr. Trowbridge's so Kate will enjoy herself much when they return. Mr. Macomb and Nannie are settled down quietly at housekeeping in her[?] M's house on Congress Street, next to Dr. Pitcher's. I think Nannie will make a very nice housekeeper. What is William Rodgers doing now? Is he in San Francisco? If you see or hear of him let us know occasionally, for Nannie always asks us when we receive a letter from you.

Detroit has been unusually gay this summer. There have been a number of strangers here already, and many more are expected. Mrs. Elbert's mother and their sisters are here spending the summer. I do note think Emily is as pretty as she was, her sister Mary looks exceedingly well, not a day older than when she was here last. Not one of them is so pretty as Mrs. Coxe[?]. I suppose you have heard of John Stuart's marriage top a niece of Mr. Jo. Clarke, who spent the winter with them. She is not all pretty, but is quite intelligent and agreeable. The worst of it is that John was ordered off to the West Indies only a month after his marriage. Of Course she feels dolefully enough. Mr. Tillman is married again to a Miss Conant of Monroe. Henry Rucker has been married these two months to Miss Curtis, Col. Whistler's niece. Miss Louise Whistler flourished about here as usual. She is not much admired or respected however. No other marriages have taken place that I can remember. Simon Mandelbaum is here now, he arrived yesterday and will return immediately to Lake Superior. I have not seen him. I suppose you will receive letters from him by this steamer. Miss. Benson has been here for a month or six weeks. Report says that she and Alpheus Williams will make a match, but I do not know. He must hurry if he wants her, for she intends returning to New York in a week or so.

Mary sends her love to you, and says she will not write to thank you for her shawl by this steamer as some letters should be reserved for the next as you will probably receive several at the same time with this, I know you hate crossed letters so it does[?] not go on, or I could write for some time yet. I have told you all the news however so you will not miss much. I hope you will continue as good a correspondent as you have been herefore. We look forward very anxiously to the arrival of each steamer. You must make haste and get rich, so as to be able to come home and get married. You are getting quite old enough, and we do not want you to marry in California as there can't be much choice.

All the family are well and send their love. Mama cont[...] about as well as usual. Your affectionate Sister Sarah A. Sibley.
Date 1850
People Sibley, Sarah Alexandrine
Sibley, Alexander Hamilton
Extent of Description 6.75" x 8.5" folded
Collection Biographical
Search Terms California