This letter was sent to Jane Strawbridge by Helen Lincklaen, to welcome Jane into the Ledyard family. Helen Lincklaen, born Ledyard, was the sister of Jonathan Denise Ledyard, the husband of Jane Strawbridge. Helen was born November 15, 1777, in Middletown Point, New Jersey, and died April 10, 1847, in Cazenovia. Jonathan, born June 10, 1793, in Middletown, was adopted by Helen after their mother died when he was four years old. Jonathan married Jane Strawbridge (also born in 1793) on October 26, 1819. The “V d Kemp” couple mentioned in the letter probably are John Vantarkamp (or Vandekemp) and his wife, Juliana, born Taylor. Juliana was the sister of Frances Taylor, the wife of Jane Strawbridge’s brother John.
Cazenovia 8th of May 1819
My Dear Miss Strawbridge,
Altho’ I have a great aversion generally to the use of the pen, I cannot refrain from addressing a few lines to you, merely to say, how very happy you have made us all by consenting to become an inhabitant of our Dear little village. May you never have cause to repent of this goodness – that a much loved brother’s happiness will be secured by being united to one who I know is possessed of every enviable quality. I have not the least doubt and be assured my dear Jane, we will all strive to make you as happy as you have us, and trust we shall in some measure succeed. It is true, we cannot offer you the conveniences and amusements of a city, which you have always been accustomed to, but we freely give you warm affectionate hearts, and will endeavor to be unto you, as the sisters and brothers you will leave. I will not trust myself with stating the many excellencies that we think our brother J possesses, but will leave them for you to find out. I long for the time to arrive, when I may welcome you here, and hope you will give us that pleasure before the roads become bad in the fall. Sister Catharine is much engaged in the necessary business of spring house cleaning, which she requests me to say prevents her from doing herself the pleasure of writing you this Mail. We are both much gratified with the pretty little cases of Needles you have had the goodness to send us. Nothing could have been more acceptable, as we were both much in need of this useful article, and they are Doubly valuable on account of the Dear Donor. The weather here is very fine at present. I wish you could join me in a walk, that I intend taking this afternoon, on the banks of the Lake to look at a certain tree, with the initials of a young Lady’s name cut on it. Be pleased to remember us affectionately to your brother and sister, Mr. & Mrs. V d Kemp, and accept for yourself the love and best wishes of Mr. L in addition to that of
yours sincerely and