Letter from Samuel F.B. Morse to Jonathan Denise Ledyard

The following letter, which comes from the archives at the Lorenzo historical site in Cazenovia, New York, is from Samuel F.B. Morse, the painter and inventor of the telegraph, to Jonathan Denise Ledyard, the husband of Jane Strawbridge Ledyard. Morse did portraits of both Jonathan and Jane. It’s not clear who is the Miss Strawbridge that Morse mentions in the letter; Jane did not have any sisters that I know of, but she did have a number of nieces, and one of them may have been visiting Cazenovia in the summer when Morse evidently was there doing the portraits.

New York Oct. 11, 1827

Gen. J. D. Ledyard

Dear Sir,

I owe you an apology for not informing you before this of the cause of the delay in forwarding the frames for your pictures. I was anxious that they should be more than ordinarily good, and, therefore, preferred choosing myself the patterns and style of moulding, rather than trust to the taste of the gilder. The moment I arrived I gave orders for the frames, and I am happy in informing you that I have just seen them safely put on board the Constellation steam boat for Albany to the care of J.N.M. Hurd as you requested; they are contained in one box. I hope they will arrive safe, and be satisfactory.

I shall long remember with pleasure the agreeable time I passed at Cazenovia under the hospitable roofs of Mrs. Lincklaen and Gen. Ledyard.

Please give my best wishes to Mrs. Ledyard, Mrs. Lincklaen, Miss Helen Ledyard, Mr. Walters, Mr. Child’s family, and all Cazenovia friends; I know not if Miss Strawbridge is with you, if she is, she will think it “a shame,” and “too bad” if I omit to name her among those who will be always pleasantly associated with my thoughts of Cazenovia. Pray, therefore, remember me to her.

To Mr. Brown your good clergyman I would also ask to be respectfully remembered.

With respect & esteem

Dear Sir

Y. Ob. Serv.

Samuel F.B. Morse