This letter was written by John Boardman (1758-1813) to his wife, Clarinda (Starbuck) Boardman (1773-1846). They lived on the west side of Second Street in the city of Troy on the Hudson River in New York. John was a merchant in Troy who had partnered with Thomas Hillhouse to form Boardman & Hillhouse, which business was very successful until the partnership was dissolved by mutual consent in 1805. John Boardman died in 1813 at the age off 55. Though Clarinda had been raised a Quaker, she had joined the Presbyterian Church when she married John. At the time of her death her pastor commented in the local newspaper that her character was full of Christian graces and her religious belief was strongly Calvinistic. Clarinda died in March 1846.
Addressed to Mrs. Clarinda Boardman, Troy [New York]
New York [City]
November 11th 1802
My Dear Clarinda,
I arrived here last evening after a long but very pleasant passage, as it respected the weather. Find markets very dull and goods high.
We passed or met a vessel on our way down [the Hudson River] on board of which was your sister Lydia. She found I was onboard and spoke to me at a distance. She left all friends well at Nantucket. I told her I wished her to go up immediately on to Troy. She said she must make a visit at Hudson first. As you are alone, hope she will soon be with you.
I find William Coit has taken a house in town and has his family in it. He was on board this way and urged me to go and take up lodgings with him. This, however, I shall not do. Thomas Coit is not yet here. He is expected and William informs me he (Thomas) is going to France to sail within ten days, principally for the benefit of his health. I much approve of this measure.
I spoke with Sescure in the street. His family are well.
I find McCoun’s sloop is going out early in morning and knowing that a line from me will be received with pleasure, forward this enclosed in one to [my partner,] Mr. Hillhouse. I have the pleasure of saying that I enjoy as good health as when I left home. Will endeavor to forward you some quinces by Capt. [Nathaniel] Negus ¹ who expects will sail on Monday evening.
I hope you give yourself little trouble in repairing the crazy house we occupy food if I live to return, I will save you that trouble.
My love to Clarissa. Kiss our dear son for his Papa (which I hope he can by this time lisp) and believe me with sincerity, your affectionate, — John Bordman
N. B. I find our Mr. Brown here. His cousin arrived only this day and is very unwell. Too much so to go by land as was proposed. They of course intend taking passage by water to Charleston.
¹ Nathaniel Negus was the master of the vessel Manhattan which ran between Troy and Rhode Island and Boston.