Henry Livingston, Jr.
Henry Livingston's Letters

Transcription - Thomas Collection

New York, Decembr 30th, '73

A happy Christmas to my dear Sally Welles.

Next Tuesday evening I hope to see the Girl for whom alone I would well bear to live. Yes, my dear creature, next Tuesday evening, if my God spares my life, I hope to tell you I am as sincerely your friend, as constantly your admirer & as religiously your lover as when I sat by your side & vow'd everlasting affection to you.

I well know you will call this the lover's Cant. Call it so, my love--call it anything--I know & swear its truth and wrap myself up in my own Integrity.

I this moment parted from our good friend Miss Nabley Bostwick; she told me that she Imagined I was return'd to Poghkeepsie as she had not seen me in 2 or 3 days; I told her I was not return'd to Poghkeepsie.

It's whispered about among our friends here that we are like to lose my Cousin Abbe Lloyd this winter as her acquaintance here have a design upon her and intend to get her here if they can. I hope their macjinations may prove in vain, for I esteem my Cousin much.

Miss Bostwick will give you an account of the destruction of our Governor's house in the Fort last night; of the terror of the Inhabitants & the great loss our worthy commander in chief has received.

I see Miss Suky & Sally Billy Livingstons every day. They constantly tell me that you are sensible & are very much your friend; their father is in Town & will write to your good parent. I hope heaven will bless your good parent.

My sisters are dying to see and be acquainted with you; and I dare say ardently hope their brother may be successful in his addresses to the heighth of all.

I wish I had been prudent enough to have procured a good private stable for the horse I shall ride up & keep in Stanford this winter--however, I must look about when I come there. Tomorrow I expect to send up my necessarys with Capt. Sellick.

Remember me, my dear Love, to my friends and relations at Stanford; and remember, my Love, that of all your friends, none loves you so sincerely as your Harry Livingston

Sally Welles.

Sally was still living at home with her parents, Rev. Noah Welles and Abigail Woolsey, the daughter of Rev. Benjamin Woolsey and Abigail Taylor.

Don Foster found that the phrase "Happy Christmas" first appears in print in 1823, in "A Visit From St. Nicholas," published in the Troy Sentinel. And here, fifty years earlier, Henry uses it in a letter to his dear Sally.


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