Thursday, May 30, 2013

Letters of Myra Montgomery

On Sunday, June 9, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will present:  " 'To Vegetate in the Country...': The Haverhill Letters of Myra Montgomery, 1813-1817" at Court Street Arts/Alumni Hall in Haverhill Corner. The program begins at 2:00 PM.

This is one of a series of programs scheduled to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Haverhill, NH and Newbury, VT.

Have you ever wondered what life was like in the early years of 19th century in the North Country? Many of us imagine life in the rural Connecticut Valley two centuries ago to have been a quiet, slow round of planting and harvest, of raising families and burying the dead. As Haverhill resident Myra Montgomery put it, even back then city people imagined that their county cousins lived lives of “undisturbed calm in which one is allowed to vegetate in the country.” In actuality, life then was as complicated as our lives today. Listen in on detailed accounts of gossip, weather, fashion, bereavement and much more as told by the clever, vivacious Myra Montgomery (1794-1817). She will introduce you to Haverhill of the 1810s, the townspeople, their lives, their joys & sorrows.

Dr. Alexander has also written about these letters on the blog SilkDamask. Her post there begins:

“Approximately a dozen typescript letters written primarily by Myra Montgomery (1794-1817) to her cousin and subsequently, fianc√©, Horace Henry Goodman (1785-1849) survive in the Collections of the Haverhill Historical Society, Haverhill, NH, and the New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord, NH. Although small in number, the letters nonetheless constitute a valuable source of information on an affluent young woman and her family in the early Republic. While living in a rural town, she had access to much wider intellectual, artistic and literary circles, through her Boston education at the progressive Mrs. Susanna Rowson's School and Haverhill's role as the seat of the North County Court system, which drew several hundred individuals throughout the year”

Read the rest here

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