Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Since it's Valentines Day, I thought that I would post a letter that my 9th great-grandfather Matthew Griswold wrote to my 9th great-grandmother Phebe Hyde sometime before their marriage in 1683 that was printed in a magazine article about the Griswold family in The Magazine of American History with Notes and Queries, Volume 11 published in 1884 (Link: Book Passage). I discovered this last weekend, but I fully intend to see if I can find where this letter currently is:

Deare Heart,
Tender of my most unfayned and Intyre Love to you, hoping you are in good health, &c. Although my present Abilities of body and mind will nott allow mee to Write Largely unto you, as I shod be glad to do, yet, having this opportunity, I was desirous to trouble you with a line or two—A Little to Remind you of the unexpected . . . unheard of . . . which I have mett with, In the management . . . the motion of Marriage mad by mee unto yorselfe, which ... so very strange that 1 am att a great Loss ... of mind to think what the good pleasure of the Lord . . . case as to a fynale Issue ; though this I must saye, If I thought you had not Reall Love and Affection for mee I should then think it rather my Duty to desist than to prosed; but as yet I am nott, nor can not bee, convinced that It is so, for, as God and thy owne conscience knows very well, when I was fully come to a conclusion in my own minde never to give myself nor you any farder Trouble in this matter, yorselfe were pleased to tell mee that unexpected (though welcome) news, that you could not beare the thoughts of a fynale Separation ; and since, when you were last att our side of the River, you told mee the same thing, besides many things which you have in discourse told diverse of youre owne best freynds, which gave them grounds to conclude that you had special Love for my person. If I had thought that these things had been false, I must have Judged of . . . according to the . . . which would have commanded a period to all proceedings of this nature; but contv I believed thee, and accordingly concluded that hee which had Incindled this Love in Thee w:ould increase It, and in his good Time bring us together in the Relation of man and wife, and hereupon gave my affections their full scope, concluding not only that I mite, but that it was my duly to, Love her intirely for whose Sake I should forsake Father and mother, and, as I tould you when I last spake with you, I shall nott att this time Release any promise (and you to mee, I should nott suffer for yor Sake) which has past between us, though I cannot desire you should proseed to Joyne yourself In marriage with mee on the account of pittie. I desire to look to God who is able to give mee ... . to all his gracious promises which wold be matter of comfort . . . (for so they are . . . I would desire yould not forgett how willing I have been, according to my Cappacity and opportunities; so then, in kindness and in way of Requital, faure mee with some Lynes.
I shall not enlarge att present, but, desiring that the Good Lord would graciously guide us to that which may tend to his glory and our own everlasting peace, I take leave and Remain thine, and thine only, in the bonds of Intire Affection, M. G.

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