“I wish I could stop with that number . . . “

Esther De Berdt Reed kept up her correspondence with her brother in England wishing she could see him either in England or America. As tensions increased between Britain and her American colonies it became less and less likely that Joseph Reed would take a place in England as his law practice was doing quite well in Philadelphia, or that Dennis would obtain a position in America. Though Esther followed political events closely—she applauded the return of Lord Dartmouth as Secretary of State for the Colonies—she was still largely occupied with her children and their needs. She wrote to Dennis on October 20, 1772 with domestic news and new commissions.

We have not yet had the box from on board the vessel: the basket we have opened; the walnuts are very fine indeed. . . . they are a great rarity here. The lamps, if we can manage them, will be of great use in summer, and perhaps will do to write by in the office. . . . The caps for Patty I would not have you purchase of Miss Gabells,—the ones you sent last year were made of such bad materials that they are now of no use. . . . To my other commission, I add a box of ivory letters for Patty, and a hat or cap for my son, fit for a child of a year old. I don’t like hussar caps and feathers; it must be something genteel, like a gentleman’s child, not a butcher’s. The gown I proposed to send for, I find I can have done here, and as it is not worth much, I shan’t take the trouble of sending. I have been confined the week past with my dear children, and the nursery has been almost all my care. . . . You see I have fulfilled your wish of a son. I wish I could stop with that number, but I don’t expect that. . . .
Ever most affectionately,
E. Reed.

William B. Reed, Esther De Berdt, afterwards Esther Reed, of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: C. Sherman Printer, 1853), 180-82.

posted October 8th, 2015 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Britain, Children, Clothes, London, Philadelphia, Reed, Esther De Berdt, Reed, Joseph

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