“… I have in some measure acted the heroine …”

In 1775, Mary Fish Noyes, a widow, married Gold Selleck Silliman, “one whose person and address are exactly agreeable to my taste.” While Silliman was stationed in New York with the Connecticut militia in the following year, Mary kept up a lively correspondence with him.

My BelovedFairfield, Sept. 26 1776 10 o.Clock P.M.Why wont you send home all your things as they want washing? It gives your fond wife pleasure even to see, and have the handling of things that you wear, tho a little soiled. … [I] send you two Gall. Rum, (we have about seven left of our old store) and we don’t use much now, and a Box of Sugar, and a little Butter. … Through mercy I am quite well of my Cholick, have yet a cold, but it is wareing away. These cold nights make me shudder for you (to say no more) I wish you had your Bed again—O George what hardships dos thy tyranny put thy late Subjects to! God only knows if it will not be returned on thine own head—But may he rather open thine eyes and chang thine heart.

Mary wrote again in November

My Best Beloved
O this long tedious absence! But it draws neigher to a close I trust and hope, and I will endeavour to hold out to the end; for I have the vanity to think I have in some measure acted the heroine as well as my dear Husband the Hero.

This excerpt is from In the Words of Women, Chapter 2, pages 57 and 58. The image of Mary at age fifty-eight, four years after the death of Gold Selleck Silliman, is by Reuben Moulthrop, courtesy of the Fairfield Historical Society.

posted April 9th, 2012 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Letter-writing, Marriage, Military Service, New York


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