Mary Steinhauer



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Mary Steinhauer confesses to Intrepid Morse all of her defects.




Chillicothe, OH


Intrepid Morse, Marriage


Rev. Intrepid Morse

Zanesville, Ohio

Chillicothe May 4th, 1821

My dear friend,

Conscious that I do not merit the very high opinions which you entertain of me I shall endeavour in this letter to lay before you some of my failings and defects in the hope that they may have more weight with you than the caution which my last contained appears to have had. I would rather you thought less of me now that I might indulge the hope of rising in your estimation after Marriage instead of having the fear continually haunting me that a closer intimacy must produce disappointment to you and mortification to me. Altho’ you profess to be indifferent to personal appearance, it is my duty to inform you of natural failings: but lest you should be too much alarmed at the formidable catalogue, I will first tell you what I suppose you have some curiosity to know, my age. On the third of next month I shall count 28 years, perhaps you may think there is some mistake in the number, when I add that I am getting grey hairs, losing my eyesight, teeth, and strength. Much ill-health and an uncommon share of afflictions have caused these infirmities to appear earlier in me than they usually do in most Persons.

With respect to mind the defects are so many that they can not possibly be enumerated. I am told that my temper has of late become more irritable and I feel it is so: you must form your own judgement of my disposition.

The education I received was a very singular one: My father having a large family thought it most prudent to employ a private Teacher for his daughters: but being one of the old school was more wishful to have us good Housekeepers rather than good Scholars. He engaged a good Moravian Sister, who paid more attention to our hearts than our heads. She was indeed better qualified to fit us for Heaven than Earth. I passed my childhood under her care. My life since that period with the exception of the three last years has been principally spent in attending to sick Relatives which left me little or no leisure for the improvement of my mind. The [?] I have gone through would fill a Volume.

Now though your feeling heart may readily allow there is sufficient expense for any deficiencies: yet I am aware you will much regret to learn that I have not received a more liberal education.

I hope you will find time when you visit us to write to my Mother, I received a letter from one of my Sisters yesterday in which every thing is said which is kind, and tender, and every appeal made to my feelings to induce me to return to C.

If you feel any wish to change your mind, only tell me so: if you set me free, I will surmount every other difficulty, to consider well before the fatal knot is tied.

Mrs. Steinhauer’s health is tolerable, Mrs. S has many very vexations trials to bear from these Ohio Parents; they really do not deserve to have a faithful teacher for their children. I hope to hear from you before I see you.

Do not fancy there is any impropriety in the question which follows, Can I be of service to your wardrobe either in making or mending? If I can bring me the article when you come. Excuse this mear paper. I did not observe it was so bad but I have an idea you would rather have it then wait some days longer for another. I almost fear I shall be the late for the mail as it is. We are without help at present so have little time for writing love letters.

Yours most affectionately,

Mary Steinhauer

Letter to Intrepid Morse



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