Susan Salter Dennis to Elizabeth Sergeant Dennis, 09 January 1852

Susan Salter Dennis to Elizabeth Sergeant Dennis, 09 January 1852.pdf


Susan Salter Dennis to Elizabeth Sergeant Dennis, 09 January 1852


Susan Salter Dennis


Theophilus Adam Wylie Family Correspondence


Wylie House Museum


09 January 1852






Selins Grove, Jany 9th 1852

My Very Dear Child,

I intended writing you again after reaching this place (having written you from Phila a few days before leaving there) but have been prevented owing to something similar to a felon on the fore finger of my right hand. It has now been 4 weeks that I have been unable to write, sew, or do any kind of work, until within a day or two. I am thankful indeed that I can now scribble a little and make out to mend the cloathing which has been laid aside so long. I really seem to have been a very useless person, doing nothing for myself or others, an incumbrer of the ground, an idle labourer in the Lord's vineyard. Oh! what a cold, dead, stupid place this appears to be. There is no life, no vital godliness. People go to church it is true, and they surround the altar and partake of the emblems of a crucified Saviour's love, but there seems to be no spiritual warmth of heart. There are three churches here, a Lutheran, a German Reformed & a Methodist. The Lutheran & Methodist have been trying for a week or 10 days past to get up a revival. The former being unsuccessful, has I understand closed. The latter is continued as they have some mourners who by their cries, shouting and clapping of hands &c of course have got religion or are in a fair way for it. Addie told me last night she heard their carryings on were most scandalous. However, Cornelia will tell you all about it I suppose, as she attends every night contrary to my wishes as you may well imagine. But I can do little with her as regards advice. We have had a good deal of snow this winter and plenty of sleighing. I went day before yesterday with the Dr. a short distance. Emma, Cornelia & Addie have been several times. The latter is just getting ready to go. The snow is very deep and tis now snowing hard again with appearance of its continuing. I have not heard from any of Dr. Wylie's family since I left Phil. but I presume Theodore is married and brought his wife home. I wrote your brother Theophilus and enclosed the Deed from me to Mr. Fosmire, about 28th Novr. Last and as I have heard nothing about it, am fearful it did not reach him. Will you enquire and let me know about it as I am quite uneasy lest some one else has got it. I recd a letter from your sister Caroline last week. The children all had colds. Harry had been so much indisposed as to keep from going to school for two days. They all regretted my leaving them and wish me back. Indeed I feel sorry myself, for I would rather be there was it not for being separated from the girls. I miss many things, but most of all the privilege of hearing my favorite preachers. I had my daguerreotype taken by one of the best hands, and left it with Caroline for you, so that you can get it whenever an opportunity offers. Tis thought to be an excellent likeness. I have one to Cornelia (a Christmas present). It was my 2d sitting. Though a good likeness yet not as true as yours. They are seldom as exact the second time. Adelaide and family are well. Her children grow fast and are rather pretty. Julia Egbert sent me one of her compositions the other day. Her father required one from her in Latin and her mother one in English. Her father has had the house heated by Furnace in the cellar & has the Gas introduced into the house likewise. So Julia selected Hot Furnaces for her English specimen and Gas for the Latin one. The former she sent me. It is an original and would cause you to laugh. She is a nice child. So is Virginia. Harry will make a smart man I think. I had a letter from Mr. Dyott last week. Mrs. Crosby had recovered so far as to have been out shopping once. The rest all well. I also had a letter this morning from cousin Harriet Foulke. She has been suffering from a felon on her left hand, had it laid open on New Year, when she was relieved from pain & it is now healing. They desire much love to you and all. Emma & Cornelia are kept employed at school. The former in the morning the latter in the afternoon. Emma says give my love to all and tell Lizzie the first spare time I get I mean to sit down and write her a long letter. That I don't want to write until I have time to write all I want to tell her. Say to Rebecca that I think she is indebted to me one letter at least & I wish she would exercise her pen a little oftener. Remember me affectionately to all, though the children I suppose have little or no recollection of either of their Grandmothers. The only and best way is to talk to them about us & then they will think they do whether they remember us or not. If an opportunity should offer in April or May, and none of you come on, you must not be surprised to see me in Bloomington. I think seriously of it at times, but the expence is a great drawback to my inclinations. I am called to supper, and must close. God, our Heavenly Father, bless you and all with you my dear Lizzie and grant us all a happy meeting again on earth. So prays your affectionate Mother

Susan S. Dennis 10th. I was disappointed in getting this carried to the post office last evening. The Dr, Emma and little Annie have just started in the sleigh for McKees Falls, distant about 12 miles. At 10 o'ck. Cornelia leaves with a party for [blank] about 15 miles from here. I expect they will have a merry time of it, unless it should happen to rain. It is very cloudy and the weather has moderated very much. It ceased snowing about dark last night, but the sleighing is excellent. Did you receive the collar I sent you? And how did you like it? I do long to get a letter from David. How strange not to get one of the number he has written. But I am not the only one who have not received any. Tell Maggie, Aunt Emma will write her as soon as she gets time, in the meanwhile will often think of her and always with love. Cornelia sends much love to you and all and says she recd your letter & Rebecca's yesterday. Miss E. S. Dennis, Bloomington, Indiana

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Handwritten letter


Susan Salter Dennis, “Susan Salter Dennis to Elizabeth Sergeant Dennis, 09 January 1852,” Wylie House Exhibits, accessed September 28, 2023,

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