May 5, 1778
I hope and pray that this letter finds you alive and well on this humid spring day. Mother said that I’m finally old enough to accept gentlemen callers—though, there are none that I am truly interested in. All of the true gentlemen have left—most of them to fight, much like you are, for our freedom. But of course, I still do attend the balls that occur and accept dances as much as I can—one must appear to be as ladylike as possible.
I do long for the simpler days--the days when you were home and we would walk the plantation grounds supervising the servants in their work assignments, or the afternoon rides we would take together. My heart weighs heavily with the knowledge that since I am old enough for callers, those days will be far fewer than either of us would like. I would trade any one of these treasured memories just to have you home once again.
Father, I must admit that I hope that I will always remain your little princess, and that you will return home from this horrid war. I miss you terribly.
All is well on the plantation; the servants are working hard in the fields, tending to the tobacco. We are hoping for a strong crop so that we will be able to send supplies to you once again salt or cured meat or whatever the good Lord leads us to send to you.
Please come home safe, Father. We need you here with us. Yes, Mother, Nathaniel, James, and I are fairing well here while you are gone, but it is still hard.
There is so much that I wish that I could talk with you about. How to tell when a gentleman caller is being truthful, or just trying to gain our families good name. Or if you would approve of any of the would be callers. I hope you will return before I find a caller worthy enough to bring your attention to in hopes of marriage—if any such caller exists.. Why should I marry and bare children into such an unpredictable world? I do not know if I could bear to lose my husband to a war. But I hope that this will end soon.
I will write more later, father, but for now, I must leave you. Nathaniel is requesting help with his arithmetic and does not seem to understand the meaning of patience. But he is learning, which is a blessing. What else can be expected from a child, except that they are slowly learning the qualities of a Christian gentleman?
Please come home soon, father.
Sincerely your daughter,
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