Background: Anna (Williamson) Pierce is the niece of John McCulloh (b. 1747), one of three daughters of his sister Ann. Ann’s other two daughters were Elizabeth and Isabella. John’s daughter, Mary was 17 years old at the time of this letter.
4 November 1798 from Baltimore – Anna Pierce to John McCulloh
My Dear Uncle,
I hope by this time that you and your family are settled in your city without being under any apprehension from the fever. The weather even here being such as to remove any contagious disease had it existed. I feel anxious to know your determination with respect to settling back. I would wish to flatter myself with the idea that their will be such plans pursued by your citizens, as to remove the disease from raging again with such unbounded violence. We had a letter two days ago from Sister [Elizabeth] Pierce. She and Isabella are well. She mentions her being much pleased with the people in Boston, has found her little Levi a sweet prattler and anticipates a great degree of happiness in undertaking his care.
And now my Uncle don’t you laugh and say who would have thought it. Betsy [Elizabeth Williamson Pierce] a mother before Nancy [Anna Williamson Pierce]. Ay and married eight years before her but whatever is right, and as I have not been so happy as to have a child of my own, I wish to be indulged with one of yours, which is Mary flattering myself that you cannot have the very smallest objection of intrusting her under the care and attention of such a man as Mr. Pierce. I shall hope you will determine in the course of a few days. With respect to her preparation for coming down, tis of little consequence, our fashion here are different from yours and you will please to let that rest on me when she arrives in our city. If you do not meet with a friend to take charge of her in coming down, no doubt Mr. P will know of an opportunity. You will let me know this week and observe, I am but seldom refused what I ask for and altho Mary may refuse coming down from her not having much knowledge of me, yet if she will wish the venture I hope we shall pass many happy days together and I am sure you and my Aunt will find company sufficient in the remainder.
It is at present a very busy time with Mr. P. He is up till the middle of each night and me poor body entirely alone, not even a cradle to rock. As to Mary’s Mamma having any objection to her coming to live with me, I am pretty sure their cannot be any and if Pappa objects from any principle tis the last request that Niece A. P. shall make. You will please write to me by next post and if Mary can be ready by Tuesday week state I will go out a few miles in a stage to meet her. You will please give my love to Aunt and family. Kiss her sweet Isabella for me.
Uncle, Aunt Pannell and family are very well and now my Dear Uncle may every blessing attend you and your sweet family Your affectionate niece Anna Pierce
McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 3, frames 389-391