Background: The letter below, written to his oldest son Samuel, refers to the birth of John McCulloh’s (b. 1747) 12th child, Robert Pierce McCulloh on February 10, 1795. Nancy refers to his second wife, Anna Bringhurst.
20 February 1795 from Philadelphia – John McCulloh to Samuel McCulloh
Samuel McCulloh, Surgeon of the ship Washington
My dear Samey,
House of emisloy this morning at 6 o’clock… your mama was delivered of a son and all is well… a heart overflowing with parenthood. Love from Isabella & Nancy & everyone. John McCulloh
McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 3, frame 1
Background: There is nothing in the next two letters that directly states John is contemplating marriage, but with eight children at home, the youngest being 4 months it is a logical conclusion. John b. 1747 did remarry on April 8, 1790 to Anna Bringhurst, 14 months after his wife’s death. John and his second wife had eight more children. The reference to Nancy Williamson below is for Ann Williamson who married Humphrey Pierce. Her sister Isabella is the one who is keeping house for John.
7 June 1789 from Baltimore – James McCulloh to John McCulloh
I am to acknowledge yours of the 5 inst and I thank you for your acceptance favor of NYC.
I trust that you are acquainted with Nancy Williamson’s prospect of getting married to Mr. Pierce which I hope may take place. But until the thing is completed I shall still have my doubts. You see how incredulas I am in cases of this kind. Indeed, I have seen and experience so much of the uncertainty of such matters that I seldom believe until the Parson has said Grace. However if it should agree, to our present expectations, [to] take place it would be very hard to prevent her sister from being present on the occasion. Sincerely so short a time as you thought for her to stay here. Your family [unreadable] sustain any great loss from her absence.
In answer to the remr of your letter, I am really at a loss what to say. Indeed my dear Brother all cases of this kind people ought to judge for themselves. Infact there is no person that can judge so properly at your time of life as yourself. A man whose passions are intirely under command and possessing a rational understanding can always best determine for himself. Excuse me therefore D John from saying more on a subject. I am so unqualified to advise. At all events I know you will act so as to preserve the best wishes and affection of your most sincere J McCulloh
McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 2, frame 213