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Caroline Hyde Butler Laing1847-02-12Edward ButlerNorthampton, MA42.3250896-72.6412013My dearest husband,May God grant this may find you landed safe and well once more at home. It is a dreadful season to approach our coast and hourly, my beloved husband, are you in my thoughts. Let me repeat again and again, do be careful of your precious health for my sake and the dear little ones -- do not expose yourself thinly clad to our cold inclement climate, but supply yourself at once with warm suitable clothing to meet it, otherwise you will take a severe cold and perhaps lose your life. You're not as tough, you know, as you were once. I say all this at the commencement of my letter so that if you have not already provided yourself with good warm clothes, you may leave off here and run and do it before you read another word. We are all well, and how anxious to see you, you may guess -- but none of the poor things know you are coming in the "Kensington" tho' they daily ask me "What if Father should come in the ship, should you not be glad?" Theodore alone is in the secret. You will find the children, I dare say, much altered since you left, tho' I do not see it, except in Caddy, and then there is our darling little Franklin Delano to whom you have yet to give a father's first kiss. Dear little fellow. I don't feel ashamed of Mother's boy, I can tell you, and if you don't think yourself a proud father you shall not claim him. I received your letter by the "Carthage," but the steamer (January) brought none. Your letters have all been rather blue. . . . I am anxious, of course, to learn the result of your voyage. I do not expect it has answered our anticipations, but if not a losing one to Mr. D -- -- -- -- 28 we should be-- 69 --thankful, even if our own resources are not materially benefited. If your health is only good I shall not repine nor despair -- we have hands and a willing mind.Of course you have had no news since March from me, and how anxious you have been I know from experience. Thank God, my dear Edward, you find your beloved family all here, all in health, and two additions for which be thankful or not: viz. a son, and a granddaughter. The first ten months old (born 13th April) -- the latter three months (born 7th November). Father is in very good health, and all are well except Mary Ann, who is very delicate and we fear consumptive. Theodore is well and has been without a single exception a most kind and attentive son. Edward also has been the same and his letters have been frequent and affectionate. Hunt Mills is well and a good boy. I am now boarding with our old friend, Mrs. Thayer, in the Henshaw House. I have been sick, sicker than I ever was in my life, and I have not been out since Christmas week. All our friends have been very kind since you left ----- and as for Mr. Laing, I declare I cannot find words to express how thoughtful and kind he has been. In money matters I have got along very comfortably. My writing has not been very much -- my long illness after confinement and then the warm weather and a young babe did not allow of much in the summer and my sickness now has kept my pen in abeyance, for a pain in my chest made writing forbidden. That has passed off, and now I shall go at it again; yet how can I write, my dearest husband, when thinking of you, perhaps in some frightful gale on the coast half perishing with cold -- gloomy pictures all. All I can say is, I have made a respectable appearance in the magazines, and shall do so again, I trust.Write at once my beloved husband, the very moment you land for I am in such a state of anxiety, no one can tell. God bless you, my love, and may we soon meet in health and happiness.Your own beloved and affectionateCarolineThe Judge is well, as usual. Mrs. Judge was here on Sunday. Susy is with Cate in New York.Edward arrived safely at home after his voyage to China and then once more left Northampton to continue his business in New York. Caroline's life was a busy one. She had her children to care for and the stories she wrote for magazines occupied much of her time. But she was very lonely during the protracted absences of her husband and it must have been hard for her to bear almost the entire responsibility of their children.