Pray, Do Not Forget Your Daughter

21 July 2012


I am joining Rosamund in her July edition of Character Letters with a hurried epistle from Susannah to her absent father. The girl's hand is everything a lady's penmanship should be, having been raised the daughter of a gentleman. She is of the sort that would go on tangents if she had the time, but presently she can only scribble out what is most important. Her stationary is of fine quality, but simple, and being of the eighteenth century, she is not in the habit of doodling.

. . .

12 March 1777

Dearest Papa,

I do not know if this will reach you. I can hardly determine whether the address I have found is false or not — it was given to me by a friend who, though certainly congenial enough, has not the advantage of many years of acquaintance to recommend whether or not she is of the honest sort — but I hope that somehow, somewhere, you will see these words, read them, and write them upon your very heart.

You will forgive me for not sending you a letter before now. I'm afraid I have been most consumed with the duties of the plantation, and my hours seem to dwindle more each day. I now have greater respect for you than ever, when I think of all that you have done to keep this plantation running, saying nary a word about your weariness. As for myself, I fairly drop into bed each night, only to rise in the morning and begin my day's tasks once more.

Aunt Nelly has been making all manner of delicacies to help me along, and Lucy and Fanny have grown quite helpful around the house, not quite the flighty girls they used to be, which is a mercy. I hope to do you honor in the way I manage affairs here, but it is so dreadfully hard, you understand. I worry that I shall make some fatal mistake and all your work will be for nothing. The very fate of our home seems to hang from a thread, and I cannot bear the thought of ruining what you have so confidently entrusted to my care.

Papa, I know the cause for liberty is important — and I truly hope you will be successful in your endeavors — but pray, do not forget your loving daughter. I miss you, Papa. The lack of your kindly presence seems to grow more pronounced each day. I miss the sound of your boot in the hall when you come in for the evening meal. I miss your smiles. I even miss your scoldings, rare though they may be.

Oh! There has just been a knock at the door . . . I shall go and answer it presently — please forgive my hurried hand — I shall write back as soon as I am able.

Your loving daughter,

Susannah

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