New York 12th May 1782

Dear & Ever Honour'd Mother

This will undoubtedly be an unexpected surprize
to you, a Letter from a Son whose neglect in writing hitherto I
fear has Occasion'd you to form the most undutiful opinion of but
did I not flatter myself that your knowledge that my Situation has
Seldom allow'd me that Satisfaction I should think that your opinion
very justly form'd. But pray dont my Dear Mother harbour the
Smallest Idea that your not hearing from me is in any degree
oweing to any Indifferent Feelings in me of that Duty & most
Sincere Love which I ever did and ever must owe to a Parent whose
Study has ever been to instill into her Children those truly Religious
Principles which always profess your mind and which (peticularly
at this Instant) I most sensibly feel. My Situation
in Life you must long since heard of. I wish I could with propriety
give it a place here. let it suffice that I am as happy as
in any Situation & absence from you can make me & Enjoy
the Comforts of this Life in greater affluence than I had reason
to expect. To complete my wishes could I but throw myself
into the arms of my Tender, Fond, & long Separated Mother it
would add a joy which I can never hope to experience while
absent. I Pray e'er long (& I really expect it) to be blest with
that Pleasure which I now so ardently wish for. you
would have receiv'd a Letter from me last October by Capt. White
whom I had the pleasure of seeing at Yorktown in Virginia
at the Capitulation of Lord Cornwallis but my embarking
for New York was rather Sudden which ocasion'd the Neglect.

He was so kind as to tell me he would see you and let you know that
I was well & inform you of my then Situation. I hope you Saw
him. Capt. White inform'd me of a Circumstance that had happen'd
in the Family which Struck me with as much astonishment
& surprize as if I had been told that I was appointed Arch-
bishop of Canterbury & what Should this unexpected affair be but
the Marriage of Doctor Nathl. Saltonstall whom I concluded
had long Since given over all Thoughts of the Connubial State,
Probable if the Confusion of political matters had not
intervened the yonger Brother would have had the Start of
him. Poor old Gentleman, from his Infirmities and very
Advanc'd Age & Situation in Life, and his greatest wishes
Peace, Ease & Pleasure, every Thinking Person must highly
commend him for the happy Change. I'm sure nothing ever
gave me more Real Satisfaction, particularly as his Situation
in a domestick Line gives him an opportunity of rendering
Ease & Comfort to you which I am sure is a most pleasing
Circumstance to him. altho' I have not the pleasure
of knowing Mrs. Saltonstall I am covinc'd that his Taste &
Judgement has induced him to form that connection which
will render his & Their lives most completely happy.
Make my kind love to them. I wish them all the Comforts
this Life can give. "may they never feel a painful thought
"or anxious sigh. may all their hours prove replete with
"Bliss, rich fruit of mutual Love. may Halcyon days
"Still all their cares, beguile, and crown their Bliss with
"never fadeing Love.

I have been from Virginia about three months am one
of the Parrol'd officers to this place or Europe. at present
I am here a prisoner of war. was taken with Lord
Cornwallis at Yorktown in Virginia. have been cons-
tantly with his Lordship for these three years. His movements
through the Interior parts of the Continent you must have
heard of. I mention this as a sufficient Appology for your
not hearing from me for that length of time at least. My
former Situation is was almost as unsettle'd. Thanks to my
God, my dear Mother, I have Enjoy'd perfect Health ever Since
I left you, except on my arrival here I was confin'd for two
months but I am now perfectly recover'd. I am this
afternoon at Mr. Badgers feeding most Sumptuously on
a delicate piece of Corn'd Beef, &c. Mr. Badger is gone to
the other end of the Town to a Cristning where he dines.
Mrs. Badger is in the nursery above stairs, one of her Eyes
being a little inflam'd but not bad. She is amuseing herself
with the little daughter Lucretia who is just recover'd
from the Small Pox by & I must say is the
prettiest Child I ever saw. could you but see it you'd
Squeeze her to death. as to Master Dick & Nat, they are
at School where if they were kept ten hours in the Day it
would be quite agreeable to them for learning seems to be
their greatest pleasure. Richard is one of your Serious,
Thoughtful, Sober young Gentlemen, & I think seems
cut out for a Sacred Character. as to Nathl, he's a
Contrast to his Brother, being of a remarkable Sprightly,

Gay & witty turn, a great Genious & Politician. in short they
are a pair of as fine Sensible Boys as any in this City. as to
Black Bet she's a Singing away at an amazeing rate in the
Kitchen & washing up her dishes & her daughter Issable is qui-
eting a bauling thing just pop'd into the world. And Maria
the little nurse, she's above stairs with polly. I had like to
forget Honest Robert Mr. Badgers trusty Servant, but
I believe he's gone for a few bottles of Spruce for Mrs. Badg.
Stop a moment I'll enquire.     Polly
tells me knows not where Robert is, & positively I don't.
this is the Situation of the Family this Afternoon. my next
on family matters perhaps may be that of my own.
Remember me to J. Harrod Wife & family & Mrs. Barnard.
tell them that Mr. & Mrs. Bliss are in perfect health. I saw them
a few days ago. They reside at New Town on Long Island about
nine miles from York. please to send my Compliments
to Mr. White & Family -- Bartletts, Osgood and Mr. McHard, in
Short every body at Haverhill, not forgetting Miss Betsy
Bartlet who I understand has changed her name to some
other which I do not recollect. Pray write me a
Letter. all my happiness Seems in Suspence by the uncertainty
of your health. I cannot express the tenderness of my Affection for you.
'tis the Strongest engagement my heart feels to the world. May that
Sovereign power who has the Springs of Nature in his hands Spare your
Life and crown it with distinguished favours! is the prayer of your

Dutiful Son,
Leverett Saltonstall

22.9 cm x 18.2 cm

From the Saltonstall family papers