1. The real date of this letter is questionable. AA clearly wrote “20 Sepbr.” at head of Dft
, but in the course of it she mentions receiving “a Letter at last” from JA and specifically identifies his letter as that of 22 May
, above. That letter came by Capt. Joseph Newman in the Gates
, the precise date of whose arrival in Newburyport, 21 Sept., we know from the Boston Gazette
of 24 Sept. (p. 3, col. 1), and whose mail reached Boston on 22 Sept. (see the last postscript in Isaac Smith Sr.'s letter to JA, 13–22 Sept.
, above; also Richard Cranch to JA, 26 Sept.
, below). In replying to AA on 9 Oct.
, below, Lovell speaks of “your Favour of Sepr. 26th,” for which date no
letter of hers, either Dft
, has been found, and both there and in subsequent acknowledgments (29 Nov.
, 4 Dec.
, both below) Lovell, though echoing some points in the present letter, mentions others not
in the text as we have it. The best explanation that can be offered is that AA did indeed misdate her Dft
(20 for 26 Sept.) and that in the (missing) RC
she extended the text and dealt with matters, or raised questions, not in Dft
. Both were common enough practices with her, but the evidence available at this time is sufficient only to question, not to redate, the present letter.