3. AA had teased Thaxter since Dec. 1780 about this unidentified, and perhaps imaginary girl, to whom she fancied he was particularly attracted. AA at one point thought that her name was Eliza, and that she did not live in Braintree, but Thaxter denied being especially interested in any Eliza (vol. 4:28
and note 2
). AA's present reference would fit her own daughter, but other references make AA2 an unlikely choice. Thaxter, in replying
to this letter on 30 Jan. 1783
, below, professed to be thoroughly mystified about the “Fair American's” identity. In letters written in 1781, however, he expressed no doubt or concern about this (vol. 4:97
). Thaxter would marry Elizabeth Duncan of Haverhill in 1787, but the editors have found no evidence that he knew her before going to Europe in 1779 (see JQA, Diary
, vols. 1 and 2).