Apr 3, 1853

My Dear Mother [addressed to his mother-in-law Betsey (Parker) Proctor]

It is a pleasure to write to you and to say that we are all well: we have got through the county court and now only a session of the Supreme Court on our hands: to be held one week from Tuesday: The Supreme Court in Orleans County which follows, I shall not I think attend, so bad is the going and my brief can be sent. Mr. Peck is now at Orange [?] country attending the Sep. [?] Court. His family are at Washington yet and he would like a place there if it could be had: But the pressure for office is so great as to bear a modest man few hopes. Our winter is quite broken up and the sun very sensibly felt. People and business much as usual. Mr Patterson [?] keeps about the same number and life there is much as formerly. Still he is a very steadfast and good model of conduct. Mrs. [?] Helen Redfield does not go out. Their families are well. Jabez is doing well at Latin in the academy and Ned is getting pretty well - I mean he is more like he was in the summer and has no ill turns. Grows well and behaves perhaps as well as most boys is bright and active ... . His brain is exceedingly quick and fertile and such a clear memory as almost to alarm and he is a great comfort to me indeed. The boys are very good and pleasant companions. It would be a great pleasure to have you with us this summer. Why not? Redfield [Betsy's son Redfield Proctor] ought to get married in some season [?] and then he could spare you at least half the time. Aunt Sally [probably Betsy's sister Sally Parker] I hope is well: she must learn to spare herself a little. Such a life of constant toil will wear down any constitution.

[A paragraph with an excerpt from a sermon]

I wish very much to see all of you. Laura and the boys are often in mind. About the baby, how long can Lizzie keep him? I suppose she is the mainstay at home for work and it may be difficult for them to have her time taken up. Of course you will see to it that if any arrangements need be such I will be appraised of it in time.

I have trusted myself to think little of the future for it has seemed to me there was no future in this life. Only a present of today -- I have kept in business. Society excepting a few friends is irksome to me. I wish to see but few people and that more to avoid falling into a morose and morbid disposition toward all the world than from any love of society. Ever much love to Redfield and Laura.

Yr. Aff. Stoddard