Charlestown [Mass.], June 8, 1851. 3 pages on a lined blue folio, 9.75 x 7.83 inches. Approx. 700 words. Some foxing along the original fold; a little dust-soiled; in very good condition, quite legible. Item #19424
The lively personal letter touches on women's work and handicrafts: "I go to the City every day to learn to paint maps & engravings and I shall soon take lessons in painting on Satin. I have been over now about four weeks I think I shall like very much, besides it is rather profitable. You know I did learn to make Vests of Sarah before she was married but I did not do much at it. . . . I guess you thought I took a great deal notice of your rug you spoke of in your letter but I had misplaced your letter & really I did forget it for a short time. I have no doubt it was finished off in good shape if it came out of your hands. I suppose you will let me see it if I will come and see you this summer." Miriam also includes news of a family member in California: "We have had two and I don’t know but three letters from Joseph since you heard from us; he is well, & is highly delighted with the country, all he wants is that Mary should be out there with him, he has gone into business for himself and has a partner, a man from Boston by name of Felch. The firm of Felch & Cloutman or Cloutman & Felch, I don’t know which, carrys on the painting business in Sacramento City. Joseph says if he succeeds as well as he anticipates he shall come on, or send for Mary and sissy in the fall. Aunt Mary will go with her. I tell Mary Jane that I will accompany her, so she says she will hold me to my promise. Of course you know I should not calculate to go for I should not have any money, nevertheless I should *admire* to go." A biographical sketch of Joseph F. Cloutman from an 1879 history of Solano County, California, notes "born in New Hampshire, May 3,1825, and when seven years old moved with his parents to Kittery, Maine, where he received his education. In 1841 or '42 he proceeded to Boston, Mass., and there was employed in a grocery store for one year, when he commenced to learn the trade of a house and sign painter. In 1849 he came to California, by way of Cape Horn, arriving at San Francisco September 14, of that year. On arrival he settled at Sacramento, and followed his trade until the following year, when he removed to the mines, there remaining for six months; he returned to Sacramento, and once more established himself as a painter, which he continued till 1858. In this year Mr. Cloutman settled in Yolo county. . . . He married in 1846 Miss Mary J. Whitehouse, a native of New Hampshire, where she was born October 7, 1827, by whom he has Addie C.; Miriam, (dead); George F.; Charles H.; Willie F." Miriam seems to have been a recurrent Cloutman given name; this correspondent is likely Miriam S. Cloutman (1832-1853, born in Kittery), namesake of her mother Miriam S. Frost Cloutman (1789-1869). With a preliminary typescript.