The Rhode Island Signer here expresses interest in the progress of fourteen-year-old Lucy' education—and his desire for her to help manage his household in the wake of her mother’s death: "Though I wrote to you very lately, yet as I have a good Opportunity by Mr. Turner I can't forbeare writing to you more because I know it will please you to hear from Us. We are all pleased to find that you have enjoyed so much Health. Indeed Lucy we want to see you though I could deny myself that Pleasure for your Good. … The Children wonder how you look; whether you are grown handsomer or taller. … As I wrote you, it will be inconvenient for Me to bring you home till after Commencement. … In the meantime improve every Hour to the best Advantage. Don't be concerned lest I should expect too much from you. Parents are indeed apt to overrate the Capacities of their Children & to expect great Things from Them. I believe I am not of that sort. … I am sure that you have as fine an Example of every female Accomplishment. … If you have learned how to conduct yourself & have acquired any tolerable degree of Steadiness my principal Design in your being abroad is answered."
One of Ellery's principal concerns was the upbringing of Lucy's three-year-old brother, which he hoped to soon entrust to Lucy and her older sister, Elizabeth. "I intend to get rid of Meribah as soon as Tronbridge is a little bigger, & if you and [your sister] Bessie discover that by your Conduct, that I have no need of a Housekeeper. Meribah to do her Justice is very good to Tronbridge, indeed she is too good. She humours him so much that if she should have Management of him long, He who is a clever Boy at present … would be entirely spoiled. I think she is more active than she was, and perhaps taken altogether is as good a Housekeeper as I could get, But I don't like hired Housekeepers. I want to see you put on the Woman, and begin to do that which you may be obliged to attempt some time or other. The nice, prudent Conduct of a Family is the greatest female Accomplishment, & to obtain this attention and Steadiness are the principal necessary Qualifications; & they are to be acquired by Practice. …''
Ellery lost his first wife, Ann Remington of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1764; his daughters—including Lucy who was living with her mother's family in Cambridge—were too young to take over the running of the household, an accomplishment that Ellery was clearly much looking forward to. Ellery was remarried in 1767, to his second cousin, Abigail Cary. Lucy herself married William Channing in 1773 and lived until 1834.
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