Most of the letters, excerpts, and guestbook entries that I post come from people who are, in some way, connected with either Esperanza or its family.  However, every once in awhile….

I have a fascinating set of three letters (enclosed in a single envelope) that came off a bookshelf in a room that was being re-organized.  Now, the books it was in with were not in place pre-1970; however some of those books came from other collections in the house, notably those belonging to WWE (William Webster Ellsworth).  Presumably, it fell out of one of those.  But which one is unknown, or maybe it was wedged in there for longer, and when the case was unweighted it dropped.

The enclosing envelope was addressed to Governor Thomas H. Seymour, at the time of the mailing a former CT governor running for re-election.  The time it was mailed? 1862.  Scrawled on the back, “equivalent to saying an oath is not binding at all – for when Lincoln came in he took an oath to uphold the Constitution.”

Inside three letters, I haven’t read them all the way through yet.  But two were from one Willard Clark; who I believe is the same Willard Clark who was acquitted of an 1855 murder by reason of insanity.  Both letters present long, very well written arguments for why the South had the legal right to secede.  The third letter was by a Rebel prisoner to a friend in Boston.  It is all Very odd.  I have yet to figure out any reason why these three letters ended up here.  The only, tenuous connection so far is that the judge who presided over Clark’s trial was William Wolcott Ellsworth, the grandfather of William Webster Ellsworth.  But, that is a very dubious link.