Paul, Mary 1848
 
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VERMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY
MONTPELIER, VERMONT

LETTER WRITTEN BY
MARY STILES PAUL1 

  
                                                                    Lowell2 Nov 5th 1848
  
Dear Father

Doubtless you have been looking for a letter from me all the week past. I would have 
written but wished to find whether I should be able to stand it-to do the work that I am 
now doing. I was unable to get my old place in the cloth room on the Suffolk or on any 
other corporation. I next tried the dressrooms on the Lawrence Cor, but did not succefeld 
in getting a place. I almost concluded to give up and go back to Claremont, but thought I 
would try once more. So I went to my old overseer on the Tremont Cor. I had no idea that 
he would want one, but he did, and I went to work last Tuesday warping--the same work 
I used to do.

It is very hard indeed and sometimes I think I shall not be able to endure it. I never 
worked so hard in my life but perhaps I shall get used to it. I shall try hard to do so for 
there is no other work that I can do unless I spin and that I shall not undertake on any 
account. I presume you have heard before this that the wages are to be reduced on the 
20th of this month. It is true and there seems to be a good deal of excitement on the 
subject but I can not tell what will be the consequence. The companies pretend they are 
losing immense sums every day and therefore they are obliged to lessen the wages, but 
this seems perfectly absurd to me for they are constantly making repairs and it seems to 
me that this would not be if there were really any danger of their being obliged to stop the 
mills.

It is very difficult for any one to get into the mill on any corporation. All seem to be very 
full of help. I expect to be paid about two dollars a week but it will be dearly earned .24 1 
cannot tell how it is but never since I have worked in the mill have I been so very tired as 
I have for the last week but it may be owing to the long rest I have had for the last six 

1Mary Stiles Paul b: 26 Jan 1830, Hanover, NH d: 12 Dec 1899, 
    Cambridge, MA; parents: Bela Paul b: Taunton, MA and Mary 
    Briggs b: Keene, NH; married in Lowell 1857: Isaac Guild b: 
    19 Jun 1831, NH; Isaac Guild 1860: marble works, Lynn, MA; 
    children: Irving Tracy Guild and Sidney Paul Guild.
    Twenty-five of her letters, covering the years 1845-1862 have 
    survived. She began working as a domestic in Bridgewater, Vermont. 
    1845-1848 worked in Lowell textile mills. 1848 joined her father in 
    Claremont, New Hampshire. 1850 returned to Vermont for a short spell. 
    Then she joined Lowell companions at an agricultural utopian community 
    in Redbank, New Jersey for a year. Following her brief tenure at the 
    collective, she once again returned to New Hampshire. 
 2 Lowell, Massachusetts.
 
 
months. I have not told you that I do not board on the Lawrence. The reason of this is 
because I wish to be nearer the mill and I do not wish to pay the extra $.i2.-:t/;z per week 
(I should not be obliged to do it if I boarded at 15) and I know that they are not able to 
give it me. Beside this I am so near I can go and see them as often as I wish. So 
considering all things I think I have done the best I could. I do not like here very well and 
am very sure I never shall as well as at Mother Guilds. I can now realize how very kind 
the whole family have ever been to me. It seems like going home when I go there which 
is every day. But now I see I have not told you yet where I do board. It is at No. 5 
Tremont Corporation. Please enlighten all who wish for information. There is one thing 
which I forgot to bring with me and which I want very much. That is my rubbers. They 
hang in the back room at uncle Jerrys.26 If Olive comes down here I presume you can 
send them by her, but if you should not have the opportunity to send them do not trouble 
yourself about them. There is another thing I wish to mention-about my fare down here. 
If you paid it all the way as I understand you did there is something wrong about it. When 
we stopped at Concord to take the cars, I went to the ticket office to get a ticket which I 
knew I should be obliged to have. When I called for it I told the man that my fare to 
Lowell was paid all the way and I wanted a ticket to Lowell. He told me if this was the 
case the Stagedriver would get the ticket for me and I supposed of course he would. But 
he did not, and when the ticket master called for my ticket in the cars, I was obliged to 
give him a dollar. Sometimes I have thought that the fare might not have been paid beside 
farther than Concord. If this is the case all is right. But if it is not, then I have paid a 
dollar too much and gained the character of trying to cheat the company out of my fare, 
for the man thought I was lying to him. I suppose I want to know how it is and wish it 
could be settled for I do not like that any one should think me capable of such a thing, 
even though that person be an utter stranger. But enough of this. The Whigs of Lowell 
had a great time on the night of the 3rd. They had an immense procession of men on foot 
bearing torches and bannersgot up for the occasion. The houses were illuminated (Whigs 
houses) and by the way I should think the whole of Lowell were Whigs. I went out to see 
the illuminations and they did truly look splendid. The Merrimack house was illuminated 
from attic to cellar. Every pane of glass in the house had a half candle to it and there were 
many others lighted in the same way. One entire block on the Merrimack Cor[poration] 
with the exception of one tenement which doubtless was occupied by a free soiler who 
would not illuminate on any account whatever.
  
(Monday Eve) I have been to work today and think I shall manage to get along with the 
work. I am not so tired as I was last week. I have not yet found out what wages I shall get 
but presume they will be about $2.00 per week exclusive of board. I think of nothing 
further to write excepting I wish you to prevail on Henry to write to me, also tell Olive to 
write and Eveline when she comes.

Give my love to uncle Jerry and aunt Betsey and tell little Lois that "Cousin Carra" 
thanks her very much for the apple she sent her. Her health is about the same that it was 
when she was at Claremont. No one has much hope of her ever being any better.
Write soon. Yours affectionately

Mary S Paul
  

 
 
P.S. Do not forget to direct to No. 5 Tremont Cor and tell all others to do the same.
   

  

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