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  The research archive of Gary W. Ewer regarding the history of the daguerreotype

On this day (February 3) a grandmother addressed the following letter to her young granddaughter...in a fictional tale targeted at a juvenile audience. On January 11, I sent out the young daughter's letter as that day's DagNews. This is her Grandmother's reply. (And yes, the year of this letter is also quite fictional!) As there is an illustration that accompanies this text, I've also placed this text, with the illustration, on The Daguerreian Society web site at: http://www.daguerre.org/resource/texts/lee.html - - - - - - - - - - From "Grandmother Lee's Portfolio." (no author stated) Illustrated by Hammatt Billings (Boston: Whittemore, Niles, and Hall. 1857) PP. 63-66: CHAPTER XXXIV. THE PRESENT ACKNOWLEDGED. WILLIAMSTOWN, February 3, 1837. DEAR AMY: Though I do not write many letters, yet I must acknowledge your last one, which I found hidden away in one corner of the mysterious box, and which I received very safely. When I saw the expressman coming here, with a box in his hand, I thought it could not be for me, but might possibly be for Hepzy, containing some present of remembrance from her old Shaker friends. Imagine my surprise when I saw it was directed wholly to me. I put on my best spectacles, my strongest magnifiers, and opened it in a minute. Why, Amy, it seemed as if Mabel and you were right before me - had happened in unexpectedly - you seemed so natural and lifelike. I couldn't help calling you my little darlings, and kissing you ever so many times. I'm so happy! I keep them where I can look at them all the time, with the cases open, that your bright faces may be looking upon me constantly; and at night, when I go to bed, I stand them open on the table side of me, where they may be the first things I shall see, as I open my eyes in the morning. Never could daguerreotypes have given me more pleasure; and I shall wait impatiently for Franky's, that my gallery may be complete. The darkest and stormiest day they will fill my house with sunshine, and be guardian spirits for me when I slumber at night. They made by birthday a very happy one; and yet your love, and thoughtfulness, and good wishes, dear Amy, yours and your dear parents', made it still happier. You know I always tell you that love is the best thing in life, and the affections the most priceless possession, and that there is nothing this world can give me I value more. Thus every expression of it renews my youth, and makes me feel that in eternity there can be no "old age;" for we know that "God is love," and that in his home above his children dwell together in holiest love, and that this love is continually redeeming, and renewing, and preserving them there, where there is no time and no age. Anticipating my winter visit to you soon, with renewed thanks for the beautiful present from you all, I am, with unfailing affection, Your own fond GRANDMOTHER. -------------------------------------------------------------- 02-03-98

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