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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Elmer, Ebenezer (1752-1843) to Hannah Seeley.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01450.165.02 Author/Creator: Elmer, Ebenezer (1752-1843) Place Written: New Jersey Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 12 May 1783 Pagination: 2 p. ; 20.5 x 16.5 cm. Order a Copy

Speaks of his desire to return to a peaceful life now that the war is over. "As we have now happily terminated a war which has raged for eight full years with every species of Horror, I contemplate the speedy return to the peaceful paths of domestic life with the greatet pleasure. To change the fatigues difficulties& dangers of a military life for the comfort & conveniences of peace must tast truly sweet to a [] susceptible of true satisfaction. Shall I be so fortunate as to exchange the wild banner of Mars for the mild bands of Hymen I may be blessed indeed." Speaks of his love for her. Mars was the Roman god of war, and Hymen the god of marriage. Written from "Camp Jersey." Address has been lost, but letter is almost certainly to his soon to be wife Hannah Seeley.

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