Our Collection

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.

Hale, Aurelia (ca. b. 1798) to Sarah W. Hale

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC08934.014 Author/Creator: Hale, Aurelia (ca. b. 1798) Place Written: Washington, GA Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 25 July 1824 Pagination: 4 p. : address : 20.8 x 25.6 cm.

In this, she apologizes for not answering her sister's letters in months, but says that she had "indispensable engagements" which kept her too occupied to find the time. It is unclear exactly what Sarah wrote in her letters, but Aurelia references what appear to have been multiple mentions by Sarah in them of "indifferent" health, and expresses concern for her sister. She also spends a large portion of the letter talking about God, death, and the afterlife, including "I have not been able to judge from the tense of your letters whether you are serving God, or like myself still continuing in the ways of sin and folly." She also states that she does not identify as a Christian. The third page is crosswritten.

Aurelia Hale was born in Glastonbury, in Hartford, Connecticut sometime before 20 December 1798.

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources