[1849 Autograph Letter Signed Discussing the Carroll Family of Maryland by Charles Ridgely, Affluent Marylander, writing to His Sister, Eliza née Ridgely White].

““Old Mr. Carroll does not seem to be a particularly agreeable man, but rather inclined to be conceited without much reason…”


Frank letter discussing various members of the prominent Carroll Family of Maryland who have lately arrived at Boston’s upscale Revere House hotel.

Likely at Harvard, the letter is by Charles Ridgely (1830–1872), a Carroll Family relation and scion of the wealthy Ridgely Family of Maryland, writing to his sister in Baltimore, Eliza née Ridgely White (1828–1894), i.e., Mrs. John C. White.

Ridgely’s letter refers to correspondence with his mother, Baltimore heiress Eliza née Eichelberger Ridgely (1803–1867) of Hampton Plantation, spouse of John Carnan Ridgely and daughter-in-law of former Maryland governor Charles Carnan Ridgely (1760–1829).

The letter also contains a reference to the Parkman–Webster murder case involving the recent gruesome killing and dismemberment of Dr. George Parkman (1790–1849), the uncle of American historian Francis Parkman.

Partial transcription:

“The Carrolls arrived last Sunday morning & John’s illness having increased considerably on that day, I took him in to the Revere House in the afternoon & gave him up to the hands of his family. We did not see the young ladies on that day, but being invited to dine with them, came in on the following Thursday & did so. I never was more surprised in my life than when I first saw Louisa Carroll, she is not ugly, but as for having any pretensions to great beauty, it seems to me perfectly preposterous that anyone should entertain such an idea. Her manners are tolerably agreeable, but they do not strike me as particularly refined; she seems to me to try as much as possible to imitate Mary. The latter is quite a nice little girl but there is a certain absence of manner that she has which is not particularly agreeable though I have no right to find fault with her on that account as I have been accused of it myself. I have only seen these ladies once since they have been in Boston although I have been 3 or 4 times to the Revere House to inquire for John, who is now quite ill with the typhoid fever. ...

“Old Mr. Carroll does not seem to be a particularly agreeable man, but rather inclined to be conceited without much reason, & not endowed with an overabundance of sense. There is a want of sincerity in all of them which I never noticed in John. I have just received mother’s letters & shall answer some of her questions now. She wishes to know the cause of Bigelow Lawrence’s separation from his wife. The report is that he wished her to drive with him one day but she at the appointed time went out with some other man, that her husband drove after her & forced her to return with him & since that time a coldness has existed between them & finally the other day she went off to the West. They say that Bigelow has written to her several times to return & attempted various methods to pacify her but all to no effect, & it is almost certain that she is entirely to blame, having probably never loved him but being merely attracted by the Lawrence name. ...

“The Dr. Parkman affair still seems to create an immense excitement but no developments have been lately made. I was surprised to hear that Mr. R.A. Taylor was building in the country. Tell cousin Johnny to send my best love to cousin Dan’l when she writes & tell mother that I will visit Mr. Lawrence next Saturday if nothing unexpected should prevent my so doing…”


Description: [1849 Autograph Letter Signed Discussing the Carroll Family of Maryland by Charles Ridgely, Affluent Marylander, writing to His Sister, Eliza née Ridgely White].

Cambridge [Massachusetts], December 9, 1849. [2½]pp. ALS. Quarto. Bifolium with integral address leaf. Folds; Near Fine.

[3730363]

Price: $75.00

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