early December 1852
ink, two sheets torn precisely down left side, making small leaves
watermark/embossment: N, no symbol
10.5 x 8.5 cm.
LL 55, in part, with changes. Pinholes and rust marks from paper clips. Dickinson's salutation intrigues: "Even in a gleeful moment, having pirated the marriage vow to echo 'Till death do us part' in 'Yours till death -,' Dickinson nicknames herself 'Judah,' after the lost tribe of Israel, humorously acknowledging her secession from conventional comportment" (Rowing in Eden 163). Johnson provides illuminating contextual details: "In the autumn of 1852, Edward Dickinson was the Whig candidate for Congress from the tenth district, and was elected in December"; Dickinson nicknames visitors after "General Wolfe (who died victorious at Quebec) and Major Pitcairn (fatally wounded at Bunker Hill)"; Joshua Reed Giddings had broken with the Whig party in 1848; Thomas Corwin, Fillmore's Secretary of the Treasury, opposed the Fugitive Slave Law, endorsed by the Whigs; and with "God moves. . . ," Dickinson alludes to William Cowper's "Light Shining out of Darkness," which Dickinson would know.
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Transcription and commentary copyright 1996 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Last updated on May 7, 2001
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