From an antiquarian dealer in Massachusetts, we have just acquired a letter dated August 23, 1802 from Barbados by former Hartford resident “Mrs. Bunce” (a prominent Hartford family) to her daughter, “My Dear Anne.”  The writer laments the loss of a female friend who left two “fine, fine Boys,” and tells of her “distress” concerning “the misfortune of William being Press’d on board of a Man of War and we have not heard a syllable about him since that time which is about 18 months.” She hopes for happy days “if my affairs were settled with you & My Dear Aunt Olcott as well as all my Hartford friends.” She says this letter goes by Jack, about whom she complains greatly because of his not visiting, although “I must excuse such visits knowing the circumstances on board of a Vessel.” Her P. S. closes by saying “all the rest of the Blacks begs to be remembered.” This would be a superb subject for a history paper–who were the Bunce’s of Hartford? Did they have a plantation in Barbados? Are the sons, William and Jack, sailors of note? It is likely that there are family papers at the Hartford History Center, or the Connecticut Historical Society.

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