Susanna Bishop Marble (1784-1861), the principal author of these letters, married Simeon Marble (1777-1856) in 1797 in New Milford, Conn. They had five children (Adeline, Susan B., Jane Louisa, Edwin, & Mary H.). Jane Louisa Marble Day (1809-1893), to whom the letters are addressed, was married to Henry Noble Day (1808-1890), a minister and professor of theology at Western Reserve College in Hudson, Ohio. The "Henry Mills" and "May Elizabeth" referred to in the letters are Jane Louisa and Henry Day's children. The others co-authoring Susanna B. Marble's letters are her son Edwin Marble (b. 1812), her daughter Mary H. Marble (b. 1816), her husband Simeon Marble, and Edwin's wife Julia.
Simeon and Susanna Marble were living in New Haven, Connecticut, during the decade they wrote these letters. Their daughter Mary H. Marble was living with them, as was their son Edwin, until his marriage in 1846. By 1853, Edwin and his wife Julia were living near his dry goods store on Chapel St. Simeon Marble appears to have been in the building or remodeling business. Susanna was a secretary and treasurer of the Dorcus Society in New Haven from 1840 to 1843.
This correspondence consists of 52 letters, 46 of which were written by Susanna Bishop Marble to her daughter, Jane Louisa Marble Day (Mrs. Henry Noble Day) in Hudson, Ohio, over a ten year period from 1841-1851. Forty-four of these letters were co-authored by at least one other family member, and sometimes all four -- Simeon Marble (2 letters); Edwin Marble (22 letters); Mary H. Marble (43 letters); and Julia Marble [Edwin's wife] (4 letters). The letters cover local New Haven County events, especially acts of arson (of which there are a fair number); deaths and illnesses; religious occasions; and the various proposed railroad routes through New Haven. Several letters mention the murder of a man named Osborn in 1845, for which a free black man was accused. A white man, Andrew P. Potter, was found guilty of the murder and was hanged in 1846 -- the first hanging in New Haven County in over 50 years. The trial attracted hundreds of spectators. Other topics include student vandalism at Yale College, homeopathic medicine, building and sidewalk improvements, the telegraph, abolition, missionary work, and women's fashions. The letters describe day to day life with passing references to the Mexican War, the Millerites, and gold mining. Since most letters are co-authored by at least three family members, they provide a good sense of family interaction, much like a family shared telephone call today.
Jane Louisa Marble Day wrote four of the letters in the collection to her husband, Professor Henry Noble Day, and her brother Edwin wrote one letter to Day.