The Blanding-Carpenter papers contain 70 incoming and outgoing letters of the families of Noah Blanding of Attleboro, Massachusetts, and James Blanding of Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Correspondents include friends and family members from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York.
Family and local news were frequent topics of conversation, as were illnesses and their treatments. Several friends reported news of acquaintances' teaching careers around New England. Others mentioned their travels, particularly within Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and some mentioned people who were considering a move to California during the Gold Rush. Though based in Bristol County, Massachusetts, each family received letters from a variety of locations, and several recipients spent time in Seekonk, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; and Brooklyn, New York. On one occasion, Nancy A. Blanding wrote her sister Elizabeth about a party she attended in Brooklyn (January 28, 1847). Childcare was also discussed; for example, Susannah Carpenter Blanding, then married to Nathaniel Arey (or Avrey), wrote about the growth of her children, and included a pattern for a child's stocking (September 12, 1852).