Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Hale, Aurelia (ca. b. 1798) to Sarah W. Hale

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also request a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC08934.025 Author/Creator: Hale, Aurelia (ca. b. 1798) Place Written: Mount Ariel, SC Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 27 May 1828 Pagination: 4 p. : address : 20.6 x 25.3 cm.

Summary of Content: This appears to be the first letter to her sister in many months. She speaks at length about matrimony and says that she has spent eighteen months deliberating on it. She says that she has been reflecting on whether to "marry a respectable, pious and smart young man (that had my affections) with barely a competency - or marry for riches and perhaps without love." Despite her original intentions of marrying a "rich planter," she chose to marry for love, and on May 1 married Thomas Jefferson de Yampert, whose family has some money but who is a younger son. She says: "I feel confident that I shall be happy." She apologizes for not sending money to their brother James for their mother's gravestone, but promises to do so as soon as they can afford it. She also promises to send for Sarah when they are settled elsewhere.

Background Information: Aurelia Hale was born in Glastonbury, in Hartford, Connecticut sometime before 20 December 1798.

People: Hale, Aurelia, b. 1798?
Hale, Sarah, b. 1801?

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: Woman AuthorWomen's HistoryTravelAfrican American HistorySlaveryLatin and South AmericaGlobal History and CivicsForeign Affairs

Sub Era: Slavery & Anti-slavery

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources