Hand Written Letter To "Old Coat"
Catalog #: A012
Date range: 1860-1865
Country of origin: United States
Provenance: Identified to Austin Abbot
Accession date: 12-10-2022
Letter written by Austin Abbot of West Branch, Michigan, to his "old coat"
Austin's address to his old coat.
"Dear Old Coat,"
Friends as we have been for many years: irreversible fate decrees that our intimacy must be broken.
How can I cast thee off with-out rendering to thee a tribute of respect? Yes! "Dear Old Coat," the fear of regret moistens my eye at thought that thou wilt never again embrace me, thou hast often protected me from the inclemency of the storm. Thou hast snugly wrapped thyself around my shivering form to defend me from the chilling blast of a December wind. Yea: still more: thou hast done all in my power to shield my back from the scorching rays of an August sun. How tenderly, day after day, hast thou encircled me? always suiting thy-self to my necessities. But with all the kindness, thou hast like frail humanity, had thy faults. Not like the fashion of the cold hearted world will I cast thee aside without rehearsing some of them. No! No! Dear Old Coat, I cannot do thee such injustice. Thou knowest full well, we were living in an age of progression. While I have been extending my dimension indifferent, no arguments could prevail upon thee to enlarge thy borders. Thy greatest folly is, thou hast allowed pride and vanity with their rough brushes to wear away the gloss and beauty of thy once noble fabric, and now thou art a mu[illegible] wreck. Yes, when diligent hands would have gladly repaired thy torn body - thou hast as often, with a haughty air, turned aside. But, "Dear Old Coat," surrounded as thou hast ever been with pomp & delusive fashion, I will freely forgive the [sic] all thy follies, and to repay thee for thy faithful services to me, I will reserve for thy use the most favored niche in my wardrobe, where thou will be preserved from the accumulating dust of years, and thou canst screan [sic] thyself from the gaze of the multitude. Carefully will I watch over thee, that no evil cometh near the habitation and when future generation ["s" struck through here] enquire concerning thee they shall know that thou wast one of my most faithful friends in youthful days.
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