August 31, 1812

esterday provided us with safe arrival in New York! In such a state of exhaustion I was, I could not help but be amazed at what was before me and all around. So very similar to England in some ways and yet so drastically different. I am sad to confess though, that I recall little and cannot properly describe my first impressions as I was so taken with my weakened state and the excitement that I recall only color and noise, so much noise! So different from the redundant and repetitive noises of the ocean and the ship. People calling, horses, carriages, dogs, animals, so much noise! It made my ears ring and my head spin and if it was not for Abigail I would have surely fainted in a heap.

I was much relieved and put at ease when Abigail directed me to Mr. and Mrs. Hegwood. Such wonderful and sweet people I have never seen! I feel I have greatly wronged them in my previous assumptions of their character, for more amiable, neat, and charming people I could not have wished for. Mrs. Hegwood instantly became my replacement mother hen and nursed me back to near perfect health all through the night, sitting up with me at all hours to ensure my comfort and sending Abigail directly to bed and to rest. I rose in the morning feeling almost entirely mended and wonderfully and deliciously steady upon my feet again. Mrs. Hegwood, seeing me rise and come to breakfast unaided was positively delighted, and suggest immediately that we replenish my wardrobe which she took the liberty of claiming it unfit for me and dumped it all. She stated firmly that the mildew and the ocean smell was unable to be mended and they were no longer fit for me to wear; bonnets, gowns, shawls and all!

I was admittedly put out; they were my last remnants of home, yet at the same time I was excited. What lady in their correct senses would turn down a proposal to spend someone else's' coin on one's appearance and self? However it was not to be today, as Abigail forcefully implored Mr. and Mrs. Hegwood they not take me on this journey just yet until I was entirely mended and able to withstand the strain and excitement. Mr. Hegwood was in complete agreement, and with some convincing Mrs. Hegwood agreed to keep me at home but only on the promise we would venture out tomorrow.

The estate in which I will be provided for is such a grand and splendid arrangement, and I am in the understanding that Mr. Hegwood has fixed for himself a considerable fortune in some trade or another in New York and he and Mrs. Hegwood have secured for themselves considerable comfort, and being childless themselves delighted by my presence and by my company.

I was doubly pleased this morning to discover for myself a wealth of letters from home, and even one from the infamous Doctor himself! I surprised myself to discover that my heart beat quickened upon discovering his letter; and I felt a distant touch of home and normalcy run through me upon handling it. Was it not just before I left I received a similar letter with similar beautiful script in warm brown ink? Tears blurred my vision momentarily, but I did not let them fall. I am here now; and am bound to accept this as it comes, and cannot continue to dwell on what I cannot change.

He has been so kind as to readily offer me invitation to a wonderful gathering near to his location, and one that he describes as providing all manners of diverting activity. Mr. and Mrs. Hegwood have apparently known for some time of it; as upon his receiving of my letter he promptly asked for their consent in letting me travel that far. The arrangement have been made, and on the 17th of September I am to arrive in the area of Kentucky and be face to face with this phantom author and in his company for three days. I admit I am very nervous, but my curiosity overshadows it. I am intrigued to see more of this country; and will bring my sketching implements that Kathryn gave to me upon my last visit to her and try to put as much as I see down on the pages.

I am unsure how to receive the addition to the letter the Doctor sent to me; a length of wonderful purple silk ribbon. It is indeed very lovely, and a shade that I happen to be very fond of. Mrs. Hegwood has already decided upon at least three uses for it, and I shall let her do with it as she pleases. I do not feel entirely comfortable accepting such a gift; but it warms my heart for the kindness behind it.

I do not; however, look forward to be once more planted amongst people I do not know; and fear I will be attached to my journal the entire time as Mrs. Hegwood cannot spare Abigail to go with me. I am frightened by this; but I shall endeavor to put on a brave front, and not disappoint the Hegwoods and the Doctor.

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