December 30, 1812

N the bustle and festive spirit of the season, I fear my diary has lain beside my bed almost entirely forgot, gathering dust instead of memories. Between the balls, feasts, and parties large and small, I have found little time or energy to encourage myself to write. The winter season in New York is a bitingly cold but beautifully white season though with an equal amount of warmth and joy to combat the conditions out of doors. Mrs. Hegwood has proved herself most adept and enthusiastic at providing for anyone in her household elaborate and very rich meals, sparing no expense on various types treats and delicacies, whether guests are involved or it is just out small familial gathering of three, and of guests there has been no shortage of; at any given day and time. I have had not a single moment to experience any melancholy feelings, and my smiles have come more readily, and given freely. Even the Vincents have had little success in irritating or exasperating me.

Mr. Vincent at either his good and generous spirit or the idea given by my dear Aunt, has given to me a most agreeable gift; a letter of credit for me to use at whatever I may desire; as I do not carry money upon my person for fear of danger. I have used it only at five separate merchants in town for only the direst of necessities, which are as follows:

  • Three yard lengths of eight different colours and styles of ribbon to be used as trimmings for hats and gowns
  • Two different kinds of charming lace in one-yard lengths for the neckline of gowns or kerchiefs
  • A bunch of crisp white ostrich plumes
  • A bunch of trimmed peacock tail-feathers
  • A bunch of dyed ostrich feathers in various colors
  • The newest and most popular colours of thread for embroidery
  • A small birdcage with a pair of finches for my bedroom
  • A pair of blue softened leather gloves

There are other things I wish to purchase, but upon reviewing the receipts given to Mr. Hegwood, he has advised that I allow myself some time to enjoy the things that I have already purchased before adding to the collection, which is a wisdom that I suppose I cannot argue.

Christmas day is fast approaching, and I have been given the most precious gift asked for. A letter arrived from the Doctor yesterday, sent to my surprised whilst he was still at sea. He reports to me the most exciting of events! A British Royal Navy ship overtook them, just as he suspected and I feared. It seems that had not the Captain of the Jupiter been in some pain of a bad tooth, the outcome of the Doctor and the rest of the crew’s fate could have ended very differently. As it was the Doctor was cunning enough to barter the freedom and safety of the crew for his skills in aiding the Captain in his distress, and in the end the crew and passengers of the Constant were allowed safe continuation onto England unmolested. I worry still for his safety, as of course I shall until I know he is safe in England at last, but I can guess he may very well be on land as we speak, and I hope that he finds himself comfortable and warm, surrounded by those he cares about and those who care about him. Sadly, it seems the Phoebe, the ship in which his letter was sent back on did not take the particular care in which I’m sure he wished, sustained some water damage on the back and front, but the inside remained mostly unmarred.

Mr. Hegwood has not received the receipts as of yet, but I have also used my letter of credit to purchase for the Doctor a few small gifts that I hope he will be able to make use of and be amused by; A small charming sextant for his travels, two books on Flora for when he is in the field researching all manners of life, and a lovely pencil, which he may use to sketch his new findings, as I have not seen him carry one before (I suspect he may have lost it). I do not think that dear Mr. Hegwood will chastise me for these selfless purchases for one which we both share a warm affection for, in each of our ways. I will send them out when they arrive at the Estate, for there were too many packages for me to carry home, and I ordered them delivered at their earliest convenience. I hope that no damage or ill will come to them; and worry for them if the Doctor’s letter is any indication of the treatment mail is given during these somewhat turbulent times between England and America.

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