Three Extracts from Ellen’s Letters to Dawson Turner: 1811

“If the weather would moderate I should try to go to the mountains. I expect to do something during the course of next month. I have planned several little excursions but the weather is desperate for every thing & what is worst of all for the poor people’s potatoes, for you know when we want potatoes we want every thing. I am afraid the poor will starve next year.”

Ellen Hutchins to Dawson Turner 29th May 1811
“Yesterday was delightful on the mountain. I went to a small Lake around which the mountains rose very suddenly & cast a deep gloom on the lake. I rather crept than walked up the side of a mountain for the ascent was so steep I could hardly stand upright. … I intend going to a very steep place that I saw at a distance where a rivulet runs down the side of a mountain. I crossed the rivulet at the bottom of the mountain in a little green valley where a solitary cabin stands from whence nothing but mountains can be seen & at a considerable distance from any other human habitation. I longed to spend a week in this cabin & walk about among the rocks.”

Ellen Hutchins to Dawson Turner 24th July 1811
“I am glad to find Mrs. Turner is gaining strength & hope she will be fully recovered before winter. She has the advantage of agreeable society to amuse her mind & support her spirits. You seem to have valuable & agreeable people always at your house. Mr. Mathias must be a delightful man. I have often heard of him, tho’ a man may have much celebrity in London & his name be unknown in this obscure corner of the world. However we begin to hear more & be more known than we were a very few years ago, thanks to the French since they visited as Military people & other strangers have got into the country [district]. Before that time you could hardly imagine any thing more retired than this country [district] or more completely shut out from all knowledge of what was passing any where else.”

Ellen Hutchins to Dawson Turner 16th October 1811