Letters from Ellen Malcomb to her son Stephen Malcomb

Morris Septm 23 1874
Dear Stephen

One month ago today your Father was taken from us without one moment’s warning, today Lizzie1 after two months of acute suffering was laid in the grave.

Emma (Note: Another of Stephen Jr.’s older sisters) and her family have just left for home. I sent you a newspaper with news of your Father’s death but had not time to write as I wanted to spend all the time I could with Lizzie. what a solemn warning, three in one Family, your Father, Sister, & child2

You also have our simptahy, and I trust it may be a warning to all, I cannot write much this time as I have had so little rest for the last week that I am worn out and not at all well. Give my love to your Wife and Family.

Your affectionate Mother
E. Malcomb3

If you know Amy’s address please send her this letter after you have read it. I have written her three letters within the past year and recieved (sic) no answer.

Lizzie leaves three children. I will write you more of our plans and prospects when I can.

(Note: The Amy referred to is Stephen Jr.’s younger sister, who lived in New York State. Lizzie’s married name unknown as yet)



Morris March 29th 1868
Dear Stephen

This is the first opportunity I have had to write you for some time and acknowledge the various receipts of Proceedings in Congress, seed etc. which you have sent from time to time for which accept our thanks. I suppose you have heard of the late distructive fire in Morris from the American House to the Alley on Liberty Street destroying eight houses of business besides Evans’ gallery and most of their effects.

Evans was the only one not insured therefore it falls the hardest on him of all the others. Emma (Note: Eldest daughter of Stephen Malcomb, Sr.; Joseph Evans was her husband who had a photographic gallery.) saved her clothing and part of their furniture __?__ Evans lost all his clothing, chemicals, etc. they are staying at at (sic) D____s at the present, but I hear they are having another gallery fitted up for their use.

I have had a girl now just two weeks and have been busy out of doors ever since.

April 5th – I have so much to do during the week that I realy had not time to finish this letter. I have to make and tend my Flower garden entirely alone and help your Father weed etc. every minute I have to spare.

I have also continued to paint the house inside, as it only had one coat when we moved in last summer. Do you have any variety of Flower Seeds ___(at the?) __ Agricultural Dep’ment. if so I would realy like some this spring as we are anxious to improve the place as much as possible. Last year my plants nearly all ____ with the drouoth and nearly every evergreen died from the same cause.

Your Father says he will try it this year and if not more profitable he will give up trying here and go to some better climate, the old store has changed hands several times. Old Mr. Ryan lost almost all he had there, sold out to Ed Booth, or rather Booth taken it for money loaned. Mr. Ryan applied for the bankrupt act. Ed Booth sold out to F. Robinson who was burnt out on Liberty St. and now he runs the old store. Benjamines made an assignment some time ago, paid 50 per cent to their creditors then commenced anew.

I hope you will write soon. Give my love to Mary (Note: Stephen Jr.’s wife). I rec’d her letter in due time will write to her again before long.

I remain your Affectionate Mother
E. Malcomb

Please contact Dorothy for more information on the MALCOMB Family. Thanks Dorothy for submitting your family letters!!


  1. Stephen Jr.’s older sister; married name unknown as yet 

  2. This may be Stephen Jr. and Mary Ann’s baby Myrtle. 

  3. Note:  E. Malcomb was the former Ellen Boswell of Wilmington, Will Co. and the third wife of Stephen Malcomb, Sr. 

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