Before text messages, where each word might have monetary value, there were letter writers who did not feel the need to contain their verbal efflorescence. The example below comes from a Special Collections manuscript collection containing the papers of many prominent Philadelphia families of the 18th & 19th centuries, some of whom were Quaker and others not, including Coates, Cresson, Vaux and others. The letter writer is Sarah Hornor (1767-1848) for whom there is a box filled with correspondence and other papers, part of Families of Philadelphia, collection number 1184, which offers insight on the art of letter writing (with original spelling preserved).
A partial transcription of the letter to her brother-in-law Samuel Coates in Philadelphia follows.
Princeton 8 m 1 – 1795
The storm still continues to lower around us and the mind in degree, partakes of the weight of the atmosphere thou knowest me of old my brother, sometimes soaring in regions of mirth and Fancy at other times sunk perhaps rather humbly in the valley of gloom but thou must not conclude me a wanderer in the depths by no means, only a little sadness hangs on my spirits and tinctures my Ideas with something of a pensive melancholy – all this by way of prelude to welcome thy agreeable letter and at the same time appologise for the absence of vivacity or entertainment yet had I a memory as tenacious as many, or a mind capable of reflecting a ray of that brilliancy in which it has been sharing from the illuminated … Your distant sister Sarah Hornor