. The real date of this letter is questionable.
clearly wrote “20 Sepbr.” at head of
, but in the course of it she mentions receiving “a Letter at last” from
and specifically identifies his letter as that of 22 May
, above. That letter came by Capt. Joseph Newman in the Gates
, the precise date of whose arrival in Newburyport, 21 Sept., we know from the Boston Gazette
of 24 Sept. (p. 3, col. 1), and whose mail reached Boston on 22 Sept. (see the last
postscript in Isaac Smith Sr.'s letter to
, 13–22 Sept.
, above; also Richard Cranch to
, 26 Sept.
, below). In replying to
on 9 Oct.
, below, Lovell speaks of “your Favour of Sepr. 26th,” for which date no
letter of hers, either
, has been found, and both there and in subsequent acknowledgments (29 Nov.
, 4 Dec.
, both below) Lovell, though echoing some points in the present letter, mentions others
in the text as we have it. The best explanation that can be offered is that
did indeed misdate her
(20 for 26 Sept.) and that in the (missing)
she extended the text and dealt with matters, or raised questions, not in
. Both were common enough practices with her, but the evidence available at this time
is sufficient only to question, not to redate, the present letter.