Letter Proposing Marriage
David Wing proposed to Hannah Davis through a letter sent in April 1791 from Montpelier, VT. The Davis and Wing families were early settlers to the city of Montpelier. Hannah Davis was the daughter of Colonel Jacob Davis, a revolutionary war soldier, who is credited with naming Montpelier.
In the letter David states that “the married life is a state of Happiness when each party enters into it on the right motives… Great is the happiness I aspire after… But all this depends on you my dear girl, Your Consent makes me the happiest of beings.” David signs the letter “From your sincere and obsequious admirer.”
Hannah and David married on November 25, 1792 in Montpelier, VT. It was the second marriage in the city’s history. They had eight children; all had historical or literary names including Marcus Tullius Cicero and Algernon Sydney. David had a long career in Vermont government holding a variety of positions including the Secretary of State of Vermont.
David died at the age of 41 from illness in September 1806. Hannah died shortly after in November 1807.
Montpelier 24 Apl. 1791
My dear Girl
Marriage is that State, in which the chief felicity or Misery of Every persons life is contained-every person is laying plans of future happiness, this Happiness I believe the general part of young people expect to enjoy in married life. It is then the greatest wisdom in every person who is a Candidate for Matrimony, to examine everything in the disposition, the Character, the manners, and agreeableness of a person proposed as a partner in life, and only consent to a Union with a person whose disposition and every turn is agreeable or at least not disagreeable- for I am sure there can be no greater presumption than to marry a Person, whom we do not esteem as possessed of every Qualification necessary to render us happy.
You and I, Hannah have had a long acquaintance, and for a considerable time a particular one. We are as well acquainted with each other as ‘tis possible for persons to be under no connection; and for myself I can say, no person on Earth has so great a share of my esteem as you, and should I be so far blest as to be permitted to spend the remainder of my life with you, I should esteem myself as happy as mortals are allowed to be – for should I be possessed of my Hannah, a small circle of friends and a few other conveniences, I should arrive to the greatest of my desires.
The married life is a state of Happiness when each party enters into it on right motives, where sincere honorable love at first impresses, and Reason gives the finishing stroke to the Union. Then perfect harmony resides with the happy pair, a mutual desire to please attended with a thousand little tendernesses unperceived by any other person Constitute a great part of their felicity. Perfectly satisfied with each other’s merit, to meet the greatest pleasure, to be Absent the greatest pain such a Conduct makes the married life a Heaven on Earth. Great is the Happiness I aspire after – Such my dear Girl we may arrive at, if we conduct on the unerring scale of right reason – such a Conduct the Gods must approve, and they will undoubtedly pour down on us every other blessing necessary to render our lives agreeable – But all this depends on you my dear Girl, Your Consent makes me the happiest of beings- Heaven grant you may - May every blessing rest upon you that mortal my wish or Providence bestow. From your sincere and oblequions admirer,