The Tener Family

This is a journal kept by Dennis Holmes and friends concerning the Tener Family.
The links below will take you to the "Tener Blue Book" - "TENER: A History of the Family in France, Ireland and America"; and to a Finding Aid.

NEW! Tener Eckelberry: A Life
NEW! The Art of Renee Duke, Tener Eckelberry's First Wife
The Tener Book Site
The Tener Book
Finding Aid
Tener Family Photos
Previous Updates

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Mary Frances TENER’s Letters

As noted several times before, I had ‘committed’ to making available the entire package of Mary’s letters available “by Christmas” 2004. I am making progress to meet this deadline, and am scanning, correcting, and formatting the letters to make the package ‘flow’ more readily. I am not correcting any of the spelling on my copy of them, so when they are available for you – and some of these postings, you will be reading what I am reading, and in the same context! (*I think it pertinent to indicate that I am copying typed transcriptions of her letters, typing completed in 1932 or so by her grand niece - Roberta Johns, who lived in Pittsburgh.)

As I progress through the first one hundred fifty pages, or so, I am seeing some detail which were not as striking as the first two times that I read the letters. Perhaps the added knowledge of two more years of family research has made the content more interesting to me.

I am taking the ‘editor’s license’ to provide a couple of exerts to perhaps spark an interest. In that effort, below are out takes from the first two hundred and fifty, or so, pages, for your perusal.

Friday 10 July 1847

Beloved Friend,

I cannot but speedily thank you for your sweet letter—it is indeed a soother and strengthener and truly your kind heart bears in part my burden. I do verily believe it would most tend to my beloved Boys good to send him with our friend, Campbell. I always did and do dread our public Schools & Colleges. The morality and spirituality of Youth is of paramount importance, and however carefully childhood may be nurtured, we know the danger of evil example and laxity of government which is I fear too much the case in our Colleges. . . . . . . . . . .

**This is part of a letter written shortly after the Tener’s had hosted Alexander Campbell, at Moree, for about five days. It is interesting to me that there was little faith in the public schools way back then – not uncommon today.

(*** And what follows is an exert from another letter in which Mary Tener writes to her friend in Dublin news of her son George getting engaged. The letter goes on to describe both Susan Wallis and Susan’s sister Priscilla Wallis. It is apparent that there was a lot of contact between the two families including periodic visits.)

Moree, July llth 1850

My ever loved Friend,

Were it not that I know how trusting your charity is I would fear my apparent neglect had ere this lessened your esteem and affection for your friend, but indeed I have not been forgetful of you and my many obligations to you, but have been so situated since I last wrote to you that I felt quite unequal to send you even a line until now. I have had so much company and for so long a time to attend to and sitting up so late every night, which I could not com­pensate for by a good sleep in the morning, gave me a most distressing feeling in my head and which I fear I shall never get quite well of, at least without great care.

At present I have indeed a. quiet house, quite the extreme. Mr. Tener, my good man, is in Omagh at the Assizes. Only Robert, busily at work, and Francis are at home. Sarah Anne, George and John left this for Nottinghame yesterday week—previous to their going and after our Derry visitors left us I was very busily occupied in preparing nice Shirts, etc., for the boys' going that I might have them as nice as I could—and no wonder, you will allow, when I tell you my precious good George is gone to see his Lady-love and make the momentous proposal. Susan Wallis is his chosen, and I do think he has chosen well. She is a very sweet, lovely girl and every way amiable. I would rather she was not so tall as Geo. is a small man, but this is often the case. He is about an inch higher but you know women always look so much taller in their habiliments than men. She is, however, perfectly well formed—slight and her step light & easy. Indeed she is elegant looking and Geo. says there is a 'heavenly beauty' in her face.

I do myself think there is more real beauty in her features and countenance than the others. Priscilla is veritably handsome - - black hair, dark sparkling eyes, grecian form of face, and features, the prettiest mouth and whitest teeth imaginable. The term 'beautiful' is more appropriate to Susan—her face belongs to the sky—fair hair, blue eyes of a sweet tender expression and complexion of delicate white & red. Well, do you know, my friend, my dark son has been received with unhesitating satisfaction by Mr. Wallis and. the fair Susan has pronounced the decisive 'I will.' And now you may Judge of my varied feelings in giving up my beloved first born and well deserving Son to another's love.

I am happy at the prospect and bless God for providing him such a Wife, and she is richly favored in getting such a Husband.

Mrs. Wallis is to visit Drummond this Summer and intends returning with George & John next week, when we are also to have two gentlemen from Scotland and perhaps two ladies from . . . . . .

(*** I think these are great and detailed descriptions of the Wallis girls.
About half of the 571 pages of Mary’s letters have scanned, edited, and reformatted. Still on target for the Christmas 2004 ‘release’ to those ‘family’ members who desire a copy of the full set.)