Saturday, October 10, 2009

Historian's Respite, 1854

I have always loved ponds of pure translucent water, and some of my happiest and most memorable days have passed on and around the beautiful Middleboro' ponds, and particularly the largest, Assawampset; here King Philip frequently came, and a beautiful round hill near by is still known as "King Philip's look-out." I have often felt an inclination when tired of the noise and strife of society, to retire to the shores of this noble old pond, or rather lake, for it is some five or six miles in length and two broad. But I have a wife and four children, and besides have got a little too far along, being in my forty-second year, to undertake a new mode of life.

Historian Daniel Ricketson of New Bedford inlcuded the preceding paragraph in a letter he wrote to Henry David Thoreau from "Brooklawn" his New Bedford home on August 12, 1854. The letter which Ricketson wrote to "a kindred spirit" inaugurated an eight year friendship between the two men which lasted until Thoreau's death and which saw Ricketson's introduction of the Middleborough and Lakeville ponds to the Concord naturalist and philosopher.


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