The population of this republic is fifty-five millions. When you were born seventy years ago, it was only a paltry eight millions. Your advent seemed to swell the population.
Father and mother had but one child. Your coming was a sensation. And at once doubled the size of their family. For some years you enjoyed the distinction of being an only daughter–which accounts for your having been petted and spoiled!
The winter is gone and birds sing in may–but they had never sang so sweetly to father and mother, as on the 25th of this month 1814.
Congratulations poured in. Grandfather Browne walked up from the big house, to look into the mild blue eyes of his first grand-daughter. The elders, the deacons and the friends, as they would pause a little at father’s hospital side-board, leveled their tumblers to the gallant soldier, and the christian young mother, and feelingly said, “God bless her.”
And to-day, our sister, upon this anniversary of your birth, when you safely stand upon the seventieth round of life, and still “look up the ladder and laugh,” we clasp hands all round as at a family jubilee and unite in that earliest prayer over you, “God bless you.”
You came into the may sunshine crying, but laughter and not tears has been your inheritance. Over-flowing with health, with spirits and saucy good sense, you have braved your own way for seventy years! Your family can toss you roses, and good wishes, without ever a blush for Abby Elvira. May you long live and enjoy a serene old age. And when at least we shall all pass over to the majority, beyond the river–may we be a re-united family.
Accept dear sister, in the name of all your surviving brothers and sisters, this trifling birth-day offering. Together with our loves.
Jonathan Browne, Charles E. Browne, Mary E. Watson, Maria L. Mann, Erastus D. Browne, Edward L. Browne, Cordelia B Olmsted, Amanda A. Bugh