Marian Wolcott


Mariann Wolcott
Daughter of Oliver Wolcott and Lorraine Collins
Engraved by S. A. Schoff from a Crayon
by Sharpless, 1796 (This portrait is duplicated
from The Wolcott Memorial, 1881)
Mariann Wolcott was born on February 16, 1765. She was the fourth child of Oliver Wolcott and Lorraine (Laura) Collins. She had two older brothers, both named Oliver (the first died young), and an older sister, Laura. Frederick was her younger brother by nearly two years.

During the Revolution, when the statue of King George III was brought to the home of her father, she helped to melt the statue down into bullets. She is on record as having created the most bullets out of King George.

In October of 1789, she married Chauncey Goodrich of Hartford. He was the eldest son of the Reverend Elizur Goodrich. Chauncey graduated from Yale, got his law degree, was a member of the State Legislature, and a member of the United States House of Representatives.

Mariann died on March 12, 1805, at the age of forty.


Mariann's Letters to Frederick

The Litchfield Historical Society has a series of letters in the Alice Wolcott Collection written by Mariann to her brother Frederick. Below are some excerpts.

November 22, 1789
Marianne writes her brother Frederick to console him over his failed courtship of Miss Van Vleck. Also included is informtion concerning family travel.

Excerpt:

Dear Fred,

I shall write you but a few lines this time
for my Husband sits looking over my shoulder, which
quite disconcerts one_He is a pretty curious Being it
is true, but I sometimes find means to evade his
enquiries_ and you need not fear that I shall shew him
any of your Letters_Do then write freely-and often-unbosom
yourself without reserve-and not pretend that there is
no latent flame in your breast_I know otherwise - and
your not mentioning Miss Van Vlecks name is no evidence
that you do not think of her_


Mariann Wolcott
Painting by Ralph Earl, 1789
February 21, 1790
Mariann complains to Frederick that he has not written her. She suggests a flute, a pitch plaster, and a pretty wife as cures for crossness, indolence, and headache.

Excerpt:

Dear Frederick.

I wish to know whether it was
crossness or indolence, or head-ach, that prevented
your writing to me_ so that I may ^know how to apply
the remedy_ the first of these disorders, may be
cured perhaps, by Olmstead's flute, or his more
melodious voice "By Music minds are equal tem-
per know_ Nor swell too high nor sink too low"
_ If you are troubled with the malady of
Laziness, I would advise a pitch plaister to
be applied to your back._ This I experience
is a great stimulus to action _

 

November 11, 1791
Marianne exchanges family news with Frederick. She says if he comes to visit that she will help him win the affection of Catherine (Kitty) Wadsworth. She admonishes him for not writing and send information about the meerting of electors in Middletown.

Excerpt:

I have very much wonder d at not
hearing a word from you since I left
Litchfield_ You must suppose that we
wish to be inform=d as often as possible of
Mama=s situation particularly__ But you
have left off writing entirely as well as
all the rest of my Friends_ We have not
had a single line from Oliver or Betsey
since they left us_

June 1796
Marianne complains to Frederick about her physical maladies. She also needles him about his sporadic letter writing.

Excerpt:

May I ask what you are doing, and
why you don=t write to me? If it proceeds from
diffidence it may now be laid aside for altho= I
have a contempt for Old Bachelors generally, yet
in consideration of your being my brother, I will
promise to receive your letters with pleasure, and
answer them when it is convenient.

January 23, 1799
Marianne asks Frederick to make inquiries about Mr. Miller who has publicly declared his love for Mary Wyllys. She believes the two are too young for marriage.

Excerpt:

do not let her know
that I have written to you upon the subject,
but talk with her, if you can, before she
leaves town about Miller, and find out how
she feels towards him-discover also all
that you can of the gentlemans feelings, and
let me know__ They are too young to
be married yet a while