MY DEAR WIFE
I have not written to you a long while, but here I am in the land of Sodom where all the people's brains are turned the wrong way. I was glad to see John yesterday, and should like to have gone back with him, for I am very weary of being here. You might come and fetch me away, for I think I have been here long enough.
I write this in a green meadow by the side of the river agen Stokes Mill, and I see three of their daughters and a son now and then. The confusion and roar of mill dams and locks is sounding very pleasant while I write it, and it's a very beautiful evening; the meadows are greener than usual after the shower and the rivers are brimful. I think it is about two years since I was first sent up in this Hell and French Bastille of English liberty. Keep yourselves happy and comfortable and love one another. By and bye I shall be with you, perhaps before you expect me. There has been a great storm here with thunder and hail that did much damage to the glass in the neighbourhood. Hailstones the size of hens' eggs fell in some places. Did your brother John come to Northborough or go to Barnack? His uncle John Riddle came the next morning but did not stay. I thought I was coming home but I got cheated. I see many of your little brothers and sisters at Northampton, weary and dirty with hard work; some of them with red hands, but all in ruddy good health: some of them are along with your sister Ruth Dakken who went from Helpston a little girl. Give my love to your Mother, Grandfather and Sisters, and believe me, my dear children, hers and yours,
[written at Northampton Asylum, July 19th, 1848.
Clare never did leave Northampton Asylum, dying there 20th of May 1864]
[He stood 5 ft tall. His height stemming likely from malnutrition as a child. The son of a farm laborer, removed from school age 7 to work on a Northampton farm, a farm that did not belong to his family, and where he was made to tend the sheep and geese.]