A letter from Oliver Ellsworth, left, delegate to the Constitutional Convention from Connecticut, to his wife, July 21, 1787:

Dear Mrs. Ellsworth,

I believe the older men grow the more uneasy they are from their wives. Mr. Sherman {Roger Sherman of Connecticut} and Doctor Johnson {William Samuel Johnson of Connecticut} are both run home for a short family visit. As I am a third younger than they are I calculate to hold out a third longer, which will carry me to about the last of August.

My health holds better than I feared. To preserve {it} I walk a good deal in the cool of the afternoons. I frequently stop in and take a little chat and tea sipping with good Connecticut women who are dispersed about in different parts of the city. They are all very agreeable, but as Mrs. Lockwood I think is the most like yourself, you will allow me to like her a little the best. I can add however, if it will be any satisfaction to you, that my friend Mr. Lockwood is a home man and generally makes one of the party.

. . . My curiosity was highly gratified the other day by clasping the hand of a woman who died many hundred years ago. The ancient Egyptians had an art, which is now lost out of the world, of embalming their dead so as to preserve the bodies from putrefication {sic} . . . . From one of these an arm has lately been cut off and brought to this city. The hand is entire. The nails remain upon the fingers and the wrapping cloth upon the arm. The flesh which I tried with my knife cuts and looks much liked smoked beef kept till it grows hard. This will be a good story to tell Dr. Stiles, which is all the use I shall probably make of it. His avidity for food of this kind you know is strong enough to swallow the arm and body whole.

This letter is so much lighter than what I commonly send you that I will not pursue it any further lest you should imagine I am growing light headed -- and which for ought I know be the case before we get through the business of the Convention. Love to Nabby and the little boys and a smack to Fanny.

Oliver Ellsworth.

(The letter is part of the Ellsworth Collection of the Connecticut Historical Society and is included in the Independence National Historical Park collection.)