Letter from Henry L. DeForest to Anna M. Sperry DeForest (May 4, 1881)


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Letter from Henry L. DeForest to Anna M. Sperry DeForest (May 4, 1881)

Alternative Title

Letter from Henry DeForest to Anna DeForest (May 4, 1881)


Sanford (Fla.)


A personal letter from Henry L. DeForest (1857-1902) to his wife, Anna M. Sperry DeForest. In the letter, DeForest discusses their baby son, rainy weather, his boredom in Sanford, a letter he received from Loise Cornell, and Anna's travel to Savannah, Georgia.

DeForest was born in Derby, Connecticut, and knew Henry Shelton Sanford since childhood. In 1870, DeForest came to Florida seeking better health in the warmer climate. He became Sanford's agent and helped carry out the work of establishing Sanford. He managed the contracted workers for Sanford's groves, especially the contracted Swedes that Sanford brought over in 1871. By the 1880s, he had married Anna M. Sperry, also from Derby, and had become an established businessman and grove owner in Sanford. He built his general store in 1887, which was the second oldest brick building in Downtown Sanford. His general store was the building where the historic September 1887 fire stopped. DeForest built other commercial buildings in downtown. His home, known as "The Palms," was located at 105 Aldean Drive and still stands today.


DeForest, Henry L.


Original letter from Henry L. DeForest to Anna M. Sperry DeForest, May 4, 1881: DeForest Collection, Sanford Museum, Sanford, Florida.

Date Created


Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original letter from Henry L. DeForest to Anna M. Sperry DeForest, May 4, 1881.

Is Part Of

DeForest Collection, Sanford Museum, Sanford, Florida.
Henry L. DeForest Collection, Sanford Collection,, Seminole County Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




403 KB


1 page handwritten letter and envelope






Derby, Connecticut
Sanford, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher
Geography Teacher


Originally created by Henry L. DeForest.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by the Sanford Museum and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.


Hazen, Kendra
Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

Fry, Joseph A. Henry S. Sanford: Diplomacy and Business in Nineteenth-Century America. Reno, Nev: University of Nevada Press, 1982.
Molloy, Leo T. Henry Shelton Sanford: (1823-1891). Derby, Connecticut: Valley Historical Research Committee, 2009.
Sanford Historical Society (Fla.). Sanford. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2003.


Sanford, Fla., May 4, 1881
My dear darling wife
No news to write of and am anxiously
awaiting a letter from you from Jacksonville - I do hope
dear baby is better and I think he must be for he
was certainly improving when he left here – if you
and baby are well I shall be happy – I do love the little
fellow more each day and my wife is the dearest of all
to me.
We are having rainy weather and everything
is so much fresher – it has rained to that I have
not been out have you but shall go this [?] if
I can.
[?] is dull and I expect I shall
get pretty tired of staying in town it may be
that I shall go out to the house and stay awhile for
a change – I don’t like it in town at all + could not be
induced to live here. We have a pleasant little house
as we could wish and I am much attached to it
if it was not for the “ifs”
I had a letter from Loise Cornell ([?]) yesterday he says [?]
is improving a little.
Remember me to all and write often.
Did you
+ Christine get through to Savannah on the Pass

Your loving husband

Mrs. Henry L. DeForest
Derby Conn.

MAY 9 1881

Document Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1-page handwritten letter and envelope


DeForest, Henry L., “Letter from Henry L. DeForest to Anna M. Sperry DeForest (May 4, 1881),” RICHES, accessed April 15, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/4218.