1863 envelope to Valley Falls, RI
Continued from Lillie B. Chase of Valley Falls, Rhode Island.
Lillie B. Chase, age 30, was married on 29 Oct 1878 to John Crawford Wyman, age 56, the son of Abraham Wyman and Sarah Crawford.4 John's first wife Emma Willard had died in 1861. John too was an abolitionist; William Lloyd Garrison was one of the few guests at their wedding.5
Lillie and John's only son Arthur C. was born 21 Sep 1879.6 On being a father so late in life, John, who had a sense of humor, said "I am old enough to be the child's grandfather, and I wisn I were. Then I could have all the fun of owning him, and his father would have the responsibility instead of my having it."5
So who did Lillie know in Vienna?
Returning to the letter from Austria, who did Lillie know in Vienna about the year 1863?
In 1863 Vienna was the capital of the Austrian Empire, which ruled from northern Italy and the Swiss border east as far Russia and Moldavia. It included modern-day Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, Croatia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and other areas. What it did not include was any part of France.
Yet the writer of the letter to Lillie B. Chace addressed her with the French title "Mademoiselle" not the German "Fraulein." Furthermore, the writer misspelled the surname as "Chase" although "Chace" would have been pronounced the same in French as in English.
Are we reading too much into it to say that the writer in Vienna was a native German, but well enough educated to know French and English? Who would that have included at the time? Without knowing the return address or contents, it is only speculation, but I would guess that, given the Chace's social and economic status, Lillie's correspondent could have been Anyone, with a capital "A."
4. Rhode Island Marriages, 1724-1916, at familysearch.org
5. Lillie Buffum Chace Wyman, "John Crawford Wyman" in American Chivalry (W. B. Clarke Co., 1913), at Google books.
6. Rhode Island Births and Christenings, 1878-1914, at familysearch.org.