Hannah Gwinn Loring (1791 – 1847) kept a diary when she was living in Salem, Massachusetts with her parents, Thaddeus and Mercy Gwinn.
In September 1807, Hannah wrote: “I left school with regret. My parents think it is time for me to commence assisting in domestic affairs for they think it very essential for a female to be well skilled in all the active comings of life.” Within two years, Hannah found a suitor in Samuel Loring, a ship’s captain in Salem’s profitable commercial shipping trade.
On Christmas Day, December 25, 1809 Samuel wrote a poem to Hannah while “on Board the Jennifer at sea near Bermuda” over 700 miles away.
Good night good night and is it so
and must I from my Hannah go
Oh Hannah say good night once more
And I’ll repeat it o’er & o’er
Till the first glance of Dawning light
Shall find us still saying good night
Hannah and Samuel married two years later on Christmas Day, 1811. In 1843, Samuel Loring, while on his second voyage in the barque Neptune, fell from the maintop and was instantly killed. The loss meant that Hannah would never see her beloved Samuel again, since his body was buried at sea.
- Lake County, Illinois History: Gwinn-Loring Christmas Romance.
- Charles Carroll Carpenter, Biographical Catalogue of the Trustees, Teachers and Students of Phillips Academy