A Lovely Example of Spiritual Friendship Between Two Protestant Women


To students of church history, Esther Edwards Burr (1732-1758) is known today as one of eleven children born to Sarah and Jonathan Edwards, America’s greatest theologian.

To students of American history, she is known as the mother of Aaron Burr Jr., Thomas Jefferson’s vice president who mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton in an illegal duel in 1804. When Aaron was all of 19 months old, she recorded in a letter that he was “a little dirty Noisy Boy . . . very sly and mischievous . . . not so good tempered. He is very resolute and requires a good Governor to bring him to terms.” Aaron would tragically go on to abandon the faith of his family. But we can certainly feel empathy for his difficult start in life, given that at the age of two years old he lost both his mother and his father, as well his grandfather and grandmother.

Esther Edwards Burr died at the age of 26. She began a journal when she was 9 years old, which you can read online. In 1986 Yale University Press published a critical edition of three years worth of letters she wrote as an adult to her friend Sarah Prince (1728-1771), offering a rare look at female colonial American piety and a young life devoted to “sincere religion” and committed to “faithful friendship” (to use the description of Roger Lundin and Mark Noll).

more (via Wesley Hill)

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