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The recipient of the letter, Esther Williams, was Mrs. Thomas Williams of Deerfield, Massachusetts. Her husband (1718-1775) was half-brother to the wife of Stephen West who had settled in Stockbridge as minister. This marriage strengthened an established Stockbridge connection with the Williams family. Two sons of Esther and Thomas: William Stoddard (b.1762) and Stephen West (b.1769) studied in Stockbridge and became physicians. The two names mentioned in the letter, "Bille" and "Stephen" might refer to those two sons.