Thursday, May 29, 2008

William Harrison Letter, Meadville Pennsylvania 1867

Meadville [PA] April 8 /67 [1867]

Dear Children, Mase and Arvilla

Your welcome and kind letter dated March the 25th was rec'd yesterday.
Thank you very much for that. Hope you will favor me with another when
convienient. I have entirely given up hearing directly from Mase or your
Uncle Charles or any others from that section of the country. Nothing
could have been more welcome or acceptable than your letter informing me
how you have all getting along. Making your passage ( and by the way,
most of us are compeled to take a deck passage and that on what the
mariner calls Hurricane Deck) [in] this truthfully called this dark and
unfriendly world. Arvilla I often feel as Alexander Selkirk express
himself "I am out [of] humanity's reach I must finish my journey alone
etc. etc.”

We have all had a glorious this winter Maria, Charley and little Lura the
hired girl and myself all sick in the house together. A very interesting
time I assure you. We are all improving in health and poverty I think.
I am still with Hull & Whitney in the music store at a salary a little
less than $50 per month. If my expenses are not awful I might lay up a
little something.

I wish I could see that sweet little Emma and little Wille. Kiss each of
them a dozen times for me. If I can get away from the store long enough
to slip down and see you all one of these days perhaps I may.

I sent Samuel Nuntty a book of Sabath School songs. Has he rec’d them if
so, please say to him I would like him to acknowledge it by letter. All
business in this section of country is dull to quiet. My kind regards to
Mase, to your Uncle Charles and family also our friends up on the hill
and others who may take the trouble to enquire about me. Tell little
Emma for me that she must be good girl and learn rapidly and in a few
years after your nice house is built and properly furnished and her
Father will furnish a part of the money that Grandpa will do something
towards procureing for a splendid piano. I can get them at first cost
any one of the best and most popular makes of pianos.

I would really like to send a good No. 3 Florence Sewing Machine to
Ellicottville and sell it to Aunt Em’s next door neighbor with a tip top
operator with it. Compare the stitching and work of each together and
she would not want a Grover & Baker as a gift could she see them tested
by competent operators. But it is all right as it is. Goodbye to all.
Write me again when convenient.

As ever your affectionate Father,

W. E. Harrison [William E. Harrison]

A letter from William E. HARRISON (b.1817 d.?) to his daughter Arvilla ALLEN(b.1842 d.1932) and her family then living in Ellicottville, NY. The spelling is the original. "Mase" is Mason Hicks ALLEN (b.1833 d.1905), Arvilla's husband.

"Uncle Charles" is Charles GALLOWAY who resided with the ALLEN family and was related to William and Arvilla.

"Alexander Selkirk" was the real-life model to Defoe's book, ROBINSON CRUSOE.

"Maria" is William's second wife. (William's first wife and Arvilla's mother Lydia Fish died in 1858.)

"Charley and Lura" are probably William's and Maria's children.

"Emma" (Emma I. ALLEN b.1860 d.1934) and "Willie" (William C. ALLEN b.1866 d.1892) are Arvilla's and Mason's children.

Submitter: David A. WOOLLEY

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