Monday, December 06, 2010

Florence, Kansas 1886

Letter handwritten by JOHN M. ARCHER of Florence, Kansas - KS and dated January 7, 1886. The letter was written to Reverend John W. Hancher. Archer must have replaced Hancher as the town preacher as he mentions the town is struggling to pay him. He also states that Florence is a queer city in church matters. He tells Hancher that he has many friends but he's concerned about the chuch wanting to run to all the things of a Godless character. Details of the letter below:

Florence, Kansas
Jan. 7th, 1886
Bro. Hancher:
Pardon my long delay in replying to your last. I am truly sorry to hear from you as being so nearly incapacitated for duty. May God sustain you in your affliction. I hope you are better ? this. I am succeeding after a moderate rate. Florence is struggling to pay the preacher as usual! She is a queer city in church matters. Did you get all your pay here. How did Martin stand by you? Bro Hartenan gives a rather blue acct of him. He has been true as steel to me. How did you like F. anyhow? I have many friends here but somehow the church wants to run to all the things of a Godless character. I never had such a charge.

All send you greeting and sympathy. That was all right concerning that business point. I hope you will succeed grandly. Our conference convenes March 11th at McPhersons. Bro Walden, Pres,. We have four districts. I am one of the examiners for 2 year. I have “Logie” and “Harman’s Introduction” to examine in. 30 acres, 15 ? book, Cliue? Is ?. Dr. M. is going into the traveling co? this Spring. His enemies are chuckling over it considerably. Moore, Owens, Van Laudwig ? and some others have guilt their work on account of sickness and money making. Will write again soon. Give our love and ? to Mrs. H. May God bless you,
Your Bro in Christ
John M. Archer

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Saturday, December 04, 2010

Sarah Ann Eddy of Eagle Harbor New York

“May 21st, 1870?


I am sorry to hear of Emily’s feeling badly. If I could see her a little while I could tell her how bad I had felt……Since my treatment by the lady Dr. I feel so different in every way and my back is much stronger and I used to feel a bad feeling in the lower part of my bowels as though something was loose or pulling down. Can not express it in any other way. I feel many times that I am not half thankful enough for the relief I have had though I try to be and I feel that it was the hand of providence that sent me to Mrs. Gould and I have often wondered how I had confidence to go to a perfect stranger and let her treat me. I assure you I have never regretted it and my advice to Emily is if she has any feelings that leads her to think there is any disease of the womb or there about, I would go immediately or have a Dr. come and examine into the case for there are many things much worse than an examination. She may not have any of the falling I had as all are not handled alike. The treatment I had was first she took a little cotton and placed it up my body with her hand to see if there were ulcerations. She said there were none but that there were calloused places that would lead to them in time if not cured that was what she used the cotton with glycerin and carbolic acid to cleanse and heal after she had placed the womb up in it’s place and put the cotton in to hold it up and I stood on my feet and felt so different and could walk or go up and down stairs with such a different feeling. I lay on my left side, back toward her during the operation, that is all there was to it………For mother or only ladies to read, Samantha.”

(more on her operation and general family news)

“Poplar Ridge

April 12th, 1870

Dear Mother,

………Uncle B. wrote business was very dull at Cedar Falls so Edwin thought he would go and see how it was and if he likes it at Homer will stop there but if not will go to Cedar Falls. He is going to write immediately on his arrival there and as soon as I hear from him I shall make calculations to go to Orleans Co. and as soon as he gets settled we shall go to him. Our folks wished us to stay here till he got settled somewhere but I feel anxious now to spend my time in Barre. Edwin went to Auburn in the stage, is going the Lake Shore road and thinks he must go right along. Wanted I should do the visiting. Thought he would go from Rochester to Buffalo by Batavia…….Your affectionate daughter, Samantha W. Eddy.”

“May 1st, 1871

Dear mother and all,

……Last weeks Enterprise says there are to be Summer Excursions on this road to Put-In-Bay, Niagara Falls &c. There was last summer and that there will be due notice give of them in the paper so I guess I will make me a gingham dress and each of us an umbrella and then if the fare should be very cheap perhaps we might take a trip (but I am cautious not to build air castles)……Yours lovingly, Mollie.”

“June 7th, 1871

Dear ones and all,

…….You remember our speaking of the dances they had this past winter. The first day of May the club had a phantom or sheet and pillow case masquerade. There were sixteen ladies masked and twelve gentlemen. Papa, mama and I masked. We had sheets draped around us and a face of white paper muslin and then a pillow case on our heads. When they were dancing a quadrille they unmasked. When we unmasked, papa was dancing with Mrs. Bryant, mama with Jim and me own self with Bruce Conkey. I wish I could go to another masquerade. I had so much fun that night…….Love to all, your cousin Mame.”

“Poplar Ridge

November 25th, 1872

To Cousin S. A. Eddy and the relatives in Orleans,

…..Mother is living with Andrew yet but will be with Lydia soon. Her health is poor and she is failing gradually. May not live a month and may live through the winter. Has been a long time in the habit of taking Laudanum in small doses which no seems to make her dull and stupid but cannot do without it so shall let her continue it……Your cousin, E. C. Culver”


February 22nd, 1874

Dear friends in Homer,

I have the pleasure of saying to you, your welcome favor was received in due time and red with much interest and was to me a real Christmas gift. It found us all well at the time but soon after Orrin was kicked by one of the horses and frightened us terribly. The horse was shod and struck him in the face and cut a hole through the bone on the side of the nose and bled so we could not stop it. Albert went for our Disco Dr., he came in a hurry, but could not dress the wound that night, it bled so much. Next morning he came again and sewed it up. He wears a plaster on it yet but it is almost well. We are all glad it was no worse. The old lady lived alone in log house when you were here, was run away with. Her shoulder and wrist broken and is now with Mr. James Paynes, the one south of here. Has nothing to help herself with but must be cared for just the same. Several other accidents happened in our vicinity. It seems to have been a winter of accidents…..Sally Goff.”

“Covert Osborne Co. Kas

September 1st, 1874

To A. E. Eddy, Cedar Falls Iowa,

Dear Nephew &c,

Your letter reached us this morning and as Will has gone to the shop to get mended I will answer your kind and welcome letter. You ask how we like our western home. We all like it here but have got to scrub and cough it awhile longer as hot winds and grasshoppers have cleaned out the country for a hundred miles west and two hundred east of us. We had 10 acres of oats and 10 of wheat and 23 of corn, 14 of millet and ½ acre of potatoes…..yes we have seen this country just as the Indians left it. There has been a great many buffalo killed about us during the last two months and it is a pleasure to go and kill or help skin a fat one and have meat again. We are seldom out long. I have shot at them from the door several times. Did not bring them down. Arthur killed one a year ago near the house. We have not tanned any hides but use them for lariats. There is plenty of chances to buy but when hides are so good for robes, the buffalo are so far out one would have to buy off hunters and have them put in by rail as teams get so thin they do not wish to haul them in. They are worth…….(He goes on to talk about their worth)….there are several families near us that came from Blackhawk. Several families of Ayers……J. L. Culver”

(More as this letter is 4 pages long)

“Cedar Falls Iowa

November 24th, 1881

Sister Sarah Ann,

Yours of the 14th instant enclosed with Homer’s was duly received. The first intelligence of Samantha’s death we received was from May Culver. The telegram was not forwarded from here. I got it since I came home. The shock must have been sudden to you as you had no previous warning. Samantha was kindly remembered here by her acquaintances. She will ever be wherein she was known. Thus one after another is dropping away…….yours truly, Byron Culver.”

“Hotel Statler Buffalo (Letterhead and envelope)

September 1st, 1910

My dear Mrs. Brown,

Sue, John and I have had a good rest on shore today and it has worked wonders with me. I was nervous and very fatigued from loss of sleep at Albion and the one good night at your home simply served to show me what we all required. Yesterday we spent the day at Niagara and last night Mr. Van Horne left for New York. We expect him back tomorrow morning when if the day is fine, we will go across the lake to the canal. This afternoon we enjoyed a fine rest near the club. An old row boat being filled with gasoline and set on fire and all sort of fire extinguishers did their best. Each having a new fire to start with to put it out that not one succeeded. Early in the morning we took the sight seeing automobile and had a lovely ride but not as beautiful or restful as one was at Albion…….Sincerely yours, S. R. Van Horne.”

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

KIA Private Julius J. Bardoni WW2 Letters

KIA Private Julius J. Bardoni WW2 Letters
Find A Grave Memorial# 56371053
World War II correspondence from Private Julius J. Bardoni, Wyandotte, Michigan, 1941 - 1944.

Some excerpts:

"This place they call 'sunny Italy' brrr, it's cold as ---- in the mountains and when you do get down it's always raining.... I've been overseas for fourteen months, seen action in Africa, Sicily, and now Italy while those slackers are still in the states. They'll probably use those guys in the Pacific but after it's over with over here I'll try to go along with those recruits.... Things have changed since I last wrote you. I've been on this beachhead since 'D' Day and it's been pretty hot at times but maybe not as bad as you might read about in the papers....

Say, are they still rationing gasoline around home, I'd be in a heck of a fix if I'd be lucky enough to get there.... Here's a little tip, get out of communication work because in the artillery it's no picnic, you'd be with the infantry as much as with your outfit if you picked the short straw.... Do your best and try to get in as a paragraph trooper of the chairborne command (ink to you). Cannoneer is your next best bet because you don't have to go on observation posts and be shot at all the time.... Since I've ben on this God-forsaken beachhead I don't much give a damn anymore. You're like a duck on a pond and everybody's shootin' at you. When you're up on the line you die about a thousand times a day. If your outfit isn't attacking you're being attacked and so it goes. I figure a guy lucky if he gets hit and goes to the hospital...."

Handwritten letter to his sweetheart, Phyllis Mlotkowski, of Wyandotte Michigan, from Africa, June 12, 1943. In part: "I have received only seven letters since I arrived November 8.... After we landed in Casablanca we fought for four days and it was all over and they asked for volunteers to go north to the front and I was one of them and I went throught just about all of the Tunisian Campaign. I was in five battles with this outfit, the 168th Infantry, perhaps that's the reason I wasn't getting my mail regularly.... My old outfit is asking for volunteers to come back and I did it again. I'll be back with them before this letter is delivered to you. It will mean more artillery fire and more bombs but I want this war over as soon as possible so we can be together again.... I've been in Tunis four time already and picked up a few souvenirs.... Honey, I love you more than ever but it's like I told you in my last letter, if you think you found someone you like better, well, hon, then you may do what you know is right. I couldn't hardly blame you because Christ knows how long this is going to go on...."

Handwritten letter to Phyllis Mlotkowski, from southern France, September 2, 1944. In part: "Ever since I've been here I haven't had much time for anything. Writing paper is as scarce as furloughs.... France is really beautiful and so are the women. The WACs wouldn't stand a chance with these girls. In my estimation France is better and will continue to be better than all of Italy before the war...."

Group of four picture postcards, 1941 - 1942, each including a message sent by Bardoni from various military posts in the U.S. The return addresses Bardoni use variously place him with the 7th and 168th Infantries.

Sadly, Pvt. Bardoni was killed in France. Here is his burial record which I found online

Name: Pvt Julius J Bardoni
Death Date: 21 Nov 1944
Burial Place: Departement des Vosges, Lorraine, France

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory 1879

Very interesting letter from, a man with his brother, who were locked up in a Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, jail dated Apr 17 1879, to a Mr. Allen, with content, which reads in part, as follows,

I was glad to hear from you. I am very much obliged to you for the recommendation, which I think will do me considerable good. I received some papers, which I am very much obliged for. If you see Mr. Steele, tell him I wish that he would send me another recommendation... [for] while my brother was tearing up some letters, he tore it ... before he noticed what it was ... As for dead-beating [catching free rides on freight trains] my way through life, it is something which I do not intend to do], as we had no money and wanted to get out West, it was the only way we had to do it. I intend, if we get out in May, to go to some Ranch, as they call it, and to to work. I think some of going to Leadville [Colorado] which is only about 175 miles from here, and see Will Davenport and get a job down there if I can. I was in a [news] paper here ... that the people were dying at the rate of about 15 per day on account of the water ... The conductor, I don't see how he can make it out [as] assault, when he swears he hit us first, and we fight in self-defense. It is a very weary job to wait so long a time for trial. I have nothing to read, only what papers I get from home, and from you. We was arrested on the 7th of Dec., and have been in jail ever since. We asked the sheriff this morning when Court set [sat], and he said that it not set until the 3rd week in May, which is quite a while to wait yet. There is 16 prisoners in here at present, two road agents, one murderer, one for rape, one for illegal voting, some serving a small sentence, and three for assault. Tell Dan that the road agents are the ones that were in that robbery that ... [was] in thw Watertown Dispatch [was published in WAtertown, New York]. Tell Brete I wish he would write to me. I should be glad if Dan would write. I wish you would send the paper while I am in here, and I will pay you for it when I get out. Tell them if they write to inclose stamp, paper & envelope, as it is very scarce here at present ... When you send the paper ... [make] in care of Geo. A. Draper, Sheriff ... [signed] William C. Williams."

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Thomas Simons of South Carolina

6 letters, dated 1790s, from Thomas Simons of South Carolina, written from Charleston SC, Newport, Rhode Island and New Haven, Connecticut, all addressed to Charles Ludlow, an early Wall Street, New York City merchant banker. The letters were carried by hand and have no postal markings. A summary of each follows:

[Simons to Ludlow; dated Charleston, South Carolina, Dec 10 1793; 1 p.] "I was requested by our friend COL Read to forward a Bill of Exchange of one hundred dollars to you, the second of which I now inclose. The first you will receive by the Ship INDUSTRY. The bill is drawn on Messrs. Hoffman & Seton. I was happy to hear by Mrs. Read of you & your family. She speaks highly of your charming little daughter. I was in hopes that we should have had the pleasure of seeing Mrs. Ludlow & yourself in this Country, but Mrs. Read does not give us much encouragement to expect you soon. Mrs. Simons joins me in requesting our best respects to Mrs. Ludlow & your father & mother. We will also thank to remember us affectionately to Mr. & Mrs. Livingston & Miss Vanhorne when you see them ... [signed] Thos. Simons ..."

[Simons to Ludlow; Charleston, Dec 10 1793; 1 p..] This brief letter originally enclosed the first Bill of Exchange, mentioned above. In those times important letters and documents were often sent in duplicate -- by different ships or land routes -- to insure delivery against loss.

[Simons to Ludlow; "Rhode Island," Aug 18 1795; 3 pp.] "I have to acknowledge the receipt of your two favors, the last of which I received this morning. Your first favor I should have answered sooner, but I have left Newport & stay above five miles from it in the Country. I am in hopes that the Country here will be of more service to Mrs. Simons & to our girl than Newport, that we cannot so much find here as there. We are agreeably situated on a pleasant farm, which is open to the sea. Mrs. Cain was so well pleased with it she has joined us. Mr. Read I am in hope will also make one of our party. This is certainly the place for invalids. The day is pleasant if you do not vapor yourself in the heat of the Sun, but the agreeable coolness of the evenings contributes more to one's recovery. In your last you mention that you can get 18/6 for my ... indentures payable in Oct, if that price can now be obtained I will ask you to sell them. The first day of Oct is about the time I expect to be In New York. I will therefore [reqeust you] to file them payable on that day. If you cannot get that price, I will thank you to wait until the first of Sept and then sell them, unless you wish that they will sell better now, as I have no thoughts of funding them. I am in hopes that Mr. Read is in New York by this time & we shall meet him soon. The season is so far advanced ... [signed] Thos. Simons ..."

[Simons to Ludlow; from Mrs. Hazards, Thames Street, Newport, Aug 8 1795; 2 pp.] "I wrote you a letter just as I was about sailing from New Haven & inclose one for Charleston. I have to apologize for the trouble I then gave & now give you & shall rely on your goodness for my excuse. I have not received a line from any of my friends since I left New York. I can account for it no other way, than to suppose that their letters are at New York. If you should have any letters, bring them for me. You will greatly oblige me by sending them forward. We are in hopes that you feel no inconvenience from the heat of the weather in New York. We find it pleasant here & may make our best respects to Mrs. Ludlow & Miss Vanhorner and let them know that NewP. has increased very much, but that our little daughter has had a fever. She is now getting the better of it ... let me know what you can get for my indentures payable the first of Oct ... [signed] Thos. Simons ..."

[Simons to Ludlow; New Haven, Connecticut, Jul 26 1795; 2 pp.] "I was obliged to leave New York so early on Sat week morning, that I could not take my leave of you, as intended, without disturbing you. I therefore send up my indentures to you & will thank you to keep them until you hear further from me. Mrs. Simon recovered very much since she has been here. Her eye is much better. Our stay here has been much longer than we originally intended, on account of Dr. Flagg's daughter being sick. We shall, however, sail I hope tomorrow. We have spent the time very agreeably; Mr. Platt's and Mr. Broome's families have been very polite and attentive to us. Will you be good enough to make Mrs. Simon's & my best respects to Miss Vanhorne & Mrs. Ludlow & inform them of the flattering prospect we have of their speedy recovery. Mrs. S. requests of Mrs. Ludlow to beseach such sweet meats she thinks will keep best for her. I will be happy to hear from you ... [signed] Thos. Simons ... P.S. Mrs. S. has had 4 half gallons I've made here for her sweet meats, with her name, which I will forward to the person, who is to make the sweet meats, as would not wish to trouble you with them."

[Simons to Ludlow; Rhode Island, Sep 28 1795; 2+ pp.] "We had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Read on Monday the 4th Inst., but he had stayed so long we dispaired of seeing him here this season. He mentioned to me that you did send him to inform me that I could not get the price that you respected for my indentures. I hope, however, that you have sold them, as I have no idea of sending them to Carolina to be funded. I desired my friiends in Carolina if they could get me a small sum in indentures to get COL Read to inclose them to you; if has sent any, I will be much obliged to you to put them in a broker's hands to be sold immediately. I am giving you a great deal of trouble. If I could be of any service to you, I wish you would command me. I will thank you to make Mrs. Simon's compliments to Mrs. Ludlow & Miss VAnhorne. I inform them that Mrs. Simon is considerably better, but her eyes are still weak that she does not venture to [word not clear] ... [signed] Thos. Simons ...

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

39th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment

Union Civil War soldier's letter, written in pencil, dated Camp 39th Reg. Wisconsin Volunters, Memphis, Tennessee, Monday, Aug 29 1864, from Sergeant Frederick William Friese, Company "A," 39th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment, to his wife Mary in Milwaukee WI, with original stamped US 3c postgal envelope cancelled Memphis TN, Aug 29 (1864). The letter reads, in part, as follows, "I have just come in from picketing & have only time to write you a few lines before the mail leaves. We shall probably leave this place by Monday or Tuesday at latest & perhaps as early as Saturday. As soon as we get "marching orders," I will write you again as we shall probably leave within 48 hours after the receipt ... If Godfrey has not sent the money, mentioned in my last; when you get this, he need not send it & I shall try to get along without it. Any letters that may be sent here after we leave, will, of course, follow us. Let my folks know this ... [signed] F. Wm. Friese ...

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Whitesborough, New York, 1841

Letter by Laura Dexter of Whitesborough, New York, 1841, with postmarked integral address leaf to Edward North and reads in part: "McLeod's trial is the all absorbing topic of the day, our quiet, peaceible village, has been under military guardianship for many weeks, by orders of our good & careful whig Governor," William Seward, "an armed band have patrolled our streets, breaking at intervals the still watches of the night. I am thankful that thus far, the law has taken its course, & McLeod is unmolested, but I fear the result, if he be acquitted, as many curses, both loud & deep, have come forth against him, and a war with England instead of being deprecated, seems with some to be the great desirable."

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

1829 St Clairsville Ohio to Staunton Virginia

Letter from St Clairsville, Ohio to Staunton, Virginia. It was written from John Hinton who had recently made his way to Ohio to start a new life. He writes to his sister Elizabeth in Staunton in Mach 1829. He talks about traveling to Ohio about the business there, and tells her to tell their brother that he couldn’t make a good business out of blacksmith but could as a tanner. He talks about possibly traveling to Cincinatti and much more.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Edwin S. Kortz and Jennie E. Kern

These are the handwritten love letters of Edwin S. Kortz and Jennie E. Kern. There are also letters involving the Kortz’s children, Isabella and William. There are 15 letters in all, the earliest being 1876 and the latest 1902. There is also the wedding announcement of Edwin and Jennie.


“Miss Jennie E. Kern

Nazareth Penna. Northampton Co.

Ann Arbor, Mich. Oct. 19th, 1876

My Darling Pet,

Your kind and very unexpected letter arrived tonight and was very much surprised as well as somewhat scared for I thought something might have happened to my darling but that feeling passed away rapidly as I read your sweet letter and darling I think you must think a great deal of me for your kindness is not to be surpassed…….Well Pet, that is what I am doing, thinking of nobody but my darling. Indeed as I read, somehow or other your sweet face will appear to me and then I must stop and think about you and my dear. By this you will see that I am not studying so very hard after all……I am very glad I have a picture of you so I can at least look at you if I cannot have you and which is something I do every day and oftener sometimes. I showed your picture to my roommate the other day and he remarked that you were a very good looking girl so you see I am not the only person who thinks your good looking. But you know that I do not only think you are good looking, but think you the dearest and sweetest darling wife (even tho they aren’t married yet) there can be in the world. Now darling that is just what I think you are and I want you to believe it. You know that I do mean it do you not my pet?…….kisses to my darling.”


“Friday Noon, Phila, Dec. 30th, 1881

My Own Darling,

Having a large order to get out I was down to the store last eve till 10 P.M…….Words cannot express the loneliness felt by me since. One would hardly believe that on such a short acquaintance we would endure such pangs on being separated but as it is there is an uncontrollable feeling I cannot help it. Writing to you this morning makes me again feel happy and is a most delightful task…..Has anything leaked out yet? I suppose N. people are full of talk. Well we afforded a fine opportunity to have something to talk about. Darling how I long this morning for one sweet kiss, one look from those beautiful eyes. One loving smile but cruel, cruel fate whispers No! No! I hope God will grant us an opportunity to meet soon again and time may soon come when we shall be united together, never to part no more until one or the other is called home to Him to wait for the other on the beautiful shore in the beautiful city of gold. Should my time come before we meet, remember I will be watching and waiting for you there, ready to welcome you in through the pearly gates of the city of gold……I remain yours always, Ed. S. Kortz.”

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Friday, November 05, 2010

William Peter Maxwell of Brown University, Rhode Island 1798

2 page letter dated 1798, from William Peter Maxwell to William Green, both alumni of Brown University, Rhode Island....where Maxwell gives Green the business for not writing and keeping in touch.......signed William Peter Maxwell.

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Camp Stevens 1862

Camp Stevens Nov. 16, 1862 / Mr. J. H. Greenwood / Dear Sir / Will you see that James Lynch returns to Camp tomorrow morning in the 11 oclock train. His Irish friends persuaded him home last night.We gave him permission to go the junction to see his friends off and he skidaddled. If you will take this trouble we shall be under renewed obligation to serve you at the earliest opportunity. P. S. If he refuses to come than arrest him. Truly Yours John D. Edgell for Capt. Ashley.

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Camp Michigan, Virginia,1862

Union Civil War soldier's letter dated Camp Michigan, Virginia, Feb 2 1862, from Private Edward A. Mitchell, Company "K," 17th Michigan Infantry Regiment, to his brother A. H. Winchell,
Alexandria Virginia Soldier's Cemetery ca 1861-1865
Union Civil War soldier's letter dated Camp Michigan, Virginia, Feb 2 1862, from Private Edward A. Mitchell, Company "K," 17th Michigan Infantry Regiment, to his brother A. H. Winchell, PO Box 484, Detroit MI;

original stampless cover postmarked Alexandria Virginia, Feb 5 1862, with ovate "Due 3" postal rate marking, accompanies the letter. The content reads, in part:

"I would like to know how ... [his friends] are getting along in different parts of the Army. I receive letters from Kentucky, that is from Ben. The last I heard from him the regiment were going towards Bowling Green to guard railroads. He says he has not seen a Sesesch [rebel] and no signs of seeing any. He says he was well and getting along finely. 

And have you ever heard from Dick Thayer since he left Detroit[?] I believe the regiment is quartered at Baltimore, where it has been ever since it came from the state. I have no news to tell you. All the news we have got out of the New York and Baltimore [news] papers, which we get every other day, but I do not see one in two weeks. 

I have received two Weekly Advertisers in the last two weeks and I guess thery are going to come all right after this. I found a good deal of news in the last paper I received ... if you take any weekly papers, will you send one to me after you have read it ... [?] I have nothing to read and it would pass away a good deal of spare time. If you don't take any, why never mind ... I got so hungry that I had to quit writing and get some bread to eat before I could finish the letter. 

Stephen Lowell is sergeant. He was promoted about three or four weeks ago. I was going to have my picture taken with all of my dressings on and send it home, but I had not money enough so I will wait until next pay. I got all but six and a half dollars dollars of that twelve that was sent me & that Nat Jacobs owed me. He went away without paying me. He came to see me in the morning before he went, and he said he would come in the afternoon and see me again, but he did not come so I lost the money ... If you see him, try and collect it ... [signed] "Bro. Ed."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Bedford, Massachusetts 1844

Letter dated New Bedford, Massachusetts, September 1, 1844 and sent to Captain Isaac J. Sanford of the whaling ship "Champion", written by his wife Sylvia. This sad letter makes much about missing the husband, fearing for his safety and urging good health and a speedy return, sorry she did not go with him on the voyage, news about their little daughter Mary and family and friends. other local news including concern over a ship that has not been seen for some time, and comments he has not written about receiving her portrait sent to the Islands. She has noted this is her 20th letter.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Charles W A Morton 1808

June 28 1808. Signed “Charles W A Morton” to Mr. Biggs:

“As Mr. Biggs has declined to act any longer in the capacity of second, Mr. Morton wishes to know, if Mr. Thompson has come to a definitive resolution upon the subject. Saturday was the day appointed for the encounter, and Mr. M is certainly entitled to the intermediate time for the purpose of providing his second, especially since the arrangements necessary to be made by a person acting in that relation, may be completed in a few hours. Mr. M. has been involved in a disagreeable predicament by the defection of him, who had originally undertaken his cause, and has hitherto been unsuccessful under the circumstances. Mr. M. relying on the honor and ability of Mr. B is willing, that he should act as the common friend on the occasion, and he conceived that his opponent cannot occur any possible disadvantage in consequence of the measure, and that his reputation requires an acquiescence in the proposal. If Mr. B absolutely declines, he is still ready to go out alone with Mr. T in the last resort, in pursuance of preliminary arrangements, written and agreed to between the parties. Charles W A Morton”.

Monday, October 25, 2010


It is with pleasure I take my pen in hand to inform you that we are all well and hope that these will find you enjoying the same blessing. Yours I received it came the day I started for New York. I staid there over a year and did not see it till I came home. Since then I have neglected it. I hope you will pardon me for my negligence. We lived in New York five years, moved back and bought the corner house and land attached to it. Grandmother Griffin died a month after we returned. She was perfectly helpless with the palsey for two years before her death. In less than three years afterwards I was called to mourn the loss of a near and dear Father. He was confined to his bed only nine days. He died the 26th of January 1846 with the inflammation on the bowels. I hope our loss will be his eternal gain. He met with a change before his death. I cannot wish him back to suffer as he did. He had not enjoyed good health for the last twenty four years.

Uncle Philip Griffin commited suicide by hanging himself with a rope to a limb of a tree. He had the mumps about a year before he died and caught a cold with them. He was not crazy long before his death. He was with Father night and day while he was sick. No one knew he was crazy but his family till he hung himself. He was once heard to say he had no friend since his earthly friend was gone. He had nothing to live for. I expect he was crazy then. He died four months after Father.

Elisha works the farm. It is the talk he will be married between this and spring to Miss Mary Smith. Mr. Peter Bloom pay his ? to Anna. Aaron is the same Aaron yet Catharine Washburn is married to a Mr. Courbright from Plimmoth I believe. Mahala Hermans to Mr. Abram Duning one child. Martha Jane to Mr James Hays she has three children. Angaline to a A. Hendrick of Honesdale she has not done very well. Emma Hermans to Graham our school teacher they have two little boys. Polly to Mr Isaac Dean, Elisabeth Phiney to Mr Stone. Sarah Spencer to Isaac Depre. Sarah ‘s Mother died some three years ago. Her Father is married again to a young girl. Young enough to be his Daughter. Elisabeth Depre died about three years ago. Her father has gone to the west.

Mary Robinson is married to Doctor Pier one child. Catharine to Daniel Silkman two children. Holden to Sarah Shoemaker. Maria to William Shoemaker. Maria Snider not married yet nor Samuel Ward or Edward. This place is altered so you would hardly know it. Mr. Cottrell has built him a brick house. There is one Presbeterian Church and the Methodist has laid the foundation for their Church. It is a going to stand on a lot of our land and is a going to be built of brick. They calculate to finish it next summer. There is some seventy dwelling houses in the place, four stores, three parlor shops, two grocerys, two carriage shops, three Blacksmith, two carpenter shops and silversmith axe and sythe factory, one window sash, one sawmill, two gristmills, one district and two select school.

My cousin Miss Parsons has taught the select school for the last four years. Mrs Barlow the Presbeterian ministers wife the other Edmund lives in New York. He is Alderman of the first ward. Hiram lives there. He is engaged in taking the Census of the first ward. Not married yet. William is at home. I went out to New York last spring and staid four months. Edmund has two children a girl and boy since I have been home. I have been engaged painting and paparing our house. We moved our old house down opposite John Vaughn and just addition on it John Vaughn has four daughters, one son the youngest. The oldest girl is about seven good enough for the old bachelor. Lolly Stephens is most as large as Mother. I weigh one hundred and twenty six. Ann is larger then I am and taller. I presume you thought I had forgotten you. Never can I forget one that I have spent so many happy hours with when I have passed the old school house I have often thought of you. If I could recall those days how happy I should be when we sat side by side but those days are past and gone. Do you ever think of coming back once more to view this delightful valley and look on the faces of some of your old school mates. Anna was here yesterday. They were all well. Steward is about here. He is the same Steward yet. Give my love to Mrs Steward give my love to your mother and father and all the best of the children and except a share for yourself. Please excuse my scribbling for I wrote this at night and a poor pen. So good night write as soon as you get this.
No more at present.
I remain your affectionate friend,

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Selma, Alabama 1862

Civil War letter from Selma, Alabama from March 26, 1862. It is from A.L. Haden and is 3 pages long and is all handwritten. Here are some highlights of the letter:

Our people have not been fully aroused, they are now beginning to be and I hope ere long we shall be a unit, we are now fighting on the Mississippi River at Island #10 and if we hold that place and whip the enemy at Corinth I shall be very hopeful and if we fail there I will not despair for we shall then have to adopt a new policy which if vigorously carried would we will kill them off. I mean guerilla war. Ambush them and kill in every case where it is possible and this we can do when they undertake to march through the country as it seems they will do if they can, if we had built boats iron clad at the outset we would have whipped them long since…

The Merrimac is what we need at every place now and one such at each seaport would secure our safety it is late to begin but I am in favor of beginning now and moving as vigorously as possible. Mobile is threatened and if they take it we shall have their gun boats at this place, we have neither men nor arms here, but we have the torch, to burn everything they may want except our negroes, the cotton is what they mostly want now and that we do not intend they shall have, if fire will prevent them.

I have heard from Grey to the 12th Inst then near Fredericksburg. Willie I have not heard from so recently I suppose he is at or near Gordonsville, our army are getting much nearer home and the Yankees nearer to us, this seems to be hard I hope it is for the best, but I am inclined to fear that it exposes our weakness.

I intend to go to the mountains soon and take some hand up to plant corn for the poor soldiers wives who are left to make all they will have to live one. I feel very sad on account of that class of people. They have turned out and have gone to the war, until in many places none are left but the old men and women and children, and they are very poor, have no negroes and et the slave holders are not disposed to or send their negroes, fearing they may lose them, but their children have gone and many will never return, but they will not trust a few negroes to go when there is no dangers and this has caused the most of our troubles. We have been looking after money instead of our liberties until the enemy are all round us in immense force.

I have given up everything for the cause have lost sight of making money, ever since the commencement of this war, but have been giving until I have nearly given all for the cause of our country and still I am disposed to contribute and will be until the last is taken and if this will secure me life liberty and equality I am paid with interest for the sacrifice such I find to be my own case but not so much with many among whom I live and for whom I have no respect and will not have any thing to do with them.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

T H Hough to Guy Hough 1837

Columbus Ohio green cds and 25 rate on 1837 stampless folded letter from Columbus to Ct., describing his trip to Ohio, via canal and railroad.

I arrived in NY the next morning and left immediately for Albany...and left the same evening for Utica, and arrived there before light the next morning-spent one day there, and then by canal went west 60 miles to Montizuma and then went south 10 miles to Seneca Falls to call on my friend Mr roberts...then continued on my journey to Rochester...then took passage on railroad to Batavia thirty two miles and stage from there to Buffalo about 40 miles- arrived at B-early next morning....we took a ride through some of the most pleasant streets
and enjoyed it extreemly well. In the afternoon Mr S and myself took passage on the rail road for the falls Niagara-distance 22 miles-arrived there in time to view the falls before ten.... I went under the falling sheet water to termination rock and was well compensated for all trouble and expense. Saturday I left Buffalo for Detroit-determined to see where and how the Hough settlement is situated... had a fine time crossing the lake-about 9 I was ready to mount my pony and go into the woods, and found our friends were about 50 miles north Detroit.
He finds his friends, and writes about them. they had 5-6 acres about burnt over he cut about 6-7 tons of hay, and nearly 80 bushel of wheat, and in 1/2 hour 150 potatoes - not much corn... I left saturday morning and arrived in Detroit same evening-early the next morning left for Cleveland...left in pack for Hebron, about 30 miles from this place. letter is to Guy Hough in Ct from T H Hough.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pearce and Chappotin families of New England

Three handwritten letters, 1820, 1823 and 1829. They all originally belonged to the Pearce and Chappotin families of New England. One is written to ship Captain Nathaniel Pearce of Providence Rhode Island from his son Thomas, also a ship captain. The second one, also by Thomas, either to his father or father-in-law. The third is written by Mary Ann Chappotin, Thomas’s wife, to her mother, Mrs. Leon Chappotin, in Meadville Pennsylvania. This third letter actually has several different writers.

In Part......

“Bristol, February 19th, 1820

Dear Sir,

We arrived here Wednesday at 4 P.M. after a pleasant passage and at 5 were married in church by the Rev. Bishop Griswold in presence of a small collection of very respectable citizens in the evening and were called upon by Messieurs Wolery, Collins &c &c. Have received much attention and pass our time very agreeably. We should be very happy to see you here if you can make it convenient but am sorry to state that it would not be convenient for Mrs. Mosher to accommodate you. Sarah is well and will probably return Monday with Sophia and Capt. Jennings who desire their respects to you as does Mary Ann. Give my best respects to all the family and believe me to be your very obedient son, Thomas Pearce.” Composed C.”

“Lima, October 9th, 1823

Dear Father,

I am happy to inform you that I am on the point of sailing for Guayaquil to procure if possible a cargo of cocoa for the ship with which I shall proceed direct to Providence. In case a very high piece renders it unadvisable, I shall go immediately to China but I hope that will not be the case. From the accounts you must have got from this side of the waters you will probably conclude that our voyage is not going to prove so profitable as was expected……It is unnecessary for me to say anything about Mr. Ellis or George as they have written themselves. I received your letter by Capt. Bowers. He sailed 23rd last month for China. Capt. Jennings is still here. Was one of the purchasers of my cargo and I hope will make something handsome on it….The President of Columbia, General Bolivar, arrived here about 1st of September and has been made Dictator, commander in chief &c &c in fact he has the management of the affairs of Government and much good is expected to result to this country from his presence here as this period…

The Patriots have met with success latterly in upper Peru and have advanced far into the country but it is uncertain what the result of the campaign will be. To the north an unhappy difference exists. Riva Aguero the former President refusing to acknowledge the congress’s President, established him after the evacuation of Lima by the Royal forces, but it is now that as Bolivar has been invested with authority to settle the differences, it will soon be done by words or blows. We seem in some measures to be out of the world on this side of the water as we seldom hear much about what is going on with you. It seems there is a war in Europe and we feel anxious to know some particulars. Whether there is a prospect of it’s continuance and if the other powers of Europe will be involved in it and above all with what…….Brother Jonathan is looking on. Give my best love to all and believe me to be your obedient son, Thomas Pearce.”

The third and final letter consists of 3 ½ pages but it really needs some archival repair. It is also a stampless letter and it looks like not only Mary Ann wrote but S. P. Bullock, daughter Cole, S. B. Wheaton, and possible others who have just signed their initials. The reason I think everyone wrote and is also there at Mary Ann’s house is because Cole, Mary Ann’s sister, is getting married to a Mr. Wheaton and they are all planning the wedding. The letter is full of wedding talk and very charming and in part reads…..

“Providence December 27th, 1829

My Dear Mother,

I was very glad to hear through Miss Humphrey that miss Crosby was better and I hope ere this that she is still better……….Monday afternoon, December 28th, The child waked up last evening and I had to give up writing……Cole was published for the first time yesterday at Mr. Edes. I expect this will surprise you. She prefers being married by him as she never goes to church and says she does not like Mr. Crocker……Cole is to be married a fortnight from this evening. They expect to leave the next day for Norton……I shall write Mrs. Edes as we took tea with them at my father Pearce’s just before Thomas sailed…..I am going to have the cake made by a Mrs. Crandall who is a cake maker for all the Nobility. I would not undertake it for fear of an accident………Your ever Mary…….Dear Mother,….Mary Ann has written you all the news but I thought I would spare one moment to write you a few lines saying I have got all that is necessary. I shall finish my wedding dress this eve. It is a white cambric with two deep folds, each over a quarter of a yard. Long sleeves, sets beautifully. Miss Tyler assisted me. Mr. Wheaton got me an elegant pair of silk stockings in New York and a pair of black Denmark satin shoes and white gloves marked with blue. You must imagine me in a fortnight from tonight at 8 o’clock all equipped with my hair dressed very high with puffs, standing before Mr. Edes, trembling like an Aspen leaf. Oh Mama, I hope I shall be able to command my beating but I am afraid I shall give out. Mrs. Wheaton requested me to say for her when I wrote you that she claimed me as her child and anticipated much pleasure in your society…..Not forgetting your dear self I remain your affectionate daughter Cole.”

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010



Handwritten letter of James Eva, Aug. 31, 1892, SF, to daughter E. M. Eva at Mills Seminary, Alameda, CA with interesting commentary regarding the school head:

"Yours came to hand and was glad to know you were well and not sorry that Mrs. Mills sits on you sometimes as you may need all little correction sometimes and the old lady is not very heavy."

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Love Letters 1836

Two love letters written by John Cooley to his wife Lucina in 1836. John is on board the brig Sampson under the leadership of Captain Purkis. Lucina is staying at John H. Purkis’s house in Providence Rhode Island while John is away.

The first letter is two pages long and finds him at Brunswick in a frantic state because he has not received any letters from Lucina and is terribly worried because of it. The second letter, which is 3 pages long is written 3 months later, and shows that he has finally received a letter. In this one he recites poetry to her and in both letters you can see how much he loves and misses her and the children.

A few excerpts from each letter……

“Brig Sampson at Bruswick, 15 miles below Wilmington

January 19th, 1836

Dear Wife,

I with pleasure inform you that I enjoy very good health and hope that you and all of the family enjoy the same blessings. If you ever lived or died on suspense or ever knew anybody else to, consider my anxiety. 23 days ago I wrote a letter to you from this place and one from Havana on the 10th of last month and I have not received an answer from neither of them yet. What can be the reason of it I cannot imagine unless it is because you have not wrote to me. Capt. Purkis has received answers from his and our letters all were sent at the same time and by the same mail. You must suppose that it causes a great uneasiness and an anxiety that I cannot express. I cannot believe that you would neglect writing to me when you know how earnestly I entreated you before I left Providence and in my two last letters I made the request; and directed you how to proceed to get an answer to me in this place. Capt. Purkis went to Wilmington yesterday and as soon as he gets on board again (we expecting him every moment) we shall sail for Havana and if he does not bring me a letter from you------and if you did not write by Capt. Chambers, altho I have not seen him yet------what shall I do or what is to be done. I left a vessel last winter and came after a letter myself but I did not expect to do it this. If I accuse you wrongfully I humbly beg your forgiveness but I assure you that I am very uneasy about you all. I hear the winter is very severe in the North and I am anxious to know how you and the family fare…….Capt Purkis has come from Wilmington and he has not any letters for me. I am very sorry that it is so for it has disappointed me and increased my anxiety very much. We are under sail and shall leave the pilot in a few minutes. If you have an opportunity of writing to Havana as soon as the 8th of February write and you will unburden me of a load of uneasiness which is hard to carry…….Dear Lucina, I remain yours until death, John Cooley.”

“Havana, April 26th, 1836

Dear Wife,

I with pleasure sit down to inform you that we have commenced taking in cargo to sail for Boston on the first day of May. I received your kind letter of the 24th of March on the 23rd of this month and am very happy to hear that the family are all alive and well. It is a great disappointment to all that we cannot come to Providence with the Brig first as going to Boston deprives us of bringing home fruit and other necessaries which would be of some benefit…..I do assure you that there is no one in the family that wishes me at home half so much as I wish to be there myself for I might say with the poet, “How oft in the visions of night I desire thee, thy countenance attends thy form bent with grief with the fondest affections, endeavors to sooth thee but all my exertions trust fail of relief. Though for distant from thee perhaps at this moment, thy thoughts may arise with affections sincere and though cruel fortune so long keeps me distant, I still will be with thee and still will be dear.” For there is no telling how I long to see you all since I have heard the glad tidings that you wrote in your letter of our family and sister Mary. It is the greatest consolation message you could have ever sent me…..It is getting late and I have not time to say half so much as I wish to. Give my love to sisters Bowen and Mary and their children. Congratulate them for me on the happy changes that has taken place among you. I hope soon to be with you myself and then we can say more about it. Give the children all a father’s kiss for me. I hope they will not have long to look for papa……I remain your affectionate until death, John Cooley.”

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Warwick New York 1840

May 1840. Warwick [New York]. An unusual document signed by fifteen musicians, members of the Warwick Brass and Reed Band. The top portion states “We the subscribers members of ‘The Warwick Brass & Reed band,’ unwilling, that the time & money expended for instruction should be lost, (which must inevitably be the case unless instruction is continued) or that our Band should become inferior to any other in the Co. (of a like age). Therefore, resolve to hire Mr. J. Marsh to continue his instructions for six months from the termination of his present engagement, giving a lesson of two Evenings every four weeks for the payment of which we hereby bind ourselves collectively to Cornelius Henry Demorest, Benj. C. Burg & Gilbert W. Roe, who are hereby authorized to make the engagement with Mr. March. Dated Warwick May 1840.”

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sacramento California 1861

Letter dated Sacramento (California), Oct 9 1861, from "Nathan," a sheep rancher, to his brother, "Benjamin," with an excellent reference to slavery and the Civil War. It reads, in part, as follows.

"I have been in the City for a few days making a market for my wool. We sheared this fall about 6000 lbs., but the price is very low and it only amounts to $600, after deducting the amount paid for shearing. I hope by another spring we will get enough from our wool to pay the boys for herding the sheep and then the thing will begin to look like a paying business ... Emily [who had remained in the east with his son] is a real good wife (and here let me say I wish you had as good a one) and I am highly blessed in having her ... She is of a very happy disposition, not easily thrown off her ballance. Always disposed to make the best of everything and contribute to the happiness of those around ... I have not much to write about concerning the War. As you are much nearer the center of atrocities than I am, you must, of course, be better posted, but one thing I can claim an equal interest ... I am sure there is no one more loyal than I am and I would hang the last Rebel who resisted the laws of the U.S. I would wipe out the last Negro slave from the Sunny South [meaning actually that he would eliminate slavery) a year of jubilee [would] break any yoke and since the prejudice of this vile rebellion [is] so low in the estimation of the coming generation that Benedict Arnold's name would shine gloriously when compared with theirs. Of the final result I have no fears ... Think of me when you see the flag at the Elm Tree ... I would take off my hat and give it three cheers and perhaps I may do it when I get out to the Ranch ... [signed] Nathan."

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

William H. Anderson 1887

February 10, 1887. Southern Part of New Mexico near Rincon. An autograph letter signed ”W.H.A.” to his daughter about his travels from New England to New Mexico; William H. Anderson wrote to her in pencil:

“Altho I have written mama a card every day reporting how I was getting along I think you would like to have a letter from me. Now you get a map of the United States and trace along on it the way I came. I left Boston which you can find and by dark that night only got as far as Greenfield Mass. I crossed the Hudson River at Troy N.Y. in the night and Sunday morning just after I got out of my berth crossed the Niagara River not far from Buffalo. Then went on through the lower part of Canada to Detroit Michigan. There we crossed the river in a bog boat that took cars and all & after we crossed Sunday afternoon I changed into another sleeping car and that afternoon & Sunday night passed thro the states of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois to the Mississippi River opposite St. Louis. We crossed that river Monday morning about 8 on a very high bridge. At St. Louis I changed cars and during Monday rode all day across the State of Missouri to the Missouri River opposite Kansas City. We crossed that river on another very high bridge about 8 Monday night. I had to stay in Kansas City over night. As the city stands on a high cliff or hill above the river where the depot is we went up the hill in a street car drawn not by horses but a rope or cable which runs under ground. The hill was as steep as the roof of our house and it seemed funny to ride up so steep a place. I stayed at a hotel that night and about eleven Thursday morning I took this car in which I now am and started west again. We went through Topeka, Emporia and about the time I got up Wednesday morning we were at the eastern line of the state of Colorado. We had breakfast at La Junta in Colorado. That word is pronounced as tho it was spelled La Hunta as it is a Spanish word and in that language it sounds like H. Then yesterday we kept on thro Colorado & New Mexico & got to Las Vegas about dark, that is our dark, at home it would be two hours later because that is farther to the east where the Sun rises. We passed Albuquerque in the night and when I looked out this morning we were near Socorro, New Mexico. Had breakfast at San Marcian and shall get to Rincon, New Mexico about noon. There I shall have to change cars and wait an hour or two. Don’t you think I have given you a great lesson in geography? There are a great many cattle and calves along here and as the road is not fenced we have to slack up sometimes & blow the engine whistle so as to frighten them off the track and then they scamper good. Derring, N.M. Friday morn – When we got here last night we found we must stay here till 2 o’clock today – so I will send this now and write you again this afternoon on the train.”

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Johnston Colony 1854

Letter dated Johnston Colony, Jan 9 1854, from John R. Johnston to his daughter Mary, husband Stephen and sons John R. and Harry at Livingston, Crawford County, Ohio, with black Auburn CA, Apr 10 (1854) postmark, 10c stamped postal rate on address leaf. The content reads, in part, as follows, I wrote you the last mail, but I am not certain they were put in the office in time, we have to send our letters to Auburn by stage &c. to be mailed. We are all in usual health and living in a healthier part of the country and have a fair prospect of making money before another year goes 'round. We have 40 acres of barley sowed, which on the lowest calculation will yield fifty or sixty bushel to the acre. I will write you next mail. Your mother and all the family are in good health. Sam is yet in San Francisco, John is on the farm in Sacramento. He was up to see us and bought the boys each a new hat and fine blouse, and for myself he also sent us a fine lot of vegetables. David & his wife and the family are all living as one family and are prospering and fair ... [signed] Jno R. Johnston.

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Saturday, September 04, 2010


Ancestry announced today it has launched a collection of more than 1,700 recorded oral histories from immigrants who arrived in the United States through Ellis Island. This is the first time this collection of poignant recordings has been available online. To celebrate the new addition, Ancestry is making its entire U.S. Immigration Collection free through Labor Day.

Immigration Collection

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


1792 PHILA LETTER - SOLOMON [SALOMON] RAPHAEL - JEWISH MERCHANT - Early Pennsylvania Judaica. Letter signed, "Salomon Raphael", Philadelphia, June 18, 1792. Hand carried cover to Daniel Clymer, Esqr in Reading. The signature is hard to decipher but docketing notes, "Solomon Raphael", and signature is known to be in his hand. Legal and business matter content. In part:

"I wrote you some time ago respecting my Business in your hands....have seen Mr. Zeanley since and he tells me he has settled with you which I am very happy as I know he is dificult to do Business with. I therefore would esteem it as a singular favour if you it to Mr. Coleman...the first time he passes with the Stage for Philadelphia..."

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ralph Mozart Whitehead, Yukon Terrritory 1898

1898 Klondike Gold Rush Letters about the trip of Ralph Mozart Whitehead to the Yukon Terrritory in search of a gold strike during the heat of the Klondike Gold Rush. Whitehead writes to his mother in these letters. THE FIRST LETTER- Dated February, 9 1898 on "Hotel Northern-S.S. Bailey Proprietor" (117 First Ave. South) stationary finds Whitehead, a New York City doctor, just arrived in Seattle with intentions of starting a practice there. In this letter he describes Seattle (" the only trouble with the place is that it rains almost every day") and his plans for his Washington physcian liscensing. The foreshadowing begins in this first letter however as he writes "There is only one subject of conversation in the town and that is Klondike." He goes on to describe what he's been hearing and the gold fever in town. Then he writes "I met an old New York friend of mine here....he's with a small party.....they will leave... this week....he..immediately wanted me to go....I told him of course that, I couldn't go, even if I wanted to....I didn't have the price...he said.. I would stand a very good chance to make a fortune and would not much need to practice (medicine) unless I wanted" The New York friend comes back later in the day and offers $500.00 towards the $800.00 it costs to be outfitted for the Yukon. Whitehead proceeds to tell his friend he can't come up with the $300.00 either. SECOND LETTER- Dated February, 12 1898. On "The Occidental hotel" stationary (corner Whart and Johnson streets-Walter Porter, Proprietor) This letter begins with "It is the unexpected that always happens...". Whitehead is going yet he seems to be tempering his expectations of making a strike. He states their plan to prospect up the Stewart River as they are currently getting their licensces in Victoria. From Victoria they plan to go to Juneau, then D'yea, and "up over the Chilcoot [sic] Pass." THIRD LETTER- Dated February 18, 1898. Written on "The Juneau Hotel" stationary In excellent detail and language Whitehead describes the scenery seen on their trip from Victoria to Juneau, the ship whistle's echo within the mountains, a blinding snow storm, and seeing the aurora borealis. He goes on to lay out their plan after they reach the summit of the Chilkoot. He writes "Once at the summit the rest is easy. For it is all down hill. We get down to Lake Lindeman, and sled across the lake to Lake Bennett,. There we wait for a favorable wind and sail the sleds across on the ice which is very smooth. Then we pull over Caribou Crossing to Tagish Lake. Where we pass the Canadian Custom House.....they permit no one to pass, who has not at least 1100 lbs. of provisions....we each have about 1800 lbs. ..from Tagish lake we sail the sleds to the foot of Lake Marsh.....we will take the Mulchatna River...then over the Indian trail to the telin river. There we will camp and build two boats, while waiting for the ice....then to the Lewis, to the Yukon, and up the Stewart.....By this route we avoid the dangerous White Horse Rapids." FOURTH AND FIFTH LETTERS- Both Dated February 25, 1898. On "Lynn Canal Commercial Company..D'yea Alaska" stationary and one on "The Burkhard House...Skaguay, Alaska" stationary. He describes the weather and describes Skaguay writing "the town is a large collection of Bunkhouses, Restaurants, Bar Rooms, dance and gambling costs you a dollar to turn around and breath...dogs, that is Eskimos dogs, sell here for more than horses, they average about $300-$500 apiece!" From D'yea he writes "little shantes rent for $100 a month and lots sell for fabulous prices, all running on the boom. The hotels here are peaches, they have more draughts to the square inch than any other place..." and writes in detail concerning the costs involved in shipping freight. FIFTH LETTER-from Lake Bennett. He discusses how they are going to store most of their goods here and it will come down on barge later. He discusses, as he often does, there plans to stay ahead of the throngs of people on their way. He goes into interesting detail about their upcoming route and their plan to make claims. SIXTH LETTER-Dated March 28, 1898. From Lake Marsh. The majority of the letter discusses in detail the scenery and their plan for the coming thawing. SEVENTH LETTER-Dated April 13, 1898. From White Horse Rapids. In this and the last letter the "rumors' from returning prospectors has not been favorable. He discusses the how many "characters" are along the trail and how much "capital" humor Mark Twain would make of the trail. EIGHTH LETTER-Dated May 8, 1898. From White Horse Rapids. A beautifully crafted description of the aurora borealis, description of the strengthing rapids, and the thousands of boats that are beginning to travel the river.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

OE Kenny From West Newbury 1843

“West Newbury
April the 12 1843
Absent Friend,

It is indeed natural to us to wish and to plan, and it is merciful in the Lord to disappoint our plans and cross our wishes. I confess I have been negligent in writing, I have set time after time to write you but something would happen to disappoint me. Do not think I have forgotten you, believe me. There is scarcely a day passes but what I think of you as well as my other Hampshire friends. The many acts of kindness you all have conferred upon me which I hope ever to be grateful.

I am at the present quite ill, have the Douloureux in my teeth and head, also pain in my side and stomach. Have not been able to finish (?) for 3 weeks, am bloated considerable. Am taking a new kind of medicine for the dropsy, which the paper stated would cure the dropsy. The ingredients are these: 1 half pound of white mustard seed, 1 handful of horseradish root, and two small garlic’s steeped in one gallon of Holland gin. Take one tablespoonful three times a day before eating. My mode of living is quite simple. I EAT NO KIND OF FOOD WHATEVER, NOR FRUIT, BUT LIVE ENTIRELY ON MILK. Can drink as much new milk with nothing in it as I wish. Although I have not been taking this about a week I feel as though I wanted salting, this method of living has cured the dropsy when all kinds of medicine has failed. I am determined to give it a fair trial. I verily believe it will not hurt me like the poisoned calomel if it does no good.

I suppose you have heard that I have changed my name. Mr. Kenny is well; we board with Miss Pillsbury: she is very kind and obliging, she is a real mother to me. Perhaps you will not thank me for writing about one that is an entire stranger. I merely wish to let you know that I find real friends among strangers.

I want to see you more than pen can express. I wish to know how you do where you are and how you enjoy your mind. I have heard there has been a revival recently in Pittsfield and Barnstead, dear H. are you not enjoying it, also? Oh, I trust you are. How many times I have thought of the happy meetings we have had together, the many hours we have spent in each other’s society. Can those days all be forgotten? No, methinks your heart will respond with mine and say there is reality in religion although I do not enjoy my mind so well as it is, my privilege to my mind is unstable; am too much allured with the vain things of earth. Could I see my own heart as God sees it and realize how fast time passes, how I must give an account for every moment, I should shrink beneath the burden and cry ‘Lord have mercy on me.’

I may not long have a place in this world; the messenger of pain and disease are daily sent to inform me that I am mortal. Experience is the best school: if we did not suffer with pain we should not know how to prize our health and the use of our limbs. It is by our sufferings we learn to pity and sympathize with others. Afflictions do us good as they make us more acquainted with what is in our own hearts and thereby promote humiliation and self-abasement. Yes dear friend, you have been deeply afflicted by being bereaved of a kind and valuable friend. In his last days life must almost have been burdensome; he is now freed from all suffering. I hope and trust [he] is now possessing all happiness. Dear friend I trust the Lord has favored you with an habitual sense of the wisdom and propriety of all his appointments, that when his will is manifested by the event, you are enabled to say all is well. I fear your patience will be exhausted in reading such an epistle, barren of ideas. I therefore forbear writing more on this subject.


I had almost forgotten to mention Abby’s name: she and her family are well. Her baby grows nicely; his name is Albert. She has got a very pretty house. I should think she might enjoy herself as to this world’s goods and even to meetings, for they are very near and (?) have her choice.

Asenath and family are well. If you can read this you will do well. If you cannot, just run down and I will read it for you. Please answer this if you think it worthy of your notice. Nothing would please me more than to have you and Dolly Lougee jump into the stage and come and make me a good visit. Give my respects to all inquiring friends.

Yours with respect,
OE Kenny”

Monday, June 21, 2010

Civil War soldier's letter

Civil War soldier's letter dated Concord [Camp Berry], New Hampshire, August 25, 1861. From George W. Felch to his friend Adeline Jones of West Wilton, New Hampshire. He writes about how good things are in camp, the food, no women cooks yet, leaving for Washington soon.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

James Dalaney 1825

Letter dated 1825, where James Dalaney has written to P.R.Fendale at Alexandria, D.C; asking to borrow $100.00 as he is barely 100 miles from home, traveling with his dear old mother, a hack, two horses and a servant, with barely $5 in his pocket......signed James Dalaney

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rockaway Long Island, New York 1806

Rockaway (Long Island, New York), Sep 4 (1806), from William M. Pree, to James Clapp, No. 2 Upper Chambers Street, New York City. Hand carried, no postal markings. The content reads, in part, as follows, "This will be handed you by a domestic, at present in the pay of Mr. Jones and myself. I will be very much obliged to you if you would go with my servant (whose name is Gilbert) to Chesterman and give him a pr. of pantaloons and vest, which I ordered to be made for me yesterday. They will certainly be done ...[He} is a stranger in town and may get lost. I would also thank you to purchase 2 lbs. of almonds, 2 lbs. of raisins and 8 good oranges, together with one lb. of sugar plumbs, which send with him out of town as soon as bought. I would think you to be particular as to going to Chesterman's, as I am in sadly in want of things above mentioned. If they should not be done, make Gilbert wait in town until they are. I expect him back, however, tomorrow morning. He was sent express with a letter to PLT, which you will have. Miss Claypoole arrived here yesterday, which circumstances will alter my determination of going to town on Monday. I shall not be down until the following Thursday. Write me by the bearer and mention what articles are sent with him, as you know what servants are ... [signed] M. Pree.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Civil War Soldier's Letter

Civil War soldier's letter dated Cairo, Illinois, February 21, 1862 and written by Thomas Call, Company A, "Yates Sharpshooters", 64th Illinois Infantry, to "Friend Katie". .....He comments about family matters, and friends in the service, how much he hates Cairo but enjoys watching the rebel prisoners pouring in every day. About five thousand have come through, being sent to Alton and Camp Butler for the duration of the war. Steamboats going up the river to St. Louis.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010


1850 LETTER TO PHILADELPHIA EYE DOCTOR - ISAAC HAYS MD - 1 1/2pp handwritten letter of Wilmer Worthington, West Chester, June 10, 1850, to Isaac Hays M. D.

Worthington asks that Dr. Hays look at his little daughter Kate's eyes during her visit to the city. She previously used a solution of nitrate of silver and citrine ointment and recovered, but her eyes are affected again. "It is with difficulty we can keep her from the glare of the sun..."

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

San Francisco 1859

Business letter, dated San Francisco, California, August 4, 1859, from bookseller J. Q. A. WARREN at 149 Clay Street, San Francisco, to publishers G. & C. Merriam requesting a price list and catalogue, and questioning when their Dictionaries will be arriving. An illegible notation from Merriam is found at the bottom.

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Sunday, May 09, 2010

St. Davids Jamaica 1801

Interesting three page letter from a W. Sutherland of Greenwall, St. Davids in Jamaica dated 30 September 1801 to a business associate in London dealing with his sugar estate and a bumper crop. Much of the letter on an indentured blacksmith, Morgan Jones, and how when his indenture was up, he settled at Morant Bay and "took to drinking and of course lost his health..."

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Two letters to family members from Rev. Charles D. Herbert. An 1848 letter to his mother is datelined Harmony Mission, and completed in Warsaw, MO where the writer went to preach at a funeral. The other is an 1846 letter to sister Charlotte in Ellsworth, Maine, from Parkville [Platte County] MO. In this letter he includes a copy of his letter to a Mrs. Morgan in Hartford, CT with description of religious work in the west.

Highlights and excerpts:

1848 Harmony Mission; Warsaw, Mo - "You ask about the name Osage. The Indians pronounce it Wa-Sha-She...The Harmony Mission was abandoned in 1837 at the time the Indians were pressed to go beyond the bounds of the state. They were always rather wild & untamable & the liquor of the whites & the influences of the Govt agents was always vs. the Missions. Those who made farms were obliged always to support the whole tribe while their corn lasted & then go & hunt in their turn & so it was rather discouraging."

"The Christians here do no know much about Christ...They are so cold & lifeless. If they can have one great 'big meeting' as they can it...& make a great noise once a year they can sleep all the year after..."

1846 Parkville, Mo - Thanks Mrs. Morgan and ladies of Hartford, CT for the donation box which was passed out at a St. Louis gathering. He describes the hardships endured by the missionary families and their great need....ague, open cabins, long rides on the prairie. He comments on the ignorance in some communities who, "admire an ignorant ranting preacher" who advocates intemperance.

"There is a little band of brethren here on this utmost border of the state of Mo. in the Platte Purchase lately made of the Indians. I sometimes tell my friends not to look for one location in 'the far west." the midst of the 'great west'; but beyond....where we may see the fires & hear the wild voices of the red man on the opposite shore...In this new country there is much to be done."
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Friday, April 30, 2010

New Mexico 1887

February 10, 1887. Southern Part of New Mexico near Rincon. An autograph letter signed ”W.H.A.” to his daughter about his travels from New England to New Mexico; William H. Anderson wrote to her in pencil: “Altho I have written mama a card every day reporting how I was getting along I think you would like to have a letter from me. Now you get a map of the United States and trace along on it the way I came. I left Boston which you can find and by dark that night only got as far as Greenfield Mass. I crossed the Hudson River at Troy N.Y. in the night and Sunday morning just after I got out of my berth crossed the Niagara River not far from Buffalo. Then went on through the lower part of Canada to Detroit Michigan. There we crossed the river in a bog boat that took cars and all & after we crossed Sunday afternoon I changed into another sleeping car and that afternoon & Sunday night passed thro the states of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois to the Mississippi River opposite St. Louis. We crossed that river Monday morning about 8 on a very high bridge. At St. Louis I changed cars and during Monday rode all day across the State of Missouri to the Missouri River opposite Kansas City. We crossed that river on another very high bridge about 8 Monday night. I had to stay in Kansas City over night. As the city stands on a high cliff or hill above the river where the depot is we went up the hill in a street car drawn not by horses but a rope or cable which runs under ground. The hill was as steep as the roof of our house and it seemed funny to ride up so steep a place. I stayed at a hotel that night and about eleven Thursday morning I took this car in which I now am and started west again. We went through Topeka, Emporia and about the time I got up Wednesday morning we were at the eastern line of the state of Colorado. We had breakfast at La Junta in Colorado. That word is pronounced as tho it was spelled La Hunta as it is a Spanish word and in that language it sounds like H. Then yesterday we kept on thro Colorado & New Mexico & got to Las Vegas about dark, that is our dark, at home it would be two hours later because that is farther to the east where the Sun rises. We passed Albuquerque in the night and when I looked out this morning we were near Socorro, New Mexico. Had breakfast at San Marcian and shall get to Rincon, New Mexico about noon. There I shall have to change cars and wait an hour or two. Don’t you think I have given you a great lesson in geography? There are a great many cattle and calves along here and as the road is not fenced we have to slack up sometimes & blow the engine whistle so as to frighten them off the track and then they scamper good. Derring, N.M. Friday morn – When we got here last night we found we must stay here till 2 o’clock today – so I will send this now and write you again this afternoon on the train.”

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Timothy Skidmore 1803

May 25, 1803. A letter from Timothy Skidmore to "Mother" informing her that he has received payment from "Docter Sammuel Thompson" and wants to settle a financial matter involving a deed.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Letters partially read:

"New Bedford, Aug.17, 1887...We are much pleased that you sold the bone at such good advantage, and also approve of the disposition you made of the money. We are sorry to hear that your men ran away for we know that it must be a source of great trouble to you, but we are glad that you succeeded in getting all back again but two. We have made note on our books that you have discharged the steward and paid him off, and think you are lucky to get rid of such a man if he is as mean and poor as you write for he is not fit to be in any ship.We have also stopped his draw bill. It is too bad for Mrs. Brightman to be obliged to do the steward's work and we hope you will be able to get a man before long that will be satisfactory to you, for it is very discouraging to have poor meals. At any rate we shall consider the matter here and wait to hear from you again...The Bark Petrel has arrived at Panama with 1140 Sperm & 160 Whale on board. 1600 barrels all told. Mrs. Mandell is daily improving. With best regards to yourself and wife we remain Yours Truly, E.D. Mandell & Co., P"

"New Bedford, July 18, 1887...Yours at June 15th came to hand July 16 and we were glad to hear from you. I am very sorry your mate turned out so bad, but I must say it is just what I expected and you know I told you he was good for nothing. Though I think with such a good man as Mr. Mingo for mate you will come out alright for I know you will never come home till you get a voyage. I suppose you have got a boatheader as you telegraphed for me not to get one. I think myself you have had a pretty hard time, but I trust it will not discourage you, for perhaps the next year you may have better luck which I hope you will. You may be able to ship some good men from other ships which are coming home. We could not have got John L. Saysi(?) for he is not at home and Antone D. Cruse(?) went first mate with George L. Howland in the Canton. Mr. Eben Pierce(sp?) is going to send you some new bombs and has received you letter. We shall send the Brand Bombs as you requested. The John P. West has been sold to San Frisco partner and is going North. Your friend William McKim thinks you will get a good voyage. I don't think you will want Prince when you come home. You see he's wellalong in years and won't be as good a horse as he was when you had him though..(talks about what he would like him to do about his horse in his absence)...E.D. Mandell, Jr."

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Rio De Janiero 1814

Letter dated 1814, Rio De Janiero, where Nathan Smith has written to Eliphalet Smith; regarding the peace between England and France; Buonaparte has abdicated and been exiled, Tallyrand has become Minister to Louis, the soldiers are returning home, a great letter with awesome content; two pages, 8x11, addressed outer leaf to Eliphalet Smith, in Buenos Aires. Letter shipped to Eliphalet Smith, merchant in Boston.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Near Winchester, Virgina 1868

March 2, 1868, from "J.W. Schultz to his "Dear Aunt."
Schultz talks of having oysters, and Uncle Pinyu, planting grapes, "a nice table grape," Robert Sloan, his travails in finding a wife, that his present help is an Old lady. "My administration must end with this one. I moved her back to town ...some of the girls will help me to plan with a faithful old col (Colored) woman who rents from me the house on the hill..." Went to town to hear the rev Munsey lecture..

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