Monday, March 08, 2010

Pitt. Washtenaw County, Michigan Territory, 1836

Pitt [Washtenaw County, Michigan Territory], Jun 5 1836, from Tyler McWhorter, to Henry H. Collier, St. Catherine, Upper Canada

The content reads, in part, as follows: "I received your welcome letter on the 27th of last month. I am very happy to learn your condition, that you are laying the foundation of a popular life. And were I two years younger, I should like to be your classmate. But as the state of matters and things will not exactly permit, I must lower my hopes and content myself to tread a more common path. I am not in the least surprised that your departure from Avoca did not trouble your mind. There is nothing there ... But, however, there are some quite decent chaps left in old Steuben yet. But I think it would be to their benefit to elope. A few days since I received a letter from Miss Elizabeth J. Moore, It contained no news of importance, except of the precarious state of business there and that Mr. Duparc, the preceptor, was indicted for bigamy, He has another wife in Ohio. He is now at Bath waiting his trial and it is the general opinion he will be committed. It will be a great damage to Steuben to lose so useful a man. If it had not been for leaving a cloud of trouble amongst our folks, I do not know, but I should have been to Texas before now. You inform me that you take the Steuben Advocate. I have likewise had the pleasure of reading papers from the Iowa [Territory] press. Mr. Barry has sent me a no. of papers this spring. A few days since we received the welcome news of the overthrow and capture of Santa Anna. I have not altogether abandoned my project of going to Texas yet, but I shall not go until I see the old Steuben once more, if I ever do ... Business seems to be in quite a sterling condition here. The emigration is exceedingly great this Spring. Cattle is very dear. A good yoke of oxen is worth $100. A drove passed by the other day, which came from Ohio, and for their best offer they asked 140 dollars pr yoke. And most anything of a cow is worth 30 dollars and horses is cheaper here than in York State. I calculated to take a trip out west next fall to see Ill[inois] and Wisconsin, before I return home. I cannot yet promise for certain to come and see you on my return. I expect by this time you perfectly understand the mystery of the sun's rising & setting n[orth] of east in the summer &c. I have blundered into the philosophy of that myself I think without the aid of Trigonometry ... Farmers are getting rich very fast. All farms about this part of the country, improved and unimproved, has doubled in value within two years. Improved land is held as high here as in Old Steuben and is worth a damned sight more than are farms on the Bend ... [Lands] about 12 miles west of this [place], which 5 years ago was wild and uncultivated ... are now selling at 25 dollars an acre. If a young man buys a wild lot of land and at the end of a year cannot sell it for double the first cost, it will be because he has made a poor choice of land. Wisconsin will double her population undoubtedly this Summer. I had some conversation with an engineer ... this morning. He stated that a farmer, who owned a form there then worth 4 thousand dollars could but support his family by working hard himself. Consider the vast difference when compared what farmers of this Western country. Mr. Wood, the man for whom I am to work, 10 years ago was worth but four hundred dollars. His property is now worth not less than 18 thousand. So he has cleared at the rate of 18 hundred dollars a year. He pays at the rate of 800 dollars a year for hired work. My leisure moments are but few, but I have most all kinds of scientific books at hand ... [signed] Tyler McWhorter.

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