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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