Letter 1 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to:] Mr. Joel Grant
Ipswich [Massachusetts], Aug. 20, 1838
Dear Brother Joel,
Yours of Aug. 8, was duly & gladly received Aug. 13. I had previously learned that you were in Md, [Maryland] am happy to find you situated among a kind people, though I can imagine that it may require skill on your part to prevent their kindness from encroaching upon your time, & you will not always probably be able to do it. Do you find them an inquisitive people? I would suggest your guarding well your cash, & other valuables. You speak of their manners being somewhat peculiar. I should like to converse with you about them. I suppose slaves are common.
I was interested in what you said of your journey, valued your remark respecting Mr. Tracy, & was pleased that notwithstanding the heat, &c. you enjoyed the excursion. Hope you will ever be disposed to enjoy whatever falls in your way suited to excite pleasant emotions. Sometime I hope you will find it convenient to stop at Philadelphia a few days. Hope you have some acquaintance there to show you places of interest. Dr. James Patterson, (who with his household were patterns of Christian hospitality) is now no more. I stopped with his family once when there. The waterworks, Franklin’s tomb, the House of Refuge, a Jewish synagogue, the porcelain manufactory, the Widow’s Asylum, the hall where congress formerly assembled, & Pratt’s garden were the principle places I visited when there. The new fountain, Girard college & many other things you will like to see. It was the advice of the good & accomplished Rev. Mr. Stevens who died at Paris, to a young minister who was journeying to see all the works of nature & art that he could to treasure up knowledge of men & Things as far as possible, & to be sure to consecrate all his acquisitions to God. Would not such advice be apropos in your case?
As I think it not consistent for me to return home to enjoy a visit at this time, though nothing would be more congenial to my feelings, I think of more things which I wish to say than I can put on paper. I will hope however, that we may yet behold each other’s faces in the flesh. The day your letter came I learned from a letter Dr. Anderson wrote Miss [Cynthia] Farrar, that the reinforcement to the Murathee mission will not go out before next spring. I have not determined upon any course for the coming winter. Miss [Cynthia] Farrar is still with me & will remain till the close of this term [at Ipswich Female Seminary], Sept. 18. Aunt [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister] gives her her board, & she instructs me some in the M. [Murathee] language. I have paid my board by instructing a class in Whateley’s logic a work which I wish you to understand. I have been spending a week & a half at Manchester, with Aunt [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister]. During that time as I had become somewhat tired of study, I left all my books at home & rested. Last Sat. my birthday I returned. I have been calling myself almost 28 all summer, but I believe I made a mistake, & that I am only 27. For one lesson while at home, I wish you would get each of the children to remember the year in which they were born, & brother try to do them good in every way you can.
If I could see you we would have a talk about personal appearance, politeness &c. I feel that these are matters far from being despised. I should judge from what you say of your location in Md. [Maryland] that your situation would not be very favorable for this kind of improvement. But as Miss [Cynthia] Farrar says these little marks of gentility & politeness cost nothing, & do give us influence, they should received attention. Do nothing in your own room that would offend persons of refined habits, & delicate taste. And let your personal appearance be neat & always respectable. I have sometimes made mistakes upon these points, & probably shall make more, but I intend to try. Can not you do something in this respect for those at home? Next time you write, mention any thing you please upon this subject & also about your society in Berlin, the state of religion in the vicinity, the opportunities for general improvement & I wish to know the ages, the general character of your school & your plan [ . . . ] in teaching. I visited a school in Manchester last week. It was a [ . . . ] one, there was excellent order. They read & spelt well. Aunt [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister]. says she can judge of a school by their reading & spelling. I look upon Aunt [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister] as one of the best, & most judicious persons I know, & value all the time I have to be with her. She writes no friendship or business letters, & finds it necessary to deprive herself many privileges & to take special care, that she may plan for the school, & be able to speak to them from four to six or seven hours a week. She wishes love to you. Whether you write her or myself, we shall both get the intelligence. Her expenses are necessarily great. She rides considerable, as that is her best medicine.
I wish you to sing some wherever you are, & think you might be a help in a choir at Berlin. I hope our brothers & sisters at home will soon learn to sing. <Where> How shall we direct our letters to you in Md. [Maryland] I find many things unsaid, but I must write a little to mother & if the thought should stray along your convolutions that my advice borders upon the officious, your generous heart will I think & rightly too impute it to my anxiety for your welfare. I may not write you again for some time but ever remain
Your very aff [affectionate] sister
Ever dear Mother,
I thank you a thousand times for your letter of July 14, & a few times for your last. You had not time I know or you would have written more at that time. I do not wish to complain, but I did feel some grieved that Mother or Daniel or John or father did not fill out the sheet, or that they did not even send love. I want to know whether you have any help, whether the children do well, how my cousins Margaret, [Dinian?], Maria, Elizabeth &c. are employed & how Amanda is doing &c. I want to know about your religious joys & sorrows, about our church Sab [Sabbath] school & I wonder if you cannot all fill out a sheet while Joel is at home or soon after he returns & tell me of his visit. The school at S. [South] Hadley closed Thurs. of this week. Dr. Hawes addresses them at the close. Miss Caldwell then closes her connection with the school. Mr. Burgess has visited here & spent nearly a week. He left Aug. 1. He is in good health & I enjoyed his visit. He has been preaching in NY [New York] for three Sab. [Sabbath] & will be there next Sab. [Sabbath]
Those capable of advising me as well as myself very much doubt the propriety of my being engaged with the care of a school next winter. Miss [Cynthia] Farrar who is a very valuable character is decided. She thinks I shall not [unsure where cross-writing continues] it not best. I find mother in Aunt [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister] & Mrs. G. Aunt [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister] is not known this way at all by her inane commencing with P. & when you send love as I always like you to do to her, please use some other expression. Miss [Cynthia] Farrar wishes a kind remembrance to my dear father & mother. I wish your prayers & desire that you may be blessed & sustained.
Your aff [affectionate] Mary
[Writing in margins:] About John’s going to Md. [Maryland] I do not know but it may be best, you could take care of him. I wish he had chosen the bible for his counselor. If he should go, I think it might be best for Daniel to attend the district school & give a good deal of attention to singing should there be an opportunity. If there is a singing school, it appears to me it would be well for Martha to read & study at home, & attend much to singing. Here I would say to mother that I learned some in singing by singing with her & Martha would learn more. If John remains at home it seems to me that Daniel would do as well to teach next winter, & after having taught a season, he will be better prepared to profit by going from home to some established school. Aunt [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister] wishes her love to each of you. My love to each of the cousins.
If our people have no letter paper, will you procure some. I think they should write all their letters upon such paper. Mrs. Howell sends love to Emiline. Eno. says she shall write her friends there soon.
Very aff. [affectionate] Mary
Letter 2 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Daniel and John Grant to Joel Grant (?)]
Marysville May 22 – 52
I have just written a letter to Mr. Hill to rent the house in Mil [Milwaukee] for enough to pay expences if he can or to sell it for what he can get if he thinks it will be worth no more or is not a suitable spot for a good building It has worked so far about as I expected & I suppose it is not much matter what becomes of it
I can give no Idea now what the situation of the city is but presume that lot is not very favorable
You may give Mr. Hill such instructions as you please. I wrote to him to let you know what expence he has been at & to have you forward him the money I think the $119, that is deposited some where in such shape that I can’t get it will be sufficient to make you good if it is not I think it is in my power to do so
Many of the new comers to this country are dreadfull homesick & all that I have seen wish they had stayed at home but they say now we are here <you> we must do the best we can Nothing meets their expectation
The strong reasons for my staying here you have before this time I did not give them for strong reasons but for reasons that I thought sufficient <reasons> under the circumstances
Your aff [affectionate] brother
As Daniel has left a few lines to write here, I will add a few words I am now stopping in Maryville how long I shall stop here I do not know though not more than a month I think. Where I shall go do not know but I have a place in view but certain reasons prevent me from going now. The Water in the rivers is now very high, and the weather very warm. One reason for my staying here is so many rushing into the country from every direction. There is a good deal of excitement getting up in the country in respect to the chinese. Why the chinese should be such particular objects of veng<e>ance I do not know unless it is that <that> they have kept themselves secluded so long and then all at once come rushing in to this country. But I think there will good <good> grow out of it. The chinese that are here do not come from China proper but from [Tartarry?]. The first that came from there some five. I believe the first that came the chinese were very wild and did all in there power to send them back again but without success I believe. This is all that I shall write this mail I think.
I am well. I received a letter from Abby this last mail.
Letter 3 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Daniel Grant to Joel Grant]
Sept. 27th 1852
I have nothing of consequence to add to what I have already written but feel that I must write a little more.
With our present P.O. [Post Office] laws I don’t know whether to pay postage to you or not. I suppose you have to pay the carrier his share if you receive letters upon which you have to pay the postage which is as much as the postage is when prepaid.
It is but a short time since I learnt the use of these three cent bills which have become so common. Government must make a speck on them I think as thousands will be purchased that never will be used.
It will not be long now before we will learn whether there is anything in our river claim or not, or at least we shall soon get a prospect of a part of it. If we find nothing it will not be best probably for me to remain much longer in this country.
I have been down again since writing the sheet that accompanies this & am not yet able to work at mining, but am better than I have been for two months. Marcus is well & works all the time for me If we get nothing from the river <clame> claim it will be hard for me to pay him but I think there is a good chance.
<Bartons Bar Sept 26>
<It is now nearly two months since I received your affectionate letter dated June ??>
I shall be able to work next week. I earned $10, last week in the co, by going on to the works & taking charge
We had some difficulty with co.s, above us & our president was sick & <I went> the rest were all <fritened> frightened so I was called upon to push on the work, & settle the difficulty if I could, though I did but little work I will have my pay as much as though I did the work of the best of them, at any rate I settled the difficulty to the satisfaction of all parties.
I wish you to direct letters to Parks Bar as I stated before.
We have had no letter from home in a long time.
Give my respects to Abby the children uncles cousins &c.
Your aff. [affectionate] Brother,
D. [Daniel] Grant
Letter 4 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[in pencil: John Cowles Grant to Abigail Cowles Grant]
[penciled on back] I send this of Johns just received – send it to sister Caroline if you think best. I think his descriptive powers are pretty good
Mrs. S.E. Edwards
326 Fed St.
Mr. An Mrs. Aaron Butler
Harlem, Ills. [Illinois]
I have hardly written you a decent letter since I have been pedagoging but it was not for lack of inclination but rather of opportunity, for when in the schoolhouse the young ideas get noisy & want to run around & play & that joggles my desk & ideas & when boarding around I find writing materials scarce.
I have got a gay little school of 36 promising youth all of whom expect I doubt not to be Presidents & Mrs. [Harriet Beecher] Stowe’s in time, their ages vary from 4 to 20 & some of the boys could throw me out of the window with one hand if they possessed the inclination; one of my boys is going to be a lawyer or Bank Prest. [President] for he can’t write legibly to save him, probably he will go to Congress if he don’t he ought to.
Boarding round is the largest thing out of the penitentiary. I have as good as there is around, and I must say that I never lived so well in my life as I have here, all sorts of every thing & so much of it. I find one trouble that is sitting, eating, & cooking all in the same room, but am getting used to that so I don’t notice it except when they have babies to cry while their mother is cooking, if they were not so dirty I would try to comfort them a little my self but as it is I let them cry.
The Scotch have a regular oldfashioned bluestocking Presbyterian Church a little way from my <adec> academy in which primitive religion is shown in some of its beauties; service commences at 11 o’clock, about ten they begin to assemble, they come in crowds, families & tribes, by ones’ tens’ & forties,’ after discussing the marriages & deaths of the week past, the prospects of the weather for the week to come, each one meantime informing his neighbor that it is a fine day, they go in to hear words of burning, soul-stirring eloquence for an hour & a half; the complacency with which the Fathers in Israel sleep through the sermon is very refreshing & the regularity with which they wake for the singing & prayers is marvelous: all stand during the prayer, & sit during the singing; they have no choir or instrument, the Deacons saying they will “ha’ na’ sooch thing en Gods hus.” The singing is conducted or led by an old cracked voice brother who makes terrible noises which all follow as closely as they can & for this interesting performance he is paid $60. per year: there is one old man just like Mr. Storms, who takes his snuff as regularly as he wakes up, & spills about half of it over his coat collar, making it snuff-colored, a very fashionable color just now.
I went to a scotch party N.Y. [New York] night & was very much amused, pleased & instructed. Some of the older girls who don’t go to school & “went for me” & tried to steal my heart I judged from their actions, but I had seen such before & if any one <was in the least> had any advantage I guess it was,
Yr [Your] aff [affectionate] son J Grant [John Cowles Grant]
Box 300 Roscoe