Letter 1 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
Wisconsin Ter. [Territory]
Canton, Ohio, June 16, 1843.
I received yours of the 26th May some time since, and have boxed up all the things belonging to you, which I could find, except the rocking-chair and stand, and forwarded the box to Massillon, addressed to the ca[re] of Brown & [Dowsman?], Milwaukie [Milwaukee, Wisconsin]. My family had gone to Connecticut and indeed probably reached there when I received your letter -- in consequence of which I presume I have overlooked many of your things which <she> Susan would have told where to find. As to the stand I could not contrive to pack it in any manner which wo[uld] satisfy me, besides, in Mr. G’s [Grant] absence, I do not know which it is. I could not find your axe, and am afraid it is lost. Your saw and hammer I could not persuade myself were worth sending -- I have bought a new saw & a hatchet, and packed them in the box.
You will find your church paper annexed. Mr. Porter has gone -- the present clergyman is Rev. W. W. Taylor, a very good man I think.
I have heard of the safe arrival of my family in Winsted [Connecticut] & intend to start east myself on Monday next. Remember me to Mrs. G. [Grant]
Letter 2 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
Milwaukie Co. [Milwaukee County]
Double Wis. Ter. [Wisconsin Territory]
Andover Theo. Sem [Andover Theological Seminary]
July 7, 1843
Atmost two months or a little more than seven weeks have elapsed since I parted with you at Albany [New York] and I have as yet heard nothing from you. I can however easily account for your not writing without making any disagreeab[le] suppositions, for I know that you must hav[e] a great deal to do, and when you get a moment to devote to the writing of letters there are many whose [claims?] are prior to mine. I can therefore easily pardon the omission, and call it my misfortune not your fault. If however you have not written me on the receipt of this I hope you will soon and that for reasons which you will fully appreciate.
Within the enclosed letter you will find (unless it has been extracted) some money which as I have not it at hand I will describe hereafter, which I wish you to use at your own discretion in purchasing some [l]and for me somewhere in your vicinity. It is a small amount which I do not expect to want for a year at least, and I do not like to lend it to anyone for fear I shall never see it again, and I do not know that I can do better than to buy a little land with it. In order to buy it to best advantage I think you had better devote a few days after harvest &c. to siding around the country to see what there is for which I will allow you as much as it will cost to hire a man, and 37 1/2 <day> cents a day besides for your horse. This will give you a recess and will improve your health if it is out of order, and give you an opportunity to see the country, and become acquainted with the people, and the land. At the same time you can determine whether it is best for you or sister Caroline to purchase the lot which lies east of the one you own, and which as you recollect I value at $170 with interest and taxes from Oct. 1842. If you should conclude not to take it I think I shall get Levi or some one else to put up a log cabin upon it after which I think it will sell to a good advantage to some emigrant who [wo]uld like a pla[c]e t[o] put h[is] family. As f[or] the land you are to buy for me, I have but to say that I would prefer you should [buy?] it of goverment in tow lots of 80 acres and within 20 miles of Wilwaukie [Milwaukee, Wisconsin], or if that cannot be, let it be uncultivated land within 16 miles of Milwaukie [Milwaukee, Wisconsin] and at no greater price than two dollars and a half per acre, or if you think it worth while to pay more, write to me. I think it cannot but be that land will increase in value in the vicinity of Milwa[u]kie [Milwaukee, Wisconsin]at least as fast as [money at interest for?] some [time?] to come [if?] you [should?] [r]eally believe i[t] best to buy land at a greater distance from Milwaukie [Milwaukee, Wisconsin] than 20 miles, I will leave it to your judgement, though if the wise admits of it, I wish you to write respecting it before making a purchase. I should not like to have you spend more than 12 days in my service looking for land.
I suppose you will need soon to pay the taxes on my lot, I enclose $20 for that and such other expenses as you may be at on my account. Upon the other half of this sheet I will write a few lines to Caroline and if I think of any thing more to say to you I will do it there.
Your affectionate brother,
[other side of paper]
What do you think of the 80 acre lot that lies south of the wood lot? I doubt whether it is worth buying but in case you should not want the wood lot I do not know but the two together might be so divided as to make two good farms. The streams which would then pass through each would I think render them valuable. If however you want the wood lot I suppose it would not be best to buy the other as it would not be worth any thing by itself.
If you could purchase the land somewhere near you so that I could make you my attorney for its sale it would be well. I know the land there is principally occupied, but perhaps you could find some [...] that has been overlooked. I have not heard from home since I left, directl[tly] Remember me to Levi and his wi[fe].
What do you think of father’s selling out and going to Wisconsin? I do not know that it would be best but I wish some method might be devised to free him from the load of debt under which he now staggers, and which must embitter his old age. I do not know indeed that he could be persuaded to think of the thing but if you think best I will mention it to him some time.
You probably have heard of the death of Cousin Maria Cowles. Please write immediately or send a newspaper to indicate the safe reception of this. If you send a newspaper Mark the figure 4 upon it somewhere, by which I shall understand that you have received this safe.
[Addressed to] Daniel and Caroline Grant
Andover Theor. Sem. [Andover Theological Seminary]
July 7, 1843
You have been often in my thoughts since I last saw you at Albany [New York]. How often I have imagined to myself your little farm away off there in Wisconsin and revolved in my mind how you and brother Daniel felt. Still with all my revolving I have not been able to resolve my doubts, and I have looked with some impatience for a letter from one or both of you, as I thought you would by the time you had been there a fortnight be able to wr[i]te a little to me. But I kno[w] how it i[s]; you have so much to do, you have so much to see, and you were so tired after your journey that you could not write any except those letters most immediately necessary. If it should prove that you have not been sick, and that no accident has occurred, I shall readily pass over what may now seem neglect. <I a>
I arrived s[a]fely at your father’s the day after I left you, with no other injury than a burned face. Your people made many inquires concerning you and when they heard how cheerful and happy you appeared to be, they were themselves rendered cheerful. They sent soon after some things by the Canaan people which I hope you have received ere this. I told your people they had better direct them to the “care of Dowsman & Hosmer, Agents of the Merchant’s Transportation Co., Milwaukie [Milwaukee, Wisconsin],” and unless they have written to you differently I presume they were left there, and if you have not already obtained them you doubtless can by sending. You would do well to send to your people the <indi> names of the individuals to whose care you wish things sent.
I learned soon after I reached home that steam boats on the lakes had formed a combination and raised the price, so that you had to pay more than I expected you would for your passage. I was then sorry you did not gage a p[a]ssage thro[u]gh from Albany [New York], but it is another proof that we mo[r]tals are short sighted, and know not what is for the best.
I hope you find means to employ your time pleasantly. If you have any considerable leisure I think it would be well for you and Mrs. Levi Grant to make two or three friendly visits in the course of a week to some of the families around you. If it be possible I would select such as are in the habit of attending church somewhere. Such visits will cultivate the social feelings, remove all tendencies to exclusiveness and selfishness, and will make the time pass cheerfully. If you could start a sewing society, whose object might be to assist your minister, adorn your church, or furnish a Sabbath school Library, no finite mind can estimate its good effects. I confidently expect that in a little time, you will enjoy yourself much, and you may be the means of great good. I hope you will endeavor to make (and I know you will) your house the abode of cheerful, though not expensive hospitality and I believe you will not generally need to labor so hard by that you can have some time to cultivate your mind, your heart and your manners. More I might say but for the present time let this suffice.
Your affectionate brother,
The following is a description of the money I sent you [viz?]
One treasury note of $100 No. 20412 dated Sept 2 1842, Issued [Oc]t. 14, 1842.
One $100 bill o[f] the Mercha[n]t’s bank at Boston. No. 184.
One $20 of the same bank No. 665. The Treasury note has been on interest at six per cent ever since it was issued and will continue to be so until Oct 14 of this year when it will cease to draw interest. It will be taken at the land office at any time in payment for land and can be sold at its full value I presume at the brokers. I wish you to inform me what mode of sending you money will be best, whether by treasury notes bills, drafts, certificates of deposit[e] or by what means. If I could have procured another Tre [Treasury] Note of $100 I should have sent instead of the bill and if you can not pass the bill without a loss of considerable you may return it to me. The Treas. [Treasury] notes I gave you were on interest till June 30 after which the interest ceases. Let me know how you managed them and also at what expense you <re> were in getting to your place.
Letter 3 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
Milwaukie Co. [Milwaukee County]
Single Folio Sheet
Mill Brook [Connecticut] <Aug.> Sept 11, 1843
I rec’d [received] your letter dated Aug. 10, and mailed Aug. 13, on my arrival home day before yesterday (Saturday), and also have read your letter to father. I had heard little or nothing from you before and was really glad to know about your circumstances <and> though I regretted you did not feel better, and were not able to give a better account. I feel very sorry you were so deceived by my mismanagement in your passage from Albany [New York] to Buffalo [New York], but as you had a quick passage on the lakes and got through safe, we have much to be thankful for. I had no idea that all opposition on the lakes was to cease so soon, and had I anticipated it I should certainly have advised you to engage your passage through from Albany.
Mr. Knapp rec’d a letter from you day before yesterday by which we are happy to learn <states> that you have heard of the box Phelps sent you. I am very glad of this, for whatever else it contained, you cannot well get along without Webster’s Dictionary and Scott’s Bible.
I am satisfied with the manner you laid out my money, and have no doubt it will prove a fair investment. Let the examples of the man of whom you bought it be a warning to you never to put yourself where others can take advantage of your necessity.
I am astonished at the high price you were <ob> obliged to pay for oxen, and can account for it in no other way than by the extreme scarcity of hay last winter, and the great numbers which the farmers wish to buy this summer. Last fall the Illinois people brought them to Wis. [Wisconsin] in great numbers and were glad to sell them at any price. Perhaps the same may be the case this fall, but I fear you have neither hay nor money enough to take advantage of the circumstances. You must be very careful not to winter more stock than your hay will supply.
As for the house which falls so far short of your expectations, you and Mrs. Burr had so much to do with alterations &c. that a contract would have been of no use had there been one. In the letter which I wrote him I described the house you wanted after I returned, and you also wrote a description and he wrote to you that he would build such a house for $10 more than I agreed with him <for> i.e. for $65. The following is the plan for the house I proposed (I have a copy of my letter.)
A. The Kitchen. B. Bedroom C. Buttery. D. Closet opening into the bedroom. E. Closet opening into the Kitchen. The closet D was to be furnished with shelves the at <other> further end, but <in> other things after partitioning the house were to be left to be arranged according to your taste after your arrival. When the house was thus partitioned I considered Levi’s duty completed. A cellar was to be dug 18 feet square. I had gone on thus far in describing the house that was to be, when mother told me that
Levi said it was impossible to find logs of sufficient length to build such a house, and had built a very different one. In this case I know not what can be done, but as you have paid him the $65 and have found him to be so bad a man I think you had better have nothing more to do with him in any way. If the house is unfinished, you had better finish it yourself than to have any thing more to do with such a man, which would only be the occasion of more trouble and vexation of spirit. After all I doubt not it is much better for you than if you had had no house to go into, for if you had been obliged to hire your board it would have been expensive. As it is I think you had better make your calculations to put up a frame house in the course of two or three years which you can make to your own taste. I think you had better put it on the other end of the lot and make a road across the swamp when you will be within one mile of the village. As for [y]our being to near to Levi, though -- it is unfortunate, yet you must learn to have nothing to do with those people who are not worthy of your confidence. If you have need of things which he has, you had better not borrow them often, and then if you choose you can tell him that you do not wish to have any intercourse with him, although I do not advise you to do so. At all events never suffer yourself to harbor ill-will against him or any other man for it will sour your temper, and you will be very unhappy. Take an independent upright course, and while you are grateful that God has given you a spirit which is not mean never allow yourself for a moment to indulge hatred towards those who are so, for it is the surest way to make yourself like them. Often utter such a prayer as this, “I beseech thee O Lord to forgive my enemies, persecutions, and slanderers and to change their hearts.”
I suppos[e] you wish to borrow Levi’s horse occasionally which must be [u]npleasant to you. I think you had better buy one of some kind, and if you think necessary for that purpose I will lend you some part of the money I send you which you have not laid out. It will be well to purchas[e] a mare who can do all your work, take you and Caroline wherever you wish to go and by <whom> which you can raise a horse in four or five years.
I am sorry you do not like your place which I took a great deal of pains to purchase so that should combine the advantage of access to market, contiguity to a village, excellence of soil, &. If not be easy, I will take it into my own hands and pay you $300 in money at almost any time. I am sorry that you or any one should be dissatisfied on account of my inefficiency or want of judgement, and will therefore do this although at something of a sacrifice I do not wish you to lay out any more money for me in the purchase of land, nor can I supply you with money to exchange your farm for another. But if you think it best I will purchas[e] your farm and pay you <the in> $300 and the interested upon it from the time of your purchase. I hope you will see that some ditching is done especially on the west end of the lot for there can be no doubt that the west end is the place for building. I fear you will have so much to do with our money that you will not do so much ditching as I proposed. As for my lot east of the creek, you need have no fears, I am glad you do not want it, for I have no doubt I can sell it for more than I felt willing to ask you for it. We will let it lie for another year and see then what is best to [d]o.
By about the time you receive this I expect to be in New-Haven [Connecticut] where I shall go Sept. 27. If you have not time to write, I hope sister Caroline will write in your stead. I believe she <kno> knows what you want, and how you feel as well as you do, perhaps better. At all events do not delay to let me know how you feel and how each of you rejoice or suffer I shall leave the other part of this sheet for mother. John etc. your aff. brother Joel Grant.
[Other side of folio sheet]
My Dear Children, I have left my washing to write a few lines to you I rejoice to hear from you if my children are in trouble I want to sympathize with them if they are happy I want to rejoice with them I had some fears before you left that his love of money would exceed his love to God or his fellow men but go where you will you will find people of that description I very much want to cultivate a spirit of forbearance and when you feel injured may further forgive them but never let the sun go down upon your wrath I hope you will endeav[o]r to be good neighbors the way to have good neighbors is to be <a> good neighbors yourselves I hope you will always communicate to each other your feelings and encourage each other to bear the burdens of life with Christian fortitude I would wish you to support a good degree of independence I felt when you left that you were under circumstances to live without troubling your neighbors any more than they would probably want to you I want to have you love your neighbors as you do yourselves and endeavor always to do them good but that does not imply that you wrong yourselves on their account you will find many of those wherever you go that will take every advantage that they possibly can but always think in such cases that there is a god that Beholds the evil and the good <but yet> and that which a man sows that shall he also reap and have no dealing with them I want to have you live near to God and keep clear from debt. I would rather that you would sell cloth and stockings and stocking yarn go to buy you a horse than to borrow money of the best friend you have in the world but if you have not paid [er?] for a horse do not buy one for it is a ruinous thin[g] to have stock and not have keeping for it. I would not advise you [unless?] you find it necessary to avoid Land wife only avoid dealing with them any more than is necessary I hope you will help each other in every thing you can and avoid [hireing?] as much as possible if you want to change worke Joel says you have an Irish neighbor about half a mile from you he knows nothing about him do not think him incapable of being a good neighbor because he is of a differe[nt] origin your step grandmother is an Irish woman but she is as universally beloved as any woman I ever knew I believe she is only half Irish remember that ignorance does not prevent a person from being [loved?] nor knowledge does not make him so kindne[s] my dear children will soften almost any one to do better than they would if they were unkindly treated a soft answer burneth away wrath the wise man said think of that in your intercourse together and in <the> your intercourse with your fellow creatures remember the apostolic injunction do good to all men as you have opportunity but do not throw away any of your neighbors if you can possibly help it but do all you can to make [t]hem better I have written in great haste and all irregularities you will excuse [...]
I want you to write me a great deal I want to have you write whether your well furnishes you with good water and what state it is in whether furnished or not whether you have got a well [crotch?] and pole I know you can not have every thing at once but what you do have I want to have you write me Caroline says we have a hog and two pigs I want to just say to you that ho[g] pork is a great deal better than pig <but at> I want to know if your plums are good today or good for pies w[...] you have had any garden [sauce?] and I cannot think of [...] I want to say <but> but will here mention that [Mrs. Beb[..]] said about the time I wrote you friends all well I have not seen your Norfolk friends since they received their last letter Mr. Knapp says that you have heard that you have a horse at Milwaukie [Milwaukee, Wisconsin] and so I hope all your things are there and that you will get them I will mention that if you purchase a horse you will get one tha[t] if it dies or is stolen it will be no great loss and when you get it calculate to [w...] it out and take the comfort of it I have not said half I want to but must close may God guide guard <you> and protect you and make you wise unto salvation is the prayer of your affectionate mother.
John and Martha send much love to you [Oholpe?] has returned [...] home they went home in five days or within five miles of home they are well or were when they wrote Marcus is on the [...] at work now write me a letter write every thing both write tell me much I am very [desirious?] to [assist?] you and if [...] I think God will prepare the way.
Letter 4 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
Milwaukie Co [Milwaukee County]
Wis. Ter. [Wisconsin Territory]
Mill Brook [Connecticut] Sept. 25, 1843
Your letter of Sept. 1, 2 & 3 was received Sept 14, and though all its news was not as agreeable as we could wish we were very glad to hear from you, for we wish to sympathise with your sorrow as well as rejoice at your happiness. I was surprised at the account you gave of your labors, for surely I think you never labored so before. But it may be you are trying to do too much. To get up with aching bones every morning when a little more sleep would prevent it is <far> very short sighted policy, and if you look no farther than to the gathering of your first crop, would probably prove to your disadvantage. But as the nights are now becoming long probably you will feel no more trouble on this account.
In reference to the house I had build for you there was no written contract that was signed I wrote one that I did not get signed because I supposed you would very likely want alterations, as was in fact the case. I have not the paper which I wrote by me, but I believe that it mentions having the roof shingled with pine shingles. At all events that was the agreement, and I knew it to be well understood, but as there is no contract to that effect signed I do not suppose any thing can be done, unless Levi will acknowledge that such was the agreement. I placed considerable confidence in him, and the more because when I came home you seemed to deem him perfectly honest and you knew him better than I. But I do not see that the matter can now be helped, the only remedy is for you to get some eight or twelve logs of the right size and raise your walls so as to make room in the [garret?] then make a new frame for the roof and cover it with boards as we have sometimes covered bars &c. or if you think best with shingles, but the latter would be more expensive and the former will probably be equally good in your place, where “people do not come once in five years,” because it is “so far back.” I presume $10 or $15 thus laid out will make your house a very comfortable one, and I am willing in this case to pay half the expense.
I hope you will try to avoid going into Levi’s house if you have not already gone there. It will surely breed another quarrel, about damaged and lost furniture, or something else. I hope also you have not undertaken to do much with his farm for a like reason.
Mr. Knapp has probably told you in the enclosed letter that he <will probably> expects to come to Wisconsin in the spring. As you seem to like him I hope he will be able to settle near you, and for that purpose, I am willing he should take the 40 acre lot you bought for me, at a price but little above that you [g]ave, or the 80 acre lot east of you for the same price offered it to you. You will therefore not sell either of them this fall By the way did you see carefully to the title of the land you bought so as to be sure there was no incu[m]brance of any kind, and have you registered the deed?
You say in your letter that “Joel would not have bought this place if he had staid here longer.” That may be true, but I think not. Is there any place in Wisconsin so valuable as the one you have that could be bought for $255 (The $45 I gave you to do ditching you will probably use for some other purpose) I know the place is not in all particulars what you would like and what I wish you had, but it is where you can get to meeting, where you can get a physician, and most those things you need, and it was cheap. Better places I want you to remember were not within your means. But I presume upon reflection you will see that your dissatisfaction results not from any deficiency in the place, but from your fatigue and, home sickness. I hope you will not sell it Father says if you do, he is certain that in five y[e]ars you will not have a cent in the world, and I must say that though I do not think that would be the case, I have no doubt it will be to your great disadvantage. But if you wish it I will take the farm at the price you gave and let you have the [c]rops you have sown or may sow.
I leave together with John for New Haven [New Haven] to-morrow. I was at Mr. Burr’s day before yesterday and read the letter Caroline sent by Harvey Grant. Mary is going to teach in a family near Philadelphia, I forget the place. She starts a week from to day. She has not pined away any this summer, but is cheerful and has good prospects. The <remainder> rest of the family are well.
I wish you had not paid Levi for the house for then he could not have got $65, but as it is you must let it pass – you could get nothing by suing, and I hope you will ever avoid law suits. I hope you have not paid him again the $50 I sent him last winter. I could write much more but will leave the rest for Mother, John, Martha, &c.
Your aff. [affectionate] brother, Joel [G]rant
I believe I will write a few words I thank you for letter I hope that you be contented there and not sell your farm for I do [...] not believe you will better your self [...] I am glad you have so good yoke of oxen on your account
your aff [affectionate] [B]rother Marcus
My Dear Children
Sep 27 1843
With a variety of feelings I commence this letter I read your letter with [mingled?] emotion I rejoice that you enjoy health and I mourn that <that> you are not contented with your situation I think it wise to give heed to what the apostle [...] Paul said of him self he had learned in whatever situation he was in therewith to be content I do not suppose that we ought not to try to improve our condition, but not to be unhappy even if our condition is not just what we should wish I felt when you left us that you would enjoy a great deal I felt that you had much to make you happy that <yo> God had been very good to you in many respects that you were happy in each other and that you were so comfortably fitted out. I thought that although your situation would be retired yet you would enjoy each others society and it is an old mansion that if we have one friend we ought to think ourselves happy and I have often thought that man [Jim?] was a good one, now my children I am not very much disappointed that you Did not find things as you expected and as I hoped but I always [feared?] and I was tempted to tell you that I learned that you would not find in that man all that was desirable and then I would think I had not sufficient knowledge [t]o say anything I had heard some things about his father that I never [wished?] to hear about any man (in regard to the property belonging to his sisters) I had my [...] information from your aunt Jerusha Grant and one of her brothers married h[is?] sisters she thought that he had not done the thing that was right but I guess he never said much about it only to me and I would not have you mention what I have written I hope you have been able to keep your feelings to yourself the children <will> ought not to be judged by their parents but if they follow the examples of their parents and they are bad they must be judged accordingly it is very important that they (parents) set good examples before their children I have heard that I went to [Gherlin?] to school and that instead of making expense he had aclaim [...] the institution for his labor and there were many circumstances that made me fear that his love of money was so great that it would exceed his love to God and his neighbor but that will be the case every where you will find such cases every where all over the world and I hope you will never move on account of improving your neighbors I will tell you that I very much want to have you stay on your place and I think you will have good neighbors come to you good neighbors draw good neighbors and perhaps Mr. Knapp will come on and buy out some of the present neighbors or settle on some of the unsettled land but you must no expect every thing from Mr. Knapp and I hope you will not encourage him too much at least I hope you will not give him reason to think you can help him any more than he does you if you can be where you can put your teams together and change work I think it would be a good thing for you both but this company business is not apt to be very profitable for but one I feel that your place is well situated in regard to market and if it is not without its faults you will find that the case go where you will [Mr?] Slocum has been looking at uncle Lowles farm seven years and he has travelled all over the union and [...] to find nothing to suit him and now he is sick of uncle Sam’s farm and people say that he would be discontented any where now my Dear Children do be contented do be happy it will do your mother and all your friends so much good you have your farm paid for and although your house is not a good one yet it will answer till you can add something to it at my fathers we had a log addition to our house the length or width of our house which was covered just as our [hovels?] are covered and without a floor which was a great comfort and I believe that if you should make a good log [room?] good height and well covered it would be a better want than to raise the one you now [have?] but I want to have you keep the one you have in such repair that it will keep out the storm my daughter I love your cheerful letters they breathe a happy spirit and I want to have you near you can make Daniel contended and happy I should rather live on very plain and work hard than to be in the condition that may [...] are here overwhelmed with debts that they can never pay if Mr. Knapp should come to you he will not probably come alone and it is my opinion that he will take [...] with him now my son do you sleep on a hard feather bed you mention [...] effect that your bones ache a hard feather bed always made my bones ache but straw has a contrary effect and I believe if you should my daughter try straw the year around you would like it much. your father used to have an aversion to straw but now he is more [overs?] I hope it will turn out well do be good neighbors that is is the way to have good ones live near to god is the prayer [mother?] E [...]
Letter 5 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
Milwaukie Co [Milwaukee County]
Wis. Ter. [Wisconsin Territory]
New Haven [Connecticut]
Sept. 28, 1843
I take my pen to write you a little not because it is long since I wrote for I wrote three or four days since in Mr. Knapp’s letter but because I know you want to hear from me, and Mr. Seward my clap mate is to start to day for Wisconsin and I can send by him to Milwaukie [Milwaukee, Wisconsin]. He takes his wife on with him, a lady whom he has recently married in this city. I presume this letter will reach you about the same time the letter of Mr. Knapp will I almost feel afraid to write you many times for fear you may find it hard to pay postage.
We left home Tuesday night, and went with father’s horse and waggon to Plymouth [Massachusetts] from whence we came by stage to New Haven [Connecticut]. Marcus came with us to Plymouth [Massachusetts]. We started from home about half past ten at night and left Plymouth about half past four. We had a terribly cold night, during which we suffered a good deal. You will I presume understand why John and Marcus did not write in the letter Mr. Knapp sent. Mr. Knapp used one half and I used a great part of the remainder so that there was not much room left for mother and Martha.
I left Andover principally because it was so far from home it being about 180 miles (by Hartford [Connecticut]) while New Haven is but 65 by Hartford [Connecticut] and 53 by Waterbury [Connecticut] and Plymouth [Massachusetts]. Another reason was that John is at New Haven and I would like to be where he is. Besides the advantages at New Haven [Yale University] Middle year are as great or greater than at Andover [Andover Theological Seminary].
But to you and your farm my thoughts occur continually. Perhaps I imagine you more dissatisfied with it than you in fact are, but your letters certainly indicate a very great degree of dissatisfaction. It comes rather hard for us when people ask us about you to be obliged to say “he is dissatisfied,” when they at once say, “Why, what is the matter? He was not very well pleased when he was in Ohio was he?” Thus intimating that they do not think it easy to please you. But do not think that I would be any such considerations induce you to repress any dissatisfaction you may feel, for you ought to make a faithful exhibition of your real trials, but might it not be well for you to consider if you are not, in fact, rather hard to please. And when you write letters home would it not be well to write in the cheerful manner your wife does dwelling on the things which give you pleasure, and write your letters of complaint to me? I can take them to our people and let them know as much as is best, and it will thus be kept from public view. When I carried your last letter to Mr. Burr’s people a conversation like the following took place, “Well have you heard from Daniel?” “yes” says I “What does he write” was the next eager question. I answered “He writes <a fo> several <verg> tolerably pleasant things, <but> and two or three extremely unpleasant ones, expressing his dissatisfaction with his place and Joe’s management. He wants to sell his place” “Dos he? Why we have but just received a letter from Caroline, in which she appears contented and happy, and Harvey Grant says Daniel and Caroline are very happy” Whereupon I sat down and read your letter to them, and a sad budget it was. Perhaps you will say I should not have done so, but you know your letters must be, for the present at least, common property in the two families. I hope therefore you will think best to write your complaints to me, and if Caroline has any that she would feel relieved to make known to her parents she can do so but I do not believe she has, and I am co[n]fident from her manner of writing that she would be contented, if you were, I never thought you would find as good a place as Norfolk [Connecticut] in Wisconsin, nor do I believe if you had $3000 instead of $300 to pay for a farm, and shou[ld?] with it buy a farm in Conn [Connecticut] instead o[f] [Wis]consin that you would find such a place. What do you want? Is it a farm in a village in Connecticut you might buy such a very small one for $3000, in Wisconsin perhaps for $1000. Is it a farm on the public road? Remember that to buy such a farm requires more money than you can command. Besides I have no doubt but that in twenty years your farm will be considered no more back than any others which are no farther from Prairieville [Wisconsin]. I did not buy your farm because I had not seen others that on some accounts were better. I did see better land, but I knew you would never live upon it nor could I wish you even if you were willing <or I should> or I should have been obliged to pay for them in such a way as to involve you in debt for the remainder of your days. But I think if you will be patient for a little time you will like the place you have. I am sorry about the house, but as I told you in Mr. Knapp’s letter I will pay half the expense of making it better for you to live in a few years more till you can build a frame house. When you last wrote you had been in Wisconsin but three months, you had worked very hard, you had been [harrassed?] by ten thousand things you wished to do, and could not, and finally when you wrote the part, that was addressed to me you had been sitting up writing till after twelve o’clock at night, a thing which I trust you will never do again when you have been at work all day. All these reasons I presume made you feel very bad, & it may be you feel better now.
Pa says you do not write so that any one can find out whether you are doing any thing or not. Perhaps you had better mention in your next how many acres of wheat you have down, how much fence you have made and how much corn <you will> and potatoes you intend to plant next year. I trust you will remember that our happiness depends principally on ourselves and not on the place in which <your> live. Rest assured that I remember you continually with earnest wishes for your temporal and spiritually prosperity.
You aff. [affectionate] brother Joel.
[Notes to the side]
How did Levi manage about the rails he was to get $30 worth, <at...>
It seems to me that two or three acres of potatoes would be as good a crop as you could raise for there will always be some people who will not raise enough in such a county as yours.
Letter 6 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
Milwaukie Co [Milwaukee County]
Wis. Ter. [Wisconsin Territory]
New Haven, Feb. 24, ‘44
Your letter of Dec. 12 mailed Dec. 17 I received on my return here at the close of vacation (Jan 10) [at Yale University]. How long it has been in the office I cannot tell, but probably some days. I was exceedingly glad to hear from you and your letter was the more acceptable because it removed some impressions which your previous letters had made in reference to your feelings. I should have answered it before this time had it not been that we had been getting up a letter at S. [South] Hadley for you and I thought it not best to write until some days after that had gone. I do not intend to finish this for several days but as I have many things to write about I thought I would begin now.
You certainly have been very unfortunate in your connection with Levi Grant, and I can very readily believe that he has cheated you a great deal. The affair of the rails is a very bad one. I had an idea that you understood the matter at least as far as this that he was to get but $30 worth for you in any case, so that at all events you have paid him $10 too much. I made no bargain with him before I left Wisconsin but merely told him “Perhaps we should like to have you get some for us.” I afterwards wrote to him as follows, (As I used the manifold Letter writer there is no possibility of mistake.) “My Brother Daniel has concluded to take the lot which lies south of yours, and I herewith send you some money with a part of which I wish you to get some rails split for him. If you cannot get them for less than $7.50 a thousand, you may use $30 of it for that purpose. But I trust you will be able to get them for something less. If you can get them for $6 per thousand you may get 5000 but if you can get them for any thing less do not get more than 5000 but apply whatever of the $30 there may be left to transporting those that are split to the farm during the winter I do not doubt but you will manage the business in the most prudent manner.” The letter from which this is an extract is dated Springfield Nov. 16, 1842, and doubtless Levi has a copy of it now. In his reply to it he says, “You stated in yours that you would like to have some rails got out this winter and also that you would like to have me look out and get them. I saw a man a few days ago which lived about two miles from my house that has a plenty of timber and he says he would like the job of splitting a few thousand, and he thought that he would get them for five shillings per hundred or $6.25 a thousand. I did not make a bargain with him at that time, but promised to see him again and let him [him?] know. I think however that I can get them at the fence about one mile from my house, which will be worth considering.”
This is all that I wrote and all that he wrote about it. You may judge of my surprise when I read in your letter that you had paid him $40 for 3000 rails. My letter to him as you see did not authorise him to get more than $30 worth at any rate I am very sorry I did not explain this to you, and until I read you letter I had always supposed I did, and it is with difficulty that I can bring myself now to believe I did not. But perhaps it is not too late now to do something about it. If you have actually settled all your accounts in reference to the rails, it probably is, but if you have not and will let me know it the next time you write, I will send a letter to Levi and if he does not pay you $10 I will see to the matter myself and I think I will make him pay $20 at least. I think however you had not better say anything to him about it at present. I have proof positive that he was not authorised to expend more than $30 for rails for at the close of my letter to him I say “The $20 left of this money is to go towards paying you for the house.” If therefore the matter is at all as I left it there can be no doubt about it, but if you chose on your own responsibility to buy of him 3000 rails for $40 there is no help in the matter. I sent him at the time I wrote my letter $50.
You never have written me how your accounts with Levi were you should have been his Dr. to the house $65 to the rails $30. Total $95. You should have been his [credits?] for the $50 I sent him in the fall of 1842 leaving a balance of $45. By paying for the rails 40 instead of $30 you made the balance $55. But I should not wonder if he had made you pay the whole $105, thus making no account of the $50 I sent him. The next time you write do not fail to let me know about these things. I am a little surprised that you did not ascertain by enquiry that rails were not worth $13.33 a thousand. The enormous price he charged should have excited your suspicion.
But setting this aside, let us have a little talk about land &c. you do not think your land was very well chosen nor do I feel disposed to assert that you cannot now see where money could <not> have been laid out to better advantage. All I would claim is that at the time a better choice would not have been made. Still on some accounts your location is not so bad you already have a road laid out by your house, and it will probably be opened next summer, nor have I any idea that it will be many years before there will be one at or near the west end of your farm. But be this as it may, you evidently wish you were rid of your land and that you had an opportunity to get some other place. Under the influence of this feeling and urged on by one of your neighbors, “who is considered by all who know him a man of good judgement,” and who “tells you you had better leave your farm if you do not get a cent for it” I fear you will be parting with it for some trifle. Now I know the farm is not worth less, and all the talk of all the neighbors you have or ever had or ever will have would not convince me to the contrary. Now I am willing to take the farm from you for more than it has cost you although that will be much worse for me than if I had never sold it you. Last May you paid me for the farm $3000. I gave you then $100 making the expense to you $200. After getting there you had to pay Levi $55 (the whole expense for the house and rails being $105 of which I had already paid $50.) making the farm cost you $255 Next May the interest on that will be a trifle more than $15 making a total of $270. I will now offer you for it $300 and allow you to have all the crops you have taken the pains to sow, and you may go where you will. I might however attach one or two conditions to the payment of it for I do not think I can raise $300 at once. $150 I will pay at any time besides so much of my money as you now have in your hands (I know not how much it is I suppose $40 or $50 please let me know next time you write) and the residue with interest I will endeavor to make up next fall. Perhaps you would like to exchange your lot for the one you bought for me last summer, if so I will give you $150 to boot. In case you should think it best to accept my offer of buying your farm I should like to have you sell the 40 acre lot though I think it ought not to go for less than $200. I am getting to be in want of money or shall soon be especially if I buy your farm, but I am very sorry you are not permitted to suit yourself in reference to a place and will therefore do almost any thing to assist you. I would not have you think, however, that I wish you to sell your place to me, provided you can sell it to someone else to a better advantage, only I exhort you to be careful to whom you sell and do not trust any one without the very best security. I make this offer to you that you may know you can dispose of your farm on terms which will at least clear you from lop, and of two purchasers offering the same or nearly the same price, I expect you will prefer me. Beside if after purchasing another place you should find that its unforeseen inconveniences were greater and its <anticipation> conveniences less than you anticipated if I should not sell the farm I would let you have it at a reasonable price, though I will not promise it at the price I give you and the interest thereon. suppose, however, you are fully satisfied that once off from it you would never wish to come back. But can you get places equally convenient to town to meetings, post office, &. things which will be every year more important for you? I hope you will not delay a week to write to me what you would like to do and what in view of the offers I have made you, you are willing to do. I suppose Mr. Knapp will probably come out in the spring, and if he should I suppose you would like to buy a place where he does. I would on some accounts be pleasant to do so, but doubtless should you have him for a neighbor you would find in him some qualities you never dreamed of before, which would make him disagreeable to some extend. He is a very excellent man but has his fault, as all other excellent men have. We are perhaps liable to infer too much from the fact that any one has an excellent character, at all events we do so when we infer that all he does will please us.
So it seems you do not think school teachers would have very good encouragement, with you, I presume the decision of [S]ister Caroline is correct. I suppose there are children enough that need teaching <and> to emply abundance of teachers, but there parents do not know how important is education, nor when their teacher is a good one, nor are they willing to pay their money for such objects, so that good teachers who go there must go as missionaries with the desire to do good not to make money. It will not be best I presume for Cousin Margaret to go there, although I wish she might do so. In reference to preaching the difficulty is I presume the same-that is, the people have more preachers altogether than they are willing to employ, but not half so many as they ought to have, and those not of the right kind. However, I think I shall come to some region of the West when I finish my course, though it is by no means certain or even probably that I can be near you.
March 11 I have delayed my letter a long time partly because Mother who is still a[t?] S. [South] Hadley [at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary], hoped we might be able to send you more decisive information concerning Martha. M. [Martha] has been much worse than when Mother send you the letter, nor is she now as well as at that time, though better than she has been at intervals between that and this time. Almost fifteen weeks have passed since she was prostrated on a bed of sickness (Nov 30) and she does not seem to make any advances towards the recovery of her health of course we have very great fears that she will never be any better. She is very weak indeed not able to sit up any. She expresses perfect resignation to God’s will respecting her and to him alone can we commit her as the help of man has proved indeed vain in this case. Physicians have done her no good nor does it seem probably they can. Mother has been with her about 11 weeks nor does it seem probably that she can leave her soon, unless indeed death should terminate the disease. The Dr. says it must be a long time before she recovers if she recovers at all. You can easily imagine that our family must be in the deepest affliction possible short of being called to mourn her death. At home they are there are only Father and Marcus. Father has been to S. [South] Hadley twice since Martha was sick.
I hope you will be careful to answer this letter immediate as spring is now close at hand. If Mr. Knapp goes to Wisconsin he will wish to start early and I shall be anxious to know something about your calculations. Our term here lasts but six weeks more, and if you cannot send the letter so that it will get here by April 24, you must direct it to Mill Brook [Connecticut] I hope by all means to receive one, as soon as I get home, and if possible before.
What do you think of [...]sociation? I have a somewhat better opinion of it than when I last saw you. I do not know but it might be well for you if you wish to leave your place to go into one as on some account I think you might like it. You would have a comfortable place to live, and as much company as you would like I suppose, without the trouble of buying stock, waggons, &. I think I will send you some publications on the subject that you may look them over and form an opinion for yourself I would not have you say thing about it in letters wh. [which] you send home as Father does not like it at all. Indeed I have no hesitation in saying there is a great deal of nonsense in their pretensions, but still I think the idea of getting together and helping one another along some is a good one. Something of the kind will be I think eventually adopted though not according to the plan of the Fourierites.
I think you ought to write home somewhat often you need not do it all at once but keep a sheet of paper by you and every few days write a few lines and thus you will before a great while have a sheet filled to send home. It is a very great comfort to Mother to hear from you as well as to all for us. If there are any particular books you would like to have, if you can write me before I go home I will try to get them & send them to you by Mr. Knapp.
I have not much more to say at present. John sends his love but has not time to write now. He has an oration to prepare for Junior Exhibition [at Yale University] – is a good scholar and in good health. Good-bye dear brother, remember to take with patience the unavoidable evils of this life and to look for the consummation of all your joys in a future and better world. Do all the good you can to your neighbors, and strive in all ways to make your own house the abode of peace and contentment
your aff. [affectionate] brother Joel.
Dear sister Caroline, If I have not written any part of the above letter directly to you it is not because I do not think often of you, and rejoice that Daniel is permit-to spend his time with one who is so anxious for his happiness and so well calculated to promote it. I hope you will be able to cheer each other on in life’s rugged road and find in each other a happiness which does not depend on the changing and capricious world around you. You have troubles in Wisconsin, so down here, and probably not many less, though of course as this is our native country it is dear on that account, and must be viewed by you with tender feelings. What good ma[y] [c]rown your days with joy is the prayer [...] [your?] aff. [affectionate] brother Joel.
Letter 7 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
Milwaukie Co [Milwaukee County]
Wis. Ter. [Wisconsin Territory]
April 5. Received a letter to day from Cousin Abigail and Mother at S. [South] Hadley [at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary]. Martha is not any better that I can gather from their account. Cousin A. [Abigail] says “it almost impossible to tell who she is.” She seems to change very little. She is very weak hardly able to sit up at all, but notwithstanding all her suffering, all her protracted weakness she exhibits perfect patience and resignation to the divine will. Mother’s health seems to begin to fail some, in consequence of her long continued labors and anxiety in taking care of Martha. She has been somewhat unwell, but when my letter was written she had nearly recovered. She has been now at S. Hadley about 15 weeks, a long time for her to be gone from home. She begins to be impatient to return home, but Martha is so weak and the going so very bad that any such idea is preposterous at present. After our terms closes [at Yale University] which will be in a little <less> more than two weeks John and I mean to contrive some way to get her home, though we hardly know how, and hope that her will forestall us by getting her home before we get there. She must be sick many months before she recovers
Sister Caroline gives a description of your meetings and the doctrines taught in them which I am sorry to hear I hope you will not encourage women to talk in meeting for if the Bible said nothing about it, the custom is so contrary to the modesty and delicacy of females <that> and to the constitution of their nature, that I would never approve it. Still perhaps you ought not to be violent in opposition, for there will be some who will attribute your opposition to any but the right motive the evil will cure itself as soon as your people become better educated, and more refined. As to perfection it is too preposterous a doctrine to need particular remark. If I had room, however, I would state a few arguments in reference to it, and if you feel desirious that I should I will do so at some future time. All I exhort you to do is to avoid such errors.
I have no doubt you will enjoy the coming summer much better than you did last. You are now used to things, and will take them easier and more pleasantly. Your affectionate brother
New Haven [Connecticut], Apr. 6, 1844
Dear Brother & Sister It is indeed a long time since I have written off anything & I am glad to have an opportunity to finish this letter. Though you have not heard direct from me yet I presume you have a t least heard through other members of the family that I have been well & you of course know that as [...] as I am well I must <of course> be very busy. I will not however undertake to offer any excuse for having neglected to write you, or to plead want of time for such duties. Though my time is indeed pretty full occupied, I have enough for such purpose as these. The only reason why I have not written this long time is that when I have thought of it I felt that I <ed> could not fill a whole sheet with any thing that would be interesting & when I have had opportunities to fill part of a sheet, I have had just at those times some very pressing duty to perform, as a very hard lesson to learn or a dispute to prepose I will endeavor to do better in future, I am not [...] ever acknowledging hereby that you have placed me under any obligation by having written to me out I know how such things go & if one neglects [...] because others do nothing will be done. I have since I last wrote been very well usually. I do not however always take sufficient exercise & by this means I sometimes suffer some from a sort of nervous weakness – nothing serious though. I have not yet since the commencement of my College [Yale University] course been absent from a single recitation or asked to be excused from a single lesson. So you see that I must have had pretty good health. The hardest of our course is not past, & I hope to reap the benefit of the severe study of the few past years in increased mental vigor & power. You both know I doubt not that the life of the faithful student is a hard one – one of toil & weariness & often of anxiety & suffering. Though I have not suffered all the evils to which close study has brought some of my acquaintances, yet I can not but feel that this <if> has sorrows which other pursuits know nothing of. Even now I feel that I have not improved my time as I might have done, but I have not withstanding confined myself closely to my books most of the time I cannot say that I have not succeeded in my endeavors to my satisfaction I have even exceeded my hopes. I aimed at nothing more in the shape of college honors than an Oration, doubting even whether I should succeed in reaching that; but I have that & I am assured by my tutor that three higher appointments than orations had been given I should have had one of them. But as the difference between myself & some one or two was not such as others, to warrant a distinction of that kind now only had first appointments were given for the Junior Exhibition. You may readily believe that I am encouraged by this to apply myself pretty closely to my studies, I do not mean however, to be swayed by ambition or elations beyond what is right and proper. I have here spoken plainly as you see & that too of myself, but I know that in the present instances such plainness is allowable, & I cannot believe that you will charge me with ostentation in thinking thus to a brother & a sister. Our Junior Exhibition comes in two weeks from next Tuesday – a time to which many of us are looking forward with much interests and some dread. I will send you at the time what account the papers give – I feel as though I can almost through College & soon to go out into the wide world. Some times I rejoice to see it so near that more usually feel that I should not be ready to grapple with its stern realities.
You will doubtless hear of the results of the election here before this reaches you. We are glad to find Conn. [Connecticut] again true to herself. Both branches of legislature are Whig & are to choose the [...] & a senator to [...reps?] – Joel has written you I suppose this latest news from Martha. Her case is a very critical one, yet we hope for her recovery – there is considerable religious interest in the Mt Holyoke Sem. [Mount Holyoke Female Seminary] this Winter & Spring. there is also here in College [Yale University] a hearing prospect. For a few days past matters have taken a new turn, & all seem more or less awake to the subject. We are hoping for a powerful revival ere the close of this term. Some hopeful conversions have already occurred. The interest is daily increasing. Elder Knapp has been here thru of four weeks & preached every afternoon & evening in the Baptist Church. He left however last Monday, but not without having left a deep impression on many a hearts – We have not heard directly from home for many weeks. We hear that they have considerable snow there still. There is more here now & the grass is beginning to appear in some places. I do not look forward to the vacation with the interest I should if Martha were well. We expect to get her home as soon as the weather & roads will allow. Cousin Desiah is intending to go to Mt. Holyoke Sem [Mount Holyoke Female Seminary] next year – I hope you will not neglect me, & not write to me at all. I want to hear from you both so badly [knows?] but that I shall come out & live with you some day & I want to know about that part of the world. But more especially I want you to write to me as brother & Sister & you need no assurance that as such I shall ever sorrows & joys as fast as I can, I now sympathize with you in the trials to which I know you must be subjected, but hope they well soon most of them pass away. Now dear Sister Caroline you know that you can write letters more easily than David can & of course you have rather more leisure for such business will you not therefore take it upon you if he cannot write & even if he can, to write a part or whole of a letter as the case may be before long? I will promise you an answer. you affectionate brother John.
I will add for Caroline’s information the sad news that Martha Woodward is very low & that all hope of her recovery is abandoned by her friends. This I have learned from Mrs. De Forest How fleeting moral life!
Letter 8 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
Milwaukie Co [Milwaukee County]
Mill Brook [Connecticut] May 6, 1844
Dear Brother and Sister,
Your letter we received three days since and as there are somethings in it which seem to require immediate attention I think I will write at once. But first in reference to Martha I will say we have moved her from S. [South] Hadley [at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary] home after she had been there five months (from Nov. 30 to April 29) upon a sick bed. We brought her upon a bed in [Esq. Badlelle’s Barouche?] and were but three days on the journey. She cannot sit up at all, and was a good deal affected by the journey, but has now we think nearly recovered from it. She is no worse than when I wrote you last, and perhaps we may be permitted to indulge greater hopes of her recovery though that is very doubtful. She very probably may live months before the disease conquers her, and it must be moths before she recovers.
I visited your father Burr’s people yesterday and carried your letter to them. We talked over the proposition of Mrs. Burr and as you ask my opinion in reference to it, I am ready to say I see no objection to it and would advise you if it be not too late to adopt the plan she suggest if you still feel anxious to get the lots of which have been thinking. You may have my part of it for what it cost me and the interest at six per cent from the time I sent the money and I am ready to give a bond to that effect, though I should not like to wait more than once year from this time for my pay. If you can get the other half on terms to suit you I advise you to engage it and send, for the money as soon as you possibly can. I presumed Mrs. Burr will not be willing to forward it till she knows whether you can have the place of not. If she can send you $200 or so, would you not do better to buy with it some place entirely new farther in the interior, and by selling your present place get money enough to put up a house? If you like the place you think of <such you> however, as it is near a village and not far from Milwaukie [Milwaukee, Wisconsin] probably you had better take it. I suppose however it is not as good land as you can find elsewhere. Do not exchange your present place for one which you will not like, but if it is possible to get any place you can like do by all means leave the one you now have. I should be unwilling to make you a better offer to exchange your lot for mine than that which I made in a previous letter. Hope it is not enough, but I do not want anything to do with it.
You state that you do not think Levi has ever paid the money I gave him as attorney for somebody who formerly owned the lots east of the creek. I think I am safe whether he did or not, but I would thank you to ascertain whether in Wisconsin it is necessary to have a Power of Attorney to sell land recorded before it is legal. If it is not I am perfectly secure, if it is I must send it out at once to have it recorded. Should you find it necessary you will write me at once. I do not believe it is. I am in haste and shall write no more unless I think of something
Your aff. [affectionate] brother
P.S. You ask how you can pay Capt. Hayers If you are to receive money from Mrs. Burr you can direct her to pay him any amount you have in your hands and that will save send it to you. If you should not, you must buy a draft on some of the Banks of Hartford or New York for which you will have to pay about two per cent premium or more but which must be at Capt. Hayer’s expense of course you must if possible make arrangements for the purchase of the lot immediately, and take care you do not pay too much for it. The owner, seeing how much you might want it, may take advanta[g]e of you. I do not see why you might not take my half and keep the whole or a part of your present farm, but you probably do. I wish in your next letter you would make a kind of a map of the lot putting down the roads for I have not a very good idea of their situation.
I am very glad Mrs. Burr is willing to make arrangements to [acc?]ommodate you, for though I offered to send you $150 it was only because I wished very much to accommodate you. It would put me to great inconvenience.
I have no doubt your present farm will sell at 4 or 5 dollars an acre during the present season some time. Were it mine I would not take less than five but you know best.
Martha sends her love. Marcus is well and grows more awkward continually though I hope he will make a good man. Cousin William talks of going to Wisconsin this summer, but it is doubtful. We have procured a pendulum rod and ball for you and intend to sent it, by Mr. Hurlibut of Norfolk [Connecticut] who is to start in three or four weeks. It is impossible for us to imagine that yours were left here but if you can not find them that makes not difference. Mr. Knapp talks some of going to Wisconsin in the fall but has hired to father till Sept. and it is doubtful whether he will go at all, I think he might like your present place. I will talk with him and let you know next time.
Letter 9 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
Milwaukie Co [Milwaukee County]
Mill Brook [Connecticut] May 22, 1844
Dear Brother and Sister,
As cousin Wm. [William] starts for Wis. [Wisconsin] next week, I sit down to write you a few words. And first let me say to you I hope if you have not already bought the place of which you have written some two or three times, I hope you will not do so with consulting Coz. Wm. [Cousin William] for I have some question whether you may not do better. Nor do I exactly like the plan of your being obliged to pay interest for what your farm may cost you till such a time as you may be able to pay it, though in your circumstances I think it advisable, for you ought to leave the place you have at present. But if it is not too late I hope you will ponder well the idea of taking my 40 and uniting to the west 40 of yours, and selling 80 acres and the house of yours, by which means you will be able to pay for my 40 and have something considerable to build with. Act with discretion and do not let your zeal to leave a place you do not like transport you beyond the bounds of reason.
I send you by Wm. [William] a book called “A New Home Who’ll follow?” in which are some good descriptions of life and manners in newly settled countries. To one point only would I now direct your attention viz. the rusticitiy and coarseness of some or most of those who inhabit such regions. [To] this you may be some what exposed as our whole family are somewhat inclined to it naturally. I think you may gather a great many good hints from the book, and I hope you will use that and every other means in your power to promote refinement in yourself and in all around you. In order to do this you need to direct your thoughts to the subject and you will find to your astonishment, (at least I have done so) that “in many things you offend all” while you do not dream of it. Make others feelings a portion or your study, carefully observing what language is offensive to them and what manners are disagreeable. It is astonishing to see how much better some people who have very little kindness get along than those who have a great deal and do not manifest it rightly to those around them, I do not think this is right. We are commanded to “let our light shine before men,” and he who has real excellence of character, and yet through a neglect to manifest it by those means that are calculated to with he hears of other does as truly “put his candle under a bushel” as any man whatever. Do not then consider such things unimportant. They add greatly to one’s power of doing good. Let it then be your aim to elevate by your example and acts the society around you for no society can be really good, or thoroughly Christian where such things are neglected. Get sister Caroline to make suggestions to you, for the perception of ladies in reference to these things is always more keen and ready than that of gentlemen, and from the advantages she has possessed she will be particularly prepared to make such suggestions.
As to your note against Wm. [William] Swift I will ascertain where he lives from his father and will bye and bye write to [Strong?] about it. The note will, I doubt not, have to be prosecuted and I think the best plan will be to wait about one year from this time, or till it has run five years, and the interest becomes $6 and [...] give directions for the prosecution. I [believe?] that notes become outlawed in six years in Ohio. I think that [Mother?] and Strong will have no difficulty in collecting it, provided Swift is worth any thing. Swift has removed to some part of Penn. [Pennsylvania]
Your aff. [affectionate] brother
P.S. I have written to Phelps about James Craig’s note and I presume he will do all that can be done.
Letter 10 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Canton, Ohio. June 25, 1844
I this morning sent to Massillon a large box in which was contained all we can find of your things, excepting your rocking chair, which it was found very inconvenient to pack. It is to be addressed to you at Praireville [Wisconsin], care of – Milwaukie [Milwaukee, Wisconsin]. I sent it to Mr. Rhodes with a request that he would name some suitable house in Milwaukie [Milwaukee, Wisconsin] to whom to consign it – he will name I suppose the same persons to whose care the box I sent last year was sent – I forget their names. I never heard of the arrival of the box I sent last year, but presume you must have received it. When you receive the box I now sent please sent a newspaper, if you have neither time nor occasion to write.
My family are all well. I have no information from father’s family except such as you must know you have of course hear of Martha’s long sickness. A letter from Joel written about a month since, expresses a hope of her recover, but she was still very feeble.
The same letter states that you consider yourself as having a claim to the note of $35 against Craig of New Philadelphia. My own recollection is that I have accounted for that note in full. When I gave to Joel the note for $75 payable to you (which note Joel now holds) I considered it in full for all which I had of yours, and thought it very liberal. But Craig has never paid but $20 on the note and I am afraid will never pay the rest. I have always supposed however that all money I should realize on this note would belong to me.
I should be glad to hear how you get along if you can find time to write.
Your aff. [affectionate] brother
Letter 11 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Yale College [Yale University], July  [1844?]
Dear Brother and Sister,
Joel has just informed me of [...] opportunity to send you if we prepare something immediately & glad to improve the same I now will [...] the moment of time I can command in penning a few word. I wrote you last term but you have I suppose found yourselves to busy to give me a separate answer. Though I feel as though I could excuse you Daniel do not think I can you Caroline for I cannot suppose you are so busy as necessarily to neglect to write even to me also as well as the rest. I hope too that such is not the case with you Daniel. You ought not to feel that you must devote all your time to labor to the exclusion of all [...] else & I hope you wont forget your brother & never write him again. But if you cannot command the time when you would just [...] Caroline to act in your stead. I am well aware that when [...] labors it is hard to give time for such matters & even hard to get the dispositions [...] besides is pressing (for I often fell it myself) yet a proper degree of resolution can I find be [...] by sufficient effort But I will not suppose that you understand my wishes and hopes, & pass to something else.
I have nothing new to say for our life is but a round of some monotonous duties & like a revolving wheel we move slowly along our way, Slowly I say, but slow as [...] the flight of time yet such it flies & is fast bearing us along to the end of our coarse.
This term I have been very busy indeed our lessons to do them justice have required all my time & I have devoted the most of my time & attention to them. This is the second letter I have written this term [...] almost you. Two weeks from next Monday our examinations begin which continue through week in which we are to be examined in all the studies of the past three years. And then we shall be Seniors & I hope not driven through thick & thin without mercy. You must not infer that I am possessed of a spirit of complaint from what I now say It would, include be possible to get along with less toil & effort than I submit to; but to do justice to one’s self requires a constant & persevering struggle. My health holds out firm yet though I feel that it is not quite so much so as it sometimes I long for vacation again. And so we are always worrying along – never satisfied with the pressure, but for for a [moment]. I suppose it is wrong but when I see such lessons before as my next, for example, I cannot suppress a [complaint?]. My next lesson on [...] about 20 pages of Tyler’s History, most of it as destitute of interests as any other document or volume.
I presume Joel will write you all the important news & so I need not be particular. Martha is better we heard from home a little more than a week ago & she was decidedly improved, which of course will be glad tidings to you as [...] was to us. Her improvement seems to have been very rapid for some time before winter [I.E.?] for a few weeks in which we had heard nothing. She wrote herself with place so that you may well believe her much <improved> better than she had been. [...] friend are well as far as I know. I have not time to write more & I would apologize for the appearance of this except that I know you will excuse it without provided you can read it. When I re-an answer I will try to get time to write a longer one & a better one too. The time has come when I just go about my other duties. Don’t forget to write Your aff. [affectionate]John.
I received the paper you send me in due time.
Letter 12 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
Milwaukie Co [Milwaukee County]
Mill Brook [Connecticut] September 9, 1844
Dear Brother & Sister,
Your letters of July 30 and Aug 14. have been read for wh. [which] we thank you. We rejoice to hear of your success in all ways that you are blessed. We are glad you have been able to find a piece of land with wh. [which] you feel pleased and hope that in future you will have no occasion to change your views.
You have not adopted the course in reference to money wh. [which] I wished you to, but hope it will prove for the best. I want or am going to want it very much, unless you can sell my 40 acre lot, and even in that case I do not wish it to stay where it is one day after you can get it even for the interest at 25 per cent. I thought my instructions were plain in reference to it, that if you did not want it you should send it back to me at once, and if you have not already learned, it will be well to learn that in such matters you must “obey orders if you break [owners?].” Had you sent the drafts to me they would have needed to endorsing. But as it is get the money as soon as you can and send it to me.
Strong has written to me that Swift called and paid your note, and I shall, as you have directed, take the money and give you credit for it. I do not wish you at once to send me the money you get for your wheat, as you will have abundant use for it yourself. If there are a few dollars you can send you had better do so say some $10 or $15 but the rest keep for yourself. I would not sell at present for less than 50 cts [cents] per bush. as it will doubtless be worth more than that during the year.
I have been thinking some about your land in the S.E. corner of Dodge Co. I have no doubt it is good land – excellent land and all that, but had you better go to live there? How far is it to any respectable meeting? How far to a physician? How far to neighbors who can get together & form a sewing soc [society]? How long before there will be any thing like comfortable society there? These and many like questions have occurred to me and as I have thought of your going there it has made me feel badly. You are wild enough now without going to live among the bears. I would not however attempt to influence you, for you know best what you should do. It has occurred to me that a plan wh. [which] I have heretofore suggested to you will now perhaps meet your views. You now have a good lot of land, 160 acres of the very best, but man was not made merely to live on good land. He needs society and you need it as much as any one, and Caroline feels the want of it as much as any one. Had you not then better take my 40 acre lot? It is as much as you can take care of, if well taken care of it will yield you a good living. You may have it for what it cost me and the interest at 6 per cent. It is so near town that it would not be necessary for you to keep a horse & waggon, two pretty expensive articles. You could then enjoy society, go to meetings, improve you mind, and grow wiser year by year while upon the first rate land in Dodge Co. after ten years no one would know you from a barbarian. It seems to me that you like thousands at the West <do> forget that land is not all, that there are many things worthy of consideration and of weighty importance besides land. I think then you had better let the lot you have bought, and cultivate one nearer the residence of men. If you do not wish to do so, then sell my 40 acre lot as soon as possible for wh. [which] purpose you perhaps will not need to take a deed at once. You and Caroline will be happier however to reside upon it yourselves and then is it be best you can sell either the whole or a part of the lot upon wh. [which] you now reside, and you can use the avails in building a good house, where you will be comfortable and in a state to receive company with pleasure to yourselves and them. You will probably never see such times should you go to Dodge Co., or at all events not for many years. In case you wish to take my lot will endeavor to make the terms of payment as easy as possible for you, especially in case you can send me the $100 I sent you last summer.
It does not seem to me you had better let your farm for so long a term as five years. You know not what you will want to do with it long before that time comes around. If you have not already arranged that affair you had better think a little before you let it for more than two years, at most. If you are to live upon it yourself I do not see the wisdom of letting it at all.
I am willing you should cut some poles from my lot for fencing and making a barn if you wish but you must do it yourself, you must not let any tenant or hired man do it for you, even to be used on your own farm. Could you not sell my lot there and yours together to good advantage? I always though they ought to go together and your request to cut timber from mine shows that you think so too at least in part. Perhaps some one would like to buy 80 acres of yours and mine too thus leaving you 40 acres which is more than you can well cultivate. I hope you will think well of the matter of taking the 40 you bought for me “within one mile of the village, upon a good road” as you described it when you first wrote of it, it is simply for your good I urge it. I offer it to you for less than to any one else, and that is not all I am willing to wait for you a little time a thinking I would not do for any one else, no not if they offered to pay me 25 per cent, interest. But unless you see it to be best do not be influenced by my opinion for I have already made you trouble enough. I do not doubt there is better land elsewhere, but will you be any better off upon it? What is the question, not how good is the land?
I regret to say that Martha has made no improvement for the last six weeks, but if any things grow worse. Her case is very discouraging indeed, and its result very doubtful. The remainder of our family are well. The typhus fever is raging very violent by in this region this fall. It is of a kind that is very contagious and destructive, and its [ravages?] <ever fearful> in some neighborhoods have been fearful, such that the hay and crops have been left untouched. Our neighborhood has hither to be spared, but a short time since Mrs. Robbins was taken sick with it so that we now have it here. Cousin Olivia Cowles and Mr. Knapp are to be married Sept. 11 (day after tomorrow) Olivia sings rather more than usually about these things your affect brother Joel.
Sept. 18, 1844
I have waited nine days in the hope that some of our people would write but mother has now a most terrible and painful felon on the second finger or her right hand, and John has had one of his fingers smashed by the falling of a piece of timber. John’s finger is getting better now and I do not think the injury is important. Mother’s finger too is a little better and I cannot but hope she has seen the worst of it.
Mr. Knapp and Olivia were married one week ago this evening, and this morning they started for Ohio.
Martha is not I think quite as well though there is not much change.
You will see the reason why Mother does not write, and as I am in a great hurry you will excuse me for closing this letter now. Mr. Burr’s people are well.
Your aff. [affectionate] brother
Mother wishes me to say for her that many times tenants prove very troublesome indeed, and she thinks you had better not involve yourself for five years.