Letter 1 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[from Austinburg, Ohio, 186-?]
Dear brother Daniel,
As I am sending home, I enclose a few lines to you. Abbie is pretty well generally, tho’ [though] she has complained of a lame ancle lately & some head aches. She is better to day. How your family is scattered. No two in a place. And with other news we see in the paper you sent, that you have disposed of the property you bought in Winsted [Connecticut]. Have you done it advantageously? & will you now be able to redeem the $600. note you mentioned? Please tell me all about it. I wish to know more of your prosperity & of your adversity. I <do> would not buy property if you have to run in debt for it, the yearly interest is such an eating mother [barnowl?] – you stay at father’s & help father & [brotheren?]. Better be in no business than a [sinking] business. May there not be an opening where you can labor for a salary, or for regular wages, if you wait awhile?
We hear nothing fr. [from] bro. [brother] Josh for a long time. Bro. [brother] John wrote the last he knew of him, he was in Chicago on government business. We are quite anxious to know more of his plans.
What a gloomy prospect our country now presents. O. that we may all so return, with weeping, mourning, & supplication, to our God, that he may have mercy & restore peace to our once happy but guilty land.
Henry Bowles spent nearly two weeks in Austinburg [Ohio], recently. He held a number of meetings here. He does seem to be one of the holiest men I ever knew. He took tea with us, & called several times[.] Aunt Olive & Mr Marshall’s family were well as usual when I last heard.
Dear brother, I hope we shall learn how to pray in this day of our sore visitation as we have never done before. What else can we do. “He that knows how to pray has the secret of safety in prosperity & support in adversity.” If we preserve this world it proves a fleeting show, but if we “set our affections on things above,” if we “lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven” we shall soon experience the glad fruition of all our hopes.
Please write soon & freely. It is dark, I fear you cannot read this
Your aff..te [affectionate] sister Elizabeth [Elizabeth Grant Burton]
Letter 2 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr Daniel Grant
Mill Brook Ct. [Connecticut] March 3, 1848
Dear Brother & Sister [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant],
Though it is a long time since I have heard directly from you, (the last intelligence being by your letter to Mary [Mary Burr] which she sent to your mother Burr) I am glad to write to you. We are all in usual health except that we have been troubled this winter with colds
I expect to settle in Avon [Connecticut], about 12 miles from Hartford. The society is a small one but will be pleasant I think, and will open a field of usefulness. I think we shall commence keeping house in two or three weeks.
We have had a letter recently from John and Marcus at Woodbury [Connecticut]. They are well. John’s school is small, numbering only about 27. We also have had a letter recently from Phelps, who says they are now well though during the past summer he has had three attacks of chill fever, one of them very severe. That class of diseases is increasing in that part of the country, we think.
Though I made a somewhat earnest request to be informed of the results of your teaming operations, I have, as yet, received nothing. I hope you are doing well.
Your aff. [affectionate] brother, Joel [Joel Grant]
Mill Brook [Connecticut], March 11
Dear Brother & Sister,
As you will perceive, this was commenced by Joel more than a week ago. A multiplicity of duties have prevented its being filled out, but I hope its time has now come. Many things occur to me day by day that I should like to write to you and I hope the more important will not now escape my mind. Joel has informed you of the usual health of father Grants family. My father’s family are also about as usual. Pa is very much broken down since that long illness summer before last.
Parney has a boy three weeks old to day, and weighs 13 lbs. She is very comfortable. She think her sufferings previous & at the time of her confinement very much alleviated by taking “Mother’s Relief.” Tom is talking about going to Ohio next summer some time, says he shall work no more on the farm after April 1st. I know not what is to be done all around. Now that we are to be <here> in this vicinity I hate to have them go away. As Joel has <told?> written you, we expect to go to West Avon. I know not when Mr. G. [Joel Grant] is to be installed, but we expect to go to housekeeping next week. It looks like a mountain to begin for my strength is not great, still I hope we shall get along. I have a girl to go with me, but know not for how long. I have spent the winter past here and at my home. It has seemed short, very, indeed it has to every one, probably because it has been less severe than usual. We have had but little sleighing, but a great deal of mud. I came here to day upon a light snow that fell yesterday accompanied with sleet, so as to form a crust. I am to go to Collinsville next week. There to meet Joel and from thence to Avon.
In Jan. we visited Uncle and Aunt [Banister?] at their home in Newburyport [Massachusetts]. We found them well & happy & very pleasantly situated. We spent a week with [...] except that Sat. and Sabbath of it we spent in Ipswich [Massachusetts] with Mr. & Mrs. John Cowles. They are teachers of the Sem. [Ipswich Female Seminary]
<once> and occupy the building once used by Aunt B. [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister] Their school is prosperous: Mrs. C. goes into it morning & P.M. of each day, and has some ten <th> for boarders. Her moth[er] manages the domestic affairs. Ipswich is [a] very beautiful place, one of the pleasantest I have ever seen. We saw a good deal of Boston, but less is to be seen or enjoyed there at th<i>is season than in summer. On our way home found some S. Hadley [South Hadley, Massachusetts] friends in the cars. It was their vacation. An interesting revival was then in progress at the Sem. [Mount Holyoke Female Seminary] You have probably heard of Mr. Condits death. I know not who supplies his place
I intended to write more, but have not time. The remedy for sore nipple is camphor gum & sweet oil, the latter will dissolve the oil. Camphor gum simmered in cream is an unfailing remedy for piles – Please to write fully to us very soon direct to West Avon Ct. We want to know all about every thing, for you well know we are interested in all that interests you. With much love to all I am your aff [affectionate] sister
Abby – [Abigail Cowles Grant]
A kiss for dear little Abby –
Letter 3 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
[From] John Grant
Mill Brook Ct
Mill Brook [Connecticut], Apr. 21, 1848.
Dear Brother & Sister [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant]
It is truly a long time since I last wrote you. It ought not to have been so long, but I have always felt that I was not quite ready or quite strong enough. & so I have deferred.
I am now enjoying a little rest from my labors in school. I closed my school three weeks ago & commence in three weeks again. You of course know that I have been in Woodbury Ct. [Connecticut] only four miles from Dea. [Deacon] Woodward’s – some of the family having attended my school all the time thus far. [Ann?] Maria the whole time – Martha all but five or six weeks - & Burr some weeks. Have had a pleasant school tho’ [though] not quite so large as I wished. A little time I had 33 – but my number did not average above 23 – for the whole time. I shall probably have as many as 23 – the coming summer in time to continue 11 weeks only from May 15. I hope to have a large & profitable school next winter if I live & am in health. I have got along very well this winter – have pleased my pupils generally & their parents & have earned some reputation in my business, tho’ [though] not without effort & some trials
I have had pretty good health all winter & have had strength for my duties, but not a great deal to spare. My general health is good enough & it’s only my back that gives me trouble which is easily fatigued – it is no worse than usual & I think is stronger. I hope I am to continue as well but am not without my fears.
You are probably aware that Joel is about to be settled in Avon [Connecticut] – is not ordained but has gone there to live. They are keeping house - & seem glad to be located, tho’ [though] the place is not so large as he ought to be located in – society is small – salary only $450 & parsonage It is not at the church on the turnpike road bit south of it or rather between it & Collinsville. I visited them last week – found them well, but hardly settled in their new home.
You have been informed that Marcus spent the winter in Woodbury [Connecticut] & attended my school – improved his time very well. I do not know what he will do this summer. He is now with Joel helping him plant potatoes &c. altho’ [although] we expect him home soon.
It is as you can readily imagine very lonely here at home – no brother or sister here. I shall probably not spend the whole of my remaining vacation at home, but do not know how soon I shall leave. Geo. Woodman is to be married soon – probably in a week two & I shall attend the wedding & not return to these parts. Aunt Banister [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister] has invited Martha Woodward to come & stay a few months with her to assist her & be company for her, giving her such opportunities for improvement as she can. She will go on in a few weeks.
Our friends are so far as I know all well. I have been about but little & have not seen them all. Cousins Margaret & Isaiah are to teach in the same school at Falls Village this summer. Uncle Luther is very feeble & probably cannot endure much longer, tho’ [though] he may live many months.
I am sorry to know that you suffered so much from ill health in the early part of the winter but hope you are restored long ere this & that you are prospered in all your concerns Let us ever remember in whose hands we are & live as tho [though] this world were not our home – for how short is our time here.
I hope you will write me soon as convenient at Woodbury & if I do not write again till another vacation you may rest assured that you will not be forgotten. Mother sends love, but says she is too tired to write.
Your very affectionate brother
Letter 4 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
W. Avon [West Avon, Connecticut] July 5, 1848
Having waited many months with great anxiety to hear from you, I have at last concluded to take my pen and write something myself. Since your letter of Nov 7, ’47 (now eight months) I have received nothing from you, and have heard only a few indefinite reports. My last letter to you was dated sometime in Dec. last so that it may <be interesting> interest you to know something of what has haped in the mean time. I was at that time preaching here, and after a few weeks I received a call to settle as their Pastor, wh. [which] call I accepted and after delaying a time I was installed the 14th of last month. It is a small society, and they cannot give a large salary, <though> and it is by extreme effort that they are able to pay me the $500 which constitutes my salary. They are however a very pleasant people, and the place is situated conveniently to Hartford, being about 12 miles west.
We have a son born April 21, whom we talk of calling John Cowles. He has been healthy until about a week since, when he was attacked with some kind of a complaint wh. [which] has made him feeble and worrisome. He is now better, and has a good prospect of recovering entirely. Since his birth (almost eleven weeks) his mother has been very feeble. For a few of the first days she seemed to be doing well, but then she seemed to come to a stand, and soon after began to recede with frightful rapidity until she reached the verged of mortal existence. For many days her case seemed almost hopeless. Such was her state at the time of my installation. At last however she began to revive a little, and she is now better; though still unable to sit up and as you may infer very feeble. My own health has been in general good. I have heard, through a report of some one (stated to rest on the authority of a letter from Caroline [Caroline Burr Grant] to her mother), that you have been ill this past winter. Of the nature of the disease, its power or duration I know nothing, but presume it has some connection with the ague. I have also heard that mother has written to you <advice> advising you to return to this country after settling up your affairs there. If your present disease properly originates from the country in wh. [which] you live I should think such a course a good one and I believe I suggested it to you when I last visited you in the spring of ’47. I suppose the great difficulty will be in disposing of your property without a sacrifice that would be ruinous, yet I think if your health is constantly suffering from billious attacks you must do the best you can. I do not know that it would be wise for you to return to Conn.[Connecticut] I suppose better farms may be bought in the interior of N. Y.[New York] at equally reasonable rates, and in situations equally exempt from billious tendencies. But of this you can afterwards determine.
It has been a matter of surprise to me that you have given me no information concerning my business affairs. You have [been] appointed my confidential agent with all the formalities of law, and besides this I wrote you a very urgent letter last December, a letter which I expected nothing but bodily inability would prevent your answering. On the first of last April a $50 annuity was to come into your hands, to be forwarded to me, or to be satisfactorily accounted for. You had bought a team with my funds, and at my risk; and common justice should have led you to report to me the result, or by some means signify to me a just cause why you did not. A report (I know not that it is to me, though it comes on the authority of a letter to Mrs. Burr) has reached me that you have sold them. With this I do not find fault, but why do I hear nothing either of the sale or its proceeds from you? As to the $50 annuity I admit that it may never have come into your hands, but if not why am I not informed, both of the fact and the [the?] reasons of it? I must confess these things give me great anxiety, the more so as I am in immediate and pressing want of money, and shall be yet more and more so for some time to come. The propriety of the matter does not rest upon this, however, for it is the undoubted duty of agents to inform their employers of the state of the affairs entrusted to them, and faithfully to deliver over all property that comes to them in a shape to be thus delivered.
May I then expect that you will give an immediate answer to this, informing me [both] of the present state of the team and all the affairs connected with the sale of the 40 [acres]. Of the payment due from Timothy Mahan on the first of last April, whether the note then due was taken up, & if not the reasons why as far as you know them? Perhaps it will assist you to <tell> be told how far I understand these matters already. Your letter of last November is my only source of information and from that I learn that you sold my 40 for $250, taking in payment,
2 mortgage deeds of village lots __________________________ $163.00
2 notes of $29 each ____________________________________ 58.00
Cash to balance ______________________________________ 29.00
(Of the last item you make no explanation, leaving it doubtful in what way you received it, or whether you received it at all.)
You afterwards bought a team for which you gave the mortgage deeds above mentioned, and agreed to pay $37 this spring and $37 next November, making its entire value about $237.
As far as your account with me is concerned I believe it is embraced in the following items
Oct. ’47 Cash received of T. Mahan _____________________________ 15.00
April ’48 do. do. _________________________________ 50.00
Nov. 47 2 notes of $29 each _________________________________ 58.00
<2 village lots mortgage>
Cash (rec’d to balance as above) ________________________ 29.00
Investment in team __________________________________ 163.00
From this there may be something to be deducted for taxes <due> laid on the 80 before I sold it to Mahan, but I know of the way in which the rest can be accounted for. If there is any error in this statement you will inform me. [Thus?] let the matter be at once explained, however bad it may be. I shall keep a copy of the above statement , so that I can see what I wrote to you and compare it with your reply. I have endeavored to get the whole case before you so that you need have no difficulty in explaining it Brother John has left his school in Woodbury [Connecticut] & is now engaged as Tutor at New-Haven. His health is as good as it has been at any time since he had the operation performed.
Abby sends her love to you and Caroline to wh. [which] I would add a great deal of my own. Do not delay to write directing to West Avon Ct. [Connecticut]
Your aff. [affectionate] brother
Letter 5 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr Daniel Grant
[From] Mother Grant
Colebrook [Connecticut] Sept 11th ...48
My dear children [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant]
I believe you think the letter I promised you when I sent the goods I have been so long about to send has been very tardy in its movements indeed it has been very different from what I intended it will be of no use to enumerate the many obstacles that have come in my way but after all last monday a week to day I went with the barrel well stocked with good to the Depot and I there found John Watson son of Jacob Watson who said he would see it started in the P M I have felt somewhat uneasy since that I did not see the Agent myself but he promised that he would be faithful and I thought he would so I left it with him to do the business and if he does the business as he promised I hope you will receive it ere long when I went with the barrel I carried your sister Elizabeth [Elizabeth Grant Burton] she and Mr Burton have after so many years made us a visit and it was a great pleasure to me she looks oh altered a good deal since you saw her my son she and I went in our waggon and Mr B in the stage she enquired about you and your family thought she should write to you but she has her hands and her heart full Lavinia is married and Margaret has poor health her children she left well they returned the northern route and had it in contemplation to call on Phelps at Canton I will have mention that the barrel was directed to the care of Mc Clune & Williams Millwaukie [Milwaukee, Wisconsin] Mr. Allen was buried last monday I wanted to attend the funeral but felt more that I wanted to go with Elizabeth [Elizabeth Grant Burton] as far as I could he has been in a suffering condition for a long time I shall mix my letter up in such a way that you will think strange perhaps <that I am more than usual light minded> I want to say to you that I fear you will never get your pay for the improvements you make on your Milwaukie [Milwaukee, Wisconsin] Wall people always say that improvements never fetch what they cost and people have such different views upon the subject that one man will want to undo all another does I would like to have you sell it and pay your debts if you should have a good opportunity I would like to know about your concerns as much as you think best I should, I went with E [Elizabeth Grant Burton] to see your father B’s [Mr. Burr?] family found them all well Mary [Mary Burr?] sent you <her> a number of articles she will probably write you what Joel sent & a pair of books John a pair of pantaloons and a suit up a pair that I suppose <give> was John’s and some shirts and one of Marcus’ bosoms and a collar he was absent he left Collinsville after his father told him that he disapproved of his grinding axes and engaged in a [coal?] job in New Hartford he came home and staid four days when I was at home [&?] was pretty well but said he worked hard I put up as many apples as I could with the other things I put mine into some cloth that I thought would make you a pair of pillow cases sweet into one and sour into the other but the mice ate one and you can do what you please with them we have no apples this year and last year they were very knotty friends all well your Uncle Luther lives and may a good while yet he may not be the first to die in our family there is a good deal of sickness and a good many deaths in Winter Phinny Root’s wife is dangerously sick Abigail [Abigail Cowles Grant] is better and has been home and made a visit She does not nurse her babe at all I sent some new calico for [it &] a dress also two breadths of a dress that I thought might make her one but as I understand you may have more family make use of it as may be most for the comfort of your family two pair of morocco shoes of <m> Martha’s one indiarubber Mary sent a pair of indiarubber I did not send the dress patterns but sent a dress almost new which Martha said she thought you might wear with very little alteration she thought by letting down the [ep?] [...] each of you a pair of mittens and [also] two of the sheepskin mittens Susan [Susan Boyd J. Grant?] made for your father she made a pair for Marcus and they suited your father better and so they have both worn them and these have [lain?] by they were too large you will need I guess to cut out a little more than the seam I guess Caroline [Caroline Burr Grant] and sew them over but you can contrive that part I shall put a little into this letter and when you receive this write me soon and I shall want to hear from the barrel if you ever receive it I have not mentioned but a part of what it contains much love to dear Abby and from [your?] mother thank her for what she did to write her I was very tired when I commenced and I have written with my paper on a map lying in my lap and you and you will find it somewhat difficult to read may you enjoy the blessing of God and strive to live near to him don’t neglect your bible and under all circumstances spread out your wants before the Lord and store that tender mind that is commited to your care with that which is good not burden it be careful that her clothes are not tight [worm?] holes and all that there be no compression may the Lord be your guide & [grant?] help in time of trouble is the prayer of your aff [affectionate] Mother Grant
West Avon [Connecticut], Oct. 18, ’48.
Dear Brother and Sister [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant],
While at home last week Marcus handed me a letter from John to you in wh. [which] he had designed to enclose a half sheet. But Mother’s sickness & his other duties prevented his doing it soon. & he thought I had better bring it home. I have long wished to feel able and have the time to write you, and that fully but know not that I shall ever do it with greater ease than now, tho’ [though] my space must be limited.
It is 7 o’clock in the morning. My baby taking his morning nap in the cradle, husband in the study, girl washing dishes in the back room & I have one hand on the cradle, the other [grasping?] the pen. We have a pleasant house & convenient, th’o [though] some of the rooms are too small. If I ever have sufficient strength shall like housekeeping very much. We had been here but six weeks when Johnny was home. & those were weeks of great care in arranging and getting things comfortably [settled?]. Billah was with me five weeks after the birth of my babe and could she have stayed five more. I might have been spared a great deal of suffering. But as I can not have room to write every thing will only say that thro’ [though] the mercy of God I was spared, even after resting for some time [from] the [verge?] of the grave, and am now in tolerable health, tho’ [though] far from being strong, am able to endure. Our boy’s name is John Cowles, is near six months old, weight 21 lbs. is perfectly pleasant, seldom crying if not sick. He takes all his food from a bottle. I was obliged to wean him when two months old, on account of a sore mouth, which is not yet well. We have bought milk & butter all summer, but expect a cow today. Our expenses must greatly exceed our salary this year. There is no end to demands upon the purse in sickness, and little economy in the kitchen, when hired help manages. Our people have been very kind & thoughtful for us, thus adding greatly to our comfort.
We found Mother Grant very sick with Typhus fever, and seen how it may result, tho’ [though] there is hope in her case. Sister [Parney?] had been dangerously ill with dysintery, but when we were there, was able to sit up an hour in a day. Her beautiful babe 7 months old died two weeks since with the same disease. Ann Elisa Knapp was buried last week Tues. her disease consumption. There have been a great many deaths in Norfolk [Connecticut] the past season. I wanted to see your sister M [Mary Burr], but there no time to go there, as we were gone from home but two nights. I hope she will spend some time with us this winter. The impression in N. [Norfolk, Connecticut] is that she is to be married I did not see her gentleman when we were out. Johnny is in my lap and joggles my pen. I think he wd. [would] like to send his love to his Uncle & Aunt and cousin Abby. Do let us hear from you soon, and all the particulars. Joel sends love to you all. I was sorry to send you nothing but that little [neck?] ribon, but did not know that the box still opens- Those little dresses were out out <from> by one of my baby’s slips. I like them very much. If you name a babe tell us all about it, will you not. I doubt not you had a comfortable time. You got along so well before. I was sick but three hours. Dr. Philo Rockwell is our physician. We had others in council.
Aff. [affectionate] your
sister Abby [Abigail Cowles Grant]
Letter 6 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
West Avon [Connecticut] Feb. 26, 1849.
Dear Brother & Sister[Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant],
Your letter mailed Feb. 9, was received about three days since, and we were truly glad to hear from you once more. Your letter found us in more than ordinary affliction. I was confined to the house, & mostly to my bed, by a severe ear ache, the result of a cold; and our little boy was afflicted with a very dangerous lung fever. Through God’s blessing we are both now better.
Our fathers family is much afflicted this winter, as you have doubtless heard in part, though all are still living. Father & Mother are living entirely alone, & Mother has been so feeble as to be unable to do any thing a considerable part of the winter. John has had another operation for the removal of tumors, through wh. [which] he has passed as we hope, safely, though he writes that his back is not healed yet. He has resumed his duties as tutor nevertheless.
Since my wife’s recovery from the severe sickness which she passed through last summer she has been gradually improving in health as we hope though there is still much room for improvement.
I think you must feel singular to be left without a house after laboring so long to obtain one. Of course you are the best judge as to what you ought to do, but it seems to me the price for wh. [which] you disposed of it <were> was less than it was worth by a good many dollars, especially as the pay is not prompt. $220 I should think a low price for a house situated as that was; however, I do not profess to be able to judge.
So it seems you are again without a home, and are somewhat perplexed to be able to tell what you had better do. Probably you will have decided before this reaches you, yet I will venture to say just a few thoughts. As you are out of business at present would it not be as well to try California? According to all accounts the success of those who go there may be presumed to be good, in some cases excellent. It strikes me favorably, if you can get some one to bear your expenses and then divide equitably the results of your labor, inasmuch as that will involve no pecuniary risks. Indeed I suppose it would be impossible for you to go on your own responsibility, as the expense of an outfit would be quite considerable. For a single traveller I find the outfit at Independence Missouri (& it will cost $20 at least to get there, probably more) to be thus stated by Col. [Gilpin?] a man who has been over the whole ground
Two pack mules---------$120
saddle bridle, & spurs-----12
Provisions 150 lbs. flour---------------$3.00
75 do bacon-----------------2.00
20 do coffee 1.50 50 sugar 4.00 5.60
Salt pepper vinegar etc.---2.40-----------------------13.00
Besides these <blan?> he puts down Mackinaw Blankets at from $10 to $16 the pair, & he might have put down many other things so that the expense of an outfit at Independence cannot be assumed to be less than from $250 to $300. He sets down the time necessary as two or three months. But of these things the people of your place know far more than I can possibly If you go I trust you will go comfortably.
There will be many risks to be run, but I think the probabilities are altogether in favor of its doing your health good. You may be sick, you may die, & if you could avoid these things by staying at home, I would advise you by all means, not to go. As it is I am favorably impressed with the idea of your going.
I hope you will be able to see to the forwarding of the money due April 1 from Mahar. I received the $49 of which you write, though I was very sorry you did not send it sooner as I wanted it very much. <It> I understand that it was 88 cents more than was then due. If you should be unable to see to the business yourself please to designate some one by name, whom I can make my attorney. I presume it will not be [weeping?] to make an attorney this year but it may be another. Let me know the name of the lawyer who did my business for me when I was there last; his whole name, for he seemed to be a man worthy of confidence. If possible I hope you will forward the payment for this year before you leave
Should you go to California, take with you paper pen & ink and keep a diary of your course and forward it to us as you may have opportunity. I have many things to say, but I have not the leisure to say them now. Let what I have said suffice. Forget not amid all the perplexities with which your path is surrounded, that God sees through them all, and if you commit your way to him he will prepare it for you. “Trust then in the Lord with all thy heart; & lean not to thine own understanding.” (Prov. 3:5)
Your aff. [affectionate] brother,
I hope Daniel will have his Daguereotype taken before he goes to Ca. [California]
Abby – [Abigail Cowles Grant]
Letter 7 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr Daniel Grant
Waukesha Waukesha Co
Ct March 3d
From Mother Grant disapproving of Daniel going to California –
late Feb. 1849
My Dear Children [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant]
I have for a long time wanted to write to you but I have never been very well since I was sick last fall and now for several weeks I have had a cold which has made me quite unwell but I now feel quite well. We received your letter along time ago which was a great relief to me I felt anxious about the barrel I felt that we did not know how to lose the contents and it rejoices my heart to hear that you had a dear little son which I hope will prove a blessing to all the friends and to learn about Dear Abby and that Caroline had been carried through her confinement so comfortably I was sorry that Daniel was home with his wrist and that he was troubled with Dispepsia but if it must be so I want to know it I do not hear from you near as often as I should like to but yesterday we received a letter from Joel stating that you Daniel was thinking of going to California which was to me inteligence of a very unpleasant nature and I thought I could delay writing no longer but must say to you immediately that I cannot endure the Idea your health is poor <and> and for you to think of going to California in pursuit of health I think you will be disappointed should you do it your Physician may recommend it and so I might think favorably of it if you <was> were in circumstances to go there and live at your ease and have a Physician and nurse to attend to you <and> but under your circumstances I feel that your prospect is nothing more than an increased state of suffering and then how can you be separated from your Dear family dont indulge a thought of any such thing Joel seems to think it might do but I feel that he has incorrect views he said to me that he did not know but it might be well enough for Marcus to go but I shall never give my consent to have any of my children go and your father is very much opposed to it I understand that you have sold your place and are gone to live with Mrs Root I am glad you have kind friends there but I hope you will make arrangements to return <n?> in the spring to Conn [Connecticut] should I live it will be pleasant to me and I hope that I shall be able to contribute to your comfort I am in the decline of life but should the Lord see fit to continue my life and give me strength I shall always want to do what I can to make my children comfortable I think was you here you might enjoy better health than you do <there> where you are but if you must be sick I had rather you would be sick here than abroad There are a great many gone and going to California <and many that are gone> Chauncey Canfield and <Albert> Alfred Cooper and Samuel Seymor Erastus Seymore, son of Lewis <an> Andrews Daniel Andrews’ son is talking of going Mrs Andrews died the winter past so that he has no mother to feel bad about his going and if you should live there will be no hurry about your going there is such an extent of territory that is called the Golden region that it will not be exhausted for a great while to come now I hope that whoever says go that you will not regard it _____
Marcus has been teaching this winter in Danbury Quarter and I hope that he may have health and strength <be able> to labor and with the blessing of God he may be made happy I have not seen any of father Burrs people this winter I have not been able to go out myself but very little and your mother and Mary [Mary Burr] I suppose have been very busy I expect Mary is to be married about this time but I do not probably know as much about it as you do I hope that when the weather is warmer we shall see them more I hope that Mary and her husband will call on us before they leave but perhaps they will not I do not think of any special news of Joel and his wife and and babe but they are now better John is tutor in [W?] Haven yet he had another tumor removed from his back the forepart of January but he was able to return to his duty in about three days after the term commenced he was well felt no inconvenience from the tumor but knowing there was one commenced he thought he would have it removed while he was well____
Your uncle Luther is much as he has been though rather finding other friends usually well Martin has taught our school this winter I hope you will not set your hearts on glittering dust I want you should be comfortable I hope you will cast all your cares on Jesus and not forget to pray. I want you should not neglect to to pray God to bless your dear children both spiritually and temporally Kiss them many times <to> for me and tell them them that grandmother thinks much of them I have had grandmother Burr’s letter to read and I love to read about Abby my dear children I want to have you write to me immediately and let me know your plans may the lord bless and direct us is the prayer of your affec mother Ely
As I am spending a few days, with Aunt, and there is a little space here, for a word, to assure you of my kind remembrance, I gladly [improve] it. Though you have so long resided at the West, presume letters from home, and news from old friends – are ever acceptable. Norfolk [Connecticut] seems much as usual. There have been several deaths among children recently from croup. Nothing particular has occurred that will interest you. Please accept my love and best wishes – Cousin Margaret
Hope you will be able to train those dear ‘little ones,’ in the good and right way, and that they may prove continually, a rich blessing.
Letter 8 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
Mill Brook Ct Mar 4
Monday March 4th 1859
My Dear Children [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant]
I wrote you last week but on receiving a letter last evening from your Mother and Mary [Mary Burr] it seems to be necessary that I should write again though I know not what to say I am decidedly opposed to your going to California I feel that you would probably never return and if you should I believe that you would be poorer instead of richer[.?] we are all journeying to Eternity and we had better not set our hearts on glittering dust I believe there will be more of the gold diggers that will be ruined than there will be made rich I am sorry that you have sold your place at such a loss I do not think that it will be required of you to make sacrifices of much money to the public to whom much is given much will be required if you could dispose of what you have there and come here and buy a small place where you could keep six or seven cows I should feel that you might do far better than you have done since you left keep <a> few cows and raise a few potatoes a little corn and live respectably <and not be able> I do not know what to write but I fear that you find those that are disposed to take advantage of you and if you was here you would find friends with whom you might counsel and might be benefitted in that way I fear that you will find it difficult to dispose of what you have for what it is worth I will now say that I hope you will not sell your bed I think the feathers were of your own raising and probably worth twice as much as any you can buy if you have a good bed keep it the officers cannot take your bed from and any thing that you have that is good I advise you to keep it will not cost as much to bring them here <them> as it will to buy them and if you undertake to sell them you cannot get much for [them?] there will be many things that you cannot bring can you sell your [Large?] Co land for any thing more than it cost you or than it has cost at this time now if you can dispose of what you have there and can put it into the bank here and can work in a factory or any way to live I would be glad but let who will say go to California I hope you will say nay I do not wish you to sell your property for two thirds what it is worth hope you will not need to do so want to have you write immediately when you receive this I rejoice that you have Abby Root for a mother give my sincere regards to her Joel wrote to us that he thought favorably of Daniel’s going to California but I think that it needs the most robust healthy persons to go there I want to have you come here if you come with the feeling that you spend your days here for I believe that if you can live any where you can live here may the Lord guide direct and bless you is the prayer of your mother Elizabeth Grant love to Abby and a kiss for the baby
Dear Brother & Sister [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant]
It is not very often that I write to you but as their is a little room left here I will add a few words
This winter I have been teaching school in Danbury Quarture for $18 a month for three months which will help a very little a long in respects money matters. What I shall do this summer I do not know yet: shall know very soon <prop> probably.
Perhaps I may stay at home donot know what Father will think about hiring me nor do [I] much care there is work some where to be done.
I am sorry you do not prosper a little better where you are. As <for> to your going to California I think you had better do as you think best about it. You might go there and get some gold and you might succeed as well as you have <there> where you are. But it seems to me that a sick man in California digging gold in the water up to his knees would look funny.
Your aff. [affectionate] brother Marcus
Letter 9 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Caroline Grant
Indian Territory [postmark Highbuck] June 3 1849
My Dear Wife [Caroline Burr Grant]
I love to write to you, and I have run on before the teams to save a moment to set down upon the grass and hold the paper on my knee and do so. I am determined to have a letter ready to send from Ft. Laramie [Wyoming], & I will try to have a long one. Perhaps I shall meet some return teams and send one to be <mailed> mailed at St. Joseph [Missouri] or some other place but you must not make much calculation to hear from <you> me.
We left St. Joseph one week tomorrow and have traveled some 80 miles, the first day we traveled 4 The second crossed the Mo. river [Missouri River] 4 miles from Town and traveled about 5 miles the 3d 20 miles or more the fourth 25m. etc.
Our company consists of 9 wagons 33 yoke of oxen [7?] yoke of cows and I don’t know how many persons but 30 or upwards including some 7 or more of the female part of creation. We crossed the river with four wagons in company and the rest have by their request joined us. Just overtaken 17 wagons in camp they be by today it being Sunday and have been detained by sickness in their camp<ed>.
We have seen 14 new graves by the road side since we left St. J. [St. Joseph] all I believe died with <col> cholera and all came up the river This is but a small mortality in comparison with the report we heard from what we were told was reliable information viz, that in the first <14> 140 miles there was 300 (and (upwards) new graves. This was told by a citizen of St. J. [St. Joseph] who started for Cal. [California] and returned, after he had gone that distance beyond the river. A Justice of the peace in St. J. [St. Joseph] told us that he was his neighbor, and his word was truth.
He reported also that hundreds were sick, and deaths were of almost hourly occurrence, but we have heard that his report was a great lie.
Since writing the foregoing we have passed one more grave and 2 wagons have joined our company.
June 13 We are now at fort Kearney [Nebraska] on the Platt river [Platte River] from 250 to 300 miles from St. J. [St. Joseph], have passed 20 graves since writing before making 35 in the whole distance a small mortality for the great number of people that have passed.
Our company has been again increased by 4 wagons and since diminished <by> to the same No. [number] that crossed the Mo. River [Missouri River] together, They could not keep up so we came on and left them. We are all in good health and good spirits have not seen a dozen Indians yet but expect to every day, passed a place Monday morn. where a camp of 500 had just left, about 40 soldiers from the fort were in pursuit of them to recover some cattle that there had been lost by emigrants. They returned last eve. but saw nothing of any Indians They did not try to find them for they followed them but one [1/2?] day at the rate of about 2 miles an hour and then left them.
Another Tribe the Shians [Cheyenne] were on this road about 6 miles from us <last> night before last but they had gone up the river [Platte River] before we came along. We shall probably fall in with them on our route. This is the Pawnee country here the Shians [Cheyenne] belong on the other side. before long we shall cross to the North side then I suppose we shall be in the Shian [Cheyenne] nation.
We keep watch at night live as well as any body can wish to and enjoy ourselves as well as anyone can who is travelling.
Last night there was a thunder shower and the wind blew a hurricane which rather disturbed [us?] but not bad. Such storms are common on this <side> great prairie we had just such an one last Monday morn. before day light. Had no watch out last night brought up our cattle and picketed them i.e. drove some stakes in the ground and tied them <to them>.
The road has been very good since we left St. J. [St. Joseph], on continued prairie the whole distance, unbroken except by an occasional <the> stream, lined with a very narrow strip of timber. How much farther it extends I know not. Grand Island in the Plat [Platte River] against us is covered with timber, all the wood we get here is from the Island.
Expect to leave here tomorrow. Mr. Cone and his company are before us. he promised to wait for us but is pushing on with all speed. let him go
The mail from Ft. Laramie passes here next week as I am told, I determined to mail this here hope to get another written to send from Ft. L. Letters may miscarry from this wilderness, dont be disappointed if you dont hear from me again, I want to write to Abby but can’t now. Give my respects to all friends
Your affectionate husband
Letter 10 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Caroline Grant
Indian Ter. [Territory] 480 miles fr. St. J. [St. Joseph]
June 24 
My Dear Wife [Caroline Burr Grant],
I entirely forgot to send a lock of my hair to you. I am very sorry. I will put a little, in this sheet, but I fear it will never reach you. I found I could send from Ft. <Lara> Kearney [Ft. Kearney, Nebraska], and I left my last letter there. I expect to leave this at Ft. <Kea?> Laramie [Ft. Laramie, Wyoming], and I suppose it is uncertain when it will leave there We have met no return teams for a week, if we should I will send it on. I did not know there was a Ft. on the road between Ft. Laramie & St. J. [St. Joseph], when I left St. J. [St. Joseph] There are many things that I want to write but I cannot, I tried to write by running on before the team and gaining a little time in that way, but I found it difficult and I suppose it is rather dangerous now in this Indian Territory, though we have seen no<ne> Indians or next to none since we started, yet we have seen their traces and leavings frequently. Night before last we camped near the graves of two Indians, or what was so. They were wrapped in buffalo robes, & other skins, and raised about 6 feet from the earth, supported by poles. Their poneys were tied to the poles that supported the bodies, and there remained till they starved. The tainted carcases were there partly destroyed by the wolves. One of the graves had been destroyed and the body torn in pieces, probably by wolves provisions and tin pans and other utensils were scattered around.
We are getting along finely, but it is not so with all, and may not be with us all the way, through. We passed a grave a few days since, that gave us the only information we have received from Mr. Cone and his party, since we left the river [Platte River?]. It was inscribed, Mr. Conover Waukesha Wis. [Wisconsin] Aged 27, died June 14. The same day we saw some who saw G. [H?] Cornwalls grave, he died the 10 inst.
It will be hard news for Mrs. Conover but I suppose not very hard for Mrs. Cornwall. Mr. Dillon one of our mess says she told him Dillon she never should live with him again unless he returned rich. It was Mrs. C’s [Cornwall] sister who told him so.
If Cornwall knew that, I doubt whether he would ever return if he had lived, I know I would not in like circumstances.
There are so many things to write I cannot tell which will most interest you, but I will try to give a description of our party.
First then I will take our own wagon, you know already that there are 5 of us, viz. myself, Elliot, Woodworth, Dillon, (these you know) and Wm. A. Olin, a brother of Hannah Olin, and cousin of G. [H?]. Olin, a poor man about 34 years old, he has been sick a great deal and had a good deal of sickness in his family since he came to Wis. [Wisconsin], has a wife and three children. Next I will take the wagon that stands by ours, 4 men, one 55 years old, another 40 or upwards, another 34, another about 28, all very accommodating & clever, but very profane.
Then there are 2 wagons of Seymors, from Kaskaskia Ill. [Illinois] 2 brothers they are taking 6 men with them. One of them <makes> call<e>s it home in Unionville Ct. [Connecticut] has a wife and 2 children there, been engaged in making clocks, has been selling clocks and doing other business in Ill. [Illinois] for 2 years, and started for Cal. [California] about the same time he had intended to go to Ct. [Connecticut] <T...> Both the Seymores appear to be fine men,
There are 2 wagons <laden?> loaded with eight persons, one man has his wife, don’t know but she is a very nice woman but don’t like her appearance very well, have never spoken to her. The rest are <very> decent I believe, one man I should think between 50 & 60 years of age very clever.
Two wagons belonging to Stevens I have sp[oken] of them before in a former letter, 7 in number the father 3 daughters <very> fine girls, 2 sons (one of the sons owns the teams) and one man with them. Two Dutch wagons an old man and his wife and a young man and his wife, and I dont know how many children. Ten wagons besides a buggy that Mr. Seymore has to ride in himself. I have given a hasty sketch of our party hope it will do. should like as much time to write every day but that is out of the question, cannot write again before I get to the Mormon settlement [Fort Bridger?] and probably not there, I don’t think I can write again till I get to Cal. [California] Promised to write to Dr. [Slye?] from ft. Laramie will add a few words at Ft. Laramie. Remember me Dear wife before God
Respects to all
Your aff husband Daniel [Daniel Grant]
July 3 Just crossed the Larammie River all well – good luck so far. The most of the danger is yet to come, a very barren country here. The Rocky Mts. in sight; cannot get time to <wright> write. do not expect hear again. Farewell.
Your affectionate Husband
D. Grant. [Daniel Grant]
[Thursday] morning Pa got this yesterday Heare all well, Pa is gone to meeting & Ma is going. Kiss [Eddie] for me half an hour & send Abby home. We came home friday night
Ralph E. Burr
Letter 11 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
California, Oct. 20 1849.
My Dear Wife [Caroline Burr Grant],
I have an opportunity to send a letter to Sacramento City and I embrace the opportunity to inform you that I have arrived in California Gold Mines, in Safety with out any <...> event occurring worth recording, though I intend to give a brief simple history of my journey, at some future time.
I feel badly though, as I do not know whither I am writing to the living or not, but I hope for the best of course.
I do not know yet what my prospects are, but I am going to try my luck, on monday with, a man by the name of Young from Sheboygan, Wis. [Wisconsin] a nice man as near as I can learn, with whom I expect to work for a week or two and perhaps longer.
My time never more occupied than it has been <for> since I arrived <,> three days since. I have been prospecting <s...t> all the time, and you must write for me, for I cannot write to all. I fear I shall not be able to get your letters from San Francisco at all, but I shall make a great effort for it.
You must direct to Sacramento City California, and then I do not know as I shall be able to get them, pay no postage on letters sent to Cal. [California]
Prices are very high in the mines, flour is worth $25, per 100 lbs. in a small place near here called Weaverville, pork $80, beans $1.50 per lb., potatoes $1, per. lb. onions $1.50 lb. molasses $1, per qt. sugar poor quality 3.74 [\?] cts per. lb. etc.
Sacramento City is a new place grown up this summer of about 8000 inhabitants, the stopping place of the Steamboats from Panama. The inhabitants live mostly in tents or cloth houses.
The chances in the mines are as good as I expected, the most of the miners are able to get enough to keep them from starving, some make money. and some get nothing of consequence.
My Dear wife I want to be with you very much, but we must be from each other a long time yet, perhaps death may take us but the Lord will do <...> right.
Remember me to all friends, particular the children. Your affectionate husband, Daniel [Daniel Grant]