Letter 1 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. C. Grant
San Francisco, Cal. [California] March 3d, 1856.
My Dear Beloved Wife [Caroline Burr Grant],
I had no intintion yesterday morn of trying to describe a day in S. Francisco [San Francisco, California], but as there are some incidents which interested me, I think they may not be altogether uninteresting to you, & to begin with the morn. I will try.
I arose about my usual time (six oclock) & after my mornings shower bath, attempted for the first time since I left home to dress myself like a civilised man.
I had the day before purchased a few articles of clothing & with other things some white shirts & a black silk cravat, the first in this Country
It was quite an undertaking for me to don a white shirt “with a standing collar” & it was after seven before I was ready for my mornings promenade, but I was at last in the open air the streets were as usual alive with carriages & pedestrians moving in all directions. I took my accustomed walk to a high sand hill in the south part of the town (I forgot to mention that it was sunday morn.) which overlooks the city.
No incident worthy of mentioning occurred during my walk but <I?> as my rout was through China, as it is termed here, that is where the China population live & trade, it may not be amiss to notice there market.
With the heathen Chinaman the sabbath is as another day, their market was filled with such eatables as Chinamen are most fond viz. pork, chickens & fish, of the flesh kind & vegetables which were strange to me. Other articles were inside their shops & as I cared not what they had there I did not examine. I shall have occasion to mention the chinese again & will now return to breakfast.
My breakfast consists of coffee, beefstake & cornbread, after breakfast a little rest, then the electric machine which ties my arms in knots, after which I generally spen[d] the ballance of the morning in reading or writing. So far this is the description of every day.
Being desirous to attend church & also being a perfect stranger here I examined the daily papers to learn where to go, but no notices fell under my eye that quite suited my fancy. I therefore made inquiry at the office of the hotel where I am stopping, (it is a temperance house for someone to attend church with me, but no one was at hand who wished to go to church.
I was however told <where> that probably Dr. Scotts church on bush st. would suit me better than any other & received directions how to find it. I immediately repaired to church, was told at the door that the seats were free & I could sit below or in the gallery. I chose the gallery where I had a good seat. I was not yet aware what denomination worshiped there but thought I could soon learn.
As I was watching the gathering congregation the sound of the organ fell upon ear. O! what a sound the first I have heard in Cal. [California] It caused my hart to leap into my throat. I scarcely knew what to do with myself, but imagine if you can what effect it had upon me when the <q> choir commenced a chant. I was surprised. I cannot describe my feelings. In an instant I was transported in imagination, across the american continent. I was <in an> for a moment by your side my dear wife, but it was but for an instant, black reality snatched me away & I was again sitting in the church trying to listen to the chanting of the choir, but I could not listen, my thoughts were <far> with you. I was in short quite homesick. My eyes overflowed with tears, I wished myself away. I longed for solitude but I could not well get away. amongst my purchases were a pair of boots which I had on. They made an awful squeaking, so much so that I dare not attempt to go out therefore I was compelled to remain. The services continued. When the conggregation rose for prayer I rose with them. By so doing I was brough in sight of the communion table. I perceived it was covered with the emblems of the sacrament & as the minister was engaged in prayer was several times overcome by my feelings. How vividly did every sound, every act, every sentence bring to mind my home, my friends & all that I hold dear. How often did I think that you probably were attending afternoon service in your church, at home, at the same time that I was tending morning service on the Pacific coast.
I soon ascertained that the church was Congregational. Eleven new members were added to it, most of them by letter. One family from New Haven Ct., [Connecticut] a man his wife & daughter.
About one third of the conggregation I should judge were ladies, & of the communicants one third gentlemen & so two thirds ladies.
Notice was given of services in the Chinese chapel at three oclock. A Chinese convert was to be baptised by Mr. S[pure] the chinese missionary in Cal. [California] He , the china[man] has been recently converted from heathenism. The first convert under the labors of the Rev. missionary. The chinese have a very pretty chapel erected by subscriptions & the aid of the missionary soc. [society]
I attended the chinese meeting in the afternoon My mind had become more quiet & though at times my eyes would fill with tears I was pretty well able to control myself. I enjoyed the meeting. In the eve. I again attended church at Dr. Scott’s place.
Dr. Scott is a very smart man. The <g> choir in his church consists of four persons, two ladies &c.
I ought to let the close of the service in the eve. close my narative, but a little incident occurred on my return which I somehow cant help naming. I strayed from my way <. . .>& if I was apt to get lost probably should have been on this occasion, but it is difficult for me to get where I cant find my way out as long as I have my liberty.
On my way a round, I passed through some streets which were pretty quiet, not so many promenaders as in some parts of the city. As I was walking a window was thrown open by my side & a female voice called for help. I turned aside to see what was the trouble when I perceived a man in the room where the voice came from. As I walk to the window The man came to the door & opened it. It seemed that he was trying to make some disturbance with the woman I just said come friend don’t be making disturbance here & he walked away with me I suppose the woman is “one of them” & I did not care much for her anyhow Though as I was not sure of that I was determined to rid her of her present trouble & then let her take care of herself
I have written one sheet to you which will go with this
You inquire in your letter what nursing I have I am not often so sick but that I can wait on myself when I am some friend is generally to be found
I will now close Don’t <laygh> laugh at me now for writing such a bundle of nonsence
Give a kiss to the children
Letter 2 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Norfolk Ct. [Connecticut], May 4, 1856
My dear beloved husband [Daniel Grant],
I wrote to you by the last mail (24 Apr) a long letter sympathising with you in your bad feelings & trying to persuade you that there was no occasion for them, & I do sincerely think the same now & I hope that you will feel that you can come & live here as well as any where & I verily believe that you can better. I hope you have not undertaken anything new, for I do feel as if you have not the health & strength sufficient. you need nursing & kind care & I feel anxious to do it for you my dear Husband. & I am sure the children would do what they could to comfort you.
I wrote to you that Ma had been feeble for some time & that we felt somewhat anxious about her but I did not then anticipate that I should so soon have to write to you that I was motherless.
Yes my dear husband I followed my precious Mother to the grave last Tuesday P.M. April 29. She died on Sat. eve at half past 10 o’clock Apr. 26. – There was an inactive state of the liver connected with irritation of the Stomach & bowels. She failed very rapidly for the last few days. Although the Dr. felt that there was some liability to an unfavorable change in her case, he said he was not looking for it so soon, if at all.
Abbie is now staying with me & in a few weeks, Mother Grant expects to visit to Ohio when Eddie will come here too. & Mary [Mary Burr Hill] is now here with her two youngest children to spend some weeks. & then when she leaves, may I not hope to have your Society? or at least before the setting in of another cold winter. I cannot think what excuse you can have for remaining now that your land is sold & your river claim at an end. Hope you & Marcus [Marcus Grant] will come together & take care of each other on the journey
Considerable property is left to us, beside any share of the real estate. Ma has given me one half of her property, wh. [which] is something as she owned some land here beside the personal property. & that was p[ris]ed after Pas death at about $2000, so I think there is enough here to make us a comfortable home if you should feel like occuping it.
<I sent out to you>
Mr. Tichenor says you were mistaken about Mr Barneys paying so much for the Kimbball place says he gave $3300 & $200 for a small piece adjoining, says Mr. B. will give no more than $1000 for ours & I herewith enclose the Quit claim deed wh. [which] Mr. T. [Tichenor] drew up for you to sign, expecting you will return it soon as you conveniently can, if you do not come yourself & bring it. I also send the directions that he sent about the execution of the deed, wh. [which] you will please attend to, as he seems to think it important.
Write to me when I shall look for you.
Your very affectionate wife Caroline [Caroline Burr Grant]
Mary [Mary Burr Hill] & Abbie send love.
Ma has given one two hundred dollars for being here since came from <Wis?> [Wisconsin] beside the wages I have steadily received.
Norfolk [Connecticut], May 5th 1856
Dear Brother [Daniel Grant]
I wish to address you not only as a brother by the tie of humanity but as a brother through sympathy with one to you the dearest object on earth and I wish to speak to you upon one particular subject and ask you forbearance if anything I should say seems to you more than I have a right to say – C [Caroline Burr Grant] has told you of the changes that have taken place of her sorrows, and her hopes, and I have seen through your last letter your failure to realize those fond wishes for which you “have endured” so much and your wife also. Let me entreat you to take one hours calm consideration of the subject of your return home, look upon it in all its bearings, consider that those here now need the comfort of your presence more than ever, and though your lack of sympathy of some of whom you have a right to expect it. You are certain of the sympathy and confidence of others, and above all if any one resolves before God to perform a duty which they have solemnly decided to be a duty they are sure of strength to perform it. Though it require much self sacrifice; and its burdens seem impossible to bear. (My “ strength is sufficient for you saith the Lord”) (“God is truth”) With assurances like these before you let the troubled waters of your soul grow calm, think of the joy of reunion with those you love most, and that more than half our troubles come from anticipation of evil. Decide then and act before the hour of weakness has time to come again and my word for it you will find less to bear and more strength to bear it than you anticipate. Here you will be almost sure of enough of the things of this life for comparative comfort and though you would have to sacrifice much of self in returning be assured that Carrie [Caroline Burr Grant] would have to sacrifice as much in doing that which would be her duty did you positively command but which love for you and her children, and past experience otherwise forbid.
Do not feel that I reproach you in any way my feelings towards you are kindness and nothing else and such they will ever remain. I wish to cheer <you> and strengthen you, hoping that the darkness that seems now to oppress you may brighten into day and that the day may soon come when your return shall be light & Joy” to those who fondly look for your coming. Hoping that you will receive this in the spirit in which it is written and write to me if you feel like it. I am
Affectionately your friend Br. [Brother] William Hill
Letter 3 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Attached envelope addressed to]
Mrs. Caroline Grant
Norfolk, Ct. [Connecticut]
Lockport, Ill. [Illinois] May 12, 1856.
Dear Sister [Caroline Burr Grant],
By a letter received Saturday evening from my Mother [Elizabeth Grant] I learn the sad news of your Mother’s death. Our sympathies flow out towards you in view of this new trial occurring so directly in connection with the death of your Father [Ebenezer Burr], and your brother Ralph [Ralph E. Burr]. Particulars Mother was not able to give. All these things make us sad not only as they rend ties of affection, but as showing us that we too must soon go the way of all the earth.
It would seem that Daniel <wou> cannot fail to see that it is not only best, but in some sense necessary, for him to return home now. I think he will do so, but I presume he must depend on assistance from this region for his means to return. We are now about to send Marcus [Marcus Grant] some $150 to enable him to come back, and as soon as I can ascertain by what means to forward it, I will let you know, as perhaps you would like to send in the same way. It is possible that you have already found a way if so I should like to know it. I am unwilling to send money unconditionally, for fear it might find them in debt, and be taken by their creditors, or in some other way fail of its purpose. I think there is a firm in Chicago that will do the business, if they cannot I think I shall write to Joseph Batt[il?]e, who I presume will either do it or tell us of some one who can.
With sentiments of deep sympathy in your sorrows, and prayers that God may teach us all so to number our days as to turn our hearts to wisdom I am in haste,
Your aff. [affectionate] brother
Letter 4 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Caroline Grant
Meadow Valley Plumas Co. Cal [California]
May 25 1856
My Dear, very Dear Wife [Caroline Burr Grant],
Your lettere the first date of which is March 6 has just come to hand.
It is comforting, exceeding comforting to get annother letter from you & receive again the evidences of your love. I do think the time is not far distant when we shall meet again.
I do not suppose it is advisable to write much at present, for I suppose there is reason to dou<y>bt the <sur> safety of the mail.
I have not received any letter from Mrs. Allen.
I’m sorry to hear of the illness of our mothers. Hope we may be spa[r?]ed to meet again.
I deeply sympathise with cousin Martin, tell him when you see him that I have not forgotten him, though I do not write him.
I have not heard from Marcus [Marcus Grant], for sometime therefore cannot give you any items respecting <your> him.
One great object for living in Cal. [California] is to make money as you suppose but the main object is, to do it with a great deal less exertion than it is necessary to use to get a comfortable living in the states, especially in the eastern states.
Your reasons for wishing to remain where you are are good & others might be brought to bear upon the subject which are just as good:
I feel that I have scarcely the right to urge you to come, but I am satisfied it would be to our advantage to be here.
I am now living with some old Cal. [California] friends, one from South Hadley Mass. [Massachusetts] the other from Erie Pa. [Pennsylvania] They are both very fine men. I am working for them for $50, a month. The work is light & such as I can endure, the most of the time. It is a little to hard but I can rest when I please.
My health is better than usual.
Meadow Valley is high up in the mts. & surrounded by snow caped peaks. The air is pure & bracing. You had not better write me again after the receipt of this. unless I give you further directions. If you do write direct to / Hamilton.
Sell the [Waukishen?] place if you can,
Much love to all.
Letter 5 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Attached envelope addressed to]
Mr. Daniel Grant
Norfolk, Ct. [Connecticut]
Lockport, Ill. [Illinois] Aug. 28, 1856
By a letter from Mother [Elizabeth Grant] recently received, I learn of your safe arrival home after some seven years of absence. I am truly glad to know of your return, and cannot but feel that you will find it for your own happiness, as it certainly will be for the happiness of others. I should have been glad to hear a little more about Marcus [Marcus Grant], but trust he has reached home ere this. I sent the money to him June 1, almost three months ago. He was to secure it on calling at Wells Fargo, & Co.’s, San Francisco. On receiving Mother’s letter in wh. [which] it was said that Marcus was expecting (when you left) to return as soon as he heard from me, it occurred to me that some letter might have miscarried, and he might be in the dark concerning the place where he was to call. I cannot believe this is so, but for fear it might be, I sat down and wrote him again directing to Oroville, Butler Co., California. If this direction is wrong, and you hear nothing from him, will you write at once, and state that his funds are at Wells Fargo & Co.’s San Francisco.
I received a letter yesterday from P.B. Hill, Milwaukie, wh. [which] I inclose. I have received an impression that you directed him to send the funds to brother Phelphs, but thinking you might wish to modify directions somewhat I inclose the letter to you. The amount is (I believe) $185, on wh. [which] interest should have been paid from May 15 to the time of its payment about 4 months—making it about $191.
I enclose also $<6.25>5.12, being the interest on a note of fifty dollars wh. [which] I owe you given June 1, 1855, and the interest on the interest from the time it was due. If you are willing to let the note lie for a time, I should prefer it but, if you want it paid, I will endeavor to accommodate you
We are all in our usual good health. This summer has been remarkably healthy here Remember me to your wife & all our friends. Abby [Abigail Cowles Grant] sends love,
Your aff. [affectionate] brother
Letter 6 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mr. Daniel Grant
Flemington [New Jersey] Sept 16th1856
Dear Sister & Brother [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant]
We have been looking for a letter for several days and hope that you will not be so situated that you cannot write us a few lines once in a while, and that while not too long for Brotherly patience. Our little Mary is much improved in health and we get along with her pretty well except that she demands as much attention now as she did when sick, and is provoked to tears if she does not receive it
Her teeth have not shown themselves as yet only by the looks of the gums. Last week, I went to Newark [New Jersey] to the state fair. Went by the way of New Brunswick and made that my staying place as Newark was very full of people and I had an Invitation from Uncle John to come that way. The fair was not as good as it ought to have been and in many respects did not do justice to our State. The show of grains was very meagre -- & so it was in many of the manufactures for which Newark is celebrated. They had some fine sheep and Short Horned cattle, and some bery good horses The turn out of people was very large on wednesday and thursday, how it was on firday I cannot say as I was so tired in two days that I came home Uncle J., Capner & Aunt went with me—or I went with them. We have this year for the first a County Agricultural fair and have purchased and filled up twenty seven acres of ground as a permanent fair ground. it has a permanent fence round it and a good sized building in which to exhibit articles that meed protection from the weather. Tomorrow the fair is to be opened and continue three days. The people of Flem[tn] have been making great preparations to reap an abundant harvest of the ready from those that come up to see them on the occasion, and all things eatable will be quite abundant but the sleeping accomadations will not equal the demand if there is a good turn out
Several car loads of machinery came to day for the fair and the ladies are going to have flowers in abundance, so utility and beauty will be well represented. It is creating quite an excitement among a good many people. The ground belongs to a stock company, of 400 shares 25 dols per share—and it is very well arranged with a fine half mile tract to trot horses upon. I shall take over some drain tile and perhaps some seed wheat. Your letter has just arrived and Mary sits by reading while I am writing this, and is most through reading now so that I will take my turn now.
We had a good burn of tile in our new kiln last time. Two days ago recd an order for 5,000 lead pots—so you see that we have plenty of work on hand yet. finished sowing our wheat last saturday week. Sowed about 15 acres of wheat and 4 1/2 of rye. had a fine time for sowing and several nice rains to bring it up after it was sown. We have not had any large rain since the drought and the streams are still low.
We lost one of our cows while I was at Newark by turning into clover that was pretty good and young The cow was almost dead before any one saw her and could not be saved. We never had one affected before and I did not know that they were liable to be injured at this season.
I am not certain that it is best for you to reamain where you are though Daniel thinks that I do – but I will say that wherever you go you will find it necessary to do some thing to keep things in order. On my farm we expend between 2 & 3 hundred dols per year in guano, phosphate of lime, under draining &c. and expect to for years to come in order to keep up and improve its fertility and even on good western land something ought to be done to keep it from going down hill and leaving it for future generations to make up that which others have taken from the soil, as many of our fathers have done in this part of the country. I have not said anything about your coming to this part of the country for land here is very high near the villages and most of it needs a good share of expenditure before it is first rate farm land though the majority of our farmers live about as comfortably as they do in other places – land here sells from or to 100 dols per acre – according to quality of land and buildings and the size of the farm. We both think it better not to divide the farm as it would be a difficult thing to suit all parties and we should want to sell our share if it were divided. My advice is the same as Marys as to buying or setting upon new land. You have means enough to buy a farm in the west with comfortable improvements and that will give you returns enough to pay you as much as you would make by clearing up new land and that would increase in worth nearly as much as the new land, beside the greater amount of comfort.
As to your staying where you are. The best thing is for you to decide for yourselves looking at the thing in all its aspects and if you feel that you can never be content to live there, but will continually be desiring to try or go somewhere it would perhaps be better to go but if you would like to make the experiment it seems to me that you could not loose much to take it as M & E offer and try it a year or two to see how you like it though you can judge better the value of land there than I can. If it is sold soon let Caroline & Erastus sell it together or in parts to the best advantage. Our wish in the matter is to see you comfortably settled and content with your choice wherever it may be. Perhaps you could make comfortable living by putting your money out at interest on bond and mortgage and let D [Daniel Grant] get a situation at some light work, such as bookkeeper or superintendent in some factory. I wish it were so that we could talk together but at present that is out of the question as you cannot come here I suppose & we cannot very well come your way. I do not feel satisfied with this letter but do not know how to better it. Write again soon for we will be anxious to hear how you are getting on.
W Hill [William Hill]
Letter 7 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
New York, Oct. 23. 1856
My Dear Brother [Daniel Grant],
Ever since I heard of your return to your native state, I have cherished the desire and intention soon to write you. When you came I was in Ohio and unable to use my pen but soon after became so well as to write with a good deal of ease. Perhaps a reason why I have till now delayed my letter of greeting and congratulations to you, has being of late a succession of very serious boils on my back and right shoulder. I know not how many I have had, but surely I never had such an experience in that line before. And just as I flattered myself that the last were getting well, behold yesterday another appeared – very sore – but apparently not to be very large. I only hope that they will prove as beneficial as they are by some reported to be.
You have heard enough I doubt not of the peculiarly sad trial of the past summer. I lay prostrate for a long, long time with very slight prospect or hope of relief. My current of life ran low and I saw many an hour of weariness and pain. At times I would have welcomed death as a merciful deliverer – so completely was every energy exhausted, and so heavy the burden of life. Our darling niece Libbie was constantly by me – an angel of mercy to whom I doubtless owe my life.
But let this suffice on that subject. Let me however return my thanks to dear sister Caroline [Caroline Burr Grant], for her kind remembrance and sympathy during my illness. I really do not know whether Libbie answered her letter or not. Her hands were very full.
I found your card here at my rooms on my return from Ohio. It would have been pleasant to be here to receive you on your first arrival -- as I know not now when I shall see you. But I rejoice that in life and health your family and friends once more may behold you and welcome you from your long wanderings and sojournings in a far distant land. I too rejoice with them and with you in your restoration to your wife and your dear children in whom time must have wrought many changes.
I <have> received not very long ago a letter from Marcus, dated Oroville, Sept. 1. He said not a word of any plans to return home and I do not know what he intents to do in that matter. I have desired an impression that he wished to come. Probably he had not yet seen teh way open and as he knew of my recent weak, helpless state, thought it better not to say anything about it. I wrote him by the last mail, about two weeks since.
My illness has proved in every way detrimental to my affairs here, but I hope if I continue well to repair some of the harm. Our school has commenced small and we shall barely pay expenses and get a living for the present. My partner feels at times discouraged, though I think without reason. I will say that it is possible he will wish to leave me in the hope of some situation where he can have his wife with him wh. [which] in present circumstances he thinks impracticable.
But if I buy him out I shall not pay him all he gave me in Sept. I shall only offer him what I think I can afford to give in present circumstances. Possibly he will prefer to remain. He would surely succeed if he would remain. We have now about a dozen pupils—nearly all such as have been with <us> me in time past, and who will remain with me if he goes. But I know not what he may prefer to do, so it is as well not to say much about it. He is delighted with all connected with the school except his income.
Give much love to Caroline and to the children, and let me hear from you soon as convenient. Remember me likewise to all friends who inquire after my welfare. Tell them that my New York friends say they never saw me looking better. I am however not so strong as before, but am improving. The weather is delightful.
Very affectionately your brother,
Jno. [John] Grant
Letter 8 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Very difficult to read]
[Addressed to:] Daniel Grant Esq.
Canton O. [Ohio] July 22
My dear Brother & Sister [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant]
I have neglected you in the matter of correspondence. I have long owed you a letter and long intended soon to pay the debt.
You have however frequently heard from me through our parents and through Marcus who saw me.
If I rightly remember too I have during long months owed my dear little niece Abbie for a very pretty letter she sent me. I beg to express to her my gratitude. I cannot write her today.
I have intended to start today for Austinburg [Ohio] for a visit of 10 days or so to Mr. [Burton’s] family but the rain prevented. I shall however if the weather favors go this p.m. as far as Cleveland and reach Austinburg tomorrow. Joel will probably meet me there on Friday and spend Sabbath. He has so written me.
I have continued as well as usual, and enjoy my stay here very much. – This [rises?] from a new attraction – or a new affection – or whatever it may be termed -- existing or [entering here?].
It is proper to inform you without delay that I hope to find a lifelong companionship with a lady of my choice residing here. Indeed she has consented to become my wife next month, and so returns East with me. Her name is Gertrude S. Day. I shall probably send by post to be seen by Eastern friends a Dauguerrotype likeness of her which I had taken yesterday. She is younger than I would prefer, but I believe her to possess qualities of peculiar excellence and I trust she will be very highly appreciated by all my friends. I must think whatever befalls me they will ever bear in mind that in her nobleness of heart she was willing to forsake a cheerful home where she was peculiarly dear as an only daughter and an only sister to share my fortunes – knowing too all my past sad experiences and my apprehensions for the future. I often feel that I cannot consent that her lot should be cast in thus with mine yet I cannot refuse an affection so holy – so unselfish. She is unwilling to allow questions of health to stand the way of our union. We hope to be married in about four weeks.
To you, brother, it may be interesting to know that the home of this lady is where Hiram Griswold formerly resided -- her father having leased that property for some years past.
This young lady knew me last summer as an invalid – when neither of us would have thought of ever being more than kind friends to each other.
I hope that our union should it take place will be very happy -- and feel sure that so far as lies in my power her noble devotion shall not be without reward.
I have not time or need to say more now. I doubt whether we shall have time to visit Conn. [Connecticut] this summer, but do not know with certainty. I presume I shall need to hasten to New York as soon as I can be off.
[Cross writing on page 1]
I leave what I have written to your care to speak of if it seems best but I would prefer that it should be kept mostly within our family circle for the present.
With much love to Abbie and Eddie
I am ever your aff [affectionate] brother
Jno. Grant [John Grant]
Will you come to the wedding? We shall be very glad to see you there.
Letter 9 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Flemington [New Jersey] Feb. 12, 1857
Dear brother & sister [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant]
We have just recd. yours mailed Feb. 11, I do not know but you have concluded wisely in buying my share. I cannot tell. In a letter sent yesterday we mentioned a public sale. I should think Erastus would be willing to take less than $1,000 than to sacrifice what he probably would at such sale. I rather think that perhaps I ought to adhere to the thousand. <Sh> Were I to lower my price it would in effect be giving it to Erastus as in case I lowered I suppose you would not hesitate in <tl> deciding that you could afford to give E. [Erastus] his price of $1000.*
[written in the margin:] *which after all would help you too would it not?
I believe that in taking $1000 I throw off about $600 according to appraisement including being made equal. It does not seem to me that I would have to sacrifice more than that at public sale for <it does not seem as> I cannot think that men of judgment would have appraised the property more than $1.800 higher than it would sell for. After sending my last I thought that I omitted to say or to mention something which I ought but up to this present I have <not> not been able to think what it was. I feel sorry for you <that> to be fixed just as you are not wishing to stay & yet feeling that perhaps you had better, for must you need not <of sacrificing to public sale> that is if you would sacrific to public sale. I see by looking at old letters that the appraisement was $5.357. In paying E. & self as we offer you get it for $4.100 without deducting much I think from your own share of the appraised value. Still it is hard to stay where you do not wish to. Have just bethought myself again. 4.500 was the true appraisement so that counting your own at full appraisal 1.800 you get Es. [Erastus] & my share for only 600 less than appraisal as I have had about $50 and E. [Erastus] about the same I suppose of personal property.
Have written so often upon the subject of the farm that I hardly know what to say except that we are still willing to stand by what we said last fall, and should think you had as well buy the whole if you will feel just as much fastened by taking the north part. Which part I should prefer to take if divided as proposed. It has more meadow and lies more contiguous to buildings, of the wood and facility of getting I am not able to judge except that south part lies nearer town. Should think that that south wood lot would sell pretty well divided into 1. 2 or 3 acre lots and sold to towns people that have to buy wood. Know that here it would sell very rapidly and at good prices, but perhaps you have thought of all these things and more besides. Should not be afraid to take the place myself were I near it and run the risk of selling it or turning the wood into money and selling the meadows and buildings as well as I could and think by that time would have my money back and could afford to give some of the pasture lots away Property can often be sold to advantage by selling it piece meal – Saw 18 acres of land sold at public sale close to the village the other day in 5 lots for an average of 105 dols per acre that 25 years ago or so was bought for 28 dols per acre and it is in bad order as regards fence and state of improvement generally – If you take ours will be satisfied with the way in which you speak of paying for it as long as we do not have to pay a larger interest for money to use in its place. We can readily borrow at present at six per cent. Tell Erastus that we do not mind taking a little very little trouble to get money if we have the opportunity.
If you go to farming would advise you to raise a colt occasionally if you do not keep them till they grow to be horses as at 1 year old they are here/ and I think likely with you, as profitable as any stock and bring more in proportion counting the risk than when older.
Shall be glad to hear that you have become settled and hope you may have it all fixed by the time you receive this. I spoke in my last about coming up but if you have all things arranged it will not be worth while, would come now but cannot leave until after 1st of March. Will have ac[. . .] of Stock to take in shop &c. You must try and find time to come and see us some time as it will be doubtful whether we get up next summer. Wrote to Erastus sometime ago wonder whether he received it. Think I remember hearing that he did. Should like to know whether he remembers it. Give my best respects to all our friends and if we have not written satisfactorily please excuse us as we have done the best we could in the short time we have had to think about it and our limited knowledge of the property. Knowing but little about the woodland & pasture and nothing about the value of land except that if it was much lower it would be worth nothing. We are as ever
P.S tell Daniel not to give up writing and not to fear his brother in law. ‘Twill do him good to write even if it costs an effort WH [William Hill]
[Written in margin] I wish Daniel would write more frequently add something to the letters. I always like to read what he writes
Letter 10 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Lockport Ill. [Illinois] Aug. 31, 1857.
Dear Sister Caroline [Caroline Burr Grant],
I am not in a writing mood this morn, but perhaps shall feel more like it if I try to use a pen. At any rate the hour between this and dinner ought not to be useless, & I never can sew Mond. A.M.
My husband [Joel Grant] arrived in the noon omnibus last Tues. I need not say he was heartily welcomed. The five weeks had seemed as many months to me, though in the meantime I had with Johny made a trip to Detroit [Michigan], & spent a week with a dear friend there. Mr. Grant enjoyed his trip very much and each visit; he has not yet had time to tell me all the particulars of each one, but does so from time to time as opportunity occurs. The freedom from care, change of air & scene &c, &c, have produced a great change in Mr. Grants health. He went away thin and feeble from the effect of that dreadful typhoid fever, but now is so fleshy & apparently so much stronger, that every one remarks it. It is such a privilege to get away from cares for awhile and rest.
I value very much those things you sent, the paper is always useful, and the socks not less so. One pair fits Mr. G. [Joel Grant] the others are just right for John. (he wore them to meeting yesterday) I do most of my woolen knitting, but never get time to knit cotton in any way, and the bought socks last so short a time.
I wish I had something that will do you as much good as they will my husband & Jon. John read with interest his book – he remembers Abby & Eddie.
John is very large of his age, but not at all precocious. “Slow & sure” is part of his nature. He is a good boy, obedient & kind. Poor Willy is having very hard fits today: he suffers none after the convulsions (then during them by prostration & feebleness _ _
He is very sweet tempered as you would know if you could see his face. It is a blessing that he has no distortion of feature, the only change in his so beautiful face being a lack of brightness in the eyes, and that is not more than is observable in many children, who have their senses. From what he says and [sings?], and acts, you would say there is no lack of intellect, but it is deeply shrouded by disease. The trial is great but it might be infinitely greater in a thousand ways. And I do feel that God does not subject us to it in vain. He knows just what we need, and will send no more.
So it seems we have a new sister! I am glad, and hope she will be happy in her new sphere. Mr. Grant [Joel Grant] likes her and Susan [Susan Boyd Grant] writes that they all love her very much. I want to see her, but shall not soon. It is fitting that John should have a young heart to cheer his, so sorrowed by suffering, and prospects of gloom. She may not realize more of care or anxiety, than any of us whose cares are different. They have my best wishes for happiness and prosperity.
I have just received a copy of Mary [Hubbells?] memoirs.
You must excuse every thing incoherent in this. I have had to get dinner, wait on Willy & entertain three callers but I should not have more time if I waited and am really anxious to send this by the P.M. mail.
I shall always be glad to hear from you, I often think of you all and imagine you living up to North[. . .] but not as particularly as if I had seen you keeping house there. If you ever change yours for a western home, & are [. . .] here I hope you will make us a visit. I want to see brother Daniel & you and the children all together, & feel that I know you as a family. Remember me aff’ly [affectionately] to them all. Mr. Grant & John send love. Accept also the love of your aff [affectionate] sister
Abby [Abigail Cowles Grant]
Love to any friends who man not have forgotten me in Norfolk [Connecticut].
Letter 11 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Daniel Grant
Flemington [New Jersey], Nov. 8th 57
Dear Brother & Sister [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant]
I have been sitting by the table reading until I feel somewhat tired of it and will seek relief in writing a few lines to you and appropos to the day and time will say that I fear that New England will lose its character for a fine morality if ever its staid and sober people are led by their desire for gain to embark in lotteries however they may be concealed under the guise of gift concerts and Book in sales with gifts of value to the fortunate and less gifts to the others. Have heard that at least one of New England’s daughters has a Breast pin obtained in such way and perhaps has never asked herself what would John Rogers say to such conduct. Hope that her conscience has not so far falle asleep that it has not had some twinges & that it will so speak that her conduct will in future need no reproof from one that dislikes to speak on such subjects to any one even a particular friend.
Aunt Maria came home Thursday last and is in pretty good health for her, came and took tea with us on Saturday.
We are now having some of the damp weather usual at this season of the year and there is every probabillity of a late fall from present appearances.
I hope that the shade of that petticoat does not haunt you and that you can easily decide what will suit best after such very particular directions.
You do not say anything in any of your letters whether you ever think anything of coming this way. Am happy to hear that you intend to have Thanksgiving as usual in Con [Connecticut] and hope that you will have a good time and wish that I might be of the company but as I am not invited of course that is out of the question. Will try and have one here but do not intend to ask any friends, too selfish for that by far.
Have not read your letters carefully enough to find whether you read my letter shortly after my return from Wisconsin.
I had no thought of receiving anything for my visit to that land in Wisconsin as it was purely for my own satisfaction that I went to view that land and well satisfied for the expense by the knowledge that I obtained of its situation &c for all. Would like you all to think about the best way to make it useful whether to hold it as it is or have some of it cleared in either of the ways proposed in my other letter. Our children seem in pretty good health just now. Baby has two teeth. Mary learns to talk very slowly but is full of fun and mischief and understands almost every thing that we say to her, tonight she put all the chairs to the table of her own accord and had a pretty good tug to do it. She is as hearty as a good stone wall and stands almost as wide on the ground and if she is ever as tall as the hills she will want something more than the natural elevation. We are begining to hear the first cries of distress caused by the recent revulsion of business and what they will be before the bright sunshine of universal prosperity comes again too many will learn from the heartfelt experience. Let us hear from you as often as you can find time and take pleasure in it. Bed time is now in order and it is best not to be disorderly, so good night,
W Hill [William Hill]