Letter 1 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Flemington [New Jersey] March 14th 1860
Dear Brother & Sister [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant]
I am somewhat ashamed of myself in not writing you more frequently but now that you have two correspondents in my place (wife & your daughter) it leaves but little for me to say except a few things that they may overlook. -- I have now had one years experience in the store and I do not find my health either better or worse than formerly though I think, I have not had the blues quite as frequently as formerly -- You seem to think it rather strange for me to build when so much is debt. I will state my views of the subject and then you can remain of the same opinion or coincide with me just as your better judgment may dictate First I pay where I now live about 110 dols a year rent for house -- Secondly Expect to build at a cost of not over 4000 dols which at 6 per ct makes a rent of 240 dols -- We had a lot of about 10 acres that I thought we could spare from farm and by improving the rest raise as much in a few years from this as from the whole -- that lot would bring me 1000 dols which would bring down the rent 60 dols leaving 80 dols difference on the two Houses. Then I would be getting a home according to my own tastes and the improvements around it would be adding to the rest of the property and if we can pay for it well and good if not the property will always sell for cost and perhaps more so that my creditors need not loose by the operation if I should loose a little Have strong Hope if life and health are spared of paying for it sometime. Think that we are about 1000 dols better off than this time last year, and if we can do as well this year shall not dispair = Mary's is very much disappointed at not getting that paper and her ears have itched for the good things that people have to say about an absent neighbour ever since your letter. Hope that you will not fail to send it and that the perusal may be entertaining and profitable
Have my cellar dug out about 1/3 of the stone on the ground. some sand ready and my well nearly dug Forgot to say above that we expect to get considerable of the work done for the House in trade at the store thus making the profit on the goods that go to pay for it. Want to get the house ready to occupy by next october and would be very happy to have you come to the moving --
Have been reading several articles lately about some land on long Island and if had time should go and see them and perhaps will next summer in slack times Our crops were good on the farm last year and we sold about 100 dols of poultry 300 of wheat 350 of corn 45 dols oats 100 pork, besides butter & eggs -- 60 dols of potatoes --
Letter 2 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
West Avon [Connecticut]. Friday. June 27. '6-0.
Dear Sister Caroline,
I have not written you as I thought to do when I last saw you, partly, because I have been too busy with company, and domestic affairs, and partly because John said he told you about the railroad arrangements at N. York [New York], much better than I could write them. I had thought you might have gone to Mary's, but a letter from Mary Akin last eve, spoke of the perfectness of your's and Eddy's daguereotype from which I infer you are still in Norfolk [Connecticut].
When shall we have the pleasure of a visit from you? I hope before long. Do write very soon and tell me such of your plans as I shall be interested to know; if consistent, please tell me also, that ere a week or two you will be here. I hope your mother's health is so good this summer that she will not be inconvenienced by your leaving, though, of course she will be lonely without you. I always find it a great deal of work to get ready for a visit away, and I presume your experience is similar, especially as you will take E.
We received a letter from Marcus [Marcus Grant] last night -- the first we have had. He was well, and had been so. Was then at Panama. June 7. but was to leave for San Francisco [California] in a day or two. He had written to Daniel [Daniel Grant] to Sacremento City (I think). & hoped to meet him ere long. We never felt very anxious about him, as we have not heard a word before, but was greatly relieved by the letter and its tone. He wrote cheerfully. We shall send a letter to him by the next steamer. We feel anxious to hear again from Daniel, and I know our anxieties are nothing compared with yours. May that God in whom he and we trust not disappoint our hearts, but cause that we may hear of his welfare, and yet be permitted again to see him and take sweet counsel with him.
I hope Mother's heart may feel less sad for hearing so good news from Marcus. I know it must be hard for a mother's heart to have two loved one's so far away. The last letter from your dear husband was not calculated to soothe fears, but to excite more, though I do not think it as discouraging as it first appeared to me.
"Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord and shall we not receive evil" was the first thought that came into my mind as I read it. The other letter had been fraught with good news, and it was not strange that he should not be so continually prosperous. I have hopes that we shall soon hear good news from him. I would write more but the mail goes very soon. Let me hear from you soon, & see you as soon as is convenient for you. With much love from Mr. Grant and Jony, I am your aff. sister
Abby. C. Grant. [Abigail Cowles Grant]
Remember us to your Father & Mother, and kiss sweet little Eddy for me.
[Rest of sheet cut out.]
[Added in pencil:] Written in 1860 (I think) by Mother Grant.
Dear Carrie I feel no disposition to write to day but as Marcus has written I will do a little at it I am not as well as common yesterday was a very cold day and these cold days do not agree with me at all I cough a good deal I have been just as usual since you left till yesterday and to day June is here with Fanny when she thinks next sabbath she shall go to Osborn Stillmans it is my opinion that they are poorly provided for at home but have heard nothing it is no privilege to me to have her here Fanny has been a very good girl and Jane has been very good also but I had rather have F than both I have no news to write as I think Marcus went to the spelling exhibitions but did not see Mrs Philips nor Mabil I have thought that I should go and see her if there should be a time that I could but the snow is gone we have had some real warm weather Marcus saw Daniel he was well
I rode two days when we had the warm weather time seems long to F and G she enquires often how long you have ban gone I think she has been very homesick I was very glad to hear from you glad to hear <fro> that you had been to the museum and that you had a peep at Mr Lincoln [Abraham Lincoln] I was in hopes you would see him he has lived to be in Inaugurated and may the Lord lead him and guide him in his arduous undertaking he seems to have many friends as well as bitter foes I hope there will be the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous that availeth much <be> offered in his behalf Fanny and I shall be glad when you get back you need not think that I am sick nothing more than is common with me may you and your friends have a joyful visit that will be thought of with pleasure while life lasts is the desire of your aff mother
I was very glad to hear from you and to hear that you are wishing to improve in your writing I should have been glad to had a letter from you but can wait till another time I hope you and Sammie will improve this an opportunity the best way you can perhaps you will never have another such did you ever think that the boy is father to the man did you and Sammie ever think that if you are obedient children truthful and studious striving to win the favor of jesus who alone can give you everlasting life that when you come to be men you will be such men as the world needs and such men as you wuld like to be I hope you will think on these things and may your lives be long and useful may you fear God and keep his commandments which is the whole duty of man may you and Sammie remember your Creator in the days of your youth is the desire of your aff grandmother
love to uncle and Aunt Hill and the little girls
PS I do not think that Maria is married there was a report that she was to be married such a time but I have made some inquiry and no one has heard that she was married it is my opinion that she is not E Grant
Letter 3 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Flemington [New Jersey] July 19th 1860
Dear Brother & Sister [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant]
Your Joint letter came duly to hand enclosing certificate for seventy five dollars. Your statement as to balance is correct I beleive. Though I will alter the statement a little and give you Abbies [Abigail E. Grant Burr]Expenses and the amt given to me for her -- You have omitted the first 20 dols from your statement and there are somethings that Mary has not sent you -- You Will oblige me by sending the time to which the taxes are paid on the Wisconsin Lands as I have been negligent in that matter and never kept any memorandum of how the thing stands, at least not in a place where I can find them readily I shall not place the money as Carrie says but let them go towards As expenses -- We consider that if there is anything to be said about board that we have had about one years board in our long visits every season to old Connecticut. Should like it very much if Carrie could come and make us a comfortable visit this fall or winter but if she cannot we must wait until she can --
I meant you to take out the money for that note of ours to Abbie & Edward in the final settlement and thought we had said so but as you have sent it to me and as we are building will keep it until we get through and see how we stand as to money matters --
The figuring on the back of notes amount to nothing -- Will enclose them to you in this -- Mary will wait patiently for that consistent time and hopes to hear all you saw in Maryland and please do not forget to tell me what frightened you from Long Island -- Will get the roof finished on house to day and have been looking for a showe[r] (which we very much need) all day to prove it. Will commence inside work this week. Am getting impatient to have it done and the burden of looking after it off my mind -- Finished our haying yesterday, have unusually fine weather for hay and harvest. Our wheat crop was rather light when we came to cut it and so do many others -- Cut 62 loads of Hay all of excellent quality -- You can no doubt find something to do about Cole Brook or Norfolk and perhaps it is not best to be in any hurry about buying --
I wish I could send Mary off somewhere to recruit a little but she does not like to take the time to do,it when she goes from home and will not take things any ways comfortable at home if she can --
Now for the statement of Abbies Expenses
First I recd from you Last fall == $20.00
2 Cash of you when here 20.00
3 Cash in Monmouth -- 12.00
4 By Letter 10.00
Cash paid out to Abbie. In Newark 3.00
Fare to and at NYork -- 5.06
Jan 9 Cash for paper &c 50
7 1 pr shoes 1.75
" Millinir for Bonnet 1.12 1/2
" Shetland wool -- 110
Mar 31 p[aid] Miss Powliss -- 8.11
Cash for paper & stamps 75
Ap-- 2 1 Hood 50
11 1/2 Calico -- 1.15
1 pr shoes 1.75
May 19 -- p[aid] A. J Doremus 4.00
1 skeleton 1.00
p[aid] Mantua Maker 1.12 1/2
Lace Mantilla 650
July 3 Latin Lessons (Book) 50
Browne Gramar 63
<Rhetoric> Arithmetic 88
1 Copy Book -- 10
Returned to Daniel 8.00
carried over [to verso of page]
and Bro forward $47.53 Have you told
and to Bal notes over the $45 9.55 Carrie about
Balance due you -- 4.92 Aunt Anne?
I will refer this to Mary to see if it is correct and if it is will note down the balance due you The above account does not include this last session of Miss Powliss or Mr Doremus's last Latin Lessons -- Deduct from the above Balance due you of $4.92 one dollar & 30/100 pd Milliner* leave due you at this date $412 1.30
add pd for Tax 1972 3.62
*add 50 cts for Hood [...] which was a gift from Mary $4.12
This I shall credit to you and start new from this date -- Hoping the above will be satisfactory and that our present want of rain may not last much longer I am as ever your aff Brother
William H. [William Hill]
I suppose that if the one who is not here must stay in that district it would be better for Eddie to be <there> than for Abbie.* Though I should much like to have Eddie here & so would the children. I do not think you need object to our keeping him two, three, or four months & as he is to be at the expense of a visit here soon why not let him stay a while & get a little benefit from it. There are no pieces like broad border -- it was the inside one I know -- The shawl they came from last was one of two or three that were made out of a couple of handsome long shawls that were bought many years ago at $20 a piece I believe -- so that the border you have must be of the first quality -- I had sent letter off to Warren before your last arrived urgently inviting them here -- am sorry they did not get it before
[written across side] *and it would be expensive for you to keep her any where else.
[written across first page] I did not know that A's stationary was so much -- I know at the time that she was wasting a great deal of paper las winter -- The $1.11 on Miss Powliss bill over the $7 is for books she got for Abbie I do not believe that A's wardrobe expenses would have been so little to you had she been at home as they are now I know her bill must look large to you -- You see there is but 1.11 charged for last winters & this summer's mantua making -- I will send John some goosberries -- I feel great sympathy for them -- Love to all -- I think it better for A to go home & not for us to meet at John's --
Letter 4 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Lockport, Ill. [Illinois] Dec. 6, 1860
Dear Brother [Daniel Grant],
Your letter along with that of Caroline [Caroline Burr Grant] and Mother [Elizabeth Grant] came to us to day, and becomes the means by wh. [which] my somewhat wavering purpose to write home becomes fixed. Your remarks concerning my neglect are in the main just, though somewhat sever. It is true that having business to transact for you I had an additional reason for a promptness that I have not practiced. My own cares have, however, been great, and my resulting experience shows how much easier it to do things wh. come in as a part of a system than those things for wh. no specific arrangement is made. But be this as it may I will try to do justice now and write again at least before so great an interval has lapsed as has lapsed since I wrote before (about six months.
I am now employed in teaching school, and acting also as supply for the church here to wh. I preach once each Sab. [Sabbath] They are to pay me for this $400 a year. My school at present is small -- only seven scholars besides John -- who pay me each $1 a week. Others I expect will be added from time to time. One comes day after to-morrow to be a boarder at $4 a week -- or $160 for a year of 40 weeks, and I am expecting another soon at the same rate. Others will be added from month to month, so that prospects are tolerably good, at least, for a supply of necessary wants. My botanical class, (from wh. I did not expect great things, inasmuch as I regarded it as merely introductory to other schemes) was not large numbering only six. My efforts hitherto have been only introductory and will from henceforth bear, I think, more fruit than in the past.
The matters that are connected with the money placed in my care are in a good state, but I have delayed having the papers executed because the mortgagor has been candidate for the office of County Recorder -- and if he should secure the office it would enable me to have all the necessary papers recorded without expense. It is true it will make but $2 or $3 difference, but I thought it best to wait. I have however bought Mr. Hubbell's notes, and I have in my hands the mortgage held by him, which I will give up when a new mortgage is given. All is safe but yet it ought to be put in proper form. As the giver of the mortgage has secured the office for wh. he was candidate and will soon enter on its duties the matter can soon be settled now.
The note of $50 you once held against me was merged in the larger note of $220 you now hold, when (Oct. '58 perhaps Nov.) we settled our accounts
I think it might be possible to collect the $500 (now augmented to $560 or somewhat more) within the next few months, but I do not know, and on the whole can you do so well with it? At present however times look squally, somewhat as in the autumn of 1857, and if money is well invested (as I think this is) it
[written across side] it seems best to let it stay. We are in pretty good
[written across first page] health -- Abby will write some particulars Your aff. brother
Letter 5 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Lockport, Ill. [Illinois] Sat, P.M.
Dec. 8. 1860
Dear Brother & Sister [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant],
We were very glad indeed to hear from you again, tho' we must admit we deserved it not. I have often said "let us write" and your brother has said "yes, very soon," and so the pleasure of doing so has been deferred from day to day. There is nothing in our state we would hide from you, tho' you would not be interested in the minutia in writing; if you were here, I should like to tell you of our hopes and fears, or joys as well as trials, for I know you would sympathise. The past summer has been one of peculiar trials and deprivations to us, but we have suffered for no really necessary thing, and have learned lessons of patient trust, and felt the goodness of our Heavenly Father in doing for us those things we saw no way to do.
I have faith to believe we shall be carried along in the way we are in here, tho' it is impossible to say. The boy from Chicago came to-day, is about John's age, the son of an old friend who used to live here. Very many have told us if Mr. G. would persevere, he would ere long find himself doing well, in this family school arrangement, over our house/place is well calculated for it, also good grounds, & plenty of good water, soft, & hard -- The church is in a dilapidated state, and we are doing what we can, for that. So you can see with church matters, school, & social obligations, there is no idle time. Tho' there is no excuse in our neglect, in that.
I have had the same girl (one of my "group of 15") to help me since May 1st except two weeks. I tried to do alone but had ague so badly, that I was obliged to have Hannah back She has been away now two weeks attending upon her sick Mother last week I did nearly every thing, and till Thurs. of this, when the same pain in my chest & shoulders came on, and I escaped a chill, by taking quinine in advance. Have an Irish woman now for a few hours each day. We have a lady (whose husband is in California) and her son boarding with us, so I have to have every meal just so. This Mrs. Stone kept house for her brother in our house last year. Have not had as much headache for a few days. shall get over <them> it if the ague is every out of my system. Have written but little of late, for my head would hardly let me do any thing, tho' I have kept along with my sewing. (mending) Those pants you gave me, sister, have done John a great deal of good he wore them about two months, tho' I had to mend them often to keep them on. A pair of partly worn one's were given him yesterday, have also got him a new pair to make. Mrs. Stone is going to assist me in making them. We are to have a Donation party next week. We hardly expected one. The times are so hard, and every body feels so poor, but our friends were anxious to then give expression to their desire for our good. I shall be surprised if we receive much.
This letter will not be very connected. I have watched the baking of biscuit & gingerbread
[written across first page] while writing, and must still continue the watching. Am glad Abby can be with cos. Ellen. She will do her good in every way. Should like to have a child with her for many reasons. She knows, & will make others do those many little things that are so often overlooked, & yet are very important.
Hope Daniel may be prospered in his new undertaking. It has been a comfort to us that you could be at Father G's to aid and comfort them the past summer. Do not think we are unappreciative of your letters, or Marcus or Aunt B's. we are not & will try to be more prompt in future
John will write to his grandmother ere long. He hates to stop play, long enough to write to any one. He has to work a good deal & then wants to slide or skate.
[written across middle pages]
This day is mild as May. We <have> had a few days of severe cold two weeks ago. The canal has been closed since. Had a letter from Mary Phelps to-day. I never hear from Parney. We deeply sympathize with John & Gertie --
[written across last page] Gertie's father is in Chicago, we have invited him to visit us. glad you tho't of us thanksgiving day. we also tho't & spoke of all the dear friends at home
Love to you all from your aff sister
Letter 6 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Joel Grant to Daniel Grant]
Lockport, Ill. [Illinois] Feb. 5, 1861.
Dear Brother [Daniel Grant and Caroline Burr Grant],
Your letter, accompanying one from Caroline, dated Jan 20, mailed Jan. 25, came to us about five days since, having been missent to Lockport N.Y. (a not uncommon occurrence, though less so than it used to be) and thereby delayed a day or two on its way.
Respecting the lack of witness to the Mortgage I confess I was a little taken aback when the fact was brought to my knowledge by your letter, but I learn that in this state it is altogether unnecessary, and by a consultation of the Records I find it is rarely practiced to secure them. I laid the plan for the papers and Mr. Russell took them to the proper officer, agreeing to bear all expenses, & I (too carelessly) suffered them to pass without special examination. Since the reception of your letter, I have made the necessary inquiries and learn that all is right. On consulting Mr. Russell, he declared his entire readiness to make the papers over if, after examination, I felt there was the least occasion to do so, but every one whom I have consulted (and they are men constantly employed in preparing such papers) tells me there is no necessity. I will keep the matter still in mind and if I discover it to be a defect, I will let you know, and have proper papers substituted for them. This much is certainly true that if your mortgage is defective for that reason, one half of the mortgages of this county are in just the same predicament.
The note specifies 10 per cent, and only that, because that is the highest rate that the laws of this state defend. All above that is by virtue of an understanding between the parties or their agents. In this case the additional 2 per cent. is understood to be an allowance to me for the trouble of making the loan & looking to its validity. I pay it to Caroline. Should the matter ever come before the courts only 10 per cent can be secured. I have known Mr. Russell for the past seven years during wh. time I have had various dealings with him, and have always found him an honest, prompt, reliable man, so that I feel you have no reason to expect the matter will ever come before the courts. All such things should, however, be rightly done.
You ask if I would be willing to have my part ($150) of the note against Mr. R. transferred to Caroline on condition that it should go <to> towards paying the note you hold against me. To this I say yes, & if you judge it best you may make that transfer at your pleasure, endorsing $150 on that note Dec. 23, 1860.
I have written to Junean Wisconsin, respecting your taxes and shall have an answer soon. I will attend to that matter.
I do not think of any other business matters that demand attention now. I am glad you propose to be with Farther & Mother for the present, and trust that in the exercise of kind feelings towards them you may both do much to comfort to comfort them, and secure to yourselves the blessing pronounced upon those who honor their parents.
Intense anxiety prevails here, as every where, I presume respecting our country's future. We suffer more in Ill. pecuniarily, than in some other regions, at present, in consequence of the disturbed state of affairs, insomuch as our Banks are nearly all stock Banks -- some of them founded on Virginia state stocks -- some on Missouri, &c. & just now those stocks are greatly depreciated, and have a dark, uncertain future. Exchange on the East has been since the Presidential election from 5 to 13 per cent -- (just now about 6) This state of affairs gives us a large crop of those men who are ready to compromise in order that business may be better. Still there are many who stand firm, and prefer to suffer depreciation of property, and even loss, to any attempt to build up the breach with untempered mortar. <Still> And yet it seems that if the South would buy the North, there are enough who are disposed to sell it. Part of our hope is that in God's Providence the South will not consent to purchase.
In health & other particulars we remain much as when I last wrote. We all send love.
Your aff. brother,
P.S. We have a wonderful winter -- pleasant weather & good sleighing. It is now about ten weeks since our snow came -- since wh. the sleighing has not failed entirely, & the greater part of the time it has been very good.
Letter 7 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Joel Grant to Caroline Burr Grant]
Lockport, Ill. [Illinois] March 7, 1861
I forward you herewith a receipt for the taxes on your place in Wisconsin. I received it several days since (Feb. 18) but, as I had then written home within a comparatively recent period, I thought it not best to send at once.
I have been somewhat unfortunate in the management of the payment. The first answer to my inquiries about the Taxes was that Taxes and Charges amounted to $16.25. Not finding it convenient to secure a Dft [draft] on Milwaukie, and knowing that Dfts on N.Y. were every where at a great premium, I bought one of $15.50 (which cost me $16.74, or eight per cent premium) and sent it on. I soon received a reply that they could take it at no more than its face ($15 1/2) and that to meet the case I must send 75 cents more. This of course was unjust, but it did not seem easy to avoid the claim, and so I sent on 75 cents in Postage stamps. The whole cost has therefore been as follows
Dft in N.Y. for $15.50 16.75
Postage stamps ------------------------------------- .75
Postage of six letters (two each
time I wrote) -------------------------------- 18
Miscellanies ------------------------------------------- 7
I am sorry I did not judge better, but cannot now help it. If agreeable to you and Daniel, let the above sum (17.75) be inclosed under date of Feb. 1, 1861 on the note he holds against me, or give me credit for it in some other way.
We are in our usual health -- nor have I ought of a special character to communicate. Our spring seemed to commence last week when we had several days of very warm weather, in wh. we needed no fires, or scarce any. The past three or four days, however, have more than made amends, it having been very cold.
We are hoping a good deal from our President, Mr. Lincoln [Abraham Lincoln], but it would seem that Disunion and Treason have gone so far that our whole country is not likely ever to acknowledge his authority. May God preserve our liberties and set the enslaved of our land free. My love to you all.
Your aff. brother, Joel Grant.
Letter 8 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Joel Grant probably to Daniel Grant]
Lockport, Ill. [Illinois] April 16, 1861.
Your of the 26th March came to me about a fortnight since and I have delayed unwarrantably to answer it, partly because other things demanded my attention, but mainly because I did not see how to give any useful advice with reference to its main inquiry -- that concerning Caroline's relation to our Father's family. We were glad to have your prompt information concerning Mother Cowles' sickness and death, and are greatly obliged to you for calling so often, and writing so particularly.
With reference to the mortgage deed I have made inquiries such as satisfy me abundantly that witnesses are in no sense necessary, but I will yet ask the Judge of our County Court and if he intimates that witnesses are of the least necessity to give the paper validity, or if intimating the contrary you and Caroline feel still any desire that witnesses should be had I will have them drawn again as Mr. R. is perfectly ready to have them.
With reference to your inquiry respecting the hold which your Creditors might have upon property of your wife invested in Ill. I can give no <other> better answer perhaps than that the fact of the property's being in Ill. will make no important difference -- it will still be subject to the laws of Conn. [Connecticut] in the particular respecting wh. you inquire. My impression is however that in Conn. they could have no hold upon property invested in your wife's name. Such is the assertion of the "American Lawyer and Business Form Book (Ed. 1854, p. 194) in treating of the special laws of Connecticut. If you can ask brother Wm C. Phelps you will be likely to get an answer in wh. you may rest. Nor will you need to speak of it as <I am> invested in Ill. for that will make no difference so long as you both reside in Conn.
I am fully satisfied that Caroline's services at Father's are worthy of reward, but it is not so easy to see how arrangements can be made to secure it. Father is scarcely able (I fear) to give it, and if he cannot it seems cruel for his children to leave him. I know the situation of Caroline must be very trying; any situation in which we become subject to the necessities of another is so. And yet if there is any means by which Caroline can secure a reward I shall be glad, or any means by which I can help her to do so, I will gladly do it. When you write again please tell me what <I can> you would expect, & whether there is any visible means by wh. Father can make the reward. But for the entanglements of oft repeated illness, and long continued sickness in my family I would offer to pay a part of compensation myself, but under the circumstances I suppose no one would expect it. At all events let Caroline continue till we can understand the matter better. I do not see how we can have her leave -- indeed your letter intimates that she has no present thought of doing so. God's Providence will rapidly change things in various ways ere long no doubt, and solve many a question that now seems dark
I should be glad to come East and see these things as they appear on the ground but I have no expectation of doing so -- indeed it is more than questionable whether I shall ever go East again.
We have news by telegram of the taking of Fort Sumpter -- No doubt this is but part of the deep humiliation and shame that must come upon our country for its complicity with slavery & slaveholders. Probably Mr. Lincoln [Abraham Lincoln] & his counsellors saw this result before it took place, but something must be done & they undertook the only thing it seemed possible for them to do --
Write again if you would ask me more, I promise to answer sooner.
Your aff. brother,
Letter 9 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Abigail Cowles Grant to Caroline Burr Grant]
Lockport. Ill. [Illinois] July 18,'61
Mr. Grant left a letter for Marcus, when he left last week Friday, saying I could add one for you, but I have not had an hour since in which I could write, till now. I am doing my own work now, and it is the busy fruit season, & I have few leisur moments. We had no strawberries in our garden, but have had rhaspberries all we could use for the last three weeks, also plenty of nice currants, and are soon to have apples, and in due time some pears & grapes. I am drying currants. They add so much to the excellence of mince pies in winter; shall dry apples as soon as they are a little riper. The weather is very pleasant, not too warm, and the news today of the <Ever> retreat of the rebels from Fairfax Court House makes people look good natured. There has been & is a dreadful depression here, busines so dull, money so scarce and every thing dragging -- I suppose "there is a good time coming," but it needs large faith to see it, on toward it.
We heard from Mr. Grant yesterday. he staid to attend a prayermeeting at Cairo last night, will leave for home tomorrow, and get here Sat morn -- All the trains are taken off this rail road except one express train pr. day, each way, which is a great inconvenience to travellers. There is usually a train up to Chicago in the morn. & back at eve. from Joliet, but the hard times reach the R.R. [railroad] as well as other conveniences. John is making himself very useful while his father is away: he has gone to a slough a little way off, to recreate shooting snipe.
Willys fits have returned again with great violence with the warm weather. He was better of them during the winter.
How are you all this summer? When we last heard Mother was comfortable: who have you for help? Did you have a good visit with Mary and did you leave her & her little one's well? Is she coming ou[t] this summer? Did you visit brother John's by the way? Is Abby with Cos. Ellen yet? Cos. E. will do her a great deal of good -- has she other pupils? Do tell me all about every thing when you write, and let that be as soon as you can find time. Where does Daniel board & how is he getting along with his new business? I hope he will prosper and find it more profitable than he expected -- How are Martha & Elizabeth's family's, and Aunt Nettleton's? I wish you were here this P.M. we would have a long quiet visit -- My head is not clear enough to write interestingly this P.M. with love to all I am your affectionate sister. Abby. [Abigail Cowles Grant]
[written along side of first page] John sends love to Eddie, he ought to write to his Grandma, & must ere long.
Letter 10 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Joel Grant to Caroline Burr Grant]
Lockport, Ill. [Illinois] July 24, 1861.
Dear Sister Caroline,
The times have been so very hard that I was hardly expecting my payment on the note you hold against Mr. Russell, but he has been able to make arrangements whereby he can meet the interest due the 23 ult. although it is a little late. I am glad therefore to be able to state to you that the purchase is complete, and the whole note of $750 is now yours.
You will remember that the amount purchased of Mr. Hubbell was $600, and that the amount yet due him last Dec. (see my letter of Dec. 6, 1860) was $38.20
Int. on this till June 23, '61 2.00
This amount ($40.20) I have forwarded to Mr. Hubbell who will forward you either directly or through me a receipt for the same, so that you will have an acknowledgment that the $600 note is paid for.
The interest on the note June 23 was $45.00
Add interest for 1 month .45
Deduct amt sent Mr. H. 40.20
This amount I forward herewith. In the letter of Dec 6, I mentioned that there were about $5 more coming to you. This, partly because it is not convenient for me to pay, I have though myself warranted to charge for my trouble, wh. has not been inconsiderable. It is true I did not intend to take this course, but I suppose no one would have done what I have in this for a less sum.
I would like to know the exact state of this mortgage. Hereafter the interest ($90 a year $45 semiannually) will be due to you, but I understand the mortgage is pledged for Daniel's debts. The Country Recorder, here, told me he had put on record a paper to that effect. As Daniel went into business at such a time, a time when all business is prostrated -- perhaps he will have to resort to this Mortgage to keep his creditors safe. Will you be so good as to tell me at what time the notes for wh. this Mortgage is made security fall due -- what is their amount, <and when they fall due>what is the rate of interest, & how rapidly, in case Daniel should not be able to meet his engagements, the creditors will be likely to press his claims, and whether you suppose he will be easy so long as his interest is paid. If you deem it desirable, I think Mr. Hubbell will be willing now to purchase your $750 note. Some of these questions the Records of our County may answer, but I have not seen them. Please answer as soon as convenient.
Your aff. brother, Joel Grant.
P.S. July 25. You should send Mr. Russell a certificate in form substantially as follows "$37 50/100 Rec.d of B. F. Russell Thirty seven Dollars and Fifty cents, being the interest to June 23, 1861 upon a note of $750 which I hold against him."
You should then write on the note itself the words "Rec.d interest to June 23d 1861."
It will be necessary if you mention any amount to mention the interest at 10 percent -- not 12 for the language of the note is ten. Thus the payment was actually $45 but you must put it $37.50. In your indorsement on the note it will be as well not to mention any particular sum.
I have but little time to speak of my visit to Cairo. It was pleasant, and <may> enabled me to see many things of wh. I was glad to have some knowledge. Every thing was quiet there. Commerce on the two rivers is of course entirely suspended and the army business is all that is done. I returned before the news of seeming defeat at Manassas was heard of. The times are fearful, but Christ is in the storm, & we need not be surprised if we find them worse before they are better.
Letter 11 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Joel Grant to Caroline Burr Grant]
Sept. 6, 1861.
Dear Sister Caroline,
Your letter, with that of Daniel, was duly rec.d, and in reply I can only say a word. The true reason why I did not forward you the $5+ was that I had it not. I am more favorably situated now, and forward the amount due last Dec. (5.10) increased by interest (at 6 prct) from that time to the present, total $5.33. I do not wish any compensation for what I have done or may do.
I also forward a receipt from Mr. Hubbell wh. you may do well to keep
Your aff. brother
P.S. Our P.O. is so nearly out of stamps that I omit sending the 33 cents. I inclose therefore only $5. will send the rest another time
Letter 12 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Abigail Cowles Grant to Caroline Burr Grant (1861)]
Lockport. Ill. [Illinois] Nov, 8. 1861
Dear Sister C.
When my husband sent the letter home just before he left for the war, I was too much occupied with his clothes to write, but tho't I should do so, soon as he was gone. But then came a week of prostration in wh. I could not do any thing, after wh. I had to look after many things & get the N. wing room cleared of all manner of things that were left about and get ready to move in. Having no help, except for washing, I had to take it slowly and rest. Then the moving work, the work after, arranging, the work after that, had to go to Chicago, when taking the cars to return found two Cos'n's from Syracuse, one staid two days the other 11, since wh. I have tried daily to find time to sit down and communicate with you, but this is the first, & it is now past 9 P.M. John & I are living in our N. Wing; have a shantee kitchen, sitting room (John sleeps here on a wide lounge made up as a bed closet, & my bed room -- we have use of cellar, barn for the cow, &c &c. & two chambers. the front one keep just as it was, a smaller one is store room. We are very comfortable in these small quarters, much more so, than if we had more room to take care of. I am succeeding nicely in my line of house work, and John is cheerfully helpful & obedient. He is also much interested in his studies, and looks as anxiously for the daily paper as I do. Our state of mind for the day here depends so much upon the morning paper, wh. comes in from Chicago, on the 9.30. train. From past experiences: we have little to look for but defeat. Today came the news of retreat from Columbus, Ky. the old story of unequal numbers, and attacking an entrenched enemy. The Ky. news takes my first attention, now -- The report of the Investigating Com. in Fremont's case, is painful, nobody to be trusted; his farewell to his soldiers is dignified and uncomplaining --
I hear from my husband once or twice a week. heard to-day. he has been at Smithland, Ky some 20 miles from Paducah for two weeks. will be there but a short time longer -- Is well except a cold, is very busy, and on the whole enjoying himself as well as he can any where away from his home. I hope he can come & make me a short visit ere long. I find it very loansome living without my dearest friend beside me, but make the best of it in every way. Mr. G. thought it best to go as it no doubt was, and I try to feel brave. My greatest comfort now is in committing him to our Heavenly Father's care asking Him to take care of the dear one, and keep him in safety, making him useful to souls around him and directing his efforts in every way
We have a kind christian family in the other part of the house, we try to be a mutual comfort to each other. It would be so pleasant, if you could come and stay a few weeks with me, we should have a quiet time for visiting. I really enjoy doing my work, tho' it makes my back ache every day. But my bread is so nice, & I can see that it is so much economy in wood & every thing else, that there is really great satisfaction in it -- My eyes will hold out no longer, so good night to you --
Sat. P.M. A hard frost last night makes everything look more like winter coming than before. Potatoes are very bad here this year. We have none now. 2/3 of what we had were discarded -- The dry rot is on all this region. We have two bbl's nice bell flower apples for winter. had a good many summer and fall apples.
[written along side of last page] John has gone hunting to-day. I am always afraid, but his Pa says he may go & provides the gun & ammunition, so I hope he will not get hurt --
Joel writes he was never so busy in his life. Do you hear from him --
How is your sister M.
[written along side of middle pages] What do you know of Aunt B. and Cos - Ellen -- & all the friends -- I shall think of you thanksgiving day. J. & I shall be alone probably. I shall have time to think how all the dear friends are far away.
[written along side of first page] We have a Soc. for serving for the Hospitals. By a Festival we raised the first $25 to get means to do with. We are making Hospitals shirts & drawers socks, sheets, & cot. & pillow ticks -- We send a box Mond. to the 19th Col. Surelin From another Festival, the eve before the Band left we made $50 more so we shall keep busy for awhile Let me hear from you soon I will try to answer more promptly -- Love to Father, & Mother. & you all, your aff. sister Abby [Abigail Cowles Grant] --
Letter 13 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Caroline Grant
Flemington [New Jersey]
Dec. 20, 1861
Dear aunt Carrie [Caroline Burr Grant]
I cannot think of much to write; yet I wish to send you a letter so as to get one from you.
I used to help mother [Mary Burr Hill] a great deal before our girl came. I dried the dishes, and sometimes washed them. I often made the trundle-bed and set the table and we children almost always put ourselves to bed and <ourselves> dressed ourselves in the morning; We often took our bath alone. When Allie [Alletta Hill] and I went up to grandmothers and aunts Hates [Henrietta Hill?] I got myself and Allie ready without troubling mother at all.
Allie and I have learned that verse you sent us "O that it were my chief delight." I wish you and Eddie [Edward Grant] would come again this winter.
Your aff'.ate niece
Mary P.B. Hill.
Please give my love to uncle Daniel
We expected to send Minnie [Mary P.B. Hill]letter yesterday with mine but it was not ready and she was not very well at noon and I thought it doubtful whether she would have it ready to day. The winter is here ground partly covered with snow and the ice making slowly. Think that war with Old England will be avoided, and hope that our army with not suffer very much this cold weather I often think of the sufferings of our soldiers, and would like to see the war ended in some way.
Our Sunday school children expect to have a nice time at the Church to morrow. They have a Christmas tree and all the scholars will have something --
Yours in haste
[Mary Burr Hill]
Letter 14 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Letter fragment to Daniel Grant, 1861?]
It is somewhat doubtful whether money can be conveniently collected here for a few months to come. We have had abundant crops, but they do not sell, and such is the agitation of the public mind consequent upon the action of the South, that business has come to an unexpected stand still. Exchange on N.Y. [New York] has never been so high as now since the fall of 1857 -- some days it is as high as 10 per cent. though usually for the past four weeks from six to eight. Still this state of things cannot, it seems to me, last very long.
You will see that I have prepared Caroline's [Caroline Grant Burr] account up to the 23d. inst. and that there remains only $38.20 to be paid in order to make out the $600. The greater part of this will be made up by the interest due next June on the $561.80 already invested, indeed what is in my hands will make the whole $600 Caroline's at that date. If possible, I would not disturb this investment.
Would you like to know something of our weather? The fall has been very lovely and pleasant. We have had very little cold weather. One fortnight ago to day it snowed for the first time, and since that we have had a little (rather poor) sleighing. Hoping you may succeed in your new business I am your aff. brother Joel Grant.
P.S. It seems best to state a little more particularly the accounts. The taxes last year were as you state 18.72. But there were other expenses that brought the amount up to $20. These I stated in a letter to you sometime in March, but will state them again here
Taxes ______________ 18.72
Percentage & certificate .78
Premium on D.ft _______ .30
Postage ______________ .20
The money acc.t with Caroline is as follows
May 23, 1859 D.ft. on N.Y $300.00
Premium on d.o. 3.00
Int. on the same from May 23 to } 21.21
Dec 23 7 months at 12 per cent } $324.21
Sept 13. Dft on N.Y. $200
Premium on do 2
Int. from Sept. 13. to Dec 23}
3 1/3 mos. at 12 per ct. } 6.74} --208.74
Amt on hand Dec. 23, 1859 $532.95
Int. from Dec. 23, 1859 to } --63.95
Dec 23, 1860 at 12 per ct.} $596.90
Dec 23, 1859. Paid S. Hubbell ___ $500 }
June 23, 1860 interest on the above 30 } $561.80}
Dec 23, 1860 do. do ______ 31.80}
Exchange on $500 sent to S. Hubble 10.00} $591.80
March Taxes____________________ 20.00}
Still in my hands_______________________ 5.10
Mr. H.'s claim is $600 -- and the interest on the $500 is to be paid to him until the $600 is paid