Letter 1 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Elizabeth Grant Burton to Caroline Burr Grant, 1866?]
Dear Sister Caroline,
Your most welcome letter came seasonably to hand, & I have too long waited for a convenient opportunity to reply. Thank you for mentioning so many circumstances of interest Indeed your letter is quite a little history, wh. will bear reading over, & over, & over again. I hope you will excuse me if I do not produce any thing one hundredth part as interesting
I am looking forward with pleasure to the time when your daughter will be with us. The spring term of our school has opened more prosperously than I expected, but as you say, it might probably be better for her to rest, or teach the coming summer. This school produces so many teachers, that all our schools are in demand, & if Abbie [Abigail E. Grant Burr]really wishes to teach, she might probably stand a better chance in Conn. [Connecticut] than here.
Please inform us, if she succeeds in engaging a school, & how soon she may add one to our little family circle, now so much broken. Will not her mother & father, & brother accompany her on her journey? If all cannot as many as can.
Last week was Mary's vacation wh. she spent at home. Lavinia spent a few nights here, also, with her babe 4 months old.
I saw your sister Mary when in Conn. before her marriage. Where is she now? Please tell me about her.
Mary rec'd a letter fr. Philander last Thurs. He has been out of health for some time, suffering fr diarrhea, extremely, & in this, he speaks of his throat being very sore & mouth swollen so his artificial teeth will not stay in their proper place, besides being so weak, he can hardly walk. He says he that morn, (Mrch 30,) placed himself under the care of a surgeon. But I rejoice that he has found his uncle Joel, or that his uncle Joel has found him. He says "I like him much better than I used to." (he always was greatly in love with him since he knew him) Doubtless they seem very dear, meeting thus, in a far off land, & under such trying circumstances. He says "he is absent now, on business to Cairo, but will be back next Sab. & hold services in the 12th Illinois, when I expect to attend." He says, "O this wicked rebellion, that has brought so much misery & woe into our hitherto happy land. Surely none but Satan could have originated <so>such an unholy, unrighteous cause. I hope and pray God that the end is close at hand when peace, honorable peace, will be proclaimed throughout our land." This encourages me to hope the poor boy is not a stranger to prayer, & I do hope & pray that God may make the interview with his uncle J. a blessing to both, & to all the dear boys fr. this place. He says nothing wd afford greater satisfaction than to meet the family circle around the old fire place, but though the privilege is denied him & Wm. it may be all for the best, & by their present mode of life they may acquire an experience that will be a life long benefit to them. The Lord grant it may be so.
I have felt so sad & lonesome, since Mary went away, yesterday morn, I am in no mood to write any thing to interest, but I promised to write you & send her love. I hoped she would join me & we wd together make out something to you, worth reading, but you have some idea how one week may be occupied with a little visiting, resting etc. It is gone, as it were, before it is begun.
Wm. was in Paducah Ky. when he last wrote. I have felt less concerned about him as he is farther from the seat of war. But they have rec'd their equipments & we know not how soon he may be called to battle. We know not how many more noble one must fall a sacrifice to this rebellion before we can come out of this furnace of affliction Doubtless we need chastisement We have been proud, we have boasted in our own strength & that our name w'd endure while the world sh'd stand.
[written across front page] Doubtless we deserve far more chastisement than we have yet rec'd, & we must not despise the chastening of the Lord.
I hope our nation will come out of the furnace purified & prepared to appreciate her privileges
Has Mr Burgess visited you yet? Did one of his children die, besides little Edwin?
We rec'd aunt B's picture It is good.
With much love to all your family
Yr aff sister
E. Burton [Elizabeth Grant Burton]
[written across front page] I am rejoiced to hear that father & mother are comfortable.
[written across middle page] Raphael Marshall & wife made us a short visit while aunt Olive was with us.
Letter 2 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[From attached envelope:] Mrs. Caroline Grant,
[written across envelope] From Mrs. Cowles Jan. '66
[date stamp] Ipswich Mass Jan 10
My dear Mrs. Grant,
Our school continues just nine weeks longer. I think your daughter might join some of our classes where they are & make some account of what time remains. We have a vacancy at a boarding house which we could give her. If she does come let it be as soon as she can move. We have no school from Friday night to Monday & she could attend to her clothes on Saturdays. We shall feel a special interest in her for the sake of her beloved godly ancestors & relatives & should she stay over a vacation we shall depend on her passing a week with us. The vacancy in our boarding houses is in the family where the Misses Foshite live & they will cordially welcome her to their circle. They are good common sense young women.
Mrs. Barrister [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister] wrote me, some two weeks since, from your brother's in Newark and was then considering the question of remaining [...] of New York until the Sun reaches the equator again.
Mr. Cowles burst a blood vessel on the 13th of December which delivered its contents into the stomach and then became stenched. He lost a great deal of blood & was so weak for some days that he could not lift head or hand scarcely. But his [?] habits, a good constitution & the blessing of God has given him a new lease of life. He is still comparatively feeble, but is able to walk to the Seminary from our house twice a day & to hear two classes now, & is gaining strength every day. If no new rupture occurs we are hoping he will soon be as well as ever. He joins me in most affectionate regards to your father & mother, your husband & yourself & Sister Carline & her husband.
I want to hear what Miss Wright has done with herself.
Board is $4. per week but we will remit <her tu> your daughter's tuition or in some way reduce the regular expenses ten dollars or a little more in her case --
We have classes in Latin & French, Arithmetic, Algebra & Geography.
I must close for the mail.
Yours in love,
Letter 3 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Feb. 27th 1866.
My dear Mother,
Safe in Oberlin at last and I had not the least particle of trouble in getting here. I arrived at Geneva about noon on Thursday. Mary Harris received my letter on Wednesday night. and they concluded that if I started when I was expecting to. I must have gone by without stopping, so they were hardly looking for me when I came. I hired a team to go over which cost me one dollar. I had to pay about two dollars & forty cts for extra baggage. I never traveled when I got along with so little trouble and so little worrying. I had no waiting to do any where (but in Canaan) which made it very pleasant. for I think that waiting in a depot is the most disagreeable of all things. I had a very pleasant little visit at Mary Harris' we went over to Austinburg Friday afternoon and made some calls. did not stay in the evening because the roads were so bad. There were but few in town that I used to know. I met very unexpectedly to both of us -- my old friend Will Jewett. who happened to be at home for a few days, and had a very pleasant little chat with him. He is through with his course in Cleveland & is going very soon to Tiffin Ohio. to study and practice in connection as I understand with the Dr that he was with in Painesville. I also met Joe Cochrane, Lizzies brother who was down on a visit But dear me! I cant enumerate all the people for I am altogether too sleepy tonight.
Wedn's morn. They received me very kindly here. and I think I shall enjoy the society of the family exceedingly. but I have the smallest of rooms, and how Alice Leonard and I will manage to both be in it at a time is a mystery yet unsolved. for Alice is not expected until Friday. I spent the greater part of yesterday with cousin Mary. The morning in visiting. & in the afternoon they took me out to see the elephants of the place; get my term bill settled, studies arranged, &c. My studies this term are to be Chemistry & French. I am charmed with the principal Mrs. Dascomb.
I have been reckoning up & find that my journey here cost me about twenty dollars ($20).
I talked a little about Kansas with cousin Giles yesterday. he thinks that it is a splendid country. and when I told him where our place was he seemed to know all about. & said that he thought you could not but be delighted with the place when you reached there. I find that I brought away Mary's picture in my album so will sent it back in this. she is going to send one of Giles before long.
My throat has not troubled me at all. & I am hardly as tired from my journey as I expected to be.
[written across first page] How do you all do at home, when you write you know I shall want to hear from all. How is Auntie getting along. Much love to her and to you all
Your aff daughter
Abbie E. Grant, [Abigail E. Grant Burr]
I was released from chapel a few minutes too late to have this go to day, but I hope you wont be worrying.
Letter 4 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Mary E. Burton Shurtleff to Caroline Grant]
Oberlin. Feb. 27th 1866.
Dear Aunt Caroline:
Abbie [Abigail E. Grant Burr]surprised and delighted us very much, yesterday morn, but presenting herself, all unannounced, at our door. She found, after she began to think about writing to us, -- while at Mr. Harris' -- that a letter would not reach us before she should herself arrive, and so did not write. She took Prof. Cowles' family by surprise, but was warmly welcomed. We went out with her yesterday, on a tour of observation, introduced her to Mrs. Dascomb, and assisted her in settling with the Treasurer, and arranging studies. But of all this she will doubtless write. I hope she may enjoy her stay here, very much, and make it profitable, too. I think she will, without doubt, unless her health fails. I think she looks well, now, and all her friends will do what they can to help to keep her so. Do not fear that she will make us any "trouble". We are as much pleased to have her here, as she to have us. I trust we shall be mutual comforts to each other.
I hardly know whom to thank for the bundle Abbie brought me. I shall prize the articles the more, for grandmother's having worn them. They will all be useful too, if I can get over the idea that it would be a sort of desecration for me to wear them.
Abbie says you have not yet made definite arrangements for removing to the west. It hardly seems to me that it will be pleasant for mother to remain at grandpa's after you go. Does she ever speak of it? -- Willie writes that they probably cannot get their house up before the 1st of next Aug. -- but I suppose mother would be very welcome at Mr. Jones', provided she could be contented there, which I somewhat doubt. Yet it would be pleasanter in the summer time, when the children could carry on their noisy sports out of doors, than the boys find it, now. I greatly wish I had a home to offer her, but we are so uncertain about staying here after next Aug. that it would be folly to try to get settled.
I should not much relish the idea of mother's remaining on the farm many years. But if the boys are prospered, Phil will be likely to marry before long, and then mother can have a home in the village with Willie and Thedie. I know Willie has given up the idea of having a home in town, immediately, only in Phil's account. I doubt very much whether mother was in a state of mind, while in Grinnell, to judge calmly, and correctly of its merits. If I am not greatly misinformed, most people would consider it a much more desirable location than Austinburg. For my part I could not return to A with the idea of making it a permanent home, without great reluctance. -- I agree with you that if mother were once comfortably fixed at Grinnell, she would enjoy it better than she now imagines. As I wish to write her some things, I will close my letter to you.
With much love
Mary B. G.
Letter 5 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[From John Grant March 1846]
[Addressed to:] Daniel Grant Esq
Millbrook, March 4. 1846.
Dear Brother & Sister
The last time I wrote you I was on the eve of starting for Philadelphia whither I have been & <returned> whence I returned last Fri. & Sat. The reason of my so speedy return you shall learn presently. I now write you, by way of preparing you for more sad news, should it become necessary to communicate it, that our dear Mother is lying very sick with what was at first termed Typhoid Pleurisy & perhaps may still be called the same, though it seems to resemble much the Lung Fever. Her situation is now very critical, tho' we do not despair of her restoration. As far as we can now judge the chances for her recovery equal those against. I feel therefore bound to write you to inform you of her present condition, fearing that if I do not, you will soon hear of her death without a word of forewarning. Yet I do not advise you to expect to receive such sad news. We cherish strong hope that the hand which now rests so heavily upon her will soon be removed & she be restored to us & to health.
Mother was taken sick two weeks ago next Friday not very violently, but showed a degree of stupor which excited alarm & we believe she suffered some kind of shock, though whether she did & if she did of what kind I cannot inform you. She has been very low ever since a week ago last Sunday which was apparently her worst day thus far.
The foregoing I have written without any farther direction than the knowledge of Mother's situation as given me from time to time since I reached home Sister Susan who is in our present trials of invaluable service to us all has found time to give me a full statement of the facts of Mother's sickness from the first, as far as necessary. I give her statement as well as I can -- She says that Mother was <was> taken ill as the Doctor (Jas. Welch) believes with congestion of the brain amounting nearly to a paralytic stroke during the night of Fri. two weeks ago nearly. On Sunday she had high Fever with pain in the side. Susan says that was the day on which she appeared most sick, though she has grown weak<er> ever since -- that in her opinion Mother has improved very slowly in every respect except in strength since that Sunday -- that the Fever has in a good degree subsided & that she is encouraged to believe that she will recover. One circumstances Susan mentions as favorable is the evident return of sensibility. For a number of days she seemed almost insensible to any thing unless her attention was directly called to the object. This is not so much the case now.
Aunt Maria is now here to take care of Mother -- she came today & says she will stay as long as she is needed. Cousin William called last Monday as he was passing, not knowing that Mother was sick, for the roads have been almost impassible by reason of deep snows which drifted very much. To-day Mr. & Mrs. Cowles have been here -- they are well as usual. I was very glad to see them after so long a time. All at home they said were well though cousin Parney has but just recovered from a severe attack of Erysipelas. Aunt Settleton was here last week a few days. Cousin Margaret is not well though better than in the early part of the winter. Uncle Luther is still feeble & much as he has been for some time past. Cousin Martin is well -- is through his school. Other relatives & friends well.
Phelps now intends to leave for Canton soon if circumstances permit. He is now absent having gone to Boston to see to his goods there & as I believe to forward them to Ohio or make arrangements to have them forwarded soon as the Canal opens. He will visit Newburyport before he returns unless he hears from home. Susan as I have said is here with us & is rendering us great assistance. We all love her very much. The children too we love dearly. I value much my opportunity to be with them for a time. Libby is now for a time in Winstead -- Mary is here, & a sweet child she is. She helps me to pass my time cheerfully, & I at the same time can relieve her Mother of some care of her.
I will now tell you briefly respecting the weather We had during last week the coldest weather of the season. Thursday & Friday were the coldest days. There was some snow in Philadelphia when I left (last Fri.) more in New York, & here it is supposed to be three feet on a level. It is drifted very much & sleighing is not very good. As the weather is now milder & the sun shines warm the snow is wasting where it is thin & softening where it is deep, so the roads must be bad for some time.
Now I will speak respecting myself. I am physically much as when I last wrote you, & am happy to assure you that I have not been growing worse so fast since I left off drugging. I got on to Phila. [Philadelphia] without difficulty, <& am now> also came home without difficulty or much inconvenience, & am now I believe as well as when I left home. I have great faith in Cold Water <to> as a means by which I may be restored, & I intend to preserve the treatment at home which I commenced in Phila. I remained in the Phila. establishment just two weeks, & left them not <merely> on account of Mother's illness for I had not heard of it, but on account of the Doctor's jealousy of my intentions to leave him. The ground of this suspicion was the fact that I rec'd a letter from Dr. Wesselhoeft of the Brattleboro Water Establishment in answer to a letter I wrote before I left home
Our people enclosed this letter to me, & the Doctor hearing that I had rec'd a letter from Wesselhoeft presently wrote me a note advising me to go to Wesselhoeft as I distrusted his skill, &c. I therefore requested an interview with his Lordship but only received another note stating that there was no mistake in the statement of the last, &c. I wrote him yet again & he wrote me again. I then wrote him that I was ready to go but that I should not regard myself as his debtor, unless the charges were honorably proved or retracted He had alrady been corrected in the impression of the letter by other patients. He however wrote among other things that he never retracted anything he said &c. So I left at once & he by reason of his unfortunate temper gave me two weeks board & treatment gratuitously. I did not see him from the time I rec'd the first note which was the first intimation that there was any thing wrong. Mr. Canfield has just now handed in from the post office a letter from a fellow patient with whom I formed an intimate acquaintance at the Drs. He says the Dr. has not spoken of me since I left, & that he is evidently ashamed of himself. My course was approved by all my fellow patients there, & this letter contains the following signed by all but two of the patients who declined because the Dr. had heard of it & was displeased.
"We the undersigned fellow patients with you at Dr. Schieferdecker's do with pleasure bear testimony to your gentlemanly deportment while with us, & especially exempt you from any blame in the late difficulty between the Doctor & yourself."
I intend as soon as Mother's situation will admit to have arrangements made by which I may carry on the Water Treatment at home & by which Mother can also be accommodated better than at present. March 5. Mother is very much as yesterday & there is perhaps a probability of her recovery <of her recovery> should nothing serious in her disease show itself more than now.
I frist enclose this to Joel & he will forward it to you, as I shall be saved the trouble of writing two statements, & you will get this but little later.
Your aff. brother
[Written across first page] Martha is better than when we wrote you. She does not now suffer as then with pain in the side which is a great relief. I is cheering to see how she has improved within six <weeks> months past. She sends much love so does Susan Aunt Maria & others.
Letter 6 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Susan Jenkins Boyd Grant to Caroline Burr Grant]
Canton March 16, 1866.
My dear Sister
Through the Winsted Herald we some time since learned of the death of our dear mother, and have been waiting hoping to learn some particulars of her last illness but I can well see that among your many cares it would be no easy matter to find time to write to so many friends It is very sad to me to think that I shall never see her again. I feel that I am a better woman for the influence of her example and the many precepts which she has impressed upon my mind, but how far short I fall of what she would have me be and of what I might be How very very lonely father must be without her. I am very glad that Elizabeth has been permitted to spend this last winter with them. It must be a lasting satisfaction to her, a comfort to father and mother and I hope a relief to you with so many cares. I hope we all fully realize our obligations to you for all which you have done for our father and mother to make their last days comfortable and happy, and may you be rewarded both in this world and the world to come.
We often look back with pleasure to the pleasant visit which we had from Abbie and her cousins, and I hope we may see her here again at some future time. I am anxious to hear of the result of Daniels visit to Missouri. I hope when he comes west again you will accompany him to make us a visit.
We were much disappointed at not seeing Cousin Orville and Elizabeth. we looked for them for months thinking they must be on the reserve somewhere and would yet come to see us. I am afraid now that they will never come. How is Marcu's health. Poor Marcus how much he will miss mother.
Mary has at last returned home from the west came 180 mils by stage with the thermometer 26 below zero. was upset once and were obliged to lie by 2 nights and one day on account of the violence of the storm of wind & snow She however came very safely left Libbie well, with a daughter three weeks old. Mary will probably be married and go back there this spring or summer as Mr Wallace has settled at Omaha
Jennie is teaching some 18 little boys and girls and enjoys it well Boyd is studying at home this winter. He is not much inclined to study and I can keep at it better than his teacher can. We have had a large family this winter but our boarders are all gone but one now. Mr Grant is very well indeed. I am truly glad that he was able to see his father and mother so recently. The visit was a very pleasant one to him, and he will always look back to it with satisfaction.
Our neighbors Mr & Mrs Lester have just buried a little daughter just the age of Boyd. they have been always playmates together and it is almost like losing one from our own family. Our pastor too, Mr Buckingham buried his wife on Sunday. She had been feeble for a long time. Julius Whiting is quite out of health and much depressed in spirits, we hope however that the return of warm weather will restore him to his usual health.
Give much love from us to father Marcus Elizabeth, your family the cousins, and kind remembrances to any friends who may inquire for us. Hoping to hear from you soon I remain
Your aff sister
S B Grant
Letter 7 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Grinnell March 19th/66
I have owed you a letter so long that I cannot remember when I received yours or where it is. Not that your letter was not very welcome and well appreciated either; besides my avertion to writing, I can say we are very busy pretty much all the time here
I believe you asked in yours what I knew about the State of Missouri, I am sorry to say I know very little of it never seeing anything of the State except from the Mississippi river, Has Uncle Daniel ever thought of settling in Iowa, This vicinity has a good many advantages over most others I know of, The society here is better than in most new countries; the educational privileges are excellent; the soil is as good as any I ever saw; the climate is healthy. Of course the county has disadvantages, as the cold winters; scarcity of timber &c I should like much to have Uncle settle here. I should also be very glad to have Cousin Abbie [Abigail E. Grant Burr]come out and live with us when we become established here. As we live five miles from town she could not be with us while she went to <school> college but could spend her vacations with us, and find a home here at any and all times, It would be very pleasant for us to have her come, as it will be rather lonesome here when, [...] folks leave. I also think Abbie would like the prairies, especially in the Summer season when they are literally covered with the most beautiful and choice kinds of wild flowers
I regret Mothers state of mind exceedingly, Her idea of economy amounts to insanity almost Our expenditures out here which are necessarily enormous distresses her exceedingly, as also what she calls her past mistakes and sacrifices. Lately I hear she is very neglectful about dress, Auntie I would be very grateful to you if you would look a little into this matter and see that she is provided with such articles of dress as to make her respectable at least I only send $10. but will send more should it be needed. Please write when convenient
In hast your ever aff't nephew
Letter 8 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[from Daniel Grant]
Ottawa May 23 1866
My Dear Wife
Last Sabbath I wrote to you but as I have a little time to day I choose to improve it altho I have nothing of importance to write. It is rainy weather or I should be as busy as ever.
Received yesterday the deed. It has not been as long as I thought since I sent it to you. It went and back in trifle more than three weeks, very quick.
Your statement of Dr Bidwells opinion of the black walnut is not very favorable for me. A medicine I prepared in this, from the butternut with rheubarb mixed in was a better medicine apparently than rheubarb root and if it was true that black walnut would work as well I was anxious to prepare some of it but if it is astringent it will not do. I have now however a medicine that works like a charm but suppose it will wear out pretty soon. It is gin and black cherry bark. Where the laxative qualities lie I cannot say. I have tried rheubarb for a good while but it takes a good deal to have the desired effect.
May 24. It does not rain this morn. but rained a good deal during the night. Is to muddy to work in brick yard The weather is very unfavorable for brick making. Hope it will be better.
I am sure there are plenty of better places for farming and stock rasing than this but this is pretty good especially stock raising but farther south is better for both. The summers are probably more endurable here than farther south as according to report there is almost universally a breze wh. tempers the heat but report is very uncertain and the weather is frequently such as was never known before.
Brick making may be as good here as any where or it may not but I know it can be good here but He who holds our destiny in his hands can make the best directed efforts a failure. I have written to Joel two or three times particularly requesting him to state the price of land in Ark. but all I can get from him is "it is very cheap" an answer so indeffinite I cannot tell whether it is 25 cts. or $25, per acre. There are objections to going to Ark. it seems the same as you made to going to N.C. The state of society is objectionable. Mo. is in the same predicament. I have been of the opinion that these troubles would get quieted but it does not seem to be any nearer if as near now as it did at the close of the war. Altho it is but few out of the whole number who suffer yet cases of murder are frequent especially in Mo. A few days ago a man was enticed away from this town and hung. There are conflicting reports about it and until I can give a more definite version I will not try to give particulars Some say he was a quiet citisen others that he was a horse thief. He did not reside in town but on a farm a few miles out. He was in town on business when he was enticed away. Horse stealing is of almost nightly occurance somewhere in the country. It seems that rebels are generally bold and defiant whereever they are. It is perhaps as quiet here as any where. Robberies are common and murder not very unfrequent all over the country.
May 26. I have just taken up the pen to record that it is still raining. This is indeed dry Kansas.
We worked some yesterday but perhaps it will not amount to much Rained a good deal last night and some today. Kansas is not a mudy state like Ill. but where it rains so much it must of course be muddy Vegetation looks fine and crops are apparently doing well but we cannot judge so well of crops now as a month later.
An effort is being made to build a Presbyterian church here with how much success I am unable to state but think it will be built.
A church is organized and an appointment made for a meeting tomorrow. The Baptists are to give way and the Presbyterians occupy their place of worship The sacrament is to be administered
May 27 There seems to be a failure in the fulfilment of the appointment by the prebyterians today A Mr. Chapin of Lawrance was expected but has not arrived. I have not exactly identified myself with them but they claim me as one of their number. Without any consent of mine and entirely without my knowledge they have appointed me one of their trustees. I told them when I heard of it that I thought they might have found a better man but I suppose I shall become one of them.
Dr. Sawyer the baptist preacher gave us a very practical sermon this morn. He talks so plain to professors that it would seem that there are but few real Christians and I believe he tells us no more than the truth There are getting to be the usual number of denominations in this town. The baptist are of course much in the ascendency. A respectable presbyterean society can be found here as soon as a place of worship can be obtained. The protestant methodists and Cumberland presbyterians have places where they hold meetings. The Episcopal and Wesleyian methodists are represented here and there is a right smart chance of United brethren. Some of these sects are little known in the east
[written across first page] I am yet unable to give anything like a true statement of the murder case mentioned within.
Several men are arrested & bound over for trial for the murder. I say bound over. I should say committed. They are in jail
[in pencil] June 5 And still it rains. Wet wetter wetest
Letter 9 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Mrs. Caroline Grant
Friday morn, Aug 24th, 1866
Tis with a trembling hand & a trembling heart, that I write this morning. I don't know exactly what to say, or rather how to begin. what I have to say. I am feeling very happy & contented this morning despite all the trembling, for I learned last night that I am loved by one of noblest and best of men. It is a perfect mystery to me how he can love me. but then he does love me & that is enough. he desires that we be engaged soon. but I want to ask your consent of course, and he also wished me to. Dear me! I havent told who it is, but you know of course: Mr. Burr [Almon Burr]. I did not have a long enough time to talk with him last eve to know concerning his future, but I am sure it will be all right. O Mother! I <wh> wish you knew him. he is so good. Only I dont see how he can love poor, wicked, weak Abbie. Please write immediately & tell me if you are willing that I should engage myself to him.
Yours with love
Abbie. [Abigail E. Grant Burr]
Letter 10 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Napert, Sept. 3. 1866.
My dear Caroline,
I would not ask you to write much. But in the course of a week, will you inform me of yourself, & your own (still learned to you,) three dear ones. Tell me of Mrs. Burton. I have heard nothing of her since I last saw you in May. In what respects is your father Grant in a different state, than when I was with you? What does he enjoy? What are his tho'ts upon? Who reads to him the words of Jesus, & other scripture?
Since recovering from Erysipelas, which kept me in after arr. here. I have been pretty well some of the time tho not strong.
I had a note from J Grant after writing a few lines to him from Mill Brook. For weeks I have not heard how he has been. -- Prof. Cowles told me something of your Abbie -- who seems to be doing well.
In love to Marcus, & to you all, truly yours.
Z P. Bannister [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister]
Letter 11 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Flemington [New Jersey] Sept 27 1866
This is fair week and in the middle of the day the store is almost as quiet as Sunday and our streets are almost deserted of the mass that come to see the show -- Yesterday we had a very heavy rain and every one thought our fair which commenced on tuesday would be nothing but to day is remarkably fine and though the ground is muddy the turn out is tremendous exceeding any former fair and they will hold over one day longer than they intended to at first Sam is going this afternoon and the others will not go until tomorrow on account of the wet ground --
They have a fine show of cattle, Horses, Sheep -- Fancy articles & many other things. We send nothing for exhibition. Have not had any frost yet and if it stays away a few days longer we will have the best crop of buckwheat that we have had for several years and the fall pasture is remarkably fine --
We thought it best for Sam not to come now as his french and German lessons had commenced again and the other school begins first of october and we were not prepared to have him start immediately. Hope he and E will have some opportunities to visit each other yet I did not write you about E as to our store because things were about as they were when I last wrote upon that subject. We have two boys on hand at present and have changed somewhat in having boys to commence upon outside work. -- If Edward can find place to suit him think as a general rule it holds good that young men do better when they are with comparative strangers than with any of their connections or intimate friends as far as business goes and I know of others that think so --
We would have taken Edward at anytime that we had an opening and if he is not satisfied where he is and we are so situated as to want a hand will remember him and I would say to him that if he goes into the store he must put his whole mind into the business and not think he has too much to do and to do something that he does not like but must conquer all such pride and be earnest and polite towards all customers though he will have his patience severely tried sometimes --
I have never learned to like the business thoroughly perhaps from not commencing young enough and from having such a taste for out door life Don't see why Erastus cannot make an effort and come and see us at least once --
I think his Mary would enjoy the trip and if E does not bring her I shall try and persuade her to come down with me the next time that I come -- Wish that I had time to make a visit your way I do so enjoy the beauties of the country but must deny myself -- thought at one time that Mary would go but guess she has given it up. for this fall --
Little Carrie has a present of a doll from Miss Jacot and is very happy with it, dressing it in nice new dresses that Minnie & Miss Jacot have made for it, and putting it to ben &c -- We are all well except Mary who has turned farmer and sometimes over does the matter nothing serious but worries some of the life and spirits out of her self and dont know any better. I love a little elegant leisure and take it whenever it comes handy without my conscience being disturbed believing it is right, useful and desirable and that in the end we can do as much for our sel[v]es & others
Yours truly will kind remembrances to all
W Hill [William Hill]
Letter 12 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Romeo, Mich. [Michigan]
Nov. 13, 1866.
Mrs. Caroline Grant
Mill Brook, Ct [Connecticut]
Yours of the 4th inst. has been on hand a few days, but as my answer to it depended on the answer I should make the Church, I have not felt able to reply before now. If I should make my home in Colebrook I should be glad to do anything for Eddie that might be possible, i.e. if I had my family there -- otherwise I hardly see how I could do him justice. But all reasoning about the matter is out of place, for I shall decline the invitation, & consequently can do nothing.
I have felt not a little tried by the necessities that <that> like so many chains hold my arms and limbs fast, so that I cannot do the thing that I would. It would be pleasant to be near Father near Cousins Orville, Martin, &c. -- also near so many acquaintances; <but> and moreover to do something for the Church at Colebrook, or at least attempt to -- but I cannot bring matters about so as to open the way. There are many reasons; but the situation of our Son Willie seems to be one that is sufficient to settle all. We cannot leave him and go East, and we cannot remove him at any expense that is within our reach. I have tried to find a way in which this difficulty may be met, but cannot.
There are other reasons, but I need not mention them. The insignificance of the salary is not, however, one of them -- for my taking pupils or in some other way I believe I could make it meet the wants of our household -- though it is not enough in itself. We need $250 a year for Willie, and any untoward event would raise the expense very much probably double it -- and if we are to keep John at school, you know how much more that will require.
I think your best way is to send Eddie to Flemington, though I cannot of course decide. I think that kind of school will be nearer what he needs -- moreover his Uncle there (if he shows a good scholar -- and otherwise faithful and capable) will surely find some occupation for him in time -- a thing he will never find in Winchester, I fear. Moreover I think the influence of Mary & her husband will be good upon him, probably quite as good as that of the school at Winchester.
My love to Father & Marcus. I am glad you can stay with them -- though sorry that there is occasion for you longer to live without <a real> your family around you. Still Father's is a home to which any of your folks can come
I remain here for a month longer at least -- then I presume I shall go to help John awhile -- all uncertain however.
Your aff. brother
Letter 13 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Abigail Cowles Grant to Caroline Burr Grant]
[on stationary imprinted: Home for the Friendless, Chicago, Ill.
Rev. E.M. Boring, Secretary,
Residence, 290 West Madison Street.
Mrs. J. Grant, Matron,
911 Wabash Avenue.]
Nov. 24, 1866
Dear Sister Caroline,
Your valued letter was duly received. -- I am a poor correspondent, partly because I get so little time to attend to any thing out side of this House, & it may be partly for want of thoroughness. I have a great many business letters to write wh. takes time, and the days pass so swiftly, it seems as if they were shorter than ever --
My husband came Thurs. & I have sent for John to spend thanksgiving with us next thurs. It is five years since we were together on that day. I do not expect to see as much of either as I did like to, but the father & son will have a little visit. I should like John to be much more <like> with his father, he always is benefited & will be increasingly so, cd [could] he be more with him --
and he has been taught from a child to deny himself for others, to not feel that any amount of waiting upon, on care was a burden -- his experience in Cairo did him great good -- and his teachers in Beloit had more fear from his kind social tendencies, than any thing else -- I have no fear in that line, but cultivate the genialities, and wish him to copy those things in all that tend virtuously that way. not for his pleasure only, but especially for his usefulness -- sweetness, -- kind courtesy, give any person advantage, and should be thought of in early life, & developed.
Do you tire of my writing so much about John? Forgive me, for he has been my thought & care so much ever since his dear father left for army life, that I am more interested in every thing pertaining to him -- His father has always feared he was too full of fun, to little inclined to thorough study &c. &c. but he begins to appreciate him, and I hope will him long enough to be proud of him -- I am anxious for J. to sing well, & he will try ere long.
excuse this co...
Tues. morn. Dec. 4. John came Thurs. morn. & returned Fri. P.M. We had a very pleasant little visit with him. He went to his school district Sat. so as to be ready to open his school Mond. He expects to acknowledge God in his first efforts by opening his school daily with prayer -- I am anxious all his energies, & powers be used for Christ, not in a constrained service, but as a cheerful loving spirit doing every thing faithfully & perfectly for the Master.
A friend who came to this town in a very feeble state on Mond. last, died Tues. night -- She was laid on my lounge her choice, when she was brot in, & died there. Her sister was, -- is & with us but she is feeble, & I have had much care [extud?] -- We have the funeral from this house this morn. at 10. My husband officiating. I gave up my rooms, & we have a room above in the 3d story for a few days, all helps to disarrange & delay my pen, you will excuse it I trust. I am so glad you concluded to stay with Father this winter -- I know it must be lonely for you to be away from Da[n]iel. I know too such things can be borne, for I have to endure, because it seems best. The end justifies the means, -- I suppose --
I cannot tell you how my heart leaps for joy at the thought of going to Colebrook to live: just to think of being where I could see you, all often, & revive the delightful associations of youth. O, it was too great a joy for me even to be permitted to have -- It is too much
[written along side] holiday, too much freedom from care for me, well, let it be as God wills. He knows how I hoped we could go there & if He makes not the way plain I submit to Him --
Am very glad the clothes are a comfort to father -- wish I could do more for him, and Marcus -- I thank God often that He inclines you to be there with them, and so kindly care for them. We all feel grateful to you and hope you will be rewarded for all your labor of love --
I am glad Abby is with sister E. if it is pleasant for her. I presume they all enjoy it -- Some day I hope we shall be housekeeping, & she can come & see us.
I do not suppose the luxury of a quiet life is best for me, else it wd not be so far from me all the time -- It is too good to hope for, to go to Colebrook & renew the acquaintances of my early days Life has been so stern & stirring, that I scarce look forward to any thing else -- My cares here are numerous & varied, but I like them, and only feel them a burden, when very tired --
Mr. E. Aiken died very suddenly, tho' he had been sick several days -- I saw him a week before his death, he was sitting up, & hoped in a few days to go to the Bank -- I feel as if I had lost a brother. he was been exceedingly kind to me, has often counseled in business matters -- I am no half thro, tho' paper's used up.
[written along side of first page] I wish you wd write often, I will answer as soon as I can. I am over prest with care, but never forget my friends, or cease to want to hear from them -- I wish I could do more for them. I cannot bear to think of father or Marcus wanting any thing they cannot have. After all their toils they ought to be free from care.
Joel sends love to you all. My love to you all & all the friends every where --
Let us keep better acquainted dear Sister, write as soon as you receive this, & I will answer soon --
It is only 14 min. to the funeral so I must close yr aff. sister
How I wish I cd talk with you a week --
Letter 14 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Susan Jenkins Boyd Grant to Caroline Burr Grant]
Canton Nov 25, 1866.
My dear Sister,
It is a long time since I recieved your kind and very acceptable letter giving us the particulars of the illness and death of our dear mother, but having just mailed a letter to you, when I recieved yours which would be essentialy an answer to yours I did not deem it necessary to write immediately and the time has slipped till now and it is still unanswered. Since that time I have heard from you indirectly several times, but it is a matter of much regret to me that my husband does not keep up a correspondence with his brothers, but he has long since ceased to write any but business letters, all such he answers promptly, but writes no others. I think this maybe in part owing to his business requiring that he should write so many letters. His health is very good, his duties at the bank are very light and he has much liesure time. He has prepared a lecture this summer which he read at the anniversary of the Young Mens Literacy Association, and after wards to a few who wished to hear it and has since been invited to read it at Salem and Youngstown. Our Methodists Baptist ministers though not willing to endorse it all yet complimented it highly.
We are but a small family now Libbie Mary & Martha having gone from us, though we have a Miss Frey a music teacher who has been with us nearly two years. She is a niece of Mr Calhoun the Missionary to Mt Lebanon. Jennie saw Abbie at Oberlin this summer and hoped to hear from her after her return but her letter written just after her return still remains unanswered and we do not even know where she is now.
I hear from Mrs Shurlleff that her mother has gone to Iowa but does not seem much better. How sad it is that her mind is in such an unhappy state especially as she has no daughter near her to look after her
We have heard nothing of Joel but that he was east in the early summer Where is his family and what are his plans for the future? Of John I learn nothing satisfactory. I judge from what I do hear that an operation seems desirable and yet circumstances make it doubtful if it is expedient. Can you tell me anything about him. I do not like to write and ask as they always seem to shrink from speaking of it.
I would like very much to see you all again. It would seem very strange to be there without mother but I would like to see you and father and Marcus but between the interests and the cash and at the wish I shall be likely to do as the ass between two bundles hay keep still and go nowhere.
The last that I heard from Daniel he was in Kansas is he still there? and do you purpose going there in the spring? If so you may some time visit my daughters in the west.
Jennie is teaching a school of about 20 little children in the conference room of the Baptist Church and is studying German at the same time and is pretty busy all of the time. Boyd attends school but is still not at all inclined to study.
We are making arrangements for building a new Presbyterian Church next summer, The sewing society connected with the church has laid by $1000, made within less than two years for the purpose of furnishing the church when completed. The Methodists held a Centennary meeting here a few weeks since at which recieved donations from the congregation to the amount of $13,000 for the educational fund. Last week they had a jubilee for the Sabbath School at which the reports were read, stating that the amount raised in the Sabbath School since Sept was $500. This however is our richest congregation, and the liberality of other congregations is not to be infeered from it. Our town is growing steadily and is constantly increasing its manufacturing interests. With much love to all friends and hoping some time to see you here I remain your affectionate sister
Letter 15 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Boston, Dec, 9th /66 (Sun Eve ng)
My Dear Niece,
Mary, Husband Child, arrived home in safety the evening of the same day they left you Mary was very tired indeed & I took care of the child till 12 oclock that night & then was obliged to let her go to her mother They are both refreshed & are feeling quite natural again Mary thinks Baby behaves much better at home than she did when visiting She commenced walking the day after she got home the day she was 15 months old & now she walks almost constantly all her waking hours sits down in the middle of the floor & raises her self up alone & seems very happy to be able to walk. I take care of the dear little one nights now to try & get her warned nights again. I had got her about waned before she went away, but she had to be indulged while absent to keep her as quiet as possible. How much labor & care there is in bringing up children! No end to thought & care for them <to the> so long as we life, -- they enjoyed their visit all around very much (& at a cost of only about $30.) I know <it> thier visit must have inconvenienced you just at the time you were fixing off Edward in addition to your many other cares & labors but you are just the one to bear <the> an interruption I am sorry it so happen[e]d. I fear you over exerted your self on thier account, I hope it has not made you sick. Mary said their was doubt in your mind whether to have Ed,rd go to Flem. [Flemington, New Jersey] or <some or> to another place she thought you had concluded to let him go to F. she said you asked her opinion & wondered what I would think best for him & you. Her mentioning this shows me you still retain that earnest desire to know & do what is for the best
It may be pleasant to you to know that I <approve> think I should let him go to F. & go to school this winter It may be his last opportunity to be in school & I think you & he do well to avail yourselves of it, Probably Mary would not have sent for him if she did not want him. Let him have this winter for study & the rest of life is enough to devote to the more arduous duties of life Should his future lot be hard it might give him comfort to think of his early opportunities & perhaps it will be pleasanter to him to think that this winter he could attend school rather than to have worked out for a trifling remuneration (11th) I wrote thus far last Sabbath evening when I commenced I thought I would write a little & send it next mail but I found I could not write just what I wanted to say How I wish I could see you & have a good talk with you but that is a vain wish more than likely as not we shall never speak together again It is a sad thought to me. Mary said you spoke as though you might go away out West in the spring I hate to have you go but perhaps it is best for you & your family I can see no very strong inducement for you to stay in New England as you have no settled home here to cling to, & <cannot be very near your friends> when your Father Grant passes away as he soon must then you will be comparatively free from New-England if you choose. As your children are not as yet settled for themselves you can take them & go where you think best. I feel it would be much more difficult for us to move now Mary is married than it was before as we should not want to leave her & family & it might not be convenient for them to go with us, Dear Carrie How much I want to see you, I wonder if you could not come here once more if you should conclude to go West I wish you could, You will certainly go & visit Mary one more I wish you could be with her more
I think you have never told me how Daniel came out with his coal oil investment. Wen I was there to see you he had invested a $100. in a coal oil company, & afterwards I suppose he went in more extinsively else where Did he get out of it without loosing his investment I hope he did, but we read that there was great fraud practiced by some oil company's I thought of your husband & wondered if he were a victim.
Received a letter from you when Sister E. was here last June & I meant to have answere[d] it long ago but could not. It is certainly a mystery to myself that I have so little time for reading & writing <I cannot> of late, I feel that there is something that needs to be done or else I am so sleepy evenings that I neither rea[d] or write I wish I could live an eseir [easier] life & I wish you & Mary could but I suppose we shall always have enough to do. I think we are all too prudent & economical to ever get along easily & get through with work I wish we could let things go & not try to save all so much as we do but that is one of our peculiarities which is not the worst trait a person might have You asked in your letter how we are getting along with farming. I have nothing very encouraging to say about it Husband & I are heartily sick of farming & we both wish we were out of it but still we stay on We may sell & may not & that is about all I can say about it, I suppose you are about willing to settle down on a farm again, Well if a person has got to work all the time I dont know as it is any worse to work at farming than at a great many other things I would as lief make butter & cheese, as to take boaders. What I want is to get so situated that I need not feel that I must work every minute or something will go behind or be wasted After working so many years as I have I should be glad to have only husband & self to do for & have some time to rest but I fear I never shall get so arranged that there will be any rest for me so long as I am able to work
I must try & get this into the office to night We are having quite a snow storm this evening which I think is the second one of the season I enjoyed the cake you sent very much
Amory & May enjoyed thier visit with you very much & send love The carpet sweeper is just fixed & we expect it will render good service & consider it quite an acquisition particularly at this time as I took the opportunity of putting down an old carpet in our West room in thier absence which I feared might not last till spring in credit Perhaps by using the carpet it will last, Baby is very happy in walking & sometimes almost runs, She has slept by my bed ever since she came home till tonight her mother is going to see if she can get through the night with her withou[t] nursing her. I shall miss the little darling tonight, Husband joins with me in love to you. Remember me to Deacon Grant & Marcus. Cannot you write soon. I suppose you cannot, you have a good many to write to, & you must have a great deal to do & ma[n]y cares
We are all well S.J.W. [Susan Jane Benton Wallis]