Letter to Lewis Perkins
of Oxford, Oxford Co, Maine
from Dennis Perkins
Letter was transcribed by
David C. Young,
Caroline A. Young &
Elizabeth K. Young
PO. Box 152
Danville, Maine 04223
from a photo copy courtesy of:
7 Harris St.
Auburn, Maine 04210
The Letter in 1849
Sandiago Pacific CA (dated) 4 Oct 1849
Ever dear Brother,
You will be greatly surprized to hear from me here at this late hour of
the day and in fact I am myself seven months instead of three as we
inpected when we left New York.
O you do not know what a time we have had. Brout three thousands miles,
sixteen hundred more than we expected or dreamed of we have seen some
rough & pretty hard times. I can tell you in all pretty well satisified
Only think of it seven months to be out exposted to all sorts of weather
from freezing point up to blood heat often, without water for days together.
I leave you to judge wheather it has been a pleasent trip to us. I have been
sick nearly four weeks after that I lamed my knee and have been lame
more than three weeks my knee is quite lame now, I have to go on cruches
now. I think will get well in a week or two, my health otherwise has been
very good. O how sadly disappointed I have been, I expected to have been
nearly ready to go back.
But am here five hundred miles from Sanfrancisco, I expect to go on by
water from here. I saw several gentlemen yesterday from Sanfrancisco & the
mines going on in the steamer their reports are not so flatering
as reports were before we left. I shall not stay longer than till next year. If I
O you do not know how curious I have been to hear from you. O I have longed
to get where I could hear from you and write you. I sincerely hope you are
all well and enjoying yourselves well. I wish you to enjoy yourselves if I do write.
O I expect to be unhappy & discontented while I remain here. I shall return
next year if I live. O I want to see you all very much indeed. It seems an age
since I left. O how often I think of you. I must bid you one and all good bye
and close for the steamer leaves in a short time. And I have an obli(gation) to write
to my wife again. I bid you all a hearty good bye. Further brother and sisters I shall write
you again from Sanfrancisco, write me there, tell all the news
Give my regards to all who inquire for me. I should like to write you all day but
the steamer will not wait for me one moment, hope we shall be permitted to meet again in
this world if not let us meet in heaven. Farewell for the present
Your affectionate brother,
D. S. Perkins
(Dennis S. Perkins)
Open letter from Sandy Spiller
My name is Sandy Spiller. Dennis Perkins, was my
great, great grandfather
on my father's side. Dennis did make it to San Francisco & then back
to Maine. He apparently did well enough in California to start a printing company in Mechanic
Falls, ME after he came home. He also had enough to buy land in Mechanic Falls to build a
house for himself & eventually 3 other houses on the land, one for each of his 3 children.
He married Alice Jane Bucknam on July 10, 1862. His son Winfred Lewis Perkins, father to
Amy Josephine Perkins, who was mother to Edward Winfred Spiller, who was my father.
We don't have a lot of documentation of Dennis' trip to CA. Family lore has it that he stopped
in Salt Lake City, UT on his was to CA, married & became a Mormon. As he refers to having
to write to his wife in the letter to his brother Lewis, it would seem that the marriage did take
place, however when he came back to ME, he came alone. As far as we know, again from
family lore, he never went back for her & never divorced her.
Family history also says that Dennis bought land in San Francisco that he sold to a Mr. Fargo,
which supposedly became the location of the first Wells Fargo office.
We do know that he came back to ME with at least 1 gold nugget in his possession when
he returned to ME. He had it made into a carved head of a black walking stick.
The walking stick was long ago broken but my mother has the carved head with a very
short piece of the broken stick.
Another point of interest in our family history is that the Perkins family has been traced
directly back to Myles Standish & John Alden. Myles' son Alexander married John's daughter
Sarah. They had a daughter Sarah Standish who married Benjamin Soule. They had a son
Ebenezer Soule who married Susanna Coomer. They had a daughter Deborah Soule who
married Josiah Perkins, Jr. They had a son Joseph Perkins who married Sarah (Susanna)
Cushman. They had a son Oliver Perkins who married Sarah (Sally) Elms. They were the
parents of Dennis Perkins.
On the Spiller side of the family, my father's grandfather Josiah Goodhue Merrill Spiller fought
in the Civil War. Most people my dad's age could say their great grandfathers had fought in the
Civil War but his father & grandfather were both fairly older when their sons were born. Josiah
was 43 when his son Edward A. Spiller (my grandfather) was born. Edward A. was 52 when my
dad, Edward W. Spiller was born.
If you have any other questions you can reach me through email at KayeTi@AOL.com or through
the mail at:
399 Court St.
Auburn, ME 04210
Thanks for your interest
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© 1997 David C. Young
Maine Author, David C. Young
P.O. Box 152, Danville, Maine 04223