To Charles Atkinson from John and Ann Folk
This letter was found in a home on Cain Ridge in Salem Township when the house was being remodeled. Originally published in The Navigator Sept 1988.
Written on the back of the letter is "Levenworth City Cancis Territory."
Dear Brother in law
I take my pen in hand to inform you that we are all well at present and hopeing that these few lines may find you in the same state of health. Give Rudy and Mary our best respicts. We are a doing as well as could be expected [considering] the time we got here. I wish you was out here we could make money fast here. Wages is a dollar and a half a day carpenter work is 2.50, 3.00 dollars a day. This is the best time to come passage is lower now than any other time for the Masura river is high and in the fall is low. So I would advise you to come right away if you do come ship to st louis and then to levensworth city. I live six miles out in the country. When you get to st louis, just ship to leavensworth city nothing more at present but still remaining yours, just write to me right away and don't neglect.
John Folk and Ann Folk
From Ann Hartshorn to James Hartshorn
Originally published in The Navigator June 1990 and shared by Eva Jean Hartshorn who had received the copy from Derick Hartshorn.
July 17th 1839
Dear Sone I again take up my pen to write to you in anser to your letter dated June the 12th 1838. I hope you will excuse me for not writing soonertho I am yet alive and so that I can set up and go in and out the house with crutches. My hand is unsteady to write myself and therefore I have not wrote and as I have stated that the rest of the family is well, and hope that yours is also well. You speak of concilations to the eflicted in the word of god. It is by realization of his word that I have hope in this life for he hoo has said blessed arethey that do his commandments that they may have write to the tree of life and enter in threw the gates into the Sity and by realizing God's word I find that tho every one has been ever so grate a siner that they can by obedience be moved free from the same for paul says sixth chapter 11th verse but god be thanked that you ware the servents of sin but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine is it is highly proble that we difer in sentiments of religion but we find that obey God threw a principal of love to God and his laws you want to know when I joined Society and when you get religion. I have not red in the scripters much about giting religion but by the preaching of gospel ____________ when babtism was used for the remission of sinsthey that gladly receive the word ware babtized and as it respects myself it is about seventeen years this somer since I received the word of god as the only roade of faith and practice and was babtised in the name of jesus crist for the remission of sins and the gift of the holy spirit. This is the most I can tell about my giting religion. I will now give you an account of the other afares of my life. I was born February the 13th 1778 in the state of Delaware Kent County married the 26th of October 1796 in the same and state the same. Now I will give the ages of my children
James Hartshorn was born October 6th 1797
Amos Hartshorn was born March 24th 1799
Martha Hartshorn was born February the 21st 1808
Jacob Hartshorn was born January the 23rd 1810
Samuel Hartshorn was born December the 29th 1811
Anne Hartshorn was born June the 7th 1814
John Hartshorn was born May the 12th 1816
Naomi Hartshorn was born May the 20th 1818
Jesse Hartshorn was born May the 3rd 1821
I am living in Samuel's place yet and Ann and Amos to. Andrew and Hannah is living with me. Jesse is working from home this somer and he expectes to do down the river this fall and he wants you if you write to let him no whether you are living where you did or where you are living now, so that he may call when he comes down. I have nothing more partickler to write but I would be glad to see you.
If you could come down possibly then I could converse more freely and partickerly upon different subjects so no more at present but remains efectionate mother until deth.
From Fleming Harrison
Originally published in July 1994 in The Navigator. The address appears to read: Mr. S. C. Varble, Osceola, Mississippy Co Ark.
February the 8 1859
Baresville Monroe Co Ohio
Dear sirs I take this present oportunty to in form you that we arrived there was nothing mutch happened us in our journey home only we had to keep a good look out on the account of our things and then we got our carpet sock stold at cairo and we did not get it any more my finger has not go right on my way up but I am about wel now eye found the mall well at home.
John Cowery [Bowery?] skiped on a steam boat at Cincinnati and is running on this river John sends on this river. John sends his best respects to you all. Bill hicks and John is at home and send their respects to you all. Bill says to tell Mart that Nancy is all right and John hickses girl is as fat as a butterball. there has been no bad weather here yet. We have about 4 inches of snow now. The wheat looks vary poor now and times is hard as usual eye have not seen or herd mutch noose to send you this time but eye will let you no more about things next time and as me and John was not vary well pleased with the way things turned up with mr keller and mr lunap kins before we started. I cant say whither we wil come thare or not it is oing to how they use me about what is comeing to me fir if they wil take this ad vantage of me fir a trifle eye don't want no dealings with them. You must excuse me fir not writing any more to you at this time. Be shure to anser this soon and let me no how you all are and how you are getting along. Nothing more at present abut my best respects to you all. I have not fir got your kindness to me when eye was thare sick.
To you all
From Mary Monroe Hendershot to Nicholas and Martha Monroe
Originally published in The Navigator in September 1990. Donated by Edwin Murphy. The Monroes were living near Captina Creek in Belmont County, Ohio. Mary Monroe married William Hendershot on 28 December 1837. In 1850 she and her family moved to Iowa.
August 24th A. D. 1851
Dear Father and Mother,
I now take my pen in hand to inform you that we are well except myself and babe. I am loosing my eyesight since I have come to this country and they are still getting worse. We had a very pleasant trip until we got to Saint Louis where three of our children were taken sick Sarah Evelyn and Barbary Jan. They were all taken with the diahrea but have all got well but Barbary Jane who has been better for a week past then she has been well since we have been in iowa. We were just eleven days from the time we left powhatan until we got to brother William's about one mile from here. We rented a house and some land from John McGlenn we got about 5 acres of oats and sowed which was very good, and we got 16 or 17 acres of corn planted but it all drowned out and it was so wet that we only got about 4 acres to grow for it rained for 3 weeks so much that the farmers could not get their corn planted unless they planted in the mud and some kept on planting until the fourth of July.
The des moines river was 9 or 10 feet higher than ever seen by white people and (there is some who have been here 25 years old Indian traders) it carried a number of houses, stables, cribs and carried nearly all the rails on the river bottoms, and it is supposed that 2 or __ thousand lodged in a price of timberland about 4 miles from here. Father I do not like this country very well. I would rather be back in Ohio. I often have wished that you and Elnor were here and me back in Ohio for you thought it was best for me to come to this country.
Dear Father I have seen many a lonesome hour since I have come out here. I would like to go back and see you and Mother very well and all the rest of my friends and acquaintances. Father, there is no meeting about here that I like as well as I do my own meetings. There is Methodist meetings here and I have been there four times but I cannot go for they dress so fine that I don't like to go among them for I cannot afford to dress like they do. Father I have seen a great end of trouble this summer and I have fretted myself for I don't think we can do as well here as we could in ohio. We had not much money when we started and we had to pay so much more than we expected. It cost us 53 dollars getting here and we found everything here high excepting corn. Father I will give you a sketch of the prices we have had to pay for things since we have been here. Flour 5 dollars per barrel, bacon 7 cts per lb, coffee 15 cts per lb, sugar 10 cts pr 1l, molasses 70 cts pr gallon and butter 8cts pr lb. We bought a yoke of cattle 5 years old and paid 43 dollars for them and a cow 11 dollars, a plow 8 ½ dollars. Father things being so high here this summer and I have had to live so hard makes me want to go back worse than I should. Flour being so high we have had to live on corn the most of the time since we have been here. Not being well and having to eat so much cornbread makes me want to come back where we can get things cheaper. This is not good wheat country grain is high now and I think it will be much higher. Brother William has not been up the country yet to buy land for our part our money is running so short that Father without you feel yourself able to do as you said and send me a little money. I don't think we can get any land in this country. Father I don't want you or mother to think hard of me for writing this but it is the truth. William did intend to have started up the country last week but his wife and Margaret were both taken sick with the fever but are now on the mend and will start as soon as they get well and if he buys land up the country and I stay in this country I would like to get near him.
If we cannot get land in this country I certainly will go back to Ohio for I would rather rent land in Ohio than stay and rent in here. Father I have doctored any for my eyes yet but I got a doctor to look at them and he said it was caused by me having a pain in my head the most of the time and my system being weak.
Dear Father and Mother I would like to see you once more. Nothing more at present but hope these few lines may find out all enjoying good health. And after my love to you both, give my love to my sister and brothers and all my friends.
From Michael Stine to Jesse Stine
Originially published in the October 1995 issue of The Navigator. This letter was written by Michael Stine the younger, of Perry Township, Monroe County, Ohio, to his son Jesse who was then living in Clinton County, Iowa. It was shared by Wilma Davis Stine.
Wilma Davis Stine noted that Mary Stine Cowell and husband had moved to Scotland County, Missouri. Eri Stine's wife was Sally Dye, daughter of James M. and Elizabeth Dye, had died October 1854 in Wayne County, Illinois.
June 7th 1855
A very raney day
Michael Stine to Jesse Stine
My beloved son, I take this opportunity to inform you that we are well at present through the Mercies of our God and wish these lines may find you enjoying the same Blessing.
We have had a very long cold winter and a great sievrity of food so that many cattle have died for want of food and we have had a very dry cold spring till of late. We have had some very refreshing rains. The what crops look tolably well and the oats and corn crops look well but the Meadoes and Pastures fields are but light.
Rufus and David are tending My farm and I have bought another farm last winter of about one hundred and twenty eight acres and a title adjoining it for twelve hundred and fifty dollars and have it all paid for and it is a good farm. Rufus had a spell of sickness in April of about three weeks. He talks of moving on the farm I bought after Harvest. Flour is selling from 8 ½ to ten dollars per barrol, wheat from 1.75 to 2 dollars per bushel, corn done dollar, oats fifty cents. Horses and mich cows verry high. Stock cattle Dull.
I have no record of John Stine's second marriage.
I want you to wright soon and let me know whears Andrew and Mary Cowell moved to if you know. The Children are all well here but I heard that Eri and Peter's wifes ware both sick.
I suppose you have hear that Eris wife is dead?
Give my respects to Phebe and all inquiring friends. I wish you to wright soon after you receive this. Nothing more at Present but Remains your affectionate father.
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