Letter from William Geddes to John Geddes, August 5, 1825

Author: William Geddes

Date: August 5, 1825

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Londonderry August the 5th 1825

Dear Brother [John Geddes] I received your letter of the 30th of May on the 18th of June and agreable to your request delayed writing untill I received your letter of July 3rd which came to hand on the 30th of July. The delay suited me very well as we had pretty throng times in June, spring having commenced so early together with an excefsive drought that it brought hay-making and harvest on us early and almost at once. We commenced mowing on the 11th of June and harvesting on the 23rd earlier to the best of my recollection than ever we did of this however you are a competant judge. Our grafs was nothing light and short owing to the drouth and fell far behind our calculations, the field next [to] Campbellstown was scarce worth mowing, the weather for hay-making was just the reverse of last year very fine. The grain however made ample and ame[n]ds, for we have the greatest crop of Wheat and Rye taken together that ever was raised on the place the wheat at any rate is the greatest. We have 993 dozens of Wheat and 561 of Rye. The oats was not good we will have but about 200 bushels Hands was 50 cts. per day hay-making and harvest cost $52.62 1/2 cts. harvest lasted just 2 weeks. The drought this season has exceeded any heretofore known in this country, I was obliged to quit ploughing in the latter end of May for about 8 days, the we[a]ther was so very hot and the ground of such an adamantine [very hard; unbreakable; unyielding] hardnefs that it was almost impofsible to plough. We received rain in the beginning [of] June that enabled me to plough and benefited the grain very much I have still about 12 acres to break up, of tough ground that I think would take your mighty plough and 8 oxen to tare up without rain. The Corn is about entirely witherd up we wont have as much as will fatten our hogs. I am very well pleased with your plan of operations in Michigan and was very glad to hear that Robert had no difficulty in getting his money as well as his being so well pleased with the new country as his great purchases seem to indicate. The distance between your location and that of Robert’s is not very convenient (for a partnership) Your manner of house keeping is no doubt disagreable to you as not being used to it but you ought both to be satisfied with it at least for a few years, for the marriage of either of you will likely be a difsolution of the Partnership which at present I think is advantageous to both. What I am to do about my money or when I shall steer for that far famd country of Michigan I am wholly undetermind I have not asked for my money yet because I cannot see how or when Sawyer can pay it. You must be perfectly aware that for me to sue him for it before Isabel is of age would be the greatest folly imaginable of course it is perfectly optional with him whether he pays me or not he is as compleatly fortified as if he were insolvent

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What father is going to do since his action about the settlement of his executorship has been decided against him he has not informed me this much I know he will be involved in considerable difficulties He will be obliged to continue in the administration of grandfathers estate, because the decision of the supreme court will oblige the persons articuled to pay the costs out of their own pockets and consequently it will be the only method to save himself I. McFadden’s action is the 27th on the list, August term I think there is not chance of a trial this term All I have heard of cousin John more than you have is very little. William the Printer was with us on the 26th of June and had heard nothing more of him since he left Pittsburgh. When William stoped with us he was on his road from Philadelphia having been there bargining with the Publisher of a Religious newspaper entitlled the Philadelphian, he has entered into a kind of Partnership with the Proprietor and is to manage the printing part of the establishment and is to receive 37 1/2 cts for every one of his subscribers to the Carlisle adviser that adheres to him and so much of the Profits, – I dont know. William is now what he ought to be nothing but a Printer he was in high spirits about his ba[r]gain when I mentioned Michigan he said he would not exchange situations!!! Cousin James was in Carlisle the last I heard of him. Mr Weakly was down seeing us shortly after you left this who informed us of the marriage of Dr John P. Geddes to a Mifs Catherine I McCloy of Fannettsburgh it to[ok] place the day following She is something older than John and is reckoned a beauty. The doctor has built an addition to his house for John to live in. of John McAllen I have heard nothing Alexander Graydon and family are well but not doing very much speculating a little here [and] there. John Allen’s family have removed to the state of Ohio two of the girls came to see us sometime before they left this country and father gave them 5 dollars Robert Snodgrafs has better health at present than formerly and still unmarried attends church seldom Hugh Wilson is still at home and unhealthy. James Wilson is well The[y] talked of marriage betwixt him and Rachel I hear no more of Samuel the College boy returned home in the spring and is now going to school in Paxton to Mr. Cummings and I think will not return to college, you would like to know the effects of his college campaign this I can scarcely tell you but I think his conduct will shortly it he has had one spree at Middletown with doctor Henderson and about a dozen others where the brandy fly. of the Leaving of a college to go to a private school you may draw your own conclusions The Union Canal is carried on rapidly and bids fair to be compleate in 2 or 3 years the engineers have laid it out from the summit level to Middletown and it is taken by contractors for its excavation as far as James Wilsons a great nu[m]ber of hands are at it but not a sufficiency

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B.B. was on his tip toes making great calculations of what money there was to be made talked at first of taking a half a mile to dig through his place but lazinefs prevented him and I think proved a benefit to him for once [?] then went into the boarding line and boarded the hands on one section for about two months at 1.50 per week but they proved troublesome and lowsy [totally repulsive; contemptible] had frequent scuffles with them at present he has none they havin[g] erected a cabin. Mr B manages much as he used to do has purchased a dearborn [light 4-wheeled wagon used in country districts in parts of the U.S.] at $60 and had a hand hired for some time at $8 per month and rides about in style sick and lazy at home and a gentleman abroad B.B. relations from Union County flocked down sometime after old Samuel death and your departure from this, one and all as if the old man left a chest of gold to be distributed amongst them. Conduct perfectly charicteristick. Their several fortunes as far as I know is B.B. is to get the place lock stock and barrel except some household furniture that the old woman is to get and Reed [?] is to be sold the widow is to get $200 beside her living Nelly Wilson is to [get] 50 pounds at the end of 10 years Martha, Ann, and Matilda are each to receive 8 dollars Eliza $500 in yearly payments paid first Sarah. $400 paid also in $100 dollar payment after Eliza is paid Polly 100 pounds. Simonton has to refund 100 pound Samuel and Isabel McClure each $80 at the end of 11 years fathers children 26 each as the[y] severally come of age. The Cathcarts and McCormicks girls are all living in single blefsednefs and Isabel McClure and are all well Samuel McClure helped us throug[h] hay making harvest is well and is at present waiting on this letter so you must excuse blunders. You neglected to inform us of the trades that are most likely to be profitable in Michigan. Andrew McClure is got to the state of Ohio as he writes and is at cincinnati at present and sayes he is well pleased with the country. As to my modesty about knowing further particulars of Michigan you must excuse for I am in haste. You will please however to inform me about the missionaries that are in your country you did not inform me how much you got for your horse which i think something too reserved but if it is under 65 dollars you need not I want a compleat exposition of the word Michigan for this reason that I was always puzzled to pronounce it The French Inhabitant manner of pronouncing it let me have We are all well at present

To John Geddes William Geddes