Letter From William Geddes to John Geddes, November 4, 1829

Author: William Geddes

Date: November 4, 1829

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Londonderry Nov. 4th 1829

Dear Brother [John Geddes] I have delayed writing an answer to your letter so long that you doubtlefs think it was not receved and lest you should [be] under that imprefsion write the second time I have to write this, without; scarcely the time. I have been disappointed in getting into a mill at any reasonable rate although I applied at between forty and fifty in the counties of Lancaster Dauphin and Cumberland and it not suiting my circumstances to go to Virginia or New York where I might have been disappointed as well as here with double the cost. The millers that I applied to were not willing to give more than seven and some of them but six dollars per month and gave as a reason that they could get hands in their own neighbourhood in the winter at that rate; which I believe to be the case; as there is in every section of the country in that season of the year idle hands who will work for little or nothing rather than go idle. The reason of my not writing as soon as I usually do was my not being settled in any place and when I did get into my present employment which is school teaching I did not know whether I should get sufficient encouragement to warrant my continuance at it; or whether I could content myself in such a businefs or not. But I am at present determined to spend the winter at it if my subscribers are satisfied with me. We have had a cool summer with tolerable abundant crops of grafs and grain. The grafs in fact was never better in this country it having always a suffeciency of moisture to nourish it. The Oats and Corn crops very good and the potatoes turned out better than ever was known. The Election is over and decided by a large majority against the Anti-masons; about 26000. Philadelphia city and county gave Wolf the mason 10000 of a majority Ritner having but about 500 votes altogether. And old Northampton gave Wolf 4000. and all the Eastern counties where the Philadelphian interest predominates gave him handsome majorities. Chester gave 58 of a majority to Ritner, Dauphin 418, Lebanon 513, Lancaster about 1700. York Cumberland, Perry Mifflin centre gave majorities to Mr Wolf. Washington Ritners own county gave him but 181 of a majority and the rest of the western counties did not vote so unanomously as formerly. There was a variety of causes that conspired to put down the Anti mason candidate the Philadelphians undoubtedly voted against Ritner least that he might be opposed to their great canal scheme and the adjoining Counties too and that with an unexampled unanimity – giving Wolf a majority of 20000

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Our township was as unanimous for the Anti-masonic candidate as the Philadelphians were for Mr Wolf; giving Mr Ritner out of 212 votes 176. The Federals and Democrats, Jackson and Adams men voted; that one would have thought that such parties never existed. The principal Wolfmen of our township were, Kelly Kettering, Sawyer Haak and father I and him voting against other. Your old acquaintances are all well as far as I know. Hugh Wilson and sifsters have removed to Franklin county a month ago. Hugh followed droving in partnership with Samuel Bechtol of spring creek: they dealt in lean cattle and sheep; but I understand cleared nothing. James Wilson has a man living with him that farms the place on the thirds and he has been dealing on the canal a little: he bought up some grain of all kinds and boated it down and brought up plaster and salt; and speaks largely of his profits. There is no prospects of his getting married, it appears as if he had lost the little esteem the ladies had for him. Doctor called a few minute at our house one day a month ago but I had not the pleasure of seeing him. He lives up the Juniatta and still pofsefses the faculty of swelling things; he says he has more businefs than he can attend to; the actual amount of his profits i forget but if the amount of them is the half he will soon retrieve his squandered fortune. Samuel McClure is with us at present; he came here 10 days ago sick and looked very bad but is nearly recruited [recovered] and intends to return to Mifflin County as soon as the sale of his Uncles place is past; if they can sell it; it is to be sold on next saturday. Samuel has been living in that county all the past summer having been employed in store keeping droving and going to school and intends to go on to school this winter and in the spring to go to Cambria county where he has an offer of a place in a store at 12 dollars a month or take up school in the neighbourhood where he lives; where he says schoolmasters get 2 doll. per quarter. He went through Arithmetick and Mensuration of Superficies and Solids and intends to acquire a knowledge of surveying. You may think this something strange but strange as it may seem he has made considerable improvement or rather progrefs in the acquisition of knowledge. Adam Sheller has went to new york to study to be a doctor. Jane Sharon went with her brotherinlaw to Ohio. Samuel Karper as purchased 200 acres of land in Mifflin County at 10 dollars per acre If I recollect right and intends to move next spring. The Governor has called the Assembly for to provide money to fulfill the engagements of the state; he not being able to borrow money on the conditions that the

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legislature had authorised him to [torn] what the consequences may be if they cannot borrow money is hard to [torn] taxes; but I cannot say; it will be soon decided however; and I [torn] Philadelphians will get their own told them; for they were the prime movers of the whole canal scheme and promised before the state did embark in it that they would find the money but now, when the state is completely engaged in the businefs; the[y] refuse to to [sic] lend their money at least not on the conditions the first loans were made. The most rascally conduct it is, that could be immagined – they wish to reap double profits; the profit they will have when the produce of the country all goes to their market and the profit of lending to the state money on their own conditions because the state at present must have money to fulfil her engagements with; and where is it to come from but from the purses of those honorable city patriots of the Sutherland school. Taxes dare not be resorted to, or they ruin the whole canal system. The Anti masonic excitement in my opinion has been in favour of the canal system; my reason is this: it turned the thoughts of the people off the danger from considering on the dangerous consequences that was likely to result from carrying on the canal system to the extent the legislature had determined on without having a cent of money but what they borrowed and with this refusal of the Philadelphians to to [sic] lend money at the usual rate of interest also staring them in the face – this was never mentioned and perhaps not thought of but by a few which appears strange. It is getting too dark to write I must therefore bid farewell we have been all well since I wrote.

To John Geddes Wm Geddes