Letter From John Geddes to William Geddes, July 23, 1833

Author: John Geddes

Date: July 23, 1833

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Washtenaw, July 23rd 1833

Dear Brother [William Geddes]

I have deferred writing from time to time and had made out a short letter six days ago and sealed it up intending to send it as soon as possible: when a few hours after Mr Hawks brought a letter from Mr Ewers in which he informed us that Jane was quite sick and not expected to live She was confined on the 5th of July but had had a dysentery for some time before which they had tryed to stop but without affecting it: this dysentery still continued after her confinement and reduced her to the almost hopelefs state that Mr Ewers informed us of in his letter of the 16th He said that she might recover. We have heard nothing since we did expect we should have but have not. The first intellegence we receive of her I shall send you by a newspaper Jane has had three or four spells of sicknefs since she moved to Detroit I cant account for it in any other way than that she works too hard. The babe died the 10th of July. Isabel has been out to see us and staid five or six days with us and returned again to Detroit. She came shortly after you left this [here]. I charged her not to go to killing herself by hard work but to take the world easy There is no use in Bachelors and Maids, doing more than to keep moderately busy I am still hurryed on the Saw-mill or I should have wrote you a letter long ago I have commenced this after supper and intend to finish before I go to bed We received your letter full sooner than was expected. And was pleased to hear you had got along so well, so cheap, and so rapidly. The day I left you I arrived at Ypsilanti before sundown. A man was accidently shot that day about ten miles East of Ypsilanti. I was about two miles ahead of him when it happened all of going West. The man that shot him belonged to his company, and was letting back his percufsion, which slipped and the Rifle went off the ball pafsed through his body, and he died in about two hours. It is the first accident of the kind we have ever heard of in Michigan, and dont think it strange. As people generally feel quite antick [frolicsome] on their first arrival in the Country and flourish their guns with apparently as much indifference as if their could nothing bad happen because they feel so well: and as if man on such occasions was bullet proof. We had no rain here of any consequence until June and then nothing extraordinary. though sufficient to make the Oats and Corn look well and bid fair for good crops The people are busy harvesting I dont harvest any Wheat is pretty good. Robert gives .50 pr acre for cradling wheat


Wages for raking and binding .75 pr day the same for mowing and making hay. I am sorry you had not seen that Boals man. [In his letter of May 25th 1833 to John Geddes, William Geddes had reported that “One of the Miss Boals husbands’ called to see me when I was away and wanted to know something about Grandfathers estate…”] so as to hear what he has to say. I am curious to know. I dont think he can do anything. I dont think he will attempt to do anything. He may try to scare some money out of you. But he will fail in that. They are a mean set. And I would not flinch a hairsbreadth for them. After we have been wrong out of three fourths of our share and have received lefs than any of them. It seems there is a rascally kind of impudence somewhere there that would not only demand that pittance but would want a bounty besides. If that Boal man should call on you I wish [you] would let me know what he has to say: and what his plea: A man called on me eight days ago and said he would give 800 dollars for that 240 acres you own here if you would take it and pay the cash in hand. I told him I was going to write to [you] shortly and would enquire whether you would take it. I gave him little encouragement for I did not know whether you would sell on any terms. I thought it was a fair or high price all it was worth as Land now sells But if you ever think of living on it, or of making Washtenaw your home I dont think you could better yourself in selling. The man went on to Kalamazoo to look intending to return: if he could suit himself better he would not want it. So there is no certainty about his taking it. I wish you to send on word in a newspaper as soon as you receive this and with few words tell what you will do The election is over the Antis were behind in Ann Arbour 23 votes but 150 ahead in the County we elected our two members for the Council
The name or fame of Jackson has been the hobby of Freemasonry and has been of considerable benefit to them Freemasonry it is pretended is down There is still a great hatred to Political Antimasonry which shews their feelings are the same and that they detest the principle that put Freemasonry down as well as the men The struggle is not over yet. Lucius Lyon The Jackson candidate is elected Delegate to Congrefs Emigration still continues to pour in to Michigan and must continue or else man must not continue to increase: it is like one wave impelling another Vent [?] appears as necefsary for man, as water. The settlement of new Countries is more of necefsity than choice. Is their any choice about it. The increase this year by importation has exceeded that of any preceding year. we will shortly be in well or thickly settled country. The weather has been very warm for a few days 19th 86º 20th 90º 22nd 90º 23rd 90º 21st 92º Sunday the 21st 92 degrees two degrees warmer than any day since we have had the Thermometer There has been no day above 90 degrees before this year and then but one day in the year at that height

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I dont recollect any thing more of any consequence. We are all well here


Mr William Geddes John Geddes

[remainder of page blank]

[this is the first round cancellation among the John Geddes letters, but the first for Ann Arbor is his letter dated Oct. 12, 1837, whereas the last from Ann Arbor cancelled by hand is letter of March 12, 1836.]

[There is a great deal of writing on the two sides of the fold – columns of addition and apparent practice of writing names, e.g. Knight, Mcllain Dear uncle.]