Letter From John Geddes to William Geddes, March 8, 1834

Author: John Geddes

Date: March 8, 1834

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Washtenaw March 8th 1834

Dear Brother [William Geddes] This will not come to hand as soon as you will likely expect it I dont know that there is any cure for it. I am still hurryed. I have been putting off until the mill would back water but It has not yet. The frost is out of the ground and the ground and Roads drying off. We have had but little sleding this winter. And that the beginning of January. which was not improved much, people expecting it would continue. And consequently there has been but few logs hauled to any of the mills. There has been about 400 logs hauled in to our mill since the first of January and there was four hundred logs in the yard that were left from last year Which makes eight hundred logs for this year. Probably 250,000 feet. The Prospect is fair that I shall clear the mill yard before the first of Novem. Which will be some consolation as I shall rejoice when the last log is sawed Still I always like to have my share of the logs that are hauled into the different mills. Owing to my old stock we have more logs in the yard now than there is in the two Ypsilanti mills and the mill betwixt us and Ypsilanti I run the mill myself in February and do not intend to hire a hand this summer. In a month or two I hope to be more at leisure. No snow in February except the last week about seven inches the ground not being frose but little could be done. March so far has been warm. to day is windy and blustering. Michigan does not feel the hard times that we hear of along the Atlantic yet The price of wheat has fell a few cents .03 I believe: but dull sale. Those who went into that businefs in the fall are not without fears. Though they thought they were buying with a prospect of more than a reasonable profit. They generally have quit purchasing. Those that have wheat on hand console themselves that as soon as the Lake opens. they can send their grain in flour to New York and it will nett them as much as has been giving in the fall. Corn is .37••• & Oats .25 Cash pr Bushel. The Jackson party does not lose any strength yet if any gains here. I expect the Antimasons will be in the minority in Ann Arbour on the first monday of April next which is the day of the Township election. Ann-Arbor Township is cut down to six miles square. Township three South of Rouge six East, Is called Pitt. That township will be Antimasonic. As the Masons do not meet in their lodges any more in this Territory. It seems to be impossible to keep an Antimasonic party together as their is nothing to act upon. I think it probable that in two years It will not be known as a political party in Michigan. If they will

abandon their lodges I think the community will be content to let them alone. And I am sure I am willing for one

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Your letter came to hand the last Sunday in January I was pleased at the quick reply and hoped to have answered before this time. my next letter to you I am confident will come up to time which is encouraging. I should have been pleased if you could have sold to Behm. In that: it would seem as if the fates were against you, a mere unaccountable trifle kept him from calling on you: to finally bargain: (in all probability). Such trifles when they operate on our side gives us some claims to the fortunate. I agree with you respecting John Wolfersberger and think you reason well on that subject and in dealing with him you ought to be very cautious, and keep the power entirely in your own hands. that is not deal without good security on his part. After all are you not afraid that Land will be lefs saleable this year and lefs price than last year. Owing to Jacksons war on the Bank. The consequences that flow from that act of a despot, however republican he may pretend to be. Are much more injurious than our best calculators had any idea of. I do not know what effect it has in the steady County of Lebanon and it probably is not felt as severely as in Philadelphia. not half as severe still I fear that the sale of Land is over until the Bank question is settled There is one comfort it will not break any of us. But it will injure you more than yea much more than it will me. so I shall not complain. Still I thought you ought have sacrificed something for that act of Jacksons And feeling or fearing that consequences anticipated it by falling in your demands. As to your purchasing. I think you could do better in Michigan. Where is the use in Bachelors working for life “struggling hard” when all the[y] get is their living. Owing to the state of the money market money could not [be] had for 4••• pr cent The winding up of all is that I am willing to take lefs for fathers farm than you are. My being away from home so long may be one principal reason. I am fully convinced in my own mind that what might be lost in selling a little under price would soon be gained by the rise of property here. I feel none of that deprefsion of spirits the consequence of selling for lefs than the farm is really worth: which may have some effect upon you. My attachment to Londonderry is considerably weaned off. And though I still call that my home. I am almost afraid to return least I might be a stranger in my own native home. If it was not that I see no

inducement; I might seize the opportunity and return again this fall. And certainly if the family was as the[y] were three years ago I would return. I think again that if you were to buy that farm and I should remain a Bachelor I might pofsible return in the course of some years and bid farewell to Michigan. Though there is no certainty of that

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I do not think much of you and me both living Bachelors, two Bachelors out of three Brothers is too bad. And if you do not enter the holy state of Matrimony I think it will be my duty to. Though I think we are both steady enoug[h] too. I am conscious the Bachelor is the most independent. though Matrimony may be the most natural. The happinefs of the different states depend more on the persons than anything else. For a Sawmiller a Bachelor is the most suitable and most profitable. In a pamphlet published By Duff Green called the “Political Register” which I was shewn in Ypsilanti a short time ago. I saw three detached extracts from a letter purporting to have been written by “Wm Geddes Campbellstown Pa. dated March 16th 1833” whom Mr Green calls an “Old Subscriber” who with some spirit and some indignation forbids him to send any more of his papers to him. I cannot not [sic] recollect the words but if you wish to see them just say so and I will copy them off as well as what Green has said about them. I thought I would inform you that you have been noticed in Washington. The extracts appear very well except where you rather unceremoniously say that if Congress does not reinstate the old Tariff they will be kicked out of doors. The word “kicked” ought not to have been used by you It is two [too] vulgar a word in my opinion.

I have not been in Detroit since you saw me there. Mr Ewers and family and Isabel are well, the last accounts. Application has been made to Congrefs for the privileges of a State which has not been decided on yet. There is a Manual Labour school about to be established at Ann Arbor. I received a “Lottery Examiner” a few days ago. I supposed from you. Wheat is .56••• pr Bushel

I wish you would answer this as soon as you can make it convenient. We are all well have been in good health since my last.

I saw a Wilksbarre paper some time since in which the proceedings of a reform convention were published I would be in favour of a Convention

I am going to Ann arbor this afternoon where I intend to mail this. The Post Office of Ann arbour has been removed since you were here to the new part of the village along the Huron it was done underhandedly. I beleive you were not in the new Village it is half a mile or more from the old Town. There is an effort making to remove the Ypsilanti Post master I have nothing to do with it

To Mr William Geddes Farewell John Geddes

I have heard nothing from Uncle James or any of our relation since my last