Letter From William Geddes to John Geddes, November 9, 1837

Author: William Geddes

Date: November 9, 1837

Get PDF: geddes_letters/geddes_letters_18371109.pdf

View Text

Palmyra Nov. 9th 1837

Dear Brother [John Geddes]

Your letter of the 12th October did not arrive to the first inst. owing to its not being sent from Ypsilanti Ann Arbor to the 20th as per post mark. I am still here and will remain so for another year as I am held to bail to answer Sawyer and prosecute my appeal in the Supreme Court which cannot be done before next June. Sawyer’s Executors have sold the land to Philip Gruber for $64 per acre $24 more than what Etter paid but they have to give security in $4000 for the title. Gruber sold his to John Segrist Jacob Early’s soninlaw for $80 per acre Cash. Sawyer’s Executors are to receive $5000 in Cash and the remainder in $800 payments. The land measures 160 acres. It is thought it will take $4000 or more to pay the debts. Unlefs Berryhill Bell will bail the title I think it doubtful that they can procure security. Sawyer’s attack on me has operated very much against them as it is considered by every body as mean and unjust and has laid bare what was known but by a few and by them nearly forgotten the manner in which he held the land and forced his sisters and their children through necessity to yield to him. The idea of his recovering off me in my own right is laughed at and especially that he should recover my share of the money father had in his hands when he made that contract with Sawyer. That father would sell the money in his pocket at all let alone for lefs than what it was worth is out of the nature of things and too foolish a thing for a man pofsefsing common sense to do. We contended that he only sold what was uncollected of our shares and gave Sawyer authority to collect; sue for and recover off all persons except father himself who certainly would not give a man authority to sue himself !!! If Sawyers Executors are unable to give the required security it is likely I can effect a compromise with them as it will then be their only resource. I will still have my appeal tried in the Supreme Court as the whole transaction never was before them and I have hopes that on a view of the whole concern that I may be sustained and that

Page 2

they decide that as none of the heirs had received the full amount of their shares from Grandfather that nothing could be recovered off them and of course their was nothing for an administrator to do which would put all to rest forever. If I had waited one year longer

I might have had $10 per acre more for father’s farm as sales have since been much higher. But James, Thomas and Agrippa have made 50 per cent on their shares and I suppose you Michigan heirs have also gained more than the [?] here so that on the whole we done better by selling when we did. I am the only person who has lost and will continue to lose as circumstances force me to remain inactive and keep part of my own funds at my immediate command to meet pofsible lofses. I have $300 of United States paper on the new Bank which I thought of taking west this fall to purchase second handed land with but have not got away it being the next thing to impofsible to procure change to travel with. I have received no news from Agrippa or James since my last; but have heard by word of Mr Clark that all well at Newville. Of Wm. F. Geddes I know nothing nor of any of that family. The real particulars as to the day of Thomas’ death I am not certain of not thinking it a matter of consequence, and do not wish to bring it to his mother’s remembrance to satisfy an idle curiosity. I sent a Lebanon paper containing the result of our election in the county and two of the Intelligencer and a pamphlet containing Buchanan speech in support of the sub treasury scheme. I will send with this Mr Rives speech in favor of the deposit Banks and perhaps the speech of Mr Talmadge if after I read it its worth 1 1/2 cents to you. If [?] the[y] want to charge you letter postage on any papers I send let them keep them. Our Senate stands Whig & Anti 19 Van Bu. 14 and House Whig & Anti 44 & Van Buren 56. Corn Crop has been very abundand. Present price .50 pr. bu. Oats .35. Rye .80. Wheat .$1.75. Buckwheat .50 Potatoes .25. Beef per Cwt. $6.25 Pork $6. Butter 14 cts per lb. Eggs 14 per doz. R.G. Graydon was well and his father and family. Dauphin County gave a majority of 300 for the Anti Masonic ticket. You can tell

Page 3

any person who inquires about what I would take for my land that I expect an extraordinary price for it as soon as the rail road is made and the times have changed for the better and that I am indifferent about selling at present unlefs such a price was offered. I have done nothing in calling Sawyer’s Executors to settle Grandmother’s Estate but I think I will this month some time as I think will be at home all winter and can attend to it. It will perhaps have some effect in bringing them to terms or to drop the whole concern. They will be as much perplexed with it as I am with the other and more so they knowing nothing at all of the matter whereas I had some little knowledge of it. They talk of moving west in the spring. Our Church is still wasteing away and particularly the Derry part of it. Kelly and family have not been in for years and the Logan’s and Robinson’s seldom attend and I am the only representative of the McCallen race and sit alone in our seat with the back and front seats empty about me. The Hanover part is rather the most numerous and last spring made a move to have half the minister’s [hole] Moreheads School House which is ominous of a total [abandonment] ere long of Derry Church. They talk even of building a church with the remaining funds in Hanover. We still pay a small amount of stipend but not enough with the int. of funds to pay Mr Sharon so that these few years they have been touching on the principal of funds. James Wilson went away in arrears. He married a Cousin of his first wife’s in Ohio and I believe [lives] somewhere in that state. Matthew Humes has sold and intends to move west next spring. Our reform Convention have not finished their labors so that I cannot say what is or will be done. But as soon as they finish I will send you papers containing the results of their proceedings. Our old Schoolmaster Philips Esqr. has removed from our town. I was [offered] to rent a house for him and raise the rent by subscription. He had occupied the Palmyra school house for a year and better and the people wanted it to have a school taught in it and threatened to throw him & family out on the street if he did not move and as he could not find where to put his drunken carcase and save himself from being t[h]rown out I was through fit constrained to do it for him. I have hopes we will carry the Common School system next spring and I was elected Afsefsor in order if we succeed to put it in execution. My old friends the Earlys are my bitter enemies on that account but their influence is no longer what it has been. Ritner will lose some votes in our county by his persevering in the establishing the free school system that is predecifsor Mr Wolf enacted. It was adopted partly in all the counties of the state spring a year [ago] except Lebanon and that knocked it under in every township to [till] last spring East Hanover carried it and we expect Londonderry to follow suit next spring. We have delightful weather. All are well

John Geddes Farewell, William Geddes

Page 4

Roberts power of attorney was pronounced sufficient by [me]