Letter From John Geddes to William Geddes, April 17, 1839

Author: John Geddes

Date: April 17, 1839

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Ann arbor, April 17th 1839

Dear Brother. [William Geddes] Time is flying along, and this letter is left behind because it has not started yet. Since I last wrote to you and on the 12th of March last Robert was married to Mifs Chloe Lane a sister of his first wife. I beleive you never saw her she is rather taller than Maria was: and probably some heavier. She was born the same year and the same month of our Sister Ann. I beleive Chloe is a few days the youngest. It was thought quite strange by almost every one and the difference in their ages would seem to say a foolish move. It was kept a secret and myself and the Ypsilanti Lanes, knew nothing of it until two or three days after the knot was tied. Why Robert married her is easier to ask than answer. It may be said that it is one of those strange freaks that widowers are somewhat subject to. There is one thing certain Chloe can never make Marias place good to Robert [the following line is in a torn crease] [tear] little [tear] Roberts [hole] left his house on the [tear]th of [hole] and he brought Chloe in the same day. The next day he moved most of his things and Robert L. and Maria. Jane is still in Ypsilanti at her Uncle Marcus Lanes and will probably stay there this summer at any rate. I was willing that Robert should raise his own children but if Aunt Chloe should prove a tyrant of which there is some probability I will take Maria back again, if Robert should think best.
We have got out [of] the hewed timber for a gristmill this spring and intend to put in the frame, and roof and weatherboard, it this summer and fall. We think that [tear] ought to have a gristmill here. And think it would be more profitable than a Sawmill its true it will cost much more. Next year we intend to put in two run of stones to begin with. The Gristmill is to [be] 44 by 46 feet and two stories besides the Basement story. The times are very dull in Michigan and have been this spring Our currency in a deplorable state. The Michigan Bank and The Farmers and Mechanics Bank of Detroit are still good and will probably continue so. Them two Banks and the St Clair Bank at one time were all the Banks in Michigan, that were considered par even here at Michigan. River Raisin Bank, [smudge] Calhoun County Bank, Constantine Bank. And Huron River, are called good and them are about all that is left of our fifty Banks we had this time last. A greater fatality did not befal the sons of Priam in so short a time. Poor Michigan has fell into bad

hands The State of Michigan suspended payment on her Internal improvements, the first of March and has scarcely resumed yet, owing to the Deposite Bank stoping payment (which is called the State Bank of Michigan) [?] to the Democratic Loco-foco Bank of Detroit It stopped payment with $602.000 of the State funds. The Locos, have said and do pretend that it will resume again but it is very doubtfull. The ruin occasioned by the party does not forget them in its fell swoop

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The Ypsilanti and Tecumseh Rail-road has stopped and the hands have been discharged and are to be paid off next week. I called on them I beleive in February and got the $140 from them If it had been neglected a month longer it would not have been easy to get even that. It is doubtfull whether it will be commenced again. The Grand System of internal Improvements (so called) of Michigan. Many are beginning to think is a foolish and extravagant piece of folly. That the people of Michigan are not at all able to finish. And if it was finished it could not pay four pr cent on the original cost. Indeed it is said not every line would pay the expense of running that Line Just to think five routes of Rail Road and Canal acrofs the peninsula of Michigan How ridiculous !! Central Rail-Road progrefses slowly. that part of it between Ypsilanti and Ann -arbor, is jogging along slowly It may be finished this fall, it may not The Legislature of Michigan have pafsed an act to establish a State Bank. The directors appointed by the Legislature are to be half Whig, and half Democratic The Legislature to appoint half the Directors and the State to have half the Stock. I have not seen the act. Our Legislature could not elect a United States Senator The Democratic party had a decided majority in both houses. But they could not agree among themselves. And the Whigs were willing to put it off until next winter when we hope and I think there is a fair prospect of Michigan being a Whig State. Our Governor is to be elected next fall. And our Senators hold their seats but two years. Ann arbor went Whig by 49 majority this spring I am willing you would pay off the proprietor of the what was once called the Philadelphian, and now called the “Religious Telegraph and Observer” and discontinue the paper. I take the Michigan Observer a better paper of the same Religious persuasion. The Michigan Observer is [an] Anti Slavery paper as well as Presbyterian I am not an abolitionist yet: though decidely opposed to Slavery The New School has got the better of the Old School, in that famous Law suit And that is as it should be. What has become of your Harrisburgh rioters and how has that affair been settled. was the Philadelphia Senators allowed their seats And how is the whole concern going to work for or against the Van Buren party. You might have told us when you mentioned Samul Carper how much of a family him and Polly has. How are you and the Sawyers getting on with that suit. Pork was 9.00 pr hundred last fall Wheat is now 1.30 it was a month ago 1.44 Corn .79 Oats .31 1/4. We still sell Oak lumber at $8.00 pr thousand feet and Poplar at 10.00. We have had but little back water this spring: The University is not to be built this summer but there is to be four dwelling houses to be built this summer for [the] head men the University the houses are to be brick and roofd with Tin They were let at $7000 a House I am to deliver them 30,000 feet of Oak Lumber at Ann-arbor

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for $10.50 pr thousand I have agreed with two men to haul it for $2.50 pr thousand The distance four miles. A man with two Horses and Wagon charges 1.50 pr Load for hauling lumber from this to the Village of Ann-arbor, two loads pr day 500 feet of inch Oak is a good load. This is a hard country on Horses. The pole-evil Kills a number of Horses every year. a disease almost unknown in Londonderry

Robert in partnership with another man has bought a preemption [?] right in Illinois in Stevenson County about eight hundred acres, a water Right is on it near the County say 1 1/2 miles and the nearest mill privilege to the County seat. Robert gives $500 for the undivided half of the claim: the Land is still to be paid for as the Country has never been surveyed: it will probably not be offered for sale before three years Roberts partner speaks very highly of it and I presume it is worth all they paid for it. The partner wants Robert afsist in building a Sawmill on it I do not know whether he will [or not] its [some] doubtfull at present. If Robert had [not got married] he might have done something. That country is greatly praised and great wages is given to hands. And it would seem: to hear their stories: all were getting rich And after all the money that is so plenty was made in some other country and their golden hopes are all anticipation $2.50 is the price to shoe a horse in that country steel toed shoes. Ever since the failure of the Ypsilanti Bank which was on the 18th of January. Chicago and the country west of it have had meetings and agreed to take no more Michigan money. Ypsilanti Bank was the most rascally failure even in Michigan. They were a parcel of Villianous Van Buren men who managed it We did not lose a dollar on it. Ypsilanti Bank bills are worth but .12 1/2 on the dollar here at home: We Michiganders acknowledge that our State has a bad name and is deserving of it. That the flood gates of villany has been thrown open either by knaves or fools and we are now receiving our reward. A more corrupt set of men than our rulers are; never governd a free country. And still such is the power of party that the mightiest efforts are scarcely able to put them down. Consequently I am opposed to Abolition [the following line is in a torn crease] [hole]ld water parties and think [hole] all men that have a spark of integrity or patriotism ought to unite their energies and make a common cause against those enemies of their country. farewell John Geddes

To Mr William Geddes

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