Letter From William Geddes to John Geddes, September 4, 1839

Author: William Geddes

Date: September 4, 1839

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Palmyra Sept. 4th 1839

Dear Brother [John Geddes]

Yours of the 22nd August was received on the 1st inst. So much time had pafsed away after the usual time of writing that I had concluded your letter to be was lost and as I had no news of importance to send, I had resolved not to write to [till] another 3 months had pafsed when I expected your next one would be received. The writing of a letter seems to be quite a task with you, which appears a little strange in such an industrious and persevering character. I scarce knew what to do about answering, for it is so short a time till your next will arrive but have determined to adhere to my rule of doing so on the receipt of all letters and that directly. I call my daughter Sarah also. It is a family name and is the name of my motherinlaw and I had called my son for my father and thought it right that the wife should have the privilege of calling the daughter for her mother or for herself. I intend to stick to the old family names and give but one for I think the beauty of a name is the shortnefs of it and not the length as appears to be the idea of the fashionable when they attach half a dozen of name together and them the most outlandish that can be found. In old times in this neighborhood it was necefsary to give nicknames to men of the same name in order to distinguish them but now there is no such necefsity for the old names are nearly abandoned and every one has some unheard of name or other. We have all enjoyed good health since I wrote last but the little daughter who had the summer complaint so bad that I thought she would leave us but she recovered & is in middling health now There has been little or no sicknefs in the neighborhood untill lately, and now there is a great many complaining and three have died of Typhus Fever We have had a great deal of rain this summer and the Crops have all turned out well and the Corn will be an extraordinary Crop if the frost stays away a week or so more. Haymaking & Harvest was so wet that I fear too much has been taken in in a bad state. It is now getting dry and Cool and I am persuaded that the first rain will be followed by a heavy frost.

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The Potatoes are the finest I ever saw raised here. I worked 16 1/2 days in Harvest and earned $14.50, working by the job and by the day. Wages was 75 cents pr. day. One man gave a $1.00 for Cradlers. In hay time I done nothing there being little hay too make owing to the drouth of last summer. The scarcity of hay will keep up the price of grain a little notwithstanding its so plenty. James Clendermen who works John Wolfersberger’s old place thrashed eight acres of Oats out of the field and got 70 bushel to the acre. He hauled it home like hay and thrashed it on a machine. A few heavy rains about the time the Oats was ripening threw it nearly all down & $1.25 was freely offered for the Cradling or reaping of it, By the acre. And much was cut with the grafs scythe Oats was selling for .62 1/2 and now is 31 1/4 cts. Wheat is $1.12 1/2 Rye 65 cts. Beef was lately selling at 10 cts pr. lb. and is now offered at 6 1/4, Butter 14 cts, Eggs 8 cts pr doz, Flaxseed $1.25. John Early left here for the west to purchase land. He started with a light wagon and two horses, having another man with him and intending to take a third if he could get one. He is going by land the whole route and intends going through Ohio Indiana Illinois Mifsouri and from thence to the Territory of Iowa so that he may pofsibly pafs you on his return home. The Orphans Court decided that father as Administrator of John Sawer was indebted to his estate $1160 and I appealed from that decision and sent it up to the Supreme Court but owing to the number of trials before it, it could not be reached and now will have to lie over to next July. Sawyer’s Lawyer’s asked the Court to charge me with the ballance on fathers Executor account and interest and on an uncollected note against John Boal and interest in all exceeding $4000. The Court did not allow me any credit for the Costs in defending the will. Samuel Sawyer has started a store in Powells Valley on Borrowed Capital. Ann married a Mr Rea and moved west. I understand that they are likely to go to war amongst themselves. The boys were to get $1100 when they were 21 and the girls $1000 when they were 22 and John, Sam, & Ann have rec’d accordingly and there is two more of age but the executors wont or cant pay, so the tug begins,

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They had go one or two more releases but they turn [out] to be not properly acknowledged and their difficulties are still likely to stick to them. Gruber paid them $1000 more on their new releases before he was aware of the defects of them. Every body thinks that Sam will sink money at storekeeping and if he should the rest will suffer by him. Berryhill Bell has also commenced storekeeping in Union County. Old Mrs Rogers died a few days ago. She and Mr preparing to move

West this fall. The [?] asingfast. Some

talk seriously of distributing the funds

amongst mifsionary [Postal [?] ties. The Library

was sold this spring portion [?] ch was given to the

Presbyterian Foreign cut out Colonization Society.

The whole present and sold [?] st. In the spring also

the question was to a head of families

with a Copy of collector] An [hole]

affair and carried [?] tended that [hole]

Proprietors of [Pennsylvania] lands from which

the funds were raised for the support

of a Presbyterian [Church] purpose whatever”

which are the very of course we could

not justly put had no uses for

them as a Congregation the Commonwealth.

I am for expending and substantial

wall around the since they were

no longer of use to will go partners

with me I will purchase the Church if I cannot persuade them not to sell it. Our relations for Four generations on both sides of the house lie there and if we purchase it we can at a little expense prevent their bones from being disturbed for another Century. And we are in duty bound to do so. Our Sister (1), our Mother (2), Mother’s Father (3), & Mothers Grandfather (4), our Sister (1), our Father (2), Father’s Mother’s Brother’s (3), Fathers Grandmother, Sarah McAllen (4). I was a delegate to the Whig Convention held at Chambersburg in June last and on my return was to Sister Ann, her mother & uncle & family. Ann had a son in April & he is doing well. Uncle was confined to his bed and was not expected to live long but I have not heard of his death yet.

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I ordered your Philadelphia paper to stop but you dont inform me if he obeyed my orders. It is doubtful what will be the result of our elections this fall. The Whigs seem inclined to separate from the Antimasons for the[y] say the Antis give them no share of the spoils. If that is the case we will be beaten as bad as the Whigs of Indiana or Tennefsee. At the Convention at Chambersburg the Clay Whigs were 50 to 25 Harrison The 50 were for organizing an exclusive Whig party to act independent of their old allies the Anti’s unlefs they would fall in and support

[this area – the postal portion has been cut out]

their Candidates. The Harrison men were for holding another Convention in which all the opponents of Van Buren were to participate and union brought about between the Anti’s & Whigs. But the exclusive Whigs having the majority determined to organize a separate party when we Harrison Whigs entered a protest against their course which was not received by the majority and we then left the Convention & appealed to the people and appointed the day for the meeting of an Union & Harmony Convention, which from all accounts will be numerously attended.

John Geddes Farewell William Geddes