Letter From John Geddes to William Geddes, October 14-21, 1840

Author: John Geddes

Date: October 14-21, 1840

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Ann-Arbor October 14th to 21st - 1840

Dear Brother. [William Geddes] Politicks has become the businefs of the day in the whole United States. The second tuesday of October is past and expectation is on the tip toe in Ohio, and Pennsylvania. And we are waiting patiently to hear the result. I think the Whigs will carry Ohio, but not Pa. not this time. Indeed I think that Van Buren will carry, the 30th of October next in Pennsylvania. I should be glad if it would turn out otherwise. Harrison will be the next President let Pennsylvania go as it will Some Whigs here say that Pennsylvania will show again of three Congressmen Michigan we think will go for Harrison. with but a small gain on last year. If we hold our own in Washtenaw we will do well. There is a great desire for office in this country. numbers think their time has come and are very unwilling to wait longer consequently their engenuity is put to work to devise ways and means to get on the ticket whether they will run well or hurt the ticket. they is the least of their troubles. This desire for office may not injure the great cause this year. but like a black north wester it threatens Ann arbor township has twelve delegates to the County Convention out of ninety three. Last Saturday at four P.M. was the time appointed to choose these twelve delegates. At the appointed hour three pretended leaders of some influence in a particular quarter brought up their dependants and friends mustering thirty five votes and voted down all opposition & carried every thing before them: put in men of the stamp to suit themselves, without reference to anything but their our interest or preferment. I was there but unfortunately I consented to be chairman of the meeting. not expecting things to take that turn. Which kept me from trying what I could do. I dont think I could have done more than remonstrate against such an unjust cause as they had 9 and ten majority. But I told them that I was decidedly opposed to that faction and the course they had thought proper to pursue. Those who were out voted are of course displeased and say it was unfair and that the Clique that carried the delegates are desperate politicians who have no hopes except in this way: of being nominated for any post of honor and trust. And they intend to complain to the County Convention of the manner in which they have been used Next Monday the County Convention meets. This you would think an unhappy state of things which does not augur much Whig increase. For my part I do not think I am in duty bound to vote for men who take this way to carry their purposes. The elections so far have done well. Vermont and Maine very well. The Van Buren men pretended not to be disappointed in Vermont But Maine carried dismay and fear into their ranks and many give up and said that Harrison would be elected. others still pretend that Van Buren will be elected. The result in Ohio will be eagerly expected. I was at Detroit the 30th of September it was a rainy day. I[t] rained from the time we started until we came

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to Detroit, It rained but little after, but drizzled some: the sheets were muddy. It was a disagreeable time. I was not very well, and heard but one speech. Mr Ewers had from fifteen to twenty at his house that night all persons from the country. There was said to be from ten, to fifteen, thousand persons at the Convention or gathering of the people. Five great loads came from this way: say 4000. Fifty cents a person to go, to and from Detroit. Mr Ewers, Jane, and the children were well. They kept in a good humour muddy as it was. I staid but one night. Robert did not go. Roberts health has been good this summer his wifes middling, one of the children had the Ague My health has been tolerable: not well sometimes. but I kept up. my Sawmiller gave out in July, done nothing in August workd, three and an half days in September. He is to work now. His giving out left me more to do. or I should not have been sick. There was no day but what I worked: but some days it went hard I undertook too much this summer. The University bill of Lumber came late after I had undertaken considerable of a summer work. It was a Cash job too good to let pafs. But I work to[o] hard: I know it. I cannot do as much work as I once could. Robert has got the body of the Gristmill up at last. He raised it with 4 and 5 hands counting himself as one hand. He took his time to [do] it: lifting every thing with his tackle so that it was much easier work than attending Sawmill The raising the foundation, and the three stories above it cost about $250 just the raising. I thought If I could have been there It would cost $100 lefs for there was no hurry to them. Wheat started at .62 1/2 pr Bu and was brisk at that. It was .56 1/4 at Ann arbor last week and .60 in Ypsilanti. It would still be .62 1/2 but there is a want of Storage especially in Ann arbor. Horpin Lum, Superintendant of the College Buildings in Ann arbor told me that he could buy wheat in Ann arbor at .62 1/2 and send the flour of it to Connecticut and just save himself at $4.90 pr Barrel (four dollars and ninety cents) Agrippa cannot tell so good a story on his country. I have received no letter from Agrippa yet. If he will send on a deed for that piece if Land you spoke of: Robert says he will sign it. And I will. and I have no doubt but Jane would. Indeed I would be willing to sign my right for all the land that Thomas had: to Agrippa and James as it might suit them; for nothing. For I never expect to get any of it. Indeed I dont think it worth dividing among all of us. Twenty five cents pr Barrel is the price of transportation from Ann arbor to Detroit. And twenty cents from Ypsilanti to Detroit on the Rail Road. Oats is from .15 to .18 pr Bushel Potatoes .12 1/2 pr Bu Corn I dont know: probably .311/4. Pork its thought will be sold for 3.00 pr hun lbs. This is making hard times for the farmer. Especially as the wheat crop was light. This has been a great season for fruit. More whortleberries this summer in this vicinity than the whole fifteen summers previous to this. Apples are plenty and sell from .50 to .20 pr Bushel owing to their goodnefs and their is all of that difference in Apples. Peaches sold in Ann arbor for fifty cents pr Bushel Robert had considerable of Apples. But few peaches. Some first rate Plums

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I received Fishers letter shortly after I sent mine. I of course was gratified at the defeat of the Sawyers. Pleased too that they should be let know that their rascally course in cheating their relations so far as the Geddess are concerned is at an end. Sorry I am that father made such a fool of that Lawsuit. For Sawyer it seems might have been easily beaten twenty years ago. I never knew that father appealed What rascals his Lawyers were: they well knew that the appeal would have been sustained. But done nothing because father did not urge them. Father was very ignorant of Law. I am glad you have whipt them out. But your Lawyer was unreasonable in his charge. But still it was better to pay him than lose the case. I dont think they will attack you again Fisher may have told you so for the purpose of getting money. I hope that you have reserved money enough to pay yourself and all these costs and charges. Sawyers have done one thing they have put you to great expense; with but little to themselves. Robert attends no political meetings [hole] [He is a strong and decided] Whig too. Never mifses an election always turns out and votes. I attend all the political meetings when delegates and candidates for office are nominated For the three last years I have been nominated a delegate to the State Convention: Twice I went. As we have but one Congrefsman. A State Convention is called to nominate the Candidate. Washtenaw had 18 delegates Ann arbor township two of them. Yesterday (16th) I was in Ypsilanti. The News was that Maryland, and Delaware, has gone Whig. And the Counties of Ohio on the Lake shore w[h]ere Whig by large Majorities. No news from Pa. But Pa. must go Whig too. No political news to day as no Steam Boats came in to [Detroit] yesterday. Corn I learnt yesterday was but .25 pr Bu. Wheat .62 1/2 The Census has not been published in Washtenaw yet I am told that the Village of Ann arbor has 2100 inhabitants and Ypsilanti 1300, We have a Dr Schetterly in Ann arbor. He is from Pennsylvania, probably the same one that run for the Legislature in Dauphin County ten years. He is a Whig. I have no acquaintance with him. I have your Census returns ten years ago. I would be pleased if you would send me one this year. I will send you the returns – election returns of Washtenaw in a newspaper. I went to the County Convention on the 19th of this month. And those fellows that outvoted us in the Township caucus. Were themselves outvoted by the County Convention and got nothing. Their candidate the first ballot had 25 votes and on the second 19. 50 votes being necefsary for a choice. I was nominated from Ann arbor: having on the first vote 56 and on the second 67. The first vote was to make known the candidates. The second who should be nominated. The elections news from Pa are coming in: 6447 gain in 14 Counties. The news from Georgia very good. Pennsylvania sure enough is for Tip. Van Buren will be sadly beaten and he deserves it. Some of the Lenawee County Geddess were along a short time ago. Nothing out of the usual course of things in their affairs We are all well at present farewell John Geddes

William Geddes Esqr

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Ypsilanti Oct. 22nd

The news to day from Pa. is favorable a majority on joint ballot in both houses. But Ingersol is elected