Letter From John Geddes to William Geddes, January 7, 1841

Author: John Geddes

Date: January 7, 1841

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Detroit, January 7th 1841

Dear Brother, [William Geddes]

I am now in Detroit: having came here the 3rd instant. My last letter to you was dated October 23rd if I recollect right: to which letter I have received no reply. I have received two Lebanon Couriers, having the elections returns from that County The Whigs done well in Lebanon & Dauphin and in the whole State You have carried the State for Harrison: which is more than I expected this time last year. But you done so well the second tuesday of Oct. that I expected the 30th day would still improve the well doing. I see that Lebanon County polled for Harrison & Van Buren exactly the same number of votes that it cast for Porter & Ritner and that Londonderry had three votes lefs. I likewise see that by the census Lebanon County has increased very little in ten years. It appears to be nearly standing beam. In Michigan we have increased some 36.000 in lefs than three years. Monroe County has decreased and so has Saginaw in the last three years: The rest of the counties in the state have increased. In Washtenaw the Whigs had 470 majority. We lost some of our majority of last year but done pretty well. The township of Pittsfield gave the same majority it did the year before, 83. There was 209 votes polled in that township. The Legislature of Michigan met on the 4th instant The first day of their meeting all the members that had certificates were sworn in and took their seats. Objections having been made to the Mackinaw members right to a seat. it was deferred. and the Wayne County members came up. which occasioned quite a spirited opposition from the opposition: and the house adjourned. Next day after the morning businefs was got through with the Wayne members was went at again. and after the yeas & Nays had been called seventeen times it was finally decided that the Whig members should take their seats by a vote of 22 to 21. The evidence in the case was this. The Representative box in the township of Hamtramck [Detroit written above] box disappeared mysteriously: before the votes in it were counted: it was found on the Road broken open and the ballots scattered about. The night after the election. the ballot boxes of Hamtramck were put into a large box, and that large box was placed on a Cart in which a horse was hitched and driven towards Detroit. When the Horse and Cart &c arrived at its destination it was found on examination that the Representative box was mifsing. But how and

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when it left its comrades was unknown. All that those that had these boxes in charge could say, was that they were drunk. The rest of the Van Buren ticket had from 126 to 130 majority in that township of Hamtramck. Whereas the Whig representatives in all of the rest of the Townships had but about 120 majority. It is supposed if the Hamtramck box had not been lost the but two Whig members would have been elected and the other five members would have been Van Buren men. This is conjecture. The Whigs contended that the Canvafsers of the County ought to have given the certificate of election to the Whig candidates as they had the most votes that came before them. And then if the Tories could show a better right than the Whigs. They could have the privilege of doing so. If not the Whigs would retain their seats. The tories have entered a protest on the Journal of the House against the course pursued by the Whigs. probably that is all they will do. They must take better care of their ballot boxes. I am opposed to such carelefsnefs. If a Township has a drunken board of election. that township must suffer the consequences. It is singular to hear the Whigs say we done right in this affair and the tories say that we done wrong. Wonderful the prejudices of politicians. The Governor handed in his mefsage to day. He recommends a different system of taxation. recommends employing all the funds of the State on the Central Rail-Road. Says nothing about the Banks. which is not satisfactory. We did not intend to grant another suspension to the Banks. Wheat is .56 1/4 pr Bu Corn .25 Oats .16. Corn has sold in Ann arbor for .18 1/4 and Oats for .12 1/2. Potatoes .12 1/2 and lefs Pork $3.00 pr hundred for hogs weighing 200 and $4.00 pr hun for Hogs weighing 300 and over. Taxes in Washtenaw one third lefs than last year I dont know what your tax is in Pittsfield. In Ann arbor your tax is $1.07 1/2. I have never as yet received any letter from Agrippa. I have spoke to Jane about signing her right to James and Agrippa of Thomass land. She says she is willing to do what the rest of us are willing to do. To get all of it might be some benefit to them. To divide it I do not think is worth while: that is amongst all of us. What is it worth? I want you to direct your next letter to Detroit. As it is probable I will be here untill the first of March. The State pays my postage until the Legislature adjourns. Probably it would be as well to direct to me as a member of the House of Representatives. As then any communications directed to me will be handed to me: by the mefsengers of the House without enquiry on my part. I do not know how to account for not having received a letter from you since I last wrote. It is the first letter that has failed

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in our correspondence of fifteen years. Paul Geddes of Lenawee was elected enrolling clerk: he has not arrived yet but is expected in a few days. He made application last year but did not succeed. This year he did not come. His friends have been more fortunate. I hope he may do the duties acceptable to the House. He prides himself on his penmanship, as a farmer he is shiftlefs. I have not been very well this fall. My health is good now. Robert has been in good health this fall. Our families are in their usual good health. without either of them having increased or decreased in numbers the past year. There has been four deaths in this our School district last year: three females and one male. One of the deaths inflamation in the head: two Inflamation of the lungs, and one Liver complaint. This country is much subject to inflamations and they are rapid diseases: Janes (Mr Ewers) health about as usual. I board there now, whether I will the whole sefsion or not is doubtfull. So far my legislative duties are very light The committees are not appointed yet. I want you, or some one else to answer this letter forthwith. I sent you two newspaper which had some elections returns. We are furnished here with two Inkstands for every member. Ink quils & paper wafers, Sand-box &c and Seal at the expense of the State. I dont know that I have any thing more to say. Farewell John Geddes

William Geddes Esqr

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