Letter From William Geddes to John Geddes, August 23, 1843

Author: William Geddes

Date: August 23, 1843

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Campbellstown Augt. 23rd 1843

Dear Brother [John Geddes]

I have delayed writing too long but as I had no news to send I put off from time to time. I left Detroit on Tuesday afternoon late, and arrived home the next Tuesday afternoon. I took a Deck pafsage and the air being damp and cool I was chill’d nearly through & through. I walk’d from Cleveland to Wellsville on the Ohio river. I reached Wellsvillle early in the evening of Friday. It took nearly the whole day of Saturday to reach Pittsburg on a steamboat. I took the stage at Pittsburg for Harrisburg on Sunday morning. It rained the whole time until I reached Chambersburg and was raw & Cold. My trip Cost me 40 dollars and was the most disagreable Journey I ever performed. I found all well at home. I had intended walking the whole way except the part that had to be done on steamboats but the bad weather prevented me. Our haymaking was light and weather fine and so did not last any time. The harvest is also but middling and great deal of smut in the wheat. The Corn promises to be good if the warm weather continues two weeks longer. We have had warm & rainy weather since the 1st inst. We have had tremendous rains for near a week, and one day it hailed to the ground it nearly covered the ground, but only for a few miles around. Harvest wages 50, to 62••• per day. Wheat 90, Corn 50, Rye 50, Oats 31, I scarce know what to write. I rec’d. a letter from James, and he and Agrippa were well, but times are very bad, the wheat crop was poor there. He said nothing about what they were doing in any line. From Newville the news is that sister Anns health is improving and that she has brought her husband another promising son. We have formed our Lebanon County ticket. Since the adoption of the amended Constitution there is great electioneering for the offices from Congrefsman down to County Auditor. Each candidate tries to secure as many of the delegates he can

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in the several townships. I suppose more than half the Whig force of the County were at the township meetings to choose the delegates. At our meeting for Londonderry there was at least 130 voters. We had an aspirant for the Sheriff atty in our township and he was a school man – which roused the anti school faction and they made a mighty effort to choose delegates of averse to our man, but it goes hard for men to be brought out against their neighbor and he was sustained by a vote of 105 to 25. He also succeeded in the County convention by a vote of 15 out of 22. Our Candidate for Congrefs is a son of Thomas Ramsey a blacksmith who formerly lived in Hummeltown and belonged to the Derry Congregation. Dauphin Lebanon & Schuylkill elect a Congrefsman. It is a doubtful district. Our Sheriff candidate is Joseph Bowman a son of the widow Bowman who lived next place to Sawyers old place North. Walter Clark is the settled candidate for county commifsioner. Our money has all become good except Girard & United States. This is but 31 percent discount, Our common currency is still state script & Borough bills. The Cattle & Sheep market is bad. Horse market worse, except for first rate horses and they will sell at all times & well. The half of the Furnace teams are mule teams. The[y] cost full as much as horses but wear much longer. John Philips, son of Abraham Philips Esqr died a few days ago. He was his oldest son and left a wife & five children. Our town is quite lively. John Wolfersberger is putting up a stone Blacksmith shop & wagonmakers shop 2 stories high on the old site. The two buildings are joined and are 72 feet long and have a Porch on the second story the whole length. He is also building a large stone house opposite for his tradesmen to live in. He deals largely in sheep & Horned Cattle. On all these he must certainly lose money. Richard Jones is head Carpenter. Richard is teetotaller, Cold water man, Pears have been plenty, but peaches & Apples are rather scarce, The wagon making shop is frame,

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Our neighborhood is flooded with western horned cattle & sheep at low rates, We expect a warm time in politicks, for there are so many hungry aspirants for office, that they will raise the party spirit in spite of the people. There never was such a grasping for office as there is at the present time; Every one appears to think : that the most profitable businefs agoing. I can say nothing yet how soon I may be able to start for the west. There are a great number of new houses a building in all directions and no people that I can hear of that speak of moving west. Few are able to move such a distance. Times with the many are as tough as ever. There has been no sales of land in this vicinity except Orths old tavern stand and that was sold by the sheriff for $70 per acre Cash, 160 Acres. It is considered cheap The influenza has prevailed pretty generally over this region but there were no deaths by it, I did not see R. G. Graydon since my return. Nor do I know what Mr Graydon [seal] doing. The expected increase of family has not arrived but is shortly to be here, I am constantly at home or near it. The rest of this side must remain blank.


Mr John Geddes William Geddes

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