Letter From John Geddes to William Geddes, January 24, 1844

Author: John Geddes

Date: January 24, 1844

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Ann Arbor, January 24th 1844

Dear Brother, [William Geddes] Day after day pafses away and the month is wearing to a close and this letter not wrote. No sleding yet an open winter so far. But little snow, and not severe freezing. We are working at the Grist mill. Our share of that job hangs on. Two of the floors are nearly laid and lumber in the board kiln for the other floor. The ploom box is not built yet. It will take a month yet to get the water down to the mill. The Millrights are to work but are not ready for the water. They are putting in a Machinery wheel besides the two main water wheels that run the Stone. The runner or upper stone & weighs 4400 pounds its four and an half feet in diameter. The lower stone weighs 1100. The freight from Detroit to this place was $11 (eleven). Wheat is .58 to .60 in Ann arbor and .62 1/2 in Ypsilanti. One of the company is storing Wheat in our mill now. He pays 2 cents pr Bu. for hauling from Ann arbor. Two loads came to day 44 Bu. in one [load] and 56 in the other. Two horses in each team. The news of the day is that [the] Postmaster in Ann arbor is removed: the news came ten days ago. There has been two indignation meetings held in Ann arbor. They were said to be quite noisy. I did not attend, not having time. It was an unpopular move but John Tyler is a mean scoundrel; and his conduct is in accordance The elections went sadly against us in Michigan, each congrefsional district more than 2000 majority, and the Washtenaw district the worst of the whole This County the Loco majority was about 200. Ann arbor gave 62 whig maj. on the Governor. We are the banner township now. 45 was Gen. Harrisons majority. Notwithstanding all this some will have it : that Clay will get the State. I think the chances are against us. Even though Van Buren will be their candidate of which their is but little doubt. The Loco State Convention was held in Ann arbor last week and Van Buren men were nominated to the Baltimore Convention. Now as I am writing of Politics I will tell you if you are coming to Michigan next Spring. I wish you would make your calculations to be in Michigan in time to vote next fall. If you get into Detroit before four of the Clock P.M. May 5th you will have a right to vote next fall at the general election. If you are later than that you will have no vote. As the Whigs are to make an effort next fall. with fair prospects and a noble cause I hope their will be no failure on your part. The State may go against us. But the County I think will not. I was sorry to hear that William Early bolted in his old days

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As it respects a House, you can have one either in Ann arbor, or Ypsilanti or we will build a small one in our village for you. Our Sawmill house is 20 by 16 that would be too small for you. We have rented it to our mill men. They have turned it into a boarding house. We are to have .50 pr week and I find them in slabs to burn.[heat their quarters] Next year I will let them find their own wood. The Ypsilanti house it is rented for .75 pr week. The house tolerable and in a good place. Two fifths of an acre is attached to it. That you might have for .62 1/2 pr week Cash. The man that rents it now is poor pay, and it is doubtful whether I will get .62 1/2 notwithstanding he has promised .75 I think this house would answer you. The location is good. The house 1 1/2 story, and a cellar kitchen. it is rather small but would do. It belongs to Lanes Estate. The house in Ann Arbor belongs to the Sawmill. It is 1 1/2 stories two rooms below, Its almost out of the village and stands on high ground. There is a patent cistern belonging to it: no well (The Ypsilanti house has a well but no cistern) I rented it last summer for .75 pr week I rented it last Dec. for .62 1/2 Cash to be paid monthly. I called upon him at the end of the month but he was not at home so I did not get my pay. We have owned that house over 1 1/2 years and have not got a cent of rent yet. You can have this house for .50 In our village you could keep a cow. In Ypsilanti, or Ann arbor, a Cow would cost more than she would come to: Houses in this country are rented all times of the year I think it likely I will have to drive off both these tenants at any rate I will not rent them till you come, or I hear from you. Jan. 17th I wrote the above on Monday evening Tuesday, I received four newspapers. The New York Evangelist, New York Tribune, State journal of Ann arbor, and the North American from you. So Tuesday evening I read Newspapers. My expenses for 1843 after deducting $30.48 for hands who boarded with me while working on Grist or Sawmill was $391.40. Religions $70.22 1/2. Items $30.00 for repairing Meeting house. $25.00. For Mr Wead, pastor $2.00 for a Mr Bates who preached at Carpenters corners last winter. for New York Evangelist and postage $3.28. Foreign Mifs. Society 4.00. Home Mifs. Society 2.00. Education Society 1.00. For wood & fixing stoves 2.00 & Communion collection .94. Medicine 12.29 1/2. Items 3 bottles of India Cholegogue [?] for Ague 1.50 pr bottle. Brandy 2.12 1/2 &c. Sugar 150 1/2 lbs, cost $14.15. Tea 11 lbs cost, 10.39 1/4. Coffee 27 lbs cost 3.72. Molafses 9 1/2 gal. cost 4.63 1/4. Wheat 37 1/2 Bu. cost $21.80. Flour 387 lbs cost $6.84. Butter 34 lbs $4.25. Beef 499 lbs cost 13.36 1/2 (This includes what I bought last winter and this fall) Pork 720 lbs cost $25.20 Lard 30 lbs cost $2.10. Cheese 20 lbs $1.25. Apples 17 Bu $4.00. Plums one Bu $1. [blot] Peaches one Bu .37 1/2. Cider one barrel $2.00 & the Barrel $1.00. Quinces one peck .50. Cranberries one Bu .75 Salaratus 7 lbs .64. Raisins & Candy $1.44. Calico 108 yds $14.78. Factory, Brown Shirting, cotton 59 1/4 yds $5.64 1/2. Schooling $0.32. Spices 1.10 3/4. Paper, Ink, & Spelling book .75. My expenses $16.95 for clothing (this does not include my shirts, nor stockings,) Fanny 22.15 1/4. The same exceptions with myself Delia $6.00. This does not include all Delia expenses. The Calico the women get amongst them. Maid hire $27.00. Work for me; that is men hire $19.08 3/4. Letter postage 1.75 Newspaper Postage besides Evangelist 1.00. Thread 1.11 1/2. Hens cost 3.96. Hay & Bran for Cows 13.36 1/2. Tax 4.811/2. Besides Sawmill, & Besides Road tax. Cellar, 11.11 1/4. House expenses many items $40.70. Books 39.84. Botsford and me bought Harpers Family Library 157 volumes, each took half. The whole cost 63.18. Alison Europe $4.00. Bronds Encyclopedia 3.00. American Orchardist 1.00. I believe these sums over run the Total a little I have not time to rectify it now. I will straiten it, at my leisure. I will continue to keep my accounts this year and see how it will come out again, you will think there is great room for improvement or rather retrenchment. My Religious expenses would astonish me if I was not used to it. But I must cut that down at least one half this year Medicine looks large and is large I used but little of it myself, not .25 worth School bill very small only .32. Books will not cost me much next year. I sawed last year 332,805 feet (843 logs) at 1.00 pr thousand, makes $332.80 1/2 I had some help for which I paid $3.00. Which leaves my personal income $329.80 1/2 My tax is small but that does not include the Sawmill. The Sawmill pays its own tax. I did not buy any Hens, it was their feed that cost $3.96. I got a little interest money not ten dollars. I sold some Ashes. I will keep an acct. of my income this year. We got a letter from the Lenawee County Geddess, lately they cannot pay us anything this season. to the old gentlemans great sorrow I am more sorry for him than for myself, for he does not pay the interest which keeps eating away at his farm. It must know [knaw] quite a hole in after a while at 10 pr cent. In deed I am glad we have got the mill off our hands for there is no dependence to be placed in the people that owe us. It is not because they are dishonest but because their income barely gives them a living. Wheat I am told to day is .62 1/2 in Ann arbor (Jan. 20th) Wages is too high for the price of Grain here. Pork $3 1/2 pr hun. But still the people in this country display too much; we [are] too proud, for the ability of the country. The improvements than [that] necefsarily must be, or is made in all new countries use up the means of the owners and there is a disposition in many to stretch as far as they can hoping that they will be able to get through. hope and selfishnefs spurs them on as long as they can get credit many are overwhelmed and others drag themselves along. Like Bonaparte soldiers retreating from Moscow a few at last emerge but the mafs are left behind Your tax this past year is $9.67. Which I have paid. Its $4.50 lefs than 1842

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Jan. 24th This ought to have been finished last week but company and businefs prevented it. Same this week. Monday and Tuesday, nights company No Snow yet. The weather is cold to day. Our tax is one quarter higher and yours one third lefs. I was not Afsefsor or I would have tryd to prevent that, by making an effort to keep the village property from being afsefsed at one third what its worth. when the country was at half its worth. The village was afsefsed so low that the Supervisors when they met put 60,000 to the total of the Ann arbor afsefsment that was put on the whole township when it in justice it ought to have been put on the village. One of the partners of Mill has sold his right to a Mr Converse I. Garland of Ann arbor village. He is a Merchant, and drives the coopering pretty strong and now he is going into the Mill businefs He gives Mr Ails $500. Mr Ails is to be foreman of the hands until the job is done. Ails price is $2.50 pr day and board. He will get 3.00 and probably more on this arrangement. So he gets the job and some $100 to boot. Mr Rogers thinks that it will cost them more than they estimated some 3 or 4 0[blot] dollars. Our part of the work has taken as long again as I expected. We have agreed that they shall insure $1000 for us and 1000 for them the first year. The second year our insurance is to be $1250 and theirs $750 &c We think of insuring $500 on our own acct. $25 pr year is the cost on $2000 that is what has to be paid for insuring $2000. We are all well, &c Robert and his family are well. The Presbyterians of Ypsilanti had three deaths amongst them last year. Two of them had Consumption. We have lost one this year already she died of Consumption.

Farewell

To William Geddes John Geddes

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