Letter From John Geddes to William Geddes, September 14, 1844

Author: John Geddes

Date: September 14, 1844

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Ann arbor, September 14th 1844

Dear Brother. [William Geddes] After waiting long to hear from you. I have at last (being wearied waiting) taken up my pen to write to you More than four months has slipped away without hearing from you, and that too at a time when you have been expected to appear in person months ago. I am sorry it had not entered your head that such a state of things must be disagreeable to me. I have kept the Sawmill house empty since the first day of May waiting your motion, It is true you said you would pay the rent whether you occupied the House or not. But still I dont want to charge you for a house you dont use Your last letter to me was dated the 5th of May; I answered that a short time after. Not very long after Ramseys speech in pamphlet form was received by me. There was nothing written on it. The pamphlet was sheared very close. If you had written any thing on it. The Postmaster must have clipped it off. They Postmasters in Ann arbor & Ypsilanti have positive orders to take off the wrappers off all extra papers and pamphlets so as to detect any intelligence that may be conveyed in that way and charge letter postage. So that if you did write a line in the pamphlet the postmaster did not wish to charge twenty five cents for it neither did he wish to let it go. So he took a middle course, and cut it off. All this is supposition. For I do not think you would let more than four months slip away (as it has done to me) without sending some kind of word. If you are going to come this fall it is not too late yet but the first week of September (for a person that can choose his time) is the best time to start on such a journey. It is a sort of dividing line between summer, and fall. We have had a very wet season. Harvest weather tolerable. Hay making rather poor. The Wheat was a good deal shrunk. In harvest it was thought more than half a crop. But since on thrashing it The Wheat crop is called one third of a crop. Wheat is .60 pr Bu. The cost of transportation from here to Detroit is .23 pr Barrel of Flour; from Detroit to New York .80. Freight from Detroit to New York varies. August is a slack time with Steam & Canal boats This has been rather a sickly season. Ypsilanti in particular was called quite sickly. The prevailing disease was the Bloody Flux. This is the first time it has made its appearance so fatally since Ypsilanti has been settled. The principal victims were children. Our village has stood it very well. And so has the School district

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This has been a one day 83o. (Saturday 14th Sept) and so was yesterday. We have had no frost this fall yet. September has been warm and of course lengthens out the sicklynefs of the season. Roberts folks have been well, Robert is complaining as not well to day. My health has been pretty good. But I cannot do as much work as I once could on the Sawmill in the same time. Wife and Sarah & little John are well. I saw Mr Ewers the fourth of July. He was at the Marshall Convention and so was I. Mr Ewers oldest daughter died on the 27th of March last. Himself and Jane and children were well. Jane was wondering why you did not come. (Mr Ewers told me). I told Mr Ewers there was a probability of your coming directly after harvest. Botsford is going to Detroit next Monday next (on his way to Ohio to buy 500 sheep to keep on his farm He has 2 or 300 now) I told him to call and tell Jane that I had heard nothing about you since I saw Mr Ewers. And that I was about sending a letter to you Now some politicks. I am not so attentive in attending political meetings as four years ago. But I feel as much interest in the contest; and think still lefs of the Lo-cos. They were low in my estimation four years ago, but they have sunk lower now. But with all there lying I hope to see, or hear of Henry Clays being elected President. I have but faint hopes of Michigan. There is but little doubt, but it will go for Polk, Even our County I think doubtful. But still I think it will go Whig. Texas and Free Trade are openly avowed here. Neither of which has much influence on the Abolutionists. They mofs of them are as inexorable as Achilles when his maid his black eyed maid was forced away. They can see nothing but duelling and Slaveholding, in Henry Clay. So huge are those things, or so contracted is their visions They call themselves conscientious lovers of Freedom, and I call them fools. So you see there is quite a difference of opinion. I am in hopes that Pennsylvania will go for Clay. But it is a doubtful State. New York I am pretty confident will go for Clay. We have had the Sawmill wheel overhauled and new one put in on the reaction principle. It is called the Stanton wheel. It has been running two weeks I can saw some more with it than with the Flutter wheel & it takes a little lefs water. I have a new gig [small fast carriage] on the same principle. It goes with spirit. Garland & Rogers are putting in the second water wheel to grind now. They dont do custom work yet. I intend to drop this in to the letter box to morrow. I want you to write or find someone to write if you cannot soon after you get this and direct to Ann-arbor Farewell John Geddes

To William Geddes