Letter 4 James Weaver to Richard Hardeman
Letter 4: James Weaver, from Lisbon, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, December 13-15, 1839, to (cousin) Richard Hardeman at the "Whofferton (Wofferton) Salway Arms (an inn), Near Ludlow, Herefordshire, Great Britain.
Editor Note: This is the first letter back to England by James Weaver AFTER the Weavers moved from Augusta, Oneida County, New York to the Town of Lisbon (at that time), Milwaukee County (now Waukesha County), Wisconsin. This letter reveals the earliest known "personal" accounting of the area at that time.
Note: Richard Hughes transcribed this letter in early 2008, and he notes, "I decided to retain the original phonetic spelling .", so it may be difficult to understand at times. "Original copies" of the letter below can be found by clicking the above links.
Lisbon Milwaukie County Decbr. 13 1839
My Dear Richard,
With much pleasure I imbrace this upportunity of addressing my self to you in answer of your kind letter in which I was much pleased with your letter and so glad to hear that you was likely to make your new habitation answer so well. I think you have done well for the first reason I see you have got to be quite a greasour and I hope you will have good luck with your flock. Poor father was glad to hear so good account of you and we should both be very happy to see you and your wife and family but 5,000 miles seames long a way a part but there is more unlikely things turn up than that although I see no prospect of it at preasent but god only now what we are to come to and I do sincere hope we shallmeet together in another world of happiness if it is not our good luck to meet in this.
I hope these few lines will find you all in good health as thank god it leaves most of my family. I add a bad exceldent this week and cut my foot with a axx but I be in hopes I shall get about before long. I have one little girl that thus not enjoy a verry good health at present it gane one that was a baby when I left England but the rest of my family are in good health now by the blessing of god. My wife was confined last July of a nother son and was sick for 12 hours and I add 16 miles to send for a doctor but we got through before eny doctor got there and she got a long pretty well the first week and then was taken vey dangerus hill and I got the doctor out as soon as I could and I did the best I could for her my self which I nould was my duty to do and I be happy to say the Almighty as restore her to her health a gine in which I feel very thankfull for. Add I but lost my wife I should have been undon. I know I should of known the lost of a good one.
I think if I understood your letter right your wife did not enjoy good health. If so I hope please god will restore her to her health agine.
Now I will give you some account how I have got on
this year. I now have 18 head of cattel 16 hogs I have killed at this fall and I
have 4 more to kill and I have sold 11 pigs. That increase I have got from 2
sows . Since last February 1839 that increase in 1 year will be worth me 100
dollars and 1 horse I have lately bought for 70 dollars and my wife bought 2
chickens a bought a year a go and she is add good luck to get 33 from the 2. You
may see we be in the fair way for making up for hard times. I think I shall grow
240 bushels of wheat 180 of oats 15 of barley 5 of peas 9 of Buckwheat 600 of
potatoes and some tuirnips and I cut 15 tons of hay that is wild hay and cattel
do well on it and I have got in about 18 or 20 acres of wheat this fall and it
150 Bushels of Indian corn wheat is worth from 45 cents to 1 dollar Oats 38 cents Indian corn 62 cents Barley 75 cents peotatoes 38 cents pork 7 dollars to 8 dollars per hundred beef 6 dollars per hundred Cheese 14 cents lb Butter 31 cents lb but not much cash paid for grain this year this part of the Countary. Now I suppose produce 300 miles south of where I live is not worth about half as much as hear.
My boy shot a Deir last week wayed 86 lb plenty of them hear and turkies and prayor hens about like a hen pheasant plenty of wild game hear and every one shot were they like.
Edward Times is set up a shoemaking hear built him a shop beside William house. He as only just start bisness for him self. He as work out at farming work since he has been hear he but his self prenticed in york state and I think he has not ardly learnt is trade a nuf yet .
Please give our kind respect to Uncle Beals fokes and and the rest of our relations when you have a chance to and I hope your sister is doing well. I think you did your Duty for her. My sister thus enjoy much better health this year. Father is quite harty for his age and like this part of the countary well. He not know I are a writing to you so you must please to take his kind love and he please to hear from you and please to except all the rest of my brothers and sisters and they are all well.
Please to answer this letter as soon as conveinant for I be glad to hear from you .
We have a fine mild winter so far . I be sorry for the poor in England and many of the farmers to and middle class to. I feal glad to think I left when I did .
I now I have done a fine thing for my family . My tax this year was not 5 dollars all the tax I add to pay. If a man bye a pease of land hear what he can raise of it is his own.
I be sorry to send you such a small sheat of paper but I have now long sheat by me so please to exquse bad spaling
Decr. 15 1839.
Mr Taylor I had letter from him about 2 week a go and he is staying at New York now he talk of going to England next year. I have sent him your address.
Please to except my best love from me my wife and children for yourself and all the family from your Friend and well wishes of J E Weaver.
This time 20 years my poor mother laid dead . O what a alteration in 20 years. God bless you and all of the family
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