Fredi wrote, "Thank you all for you input on these most interesting letters. And I apologize for attempting to send a scan of one of the letters to the list. So sorry. Today I organized the letters and put them in order, each in protective sleeves. I will attempt to transcribe these over the next few months and send them out to all of you. As you'll see, often I can't read a name and rather than stabbing in the dark, I've put a question mark. I've stayed with the original spelling. (I'm an editor and publisher and I don't mishspell usually.) Anyone who'd like to send corrections to me or the list, I'll correct my copy. Richard Neumann, a member of your list who lives quite near me, offered to put the original letters on a CD plus the transcription of these letters. By the way ... my name is Fredi, not Fred ... I'm female.
Actually the letters get a lot more interesting now when Caroline's uncle starts writing her the news. He was a bright guy, very much into the political issues of the day. AND he follows all the births, deaths, etc. in his letters.
George Churchill was born Oct. 11, 1789 in Glastonbury, Connecticut to Jesse Churchill and Hannah Boardman. He died in Troy Aug. 11, 1872. I found this at Ancestry.com
|Letter #1 - 25 April 1837||Letter #2 - 18 Aug 1839||Letter #3 - 2 Feb 1840||Letter #4 - 20 Apr 1840||Letter #5 - 15 Sep 1840||Letter #6 - 20 Sep 1840|
|Letter #7 - 26 Apr 1841||Letter #8 - 19 Oct 1841||Letter #9 - 2 Mar 1842||Letter #10 - 4 May 1842||Letter #11 - 5 Nov 1842||Letter #12 - 20 Feb 1843|
|Letter #13 - 21 May 1844||Letter #14 - 13 Jul 1845||Letter #15 - 1 Oct 1845||Letter #16 - 25 Feb 1846||Letter #17 - 4 Apr 1846||Letter #18 - 28 Apr 1846|
|Letter #19 - 27 May 1846||Letter #20 - 23 Jun 1846||Letter #21 - 10 Nov 1846||Letter #22 - 22 Feb 1847||Letter #23 - 5 Jul 1847||Letter #24 - 25 Jul 1847 or 1841|
|Letter #25 - 19 Dec 1848||Letter #26 - 8 Apr 1849||Letter #27 - 14 May 1849||Letter #28 - 26 Aug 1849||Letter #29 - 27 Sep 1849||Letter #30 - 30 Oct 1849|
|Letter #31 - 24 May 1850||Letter #32 - 18 Dec 1851||Letter #33 - 18 Oct 1852||Letter #34 - 20 Dec 1852||Letter #35 - 20 Jan 1853||Letter #36 - 13 Sep 1854|
[Note from another researcher: I live in Wisconsin about 50 miles from this area. The "Badgers" mentioned in here is referring to the miners who burrowed into the hill sides looking for lead and galena ore. There were very few women there then. Lots of times an abandoned mine became the home. "Burrowing into the hills like Badgers" is how the name came to be. "There is lots of old mines from Monroe, Green County west to the Mississippi River and from the Illinois border north to the Wisconsin River. Wisconsin Counties included in this are western Green, Lafayette, Grant, and Iowa." Sara]
[Note from another researcher:I found this on George Churchill p.
439 of Brink's History of Madison Co.
Illinois, under Jarvis Twp.:
"George Churchill, who settled on section eight, west of Troy, was one of the most remarkable men who ever lived in the township. In early life, he had learned the printing business and after coming to the township, he at intervals went to St. Louis and worked in the printing offices of that place. He remained a bachelor and his habits were peculiar and eccentric. He, however, was held in high esteem by the community, and was several times sent as a representative to the legislature. Here, though he was no orator, and indeed never attempted to make a speech, his talent as a ready writer came into play, and drafted a considerable part of the bills brought forward by his side of the house. He was one of the most active opponents of the efforts to introduce slavery into the state in 1824. His botes in the legislature excited the displeasure of those opposed to his views, and he and Nicholas Hanson, a fellow member of the assembly, were burned in effigy, at Troy."
On p. 441 it mentions George Churchill's appointment as postmaster at Troy, which he mentioned in his letters.
Angeline McCray, must have won her suit as the heir, because on p. 443 of the history, it states: "By the will of Angeline McCray Dewey, widow of John S. Dewey, her estate, estimated as worth in the neighborhood of thirty thousand dollars, is left to five trustees..."
Angeline McCray and Dr. Dewey were my ancestress's adoptive parents. She was Mary Blakeman Dewey.Anyway, I thought some of you on the list might enjoy finding out more about those in the letters. Gail]
March 4, 1836. Self envelope mailed to George Churchill Esq., PM, Ridge Prairie, Illinois. Postmarked St. Louis. Then sent to Miss Caroline Elisabeth Churchill, Monroe, Greene County, Wisconsin Territory with postmark of Ridge Prairie Illinois, March 4. Franking (Free) by G Churchill, PM
Ridge Prairie April 25th 1837
I improve this opportunity to inform you that your Cow has got a Calf she found it the next day after your Mother left here. We are all well Mary stuck a thorn in her hand yesterday at school and it is tolerable sore. We have got our Garden made I got three hollyhock roots and some pink cammomile worm wood and live forever roots at Mrs. Cornwells. Today we are planting corn. The peach trees are in full bloom. I expect this cold weather will kill the peaches if it does not you must come and help us eat them next fall.
Miss Minerva Gaskill went to Carlinville with the intention of attending school there but the school did not suit her and she came home again and has gone to Lebanon.
Cordelia and Jane continue at school Candace G. attends school now. Cordelia has got a new tuscan bonnet. Mr. Bennet pays his compliments to Fanny Gaskill. George Brown goes to see Tharsalia Scott. John Hays and Cynthia Cornwell are going to be married no preventing providence. Auld Lee has gone to the shades (?). Uncle George has hired a man to work by the name of Coats lately from Tennessee. ???Mc says that he is going to New York City. James Gaskill has gone to Chicago. Mc? Works for old Mrs. McMahan. Mrs. Carswell has got a little young one in her old age. Joshua Gaskill said that they missed you in school very much. You have all the news exhortations omitted for want of ability. Love to all.
Your affectionate cousin
Hannah Amelia Weeks
PS Please to write as soon as you get this.
Self envelope. Postmarked Ridge Prairie April 25. Number 6 written in corner (for stamp)
Aug. 18th 1839
I have just finished a letter to Sarah Chipman and am in a perspiration nevertheless. I will say a few words to you hoping these few lines may find you in a comfortable degree of health. I was very sorry to hear of your illness. Harriet was taken sick the day you left. She is getting better now. She is as homesick as you was. She wishes she had never left Pike. I came home Saturday after you went home and found the folks in such distressed situation that I did not go back again. Father and Mother went out yesterday and got my things. They were both to let me off. Mother told Mr. H that I might go back in a few weeks if she could get help. James Posey died last Tuesday. Mother Wood and McMan are very sick. John Piston (?) is sick with the augue and fever mixed together Dr. Jennings was there last Sunday trying to separate it. Williams was at home last Sunday. We all went to camp meeting all the beauty and fashion of the Prairie. Collinsville and Troy were there. George Coppasway (?) as native ? was there and gave us a talk. My pen is so bad I will not write any more for fear you cannot read it and write an answer this week. Please to write us soon as you get this an let me know concerning your health and all other matters and things. Yours truly.
H. A. Weeks
Miss C. E. Churchill
(Postmarked Ridge Prairie Illinois Aug. (written in ink) 28. 6
in stamp corner
Your favor of Jan. 18th was duly received and I should have answered it before if it had not been so very cold. I am very glad to hear that you are still in the land of the living. We had almost concluded that you had left this world from your long silence. Gov. Finley said that you had gone to fever river. (?) I am glad that Sall Two-legs has got through with the troubles of this world.
I have not heard any thing about Ann H. and the slip shod Philosopher. Mr. Whealtey was here not long, since he is doing pretty well I believe. Brother Ben has been here since the Doctor left here. He appears as well as ever and if you will come and spend the summer with us you may have him if you want. Mother thinks that he took a shine to you.
As for your cosin (sic) Alfred that you speak of hard hearted wretch has forsaken us without just cause or provocation. He told Pharsalia the other day that he had almost forgotten me. Harriet Buckley returned home soon after you left here. Her Mother and Brother came after her. Pharsalia say tell you that she and Orson (?) are married. She told me the other day that she did not lover Orson or Sam. Rather she seemed very candid about it. I do not think she will ever have O. and M (?) Gillit is going to take Sam so you see that her cake is like to be dough.
The Doctor left here a few weeks ago in great displeasure. He says he asks no favors of any body but Mr. Churchill. I believe that he is teaching in town. I shall say no more about him because I cannot find words to express his meanness. Now I have answered all the queries in your short letter but I am not through yet. ??? Scott is in jail for shooting the Esq Scott. The ball entered his leg a little above the ancle. He intended to have killed him. Mr. Scotts youngest daughters name is Mariann Minerva. It is a wonderful child. Mr. Weiston (?) also have a wonderful child. They don't know nothing. What it is going to be. They never raised such a child before. Jesse Mc is married and Eveline Clark has a daughter, Jenny Botkin is married to some body on the bottom. Sally Good and Cyrus Davison are married, and I don't know who all. Mr. Nelson Danniels wife died not long since and left two children.
We have had many merry sleigh rides. Orson and Sam have each a string of sleigh bells. New Years day four or five sleighs of us went down to St. Clair Co and got dinner. Christmas eve we all went from a quilting at Mr. Peters (?) to Edwardsville and took supper and went into the ballroom a few minutes. Orson was going to take the most comfort of any that night but Horace asked Pharsalia to ride in his sleigh and Orson was so made he swore he would not go so he went to Troy and got a black eye. So much for him. Maryanne Gillit had a quilting last Thursday and at night we had a merry ride. The slete is so hard that horses that are not sharp shod cannot stand up. I always ride in the best sleigh and go ahead. Ran some races and turnover and break down some times.
The late slete has tore out shade tree very bad. The willow tree is nearly ruined.
Everybody except me have gone to meeting at Mr. Guthries today. They say that Nancy Peter (?) is going to run away with Mr. Roudefelt before long. Mr. R. is a Yankee and Mrs. Teter says always did hate the Yankees and she believes in her soul that every one of her children will marry Tankees. Don't you pity her.
We expect uncle George home next week. I have had several letters from him. He boards at his cousin Charles Boardman Francis. We have a Boston gentleman living here this winter. He is going to Boston as soon as uncle G. gets home. He did expect to bring his wife here to board and crop it next summer but he has heard of his fathers death and his Mother wants him to come and live with her and I am glad. Aint you.
Mr. Kraft has sold to Dr. Green and left Troy and Seet (?) Hunter has gone or is about to (small bit of page torn here). The Troyans have had two bulls of late and Perham Bull brought me a ticket he .. one to Mrs. Blair, Mrs. McClannehanand(?) andMrs.Gillet. Mrs. G. went foot and alone and danced allnight. Now I have told you all the foolishness that I can think of and if you can read it in a fortnight and do your chores you will do well. Please to write when you get through with it and tell me where you are and what you are doing. All about matters and things. Did you come to Edwardsville when Hannah S. was married? Who came with you? Was it G. Conlee or the brickyard fellow. Why did you not come to our house. Please to excuse all mistakes for my pen is very poor. My fingers very cold, and my family very impatient for their dinner. All well as common love to all.
Hannah A. Weeks
Miss Caroline E. Churchill
Browns Prairie Ills.
Self envelope to
Miss Caroline E. Churchill
Brighton, Macoupin Co, IllinoisPostmark looks like Jerseyville????
Miss H. A. Weeks is teaching school in the Marine Settlement and will not probably receive your letter for some time to come.
We are all as well as usual. Yours, George Churchill
Miss Caroline E. Churchill Brighton, IL
PS. Miss Fanny Gaskill is teaching school in this neighborhood, and Miss Julia Small in the upper part of the Marine Settlement.Postmarked Ridge Prairie, April 22. Free franking. G. Churchill, PM
Dear Caroline, Your letter for Hannah arrived yesterday. She is sick, and so is her mother, but both are getting better. Mr. Weeks also has been sick a long time, but is now nearly well. Boardy and the Baby are both comfortably sick: -- You know what that means - about as sick as you made yourself last year when you wanted to go home.
You need not wait for the Rev. Samuel Kelly. He is safely married to his cousin Rebecca McMahan, and carries on Uncle Isaac's farm. Uncle Isaac has removed to Shoal Creek, Clinton Co., where he has bought Curtis's mills. George W. McMahan was drowned near those mills last spring.
Dr. Jennings die last week at Troy of delerium tremens.
Mr. Wm. C. D. Harrington, formerly of Otsego Co. NY teaches school in this neighborhood.
Isaac Holt and his wife are no longer one flesh, but twain.
You may as well direct your letters to your uncle as he will read them anyhow, and bits and picayunes are not very plenty in the school. Ma'ams pocket. Your uncle will safely hand over your letters to the school Ma'am; and as they will meet her critical eye, let me advise you to try to spell as well as you can, and point your letters, and begin every sentence with a capital letter.
Please give us some idea of the geography of Monroe, Greene Co WT. How far from Galena and in which direction? Which "uncle T" is it that lives six miles from you? What is Ma doing. Tell about Jackson, and Gilen (?) and RooseyAnn, and Maria. The Baby is trying to learn to write, so look out for a letter from her.
Andrew Miller elected sheriff: Lyn (?), Edwards, Joseph Gillespie, James Reynolds representatives. Henry C. Camdell, Coroner of Madison Co.
Yours, George Churchill.
(Postmarked Ridge Prairie, Sep 16. Self envelope to Miss
E. Churchill, Monroe, Greene Co., WT
Dear Cousin, I was very glad to hear from you again although I did not expect to hear from Wisconsin. I didn't get the last letter you wrote from Brighton until it was too late to go and see you. If I had I should not have let you gone out of the world to live with the Badgers if I could have helped it. Why did not you write your letter as long as a horses head. We wanted to hear more particulars about you all. What you are doing and how you like the country. I expect we will be poking up that way next spring. I wish you was here to go with me don't you? Father and Mother expect to go to see the country and people in about two weeks. They intend to find a place we donot know where probably about a mile from Galesburg, and William and I will go up early in the spring to get in some corn wile the others stay here to build a barn for uncle George. You must step over and stay with us. I shall be very lonely up ther without friend or foe. How far are you from Galena and which way.
Horace is going to St. Louis next week to live a year with Mr. I. Lockwood and learn to be a leather merchant. We are not all well. Father has had the ague and fever for more than two months he is well now Mother has had the fever five or six weeks she is getting better, every one except I have had the ague more or less, it has been sickly here a good many have died with the flux down south around Bethel and on the bottom. Dr. Vennings (?) of Troy died of the delerium tremens. Mr. McElroy (?) is dead. Also Mrs. Widow. McClannahan. Old Mrs. Merry. Tennydum (?), Botkin. I do not think of any others that you were aquainted with. Luann Merry in the Spring. I forget wether it was before you left or not. Was George McMahan drownded or not while you were here. He drowned in School Creek. It was two or three days before he was found. Isaac has moved his family to School Creek. Rebecca occupies the old stand with her darling honey. I will mend my pen and then tell you who has entered into the holy state of matrimony of late. I am sure it will break your heart for the priest is gone! In the psring John Henderson married Elisabeth Whiteside. They live on your old place. The Wrictons (?) live on the old ? place near Gilead. Old man Henderson is going to move next week to Marine and Lloyd is going to move into the tavern. Mrs. Hott is going to live with big sister Susan. She and Old Holt have dissolved copartnership on George and Elisabeths account. Uncle John Wriston (?) has moved down as poor as poverty. They are a mean set from one end to tother. Tillia thinks his wife loves Alfred Wriston better than she does him. John Mcvey married Eliza Hall and lives where his father did.
The Rev. Samuel Kelly to his cousin Rebecca McMahan. Mr. James Willoughby married Miss Polly Janette Gates. Mr. Benjamin Franklin Slate would marry Miss Mary Ann Minerva Gaskill if he could get her. Mr. Shaw has figured about run in debt all he would and last week absquatutated(?).. He drowned our horse Royalist in the spring in Silver Creek.
I taught one quarter at the same place and boarded at Mr. Andersons. Your Father was here two or three weeks ago. He lives at Middletown. He talked of going to see you this fall. Please to write often. Love to all. Your True Friend. Hannah A. Weeks.
(Self envelope. Postmarked Ridge Prairie Sep 23. Written in stamp
corner: 18 ¾)
Dear Caroline, Your letter of the 4th arrived on the 19th April. I did not hand it to the school marm, but I think she has read it. Our folks are all well, although most of them have had the ague this spring. Wm. W and Chamby (?) B. Weeks have been gone to Galesburg 20 days. They took 3 horses, wagon, plows.
I see you have dropped the "Elisabeth" out of your name. You must not forget the memory of Miss Betsey Free.
I saw your father at Collingville yesterday. He was well. He is making a crop at the Bluff, 4 ½ miles SW of Collingville.
Do you live in the town of Monroe? If not, how far from it? Do you go to school? Do the other children go? Which of the O'Flynns is in "cahoots" with Miss Burt (?) of Gardner (?).
The Baby goes to school once in a while and does (have?) stroke of bumps at playing. Miss Hannah Seybold (?) is our school marm. Joseph Gaskill is married to a girl of one of the Smarts.
Next time you write to me, please put "PM" after my name on the outside of the letter to save Mr. Phelps the trouble of writing "18 ¾".
Divine (?) and Mindry (?) boys and girl have got married. Among them Mr. George Brown and Miss Moore. (?) McMahan's School Creek speculation turned out bad, and he is nearly broken. Yours G. C* *George Churchill
Dear Caroline, Yesterday I rec'd a letter from Miss Hannah A Weeks saying that you "complain because I do not write oftener." Now, it was my opinion that I wrote last, and that it was your turn. If I was in error, this letter will set all right again.
I was at Kingston Bluff about 2 weeks ago. Your step-brother,
Samson Kingston, had been very sick, and had been calomeored (?) and
(?) by Dr. Butte of Butteville so that the boy had picked out several
his teeth with his fingers. Your other step-brother, William Wesley
and the old folks were well. The old gentleman had rec'd a letter from
you, but could not find it to show to me. He does not "make rich come"
yet. ? will not pay for hauling, and apples are cheap. Jane has been
$1 per (?) here are well. Aunt Harriet Gaskill is dead: so is John Reid
of Troy and Miss Ann Marriat Guernsey (?) of Collingsville. I am sorry
to hear that all you Wisconsin swains wear yellow breeches, and that
cannot bear that color. I reckon Miss Hannah will get married before
yet, not withstanding your anxiety to enter the holy estate of
She don't like Galesburg therefore I guess she will take a Ridge
man. Guess who? Now please give me a geographical and topographical
of Monroe, and Greene county, and the characteristics of the Bagders,
(?), and Yellow Breeches. How do you like your step father, if you have
one - for rumors are contradictory on this point. Remember me to your
and Jackson, Giles, the Doctor, and Maria. Yours. GC
Madison Co., Illinois, March 2, 1842
Dear Caroline, Your letter of Feb. 4, postmarked Feb. 8, came to hand yesterday. I send in reply a piece of a yellow letter in compliment to the "yellow breeches" of which you appear so fond, and hope it will shine."
Mr. James R. Perrigo jun. And Miss Hannah A Weeks were united in the holy estate of matrimony at Galesburg on the 25th Jan. 1842, at 6 o'clock and 30 minutes, PM by the Rev. H. H. Kellogg, President of Galesburg College and the happy couple arrived at this place on Saturday evening, Feb. 5.
Mr. Perrigo and his father, mother, grandmother, 2 brothers and sister and boy young and small (about 3 years) live in my house. They are from "York State". The old man is very deaf, and not healthy. The old man and son had a ?? of spell of sickness last fall which caused the wedding to be postponed. Grandmother and Mother Perrigo are Methodists, the old man nothing in particular, and the young man is not a member of any church, but is very worthy, ready, sober, young man; and goes to meetings with his wife.
I was informed by somebody that you had become a "school marm". Is it true? You have a sousin teaching a splendid school at Prairie du Ghien, WT, among the Badgers at $4 and $5 per scholar a quarter. She has 45 scholars, in Chemistry, Philosophy, Geography, Grammar, and Arithmetic. Her name is Amily Amelia Churchill, and she lives with her uncle Rev. Jedidiah Dwight Stevens. So you can write to her, if you choose.
I was at Kingston Bluff in Jan. All well; and plenty of nice apples to eat. Your stepmother showed me a piece of the upper jaw of Master Samson Kingston with 2 or 3 teeth in it. This piece fell out by the operation of that "Samson of Medicine" Coloned (?) administered by one Dr. Butte. But little Samson is alive and does not seem to mind it. He calls his mother "Jane". Nevertheless the graveyards in these parts have received quite an acception to their population by means of Lancet, Calomel & Co.
What made you cut out your signature from your letter? Are you married? And don't want to tell me your new name? If your mother married yet? I hope your "little Yankees" will teach you so much Geography that you can tell whether "Monroe" is on the Mississippi or Lake Michigan or Lake Superior or Green Bay or the Wisconsin. You say nothing about Grandmother Gardner (?) or uncle Temple.
I was once well acquainted with your Hon James R. Vineyard who lately killed Mr. C. C. P. Arndt in the Badger Legislative Council. Venyard was a printer at Vandalia when I knew him. Are such scraps common among the Badgers? I understand that the Badgers are so fond of the Tuckers (?) that they are trying to get 12 or 15 counties of ?? away from us. If they should succeed the Badger country would be completely luckervied (?). Tell your Mother and grandmother that the Goose Creek farm once owned by your Father has recently been sold to Wm. W. Stine (?) for twenty dollars per acre, and that without any more additions to the improvements since you left it. The best bargain your father ever made was when he got the Goose Creek farm in exchange for the Skeamsborough (?) and Rice estates: and the worst bargain he made was when he trucked it off.
Squire Scott has built a barn, and an addition to his house, and has a nice new cookstove therein, and is getting along "prime".
I have excused all your mistakes, and in return I want you to study diligently while you go to school and afterwards and learn punctuation, and how to spell "opportunity", "description", "hear", and "affectionate".
Times are pretty hard here, but nothing like what they are at Galesburg and up north. We still use coffee and sugar. Coffee 8 lbs. For a dollar, and sugar 15 lbs. For a dollar, corn 25 cents and wheat 87 ½ cts a bushel in St. Louis, and the mud so deep that we can hardly get there. Give my reports to all inquiring friends. Tell Norman and George that I will thank them to write to me.
I have some more news to tell you, but will not do it till I have another letter from you. Two of your acquaintances have got married here, much to the astonishment of the public. I will tell you who they are after I receive your next letter. GC
PS: Since you left I have built a new barn, 30 by 40 feet, a
with loft 30 x 12 ft. a new ?? house, and have raised a ? of a Wood,
and a Carriage house. I conclude my letter because it will take you a
to ? out all that I have written. GC.
Ridge Prairie, Madison County, IL, May 4, 1842
Your favor of April 19 was rec'd yesterday. I am sorry that you cannot find out in what part of Wisconsin Green Co. is situated, and that the little muddy stream running through your mudless country has no name. What is nearest (?) county to you? Is it Lake or McHenry or Boone, or Winnebago, or Stephenson, or Jo Davies? How far from Galena to Monroe? How far from Rockford? How far from Belvidere?
"Thos astonishing weddings". Martin Joseph Macdonough Gates to Miss Mary Ann Loving Gillet. Mr. Joel M. Davis whose wife died not quite 3 months before to Mrs. Engor??? Who had already had 3 or 4 husbands. Mr. Tompkins to Miss Serena Morris. Miss Sally Watt to somebody up the prairie. I forget the name. Most of the people have joined the Washington Temperance Socieities. Isaac Hall among the rest. Troy has become a sober town. Mr. Henderson is the President of the Temperance Society there.
Where does Felix O'Flynn live? Uncle Temp? and Uncle Thompson? Does your grandmother live at Monroe? Is it a very healthy place?
Mrs. H. A. Perrigo's husband has a name handsome enough for any woman or girl, and he is a fine young man, but unfortunately he lived at Shoal (?) Creek till the fever and ague got such a fast hold of him that it seems impossible to eradicate it. He presently has a chill or a shake.
Mr. Silvanus Gaskill died on the 29th April, and was buried at Collinsville on the 28th by the side of his wife. So there is a family of orphans. Sam Teter (?) has shot his left hand to pieces with a pistol.
St. Louis prices - Coffee, 8 lbs. For $1; Sugar 15 lbs. Do; Wheat 73 cts. Per bushel. Times hard enough, but not so bad as among the poor Badgers.
All well at Kingston Bluff. Sister Jane makes a splendid dish of coffee. Little Samson goes to school at Silver Creek.
I have built a new bar, stable, and smoke house, and have up the
frame of a wood, carriage, and tool house. I have also built a very
frame house, 8 by 12 feet and 10 feet high, and finished it with a
and other furniture for your Uncle Levi so that he may not be troubled
with "noise", and that other people may not be annoyed with his
presence. He had been teasing for a house more than three years, and
done he still wanted me to pay for his board in Mr. Perrigo's family. I
declined the honor, and let him take his choice: to cook for himself,
to cook for him, eat his victuals raw or starve. He was quite "stuffy"
and tried starvation about 2 days and then concluded to cook for
The house is six rods east of the SE corner of the Pear Orchard where I
have fenced in and plowed a quarter of an acre for him to use as a
I hope he will gradually alter his opinion that "it is not right for
him to do any work." We people here all think he is as able to work
as most other people. He lets his beard grow, and looks far worse than
Lovero (?) Don. He can make a great deal of money at boot and shoe
and mending if he will only work. He has the best shop in the state.
write soon. Yours, George Churchill. PS. I do not know who told me you
were a school marm. Your old lover, Rev. Samuel Kelly is building a log
cabin on Hendershot Hill near the head of Goose Creek. Why do you write
"satisfied" for "satisfied"? PS. Remember me to all
inquiring friends, especially to Jackson, Giles and the Doctor.
Madison Co., IL, Nov. 5, 1842
We are all as well as usual. You have a little half-sister at Kingston Bluff. "Jane" requested me to name it. Whereupon I named it "Elisabeth Jane". Is not that a pretty name?
There is a Presbyterian church established at Troy. Dr. Joel K. Reiner and Mr. James R. Perrigo, Jun. Are the Elders. The members are Elders Reiner and Perrigo and their wives, Mrs. Scott and 5 children, Bennet Posey, Elizabeth Goodin, Hardy Goodin, Ellen Davis, and Mrs. Kimberlin. Rev. Mr. Chamberlin preaches to them every other Sunday.
Uncle David Gaskill died in September. Miss Margaret T. Henderson has died since.
I am no longer Post Master. Mr. Thomas J. Brady has been appointed to fill my place so this letter will cost you 18 ¾ cts if you get it. I hope money is plentiful among the Badgers than among the (?) for here it provides us to raise portage money.
There is a little letter in the Post Office directed to "Mr. George Churchhill, Postmaster". I have concluded that it is not from any of my relatives for they would know how to spell better. It is post-marked "Monroe, Wisconsin" and I cannot get it without paying 18 ¾ cts. And as it cannot have been written by you or any other Churchills, I have concluded to let it be. But perhaps you have changed the ancient and honored name of Churchill for some other. If so give us some hint of the matter. Send me a good long letter and I will try to buy it.
I papered through Middleton yesterday, and perceived that your father's late (?) was still there. I learn that corn and potatoes have been sold at Alton for 8 cents per bushel. Hard times!
When you write that long letter, please tell whether you are married or not, and to whom. Also about your mother, and Norman, and George, and Lucena (?) and Maria.
Have you yet found out where Monroe is situated?
There was an earthquake at Alton yesterday, a little after noon. No damage done.
A huge brick building has been erected at Upper Alton for Shurtliff College. It looks odd, seen through the trees and oak bushes.
Martin Alexander Blair is married to a girl named Lucitta Willis - Martin James Blair to a daughter of Mr. Swain, the tailor. Mr. Swain has joined the temperance society and removed to Collinsville.
The Methodists expect to build a meeting house at Collinsville. This will be the nearest Methodist meeting to Kingston Bluff. I usually attend the Episcopal Church at Collinsville every other Sunday. Mr. Darrow preacher the other Sundays at Marine Settlement.
There has been a great Temperance reformation in this region, and it has been followed by an extensive revival of religion.
Old Isaac Holt has committed an assault upon Linus (?) Bates; given surety for appearances at court, and cleared out to Kentucky.
William W. Hisss (?) has bought the old Goose Creek farm, and put up another log cabin on it. I reckon it would take a good many Middleton houses and lots to buy that farm now.
Your Mother promised little George to me. If he were here, I would try to clothe him and send him to school, but I apprehend his father would not be satisfied till he got him home; and how he and the young Kingstons would agree, I cannot predict. But three boys in one family are too many to be profitable.
I had a letter from Mary C. Weeks on the 18th Oct. All well there at Galesburg. Mr. Weeks had not yet raised his house.
Times are very hard here. Potatoes are hauled to St. Louis and sold for 10 cts. A bushel. Corn, same place, 15 cts. What 37 ½ cts. Castor Beans at Edwardsville, 30 cts. White beans, 25 cts. Chickens are hauled from Edgar Co to St. Louis and sold for 20 cents per dozen. Old debts remain unpaid, and it is not very east to get trusted.
Hail Moron, Esq. Died a few days since at Monticello, aged 49. A great loss to society.
I remain your affectionate uncle, George Churchill.
PS: It is expected that cousin Hannah will before long supply the world with another Perrigo.
Your Uncle Levi is quite as well as common. I have built a nice little frame house for him, furnished it with cookstove and "fixings" and let him cook for himself. He wanted me to. I had furnished him with a new house, but I told him no. Since he finds that he is at perfect liberty to cook for himself or starve, he makes no more fuss about it. He shaves oftener than formerly at least. Once a month. He has cost me a great deal to support him in all his whim whams. GC
I understand Mr. Weeks is making corn stalk sugar at Galesburg.
I rec'd your letter of Jan. 29 on Saturday last and have read it to Mrs. H. A. W. Perrigo. She is well but has a sick baby born Dec. 26, 1832 named Harriet Drusilla Perrigo, who is very sick and requiring the constant attention of eithr the mother or a hired girl. The basby is named after its deceased Aunt Harriet Perrigo and its grandmother Drusilla Perrigo. It has three "ague cakes", on on its face, one on its right wrist, one on its body. Thus far it has not found this world a very pleasant one. Nan Tayo says it is "nine daby and sitters" (my baby and sister.) The old folks and Nan Tayo are going to leave us the first of next month to live on Widow Parkinson's farm near Highland.
Cold weather - At Galena the mercury has this winter sunk in the thermometer to 32 degrees below zero. Here only 2 degrees below. And yet I find it plenty cold enough here. You are still further north than Galena and must have felt tolerably cool weather. No wonder that Felix O'Flynn could not stand it among the Badgers.
Your father has had fever and ague for companions all the fall and winter. He has at length got into the coal business and has a boy and team engaged in hauling coal to St. Louis, and a digger at the Bluff. Fletcher Robinson was married last week to one of old John Lamm's girls. Your father and step mother attended and when they went home on Friday, your stepmother was lying down in the wagon sick. So I am told by Mr. Corwman and Jemony (?).
The Rev. John H. Benson died at his home in this vicinity of consumption on Sunday, Feb. 5. Was buried at Collinsville on Tuesday after. Had left a large and needy family.
Mr. Wm. Weer, Jun., a graduate of McKendrie College keeps school at our log school house; Miss Laura M. Smith, at Troy; Mr. Kenny at Posey's. Mr. O. P. Hare at Mt. Gilead. Five or six girls from this neighborhood attend Mr. Braley's Academy at Collinsville.
Your Pa and I concluded to buy that letter from Monroe. Found it signed "Gorge Churchhill jun." I am still of the opinion that it is not Martin George's writing or spelling. It looks like a female hand.
So Uncle ??? has become Lawyer and Landlord. Does he practice at the Bar in both capacities?
IR. Perrigo, jun. and lady and daughter live in my home. They have Miss Mary Ann Gaskill, while David's youngest, as help. They had Miss Mary Ann Sackett for 8 weeks, and paid her 8 silver dollars; but money would not make her stay any longer. The hard times do not affect the girls: but they increase their wages as money grows scarce. I suppose the immigration to Wisconsin keeps up the prices of provisions there. Is your mother married yet? How is GrandMa?
The Smalls: I have not seen them for a long time except Miss Charlotte Elizabeth whom I saw at Minerva's last Saturday. I learn that Mr. Small has sold his house to a Mr. Tufts, a tailor from St. Louis, and is to build another, and that he Smalls and Tufts all live now in the same house. Miss Julia, I think, is at Monticello Seminary.
If you want t a letter from Miss Mary C. Weeks, write to her and say that you will pay postage both ways. Then I think you will have a letter from her.
Mr. Brady has built elegant Academy at Collinsville. Some of the young theological students have erected a framed house to study in, which they call "The Dormitory". Some of the wags had called it "The Gospel Factory". Mr. Blood (?) intends the theological and Latin students.
Rev. Mr. Chamberlain preaches at Troy every other Sunday. He was once a missionary to the Cherokees. The people talk of erecting a meeting house at Troy. They now meet in the store house formerly occupied by T. T. Kreffs. (?) I attend there sometimes when the traveling is had, but usually alternately at Collinsville and Marine Settlement under the ministration of Rev. J. L. Darrow of the Protestant Episcopal Church to whose communion I belong.
Before you write your letter to Pa, inquire of Landlord, Lawyer, Gardner where Monroe is; and tell your Pa all about it. I expect to go to Kingston Bluff about the time your letter gets there and shall expect to see one well filled out. You might have put about twice as much matter in the letter now before me. Tell Master George to write a part of it so that I can see his genuine writing and spelling.
I suppose you have frequent preaching at Monroe, and therefore I have not filled my letter with exhortations: but you must permit me to ask you to turn to Ecclesiastes XII, I, and to follow the inspired advice there given. Much of your future happiness depend upon seeking first the Kingdom of heaven. Those who have postponed this all important concern have always had reason to repent, then delay.
Hasten (?) to be wise; Stay not for the Morrow's here Wisdom if you still despise Harder is it to be won.
Truly yours, George Churchill
PS: Uncle Levi remains in status quo. His house was as fine as a
fiddler when he went into it. Now is somewhat resembles a pig pen. At
rate, he lives above board, for there is a thick dark colored court
him and the floor.
Madison Co., Illinois, May 21, 1844
Martin Jepi Norman Churchill has been with me from Saturday afternoon till this morning. He has now gone to see his cousin Hannah near Highland. He informs that you and Mr. Bingham are going to Vermont this season. If you do, I perceive you will go through Buffalo. Do not fail to visit your Aunt Mrs. Woodruff and your cousins Mrs. Mary W. Timmerman, wife of Benjamin Timmerman, cabinet maker, and his sister Almira Amelia (?) and "Cereeny" - spelled Corinna, I believe. They live in the upper part of the city where it is almost like the country. So this Timmerman says, in her letter of Feb. 18. Aunt Betsey will be tickled almost to death to see you.
Norman cannot tell from what part of Vermont your husband hails. Should you go to West Rutland inquire for the children of old Deacon Timothy Boardman. They will probably remember your father and me. They certainly will remember your grandfather, Rev. Jepe Churchill. If you go to Castleton inquire for Stephen D. Eaton*, or his son Milo Eaton. Probably the old man is dead. He had several daughters as Myra, Eilvia (?), Jerusha, but doubtless their names have been changed. Perhaps you may see in that vicinity an old gristmill known as Northrup's Mill formerly owned by Ira Northrup. There your father lived awhile when he was a little boy, and there I used to go to mill frequently from Hubbardton, my native town. Hubbardton was once the abode of a great many of the Churchills and Rumseys, but most of them have departed. Still there are probably many old people there who would make much of "uncle Jepe Churchills" granddaughter - especially when informed that she is a Tucker. I presume there are some Churchills in Hubbardton, children of Amos Churchill who was uncle to Alfred and Joseph W. Churchill of Kane Co., IL. Aunt Eliza commonly called "Aunt Lizzy", widow of Silas Churchill, was alive when I last heard from Hubbardton several years ago. They had no children. Then there was "Uncle Thornid"(?), or Nathaniel Churchill. He is probably dead, but he had sundry children.
If you go to Cornwall, Addison Co., please inquire about Rev. Jedidiah Bushnell, and his children. I studied English composition with Mr. B. a short time and I think your father lived with him after I went to Albany.
When I was a little boy I used to hear the Rev. Silas L. Bingham preach, sometimes. Was he your husband's grandfather? He lived, I think, at Mount Holly, and it is said his middle name was Long. At any rate he used to preach very long sermons.
If you go to Vermont, you will see a thousand things which you have never seen yet. Lush hills and mountains and rocks and stone heaps and stone fences and turnpike roads and gates. Please make up a blank book before you start, and every day set down what you see and hear and when you get back among the Badgers you can make them ?
As a general rule, I presume that the generation of Vermonters whom I knew have gone off from the stage, but there is probably here and there a survivor.
I was at Kingston Bluff 10 days ago. Your father was tolerably well. Your stepmother and little Betty looked "puny". They have got a fine new clock which cost $2.50 at St. Louis. Also a set of fine chairs, which cost 50 cts. Cash. The place somewhat resembles, out of doors, Capt. Seth Wideropen's (?) place in the Village of Tumble Down which you have probably seen delineated in Peter Pauley's Almanac.
We have hard times here. Year before last, grain was plenty; but we could not get enough for it to pay for hauling to market and the ferriages. Last year the winter wheat was mostly winter-killed and the corn crop a very small one. (From here for the remainder of the paragraph, a piece of the letter has been ripped off.) Thing looked well for a time, but the ?. Worm, have come; and whether the w ?. All, or least a part, is yet uncertain ?.. Weeks past we have had a succession of ?. Rain; and it will probably be a week ? The ground will be dry enough to ?.
Mrs. Hannah Amelia Weeks Perrigo has ? Your present of a pamphlet with pictures ? It; and I promise would be glad of more. I paid the postage and read it, and gave it to her one Sunday when she was coming to a protracted meeting at Troy. Troy has now 2 churches with steeples to them: 2 stores, 2 blacksmith shops and sundry diver (?) mechanics. It is, indeed, going ahead. The Gaskills have all left the Creek house except Mr. George Washington Gaskill and Mrs. Nancy Teter Gaskill. Billy Good is dead, and his brother, Mr. John Good. Hannah's husband is a tenant of old Billy Husong who used to hammer the benches at Mount Gileed with his fist while at prayer when you were a little child. They live in a most solitary place. I expect to have a great crop of peaches this year: an article which I suppose the Badger never see. Other fruit not so plenty. We had a snow storm March 29 and 30 which injured the fruit. Peaches were then in blossom. George Churchill
(added May 22, 1844). Last night I rec'd a letter from brother Norman full of Abolitionism, political abolitionism, I mean. The news which he sends is as follows. Emily is teaching school at Farmington, Fulton Co., IL. Mr. Weeks is expecting his father and uncle Chauncey to come to Galesburg in about 4 weeks. [the letter was dated May 12}. ?? Seymour Egglerton will not come this fall. "Three families are expected from old Herkima this week. W. W. W. has gone to Chicago to bring down a load of them. ??? Bill must have a hard time of it. Very muddy. Sloosfull. The nasty, stinking Cedar Fork is now a noble river.
If such was the case at Galesburg on the 12th, what is the case now for we have had heavy rains until Monday night, May 20. The Mississippi has already got into the ??? under the Market house, St. Louis, and is still rising. The American Bottom is much of it under water. If we have a hot dry summer after this there will be ????? in the Bottom.
Norman must have had a tough time going to Jimmy's yesterday for it was a cool day, and one of the Hagley told me that the water was waist deep in the Silver Creek bottom. I hope that he has stopped at Skeanborough with his old neighbor and waited for the flood to subside.
*Stephen D. Eaton's first wife was your grandfather's sister. Milo Eaton is your father's cousin.
(First letter address to Mrs. Caroline E. C. Bingham, Monroe,
Co., Wisconsin Ter. ?. Then added "Per Japet Norman Churchill".)
Madison Co., IL, July 13, 1845
Your letter of Oct. 9, 1844, is now before me. I have foreborne to answer it hitherto because I expected to see your long letter to your Pa, but it had not arrived when I was last at Kingston Bluff just one month ago. Your Pa was well as usual, and plowing corn on the new farm in the Bottom which last year was about 15 feet under water. Little Betty, alias Elvira, was also as well as usual, i.e. she was "puny" and very bashful and timid. No peaches this year at Kingston Bluff or Ridge Prairie or anywhere in these parts but your stepmother will have some winter apples. It is said there will be peaches in the regions round about Springfield and Peoria. We expect a good many blackberries and they will soon be ripe. Indeed I ate 3 ripe ones on the 29th June. Your Pa and step-Ma talked strongly about moving down to their Bottom farm, and building a house thereon, but I sort o think they will not do it. There has been a pretty considerable flood in the Mississippi since I was at Kingston Bluff, and if the water did not come up to the Bottom farm, it must have come pretty near it. Cahokie (?) and Minors Iowa and the Levee near the latter place were under water. The river is now falling. Of course the suffering will not be like that of last year. If you have not written your long letter to your Pa yet, please be reminded of it when you read this. I expect to visit the Bluff occasionally, and shall there inquire for the long letter. I am sorry you are a little more than 300 miles from Collinsville, by the mail routes, and therefore cannot send and receive five cent letters from the Bluff.
Elder Perrigo and Lady and "Nan Tayo's Daby and Sitters" removed to Galesburg last November. They had got tired of Hufsongville where they were surrounded with solitude and Lois Facor, and Dutchmen, and Fever and Agnes, and where they had the misfortune to lose their second child, and when other people's hogs gathered part of the Elders corn. I suppose Hannah does not expect to remain long in Galesburg when the people appear to have little else to live upon besides Learnings and Presbyterianism and Abolitionism. The Elder has a bond for a deed of a first rate tract of land of 80 acres in Section 18, 9N, 4E, about half way from Galesburg to Peoria in a fine settlement which I call Geersville, from 2 to 3 Yankee families living there of the name of Geer. That is about as near as I should want to live to Galesburg which places just far enough from Oghawka on the west, and Peoria on the East to make every thing dear which the people buy at the stores, and to make the cost of transportation take off all the profits on their produce. Now think Geersville a much better town to live in than Galesburg. I have given Wm. W. Weeks 80 acres of land at the same place.
Troy Presbyterian Church. The present Elders are Dr. Joel K. Reiner, Thomas Smith, and Wesley Jarvis. Smith is a new-comer. Reiner used to reside at Collinsville. Rev. Mr. Lippincott preaches to them every other Sunday. Lives at Marine.
The Scotts - Miss Pharsalia has married a widower named Sanders, in the Bottom near the Land (?) Ridge. Miss Elizabeth Jane having been disappointed by Mr. George Washington Gaskill has married a Mr. J. R. Willoughby, son of John Willoughby. Cyrus Scott, jr., has married Miss Paulina Renfro, daughter of the Rev. Jepe, and lives next east of my school land farm. Miss Lydia Ann having accomplished her education at Galesburg has become a school mistress and is teaching the young idea "how to shoot" as Jeremy Thomson says, near the Sand Ridge towards Alton. Thomas S. Waddle and wife are both dead. They died last winter of what was popularly called the "Cold Plague" which was very fatal in some places. Old Mr. Seybold is dead. I believe all of Squire Sam's children at still unmarried - except the eldest who married David Thee (?).
The Gaskils of the Brick House - George W. married Miss Nancy Teter. They occupy said house. Stephen lives on the School land farmed owned by his late father. The rest of them live at Uncle Pickering's water-lime factory in St. Clair Co. Minerva and Cordelia and "lipy" are there, together with the piano, so we have no music here and nobody to "pull it out". None of them married since you left.
Uncle David's Gaskills - Miss Julia Ann married a carpenter named Fairbanks. They have removed to St. Louis. The rest remain in status quo.
Skeamborough and Mount Gilead - I have not been there for a long time; but think these places do not flourish. Some of Ben Haglin's children are dead, and some married, but I cannot state all the particulars. One of them married George Holme, an English tailor who lives in Troy. In Dec. 1843, I found Cleveland Hagles on Ellison Creek in Warren Co., IL, Sec. 28, 9 N, 3W which he thinks is the best place in the world. Billy Good is dead. One of the Vineyard boys is gone to Essex Co., NY to fulfill a contract of matrimony entered into "unsight, unseen" as the Yankee pedlars say with a young lady of said country. Negotiation carried on and conducted by letter. This information I have from our P.M., Moses Bardley, and suppose it is true - though it is rather a singular measure. Your old beau, the Rev. Samuel Kelley, has moved up North, I think, to Scott Co.
My frame house, once occupied by G. Lacy, was burnt one night last winter.
Times are very hard here, occasioned by Lou Focoim, which first expanded the currency beyond all reason and tempted the people to run into debt, and embark in visionary undertakings and speculations, and then, on a sudden, contracted the currency to the opposite extreme. The result is that two kinds of the people owe more than there is any probability of their ever being able to pay. Transactions which were considered at the time perfectly safe, have proved ruinous to thousands. The estate of Silvanus Gaskill is likely to be swallowed up in the payment of a debt of the late Ebenezer Pickering, for whom Gaskill was a security. Both estates would have been large and solvent, but for the expansion and contraction of the currency by Lois Taco vetoes and Loi Foco legislations. For my own part, I never supposed the expansion would continue long, and therefore used, as I thought, all possible caution, yet I have been a heavy sufferer. I have lost about $4,000 by investments in Insurance Company stocks and how much in the decrease of the value of property and loss of money lent to persons who have been made poor by the destruction of the currency, it is impossible to estimate. I hope to sell land enough to enable me to pay off my debts, and as this is more than most people can do, I ought not to repine (?). Still I cannot think of Loco Focoism with pleasure when I reflect that it has destroyed the best currency that any nation ever ?? and brought us to our present condition. And as to Abolitionism - poor, miserable, hypocritical political Abolitionism! It is still worse! It has secured the annexation of Texas, the perpetuation of slavery, the subjection of the free states to the slave states, and in my opinion, the ultimate destruction of our republican government, by the course which it took in the late presidential election. But for Abolitionism, Mr. Clay would have received the votes of N.York and been elected. Texas would have remained as she was, a separate nation, slavery would have gradually disappeared from many of the present slave states, and the thirst for more territory would have been effectually checked. But as it is, I look forward till I see the whole continent and adjacent islands annexed to the US and hear the people sigh because there are no more worlds to annex. A republican government never can manage such discordant materials. (Not signed by from George Churchill)
(Envelope with #10 in stamp corner addressed to Mrs. Caroline E. C. Bingham and Mr. Noman Churchill, Monroe, Greene Co, Wisconsin T.)
John Davis has recovered $50 of Moses Bardsley for slander in saying that Davis stole corn from him.
I was at Springfield during the winter as a member of the HofR. Pay of members was reduced 25 per cent. I boarded at the house of Mrs. R. G. Francis, widow of Cornin (?) C Francis. Got home March 4, first day of the reign of James III. Was taken sick march 28 and had a long siege of it. Dr. Gates attended upon me. Tom Brady has married Miss Amelia, daughter of Calvin McCray. Macdonough Gates has become a schoolmaster. Keeps in a new cabin south of Gillets. Uncle Levi - Fat as a seal - looks healthy - eats a?? is a real "mangeur delard" as the French say, but don't work much. Troy - 2 churches, 3 stores, 2 blacksmiths, 3 doctors, 1 carding machine, 1 cooper, 2 tailors, 1 tavern, 1 P.O., and a great many carpenters.
Remember me to your husband, mother, Counsellor Temp, and your
and sisters. Don't forget that "long letter" [to your Pa, of
course} W. F. Purviance has got a daughter at last, and is mightily
James Purviance lives on the old Seybold farm. Lately the property of
??? Truly yours, GC
Ridge Prairie, Madison Co., IL, Oct. 1, 1845
I wrote you on the 25th Aug. Since that time sickness has rather increased than ?. It is the most sickly season I have ever witnessed. The deaths, however, are few, compared with the cases of ??. Still we have to lament several deaths. Horance W. Look, son of the P.M. at Collingville, died at Rock Springs, week before last. He died very happy. At his request, Rev. Mr. Damon read the burial service, and preached his funeral sermon. He had been in Jacksonville College about a year, was about 22 years old, and a man of uncommon genius. He wrote many excellent pieces of poetry for the papers. James Watt, jun, son of James Watt, Esq., died yesterday. He was recently married. His brother John is dangerously sick. One of his sisters, who was married to some man near Edwardsville, whose named I have forgotten, died several weeks ago. So you see father Watt's family have suffered severely.
Abraham Nashooren (?), (?) of widow Nanhooser, died on Sunday last. Rev. Jipe Renfro has lost a daughter this fall. I suppose you sometimes cast a longing, lingering look back to Skeanborough, alias Gilead: but it has been sadly depopulated by sickness and death. Doctor Hall and Reiner have concluded that there is too much sickness in these parts for them and have either gone or about to the St. Croix WT for their health.
I have not been at Kingston Bluff for some time. I suppose your folks there are well. I have heard nothing to the contrary.
I have recd 4 Nos. of the Wisconsin Argus, all in a heap, and have read them with some amusement, to see how different Badger Locofoism is from Pennsylvania Locofoism. The editor, John Y. Smith, I conclude is "no small fool." If he could sell himself at his own valuation, and buy himself back at the valuation of other people, what a "spec" he would make! His motto, "The world is governed too much," I have seen before. It is the true Penitentiary motto. All the murderers, incerdiaries, burglars, thieves, Dorrity (?), Anti Renters --- which brought to justice an ? to adopt John Y. Smith's motto. "No rogue e'er felt the halter draw, With good opinion of the law." But there is one part of the world, to wit: Hancock Co. IL where even Locoforos will admit that the world is not governed too much.
I perceive that Uncle "Temp" (?) has reached the dignity of Secretary of a Locofoes Convention. Well - I suppose that Locofocoism is the door which opens to the honor and ?? of office and under the present Locofoes situation of the currency, nobody but officeholders, doctors and inn keepers can make money.
In the Argus of Aug. 12 are the proceedings of a "Democratic District Convention." It affirms that Manitouwoc and Marquette counties sent no nelegates. Whereupon, "On motion, the Fond du Lac delegation were allowed to cast two votes for the county of Manitouwoc and two votes for the county of Marquette." !!!!!!!! This is an improvement upon the old science of Ruckerising. Quite a specimen of Badger "Democracy." But I suppose it is all right for I see the name of the celebrated Conservative N. P. Tallmadge at the head of this all powerful "Fond du Lac delegation." But will not the sages of "Manitonwoc and Marquette" conclude that "the world is governed too much," when they find themselves thus unceremoniously put under the guardianship of N. P. Tallmadge & Co."
"Humes, ex'is ? of Humes deceased vs. Cox - Error to Grant County - Judgement reversed with costs." Ayers Aug. 26 Is this your uncle Thompson Humes? Is he deceased?
John Y. Smith says that "All democrats will admit that duties on foreign goods impose the same tax on all domestic goods of the same kind."
I suppose he means that all who doubt this apertion are to be excommunicated from the "democratic" church. But how supremely ridiculous it is! A duty of 25 cents a bushel on foreign potatoes improses the same tax on Minion potatoes, for which we are sometimes glad to get ten cents a bushel!! A ?? at Mobile, about as "democratic as John Y. Smith, told his hearers that they paid a tax of six cents on every yard of domestic shirtings?? which they bought - and all to enrich the eastern manufacturers. A bystander replied, "I don't see how that can be, for I buy my shirting for five cents a yard." But I suppose that Badger "democrats" are compelled to believe John Y. Smith when he says the people "pay a tax of $72,000,000 on $240,000,000 of domestic goods. He uses the real knock down argumenet. "According to democratic doctrine, the moon is made of green cheese. If you disbelieve it, you've no democrat!" John wants to have no tariff, but support the general government by direct taxation. Try it, John. Try it.
I wish John would write a letter or chapter upon Jimmy Polk's famous J. K. Kane letter which gained him so many votes in Pennsylvania last year. Ifear that even Polk himself will be cast out of the democratic church by the valiant John Y. Smith!
Currency. "It is said that banks make money plenty. So do grocers make brandy plenty by pouring water into it, and the more plentiful it becomes, the more it grows, and thus it is with paper money." Argus.
Suppose that from time immemorial it was customary to put a gallon of water to a gallon of spirit, and sell it as two gallons of brandy. I suppose that Lacoposim got the upper hand and decreed that you might put three gallons of water to a gallon of spirit, and it should be considered as four gallons of brandy.
Suppose at this time the fees and ? of public officers, as they are to be paid in very weak brandy, are fixed very high - 25,000 gallons a year to the president, 8 gallons a day to the Congressman, and so forth. Suppose that many of the people borrow very large quantities of brandy and others go their security; and others buy lands, town lots, ?? to be paid at a given time in brandy: so that nine tenths of the people are deeply in debt, but no more than they can pay if the standard of brandy is not meddle with.
Suppose at this uncture, Locofocoism turns a shortcomer and decrees that nothing but the June (?) Mint shall be considered as the "constitutional" brandy: that no water whatever would be put to it, but that officeholders and creditors should receive the full amount of their brandy claims in genuine alcohol. Suppose all this - and you have a true representation of the action of Locofosoism on the currency. Is it any wonder that the people are (?) and the office holders made rich?
I learnfrom Galesburg that Mrs. Hannah Amelia Weeks Perrigo has another daughter - born about the last of August. Mr. Perrigo had bought a share in a threshing machine, and was threshing wheat for a living. Uncle Weeks was building a College. They had some peaches in Knobe (?) this year. I suppose you hear of the Mines cut up in Hancock Co. by the Mormons and Anti-mormons. Have you any Mormons among the Badgers?
John Smith's learned stuff on the Currency and Tariff was marked
with blue ink. Hence I presume it is all time blue Badger Locofocoism.
If manufacturing is such profitable business, why does not John go at
If John will send a file of the Argus to Sir Robert Peel, he will have
a pension granted him. John Bull cannot ? himself better than John G.
quits him. How nice it will be to admit John Bull's productions free of
duty, while American produce is excluded from Gret Britain by heavy
Truly yours. George Churchill. PS: Wonder if John Y. Smith will not
Hoosier bank notes for the Wisconsin Argus? I should hate to offer them.
Feb. 25, 1846
Do you ever hear from uncle George and Ridge Prairier. There has been so much sickness and death down there for two years past that it is very much altered.
Old Squire Scott has at length got his oldest three children married off and Ann has gone to school teaching so I suppose the old Squire will let his spirit rest a while. McGates has bought your Fathers old Gilead farm and is or wants to be settled permanent teacher over the school. On the whole Ridge Prairie has become a very dull place. The brick house Gaskills are all gone down to the cement factory except George and his wife.
Do you ever think of visiting this place. We should like to have you do so very much indeed. I do not know that I ever shall visit your country. The boys talk about it. We have uncles, aunts and cousins on our Fathers side in the Territory. I think they are in Jefferson Co.
I have two children the youngest which we call Nancy Amalia is about six months old. They are both helping me write you. Must therefore excuse so poor a letter.
Please to remember me to your husband and friends and write soon. Direct to Middle Grove, Fulton Co which is our nearest office.
Please to accept this from your affectionate cousin, H. A. Perrigo
Madison Co., Illinois April 4, 1846
It is a considerable time since I have heard from you, but the receipt of the Wisconsin Argus of March 10 convinces me that you are still alive. I do not find that your father gets any letters from you: perhaps he never writes to you not being a writing man.
I was at Kingston Bluff almost four weeks since. Your father and little Adeline Elisabeth were well; but your step-mother was suggering from salivation. She is no Thomsonian, but still does not like to be salivated. But if she employs calomel doctors she must submit to their management. As to your father, he keeps a set of Thomson's books which he bought of a peddler for about a dollar, but he never keeps an ounce of botanic medicine in his house. The Rev. Mr. Darrow, MD informed me last Saturday that your stepmother had another daughter, and that mother and child were doing well.
I am just recovering from an attack of erysipils - not a painful, but a very confining disease.
There has been considerable sickness and several deaths in this
since my last letter to you. I will try to recollect some of them:
(1) Mrs. Brady, formerly Amelia McCray, daughter of Calvin McCray. She was a Roman Catholic, and had Extreme Unction, and all that sort of thing, before she died.
(2) Benjamin Posey, son of Jubilee Posey
(3) Miss Elizabeth McCoy, sister to Jacob C. Entuman's (?) wife.
(4) Jacob C. Gortuman's (?) wife himself
(5) Mrs. Deck, daughter of Jepe Renfro
(6) Mrs. Crononover, daughter of John C. Dugger
(7) Some other children of John C. Dugger
(8) Mrs. Braley, wife of Philander Bradey, Collinsville
(9) Mrs. Hutchinson, wife of James Hutchinson, blacksmith
(10) John Hall, oldest son of Milton Hall
(11) George Harvis, son of Wesley Jarvis
(12) Henry Clay, junior, son of John G. Jarvis
(13) John Wriston, son of Tilman (?) Wriston
(14) Samuel G. Bailey, Esq., lawyer, Alton
(15) S. T. Diamond, Middleton
And a great many others not recollected Marriages. -
Thomas Camp to Miss Jane Vineyard, daughter of William Vineyard
William Denny to Miss Almeda Allen
Capt. D. D. Collins of Collisville, to Miss Elizabeth M. Anderson, daughter of John Anderson, my Jo John.
Michael Welsh (?) merchant of Troy, to Miss Lucy G. Hoxsey
Mr. Andrews, schoolmate, to Miss Elizabeth Black
Izaak Woods, son of Rev. Samuel Wood, to Miss Reed
Peaches. - These are mostly cut off throughout the country, but if the weather is favorable hereafter I expect to have some, as the buds begin to show the red. Wheat looks tolerably well at present.
Troy is going ahead. It has now 2 churches, and the mend (?) work of a third is done. 3 dry-goods stores; 2 blacksmith shops; 2 taverns; 1 doggery (?); 2 gunsmith, 1 portable circular saw mill which can cut 1500 feet of plank in a day propelled by 6 horses; 4 doctors as soon as Dr. Reiner gets back from the ???; and it is expected that old Doctor Gates will remove into Troy; and he will make the 5th.
Macdonough Gates has bought the identical old worn-out Skeamsborough farm on which you lived so long, near Mount Gilead. Heplays schoolmaster in the old Mount Gilead church: and I strongly suspect that his object in buying that old farm was to get a permanent claim to the office of pedayoyme (?)
Cyrus Scott, jr., who married Paulina Renfro has removed into the house with old father Jepe Renfro. Squire Scott, who was almost dead with the dropsy, has been so much relieved by Dr. Gates medicines as to be able to ride about, and attend to business. Miss Lydia Ann Scott is teaching School at the Land Ridge on the road to Alton. The Gaskill girls, of the brick house, are still at the Water Lime Factory under the Bluff in the south part of St. Clair Co. James R. Jm. Is with them. George W., who married Janany Tita (?) lives in the brick house. Stephen W. has sold his Maconfirm (?) farm, and bought the old farm of Thomas S. McMahan. I mean the one having a barn and brick cabin.
Elder James R. Perrigo, jr., and his wife, Mrs. Hannah Amelia Weeks Perrigo, have removed to the land I gave them on the N.W. 18, 9 N 4E, Knox Co, Ill - Post Office address "Middle Grove, Fulton Co., IL" John L. Weeks goes to college and studies Latin and Algebra! All well at Galesburg. Uncle Norman fell and broke some ribs, but they have got well. His wife has a baby called Gabel (?). Martin George has been teaching school near Ognawka, Ill.
Have you made your Vermont trip yet? Are you going to make it?
When is Norman? And George? And Lucene Ann ? and Maria ? and - but I believe that is all. I see Uncle Temp keeps his card in the Argus while your husband's is not there. I infer that your husband has business enough without advertising. C. G. Mawzy has become an Alderman.
Poor John G. Smith appears to be in a pick of troubles because that previous fellow Bob Walker proposes a duty on foreign sugar and melipis (?) while he lets in tea and coffee and salt free! Well - Bob and Polk and the whole visionary clan of free traders understand which side of their bread is buttered much too well to lose Louisiana by admitting sugar and milapes (?) duty free, or to lose the whole union by laying a duty on tea and coffee. They dare not do it. I wonder whether John G. Smith ever read Mr. Polk's celebrated Kane Letter by which he carried the states of Pennsylvania and New York. There was Protection, by wholesale! I think it would ?? mr. Polk to draw up a revenue bill in conformity with the principles laid down in his annual message.
Polk and Bob Walker a great favorites with John Bull just now.
Treasury Report pleased John so well that he got it printed and laid
Parliament. John will speed his corn laws three years hence provided we
repeal our Tariff now ----- perhaps! No fight about Oregon, now: Polk
Peel are too loving for that. Polk will knock under at 49 degrees or
will be suffered to remain in status quo. Then the people of Oregon
govern that country themselves - as they ought to do. It is too far off
to do the U.S. any good, or to derive any benefit from us - except a
office holder. W can never be of any benefit to those who live east of
the Rocky mountains. Let them alone, and Oregon and California will
form a Republic by themselves, friendly to the U.S. and more profitable
to the U.S. than if a colony or member of the confederacy. Truly yours.
Madison Co., Illinois, Apl 28, 1846
From present appearances, we are likely to have a fair crop of cherries, peaches, and apples. The ?? is about two weeks later than usual. Lilacs now in full bloom. Some peach and cherry trees, and they of the finer kinds, have been winter-killed and some peach trees, not killed, bear no fruit this year, yet I think we shall have plenty of fruit. The growing winter wheat looks well.
I am told that six married women died on Silver Creek and in Marine settlement last week. I heard the names of some, viz: Mrs. Jeffreys, Mrs. J. J. Parker, Mrs. Mills, and Mrs. Wesley Dugger. In this vicinity there is but little sickness at this time. Old Mr. Henderson is sick.
Alexander West sold his farm, and went up to Carroll county (the county next south of Galena) to find a healthy place. But he reports that it was far more sickly there than here, and has concluded to buy another farm in this region. On the whole, I hear of only two healthy places: Galesburg, Ill., and St. Croix, WT.
Tell John Y. Smith that he is now in affair way to be gratified with his hearts desire, viz: -- a tx on tea and coffee. John L. Weeks is studying Latin and Algebra at Galesburg. I paper the passed the place of your birth a few days ago. It is marked by fine large cottonwood trees, and by the blocks on which the old log house once stood in which your eyes first beheld the light. I suppose you would be delighted once more to view the place. Colon (?) and Horatio and Father Wood and Granny Wood and John C. Riggin, are still alive - although the latter is much the worse for having been salivated, and otherwise colonized. Dr. P. P. Greene has just removed to Southport, WT, on Lake Michigan.
The prairie west and northwest of Horatio McCray's is fast being fenced up.
Will you go to Vermont this year? Or come to Kingston Bluff and Ridge Prairie and eat peaches?
Your little half sister, Adeline Elisabeth, is a fat girl with a broad, Cutch-looking face, and when she gets her tongue started, she can out-talk the Jews. I suppose Norman will be down on a raft - to St. Louis, by Peach time. Tell him to come out and feast upon the ?? of the sunny south.
Well I suppose Wisconsin will soon become a state. A writer in
Galena N. W. Garette wants to take off some 25 or 30 counties from the
north end of Mimon (?) and add to Wisconsin so as to get rid of paying
their portion of our state debt, I suppose. And for that purpose
the Act of Ci/sion from Virginia. The fifth article of the Ordinance of
1787 was formally ratified by Virginia, and that is the law by which
was guided in laying off the new states between the Ohio and
Truly yours, George Churchill.
Madison Co., Illinois, May 27, 1846
I write these lines by your brother Norman who arrived here yesterday from the saw mills on the Wisconsin. I wrote you on the 4th and 28th of April, but have seen no letter from you this year.
Mr. Washington Parki.nson, near Highland, was assinated on the 15th. Some person unknown shot him through his window. The ball penetrated 2 inches in the center of his forehead, yet he lived 12 hours afterwards. He had so many enemies that people do not know which of them to suspect. One of the suspected persons has volunteered to go and fight the Mexicans. His name is Brown.
Parkison's daughter sat between him and the window, reading a newspaper, for some time. At length she moved her position and her father was immediately shot. He has 2 brothers in your territory, and was generally considered not so bad as they.
J(?) D. Vineyard's wife is dead. He courted and engaged her by letter - "unsight, unseen", -- as the pedlars say - last year.
I am sorry to hear that Martin George has broken his arm. Please
write to your Pa at Collinsville, Madison Co. Illinois. He gets but few
letters, and the sight of one from you will be good for his eyes. We
some peaches next September. Truly yours, George Churchill.
Madison Co. Illinois, June 23, 1846
Your husband's letter came to hand on the 18th inst. Your honored Father was here today and I counseled him to slick up at Kingston Bluff, for I expected he would have a visit from his son-in-law and lady. He says he shall have a plenty of peaches and apples, and (?) this time plenty of cherries. Complains of an abundance of rats. I copies from the June No. of the Prairie Farmer a Recipe to poison them. So I reckon they will all be gone by the time you arrive. It is said that Lucy Gaskill has married a man named Frank (not Gov. French) in the Bottom. Pharsalia has a baby called Helen Minerva. Square Scott doesn't like it because it sounds like Hell-and-Minerva. Does not your baby's name admit of the same objections? Your Father has rec'd several papers, but no letter form Monroe. Levi is fat, healthy, lazy, shiftless, and spiritless, as usual. I have warned him to go -a (?) before Lady Bingham arrives. People here generally well. Wheat harvest commenced today at George W. Gaskill's. The Saybold girls, not married, but Rumor says two of them are "being" courted. The Gaskill girls will probably get back to the brick house before you arrive. Old Billy Hall, dead. Sunday people are going to Mexico to "extend the area of freedom." Truly yours, George Churchill
(Note: There is a four-page letter, but it is all political and
copied from a newspaper. It is not included.)
Madison Co., Illinois, Nov. 10, 1846
I have just rec'd from your husband the "American Freeman" of Oct. 24, and (?) that you have got back from Vermont - if indeed you have been there. If you have been there, I shall look for a long letter telling all that you saw and heard in the venerable Green Mountain State.
Some time last spring I request the publisher of the Republican to send some add Nos. of their paper to your husband that he might know their terms of advertising. That paper has a greater circulation than any other on the Mississippi.
I was at Kingston Bluff on the 22nd inst. Your father was "making business (?) ache." He had 6 hired men, 8 yokes of oxen, and 2 coal wagons in operation. His 2 coal diggers earned $2 cash per day; and his ferriage was $2 per day. His 2 drivers got up at at 3 o'clock every morning to go to St. Louis, and he got about 15 cents a bushel. To board 6 men in a log house with broken windows and no latches to the doors would be very uncomfortable were it not for the idea of making business (?) aches. Your father had been in debt for wagon and oxen to the amount of $200; yet from any calculations I could make his receipts and expenditures were about equal while everything about the plance retained its old "Capt. Seth Wide-open" - (?) appearances. Your step-mother was sick with a bad cold, but little Adaline and Henry Clay were in good health. I expected to find at your father's a long letter from his dutiful daughter, Mrs. B., but was disappointed.
I passed your birth-place a few days since, but there was no memorial of past times except thecottonwood trees, which have attained a good size. The mansion in which you first saw the light, has been removed.
Your next residence, the Skeamborrough (?) farm is now in the occupation of Mr. Joseph Macdonough Gates (schoolmaster) and Mrs. Mary Ann Loviey (?) Gillet Gates. The latter proves a sickly wife - a very unprofitable piece of furniture in this country.
Your third place of residence on Goose Creek is now owned by Wm. W. Stine, and occupied by a Mr. Norris, whose wife has been very sick this year. As to your Middleton residence, I accidentally discovered that it had been sold for taxes, and informed your father of the fact. He got the money and set out to redeem the lots, but learning from me that another year was allowed for redeeming it, he turned back home, and left it unredeemed. He leaves a stove and pipe in the house - as an inducement for somebody to stay in it; but I suppose he has not been there for years, and does not know who occupies it, and gets no rent.
Squire Caswell, though a Whig, has broken into the Legislature from the Doco Foro (?) country of Greene, Ill. The Locos got a quarrelling and elected Cornwell to spite each other. He lives at Greenfield, near the east line of Greene.
Old Madison, though still a Whig country, has elected one Loco to the Legislature, to wit, Lawyer Martin of Alton. The other Representatives are Curtis Blakeman and Wm. F. D'Wolf. Joseph, Gillespie is the Senator. I was not a candidate. Robert Smith is re-elected to Congress by 2,000 majority over Lyman Trumbull, the regular Loco nominee.
I have lately rec'd a letter from Mrs. H. A. Perrigo. She had been sick with bilious fever, followed by chills and fever. Mr. Weeks had been confined to his bed with sickness a long time, and was no better. Knox country very sickly this year.
In Madison Co. we have had much less sickness than in 1844 or 1845. Old Mr. Henderson died some 10 days since of an affection of the lungs.
Matrimony: Caty McMahan and Patrick Henry Dixon, who were made one flesh not many months ago, have separated. Caty swore the (?) against Patrick, and he was in the Jug at Edwardville about 3 days; but Lawyer Trumbull brought him before one Dutch Judge Koener, and although Caty still swore that she would be afraid of her life if Patrick were liberated, unless he left the state, yet the Judge considered her apprehensions as not well founded, and set him at liberty. The Judge told him not to (?) to any violence. Pat said, "I never will, and never did." While Pat was in the Jug, Caty took away her "things", i.e. the property which was hers before matrimony made it Patrick's.
Dr. Gates had a step daughter called Caroline Moore. She married a rich Englishman named Samuel Trible. She has left the said Samuel, and come back to Doctor Gates; and she said Samuel has advertisied "Whereas my wife Sarah Caroline Olivia Trible has left my bed and board without any just cause" and so forth. I reckon the lady would rather be single than treble, just about this time.
The Duncan mob. I suppose you have heard of this mob. It is supposed there were 60 or 70 men and boysengaged in it. The Grand Jury have indicted 35 of them for the murder of James Duncan - also for an assault with intent to kill Adaline Page. The rest of the mob were not known to any of the witnesses, and therefore were not indicted. Some of the indicted, and some that were not indicted, had "sloped" before the commencement of court. 24 have given themselves up, and given bail. Among the indicted are Guy Morrison, Drs. Hall and Edgar, Squire Leybold, Stephen and John Gaskill, John and Samuel Teter, and Framing (?) M. McMahan.
Well there are some green folks in Wisconsin and they are trying to put some queer things in their constitution, but if they submit it to the People, giving them all a chance to read and think about it, I think it will meet the fate of the projected Constitution of Missouri. Even in Iowa it took three trails and the help of the wandering Mormons to ratify a silly constitution.
As I suppose your Convention is still in session, I propose for
consideration the following additions to their costitution:
(8) After the year 1847 no person shall use sugar in his coffee: and after the year 1849 no person shall use coffee.
(9) After the year 1847, no person shall use butter on his bread; and after the year 1849 he shall use neither bread nor butter.
(10) After the year 1850, no man shall wear a clean shirt.
(11) After the year 1852, all persons in this state shall discard the aristocratic modes of eating, sleeping, and (?), but shall in all respects imitate the savage of the forest.
I could go on and write out a grand Loco Toro Constitution, but have no room. So good bye. Truly yours, George Churchill.
(Note: Written in the margins of the letter are the following notesJ I send you some garden seeds, and would have sent some rice, corn but found it to be too heavy.
PS: It is supposed Miss Hannah Seybold is to be coupled with Mr.
Albert Wilson. Rev. W. W. Mitchell is our new circuit rider. Misses G.
Baumbank (?) and Mrs. R. swain have opened a new store in Troy. John
preached last Sunday and said he had lost seven children. Rev. Mr.
a Baptist preacher, has settled in Troy, and they are holding a Baptist
meeting house there. Remember me to all inquiring friends. How is that
boy with the broken arm?
Kingston Bluff, St.
Clair Co. (Collingville P.O.) Feb. 22, 1847
I am here on a visit. Left home yesterday. All well there and here.
Your father says he had a letter from your husband dated Nov. 15, but he has not answered it yet. We have had a very uncomfortable winter: snow - rain, freezing and thawing - and more changeable than Ie ver knew the weather before.
John G. Jarvis's wife died Nov. 25. On the 10th Feb. (2 ½ months) he brought home another wife. She is a sister of his first wife, and was a widow. I did not hear the name.
Widow Blackburn (near Collinville) is married to John Duncan, brother of James Duncan, who was killed by the mob last July.
It's said that Miss Mary Ann Minerva Gaskill either is, or soon will be, married to George B. Judd of St. Louis, formerly of Marine Settlement. Miss Hannah Seybold was married last fall to Mr. Albert Wilson. Macdonough Gates lives on the old Skeanborrough (?) farm where you lived so long. His wife (formerly Mary Ann L. Gillet) is very low and not expect to live long. Macdonough has sold said farm to his brother-in-law, Willoughby. Horace B. Weeks came from Galesburg in Nov. last. In Jan. he was keeping victualing (?) cellar in St. Louis under the Monterey House, north side old market, in company with Mapes, Webster and Shipley. Whether he is there now, or not, I think somewhat uncertain. Mr. Purviance called at the cellar 2 or 3 weeks since and inquired for him, and was told that he had "gone to his uncle's in Illinois." But he has not been either here or at my house since the 28th Dec.
John L. Weeks is teaching school near Payson, Adams Co., Il at $15 per month. George Churchill is teaching 4 miles north of Galesburg at $14 per month. Emily Amelia Churchill is teaching a little west of Galesburg at $12 per month. So you see that Galesburg turns out a great many teachers.
I have a recent letter from Wm. W. Weeks, Galesburg. His father has had the fever and ague a long time, but had got about again. He writes that Jimmy Perrigo had got tired of Geersville (?) because there was no meeting to go to: and both he and William W. Weeks have the Oregon Fever.
Your father has filled up his large fireplace with brick and fixed a grate therein, and now burns coal. He burns wood in an old $2 cook-stove: and has a coal stove upstairs. Then he keeps the home warm enough. He has got a new brass clock, a new looking-glass, and whole panes of glass in his windows. Little Adeline and Henry Clay are fat and hearty.
Coal has fallen to 9 cts. Per bushel at St. Louis; and as the roads are "awful bad" your father's coal team do not navigate the Botton at present.
I have rec'd the Wisconsin Constitution. It is not so bad as the Convention threatened at one time to make it, but still bad enough. Do the wise men think they can stop the people from taking small bank notes? The thing has been tried out and out, in Illinois and Missouri and is an utter failure.
When do you come to Illinois? When do you go to Vt.? Ex-Gov. Slade (?) of Vt., has been at Springfield, Il, lecturing on Education. Wants to make arrangements for sending a quantity of Yankee "School Marms" to the West. Don't you want some of them in Wisconsin?
Where is Norman? At Monroe? Or at the Wisconsing Pinery?
Dr. Gates has moved into Troy. Mr. Thomas Camp who married Jane Vineyard, has also moved to Troy. That town now has 2 wagon maker shop, 3 stores, 2 taverns, 2 churches, and another commenced, 2 boot and shoe shops, and 5 physicians.
The north part of Illinois was unusually sickly last year. The south part not so sickly as in past years.
Please write to your father soon; and I will try to see the letter before it gets lost. Truly yours, George Churchill.
(Added on same sheet the following letter) Feb 22, 1847 My Dear children I received your letter about 1st December but partly thought carelessness and a hurry of business I have not answered it until now. I still carry on farming in summer and coal business in winter last fall the business was good the average price was 15cts per bushel. Since that time there has been so much rain and bad roads that I have not make much having eight yoke of oxen to feed I shall expect to see you here this summer peaches are ripe in September aplles in October and November - I looked for you last fall but all in vain. I am glad to hear Norman is doing well and George I expect them here this spring
(Handwriting changes) I am in rather delicate health this winter,
this is one of the best (?) of the country only eight miles from St.
the great Emporium of the west, there is some expectation of having a
road from the bluff made this summer --- give my love to all the
- write often. Yours affectionately, W. B. Churchill
Madison Co., Illinois, July 5, 1847
I avail myself o the visit of your brothers to drop you a few lines! I have enjoyed totally good health for the last year. I have almost got through my debt, having paid $850 within the last 12 months.
It appears by letters from Galesburg that there was considerable sickness in that place last fall, and in the winter, and this spring. Mr. Weeks was taken sick last summer and is not able to work yet. Norman Churchill's wife and oldest son have been sick.
Troy has become a considerable town. There is a French Academy at Mechanicsburg, adjoining Troy, taught by Mrs. Alvord, the preacher's wife.
Miss Lydia Ann Scott is teaching school in Plattan's (?) Prairie. Miss Candace Seybold is teaching at Mount Zion near Mrs. Teten. Minerva Gaskill is married to George B. Judds of St. Louis, formerly of Marine Setlement.
I am glad to hear that the Badgers had sense enough to reject their silly Constitution. Tseekers (?) have a Convention now in session, in keeping their Constitution.
James M. Seybold, Samuel Purviance, John Quincy Adams Gaskill,
Joseph Keho have gone to Mexico, "a soldiering." Zach Hays has
left his bones in Mexico. Norman will tell you about the Duncan mob,
other matters "too numerous to mention in a letter." Truly Yours,
George Churchill PS: Squire Small and family have got back to
Knox Co., Ill. July 25th, 1847 or 1841
Although I wrote the last letter, I thought I would write to you again for I wish to know whether you are still in the land of the living. I do not know whether you know we have moved our quarters or not. I have not heard from you or your friends in Alton (?) for a long time. Does Uncle George ever write to you?
We have been in Galesburg five weeks. Last fall Father and Mother made a trip up this way and after looking the country over some pitched upon this place. Father bought 80 acres of prairie, 20 acres of it fenced and brook and a 10 acre town lot adjoining uncle Norman's half a mile from the farm and about half a mile from the Academy. So you see we can live in town and work out on the countrywest. In the spring William and Charles came up and put in their crops. William and cousin George went down to Ridge Prairie after we came the latter part of June. Were about 9 days on the road. We camped out two nights and thought it was not what it was cracked up to be. The weather was generally cool and cloudy but we met with one sad misfortune. A little this side of Carrolton a fine horse worth 100 dollars one that Uncle Norman brought from New York died with the colic. We had to leave one load in consequence. William has since been down after it which took him 8 days. I think we shall not attempt moving again ever. I think it is a beautiful country. We came the right time of the year to have everything look fine. I do not think that Galesburg is as pretty a situation as some little towns a few miles before we got here. Too much of it is on low ground. The Ceder (?) Fork a little dirty branch full of yellow pond lillyruns through it but part of it is on high beautiful prairie. They have a new Academy three stories high with a cupalo covered with tin. At noon it can be seen at Louisville about 5 miles from here. Galesburg probably has as many houses as Edwardsville but there is not more than two or three that are two stories high. Did you go through Jacksonville when you moved. It is the prettiest place I ever saw but there are some bad folks there for the court was trying three men for murder. Two of them were brothers. They got to quarreling about a hankerchief in a doggery. Two of them shot him. Then they all pounded him and hooted over his dead body.
The Galesburgars had a terrible Sabbath school celebration on Saturday the 3rd of July. Three schools met. There were estimates to be about 1200 people. They give a man four dollars an evening for teaching the young ones to sing. They have a meeting every morning at sunrise and some kind of meeting ar singing evry evening and Sundays they have hardly time to eat their meals. I have not been to any of them yet on account of my eyes which have been very sore and are not well yet. You will think by the many mistakes I have made but I am not writing to uncle George. Therefore hope to be forgiven. We live in a fram of an adition to uncle Norman's house. It has a good roof and that is all. No doors or windows or weather boarding. It is planked up the sides with large cracks between each plank.
Cousin Emily is teaching school 16 miles from here. I have not seen her but once. She is quite large for her age. Round face and red cheeks like the rest of the children. She is an everlasting talker. Mary Victoria, the youngest, is three years old and another forthcoming. Uncle Norman thinks his children are very smart. Sister Mary goes to school with Julia and Norman.
Now for Ridge Prairie. There has been many births, deaths, marriages, and removals since you left that part of the moral vinyard. I hardly know what would be news to you or what would not. I suppose you are enjoying the fat of the land up there and do not care much about it one way or the other. Are you married yet? Is there many old batchelors up there. We have a right small sprinkle of them with us and they are not all as handsome as the hills are high but they are of the Yankee race and no telling howsting they are. Indeed I intend to go back this fall. I cannot stand so much Yankeeism.
Squire Scott's daughters all stay at home yet, although they think they the most beaus of any one. They went to St. Louis to see some Negroes hanged. Uncle George writes. He thinks it would have looked better for them to have stayed at home. Miss Minerva is almost on the old maid list. She has no beau now that I know of. Old Burkles (?) was down last winter and every body would have it that she was going to have him. He has gone again for two years. Cordelia is the same old "seven and six". Hannah Sybold teaches the school at Jericho. Report says that she is going to marry Dick Willoughby. Mary Ann Gillet teaches school at the Setter (?) meeting house. Julia Small is teaching in Marine again. Mother Small has a great deal of trouble. Martha is married and got a young one. Janett Gates married James Willoughby and has got a young one. Ann Henderson married Mr. Peterman and has got a young one. Polly Hay is married. Mr. (?) Big Haar married. Rebecca Owins, Tom More married. Malinda Owins, Phil More married. Caroline Mac, George Brown married. Daphne More, Ray Whiteside married. Hannah Goutreman, Sis Goutreman married a drunken somebody from Tarepin Ridge. James Whiteside married Abby G. Hall. Lucius Green brother of Dr. Green married Maria Wilder and is dead. Mr. Tallia and his wife Eveline have parted. They had a young one first.
Mr. Lloyd K. Wriston's oldest child has lately die. Robert Mac
gone back to Greene County. Report said that Sam Telre (?) went to see
Beckyam three times a week and every one thought they would bet married
but they did not. Orson Caswell has got back and is as crazy as ever
Pharsalia. And Mr. Banks courts Jane. Uncle Levi is as whimsical as
Uncle George has a very excellent famiy living with by the name of
Yankees in descent. Please to write as soon as you get this. Your
cousin, H. H. Weeks PS: All send their respects to your folks. Your
was well the last we heard from him. He lives on the American Bottom.
to Miss Caroline E. Churchill, Monroe, Greene Co., Wisconsin Teritory
1848 December 19
I was at Kingston Bluff three weeks ago. Your father and Adeline and Henry Clay and other more distant relatives were well. William Wesley Kingston died some time in the winter: so that Samson will be the sole heir of the Kingston estate - if he lives and he is a puny little fellow.
I found stuck in a crack of the log mansion at the Bluff your husband's letter to your father, written last spring.
We have had a long, dreary, uncomfortable and very unhealthy winter. Since the 1st Nov. last, the following named persons have died in this vicinity: John Purviance, son of Wm. F. Purviance Lieut. Thomas McDowell, late of the U.S. Army in New Mexico Calvin McCray. He leaves a wife and one child, Angelina Horatio McGray. He left no wife, but several daughters, three of them married - one to a Mr. Stacy of Connecticut. Mrs. Posey, wife of Jubilee Posey Capt. Eli Cornwell Mrs. Caroline Curtis Allington Mrs. Caroline N. Berkey Dewey, wife of Dr. John S. Dewey Mrs. Phebe Benson, widow of Rev. John H. Benson.
Old Samuel Wood and wife are still alive, and he still loves a dram (?). Squire Small and wife have separated; and Mrs. Small teaches a school at Collinsville.
Troy has become a smart town with 3 meeting houses, 3 stores, 3 doggeries, 1 tavern, and any quantity of black mittens, carpenters and wagon makers. Sundry people are going to California after gold. A daily mail each way from St. Louis through Troy to the Eastern cities.
Lydia Ann Scott has become Macdonough Gates' second wife, and has a boy named Cyrus Scott Gates. They live in Troy where Mac keeps a school. Old Dctor Gates also lives in Troy. J. R. Willoughby, who married Jane Scott, has bought the Scott farm. James Taylor has bought the Silvanus Gaskill farm and Albert Wilson, husband to Hannah Seybold, has bought the David Gaskill farm. Old Aunt Sally and her family have moved to Alton not Middleton, but Semple-town. Mary Ann happened to have an heir without a husband: a thing which sometimes takes place in this fertile country. Jackson Pelham is paid to be the father: a married man.
In the Skeamborough or Gilead settlement, Jep Renfro and Benj. J. Hagle still remain, and so does Andrew Black. The rest of the population are in a great measure changed.
John D. McMahan has been to Morgan County and taken a divorced woman to wife. She is a sister of his brother-in-law, Israel Turner, and has one son.
Knox Co. - I visited Knox Co. in Nov. last. Jenny Perrigo and Wm. W. Weeks (on NW 18, 9N, 42) were doing well. They had got a fence around the entire quarter, which, by the bye, was the best land I saw in my travels being rich and dry, and high and rolling. Wm. W. had a Buckeye wife named Ruth Vaughan, aged about 17, and I have recently heard that they have a daughter. Hannah is likely to have plenty of children.
At Galesburg: Emily Amelia Churchill teaches the Female Department of Knox College - about 75 pupils. John L. Weeks, it is said, is "courting like smoke." "Boardy Bo" wants to go to California, but can't get off this spring.
Doctor Felix Oflyng (?) wife, and children, visited this region last summer. They live at Oxford, Henry Co., Ill.
Candace Scybold married James R. Moore, stepston of Dr. Gates, and went with him to the St. Croix Pinery last year.
Our season is more backward than usual. Peach and cherry trees are in full bloom, and some apple blossoms are seen. Prospect for plenty of fruit. Suppose you and your husband step on a steamboat and come down about peach time to St. Louis, and ride out to your father's on Gov. Casey's Rail Road, the win-work of which is already done. It is to come almost to your father's.
Please write your father a good long letter, and tell him to be sure to stick it in the right crack so that I can read it when I get to the Bluff.
Levi remains about as formerly.
I like Old Lac's Inaugural, and his Cabinet, and his administration, and himself, better and better. How is he liked in Wisconsin? It is said Gen. Cass has again altered his mind since 7th Nov., and now repudiates the Nicholson Letter and the Baltimore Platform. Yours George Churchill.
PS: Your father has got up an addition to his house.
May 14th 1849
we wer relivi from much anxialy when Orren caim home from munroe as we hav not beow from you in so long we fer to heire atoll best we should here that we wer deprivd of you all. As we had written several letters since we had receivd an ansure And we thought you would hav written enny how had you receivd the ltters but I nead not asshour you how much we wer greivd to lurn of him your friends (?) ?? And that you were expected to receive we hoape however it may be otherwise but that wee shall yet see you again in this life which would be very gratifying.
I asshour you my helth has been gradually inproveing every year since the first that we hav been in the country & last summer it was better than it ever had been before Ellin has had desideedly the best helth during the pas winter & present spring that she ever enjod before Mother & Omar went last Friday to see Mr. May & found them well The old gentleman is ded David Mack is in Indana Anak Bansom has written to them during the winter & says she concluded we had not receivd hur letter wright soon I must leav room for the rest Lavina Burt to write this from your affectionate neas. Giv my lov to all the friends. Amanda Burt
My Dear Aunt. All tho I have nothing to communicate of any great
importance I feel as tho I must say something. If nothing more than to
enquire about your helth whitch I hope is improved considerable to this
time. Sister Amanda has mentioned something about you not expecting to
recover whitch may very in long ? and only till our folks that you are
vary sick and it was found you mite never enjoy much helth again or
you mite never be again .. better very long at a time. I do hope when I
se you again to se you injoying a comfortable degree of helth all tho
never can hope to see you young agin in this world. But we do expect to
see you bouth enjoying helth and the viger of youth Where we shall look
upon sickness and old age as ?? words without mentioning ?? things that
have ben. We are well as well as ever. Mother and I have ben to see Mr.
?? folks as easy?// And desired us to stay up to be very fine people.
had considerable to tell us but not a great deal more than Amda wrote.
They say that David M is in Indiana and was the rest of them. Mrs. Aly
says that they heard from them after weaks "go and that they over
all well. Mr. May is ?. (Impossible to read the remainder. Penmanship
spelling bad.) Letter signed by Lavina Burt
Your favor of 12th inst. Came to hand last evening.
The cholera was very bad in some parts of this country, and many of my old and valued friends were among its victims; yet neither myself nor any of my relatives were affected by it.
I was at the Bluff on the 2d Sep Brother Wm. And family were then well: but, several days ago Mr. Powell (who lives with me) was at Collinsville, and saw Mr. Shultz, from the Bluff, who told him that Brother Wm. Had the fever and several "risings" on his body. I intend to go and see what the matter is soon.
Levi staid with Brother Wm. Some 6 or 8 weeks till sister Jane became tired of him. He came back Sep 4; and I think is somewhat improved. Indeed, the fact that he has several times performed the journey on foot from this to the Bluff (nine miles) shows that he is far more enterprising than in former years. He occupies the small framed house which I built for his use.
The Cholera. It is supposed that about 6,000 persons died of cholera at St. Louis. That place is the stopping place for vast numbers of Germans and Irish who arrive with the seeds of the disease in their system, or already suffering under its attacks. Hence they not only die, but spread the infection among the native population. The Cholera, and the dreadful fire of May 17, inflicted a greater calamity than any other city of the U.States ever suffered in any one year.
Collinsville - 43 deaths by cholera. I cannot name more than half
of them, but among them are some whom Mrs. Bingham and her relations
remember. I name the following: Rev. Comfort Robers, P.M.
Miss Ellen Robers
Mrs. E. B. Lockwood (daughter of Capt. Ezra Post)
A child of the same
George F. Findlay, joiner (he came to Illinois with Brother Wm.)
Mrs. Annis Small (formerly Mrs. Stocking)
Wm. Herbert Stocking (her son)
Thomas Jefferson Jones
Mr. Lancaster's (?) daughter
Thompson Robinson's daughter
Two children of R. Withern
Austrin W. Beach (merchant)
Barbara, a Dutch girl, living at Squire Looks.
Miss Catherine N. Swain
A child of Julius A. Barusbacks (?)
5 - the first 2 were not residents of Troy
Highland - a great many died, but I cannot name any except David thorp and 2 or 3 of his children.
Marine - This place almost escaped. Major Matthew C. Garey (?) took the disease and died in St. Louis. A Miss Morrison died at Henry Anderson's farm. Richard Whiting, formerly of Marine, died at Ft. Madison, Iowa.
Ridge Prairie - Between my house and the southline of Madison
the following deaths by cholera:
J. W. Reynolds (teacher)
Wm. W. Hall, a son of W. W. Hall
A son of "blind Billy Hall"
A woman at John McVeg's
Mr. Brisco's wife and three children
In the west part of the Prairie, 2 or 3 Dutch families suffered severely: 3, 4, or 5 dying out of a family
Indian Creek: John Springer, Esq. And wife
D. A. Lanterman's wife
Lane (?) Smith
Edwardsville: Isaac S. Slayback; Dr. J. M. S. Smith (It is said the Dr. took brandy to keep off the cholera and died with delirium tremens.)
Alton: Mrs. Bailhache (?), wife of Judge John Bailhache
Rev. Dr. Wm. Heath (father of Mrs. Bailhache)
Mr. And Mrs. Bergen Edward
Mrs. Mary E. Dolbee
Mrs. Ruby Sinclair
A child of T. P. Wooldridge
Mrs. Olive S. Emerson
Charles R. Chapman
Mrs. Elizabeth Booth, aged 63
Dr. J. P. Mounier
And others too numerous to mention.
Thomas Faherty, formerly of Troy, died at Mr. A. Hoxey's of cholera - caught at St. Louis. Among the deaths at St. Louis were Isaac Lockwood, his wife, and one of his children. Mrs. Lamar Seybold, wife of Samuel Seybold, is dead. Also Mrs. Phebe Benson. They di not die of cholera.
A great many deaths have taken place in the county which I have not mentioned. Mr. Robert McKee (on the hill this side of Edwardsville) is one. Supposed to have died of "milk-nik". His hired man also died of the same.
Last winter, spring and summer up to Aug. 29, were very wet. Then we had 3 weeks dry weather. Since that time we have occasional showers. Wheat, hurt in the shock by rain. Corn, a ?? crop, in consequence of too much wet. Apples, a short crop. May, a short crop, in consequence of the Army Worms. We had a good many Peaches, but not so large as usual. You were right in keeping away from the river during the prevalence of cholera; but you might have come about the middle of August and been in season for Peaches and not much in danger of the cholera.
I am glad to hear that Norman and George are natural mechanics. In that respect, they do not take after their father.
As the Barnburners of Wisconsin were not able last fall to prevent the Hunkers and Baltimore Platformers and Slavery Extenders from giving the votes of the state to the author of the "Nicholson letter", perhaps it is good policy in the said Barnburners now to knock under to the Hunkey, acknowledge them to be "Democrats", and then be free to add: "We Democrats too!" The Barnburners have shown a commendable repentance of their last year's mis-doinings, by giving up all the offices to the Slavery extending Hunkery; and if they continue to exercise due humility a few years longer, they may come in for some of the crumbs which fall from the Old Hunkers table.
In the State of N.York, however, where the Barnburners out-voted the Hunkers, the two parties have agreed to "go halvers" in the division of the spoils - provided always they succeed in getting the spoils. One who did not know these parties of old time, and heard what they said about each other last year, would be surprised at their readings to re-enter into partnership. But as John C. Calhoun said, they are drawn together "by the cohesive power of public plunder."
Southern Administration. I suppose very administration since the adoption of the Federal Constitution has been composed of members from the Southern and Northern States, very much as the present administration is. And such will always be the case till the Union is dissolved.
The Cuba expedition, intended to add two new states to the Union,
has been knocked in the head by the present administration. What would
have been done is Lewis Cap had been the President? What if Martin
had been elected? In 1836 he said to the Hon. Wm. Jackson, M.C. from
and others, "Gentlemen, we must carry the South by adopting southern
measures, and the North by party machinery." Now the South will not
be gulled (?) with Irish words and phrases as "Democrat, Democratic,
the Democracy." They will have "Southern measures" if they
can get them: -- at one time they must have Texas: then they must have
slavery extended to New Mexico and California, and next the
of Cuba! "Party machinery" does wonders at the North, but the
help of Calhoun and Co. must be had to insure the Presidency to the
Hence it soon becomes a principle with "the Democracy" that nearly
everything which Congress does for the public benefit is
and every thing which the Executive does, is constitutional. Truly
Troy, Madison Co., Illinois, Oct. 30, 1849
I wrote to your husband on the 29th Sept. I visited Kingston Bluff two days afterwards. Your father was seated in a rocking chair, and looked "puny" to use a Western term. His fever had been "broke", but he was troubled with boils, and was low in flesh and strength. The little flaxen-headed Adeline and Henry Clay were as well as usual. Martin Samson Kingston, a little puny fellow, is the sole heir to the Kingston estate. A town called Caseyville has been commenced between little Canteer (?) creek and the Kingston farm; and a Rail Road from it to the east bank of the Mississippi, opposite St. Louis, has already been placed under contract. Mr. R. Radford, of Springfield, is the cntractor. So you may take a passage by steam from Galena to Caseybille next Peach time, in all probability.
Mrs. Perthamia (?) Cornwell, widow of Eli Cornwell, died last Friday. William Estes, step son of Wm. F. Purviance, died several weeks since. James A. Steel's wife is dead. Your former admirer, Rev. Samuel Kelley, has removed back to Arkansas. He and his father-in-law, Isaac K. McMahan, had seceded from Methodism, and joined the Baptists. Samuel Steele Hunter and Robert McMahan have gone with him. Their destination is Pike Co., Ark.
News from Galesburg. John L. Weeks is married to Miss Emily Finch, daughter of Col. Finch. Horace B. Weeks is married to Mrs. Didamia Shannon, widow of the late Achilles Shannon of Knox Co. He gets a smart wife, a pretty daughter of 15 months old, a nice little brick house and a comfortable property. My correspondent says that Horace has done first rate; and that he bears the title of "Pa" with becoming dignity.
Sickness at Galesburg. The typhoid fever prevails and has carried off 6 victims in 6 weeks. Charles B. Weeks has had a severe attack of it, is supposed to be better, but his case is still considered critical. Old Parron (?) Waters has lost 2 of his children, to wit, Edward P. Waters, just out of college, and Harriet. Mary G. Weeks has returned from Whiteside county.
The Tempest in a Tea Pot at Galesburg. This continues to rage. I judge from the papers that the Blanchardites are the strongest, so far as the college is concerned, and the Galenites, so far as the Church is concerned. It is said that the Rev. Bascom of Chicago, is to take Mr. Blanchard's place as preacher.
Troy - The IOOF hall is about finished and with the lot has cost pretty near $1200. Macdonough Gates teaches a school in the Iowa story (?). Mac wants to be a JP and deal out justice on Saturdays, Gospel on Sundays, and teaming on the other days of the week. His boy, Martin Cyrus Scott Gates, is the fattest and heaviest little fellow of his age that I ever saw.
Collinsville - Going ahead. The people are doing the wind (?) work of a Plank Road from Collinsville to Wiggins Ferry - The Edwardsvilleians are doing the wind work of a Plank Road from that place to Edwardsville. That is much wanted. It is supposed that the Rail Road from Alton to Springfield will soon be commenced.
Next Tuesday is our election, when the people are to vote for or
against Township Organization. I go against it because I do not want to
be bothered with two sorts of townships. If any Yankee asks me what
I live in I will tell him, Township 3 North, Range 7 West, and if he is
more particular, I will tell him that I live on the West half of the
West quarter of Section 8, T.3N, R7West of the 3d Principal Meridian.
if he knows ever the A,B,C, of the Georgraphy of the Public Surveys he
can tell how far I am from St. Louis or Gains or Chicago or any other
in the surveyed regions of the Great West. But suppose we nickname our
Township "Hubbardtown" or "Morristown" or "Poland"
or "Oxford" - how can we give the inquirer an idea of our location.
Only by exhibiting a mammoth map of the State with a name upon every
square. Truly yours. George Churchill.
Co., Illinois, May 24, 1850
It is some time since I have heard from your region, and I suppose you do not often hear from the land of your nativity. I am in tolerably good health. Your father, and family, were well when I last saw them. Little Adeline and Henry Clay are likely to fall heirs to a part of the Kingston estate, as Wm. Wesley Kingston is dead, and his heirs are his mother, Lawson (?), Adeline, and Henry Clay.
The Caseyville Rail Road is not likely to be completed as soon as were expected. It is suspended for want of funds; and and Lt. Gov. Casey has gone to the East to raise the wind. Another Rail Road, further south, is in full blast, and supplies St. Louis with coal at a cheap rate, say 3 or 4 cents a bushel.
Plank Road. - We are to have a Plank Road from Illinois - Town (?) via Collinsville and Troy to Highland.
Pacific and Atlantic Rail Road. - This will inevitably pass through this neighborhood.
Troy and Collinsville are gradually going ahead.
Rev. Samuel Wood, your old neighbor, died on the 20th inst. It is said he went to Edwardsville in a wagon and came home intoxicated, and badly bruised, but could not tell how it was done. It was supposed that he fell out of the wagon, and that it ran over him, but if so how could he get in again? His age was about 74. A very good sort of man, except in the way of whiskey. Old Granny Wood still living.
Most of the old settlers in this neighborhood are gone. Wm. F. Purviance and Jubilee Posey are still alive. Polly Posey married M. F. Zink (?) last fall, and died soon afterwards.
Mrs. Sally Gaskill, widow of David Gaskill, died at Alton in Jan. last. The family had removed to Alton. When a child, under nine years, she had her mother, 3 sisters, and 1 brother killed by a party of Indians, and she was carried into captivity, and remained with the Indians 15 months. The massacre took place in Monroe Co., Ill on the 26th Jan., 1795. Her father, Robert McMahan, Esq. Was also made captive, but escaped from his captors two days afterwards. Miss Betsey Gaskill is also dead. She died since her mother's death.
Mr. E. B. Lockwood, whose first wife died of cholera last year, has married again. His new wife was widow Hart, daughter of Rev. James Lemer. (?) I learn from the papers that Mr. Jonathan Bentley is dead. Norman E. Gates is dead, and his widow is married to Rev. James Hadley. Old Doctor Gates is still alive, and grunting at Troy.
Your uncle Levi is still alive and as indolent as ever. He sticks close to the little house, which I built for his occupancy.
The Spring is very backward, cold and wet. Winter wheat looks well. This is fortunate, for last year was a disastrous one to the farmers, and as we live near market, the country has been drained of its eatables. Night before last, we had heavy rain.
The prospect is fair for a tolerable Peach crop next September. That will be a good time for you to visit Kingston Bluff, if the cholera does not rage, and I hope it will not. W. W. Louis folks have learned by experience that it's best to keep up a strict quarantine. There will doubtless be occasionally some cases of cholera at St. Louis, but I do not think it will rage, as it did last year.
Henry T. Bartling, formerly of Edwardsville, died of cholera, this spring, at St. Louis.
Galesburg. - Charles B. Weeks has gone to California for gold. Horace has married widow Shannon (?) and ??? Hannah A. Perrigo is a widow - has rented out her farm, and living with her father in Galesburg. She has lately lost one of her children, viz: Nancy Amelia. Wm. W. Weeks has also rented out his farm, and moved to Galesburg, and built a house. He is going to lean to be a carpenter. Miss Emily Amelia Churchill is soon to marry Rev. James Henry Warrang (?) and go with him as a missionary, via Panama to California. George is in College.
Angeline McCray, only surviving child of Calvin McCray is married
to Dr. John S. Dewey of Troy. The heirs of Horatio McCray are trying to
prove that Angeline is the daughter of Henry Johnson, and not of Calvin
McCray, so as to make themselves heirs of Calfins. Report says that
Posey will swear that Calvin told him that the child was not his; and
Granny Wood says that old Catherine said the child was Johnsons. On the
other hand, old Catharine has sworn before a J.P. that she and Calvin
married before they lived together; and we all know that they were
afterwards, and that Calvin raised and educated Angeline as his own
Please write a letter to your father. Tell the old man to preserve the
letter for me to read when I visit Kingston Bluff. Respects to Mr.
and all other friends. Truly yours, George Churchill.
PS. Mary C. Weeks has become school marm, and is teaching at Dodville, Macdonough Co., Ill. John L. Weeks married and dead, last year. We had snow 7 ½ inches on a level, April 14, 1850. The roads are getting better, but the mail still coming in a "mud wagon."
Troy, Madison Co., Illinois, Dec. 18, 1851.
Dear Sir (to John A. Bingham, Caroline's husband)
Your favor of Sept. 13, was duly received. I had not previously heard of the death of old Mrs. Gardner, or of your boy.
In relation to Sweet Potatoes, you will find information in the Prairie Farmer. Some people break off the slips or sprouts of the sweet potato, and plant them, leaving the potato in the hot-bed to produce more sprouts, and this mode of culture is advisable when you have but few seed potatoes. The sprouts should be watered in case of very dry weather.
Peach stones. - My Peach crop was almost a failure this year, but your father-in-law's trees bore very well. He has saved some peach stones, and will send them to you on getting directions from you how to send them. I have left with him a few peach stones and some seeds of the Persimmon, a fruit indigenous to this region, but which I presume is unknown in Wisconsin. It has a puckering quality if eaten before it has been exposed to several hard frosts; when it loses that quality, and becomes delicious. It will hang on the trees nearly all winter until picked off. The fruit make excellent beer, ?? being good to eat. The seeds deposited with your father-in-law are from the best persimmons I ever tasted. Address William B. Churchill, Collinsville, Madison Co., Illinois. He lives in St. Clair Co., but his P.O. is in Madison.
The Ohio an Mississippi Rail Road (from St. Louis to Cincinnati) has been located through Caseybille which is only a mile from your father-in-law's residence. Messrs. Seymore & Co. of New York, it is said, have taken the contract for the whole road. From the Mississippi to Caseyville, a Railroad is now in operation. Some time after this, you can take the Plankroad to Freeport, thence the Central R.R. to the point where it is crossed by the Ohio and Mississippi R.R., thence turn to the right, and stop at Caseyville Station, then get up to Kingston Bluff by buggy, or wagon, or horseback or foot back.
The Plank Road from Collinsville to the Mississippi is in operation, and has made a dividend of 3 ½ per cent. For the last 3 months --- 14 per cent a year. This to be extended to Troy. About a mile of the Extension has been graded in this prairie, and a new steam saw mill on Canteen (?) Creek, near the Gaskill brick house, is sawing plank to cover the road. This has become absolutely necessary, as our soil is so rich and loose, and the travel across this prairie so great that all our prairie roads become nearly impassable in a wet time.
A dreadful accident occurred at Collinsville on the 1st inst. A steam chest, in the distilling of Messrs. Kurtz, Davis & Co., bursted and killed five persons, viz: Vines Davis, John Lloyd (two of the firm) Lewis Enminger, George Fisher, and a German from St. Louis - name unknown. The accident happened after 4 o'clock P.M. and they all expired before the next morning.
Troy is going ahead. The steam mill has been in operation 2 or 3 months. The Plankroad, that is to be, has raised the price of real estate. A new school house has been created at Mt. Gilead. This is the place where Mrs. Bingham passed several of her early years.
Our democratic state has gone for banking, by a majority of over 6,000. Your democratic state is said to have gone for banking, and for a Whig. Governor too. Col. Benton has got back to Missouri and will ?? straighten out the democracy of that state, which has got full of kinks.
Tell Norman and George, and the girls, that I would gladly receive letters from them.
Last month I had the pleasure of seeing a locomotive and some cars ascend the hill at Alton, on the Alton and Sangeamon (?) R. R. It is hoped this R. R. will be finished in about a year. It has been a long time building.
We are about to have a telegraphy line through Troy. The poles are already scattered along the roadside. Truly yours George Churchill.
Supplement Troy, Ill, Dec. 18, '51. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, were cold. Mercury 8 degrees below zero on Monday morning: -- 4 deg. Below on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. This morning it was 6 degrees above Zero; and is still cold enough. I suppose you can talk of still colder weather, but I would rather hear of it than feel it.
Isaac K. Millahan (?) has been sent to the State Hospital for the
Insane at Jacksonville. Mr. And Mrs. Weeks were here from Galesburg in
October. Your cousin, Miss Amelia S. Woodruff, is in the seminary at
in this county. I am told that Wash. Renfro has just been married to
Black - both of Mt. Gilead district. G. C.
Co., Illinois, Oct. 18, 1852
Your father, step mother, and little Henry Clay, were here today, apparently in good health. Since I saw him before, your father had taken a course of Calomel, and was salivated, so that for three weeks he could not speak. All this was intended for the benefit of his liver.
I trust you are now enjoying your Sweet potatoes. A Mr. Kinney, of Rock Island, says in the Prairie Farmer, that he cultivates a variety of the Sweet Potato which is hardy at the North, and can be kept through the winter. Probably you had better try them.
Norman made us a visit early in the summer; and left for West Union, Iowa: since which time I have not hear from him.
Miss A. L. Woodruff has commenced her second term in Monticello French Seminary, and paid $40 in advance. Female education is quite costly, to what it used to be.
I suppose that within two years you will be able to come from Freeport to Caseyville by Rail Road - following the Central R. R. to the Central City in Marion Co., and then turning to the right on the Ohio and Mississippi R. R. which will land you at Caseyville. Ultimately there will be a shorter route, turning to the right at Vandalia on the Atlantic and Mississippi R. R. The obituary of our Legislature has thus far prevented this road from being constructed, lest it might benefit St. Louis. The Alton & Springfield R. R. is now in traveling order, and the Actonians are very much disappointed, for the produce comes from the North and goes right ahead to St. Louis, upon two steamboats owned by the Railroad Co., The merchandise also comes from St. Louis and goes directly from the steamboat to the car: so that a few draymen at Alton are all who devise much benefit from the road. Great has been the indignation of the Altonians, and they have expressed it by incontinently electing Dr. Thomas M. Hope to be their Lord Mayor! A forlorn hope, truly!
The cholera has prevailed this fall at Caseyville, and carried off about ten. Caseyville will doubtless ever remain a sickly place, so long as any body remains there to be sick.
Mr. Andrew Jackson Swain has married one of Horatio McCray's daughters, and lives directly opposite the place where Judge Bingham's wife was born.
Madison Jilton lives in the Horatio house. He married one of Horatio's girls. Widow Rowell, the eldest of the daughters, with her five fatherless children, has removed to Iowa, to live with Mr. Rowell's father. The other girl has married, an removed to Connecticut.
They have built a brick school house in the Mount Gilead neighborhood. Old Mrs. Husong is dead. Rev. Wm. P. Renfro has just married his second wife, a daughter of John C. Duggen. Mr. B. J. Haglis (?) is alive yet, but he lost two of his children this year.
At my last dates from Galesburg, Mr. & Mrs. Weeks were gone to Wisconsin on a visit. I suppose you saw them. Dr. George Churchill and Miss L. (S?) Booth were teaching a High School at Farmington, Ill., T8N, R4E.
Compliments to Husband, Brothers and Sisters. Please write soon,
and oblige yours truly. George Churchill.
Galesburg, Knox Co.,
Ills. Dec. 20th 1852
Your husband's and your letter I received on Saturday the 18th containing twenty seven dollar which was thankfully received. I suppose it will do just as well to direct a letter to you in acknowledgement of it.
Mother tried considerable to get Mary to write to Lucemartin (?) after she returned from the north but without success. She was full of getting married, and as Mother scarcily ever writes, and I do not often do so, is the reason why you did not hear from us.
Father and Mother returned a week sooner than we expected them. Father's brother had removed 80 miles from where he expected to find him, the weather was so bad he did go to see him he made his sister a short visit and hurried home, they arrived late Saturday night drenched from head to foot in rain and mud. Mr. Garwood had arrived that day from Mich. And Mary was in a hubbub she did not expect him quite as soon, they were married in about two weeks and in about three weeks after they were married they started for Sumnersville, Cass Co., Michigan.
We hear from Charles frequently, but have not heard from William and fear we never shall the last we heard from him he was near the Alkaline region he was well fitted out for the trip, much better than an intimate friend of his who went from this place and have got through they write that they never should if their brother who was in Oregon had not met them with fresh provision and teem, one of the girls wrote that the whole rout is strewed with graves which are a hole in the ground so shallow that the blanket or buffalo skin which the corps was wrapped in could be seen on the top of the ground, they soon got so that such sights did not disturb them their stepfather died on the way. John Gaskill and Marion Purviance went from Ridge Prairie last spring they say that the rout is one continued burying ground they are very much dissatisfied with the country, so Uncle George writes I have written these particular for cousin George's especial benefit tell him if he values his life any thing not to undertake cross the plans, never --- never - never so says almost every one that says any thing about it. But people will not be profited by the experience of others. I should not be surprised if Mr. Gardwood and Mary went to Oregon in the spring we had rather see her put in her grave.
Mother sends her love to you all, and says tell Lucena Ann to come down here and go to school the year commences the 1st of September and if she cannot come before that time to come then.
We have had a very unpleasant fall and winter so far the roads much of the time almost impassable.
Please to excuse mistakes and write often. And remember me to all
the friends. Yours affectionately, Hannah A. Perrigo
Troy, Madison Co.,
Illinois, Jan. 20, 1853
I am sorry to have to inform you of the death of your stepmother, Mrs. Jane Robinson Churchill. It took place early in Dec., at Caseyville, and was very sudden. I heard a rumor of it soon afterwards, but heard nothing which I could rely on as certain, till yesterday. Little Adeline, and Henry Clay, are motherless, and Samson Kingston is motherless and fatherless. I suppose that Miss Martha Watson keeps house for your father. She is a niece of your late stepmother.
I suppose Norman has finished his job in Iowa, and got back to Monroe. Tell him that he can see his cousin Miss Amelia S. Woodruff, at Galesburg. She has left the college, finding that it makes her sick to study as hard as they have to study in College.
The papers say that "Mr. Churchill of Iowa" has found an Indian medal with the name of John Quincy Adams on it, date 1825. Was it Mr. Norman Churchill, or some other Churchill?
The Pr. Farmer says that good Peaches were raised last year in Lake Co., Ill. You are a little farther North, but perhaps you may sometimes happen to raise peaches. How do your Persimmon trees come on? Did you have a good crop of Sweet Potatoes? Suppose you try some of Mr. Kinney's root, of Rock Island. Nausembuds, (?) I think he calls them.
The calculation is to finish, this year, so much of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad as lies between Minorstown (?) and the Ill. Central R. R. Then you can go to Freeport, and be whisked down to Marion Co., Ill. (Central city or "Centralia".) Thence turn to the right, and be landed at Caseyville in a couple of hurries. Then you will be within a mile of your father's. I am told there is a cut 65 feet deep through the Bluff, near Caseyville, and even that did not furnish earth enough for the adjacent embankment. Come and look at it.
Marion Purviance and John Quincy Adams Gaskill went to Oregon last year, but finding no public land there which they would take as a gift, they went to the gold mines on Rogue River, O.T. Old man Gallentine Kinder went to Oregon in the same company. The last I heard about him was that he had gone to Puget's Sound to see the country in that quarter. One man in the company, named Andrew Pregge, died on the way out.
Wm. W. Weeks started from Knox Co. for Oregon, last spring, with his family, father-in-law, and others. I have not yet heard of their arrival in Oregon, and fear .. they have had bad luck.
The California and Oregon fevers are very bad on this country, drawing off most of the young men, and not leaving enough to cultivate our farms. The emigrants on an average might do better here than they do on the Pacific: but as a few adventurers have drawn high prizes, every emigrant thinks he can do so too.
The Germans are coming in here, and giving high prices for land. The old Hammy (?) Wood farm might have been sold for $3,000, but the widow would not relinquish her dower. The usual prices are from $25 to $30 per acre.
Rev. Wm. P. Rengro, son of Jepe, has a new wife - daughter of John C. Dugger. They have a brick school house at "Skeamborough."
Troy - Two schools, one taught by R. K. Dewery, in the Hall; the other by Misses Hatch & Livermore, in a new school house built by Jacob C. Gontersman (?). Three churches - Presbyterian, Rev. John Gibosn, pastor; Baptist, Rev. E. Dodson; Methodist, Rev. S. Mattison.
The weather and the roads have been very unfavorable to out door locomotion, and other operations, this winter. I keep pretty close.
The Caloric engine, I hope, will displace those murderous
the steamboat boilers. Compliments to your husband. Please write soon
give all the Monroe news. Yours, George Churchill.
Troy, Madison Co., Illinois, Sept. 13, 1854
I am well, but do not feel very comfortable by reason of the extreme long drouth and very hot weather - the mercury rising almost daily to 100 degrees. Stack (?) water is dried up, the cisterns are empty, and the well almost dry. We have had no rain since the 15th Aug. which time was memorable for a shower which wet the earth to the depth of 1 ½ inches. Previous to that we had a heavy rain on the 5th of July, and the Spring months and early part of June were very wet. The consequence of such a wet spring and such a dry, hot summer, is a general failure of the corn and potato crops. There may be from a 4th to a 3d of the usual quantity of corn raised. Of potatoes, not enough for seed. The wheat crop is totally good. The oat crop rather below par. Fruit is not so abundant as common. We have some peaches, and they have been getting ripe for about a week: but the quantity is quite small.
It is about a month since I was at Kingston Bluff; and I have not hear from that place since. Samson Kingston was then at home; it being vacation at McKendra (?) College. All were well. Your new aunt is a "medium" and receives spiritual communications from her deceased daughter, Miss Ellen Robert, desc', who died of cholera in 1849; also from her former husband and others. I suppose you have a plenty of "Spiritualists" at Monroe; and therefore I need not give you an account of the stand-tipping operation by which a message from the Spirit Land is laboriously eked out.
We had a most destructive hail store on the 24th July. A large portion of the ice which fell was in pound balls. James Purviance weighed one of the haill stones of the larger and it weighed a pound. Some hogs, turkeys, and geese, and a gret many hens were killed by the hail. Fruit was knocked off, limbs broken off, windows broken, corn broken down, and the roofs of some of my buildings ruined. The hail stones passed through like cannon balls.
The steam mill at Troy, owned by Swain & Brothers, has been burned; supposed by an incendiary. Loss $10,000. Insurance $5,000.
Macdonough Gates talks of leaving school teaching and going to college against for two years. Queer - since his is living with his second wife.
Hen Cholera - Poultry has been dying off very fast within a month past. They have some disease as fatal as cholera.
James Riley Monroe Gaskill is a Doctor, and is settled at Centralia, Marion Co., Ill. John Quincy Adams Gaskill and Marion Purviance are in Oregon or California, supposed to be making money, since they have not time to write to their friends. I get letters occasionally from Wm. W. Weeks, Buteville, Marion Co., Oregon Ter. Charles B. Weeks has come home from California and now living At Galesburg, Knox Co., Ill. ??? Mary G. Weeks Garwood, I suppose, lives at Sumnerville, Cass Co., Michigan. Her husband went to Cal. Last year, and came back again. George Churchill of Galesburg, has, I suppose, set out to make the tour of Europe in company with his chum, a Mr. Wilcox.
Now I want you to let me know the post office address of your brother George who was last year reported as having gone to Cal. Has he got rich yet? It is said that a company of four, made $6,000 in one week, 25 miles from Port Orford, O.T. At that rate, a man can soon make his pile.
The Ohio & Mississippi R. R. is in operation from St. Louis, via Caseyville, to Car�(?) You can come down the Central R. R. to Bloomington, Ill., thence by the Chicago & Alton R. R. to Alton; thence by steamboat to St. Louis; thence by Railroad to Caseyville, when you will be within a mile of your father's. An omnibus runs between Caseyville & Collinsville.
The Atlantic & Mississippi R. R. is under construct from Caseyville to Pocahontas, and several parties are at work upon it. The heat is so great that they make no progress: but it is expected that next year the horse horse will go snorting by the ruins of old Mount Gilead Meeting House.
Rememberances to Norman and your sisters, and especially to Judge Bingham, and please write to me soon. Truly yours, George Churchill.
(The end of the letters found in a barn in Monroe, Wisconsin.)
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