Friday, February 25, 2011

1856 July 4 Letter to William Chandler (3562) from Sarah Hess (3563)

The letter is written in ink on two sides of a single sheet of paper. It is dated July 4, 1856, from Sarah C. Hess (3563) to her brother William Chandler (3562). Sarah is writing from near Bellville, Indiana, and signs also for Samuel Hess, her husband.

Near Bellville Indiana July 4th 1856

Dear Brother

We are still wending our way westward in the enjoyment of our good health. We have all been well since we left you, have had no difficulties to encounter as yet on our way. With the exception of our coupling pole to the wagon breaking in crossing over some corduroy bridging on the road in Fayette County Ohio. But we soon made a substantial new one which I think will stand the trip.

The road has been generally very good and our horses perform first rate, and as yet stand the trip well. We give them time when there is any hills or hard pulling to do, and they seem willing and ready to do all they can. And I believe they are improving on the journey. Mike seems to understand all about it, especially at noon and evening when he thinks it is coming near stopping time for food. He begins to stick up his ears and pushes ahead as if he was in a hurry to get to a certain stopping point.

We did not leave Chillicothe until Tuesday morning and we are now some forty miles from Terra Haute. We want to get into the State of Illinois on Sunday next. This is Friday noon that I am writing while the horses are eating. I am sitting in the wagon on my writing chair under the shade of some Hoosier beech trees protected to some extent from the rays of a hot noon sun. We have had it quite hot most of the time we have been on the road, but have not experienced much inconvenience in consequence of the heat. Except it seems to make us all sleepy riding in the wagon.

We have had three quite heavy rains or showers since we left Chillicothe. The last was on Sunday evening. We were some five or six miles from the Indiana state line on the Ohio side and we got a very heavy rain. We have been told along the way that the season has been very dry. The wheat crop through Ohio is first rate, but the most of the corn is quite small for the season. The corn looks better in Indiana than it does in Ohio, and the wheat in three counties which we have passed through (Wayne, Henry, and Hancock) is very good. In Marion and Hendrick it is not so good.

Those three first counties in Indiana I like very much. Along the road, the country is rolling and of good quality and well worked. Further along then is some of the land that is rather flat, and covered with dense forests of beach timber. We have taken it quite moderate on the road, and given our horses good time. We have traveled some days twenty-three and twenty five miles, when the roads are very good, but our average is about twenty miles per day, and I think we will reach Decatur some time next week if all goes well.

We must again prosecute our journey. And I conclude this epistle by hoping it may find you all well. Our best wishes attend you all.

Mr. William Chandler (3562)

Sarah C. Hess (3563)
for Samuel Hess

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