Saturday, February 26, 2011

1857 June 24 Letter to Sarah Blain (3705) from Sarah C. Hess (3563)

Letter, written in ink on four sides of folded single sheet of paper, dated June 24, 1857, from Sarah Hess (3563) in Decatur, Illinois, to Sarah Blain (3705) in Chillicothe, Ohio.

1857 June 24th
Decatur Macon Co. Ill

Dear Sarah (3705)

I embrace the present opportunity to inform you that we are all in the enjoyment of pretty good health at this time and I hope that these few lines may find you all enjoying the same blessing. I received yours of June 4th and the 20th instant and was pleased to hear from you and that you were all well. For I have been very uneasy for some time for fear some of you was sick, as I had not received any letters from you for a considerable length of time and had been talking of writing to you again.

This day one year ago we left the Old Metropolis in Ross County Ohio on our way to the land of promise. That night we stayed with old Abraham Heighler about six miles this side of old town. Tonight I am on the broad prairie of Illinois with a beautiful view of the surrounding Country before me - houses and farms in all directions, corn fields and wheat fields spread out before me, and any quantity of unbroken prairie stretching away in the distance. The trees too look beautiful. We can see the woods on the north, on the east, and south of where we live. We are about two miles from timber. When this delightful season shall return, when the woods and the fields again spread their foliage to the sun, where I may be I cannot tell. Far distant from here, perhaps, as Samuel still talks of going farther west. But I do not like prairiedom with all its beauties. It looks lonesome and vacant to me. I prefer the woods to the prairie. But the people here all say that it is a great deal sicklier in the timber than it is out on the prairie.

Samuel and the boys are farming some this spring and they have been very busy since we moved and have put in considerable of corn and some oats. It was late when they commenced but some of their corn look very well. About as well as our neighbors I believe. I never saw corn and everything as backward in my life as it is this spring and summer. Wheat crops I think looks pretty well - better than was expected in the spring - unless something defeats it yet. We will have about 55 acres to cut if all goes right, which will be a considerable of a job. We are about 4 miles from where our wheat is, and about 12 miles from Decatur.

We made some garden which looks very well, such as cabbage, tomatoes, beans beets, peas, radishes, and so on. And we have planted potatoes and a good many vines. This is a great country for melons. And they want to sow considerable of buckwheat if they can get seed, but it seems to be very scarce and hard to get.

You say you are going to school? I want you to be attentive to your studies and try to learn and improve all you can. And do not let any of the rest get ahead of you, and be particular in writing to spell your words correct. Youth is a time for improvement, and make good use of it while you have a chance cultivate your mind. And place it on something solid and useful and do not be led away by light and giddy company or gay and foolish dress. Let your company be sensible, and your dress if rich be plain. And do not forget your Mother (3656) and Uncle (3562). Be kind and dutiful to them for I know they are very indulgent and good to you. And do not let your Mother work hard. Now Sarah (3705), mind what I say. She done a faithful part by you when you was little. Now it is your turn to do for her. And sometimes think of her who is now tracing these lines for I am more than a friend to you all. You say that you have to steal time to write. I am glad to hear that you are so industrious, but I want you to try and take time to write to me - and that pretty often. And you must send me a specimen of your embroidery, and also have something very nice worked for your Aunt against she comes or you have a chance to send it to her.

We have not received any letter from Sharonville for a long time. I guess they have forgotten us or do not care about writing. We have all written to them but we get no answer. I am very much pleased to hear that Alexander Bell has settled down satisfied at last. I have never written to Rebecca (3559) since we came out here - nor her to me. She wrote several letters and so did the girls before and after I left home, but I never answered them. And as I have no apology to offer but neglect I feel ashamed to write

Mrs. Doddridges troubles seem to come thick and fast. I think that she has paid dear for the whistle. And I cannot think that John Sturgeon can hold that land now his child is gone. And if he had the spirit of a louse he would not want it.

You say that Rebecca (3559) wrote to you on the 2nd of March? I rote to you also on that day but you do not say whether you received it or not. I want you to let me know always when you write, what date the letters are, and then I can tell if you get them.

Allen Hays buried his wife about two weeks ago. She left three children.

I believe that I have told you all the news, and you must not forget to write. I am going to write to my Brother (3562) and Sister (3565) some of these times as they do not say anything to me. So I must conclude with my love to you all and ever remain your affectionate Sister and Aunt

Sarah C Hess (3563)
to S.C.B. (3705)

Farewell in life is often hard
To tell that friends must part
In separation ‘tis the knell
That grieves the fondest heart

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