Saturday, February 26, 2011

1857 Nov. 25 Letter to William Chandler (3562) from Sarah C. Hess (3563)

Letter, written in ink on four sides of a large piece of folded paper, dated November 25, 1857, from Sarah Hess (3563) in Decatur, Illinois, to William Chandler (3562) in Chillicothe, Ohio

1857 Nov. 25th
Decatur Macon County Ill William Chandler (3562)

Dear Brother

I take up my pen once more for the purpose of informing you of my whereabouts and welfare, and that I am still in the land and among the living. We are all in tolerable good health at present with the exception of Samuel. He has been very much afflicted with sore eyes for the past 4 or 5 weeks, part of the time so bad that he could not see to go about or attend to any kind of business. But his eyes are getting better and if he could keep from exposing them in the cold and wind I hope they will soon get well. The children have all had sore eyes. I believe that I mentioned in a former letter that they had sore eyes and they are not to say well yet. I am the only one of the family that have escaped them, but I am afraid it will be my turn next. I feel very anxious to hear from you. I received a few lines from Sarah (3705) a short time since, dated Oct 31st which informed me that her Mother (3565) had been very sick but was then some better. And that you had not been well for some time, which I am sorry to hear. And I hope ere this reaches you that you may have both regained your health, for it distresses me very much to hear of any of you being sick when it is not in my power to be with you or render you any feeble assistance. Sarah (3705) makes no mention of having received any letter from me although I had written to her on the 2nd of September, and again to you and her both on the 1st of October. I expect you did not get my letters in time or did not think proper to send it in that way.

But it has been a disappointment to me as Samuel did not get off in consequence of his having such sore eyes. He wanted to have started by the 1st of this month and it has been quite a disappointment to his nephew, Samuel Hess, who came all the way from Michigan to accompany him - and get himself a piece of land if he likes the country. He remained with us two weeks, and then returned home as he did not like to take such a journey alone at this season.

I mentioned in my letter to you that we would have to move soon, but I did not know then where we would go. The Old Virginian came on in the latter part of October with his wagons and fixings. He seems like a pretty fine old gentleman. His name is David Welton. He is a first cousin of Werten Welton that married Ann Renick, so he says. He bought our part of the corn and we have moved back to Decatur. We are living Priests Mill, in one of his houses, for which we pay nine dollars per month.

Our friends the Hayes are all well as far as I know. William Hays has rented his farm and moved to Decatur. He is engaged in the slaughtering business this winter.

For better than a week past we have had cold rough weather and the ground is covered with snow. I want to see you all very much, and also my peaceful and quiet old home. And when you get this I want you to write and let me know how you are getting along and how the old neighbors are and how times are there. And if you have many apples? I would like to have some of your fine apples to eat once and a while.

Some way I cannot feel reconciled to the last letter I received from Sarah. It commences with Dear Sister and ends with her signature and mine, but it hardly reads as if she was writing to me. Only at the last she says we are pleased to hear that you think of coming in this fall to see us. I have made my calculations ever since I’ve been here to go back this fall to see you. But I expect I will have to defer it until another time as I see no prospect of my getting off this fall.

I must bring my letter to a close as night is approaching and I have little of importance to communicate. When you get this write to me, or have Sarah to write soon, as I want to hear from you all. No more at present. My best wishes attend you all and I ever remain your affectionate sister.

Sarah Hess (3563)

William Chandler (3562)

Tis sad to leave our fatherland
And friends we there loved well
To wander on a strangers strand
Where friends but seldom dwell

N.B. The last letter we received from Charlie he stated that they were going to move down to Portsmouth, and he would like to hear whether they went or not, and if you know how they are, as some of the folks here got a letter from Ohio not long since which stated that Sarah Jane was laying very sick. And we would like to hear from her.

S. Hess (3563)

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