Old Letters from The Temple Family and Friends in Pike Co. IL
This document accompanies five letters written over 160 years ago by immigrants from England who came to live in Illinois. This document was written primarily for descendants of Thomas Temple and summarizes what is known about the several families mentioned in the letters.
These five letters were written 1844 - 1852 by pioneers settling in Pike County, Illinois. These letters were originally sent by the Pike County pioneers to their Lincolnshire, England relatives who had not emigrated.
Herbert Depear Temple, (b. September 8, 1892; d. October 30, 1980) emigrated from Lincolnshire to the United States in 1913 and settled in Iowa. When his parents died, Herbert returned to Lincolnshire in 1960 to help settle the family estate. Among the items given to Herbert at that time were the letters from the Pike County pioneers. It was believed that these letters would mean more to Americans than to anyone in England. After the death of Herbert and his wife Mildred, the letters became the property of their children: Philip Andrew Temple, Lois Mary Temple Hansen, Ruth Elizabeth Temple Kirkman, and Miriam Temple.
The originals of the old letters are very hard to read. Some were written with blue ink on blue paper. Some pages were written with lines in one direction, then the paper turned 90 and new lines written on top of the first lines. Not all letters were signed and some are not dated. Some places in the letters are worn through and others are smudged or faded. Farmers in those days had little need to hone those skills. Fortunately, the paper available to the pioneers at that time was probably made from old rags and has survived much better than paper made more recently from wood chips. There is very little punctuation in the letters and capitalization is inconsistent. The authors had limited spelling and grammar education and limited experience in writing. Jean Yrigoyen, a very dear friend, has transcribed the original letters and typed them to make them more readable. She has preserved the original spelling, wording and capitalization to keep the flavor of the original text. Where she had to guess at words, she put the guess in parentheses with a question mark (guess?). Where she added punctuation, it is enclosed in brackets [,].
The letters tell the story of several farm families who originally were from the fen country of Lincolnshire near Boston, England. Included in this group are families named Temple, Walker, Wilson, Hammerton, Crawford, Sleight, and Blower. These families were laborers and farmers who had lived near each other in Lincolnshire and did so again in Pike County. They were sometimes related by marriage, had large families, all seemed to be Methodist, and apparently all faced meager prospects in Lincolnshire.
The letters primarily discuss the family matters of interest to the folks back home, health, children, weather, farming, etc. But they also tell the fascinating story of what it was like to leave family and homeland, endure a lengthy (sometimes harrowing) ocean voyage, and strike out anew in a sparsely settled land. With meager funds and tools, they battled disease and the forces of nature to try to make a living from a virgin land.
The following comments attempt to put the letters into historical perspective and sketch what is known about the participants. We have relied on the work of many sources and regret whatever errors we have made or repeated inadvertently.
The Lincolnshire families were probably attracted by the lure of a new country where land was cheap and abundant, and where there was a chance to start on an equal footing with others who were similarly courageous and ambitious. Exactly why they chose to go to Pike County, Illinois in particular, isn't completely clear. Perhaps they had read letters sent home to England by earlier Pike County pioneers (e.g., Charles Bickerdike or Rebecca Burlend) who had also emigrated from England.
Illinois was formerly part of the Northwest Territory and became a state in 1818. Travel to this part of the country became a little easier when the invention of the steamboat made river traffic a lot easier. The boundaries of Pike County were fixed in 1825 and included much of the fertile triangle of land between the Illinois River and the Mississippi River near St. Louis. It was now possible to get to Pike County by steamboat up the Mississippi from New Orleans. Or from Pittsburgh, one could travel down the Ohio River to the Mississippi and then back up the Illinois River to Griggs Landing in Pike County. With the end of the Black Hawk Indian Wars in the area, it seemed to be a good time to emigrate and a good spot to go to.
The Public Land in Illinois (over five million acres) was divided into six-mile square townships. Each township had 36 sections of 640 acres each. Each section was further subdivided into quarter sections (160 acres), half-quarter sections (80 acres), or quarter-quarter sections (40 acres). Cornerstones marked the boundaries of individual properties. Pike County was part of the Military Tract set aside by Congress as payment to volunteers who fought in the War of 1812. But many of the veterans didnt want to move to wherever their 160 acres was located, so they sold their rights to speculators. The land sold for a minimum of $1.25 per acre.
Among the first of the Lincolnshire group to immigrate was Joseph Wilson. He was born March 6, 1793 in Lincolnshire and died March 6, 1889 in Pike County, IL. Joseph, the eldest of ten children, was a shepherd in England. He had cared for his younger siblings after his parents died at an early age. He married Elizabeth Walker in 1826. Elizabeth (b. Sept. 5, 1800; d. Sept 20, 1876) was the daughter of Thomas Walker and Hannah A. Crawford. Elizabeth had previously been married to George Jennings and had a son named Robert Jennings (b. December 28, 1819). After his parents divorced in 1825, Robert was known as Robert J. Walker. More about him later.
According to ship passenger lists, Joseph Wilson immigrated to America alone in 1829. He apparently spent two years in New York and traveling to Pike County, Illinois, arriving in 1831. Elizabeth Wilson immigrated later with son David Wilson in 1833 and joined her husband in Pike County. The Wilsons had ten children:
David (b. 1928)
Louisa Jane (Mrs. Levi Butler)
Martha (Mrs. John Scott)
Elizabeth (Mrs. George Wilson)
The Wilson property was about three miles northeast of Griggsville in Griggsville Township. The Wilsons raised stock and farmed successfully. Their farm reportedly grew to 280 acres; Joseph Wilson employed others to help on the farm and was known as "Boss."
Joseph Wilson was a Methodist, both in England and in Pike County. He was originally a Whig, but became a Republican. A census notation in 1850 indicated that he could read and write, but his will (written in 1873) was apparently signed with an X. The Wilsons were extremely helpful to the other Lincolnshire families who came to Pike County.
James Temple was born in Lincolnshire March 3, 1811 (1813?) and died May 8, 1875 in Pike County, Illinois. He sailed from Liverpool November 10, 1836 and arrived in New York February 23, 1837. He traveled with Robert J. Walker, the son of Elizabeth Wilson. Robert is described in one source as being James Temple's nephew, although that relationship is doubtful.
By October 1837, James Temple was in Griggsville, Pike County, Illinois. He married Sarah Hawker May 31, 1843 in Pike County. Sarah was originally from Exeter, England and had come with her parents to America at about age 10, first to New York, then to Indiana, and later to Pike County about 1842. Sarah was described by James Temple's sister as being low and stout like our mother. James was getting bald and said that he weighed 200 pounds. James and Sarah Hawker Temple lost four children: a boy who died in childbirth, Sarah who lived 1846-1849, John W. who lived for four months in 1853, and Mattie M. who lived for three months in 1862. James and Sarah Temple had four other children who survived: Mary Rebecca, Ann, Eliza, and George H. Temple.
James Temple comments that he didn't have first choice of the land in Pike County and wasn't ever quite satisfied with his property. The Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database shows that James Temple purchased nine different properties in Pike County between 1838 and 1855. He was tempted to move again to Missouri or to Oregon, but never did. Some of his properties are shown in the 1872 map of Flint Township which surrounds Griggs Landing (Philips Ferry) on the Illinois River. The 1872 town map of Griggsville shows James Temple as owner of a lot in Griggsville between Washington Street and the Hannibal and Naples Railroad.
James Temple mentions in one letter that his family lived in John Shaw's log house. He mentions that he needs to build a house next summer, but does not say that the house was ever built.
James Temple was a farmer, but was troubled by rumatic (arthritis) and found farming increasingly difficult. He learned to be a mason and worked as a mason more as he grew older. James and Sarah Temple are buried in the Griggsville Cemetery in Griggsville Township along with their children Sarah, Mattie, and John.
In one of the two letters written by James Temple, he signed his name as James Temple Valasco. When the railroad was being planned through Illinois, the State of Illinois encouraged the building of new towns along the projected rail route. One of these proposed new towns was to be Velasco. The town was laid out and lots were offered for sale. It would appear that James Temple was hopeful of acquiring property in Velasco. However, the bidding was insufficient, and the developer cancelled the project; the town was never built.
Ann Temple Hammerton
Ann Temple was born about 1817 in Coningsby, Lincolnshire, England. Ann was a sister of James Temple (who emigrated from Lincolnshire) and Thomas Temple (who stayed in Lincolnshire). Ann married John Hammerton in England. Ann was a devout Methodist and arranged for Methodist preaching near their home in Pike County.
Ann and John Hammertons children are:
John Wesley (1839-1863)
Mary Ann (1843-1925)
James Temple (1845-1908) Francis Jane Frannie (1850)
In one letter, Ann Hammerton mentioned suffering and nearly dying from a disease much like the English cholera with large running sores on her legs. Other sources refer to this disease as the Illinois Mange and it appears to have been a common disease among the Illinois pioneers.
J. Hammerton owned 160 acres in Oran Township of Logan County in Illinois (1876?). This may or may not have been the husband of this Ann Hammerton.
Ann died in Hanging Grove Twp., Jasper County, Indiana May 1, 1887.
Thomas TempleThomas Temple was born in Lincolnshire on December 14, 1816. The record of his christening March 12, 1817 indicates that his parents were William and Anne Temple. (However, other researchers show different parents.) Thomas Temple, James Temple, and Ann Temple Hammerton were siblings.
Ruth Kirkman took this picture of the gravestone of her great grandparents Thomas Temple and Ann Fountain Temple in 1996. The gravestone is in the cemetery in Spalding, Lincolnshire, England.
The envelope on the letters from James Temple in Pike County is addressed to William Temple and Thomas Temple. The salutation in the letter is addressed to Father and brother, further supporting that William Temple was James Temples father and Thomas Temple was his brother. Edna Temple, wife of Fred Temple, told Russ Kirkman in 1996 in Lincolnshire that Thomas Temple had a brother named James who emigrated to America.
Thomas Temple married Ann Fountain April 4, 1841 in Lincolnshire.
They had 13 children:
Mary Temple b. 1/29/1842.. d. 6/?/ 1921
Ann Temple. b. 8/23/1843 .. d. 4/25/1931
William Temple b. 4/19/1845.. d. 8/20 or 9/16/1920
Henry Fountain Temple . b. 11/26/1846
Thomas Temple ... b. 9/28/1848
Elizabeth Temple. b. 1/23/1851
Rebecca Jane Temple b. 11/11/1852
John James Temple b. 12/17/1854 d. 9/27/1906
Emily Temple b. 5/15/1856 .. d. 11/11/1879
Walter Temple .. b. 4/23/1858 ..... d. 12/21/1920
George Crawford Temple b. 2/4/1860
Benjamin Brown Temple. b. 5/2/1861 .. d. 6/14/1930
(Benjamin was the grandfather of Philip Temple, Lois Temple Hansen, Ruth Temple Kirkman, and Miriam Temple)
Herbert Edward Temple b. 7/16/1863 d. 12/19/1874
Thomas Temple was the grandfather of Herbert Temple who brought the letters back to America from England 100+ years after they had been written. Thomas Temple was the great grandfather of Philip Temple, Lois Hansen, Ruth Kirkman, and Miriam Temple.
Robert J. Walker (b. December 28, 1819 in Lincolnshire; d. May 27, 1918 ) was the son of Elizabeth Wilson from an earlier marriage to George Jennings. Robert Walker and James Temple sailed from Liverpool together in 1836 when they left England forever. During the voyage to New York which took over three months, Robert had his 17th birthday.
Information concerning Robert Walker is inconsistent. One account says Robert Walker and James Temple made a tedious journey by land and water to Pittsburgh, down the Ohio, and up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to Phillips Ferry in Pike County. Another account says they dropped anchor in New Orleans and that Robert stayed there rafting logs for 10 years. At any rate, somehow they got to Pike County.
Robert Walker was a carpenter. He reportedly built the first barn in Pike County with a cellar. His farm had 40 acres devoted to choice fruit trees. Robert was formerly a Whig and a Free Soiler and became a Republican. Robert Walker was a member in high standing in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Seven land purchases in Pike County are recorded for Robert Walker. However, six of them supposedly were made before Robert left England. Perhaps there are more than one Robert Walkers. Or perhaps the land was bought in Roberts name by his step-father Joseph Wilson who arrived in Pike County earlier.
Robert Walker was married three times. Again, the family data is confusing and inconsistent. His first wife (a Miss Wade?) reportedly had no children. His second wife (Hannah Scott?) bore three children who may or may not be: Thomas, Rebecca Elizabeth, and Martha Jane. His third wife (Amanda Jane Evans?) was reportedly James Crawfords wifes sister. Reportedly, Robert and his third wife had eleven children, three of whom died young.
Mary Blower was born about 1808. The Blower family left from Liverpool and arrived 19 April 1852 in New York on the ship James Nesmith. The passenger list shows the ages of the Blower family members as:
Elizabeth Sleight was born about 1825. The Sleight family departed from Liverpool on the ship Java and arrived in New York on 27 April 1846.
The passenger list shows:
John Sleight 20
Elizabeth Sleight 20
A sketch of John Sleight's farm and house appears in an 1872 atlas published by Andreas, Lyter and Company.
Mrs. Joseph Wilson's maiden name was Crawford. It seems likely that she is related to (and may have influenced) several Crawford families who also came to Pike County. Jesse G. Crawford bought five properties in Sections 19 and 30 of Flint Township all recorded on December 27, 1832. George Crawford bought four properties in Flint Township Sections 07 and 08 in Pike County on May 19, 1834. James Crawford bought four properties in 1835-1836, all in Section 19. And John Crawford bought eight Pike County properties in 1836. The family relationship among the various Crawfords isn't clear.
The Crawford referred to in the five letters is James Crawford. He is referred to as having the dispepsy (dyspepsia or impaired digestion) and that he is getting to be a broken old man. And James Temple says that His (James Crawford's) wife is not the smartest that ever lived.
A J. G. Crawford was a charter member and Trustee of the Methodist Church built on Stanford Street in Griggsville in 1846. The building was 34x50 feet and built at a cost of $840.
The 1850 US census shows a John Temple (age 17) living with the Daniel Fisher family in Pike County. His family connection to the other Temples in Pike County is unclear. Ancestry.com shows that 560 Temples fought in the Civil War (197 on the Confederate side and 363 on the Union side).
The Letters #1
The following letter was written in 1844 by James Temple, a pioneer living in Pike County, Illinois. James Temple was an immigrant from Lincolnshire, England who came to Pike County in 1837. The letter was addressed to William Temple or Thomas Temple who apparently are the father and brother, respectively, of James Temple.
Griggsville, Ill. March 5 ----- Paid .25 ----- April 17, 1844
For Mr. Wm Temple or Thos Temple
Boston West Lincolnshire Old England
to be left at the little Peacock Inn Boston
[The text above was on the envelope]
Griggsvill Pike Co Ill March 4, 1844
Dear Father Mother Brothers & Sisters
My Familey is enjoying pretty good helth at present allthough my wife had very poor helth for 6 or 7 month after our marridge I recived your letter date June the 8 1841 from Thomas[,] Boston West I was glad to hear from you all being well wich we have all reason to be thankfull to our maker perserver I was not very much surprise to hear of [h]is wedding I am glad he so suited and I hope you will ever remain boath as well sattisfied as then when first married in love and union go togather to your lifes End this married life is rather new to new to me yet[,] but I hope we shall be to get along comfortable we was married in may her name was Sarah hawker she is an English girl she [h]as been in the states some 2 years in york state and other places and the famifey came on last fall 1 year ago heare (her?) The following letter was written in 1844 by James Temple, a pioneer living in Pike County, Illinois. James Temple was an immigrant from Lincolnshire, England who came to Pike County in 1837. The letter was addressed to William Temple or Thomas Temple who apparently are the father and brother, respectively, of James Temple. father is a Laboror an lives in Pitsfield our County seat of Pike She [h]as followed the Tayloring bisness I belive she is girl of good Carracter but Poor Tom you lecolect (recollect?) the Sewer I took to Hauk for Wistling (?) and my wish is that we may ever Wisttle in acord and not discord and your Fouantain may ever flow with loving kindnesf to you and all around my wife is a Babists by profession I have attended the meting some little but she [h]as been sick all summer and living not conveant (convenient?) so that we have not attend any meting regularly but my opinion is in the Babtis church that there is great deal of Pride and formality and disatisfaction with ther preachers and not much genuine Piety geting in debet and taking the benefitt of the law and (? word missing, letter torn) of their credetors and still retain as high standing in the Church as ever and own as much property as ever they did but I have reason to hope ther are exceptions in all the Churches theare 3 Churches in griggsvll Babtis 80 or 90 strong[,] Presbytarians abuty (about?) the same Methodists of Pike Co Circuit number somting over one thousand ther are some bankrupts among them but it is my umble opinion ther is more cannots to seek after (? ink blot) then aney of the other Churches and not that proud hauty spirit so prevelent thoug they are Cold poor silly people the Baptis at their big metings such preaching of baptismon as if they was Gods own people I fore my part cannot call my self more than amor[a]list I belive I have not escperance (experience?) the change hart yet I have made a faint effort to try to serve God but I have not the least assurance of my acceptance[,] but I have no dubt (doubt) the fault is me I have not tryed in that persevear (persevere) faith like wrestling Jacob I have tryed to pray but hart is so hard that I cannot escercise faith in our blesed Lord and Savour Jesus Christ[,] yet I know Christ died for all I am glad to hear from you still enjoy relidgion of our Lord Robert is a Meathodist and Willson (h)as made a determanation last winter to live nearer to his God since I last wroate to you I expect you are anious (anxious) to now (know) what I been doing and of neglecting to writing sooner I own I been very nedglent (negligent?) but tell you the truth I hardly new ought worth writing for we had such hard times for every one this last 2 years back The banks breaking and property not worth more than a third to what it use to be and the people taking the Benifit of the Bankrupt law I have lost some 30 Dollars by that law I have worked steady since I have been hear but some times but to very little proffit I have followed the parrare (prairie?) breking (breaking?) plowing businesf I have had from 4 to 8 yoak of Oxen at work to my Plow plowing the ground the first time for hire at from 2 Dollars per acre[,] but I have fund (found) it rather a poor busness having to credit so much and (?) ugly business I ploughd brush and grubs roots as thick as a mans leg cut of (off) withe the ploug bush 8 feet high and made it look quiet (quite) smooth My plough turns 2 feet at a furrow It whould suprise some of your folks to see some of our Parrare (prairie?) Teams in operation 3 swings(?) 2 or 3 yoke deep It seems to me that I have commenced busnness wrong all my life When I come to the Country I (?) a lot of land 320 acre and then worked hard diding (digging?) cellars[,] weells (wells?) and wawling (walling?)them I then bough[t] a team from 45 to 50 Dollars per yok just as I began the busness was good but it soon faild now Cattle in from 25 to 30 per yoak and other things in perportions wheat in in 1842 was 25 cents per bushell I raised a crop 350 bushels or so but I keep some untill now last years crop faild entirely a great maney scarsley got the seed again so as raised the price it is now worth 60 per bu(shel)[,] pork then 1 ½ cents per pound but now it is 2 cents per lb The steam Boats hurt(?) great quantity and the market is rather Clear now my Debts will pay my creditors and not much over
[Signed] James Temple
The Letters #2
This letter was signed by James Temple and his wife Sarah, immigrant pioneers living in Pike County, Illinois. The letter was sent to Lincolnshire, England in 1845 to Thomas Temple, the brother of James Temple.
Griggsville, Ill. July 21 Paid AU 30
Mr. Thomas Temple
Boston West Lincolnshire Old England
to be left at Mr. Briggs Grocer Market Place Boston
July 18 1845 Pike County Ill 1 mile west of Griggesville
landing on the Illinois River
Father[,] Mother[,] Brother [,] Sisters and relations & Friends[,] old neibours I now sit down to write you afew lines to inform you of our helth and well fare in our Illinois Pike Co my helth (h)as been prity good generaly sinc (since?) I been heare and my wifes is tolarable at presant and (h)as been this past year[,] and so (h)as our relations general except Mrs. Willson just before she had lost her young daughter Elizebeth I believe she thougt she was a going [to] have the dropsey[,] but it turnd out to be a This letter was signed by James Temple and his wife Sarah, immigrant pioneers living in Pike County, Illinois. The letter was sent to Lincolnshire, England in 1845 to Thomas Temple, the brother of James Temple. baby wich makes 10 in number Robert[,] Rachel[,] David[,] Luisae[,] Martha[,] Sarah[,] Joseph[,] Isack[,] George[,] Elizebeth[,] and Jane that died 4 years since theare is talk of rachell and Robert marring (marrying?) Rachell to a Mr Efrim Greggney formerly of Ohio they have had some 2 years acquanance[,] but heare is my opinion on the matter that he [is] no great things[,] like small poatates (potatoes?) in Irland he is desperate lier and big talker[,] but Luisae (h)as been living with us and She says that Dadey (h)as Cuerd (cured?) him by talking to him[,] but I hard (heard?) of him liing (lying?) not long since so he wont stay cuerd he working at one of the neibour for 8 Dollars per month he spends (h)is money for [fancy? paper torn] Clothes as fast as it is Due[,] so I think it is rather a poor prospect Robert intends in worldly prospects is verrey well as for relidgions[,] I now (know?) but little about hers[,] but I dont now (know?) as it is very sertin as they live on the other side of the Co James Crawford is geting rather Broken Old man[,] very often sick and grunting and (h)is wife too they have 3 girls[,] the babey 6 month Old george lives some times at James and some times Willsons he is get along as easey as he can dont work much nor dresf (dress?) very expencive and (h)as (some?) [paper torn] money out at intrus (interest?) [paper torn] and keep out of Debet James lives 1 ¼ miles north of us Willson 3 milles and Walkers all on the same quarter Section of land it is 5 milles to griggsville that is our market town wheare we trade it is asmall village it (h)as one Tavern to entertain travelrs and 6 stores[,] 3 Docters and 6 or 7 Black smith it is 4 miles from the river west Pittsfield[,] or Count to town[,] is 8 miles south west of Griggsville ther is some 8 trading stores there[,] but the most of our produce (h)as to be deliverd at the griggsvill landing at the river[,] one mile frome James Temples East 1 part[,] we have neibours tolarable plnty (plenty?) the part 2[,] not very far distant[,] glean ¾ mille 6 young ones Irish neiburs Francis MacFadden[,] Thomas[,] James[,] Joseph Dalby with in 300 yards bachelols (bachelors?) Wades[,] Firbull[,] Husban[,] Thakery[,] Sweeting[,] English from ½ to 1 mille distant Reve Skidmore and the neibours at the landing[,] 4 to 6 familey this part of the County is thickly sattled (settled?) we have neibour[s] all round not very distant Waker (Walker?) (h)as 3 young ones none by (h)is last wife Walker travels in a Bugey[,] one horse Waggon and a tow horse[,] some times and some time we walk if we can do no better as for our selves[,] have an Ox waggon and 1 yoak of Oxen to go with[,] but it is rather slow going we have one horse but no wagon for him we are to poor at presant to get one[,] but we we don't have much reasin for traveling for I can find enugh to do to stay at home and mind my work[,] for I can assure you I have a nugh to do if we want to go aney great distance down to saint Louis or aney of the River town we generaley go on Steam boat as they pasf (pass?) up and down the river every day more or lesf (less?) taking of our produce and fetching our Store goods and Iron and Nesserys (necessaries?) and if we take a notion of going Oregon aney other pace (place?) to sattle we generaley take horses[,] Wagons[,] Cattle[,] sheep[,] hogs and such thing[,] as we are Rambleing [a] set of Great rivers? theres severall famyles Crost the Mountains this last spring and severall more talks of going to Oregon on the pacific at Coulumbia river?[,] but I am not quiet (quite) ready go yet our Market is St Louis but our Griggsville Store keepers will buy our wheat[,] Corn[,] eggs[,] Butter[,] hids[,] Beef[,] pork[ ,] and any thing we have to spare at some price[,] but that is rather low[,] some times the lowist I have nown (known?) wheat to sell for is 25 ct per bu [,] (bushel?) about [an] English shiling[,] and pork 1 ct per pound one ½ peney wheat averaged about 56 ct per bu last year and I expect that will be about an average price to year they are giving 62 ½ ct per bu in griggsville at present we have had quiet (quite?) an early harvest I finish cutting mine July the 6 I had in about 16 aceres wheat I expect to have 250 bu[,] about as good as my neibour Crops we had quiet (quite?) ? in May wich injuerd the weat Crop[,] but I treaded (traded?) for that land I mention in my last I give (gave?) my plugh Team wagon we Called it 300 and there was a mortage 268 Dollars drawing 12 per ct (per cent?) in trust I have gone a bit too fast for my means as my wheat did not turn out as expected last year I planted the place in Corn and did not get $5 worth on it all the river over flowed it banks and this place is on the Creek bottom ?/? mile from the River ¼? from where we live we live on the hill and A Field of 21 acres[,] Creek[,] 18 wich is wheat land I have in Cultavation[,] but ther is enugh to cleare down on the Creek to make 40 and enugh to make 35 up at our house the River (h)as not ove (over?) flowed it banks this year[,] but Creek got very high so it swep over part of the field 3 or 2 days since[,] swam some of my fence away and nockeg (knocked?) down some of the Corne[,] but it (h)as done no searious damage to me althou the old is (oldist?) sattlers never saw it so high before and last year the River back up the Creek so that it came up in the field and spoild all my Crop except some meadow the river was nown to over flow so high in memery of man I saw a house floting down the river ther was severall it done a great deal of damage on the Bottom lands[,] spoiled their crops and thousand of Cattle[,] hog[,] sheep drwnded (drowned?) on the Illinoi[,] Mississippia[,] Mosuria[,] Wabash it was a general flood in the west such as we have no account of be fore such A dstruction of property of every kind so God in (h)is povindences (h)as disapointed thousands as well as me but if God spare my helth and life I think I get out of debt in 2 or 3 year time I have payd $100 last fall and I have another $100 to pay the first of November next I owe some $300 in all Docter bill and one thing and other but I have some owing to me if can get it crops is tolarable good aperance (appearance?) but I mus not apoint so much for fear I might be disapointed I have had prity good luck in geting good jobs of work last fall I and Neibour Glen done $50 worth of masoning at the landing and I done $30 more this spring in griggsvill and my wife done some concridable work for money so her and I[,] we have made some 75 Dollars since last fall I have made it practis to work out at building Cellars if I have a Call it can make one Dollar per day or upwards Glen and I[,] we made our $1.75 ct per day on that job at the landing I supouse (suppose?) you thought you made a farmer of me and will want to now (know?)I become A mason I will tell you I bult stone fence on farms in Penclvaney (Pennsylvania?)[,] got handy with stone and diging and wawling wells in pike county an jobing a round town on cellars you may think that I ante (ain't?) much of a mecanic[,] but that is not for me to say[,] but our Stone keepes neibours gives me severall Call for Masoning work[,] but I have no well at my hous yet but I dug 60 feet and came to some very hard diging stoney that I could not get down with out gun Powder to blow the stone out of it[,] but as soon as I get my croops took care of I mean to try it again for it is very ill conveant to hawl water ¼ mile in barrell from the Spring I [have]12 pound of powder in the house ready Mrs. Thomas Temple[,] you complaned about Brothers writing I am some afraid you will find fault with mine as it is not very good our family is yet we but one little girl she was born the 23 Aprill last our first was a boy but it died in Birth this girl is fat and helthy child and good she nevers Cry at all to say cry I have never lost aney sleepe on her acount yet she is larger than Mrs. Willson 3 mo older ? is Calld Sarah Ann[,] after you Mother and her Sistters Mother we have 2 black cats[,] one kitten[,] 2 dogs[,] 3 Cows[,] 2 claves (calves?)[,] 3 pigs[,] 6 her hens[,] Cock[,] 30 chickens[,] and more when hatched Tomas[,] you spoke of your weight but I can more than mach you in weight last winter when we was at [W]walkers I weiged 200 pouns ther was companey of us pulling Corn and I was the heveyis (heaviest) man there you all apeare to be geting along firs (first?) rate in youre farming line of busnesf[,] but accept poor Sleight[,] but I don't despair yet either[,] but thers up and down in this world if provindence should turn on you that you have to go to labouring work if you come here this is the Country for aman to labour in[,] yet the labour (h)as about as good a chance as the Farmer heave but I hope not I should be sory for my old Father to come to that but I have land enug for to make a garding patch for all of you I was glad to recive a ltter from you we recived it on the 17 day March but was rather expencive I had to pay ½ Dollar for it on account of the wrapper on it it bein a duble letter it was marked 77ct but I opened in the office and so got it for 50 ct we have got anew kind of plow call the Demon wich work well in our ground and think would answer you better than aney you have espeseley (especially?) in your falow ground they are simple in construction and not expencive they will keep bright in aney [kind? paper torn] of ground if you have not got them and want a draf of one I will send you one it is conerable (considerable?) raney (rainy?) I have 60 dozen of wheat out yet write all you now (know?) and all you want to now (know?) except my love and wife[,] Father[,] Mother[,] Brothers[,] Sisters[,] so no more at present from your efecnate (affectionate?) Son[,] Brother[,] Sister
[Signed] James Temple and Sarah
The Letters #3
This letter was signed A.H. (Ann Temple Hammerton), the sister of James Temple. The letter was sent to their brother Thomas Temple in Lincolnshire, England.
Milton Nov 12 America Paid De 4 57 Liverpool 19 Paid 24 Cents
[Information on small white mailing envelope]
Green Pond near Milton April 20?
My Beloved Brothers and Sisters all Likewise my Dear and Honored Parants I will now by the help of the Allmighty God try to fullfill my Promis in Stating a few Paticklars (particulars?) respecting our Voige on the Sea we left Mr. Henneys on Monday Jan 2(?) and whent on board our Vessel the first morning we was on Board I fell from(?) the Deck what is called the Second Deck about 9(?) feat but thank God I received no seareious (serious?) hurt the first night I slept on board I could not sleep much I had to get up 3 times and sit on A Box the cabban seemd so very close and all was Dark as we was not alowd a light after 9 oclock as long as we lay in the Dock Next day the Government officer came to inspect the Ship and would not alow it to leave the Docks untill it was better riddgd (rigged?) This letter was signed A.H. ( Ann Temple Hammerton), the sister of James Temple. The letter was sent to their brother Thomas Temple in Lincolnshire, England. so we lay thear untill Thursday and then he came again and examind the Ship and all passangers and About 4? oclock we went out into the river the last night we was in the Docks it was a very fine moon light night and I was sitting alone on A seate just by the Captains cabban when one of our passangers fell from the plank into the warter he fell with such a foars (force?) I thought it must have been one of the Hogsheads that was laying on the side of our vessel[,] but after he had been down once and come up he called out for help I don't know how I got down to tell the Sailor I was in such A way but they just caught him and he was going down the third time he was put to bed and well attended to and was better in A day or two he was an Irish man his father and mother and all the famaley was on board and was allways very kind to me on the way we was sleeping all very right and comfortable on Thursday night about A mile and a half from the Docks when a Police Officer entered our cabban and called out whear No 9 was our births are all numberd and when you pay your Fare your No is Bookd with your Name John Told him if he would wate A little he would see and get the Lantran as he thought we slept in it but it proved to be ours was No 8 close at his feet he went and called the poor Man up and he read to him a Sumans (Summons?) and was comd to take him for horse stealing he said he had spent 14 days in serch of him he demanded his Money and his Pocket knife and called us as wittnesses all this happened in the dead part of the Night about 1 oclock we allways had a light on the foar(?) Castle and A night watch so boats and steam Packits? could easly find us if any thing was wrong the poor yong (young) man stoal (stole?) the horse from his master whear he livd in servis (service) and sold him for 20 pounds and was worth 70 pounds he thought to escape Detection but the Lord would not suffer his crime to go unpunished no doubt he will be transported he came from Newark but Told us his name was William Chappel from Freeston Near Boston the officer told him his right Name was William Wood they are very paricklar (particular) at the Ship offices with yong (young) Single men they take thair hight and the coulour of thair hair and thair complexion so as to be able to give information to any Poleice officers that may be in serch of an offender the officer that fetchd this yong (young) man got information at the Ship office that night and engaged A Steamer as thear are scoars (scores) allways passing about and cross A little arm of the Sea or A wide River about every quarter of an hour from Liverpool to Chester it looks [like] a nice little town of fine Buildings[,] I think chiefly Manefactry Buildings but not all[,] as I see amany gentlemens houses they look well by the edge of the Sea I for my own part like the Sea and its (?) around it on Friday we ought to have saild but our Captain was a man[,] one of Worly (Worldly?) pleasure and as thear was a great proformance in the Theater he would not leave Liverpool untill he had seen it so on Satterday A little befoar 12 oclock Janry 21 we was what is calld tuggd out of the river into the irish sea the Pilot and Steamer took us about 150 miles and then returnd it was on that day I took what I expect to be a final farwell of my old English home we then was sailing in the Irish Chanel the sea was Rough indeed and the wind Contrary we could not proceed(?) forward and tack Across was considered dangerous as we had land and rocks on boath sides for 5 or 6 mornings all togeather when we used to look out to see whear we was we used to see the little long iland calld Holyhead about 60 miles from Liverpool the Captain expected not to be able to proceed out but return into harbour one morning just at day break we was within a minite and a half of bein upon A rock or a land bed[,] I forget which but the head Mate told us if we had rund upon it all must have perishd[,] but one of our Sailors caught sight of it as he was assending the Mast and calld out to the man at the oftlineHelm and tho our Ship was large she was easyly commanded by the Helm and thank God we just saild clear of it I think I may justly say the Lord showd us the danger[,] but preservd us safely through the same(?) then we saild on write well for sometime[,] only the Ship officers ill treating the Sailors[,] wich they did to A very great extent they would knock an old Sailor down at a blow and the blood would often teem out of his noise and head one day the Second Mate Struck one of the Sailors [,] A Duch Man he struck him with an Irn (iron?) Hand Spike such as they mend thair roops (ropes?) with[,] and the blood spin out of the back part of his head for 2 or 3 yards he fell as dead they took him into the Captans Cabban and dresd (dressed?) it with porter(?) he was ill for a week or moar and then the Mate that hurt him offord (offered?) him 20 Dolars and A very handsom preasant to make it up with him[,] but he said as he had the wound to show he would take him befoar his betters in York after that the Captain interfeard about the Sailors Treatment and they was not quiet (quite?) so bad any moar but would often beat them with a roaps (rope's?) end I think no slave drivers could use thair poor slaves worse than the 3 ship Mates used the Sailors when we was about half way over one night the wind was very high and it was very cold and dark[,] and all of a sudden we was allmost chockd (chocked) with smook (smoke?) we all expected the Ship was on fire below but the Captain and officers all serched and found the smook (smoke?) preeced (proceeded?) from one of the Cook houses through some lattriss (lattice?) work into the hold and then up to the Pump and into the cabbans and the doors all been open after the alarm it spread all over so we got over that imagined trouble pritty well I ought to have said the third night we was at sea was the most awfull we ever Wittnessed the Ship rocked so as you could neither lay in bed nor sit on your Boxes nor yet stand without you held by (holding?) the Pillars of the Vessel we was saddly of (off?) and about midnight it became worse and A row of Births all fell down with all our dear little children and several others that was sitting up in bed it was awfull to see for the Cabban was ancle deep in warter that had washd over the hatch way and the boxes a many of them brook (broke?) loose and flew backwards and forwards as quick as darts of lightning and the tins and kettle and tin warter Bottles was flying in all directions as well as the warter flying as the Ship movd backwards and forwards but most heart rending of all was to hear our dear Children cry aloud for you to save them from A wartry grave the births was on the out side of the Vessel and when they awoke and saw the Boards and pillars laying[,] and the warter dashing upon them they thought the ship sid (side?) was brook (broke?) in and that we was all a going to be lost the only way was that I could hold my little Ann was by laying flat on my back in A corner and confining my feet against the outside pillar and laying her across my chest or my body Wesley and James cried the most aloud for the Lord to save them this continued untill day break then thank God we began to hope as the wind abated and the Carpenter put up the beds and the men all set to work to get the cabban dry and the sailers spread the Canvis and all lookd chearfull and happy to what they had done in the night and as we whear (were?) all sleepy after we had got all cleand up we most of us had A nap tho it was so very rough I don't think I ever realy thought we should be lost I felt quiet (quite?) composd all the way and if it was not over boisterious I realy do like sailing and if it was not for my famaley and the Money it would cost I should have no objections to come home and see you once in my life time if the Lord spairs me to live long we past (passed) sevrel ships in the open sea 3 came from New Brunswick in Canada we spoake to them all one was Elizabeth I don't recolect the other names after we had been out 3 weeks we had a dead calm we scarcly movd at all for 2 days then after that we had A very heavy Thunder storm the lightning struck A chean (chain?) beloning (belonging?) to the mast and it was expected nearly 30 of our sailors would fall with the Mast but as it struck the chain it prevented the Mast from bein (being?) shiverd the sailors told John they never expected to come down alive[,] but thank God they was preservd tho some of them was very much shockd and some seariously be numd (numbed?) our most Wicked Commander was so hurt that he said he thought some one had shot of (off?) his leggs even by his knees some of the sailors told John they saw the Lord could soften the hardest old Siners (sinner's) heart as he owned he had to cry for Mercy on the tempest he said he had been at Sea all his life from a child and was never so alarmd in a tempast then we got on again very comfortable untill some time in Feb when one night I lay awake and herd the pumps a going from 10 to between 1 and 2 in the Morning I felt asurd all was not right but I never awoak (awoke?) any one and about 2 oclock the First Mate came down and calld all the Men and boys to the pumps expecting the ship had Sprung a lek the Sailors was spent out and they wanted to keep the ship up untill Daylight and the warter roase fast in spite of all pumps the Boat Swain was orderd to get the boat all ready we had 6 boats he got them all ready and after all this the Captain was down in the low hold and espied by the light of his lantren A plug in the third deck had got out and the warter pourd in at the hoal[,] so we was once moar set at ease we met with so many like scircumstances we begun to make light of them then we saild on very well to the Banks of New found land (Newfoundland?) and crost them and after we had gon over them 2 or 3 days the Wind was a head and [d]rove us back to the stream that flows from the Gulf of Florance the warter is allways nearly as warm as New milk so we had to go that over again as we often had to do then we saild on untill we came in sight of land[,] long Iland (Long Island?) on one hand and the Jersey Iland on the other the wind was fair and A most delightfull day it was and about 4 Oclock we came over oposet (opposite?) the Mouth of the River to leed us up to York and the Wind Chargd ahead and we could not sail we was near enugh to see all the Wite houses on Long iland and the steam paikits tugging in Vessels[,] so our Captan hoisted 2 flaggs[,] one for A steamer and one A pilot and it was attended to by the Men at the Light house and at about half past Eleven at night the Pilate (pilot?) came and at day light the Steamer we got safe in dock about noon I think if I do only remember right Strotton iland (Staten Island?) is the most beautifull place I have seen ever since I left home it is full of nice houses and all wite (white?) stone and the iland is on A spoop (slope?) down to the river as you enter the docks its land looks to be grass and little shrubs of evergreen it was A beautifull day and the sun shone upon it delightfull (delightfully?) it pleased us all well on board it is by the side of what is Calld Curintine (Quarantine?) ground the Doctor that borded us lives on that iland I saw oxen drawing waggons by the warter side we have no carts hear[,] all waggons some light ones and some for heavy work we realy have seen strange things boath by see (sea?) and land[,] things as strange by land as by sea only not quiet (quite?) so awfull in some cases if I had not been tied down by my famaley I should have enjoyed myself much for tho we was often threatend with danger and trial yet the Blessed Lord never Sufferd us to take any harm tho I often wonderd how he could bear with the wickedness on board Ship the Sabbath was no regard paid to[,] only in feasting I don't think you could have found half a Dozen besides our own famaley that had any fear of God befoar thair eys[,] singing songs and telling tales all the week evenings and the ship Crew was worse than the Passengers[,] tho the Sailors was clever men as foar as thair duty on the Vessel and very obeadeant to thair Commanders[,] yet they did neather love nor serve God our Ship crew consisted of 30 sailors 2 cooks[,] 2 cook boys A ship Steward and Stewards boy[,] 3 commanders[,] one boat swane[,] the Captain and his servant man[,] A boy[,] 2 to do odd jobs on board[,] not quiet (quite?) 80 passengers[,] no children but ours and 3 of another famaley My Dear Father and Mother I am at my new home I came hear 3 weeks next monday it seems very strange to me but the people hear very kind to us and have most of them been to see us I have been invited to go to see most or all in the Neighbourhood[,] but I have not been to any house yet but the Nearest one that is Squire Grymes? his daughter often comes to see us and would have me go over every day or two but I don't like much Visiting they are very plain dresd people[,] not smarter than me the Squier (Squire?) is not so Smart as John he is a good sort of man and professer of Religon he is a sort of Babtist but not the old general Babtist in England we have no means no (none?) that is Wesleyan means nearer than Milton[,] nearby 5 miles[,] but they are now building a new Brick Chappel in the Town it is large and roomy nearly as large as Stoake (Stoke?) without its galarys (galleries?) [,] but the Town is very Small[,] not so large as (Stoke?) but they are a going to build several new houses this Summer it is on the improve I suppose I think I shall like as soon as I get my home cleaned up and made comfortable[,] but it wants repairing and John will have to do it and he has been very busy at his oats sowing he has sown Clover with the oats and it is to stand over [a] year for seed and the land is to be plowd up for wheat if all goos on right my Dear Brother is very kind to us I think he would do any thing that lay in his power to make us comfortable we have one of his horses and A waggon untill we get another Mare and Waggon John has bought one Mare for 55 Dolars he wants her to raise A foal if she will my brother will either let or sell us the Farm if he sells it he wants 200 pounds thear is 160 acres of land between 20 and 30 in Cultivation[,] and John and the boys mean to clear 5 or 6 acres moar this summer ready to weat (wheat?) if all is well he says we may pay him when it is conviant to ourselves poor boy[,] he is often so tormentd with rumitism that he can scarcly walk across the room he grows much like our Dear Father and begins to be balld headed he cant do much work as he often cant walk by noon time he is so lame he says his is A Lazy rumatism it don't like work we are not 14 or 15 miles from him but are a going to see him in May[,] and Mrs. Willson is A going to have a party of all our kindred that is in this Country we are a going when they clip thair Sheep as they loose thair wool if they don't shear them early the Brush in the wood tears it of (off?) James has 2 little girls[,] one Rebecka[,] a little bigger than our Sarah Ann is the others name she is rather bigger than Fanney[,] fine healthy Child Mrs. Temple is A very nice woman she is very much like our own Mother in her looks[,] low and Stout she came with her parants from Eexeter in England when she was 10(?) years old Mens good broad Cloth is very Dear so is black silk hankerchifts make my love to my Dear Brother T and his Wife don't(?) let him see this scribbleing letter my ink is so thick and full of bitts I can scarcly think you will be able to read my letter please to give my respects to Mr. And Mrs. Morfot(?)[,] Mr. And Mrs. Pollard[,] and James Betsy desires her love to you all I think she will sattle (settle?) at griggsVill when we go over to James the weather is no warmer at preasent than in your country we had [a great] deal of snow last Friday but they tell us it will be hot in May and harvest ready by the First of July or befoar the wheat is no latter hear than yours is at preasent[,] as I can stand in our door and look over to A field of wheat near our house and see the land in some places[,] yet the wheat crops look pritty well[,] only I think low to be so near harvest day our garden runs by the side of A wood it begins to look very delightfully green our peech trees are all pink with blossoms John and the boys seems to like this part very well I cant say any thing against it neither do I at all feel unhappy or uncomfortable only things and people is abrassive(?) but they want to become acquainted with us very bad we are A mile from the School house on the Milton road it is a good School I have not got our children of (off?) yet Flower is 7 Dolars per Barrell nearly 200 lb is A Barrell[,] Pork 3 and 4 sents per lb our Brother had got A Barrell of pork all ready for us and Mrs. Temple had dried us some peeches for Puddings and Mrs. Willson had dried us some apples[,] and made us some Soap furniture is no dearer hear than with you we give 3 ½ Dolars for A nice bed sted[,] 3 ½ Dolars for 6 chairs[,] 3 Dolars for A nice penbroke Table such as you see in England they are all of that shape we have no commond round tables shoes is Cheaper hear than at home but don't wheare so long as they are all sail (sale) ones I wish I had brought A few yards of plain Wite net as it is very Dear I went to a shop in St. Lewis to buy a yard of commond net for a cap and I had to give back a Dolar and it is as cours as ever you see any offerd for sail (sale) in England for 4 per yard twilling for cap borders are very dear indeed[,] but all the women go without caps but me and Mrs. Willson and one old Woman in our land
(The last few pages do not seem to follow the same order as the earlier pages. It does not hurt the essence of the text, but is confusing. The writer appears to have had blank pages in a bound book when she started to write these letters. Pages 13 and 16 seem to go together and pages 14 and 15 definitely follow each other. On page 14 the writer appears to have run out of paper because she attempts to write over words already on the page making it difficult to read. The section below beginning and ending with an * are the words written over page 13. These words may have been written after she completed the letter, but had no more space to write.)
*James don't know I have askd you for A Preasent for him I don't want you to spend much Money but I know it would please him so much as I see how pleasd he was with our little trifles if Father could send him 3 yards of (coating?) cloth it would be very nice it might come over the officers would alow it do forgive my boldness but he is worthy of some thing very nice from you as his Father for his kindness since we have been in this Country and his wife is as kind I hope you are all well if not any thing you like to send him*
Dear Father do pardon me in what I am going to say but do if you please send my Dear Brother A preasent by Johns wife for I do think he felt hurt because you had sent him nothing Mrs. Temple was so very pleased with Wesleyanns preasent desires her best thanks with her love to you all so does my Brother desire his love to Father and Mother[,] Sisters and Brothers Tomey sent him a trifle or too and I took him a few little things and all the callers in used to have to see what his Brother in England and me his sister had presented to him tell Wesleyann to buy him A pair of mens Sunday gloves they are very Dear hear[,] a Dolar per pair John will send for his wife after harvest if all is well as he will be able to pay ready money of his own by that time and it is considerd the best time to come over James has a house ready for her half A mile from his yard John has been helping us A Fortnite down hear he is very steady and desires his love to his Wife and Mother give my love to old Mrs Blower tell her John is doing well and looks well quiets (quite?) recons (reckons?) of his wife coming over with her Children he will be able to make them all very comfortable next fall if only spaird to be well and healthy we have all been very unwell of A very bad Bowel complaint but thank God all better but Ann she does only very porly Betsy is with us still she spends a great deal of her time in paying Visits as the people is always inviting her to thair houses and she wants to see all she can and lern thair customs and maners she is going to leave us soon and take A Situation in GriggsVill it is a nice neat little place[,] thought of considerable importance in this part my Dear Brother James will write to you soon I often take a look at the locks of Hare (hair?) you was so very kind as to send me I shewd them to my Brother A tear Stoal sclantly (scantly?) down his cheek when he saw our Dear Fathers was gitting so white and ancent (ancient?) looking John still thinks if he lives and the Lord only spairs you all 4 or 5 years he shall come over and see you all don't think I am unhappy I thank God I am very comfortable in my mind tho I feel strange we shall post this on Sunday when I go to Chappel in our Waggon farewell God bless you all and me and us all in this Country
[Signed] (A H?)
The Letters #4
This letter was sent in 1848 by a Pike County Illinois pioneer to her brother Thomas Temple in Lincolnshire, England. The letter is unsigned, but was probably sent by Ann Temple Hammerton who was the sister of Thomas Temple.
August 19, 1848
My Ever Dear Brother Sister & familey
I am very thankfull that I have Another Oppertunity of Answering another of your kind & to me very Welcome letters. I received it A few weeks ago if ever I was moor Rejoiced at receiving one of your letters moor than Another this last one was the one that caused grattitude to flow from my very soul in Songs of praise to Allmighty God to know you was still living & also to know you had not yet forgotten your poor unworthey sister. Tomey I tell you very many has been the Sorrowfull & Tearfull Hours that I have spent between the Receiving of your two last letters. I often thought you was Dead & that I was left alone. I mean alone in Fathers first Famaley but when your letter came a flood of joy burst into my Soul. I cannot but Express my feeling. Tomey you know I was allways given to Crying either at much Trouble or much Joy. I tell you it is Still my Natural Disposition to shed Tears & often in great Abundance but it may not be Wise in me to do so but so it is & allways was so with me when I was young.) Well Tomey I was Thankfull to hear you was all in Tolarable good health when you Wroate Except yourself feeling rather unwell but I hope long befoor this letter reaches you you will be Enjoying a good State of Bodaley health and allso enjoying the Smile & Favour of our Heavenly Father. This better than great Earthley Treasurers for without the Favour of God what good would our lives be unto us all would be emty Vain & Void but when we enjoy the Presence & the Favour of God all things moves on Smoothley & we feel to trust God for the things yet to come and praise him for all past favours shown us.
Well dear Brother & Sister I am Indeed very obliged to you boath for your very kind Invatation to come over & see you. I would love to see you all once moor in This world but at Present I cannot see [see] any chance to leave Home. I am ten Thousand times ten Thousand times obliged to you my Dear Brother & Sister for your kind offer it may be if you can Extend your kind offer A year or two untill we get our Business matters into A better shape that if God still spairs our lives me & Father will try & come over he says as you are so kind as to offer to pay my Expenses he thinks as soon as he gets round again in his Business matters he will try & boath of us come he thinks shurley he can make out to pay his own way & he would like myself love to come over & see you all that the Monster Death has not Summonsed away into Eternity. But I expect thear is but few of my old friends & accquaintances left Either in the Church or in the World but likley I would find A few that I knew besides my own famaley Conexion. I am somewhat Surprised to hear Mother is still alive & Tolarable well Considering her age. I hope she is getting Ripe for Glorey for at moost she will soon be Summonsed away from Earth into the Eternal world. Give my love to her & Tomey & his Wife tho I donâ€™t have any Accquaintance with her she is my Sister by Law & I Hope my Sister in Christ Jesus. I may live to see her some Day, God only knows but I would love to come over as soon as Father thinks he can come. I will get readey & we will make the Start but Father & the Children is not Willing for me to come alone but I am not afraid but I would get on all right as I had to see to a great Deal of our Traveling Business when we came hear & we got through all right its true I am getting old yet I think I could make out to travel alone if they was all Willing for me. Tomey as you never got my last two letters I fear Mother and Brother Tomey never got thairs I wrote to them the same time I wroat to you maild them alltogeather I mean the two letters I wroat befour you got the one I wroat this Spring. I want you to enclose this letter in an envelope & send it to Tomey & Mother as I would like them to see it too tell them please write to us. I would love to get a letter from them boath.
The Letters #5
This letter was written by Ann Temple Hammerton, a pioneer in Pike County, Illinois and sent to her family in Lincolnshire, England. Although undated, the letter was probably sent in 1852 based on immigration passenger lists forMary Blower who had just arrived from England.
Greenpond Nov? ?
My Ever Dear Father and Mother[,] Brothers and Sisters all it is through the infanate Mercy of an all Gracious God that I am once moar spaird to write to you I thought to write to you sooner but as Mrs. Blower had not got hear[,] that is to my Brothers[,] I wated A few weeks to see if she came up in any reasonable time[,] as I expected Mrs. Blower would be uneasy if I wroat and said they was not comd up yet[,] but last week me and John was over at Jameses and Willsons we found them all well and Mrs. Blower was with Jameses she had been thear little moar than A week she looks as well and fat as she did when she came to live with you she seems to enjoy herself very much and is very contented and happy the children are all well little Duninney ? will make a Father of my Brother it is very fond of him and is far moar pleased with him than with her own Father as soon as he comes in she runs to climb up his lap and seems delighted with him Mary Blower and John boath Desires thair Dutyfull Respects to you and thair love to thair Mother and Brother and Sisters and all Friends John looks well and hardy Mary Blower says they had A very fine passage the Ship Scarcly This letter was written by Ann Temple Hammerton, a pioneer in Pike County, Illinois and sent to her family in Lincolnshire, England. Although undated, the letter was probably sent in 1852 based on immigration passenger lists for Mary Blower who had just arrived from England. gave A heave they had not one storm the voige all calm and pleasent as if they was on land John Blower says that you are to tell his Mother that as I was agoing to write to you he will write to her after A little time My Brother James is agoing to live at Griggs Vill he is Building a house on his land to go to live thear in the Spring as he is so troubled with the Rumattick in cold weather and as long as he keeps on farming he will expoase himself to cold and get whet and keep on his whet cloathes Mrs. Temple too is very subject to the Rumattick and not very fit for much farming busniss if he lives to retire in the Spring[,] John Blower will be left on the Farm I expect my Brother says if he goas to live in Griggsvill when he wants a job he shall work at the Stone Mason Traide as thear is plenty of stone building to be put up and he is considred A very fine hand at stone building and he can do such work with of (out?) any difficulty as it is dry and not so much walking him and his wife desire thair love to you all and thanks you for the 2 Iron Spaids you sent him he says they are the right sort[,] just such as he wanted Willsons is well them and Robert Walker and Betsy Slight? all send thair love to you all we was all at Willsons togeather[,] us and James and Wife[,]Robert Walker and his Wife and Betsy Slight? and 2 of Mrs. Willsons Marred (married?) daughters and some Children as we came home from Willsons we calld to see James Crawford and found his fine wife very ill indeed me and Mrs. Temple set up with her all night I have not herd how she is but I think she is in Eternity befoar now we have had A very Hot Summer[,] such a one as has not been known in the memery of any man living it begun to be very hot the latter end of June Just as they was cutting the Wheat for all the Wheat in this Neighbourhood was cut befoar July came in it was hot part of June[,] July and Agust and part of September the Behomieter (thermometer?) stood at 96 for A long time and for some few days in July and a few Days in Agust it stood at 104 and 106 it was hot then I stood it tolarably well untill Agust then I was took with A Diseas very much like the English Cholara and as well as that I came out in very large soars I had 5 Moast fatal ones on My legs and theis (thighs?) as far round as A 5 shilling piece I could not walk nor yet stand I had crutches at first and then I had to take to my bed and have the Doctor and as soon as the Cholara abbated I had the Blood flus? I thought I must have died for as soon as I got A little better it used to return it did so for 3 times the Doctor attended me for several weeks he used come every other day and he told me if my Constutation (Constitution?) had been no better than the genaralaly (generally?) of the American famales I must have died he said if I am spaird I shall now be come moar constuted to the Climate my wounds or soars are not all well yet I have 2? places not quiet heald though I hope they are mending John stood the heat well he never stopd from Work moar than 3 or 4 bits of days the boys was some few days laid aside and the little children too but none half as bad as me but they all broak out in large runing soars[,] but has been well some time now thear has been scoars of people in that same way this autom (Autumn?) but the English is far the Worst it suposed to be the extream in heat that affected the Blood and the Doctor told me that he thought if our famaley had not broak out in soars several of us would have died[,] but thank God we are all now enjoying very good health ever since the extream hot weather abated we have had very fine pleasant weather[,] clearer and moar bright days than you have in England we seldom are without the Sun shining upon us tho the air is moar sharp and clear it is fine healthy weather now high frost in the night and bright suney days[,] cold for A hour or two in the Morning untill the sun gits up[,] then it is pleasent and warm in the sun the hot Weather destroyd all the Indian corn crops Just as it was putting out its ears the hot dry weather came and it was burnt up such a year the Neighbours say never was known instead of having from 40 to 60 bushels per acre maney people have not moar than 5 or 6 and some have none at all we had nearly 30 acres and John says we shall not have moar than 100? bushels to sell the other will be wanted for feed for the stock we have not much stock as we are pritty scarce of money and cant buy moar than we must have for our necesery (necessary?) use we have 2 working oxen John gave 75 Dolars for them[,] two Mairs[,] one in foal[,] one cow and her calf we have raised it this summer[,] 6 stoar piggs that get thair living in the Woods on Nuts and acorns as Nuts boath azel (hazel?) And Wallnuts and hickrey (hickory?) nuts might have been gatherd by Waggon load this was a very fine year for Nuts and grapes and Plums[,] but fruit in the orchard was only thin we are fatting 4 piggs on corn one we have kild (killed?) we have A fine chance to raise Cattle[,] or as you call it Stock[,] as the open ranges runs by our Garden side John expected to be able to buy some things to breed if the corn crop had been good[,] but failing will prevent time doing so my chief sorrow is that I have no hope of ever seeing you moar in this world[,] but I will with the devine help of God strive to meet you in heaven the Lord has herd our prayers in respect of the means of grace in this neighbourhood as we was 5 Miles of (off?) from Milton and no means of our own way of thinking nearear than thear[,] but I took Corage one day and whent to speake to the Superintendant myself and ask him if anything could be done for our part he told me he would consider the scercumstance (circumstance?) so he did and he apointed himself to us once A fortnite on A week night and once A fortnite we have A Local Preacher on the Sabbath we are agoing to comence A sunday School next sunday as the other is quiet (quite?) put aside the teachers all grew tierd (tired?) and at last desmisd (dismissed?) the Children We colected 10 Dolars and to our 10 he put 5 moar Dolars and sends us books for the 15 Dolars[,] so we are gitting A good start I hope Gods blessing will attend our labours we have A class established allso and some 9 or 10 attends when I was sick our Super preached 3 days[,] alltogether[,] 3 sermmons each day good was done I hope and pray it may prove A lasting good I sincearly ask an intrest in all your prayers[,] boath Fathers and Mothers[,] Brothers and Sisters as I hope my dear Brother Thomas and Sister Temple is not the only praying Brother and Sister I have in England I hope Samuel and Wesleyann has begun to pray[,] for it is time they saught the Lord in prayr and they that call upon the Lord in sincerity and Truth shall be saved my little religion is of moar value and moar to me every day I live as fresh trials and crosses seem to awate me or accompaney me through life I rely with strong confidence on God for Grace and strength to enable me to do or suffer his will[,] whatever or whear ever it may be I say in my very heart A many a time[,] O Lord help me no other do I desire in comparison to his do give my love to all my old respected Christon (Christian?) friend boath at Wretton and Stoak I hope to meet them all in Heaven my Husband says if all is well he shall come home in 4 years time[,] that is if the Lord blesses his temporate endeavours he expects to get the farm clear of boath Wood and Debt all but some high ridges[,] that he means to grow[,] is fire wood if he is spaird to be able so to do I will not try to hinder him as I know if I had the happy privalidge of seeing and conversing with you all I should enjoy it much my sincear love to my Dear Brother Thomas and his Wife and all his Dear yong (young?) ones tell him I mean this letter to answer for you all I shall write the next to him I think James will write soon he told me that he would if I would write now at preasent he is not afflicted with his Rumattick he enjoys A good state of health generaly and is as strong as any man in theas parts[,] if his Rumatisum only keeps of (off?) from him[,] but he is getting balld headed[,] but thank God I believe we shall get on we don't owe my brother James many Dolars when all is sattled (settled?) up[,] as we shall not think of paying any money for the land untill we get some moar in Cultivation John has bought plenty of Wheat for us[,] bread all the Winter and Spring and he has sown 40 acres of land with wheat as the corn crop was bad he cut it up in September and shockd it like your beans and sowd the land with Wheat the corn strow? when it gathered green makes very good fother (fodder?) and John left all the little ears on the stalks our oats did pritty well considering the season[,] but the heat kild (killed?) all the yong (young?) clover but 4 acres in a shady place our Wheat is looking well and green shot out as much as yours is at Boston fair ? but I expect the sharp Winter will cut it of (off?) it seems strange to us to see it so forward in the middle of November they only sow 4 or 5 pecks to the acre and it is not moar than 4 or 5 days befoar it will peep out of the ground we have had some fine rains this Autom (Autumn?) things grew fast John says the moar he works the land the better he likes it he is well sattisfied that he came to this Cuntry and the boys all like it very much As for myself I like country very well and all the Neighbours around us as they are all very kind to me especiously the Squire and his famaley[,] for when I was sick he came to see me several times and his good old Lady[,] and she used to dress my soars herself for fear they should not do them right they was unto me as A Father and Mother I pray you to reward them you will see I have suckseeded in finding Aunt Ladley (Sadley?) by writing a very long epistle and giving to a young man on board our ship that was a going to philedelpha or Jarmantown (Germantown?) do write her she would be pleased John gave a Dolar and a Quarter for moast of our Wheat corn it is thought Wheat will be a Dolar and A half A Bushel soon and corn a Dolar John got about 10 acres cleard this summer and he means if all is well to get 10 moar cleard ready for corn in the spring the weather was so hot and dry this summer we did not get the land[,] that is the New land[,] broak up this Summer[,] so we expect to have 20 acres to break up this next spring for corn and if it comes A fine season it will bring A good crop I supose[,] and then Weat in the fall thear was land all around us wanted breaking up this summer[,] but it could not be done it was to dry[,] but our people will work at ours this Winter when the boys are not at School they are agoing to start soon Mary[,] Sarahann[,] and James goas now please to write soon I hopd to have had some letters come by Mrs. Blower but was disapointed tell my Dear Brother Thomas to oblige me this once and write to me[,] his unworthy Sister I have no wish to come back to live in England only for the sake of seeing you all again for the Lord has granted unto us our religious privaliges[,] the means of grace in the Neighbourhood we hold our Meetings in the District School rooms the School conductors gave us leeve as they are all living around us thear was camp meetings at Griggs Vill that lasted A week and one in this part[,] but I got to none I was too ill all the time thear meetings lasted John got to that at Griggs Vill I must now conclude with Johns love[,] with my own to you all praying that Gods blessings may ever be your abiding portion in this world and heaven your resting place when time is no moar
[Signed] A Hammert--?
Additional Information from Barbara Craig
As for Mrs. Joseph Wilson, she was Elizabeth WALKER Wilson. Her mother was Ann (Hannah) Crawford. Ann Crawford was the mother of the three WALKER siblings and 5 TEMPLE siblings. Elizabeth WALKER was the mother of Robert Jennings WALKER, but I have yet found that she was married to George Jennings. Robert J WALKER is being confused with his uncle Robert S. WALKER, the oldest WALKER sibling. Robert S. Walker is the one married three times (1) Mary Ann Laytham; )2) Parthena Wade, daughter of Josiah Wade and Francis Rawson or Dorson; (3) Hannah Scott (m.1. Isaac Gratton), daughter of John Scott and Mary Murphy and half sister to John C. Scott of Pike County. Robert Jennings Walker was only married to Amanda Evans.
Hannah SCOTT Gratton Walker did have a younger sister, Elizabeth Scott, who married a James Crawford b. 28 Feb 1807 in England. But I have not been able to tie him into the Crawford line, yet.
I have not done very little work on the Temple children, but for James, as he was in Pike County.
The Sleight information does not match what I have on John Gaunt SLEIGHT and Rebecca WALKER, the youngest of the Walker siblings. The John Sleight here, could be John Sleight, Jr. As for John G. and Rebecca they came to America in 1857.