Austin Letters from 1845 and 1848

from Middletown, June 9, 1845
to Mr. James Eldred
Lumberland, NY
Dear Parents,
Yours, dated June 13, came to hand June 15. I perused its contents with pleasure and was happy indeed to hear from you both. I attend school every day regular when I am well.

I have lost 8 days on account of my being sick with the hives. I caught a bad cold and then…sick to my stomach. I purchased me a box of McAlister all healing salve and think it has helped me. I am quite well at present and hope these few imperfect lines will find you enjoying the same blessings.

Last Sunday I attended a Meeting and heard a first rate sermon from the first John 1 chapter 9 years. I enjoyed myself very well. I find the promises of God are true whosoever calleth upon me in the name of the Father, him will I in no wise cast off.

There is a good library in this district. It consists mostly of religious books and books of science. I have two book on hand. One is a religious book and the other is the history of geology of New York. It is larger than your large, large Bible. It is a very instructive book indeed.

Sarah is quite well and all the rest of the family. Zophar has had to stop work a day or two for work got blockaded up so that most all the hands had to stop work or the hands that belonged where he did.

Mulford is doing first rate. He has a man of being, a very smart boy, he gets wages and goes to school three months free of any expence to him for one year— is to stay there.

Mother, if you have not made your dress you had better not make it untill…home if Sarah comes home when there’s vacation, I shall come home with her. I have got me a new bonnet. I sold Sarah my old one.

If I had me a school, I should like it much better, but however I will try and get along the best I can.

Give my love to all inquiring friends and especially to Mary Rumer [Bunce?] and Eliza. Tell ? I wish her much joy if you see Ann Eliza, tell her to write to me and I will answer it…

Dear Parents, remember me in all your prayers and I will try to pray for myself. Not forgetting to thank you, I got my grammar before I borrowed many of Lauras. I could not wait any longer. I was very glad to receive…
To James and Hannah Eldred
note: I think this is from my great grandmother Mary Ann Eldred to her parents. She must be staying with her half sister Sarah and her husband Zophar Carmichael.

Dec 8, 1845
Addressed to James Eldred and Daniel Judson
Lumberland, Sullivan co., NY
Copy of Notice, foreclose Mortgage

Letter: Dear Nephew,
I write a few lines to you for your Uncle, the subject is not a very desirable one for me to write, but your Uncle Henry said I must write to you for he could not get time as he had to go right back to his work but as there is no compulsion on your part, I will tell you as I can. He wants to know if you can hire $400 to pay Thomas off and get a deed for the place he don’t ???

Also on back is;
To James Eldred and Daniel Judson
Take notice that enclosed is a copy of notice of foreclosure of mortgages on the pieces mentioned in said notice.
Yours Daniel Hrefutz
Wm. B. Wyles attorney

news article:
Dec 8, 1845
Mortgage Sale
Whereas Abraham M. Eldred of the town of Lumberland, county of Sullivan and State of New York and Elizabeth his wife, did by indenture of mortage bearing date the 27th of May, in the year 1842, mortgage to Daniel Hilferty, of the town of Deerpark, in the county of Orange and State aforesaid…(being the purchase money of the lots and parcels of land herein after described) which mortgage was recorded in Sullivan county Record of mortgages in book No. 8 on p. 240, 241, 242, 243, and 244 at 5 o’clock pm on the 11th day of July AD 1842…the sum of eleven hundred and two dollars and forty six cents, principal and interest:

Notice is here by given that default having been made in the payment of the monies secured by said mortgage, the said lots, pieces and parcels of land and premises will be sold at public auction on the sixth day of March 1846 at 11 o’clock in the forenoon of that day at the hotel of Stephen hamilton, in the village of Monticello—said premises are described as follows, to wit…
Dated December 8, 1845
Daniel Hilferty, Mortgagee
Wm. B. Wright Attorney

note: Abraham Mulford Eldred, known in the info I have as Uncle Mulford, was the son of James and his first wife Polly Mulford. Mulford was an half brother to Mary Ann Eldred. He died at the age of 40 in September of 1847. Well, that is what I have, but the mortgage sale is in 1845, so looks like I have another question as to the correct date.

If anyone wants the whole news article telling about the land parcels, it is typed out and I would be happy to send it to you.

addressed to
Mifs Mary A. Eldred, S. Middletown
Lumberland July 13, 1846
Dear Sister,
I have delayed writing longer than I intended, but these lines will inform that we are well at present and i hope they will find you the same.

There’s been a freshet in the Halfway Brook. It has done much damage. There is not a bridge or dam left between here and Barryville. It has damages us more than fifty dollars.

The Mongaup was very high. There was a young man drowned in that stream. It was James White and old Mrs. Skinner was buried last Thursday.

Mifs Margette West has been married.

Since you left, Pery and Ann are thinking of going to Mount Hope and Middletown in four weeks.

I know nothing about the youngsters. I am told that Charles goes to school yet and the yankee? took a lesson last Sunday night.

Miranda has been ill sometime with the canker and is very troublesome. I can hardly get time to write this miserable scribble.

Ann sends all the love I can get in this letter, but I must draw to close. You must give love to Sarah, Almira and all the children. Tell Sarah she must come and see us without fail.

You must write again soon and let me know if she has done up some cherries for me.

Father, Mother and Charles are well. You must be a good girl and come home soon as you can. I want to see you very much. The children are all sleepy and make such a noise, I must say good night.
From your affectionate sister,
PM Austin

note: Phebe Maria Eldred married Aruna Augustus Austin in 1834 when Maria’s half sister, my great grandmother was seven years old and Aruna’s brother Henry, my great grandfather was ten. This is the only letter I have found that Maria wrote.
Narrows Burgh. March 24th, 1878
addressed to Mifs Mary A. Eldred
Lumberland PO
Sullivan, NY
Mifs Mary A. Eldred
My dear Friend,
I thought I would spend a few moments this day noon in writing to my long cherished friend. The scholars are playing outdoors and I am left alone in the schoolhouse. So my thoughts naturally run on home to home friends. This is a beautiful day, and this is a very pleasant place. The school house is pleasantly situated a short distance from the river on a hill.

How I wish you and Hezekiah would come up here; it would just be a pleasant ride for you when it is good going; but the traveling is very bad at present. I should like to go home and make a visit, but am afraid if I go now, I shall mifs seeing the river break up. They say it is quite a curiosity to see the ice go through the eddy.

I like here very much so far, and like the people. I meet with some “once in a while” that inquire all about Mr. Eldred and his family and some that used to be acquainted with my father. There is not many young people here, but still there is enough for company. Amanda Smith lives about a mile from here. There is quite a large family of them. They send three to school. I have boarded there some. They appear to be very nice girls.

Bansom Lubar pays much attention to Amanda, but whether it will be a match or not, I cannot say. So I will drop the subject.

Sunday March 26
Dear Mary,
I have just returned from a walk, which would have been a very pleasant one, had the day been more agreeable, but it is another damp dark day. However we had an agreeable time, the lady that was with me gave an account of the Big Eddy bridge going off last spring and of a number of accidents that have happened near the bank of the river where we were walking is a large hill which they roll their lumber down and has caused many accidents.

It is called Peggy’s Runway. It derived its name from and old woman who lived at the foot of the hill many years ago, when it was thick swamp. To go upon this hill and take a view you can see a great distance off, which is delightful

How I wish you were here. But you must be tired of this.

I thought when I commenced this I had a great deal to tell you, but after I got at it, I found I could think of nothing interesting to write, I think of going home on a raft as far as Barryville, there will be a number of rafts going from here and I wish you would come up to go down with me. It would be so pleasant.

The lady with whom I am now boarding says if you come, I must certainly bring you here, for she would like to see you says she has nursed you when you were a babe. She used to be aquatinted with Maria. Her name then was Betsy Johnson. It is now Mr. Case.

I should like to hear from you and hope you will write me soon and tell me all the news you can think of’ and don’t you go to getting married before I see you, or without giving me an invitation to the wedding. If you do, I shall give you the slip when I get married and you don’t know how soon that may happen. I suppose you know there is great danger of it.

I have written to a certain place since I have been here, but have received no answer yet. Perhaps I delayed too long. It may be all for the best as I have grown so homely since we met that I may not be known.

You will laugh when you read this for you know that I never was handsome, but I do think I was not so very coarse…as now. However, “Perty is as perty does,” they say, and somehow, I can’t do pretty. And that you well know, so good by to this.

Do write me Mary as soon as you receive this, let me know how you are getting along, what your prospects are for the future and when you think of going to the City and what you are going to buy me there if it is a pretty nice little doll? I do not know as you will like so much nonsense…

Where is Felix Kyte now, I have not heard from him since I have been here. He did not know whether he should conintue at Beaver Brook or not when I saw him last. I told him he must take the school at the mouth of the Lackawax if he did not stay there. I believe I did not tell him he must, but said he had better.

I must stop this scribbling or you will not have patience to read it. So give …friends and remember me

PS Do not forget to write. Please direct your letter to Narrows Burgh Sullivan Co., NY. The post office is acrofs the river. We have to trave over a large new bridge to get there and people have to pay three cents fro walking over, but I can go free—good says I.

Tell Mother I wish she would send me 5 dollars if she can, I forgot to tell her when I wrote her by Mr. Wiggins. Give my special love to her and your Mother

May 3, 1848
addressed to :
Misfs Mary A. Eldred
Lumberland, PO
from Narrows Burgh, NY May 3, 1848
My Dear Friend,
According to promise I have seated myself to inform you, or my succefs in gaining a school for you. I saw Mr. John Dexter soon after I came up, and he asked me if I had found a teacher for them yet. I told him that I knew of two that were wishing to get a school; having heard of a district about a mile or two from here destitute of a teacher, I inquired of him if they did not wish to get one there.

Mr Dexter said he supposed they did and would speak to them about it and next time he sees me would let me know the conclusion and when they would come after you, so I might write you when to expect them.

Having heard that a family by the name of Gale were acquainted with your father, I told Mr. Dexter they could get you there, thinking it would be pleasanter for you to go among your father’s acquaintances even if they were strangers to you. Supposing of course, I could get the other school for Eliza, you can not imagine how tickled I felt with anticipation of having my two old companions so near me that I might see them once in a while.

The one I expected to get for Eliza is about two miles from here, and the other is between three and four miles. I did not see Mr. Dexter again until yesterday and he requested me to write Mifs Eldred to come as soon as you could conveniently for they were very busy at present and did not know how to spare time to go after you and said he would rather pay your fare in the stage or your expenses any other way as they were so busy with their lumbering. And he said that respecting the other school, he had seen some of the employees and they had concluded not to have a school there at present on account of some money matters. I do not understand what, so I am dished? in getting Eliza there.

I was very much disappointed for I was almost sure of that school for her. I spoke to her you know about the school first before you had said anything to me about it. But I think taking several things in consideration that it would be better for you to come. She is clever kind girl or has been so to me and I really wish she could get a school near me. She is such good company and schemer?

But Mary, you will begin to think from what i have written that I do not prize your comnpany at all. If I can get Eliza’s but you are mistaken if you think so, for you know I always liked your company and I only wished it was nearer.

Mr. Dexter desired me to tell you that you might come as far as Mr. Rofs’ the first night. He is one of the employers about half a mile up the river form Murry’s, the tavern. It is on this side where he lives but the tavern is on the other side. If you will write me as soon as you can conveniently and let me know what day you will come, I will meet you to Mr. Murry’s.

“Dear me!” Mary I have made so many mistakes I do not know as you will be able to make sense of what I have written whether there is any sense or not, but you will not wonder at it when I tell you Mrs.—has been talking to me nearly all the time I have been trying to write. However I am alone at present. The rest having retired.

Having done up my businefs, I must make some inquiries respecting my friend at home and around home. I hope they are all well. I must write to Mother soon. You will please to give my love to her and tell her that I am going to write her soon, that is if this gets there first. Remember me to all inquiring friends, your mother in particular.

And do not forget to give my love to Eliza and tell I mean to write her soon and she must not forget to answer it as in former times. I wish you would write soon. Believe me [name is cut out?]

There is to be a circus or show in Honesdale the 18th. of this month. The greatest I suppose that ever was known there. How I should like to go, but I don’t expect to. Do not let anyone see this. I must bid you good night. LAW
Note: I think this is Lydia Wheeler, but not sure if she is a relative or friend.

July 1, 1848
addressed to Miss Mary A Eldred
from Narrowsburgh
July 1, 1848
Ever Dear Mary Lumberland
It is with much pleasure I now seat myself to answer your letter which I received sometime since, but have neglected anything until now I should have done so before this, but iI was out of paper. I hope you will forgive me for my seeming coldnefs. I was so in hopes you would get some way to come down to day for I want to see you very much.

Your mother talks of coming to see you the fourth and she wants me to go along perhaps I will. I was down to Eliza’s a week today and staid all night. We went to the river to meeting on Sunday, but we went over to see Elmira on Saturday afternoon and it was quite dark when we crossed the river to go home, but Elmira and Mr. Fish went part of the way.

I suppose you have heard by this time that Eliza and Lewis were to have been married today. George has had an invitation ever since the first of April, but Eliza has backed out for ? want that to ? when the time was so near and he had given all his invitations and got all ready for her to use him so. She told me the whole particular from the beginning to the end. I hope she will never repent.

Oh, Mr. Gray arrived in town today. You wanted to know whether I had heard from Hez? or no. I had a letter from him and Eliz last Saturday. He is coming home the 20th or the 25th to stay four days on a week at the logest? The I am to go back with him and stay a spell. I want to see you very much before I go for I may never see you again and I want to have a long talk with you. You know of course by this time that I am not married yet. I can’t tell when I shall be. Hez sent his love to all inquiring friends.

I have nothing very interesting to write you and I will now close my letter wishing you better health than I now enjoy. I have felt I am sick for a week and my hand trembles so that I can’t write. I don’t know as you can make out one half of it. I am in a great hurry and have not time to read it over. It is supper time and I must bid you good by.
Write soon
from your affectionate friend
Mary E. Bunce
excuse all irregularities
My love to Lydia and all inquiring friends.

July 10, 1848
addressed to Mrs. Mary A. Austin
Sullivan County, West Point, NY, July 10, 1848
Ever Dear Mary,
It is with pleasure I once more seat myself to answer your letter, which I received on Saturday afternoon. I was pleased to hear form you. I began to grow impatient thinking perhaps you had forgotten your friend Mary. I am getting quite impatient to come home again it seems a year since I left.

Lewis tells me sometimes that he shant let me go home in three years. I told him today that I should start next week. He said that I could, but he cannot leave till this work is done.

…I never want to see another Railroad much less live on another. He has been quite unwell for a week, but feels better today. The weather is so warm it seems sometimes as thought I must die. It is very sickly here. I have got one sick man to take care of. He has been sick one week tomorrow. The doctor has been here today to see him. He boards with us. His name is Matthew More, cousin to Lewis. and yesterday, my girl was sick abed. I tell you, what you had better believe that I begun to feel as though I would like to see home. I was afraid that we were all going to be sick together.

O how I do want to see you Mary. I shall have to come about the time you know when that is.

I wonder how all the folks are in Lumberland. The next time you write to me, you will please write a longer letter and tell me all the news there is agoing.

If I could only see you and have one of our long sociable talks together, it would do me more good than a little. I don’t know what can be the matter. I can not write to save me. But no wonder, the flies bite so that I don’t know what I am about.

I have nothing to write about and I do not think it best to write a long letter for I don’t expect you will be able to read one half of this. How I do wish that Polly Maria would come and stay with us long as we stay here and now I will close as I have nothing more to write this time. Give my love to all inquiring friends and write soon.

Excuse bad writing and all irregularities and now good by
from your sincere and affectionate friend,
Mary E. Carmichael

August 1848
to: Lumberland, August 12; paid 5
from Narrows Burgh
To Mifs Mary A. Eldred
August 8, 1848
My dear friend,
I ought to have written you yesterday and put his letter in the office today, but I want to write to you so I cannot put it off, but will try to send this up someway before Saturday.

You was home so short a time, I did not have time to say boo to you. So I have been thinking of sending up a few words in black and white whether they come acceptable or not is not for me to say.

However, trusting to that, I will now begin with or about Eliza’s wedding which came off the Saturday following your exit from Lumberland or according to record, July 22, 1848.

It was getting late when I got there and she had not dressed yet. Eliza had been almost crying and said she was afraid I was not coming and believed she should not have been ready that night if I had not come.

Aunt Polly was in very good spirits, but Uncle Justice face was half a yard long.

Eliza was up a few minutes and I went home with her and stayed all night. Lewis came up that night. I knew he was coming and I wanted to see him and get an introduction to him beforehand.

I like him, good what acquaintance I have with him. But I must tell you, when we were getting ready to go, Aunt Polly says to Lewis, nobody asks you to go to bed, I should think somebody might ask you to go to bed. Nobody says anything to you about going to bed at all.

So much sport or laughter I have not enjoyed since as that made you know just how queer she will talk.

Eliza told me she Polly, could not get ahead of him much and then a spell after she come in the bedroom where I was and inquired so Lewis could hear for her night gown. Eliza was with me first. Eliza told her she had none then she told the last she seen fit. Pete Brofs had it on, but no more of this till I see you. It is better told than written.

There were not many to the wedding, but there were many wishes for you. Mary Bunce did not get there till after the knot was tied, but I suppose she has told you all about that. for probably she has written you. She told me she had received a letter from you the other day.

I have not seen either of them. Lewis and Eliza since the great event except when they went buzzing by in a carriage up to Mr. Bunce’s to set up with Hezekiah who was taken sick soon after his arrival which was the same Saturday of the wedding.

I long for to see her, but since I have engaged in the school, it is not so easy for me to go when I choose. Hezekiah was out to meeting last Sabbath. He looked as pale as a Broadway gentleman need to I did not have an opportunity of speaking with him.

He was to have gone back last Fryday, to see about some trunks that had been taken back in the cars to the City, but his sicknefs prevented him.

Mary was going with him, but as he was not able to go, he sent Mary on in the stage Friday and wrote to Foster to meet her. She is going to stay two or three weeks or till Luey goes back to New York. Then she is to return.

I have written such a complicated Mefs that I fear you will not be able to spell out half of ir. You can not imagine how I wnt to see you. I have so much to tell you. But I must add another story here, but I will first tell you. Mrs. Kyte had a niece by the name of Emily Osborn come up with ? and Lucy.

Felix gave me an invitation to take a boat ride with them on the Hagan Pond which I accepted and on our return, he gave me a paper to read which Wm. had sent him. It had a piece in it about a picnic party in New Hope, which Wm. had marked for him to read. There is one sentence in it that had the word auburn which he marked it being the color of his girl’s (Mifs Murrays) hair, Feliz said.

The sentence is this, “While pendant hung, the auburn curl from the lady’s brow.” But I must not forget to tell you about the newcomer to Mrs. Maria Austin’s that came to town one day last week Wednesday or Thursday.

You must send us a name of the feminine gender and a pretty one too, for it is the prettiest you ever saw. Little Josephine Eldred (Gardner is crossed out), is very sick, do not expect her to live. It is very sickly around Andrew Crofford is very sick.

How is Mrs. Johnson up to the Eddy? I heard she was taken very low again. I hope you call and see her often as you can. give my especial love to her and Mrs. Kellegg? I wish Mary, you would wear my cotton flannel skirt home with you when you come. Do not forget it. It is at Dexter’s.

Where thpretty heart was, “you know”.

How I want to see you. Do write to me as soon as you can and tell me all the news you can from that source, Eddy?

My respects to Louisa,
Remember me your ever affectionate friend
Lydia Wheeler

I am boarding to Nancy Austins. Old Mrs. Austin was there. She found out I was writing a leter in at the school house. She said if I was writing to Mary Ann, must tell her that Old Mrs. Austin said she must take good care of Henry for he has gone up there somewhere to work. She believes that will be a match yet.

note: There is an Ann Eliza Hickok, daughter of Justice and Mary Hickok who married Lewis Bolton.

Has anyone heard of a Nancy Austin? I’m assuming Old Mrs. Austin would be Fanny Austin, wife of Ralph and mother of Henry, although Fanny would only be 60, and that doesn’t sound so old anymore. .

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