Some Austin Letters from 1860 to 1870

June AD 1860
envelope addressed to
Mr. and Mrs. Mahlon I. Clark
Half Way Brook Village
Sullivan Co., NY

Sullivan County
Town of Highland
I do hereby certify that on the tenth day June instant at the house of Wm. H. Austin in said town of Highland, Mahlon I. Clark of said town of Highland and Laura L Austin also of said town of Highland were, with their mutual consent, lawfully joined together in holy matrimony, which was solemnized by me in the presence of James H. Austin, Mrs. Hannah Eldred, Mary Ann Austin, Ralph Austin and Fanny Austin, All of said town of Highland attesting witness.

And I do further certify that the said Mahlon I. Clark and Laura L. Austin are known to me to be the persons described in this certificate; and that I ascertained previous to the solemnization of the said marriage that the parties were of sufficient age to contract the same, and that there appeared no lawful impediment to such marriage.
Given under my hand, this the fifteenth day of June AD 1860
George T B Stage
Justice of the Peace

after June 1860 but before June 1861
I sent Irvin’s socks. I had no measure to go by. Mrs. Clarke brought yarn and said thre was enough for 2 pair. I should have made them longer, but I thought I would do as she said, but it lacks one knot of being enough and when I get that you shall have the other pair.

I thought I would send these for he mite want them. You must come when you can. I had a letter from James. He appears to be in good spirits. His horse is alright. He lives with the same family he did. His businefs is good and a prospect of its being bettern than ever it was.

Augustus’s folks all well. I creep along about as well as ever. Mrs. Dunlap washed for me yesterday. My neighbour calls often to see if I want healpe. I have got wormwood and a going to use it for I think it is dropsy that makes me weak for my appetite is poor. I have everything I wish for, but do not eat much. James told me to get whatever I want and I do.
My love to you both Adieu
Fanny Austin

[James, Laura, Ann Mary, and Henry (my great grandpa) are siblings and Fanny Austin is their mother.]
Barryville Dec 23 (1863 is the latest this could be as Ann Mary died August 31, 1864)
Dear Sister,
I received yours of the 22 and now I am on my bed with the stand by it with a pillow for me to rest on while I write. Four weeks yesterday, I was taken sick with the bilious fever, very sick. the day before I was very smart so Perry went down the River and was gone a week. I was down all the time, but nights I kept getting worse. On Saturday they thought I would not live for a while.

I don’t think I ever was so sick before, but through the mercy of God, I am getting better. OH how thankfull we ought to be such a friend when we feel all other Sources failing us that we take a Saviour to look to knowing he never will leave nor forsake us, but will be our guide even unto death.

I feel to exclaim with the Psalmist, Blefs the Lord oh my Soul, and all that’s within me Blefs his holy name for all mercys to me.

I will not be able to come either Christmas or New Years. We intend to come when I get able…

I would like some of your pot cheese, first rate. I’ve been wanting it since I begat to eat. I do not have much appetite. I have a very good girl we pay her ten shillings a week. I expect I shall have to keep her sometime yet.

Perry saw James when he was in New York. He was boarded at Augustus’s, had a situation in the Bibb House. Henry was here this week. He had received a letter from New York that Spencer’s Lawyer had written for one hundred dollars mor for Pappy’s board. I would like to have you come and see me if you can without hindering Irv’s work. We can write to each other. Kifs tiger? for me. You did not say whether you had heard what has happened.

Martha Clark has got a babe a week old. She is home to Motts (mother?] It will be very hard for her Moth Clara hear well. I must close for I am very tired.
I remain yours,
A M Schoonover (Ann Mary Austin Schoonover)
[Martha Clark may be the sister of Laura Austin Clark's husband, Mahlon.]

New York, August, 1864
My Dear Friend,
Why Lonnie, how do you get along?

I am sorry I have not lived up to my promise. I told you I would write Thursday evening…excuse me Lonnie for my long delay in writing to you.

How do you do. Speak up, don’t be bashful. I am quite well thank you and hope when you read this, it will find you and your friends in the same state of good health.

How is Mother/Martha? coming on? I expect you have fine times with the boys. Have you had a swing since we left? Oh, Lonnie, did Frances send you the song of Wait for the Wagon? If not, when you write and I hope that will be very soon, let me know whether you have it or not and I will send it to you. I have no more to say at present. I close by sending a kiss and my love to al who may inquire after me.
I remain your affectionate friend,
Addie [one of the Eldred Austin cousins]

Monday June 26, 1865
Dear Emogene,
Your letter was received in due time and perused with much pleasure, as of course yours always are. You say you wish to see me awful bad, but you can not want to see me worse than I do you, for I want to see you awfully badder, but I guess we will have to take it out in wanting, for I shall not be able to get in the country this Summer as much as I want to see you, and you know how much that is, but what cannot be cured must be endured and so I am trying to be reconciled to my lot. Don’t you think I am getting rather sentimental?

Mother is busy trying to get away in the Country before the fourth and the Doctor says we must get Emma off as quickly as possible. She has been very sick with fits and had them so hard and so many of them that we began to fear she would never get over them, but she is getting better now, yet is still very weak. The Doctor said her mind was too active for her body, that she learned too fast and that we must not let her study or read and said that the country would do her more good than anything else. (I wish he would order that prescription for me.)

I was very much surprised to hear that you were teaching School, how I should love to be there to see your exercising your authority over the little ones. ARe you very severe with them? I suppose you do not teach them much, do not misunderstand me, I do not mean to say that I do not think you capable of teaching, for I know of no other Cousin of mine who is so well fitted for that position in life as you are.

Em, I guess you were just marked out to be a little School teacher for you have an uncommon amount of patience with children, one of the most requisite things which a School Teacher needs. (While I, poor me, what shall I say for myself) what I meant was, that I thought it must take a great amount of your time to make them mind, and keep them in order.

Do not get angry at me Em, for talking to you thus. I do not mean to dictate, but you had some experience yourself when you were here to School, you know you used to say you did not see how Mifs Marr could teach, when the Scholars were talking and there was so much confusion in the class, but I think you have pretty good government with children; I am going to try and persuade Mother to let me come up and be one of your pupils during the summer and take lessons of patience from you. Does this proposition meet with your approbation? Write and let me know and tell me more about your school.

Now I think I have written you quite a long letter, (such as it is) and as I think you are about as tired of reading such nonsense as this, as I am of writing, I will bring my letter to final hoping to hear from you soon I remain,
Ever your loving Cousin,
Mother sends her love and hopes to see you all soon. Tell your Mother I never eat string beans, but what I think of her and that is pretty often
My love to all not forgetting your dear self
Long may you live
Happy may you be
Rest in content
And often think of me

You must excuse the blots on the paper as Rand got them for me.

January 9, 1866
Dear cousin,
Although it is but a little time since I received your last letter, yet I am going to answer it now as I have some time. I thought I would make the most of it by writing to you.

I commenced going to school Monday and you must know that it takes the greater part of my time in fulfilling my school duties and so if my letters are not as long as usual, I hope you will make all due allowance for me. I shall not call this a letter, for it is not deserving of the title, it is only an analogy for one, but I can not help it. I feel unusually out of humor tonight and my ideas are all dull and common place.

Oh Em, you do not know how bad I want to see you. I have got so much to tell you I cannot write it for it would take too much paper. Sometimes it seems as if I shall never see you again. It seems so long to look forward untill the next summer. I never make any calculations now, for we do not know what a day may bring forth. Sometimes when we think we shall be the happiest, we have our saddest most sorrowful hours. It is as the minister said at little Mortie’s funeral There is more bitterness in sweet in our cups and that we would have to drain it to the very deep.

Oh Emma, if I did not think I could do a little good in the world, and perhaps make others happy, I would not care how soon death came to me, how soon God saw fit to take me home. The sooner the better. Life has no charm for me now as it once had. It seems as if all happiness had been wrested from me all that I loved has been taken from me. Why should I care to live, to struggle on with no cheering voice to comfort, no loving hand to guide me.

But I did not mean to write this but my feelings overpowered me. But I do not wish to make you unhappy. Trouble will come to you soon enough, would dear Emma that I could shield you from all sorrow and suffering, but we must all have our dark days and the more trials and temptations we have to endure the better it is for us for it teaches us not to think too much of worldly things.

I must close for it is getting late. Mother sends her love to your Mother and Grandmother write very soon and believe me ever your loving Cousin,
Note: Mortie may be the son of Rev Alonzo Eugene Austin and Isabelle Johnson Camp who died at age 2, if my information is correct, he was scalded to death when he pulled a pail of hot water over himself.

Mount Kisco, Jan 1st 1868
My Dear Sister
You will doubtless be surprised at receiving a letter from me, but James has been talking so long of writing to you, that I came to the conclusion that I would write in his place. It seems as if I knew you for James talks so much about you he has been talking of writing you for a long time, but has not made it out yet. I will not wait for him much longer, would you? He thinks he can not spend the time. It does make it bad when a man has such a large family as he has to provide for, but we really do mean to come one of these days.

James has had his picture taken for you. I think it very good, but not quite as good looking as he is, he will send it on as soon as he can get a chance. I have had mine taken, but I guess I will keep it home. I think you will have a better opinion of my looks if I keep it home. I do not pride myself much on my beauty. I am good enough looking to suit my husband and he is all I care to please in that respect. He is a dear good husband I assure you whether he can say as much of me as a wife, I do not know. We have been married four years yesterday. It does not seem so long.

James has but one child, that is me. He does not come home but once a week. The time hangs very heavy on my hands sometimes. I go down to see him quite often though. We live about forty miles form the city on the Harlem road. We think it very pleasant here and want you to come out and see us. We would love to have you come dearly. How is Emogene? I would like to see her very much. Give my love to her. I would like very much to visit you.

It must be very pleasant where you live. To hear James talk you would think no other place worth living in, but I do not wonder at it for it was his home that one word tells the story for home is the dearest spot on earth and no matter how humble it may be, we would not exchange it for all the wealth the world could offer, but I must close for James want to add a line hoping to hear from you soon, I will close wishing you all
from your loving sister, Julia
Feb 18, 1868
Dear Sister Laura,
Julia says I must write a line. I will by one month and a half old already, I think it time to finish this letter and send it a jogging. I did not intend this delay and I would say it is not Julia’s fault. I take all the responsibility, but as I only write once in twenty or thirty years, you will excuse me. I have thought and thought and thought of coming to see you and have not come already and now if we should have ten years and you should receive a letter as the end of the time

…aside from this jargon, I have not forgotten you although I do not come to see you or write, I often think of you and Irvine. I often pray for you. I hope you pray likewise and try to love and serve our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope if spared to come and see you sometime. I send you my good looking face. I will praise it and try and make it out all right although anyone knows it’s homely enough for want of space I must close, my kind regards to Irving and all inquiring friends. I should be pleased to get a letter from you
Your affectionate brother
James H. Austin
I will send my photograph by Henry who is coming next Friday.
My addrefs:
James H. Austin
Mount Kisco
Westchester Co., NY

Sometime before January 1870 [This may be when Laura Austin Clark lost her daughter Eva.]
Dear Friend and Aunt
I was very sorry to hear that dear little Eva was dead. I had just been writing to Tina that Eva was very sick, but I little thought so soon to hear of her death.
Your niece, Emma

LIttle Eva
Tis true that death’s relentless hand,
Tis ne’er with mortal man at rest
He will often come and steal
Away the ones that we love best.

Twas when the grass was springing green
Along the hill side in the mead,
That he dear little Eva claimed
And laid her with the silent dead.

And she was beautiful divine
As pure as spotless as a saint
A form as lovely and sublime
As skillful lirnnes could so paint.

We miss that little one so fair
She’s gone no more on earth to be
She dwells in that blest country where
Her Lord and Saviour she can see.

Ellsworth, he will miss
That little one so mild
But never more on earth
Will he behold that little child.

She was so sweet on earth to stay
Too good for a world like this
So thought the angels as they called her away
To that world of heavenly bliss.

We would not wish her back again
On this cold earth of misery
From Jesu’s arms in that blest place;
Prepared for such as she.
Note: Edith Emogene (Emma) Austin wrote poetry. She died at the age of 28 in Solomon, Kansas. She was a daughter of William Henry and Mary Ann Eldred Austin, and sister to Grandma Mort, Uncle Ell, Uncle Lon and Aunt Aida.

Ellsworth was the son of Mahlon and Laura Austin Clark and therefore the brother of the baby that died.

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