Sandusky Aug 16, 1863
My Dear Jay.
Your several good letters are rec
Their sententious brevity proves how much you are pressed for time, and
admonish me to avoid trespassing upon it, by observing the like brevity.
Wm G, Sakey & Dora reached us Monday evening in fine health & spirits. I have not seen Sakey so well in 12 years. She was very cheerful & happy and they all left us for the upper lakes on Friday morning via Cleveland, where they met Doct Maylan who had been robbed of all his money $250, at Pittsburg. Wm G writes that he feels, (poor fellow) very low spirited about it. I know how to pity him by experience. Willie & Murry Moorhead joined the party here on Thursday. Pitt & they all left together. We have heard of them all on board a fine Steamer which left at 8 P.M. the 14th.
Your friend Mr. Rambo called on us
shortly after the party left, on Friday.
Dined with us so, after which I took him over to Dr. Bronson, who
immediately accompanyed him to the Islands The Doct returned next morning
leaving Mr. R at Kelly Island who will preach today at their new
Tabernacle. They visited Put in Bay
& were well received every where. The Doct says the population of the Islands is rapidly increasing
and that they present a noble field for missionary
labor. Mr. R will be able to report
fully to you on his return which will be immediately. He will reach here tomorrow morning & remain with us till
evening when he will leave for Phil, on the 6 OClock train. We shall make it as pleasant as possible for
I dont know, where you may direct letters to Wm. G, as he left no directions about it. If he returns by the same Steamer he left on, he will be back here in 10 days. But if he finds it pleasant & desirable to remain over he will not return until the next boat which may protract his stay for 20 days. We are rejoiced to know, that you & Lizzie are to be here by the 1st Oct. Dont let any thing interfere to disappoint us. We are expecting Laura in 2 or 3 days She has prolonged her visit at Rome & Aubern (?) beyond all reason. I am not well & never expect to be, having outlived the power of renovation and re-construction. Give my love to Lizzie & all the children in which Mrs C joins.
In great haste
Affy your father
Sandusky Aug 18/63
My Dear Jay
At the moment of Mr. Rambos departure I drop you a line He will advise you fully of his explorations of the Islands & here-abouts, so that I need not take time to do so. I believe he is much pleased with his reconnoiterings. We have taken great pleasure in our endeavors to treat him kindly.
At 1/2 to twelve today we were surprised and delighted by the arrival of Laura & Mary Pitt & their children. Their delay had been so long protracted that we began to fear we should scarcely live to see them.
Judge Caldwell is at present absent in Iowa Aunt Susan brot over your letter (by proxy) forwarding the $1,600 in bonds which have been recd, requesting me to say to you they had been duly recd , & that the receipt thereof would be duly acknowledged on his return.
A like letter from your house at
Washington, of the 10 was lately recd requesting him to acknowledge the receipt
of $6,000 in 5.20 bonds which had been sent to him on the 25th
July. I replied to that, acknowledging
This is all I know about it.
We are in better health today than usual and am rejoiced to know that Lizzie is so much better.
Give our love to her and remember my affy to all the dear children.
Sandusky Feby. 14, 1864
My Dear Jay
I beg you a thousand pardons for not
advising you instantly on my return home of my safe arrival. But I reached here late on Friday so
fatigued that I could not write, and as no mail left here on Saturday this is
my first opportunity. Owing to the
magnificent provisions made by Jay Jr.
my sleeping accommodations I was enabled to reach Pittsburgh with much
comfort and little fatigue for which my most grateful acknowledgements are
due. I am not quite as well, as
when I left you, & shall not leave the house for several days. It makes me sad to apprehend that I may
never again enjoy my customary health: but this sadness is instantly dispelled
by the remembrance of the innumerable kindnesses and munificent incidents
which characterized my recent visit to you and H.D. I beg you dear Jay to be careful of your health and that of your
peerless wife. As for me it matters
little whether I am ill or well as my day for usefulness has gone by - my
life lease having expired leaving only tenant at will.
Remember me affectionately to dear Lizzie & to all the children and remember your promise to pay us a good long visit early in the Season. Give my love also to dear Saky, Wm G & the 2
and know that I always hold you in
Sandusky Feby 24/64
My Dear Jay,
Your letter of the 22nd
enclosing the $100 bond, and draft to your Mother, was recd today at 11
am. I was much amused, as a poor sick
man could well be, at the evident pleasure with which the draft was
received. She considers the trust a
sacred one and as such it will be most faithfully and judiciously
administered. On my return she took
pains to render a most perfect account of her stewardship both
as to my individual & the O.P.J. fund.
Ist she gave me the items
from her Memo . of all ???? -
& then of all disbursements for taxes -
& then expenses and after computing - &
deducting the latter from the first and adding the cash on hand the amounts
balanced within less than a dollar. So
with your 250 trust. She had many items
besides the 8? prominent ones to M epres? Bronson Menks & Barker which when added
together exceeded the trust, just $1.10.
She was much gratified at the result as she had made no previous
computation & relied only on her somewhat lengthy memorandum of charities. This last trust will enable her to do much
real good and make her happy in doing so and she desires me to communicate
to you her most grateful thanks for your confidence in her judgment &
fidelity in the execution of a commission do sacred and
I reached home very comfortably
but after Pitt left my cold or (Influenza
became much worse & I have not left the ho me to
walk out since. Indeed I have
This will explain why I have not written and why I cannot now find words to express to you my boundless gratitude for the many kind & liberal things you have done for me. When I think of all, words become meaningless - & silence seems the most expressive acknowledgement of my gratitude for such immeasurable goodness.
recd several letters from WmG & Sakey? and desire if possible to reply by this mail but fear I shall
have to give it up We have felt deeply anxious about poor dear Kitty & Sally
and am rejoiced to hear they are so much better. Remember in all affy to dear Lizzie & all the children &
???? Affy your father
I will attend to the report which I understand is
??? of Pitts letter respecting
Monument on Gibraltar.
Sandusky March 21/64
My Dear Jay.
dear than ever, as time rolls on, and develop
and more, of your almost boundless goodness and nobleness of soul. When I think of your past history of your
position full of fresh renown and of your recent act of unparalleled kindness
in freeing me from my long life enemy, the nightmare of debt, I am overwhelmed
with gratitude and can find no words to express it. Your recent kindness to your brother, poor H.D. in tenderly
forgiving his too great sensitiveness, & indiscretion in the matter of
the late California claim has added greatly to my admiration of your generous
magnanimity. Your letter of the 17th
just recd which couples my noble son Wm.G. with you in efforts to encourage
him has given me great pleasure. You do not allude to the cause of his ill health and depression
But I know it all. The truth is, H.D.
partakes more of the unfortunate false pride & sensitiveness, in reference
to everything calculated to effect
the good will of the public which has always been
the bane of my life than any of my other sons. This is his weakness and I sincerely rejoice that you have
secured his promise to submit in all cases of like kind hereafter to your
guidance and judgment. His late st
acquiescence in the settled
claim at least for any larger amt than the original principal without
consulting with you & Wm.G. who could have easily arranged it on just
terms, was his great error and though not strictly criminal, it was gravely
censurable and can only be apologized for by his extreme super sensitiveness,
and his desire to avoid a public disclosure of his unfortunate indebtedness to the
apprehended injury of his position and that of the firm to which he was
attached. I know not how to advise in
relation to these California claims but think I would trust no man to go
there and settle them. There is too great
a temptation for doubling the compromise amt & sharing the spoil!! Besides, the very fact of sending an agent
so far will suggest a belief in the Creditors of the debtors ability to
pay. When I see you, we will counsel
together on the subject.
I see it
stated in the Cincinnati papers that you are in consultation with Gov. Chase
& that you advise him to negotiate the 10/200 loan through the National
Banks. I apprehend he will find it
impracticable & that you will yet be called upon to start the Caravan
True you have built the Rail Road prepared the process
the depots, water stations Engines Cars &
familiarized the people with the character of these securities, and it would
seem that now the Secy should find no difficulty in selling the bonds But we
Poor Pitt as you say, is still quite unwell, but I think better than when he left Phila. He seems quite happy & cheerful in the prospect which you and Wm.G have afforded him of getting out of debt.
cheerfully excuse you dear Jay for not writing more frequently in these
pressing times and although nothing gives
pleasure than to receive your letters yet I would not wish you to write unless
Poor Mother has been very ill with sore throat & pain in chest for sometime past but is now better. Her highest & most anxious hope is to be able to visit you and H.D. at an early day and I hope soon to say she will leave for Pittsburgh when I may be obliged to ask Jay Jr. to meet her. Give my best love to Lizzie and the dear children.
Ever your Affy Father,
Sandusky April 4th 1864
My Dear, ever Dear Jay,
believe I am not indebted to you for a letter, but I connot deny myself the
privilege of assuring you again & again, of my undying gratitude to you for
es to me and mine. Your letter sometime since, as you imagined,
threw a flood of sunshine upon my pathway, and made it bright & happy.
very kind in you & William to provide a fund by
Coal operation, for the extinguishment of H.D.s California liabilities, as
well as for the relief and independence of poor Pitt. I hope your brilliant anticipations in the matter will be
realized. Should the trip to Europe be
determined upon, I have great confidence it will result favorably to H.D.s
health, which I am much grieved to learn, is seriously precarious of late. Pitt is much better since his return, and especially so, since the
announcement, that the last shackle of indebtedness had been stricken from his
wrists. Indeed, he seems like another
being and is loud in his rejoicing.
Jay I must tell you that your mother and Auntie Hurd will leave here tomorrow
unless something unexpectedly occurs to prevent, for Washington. They had intended first to going to
Philadelphia until yesterday: but learning from Sakeys letter of the 30th
that she and William would leave on tomorrow for a visit at H.D.s, and that
H.D. might soon leave for Europe and being anxious to pay him a visit before
leaving, they changed their destination.
Mrs. C will however stay there but a short time, as she is very anxious
to see you, Lizzie & the children.
It has required a good deal of self denial in her, to forego the
pleasure of taking Philadelphia in the rout: but as she would have been obliged to
leave almost immediately for Wash. It was thought best to avoid the trouble
and fatigue. She is, I am sorry to say
very slender health, having been quite ill for some time, until a few days
past. I should be much concerned about
her encountering the journey, but for the fact, that heretofore, similar
journeys have always improved her: and I shall hope in this case for a like
result. She will leave Washington with
Wm.G. & Sakey when she will have a nice visit with you before Sakey gets
settled & after.
heartily rejoiced that you had been able to avoid the crushing responsibility
of the 10
%(?) loan. I cant see now, that the wild woods of the
pathway has been thoroughly cleared by you and the public educated & made
familiar with Govt loans by your efforts why the National Banks cannot
succeed in negotiating the loan You have laid the rail-road, stocked it with
Locomotives and Cars educated the engineer, agents & conductors & nothing now remains but to put on the
Steam readjust the Machinery - & secure to the loan, a result equally
glorious to that of the 5/20s with one tenth of the labor & expense. In effecting this, I doubt not, your 2 Banks
will control the lions share.
I was happy to se the triumphant vindication of the Secretary by Sherman - & especially by Reverdy Johnson. These champions of truth & honor struck the Copperhead Hendricks and his fellow vipers as dumb, as those reptiles are blind on the 1st of August.
Brooks of the Express still tries, I see, to curse and croak against the Secretary but he bites against file.
your Island Chatteau, I know not how to advise. Lumber nails stone brick lime & labor are fully double their
former prices Wood seems hardly suitable for the location - & stone will
be expensive. Pitt is busy ascertaining
where the different materials be found & the prices, when White will make an
estimate and submit it to you. I am
anxious to have it done very soon as we shall then have you here
healthfully engaged in fishing - & repairing the waste committed
upon your constitution by the
Give my love to Lizzie & all the dear children & accept assurances of affection from an old fatherly explorer & hero of 76.
Sandusky, April 19, 1864
My Dear Jay,
Mr. White called on me today, desiring some direction respecting the kitchen & wood house part of your Chateau.
I am almost ashamed to say that he found me somewhat ill in bed. He was in haste, and I told him as soon as I felt able I would get up & write you on the subject. The arrangement is now something like this.
[diagram of castle layout]
I see my proportions are bad, but you can understand me.
This area [points to the back section] is some 8 or 10 feet lower than this [points to the front section] & the same on the south side. The depression is truly beautiful & adds much to the convenience & excellence & appearance of the site.
The tower and the main body are
located on the highest ground on the Island & require no excavation except
for the foundation & for the value[?] of the material for grading. [Hand
pointer] This rear of the building extends exactly back to a ravine almost
perpendicular & deep enough almost for the cellar. The wood
Excuse illegible writing as I have to write at arms end on the back of my portfolio. I cannot lean forward without pain. I must have taken a sort of dum[?], un-demonstrative cold last Thursday on the Island as I began to lose my appetite shortly after until Sunday, when it entirely left me, & still refuses to return. I am much better to day however. The Docts prescription bids fair to act like a charm and I doubt not I shall be well again in a few days. Dont tell your mother I have been a little ill as she will worry about it.
Your building will cost you
terribly. White saw Pitts scow man this
morning from Port Clinton, who wont carry over the stone for less than $4.00
the Cord & mechanics mo
them insist on $3 & board to go over there. Unless you strike for & win some outside
gains of some magnitude I fear you will
rue the job. I will render you all the
assistance in my power in the matter and save where it can be saved. I hope Pitt will strike for the sale of his
Preston before the excitement tapers[?] off & come home with Johnsons
commission in his pocket. After he
returns & I get well you may probably hear of me near the green mountains,
Write me immediately on the subject of this letter. Verity[?] they all sail tomorrow. Does WmG go? It is a dangerous time after so cold a winter. Icebergs are said to be numerous. Give best love to Lizzie dear & the children.
Ever affy yr father
Sandusky April 23rd 1864
Since I last wrote you, dear Jay, my
health has greatly improved, and although the weather has been extremely
inclement and inhospitable keeping on the frowning pageantry of clouds &
darkness, yet I contrived to keep my spirits at par, until yesterday. I had written to dear Harry at NY, a brief
Valedictory note begging from him a parting reply, if but a word. The only answer I got, was a kind note from
Laura, dated 2
the 20th, acknowledging its receipt & saying that Harry
promised himself to answer it before leaving, but knowing that would not
be possible, she did so herself. She
says Harry is very unwell and in too nervous a state to write or even
read. Pitt also writes me, that he
is terribly anxious about Harry but that Humphrey thinks the Sea
& voyage will cure him.
I need not tell you that this sad
account has been very painful to me and I shall not fail to be very anxious
about him until I hear fro
It seems your good mother assumed the undelegated responsibility , while in Washington, of mentioning to H.D. that I felt some regret at having parted with my $2500 5/20 bonds last winter and that I would doubtless like to replace at least $2000 of them. Accordingly H.D. in a Notabene to one of Lauras letters, told me that having a surplus on hand he had arranged for sending them to me. Some three days after, Mr. Fahnstock wrote he had at Harrys request forwarded them by Express. They reached me on the 19th, and for the last 3 days, in spite of the storm I have been literally skinned the town for the amounts although I had more than 2/3 of it on hand. I send by this mail a draft for the amt on the 4th National Bank N.Y. from Moss[?] 1st Nat Bank to your House in Wash. So that I have nearly reached my old maximum of bonds. The effort has left me with just $18.10 on hand with which to pay my spring taxes & other expenses but I have abundance still due me. How ridiculous & contemptible I often thought, it must have seemed to you to see me ploughing through the Storm, in my Lilliputian efforts at financing. But so it is out west. Pitt, poor Pitt, God bless him, knows all about it and I doubt not that we are happier that it is so. As for myself, I have now a superabundance.
I regret to hear that your Mother is beginning to be homesick, or tather that she inclines to shorten her visit. I hope not It is a long journey and after Sakey gets home again she can divide the time delightfully between Rockwood & the Cedars.
I enclose you $60 in 1st May coupons. I see gold is up again. If it could be brot down to 25 [?] or less I should be glad. But as the highest prem. will be given to every body I may as well receive it for my pittance May I trouble you to convert & remit me the avails. to aid me in paying taxes.
I have not seen White since I last
wrote you. Ithin the
preliminary work is going on as well as can be expected. Some i
manifested itself to combine & extort unconscious wages, but by making the
matter a competition between the Dutch and Irish[?] such rascality will be
avoided. I shall give my particular
attention to it.
What kind or shape of a roof do you wish? Gable ends or eves all round? It strikes me the latter boldly projecting with heavy brackets would best suit the situation. But I want your views. I wish you had an architects drawing of the exterior.
I will try to write you soon again
something more satisfactory of
progress and expect White over again this evening.
Remember me kindly to dear Lizzie & all the children.
Ever Affy your father,
Sandusky May 9, 1864
My Dear Mrs. Cooke
that a terrible and bloody battle is now raging in Virginia, and, tortured by
suspense as to the result, I seek relief from the t
my anxiety by devoting a few minutes to you. I deserve, if possible, to bridge over the
horrid chasm of doubt and fear between this, and the hour, when either victory
shall crown our Army or the Country shall perish beneath the tread of treason [?]
and I know of no better way, than to hurl back all the thoughts of present
& the future and to call up in their place the memory of the Long
Time Ago. I cannot begin
with Dav 9id Copperfield, in his celebrated
to detail all the minute circumstances of my birth, but I take it for granted
that I am at least justified in saying, as gravely remarked by him, that, I
descending to further particulars it should not be forgotten that this important
event, was attended with 2 other most remarkable & extraordinary
Coincidences: to wit, the adoption of our present f
Government, and the recurrence on that very day of the reputed Anniversary of
the birth of the savio ur of the world. These two facts combining to impress the
young mind with all the obligations of duty, for which we should live or
die, ought surely to have made me both a patriot
and a Christian. If I am not so, it is because my success has
not been equal to my efforts. But I must pass on.
educated; initiated into
saw much of its fashionable gaities & frivolities; formed occasional
friendly acquaintances with its votaries and now and then became alarmed at
the little fires which some blue or hazle eyed beauty had contrived to kindle
in my heart. The crisis was at hand
which was to decide my destiny and that of my descendants. I felt deeply the responsibility. These little fires, one after another died
out, for want of the appropriate fuel to feed them mere fancy husks
and straw were found powerless to keep them blazing and I brushed the gay
butterflies all aside and
determined to live a bachelor. I
sought retirement in close study Still I sometimes mingled in Society. Splendid County balls were then the order of
the day and I blush today, that on one of these occasions I fell a victim a
willing victim, to the little blushing god who presides over
and arrows. Attracted thither, by the happy Star of my destiny he hurled at
my heart a heaven directed arrow which will remain there, with its healing
power while its [?] lasts.
sought, & found, one on whose intelligence finesse independence and
force of character I could rely for Counsel and Support in the Sunshine and & in the Storm and in all the stern
realities & vicissitudes of life.
Of this I had the evidence from my own observation & in the massive
which had been presented by an honorable society as a merited trophy, for these
Noble qualities as well as in
of your Character. The decision was no
longer delayed: And now after more
than half a century of rolling years, with a heart full of gratitude, I come
forward, most fervently to thank Heaven for the wisdom of that decision.
Had it been otherwise; had I not consulted my
judgment, as well as my fancy in the choice; had I selected any other one of
those, who seemed ripe and ready for the Hymeneal yoke I cannot even command
patience to contemplate what might have been the possible result.
I shrink back with a sort of dread & horror from the conjecture of what
sort of a progeny I should have reared.
My eldest, instead of blazing with intelligence and genius and
constituting the ornament and grace every where, of the Social Circle might
have might have been a mere domestic automaton or a common drudge. Pitt, the Lord knows what he would have
been. Instead of the Noble,
just, honest, prompt, and honorable fellow he is, he would probably have been a
boot black, a rag picker or peanut vendor. And as for Jay, of whose unequalled virtues,
lofty position and extended fame I dare not speak I blush to imagine that his
probable vocation would have been to calculate the cube of an octagon or
carry the Hod
[?] on Gibraltar Island. H.D. must excuse me if I defer my
conjectures concerning his Case until he returns from Europe.
But what of the Grandchildren? What a motley, benighted stupid uncultured, and degenerate race might have confronted me instead of the bright array of talent, and intelligence, of moral culture and of high promise which they now present which furnish an unfailing source of happiness, to us both, and a precious guarantee that we shall be honorably represented, when we shall be no more. For this lucky escape from the horrid contingencies above referred to, & for all those brilliant stars which serve so richly to adorn the Coronet of my declining day, I am indebted to you, my dear best friend, to you alone and you may thus have some faint idea of my intense anxiety about your health. I have been greatly pained to hear that you still continue so feeble. I wish I could do or write something to interest or cheer you. But alas! the day of my power to do so, has gone forever by. When I took up my pen to prepare this hasty note, I found my head as blank and vacant of ideas as the pages on which it has been written. You will therefore excuse me for this failure to amuse you. It has at least relieved me for an hour or so, from the tortures of suspense in relation to the result of the battle now said to be raging & they answered to the purpose intended.
news we are destitute, except that about 2,000 additional soldiers of the Ohio
National Guard were sent her on Saturday and quartered on the people. They will soon be assigned to their
permanent positions. I have finally fully succeeded in getting
s admitted and he feels much relieved. Cos Line Mary & cie ar re
quite well I dined again there yesterday at Marys I mean.
had to yield up the front Library again for cleaning and overhauling It will
in order tomorrow When the North Wing of the House will have to suffer a
scourging The foundation for another Calf was laid last Friday. Pierson has a furlow of 60 days for
Washington, Phil & Connecticut.
Jays strawberry vines the mamouth berries have spread wonderfully
and large additional beds are planted.
These are full of blossoms and we shall have abundance of them.
farmers are all getting along nicely.
The weather is at length warm & fine & if it so continues we may
still secure good spring crops. But
there are few left to cultivate them. I
have ordered out all the women & children to help. Keeches 7 year old girl
is said to be dying. The Allapaths have
killed off quite a number of late.
Peach trees are all killed. The
Veterans all leave here today. National
Guards take their place. Our immediate
guards are at this moment leaving for Columbus. Glorious new comes
flocking to us
from Virginia. God grant that it may
prove true & the Hydra of treason may be crushed in his den.
Remember affectionately to all the 2 house holds and accept my blessing.
Jays Short and Sweet letter to Pitt is just received enclosing one to William Kelley I hope you will duly appreciate and enjoy the Freedom of Chelton Hills Heaven bless you
May 20 / 64
My Dear Jay
the 16th & 17th instant, announcing the receipt of,
and enclosing letter from H.D.
recd for which many thanks. I have also
recd a kind note from W. Fahnestock communicating the cheering fact of Harrys
improved health and greatly rejoicing thereat.
This glad news, has greatly relieved my anxiety - about him; and his 2 brief
letters to you and me give cheering evidence that the clouds
which enveloped him are rapidly vanishing, and thus the usual
sprightliness of his temper, and vigor of his intellect, have already
re-assumed their throne.
speak flatteringly of my love letter & make it the occasion of a very
kind invitation to visit you. I wish I could
respond in person and when you venture to suggest an assignation at
Young Womans Town, where fish are to be caught, I am almost tempted to
disregard impossibilities and meet you there.
But in looking over my docket of duties I find it impracticable. But to the letter, How came you into the
possession of a confidential message of that character
thus exposing my youthful
indiscretion to the severe and uncharitable criticism of your cooler and
maturer judgment? I have almost
forgotten what it was - & only remember that it was intended to be truthful
Chateau on the Island progresses. It
keeps White and Pitt on the qui vive continually. You can have no idea of the
extreme difficulty of collecting & getting together the materials so as
to keep the men at work. The late call
of the Gov for our Militia National Guard took both the lime burners who
had agreed to furnish it as wanted so of some of the quarries also[?]. The sand has to be taken from Cedar Point
there being none approachable on the Island on account of shoals. This requires scows & laborers to
shovel & wheel. These cannot be
employed continuously as the dock must be occupied a great part of the time
by stone. Consequently a new set r
of hands has to be hunted up for each load.
Then the Stone Cutters with patterns must have every thing ready as
the building rises then the bedding blankets etc. for the men their
provisions fresh and salt, with vegetables, flour etc. to be provided with
lumber window frames, etc. These
things have kept Pitt, & will continue to keep him, constantly on the
jump. But he bears it like a hero -
& says he deems no labor or perplexity too severe for you. We had to get the women to burn the last
batch of lime, and I think we shall not be disappointed again.
The house I fear is going to cost you much more than you anticipated and you will have to make some outside speculation to meet the excess.
be a glorious resort a truly appropriate
retreat for you from the dust & cares & business and constructed
from imperishable materials, it will stand for ages & thus be always
valuable. You can fish there in diverse
sheltered nooks as well in the storm as the sunshine - So that you need never
go without breakfast,
for the want of the delicacies of the finny tribe. 2 Gentlemen from Urbana, last Tuesday & Wednesday caught 4
barrels on one of the Islands.
I have nothing to say because I do not desire, to think about the condition of our bleeding Country, if I can possibly avoid it. Unless we can crush the Rebellion this current year I see nothing but ruin and national Bankruptcy before us. But as you well say my only trust [is] in the God of our fathers.
Give love to Lizzie & all the dear ones of the Household.
The mail is closing and I must drop one line to your Mother.
Ever affy your father
Sandusky June 6 1864
My Dear Jay,
several favors including your last of the 1st are received. I wish I could condense into the necessary
compass of sententious brevity, lie you all that was necessary to be
said. I thank you for your
letters. The good account they give of
the improved heath and happiness of your Mother - &
general well being of you all, makes me truly grateful. My health remains unusually good. I cannot help thinking that the occasional
very temperate use of a little strong lemon juice, mixt with a small modicum of
old rye have had much to do in helping on the progress
of my re-invigoration.
strongly tempted to accept your invitation and go on with Doctr & Mrs
Bronson who I understand will leave on Wednesday. But my stay would be so short before the party will leave
you for Sandusky, that, on the whole, I do not think it
Pitt, doubtless, keeps you advised as to the progress of your Chateau on Gibraltar Island, so that I need not speak of it. You can have no conception, however, of the difficulties to be encountered in its construction so far far from the base of supplies, and at a time of such universal and unparalleled extortion, in both the labor and materials. The work is being done in the best and most substantial manner and will be, in every way, a fitting resort and asylum for the acknowledged prince of financiers and fishermen!!
I anticipate much pleasure in the enjoyment of your hospitality after you become thoroughly installed on your Island throne. The place will soon, like the famous Grecian Isle, become invested with all the charms of classic beauty; and though no Naiads have ever sported on its waters, nor Satyrs and Dryads gamboled in its groves, yet its name is associated with some of the most interesting and romantic legends of its borders, and some of the proudest recollections of our National Glory!! I begin to admire the taste and wisdom, which have led you my dear Jay, to consecrate so large a portion of your means, to the construction of an imperishable edifice, which, it is hoped, will form an additional incentive to your more frequent visits to your cherished birth place, and which, defying the storms that lash its rock-bound shores, is destined to stand for Ages, a proud memorial of your love of Home, and public spirit!!
Now, if we can only save our
Country from the terrible destruction, to which Southern treason
& Northern division, seem determined to consign her; supremely
happy, as I am, in all my family relations; I shall feel still more happy,
& grateful to Heaven if permitted to live to witness the restoration and
of the great Republic. Pleased, then,
shall I lay down my wearied head to rest and say. Lord, now lettest thou thy
servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy Salvation.
Recent events in the east and the
west, presage coming of a glorious triumph and a brighter day Yet still, I write with
alternate hope and fear
the result of the tremendous struggle.
Weighing the chances in the balance, we have every thing to hope; and,
into the hands
eternal justice, do I commit these precious hopes
And now one word to Mother &
Sakey. I did intend to write them by
this mail but I have been all day hard at work with Adam and now here it is 8
Oclock P.M., & the mail is closing.
This will inform you that we are all very well & that is about all
you can wish to know. Messrs. Hosmer
& Goodman are to be consolidated on Wednesday, which detains Doct Bronson
till then. Aside from this I have
been hunting down Madam Go
ssch [?] for
weeks - & can get no utterance from her lips She seems smitten with a
sudden barrenness - & as I am no midwife I must refer to Mary Pitt
the task of drawing forth from her the usual weekly litter of Ondits and
rumors. I thank you dear Sakey for your
last most excellent letter.
With fervent prayer for the happiness of all of you
I am most affy yours
June 20 /
My Dear Jay
advised by the telegraph, you are aware that the party all arrived safely, on
Friday evening, at 8:
was delighted to see your good mother, and especially her kind & precious
escort. Your cannot imagine how
grateful I feel for the unexpected favor.
My only regretis, that they c onnot
remain longer. Laura Dear Laura was
somewhat ill on Saturday, for an hour or 2, but is now as well as ever.
have thought that a personal visit to Gibraltar would be agreeable to you,
& Pitt is devising ways and means to get them there & back today,
if possible. This can only be
done by chartering one of the tug steamers owned here, as the Island Queen goes
over only in the
and returns the next day, too late for them to leave for Buffalo
according to appt. If any of these
steamers are no t
in port, he may be able to charter one, so as to return today.
Your mother is still very feeble but I think better than when she left here on the 5th of April. She speaks in the most grateful terms of the many kindnesses, & affectionate attentions she received from you & Sarah & from all the members of the two households. It continues to be to her a source of delightful remembrance and consolation, and wishes me to send back to you all her most grateful thanks.
Please speak of this to Sakey & Wm G.
& Wm Gs letter from Washington, for which please thank him.
In great haste,
Sandusky July 12 1864
My Dear Jay
the 7th was recd yesterday, simultaneously with one from Wm
G, written at the Sterling Iron Works and another most excellent letter from
Henry D. of the 20th ult, at Florence. Since he left Rome, there had been a radical & permanent
improvement in his health
change I the condition of his internal machinery,
so much so, that his regular calls of nature were responded to in a manner
entirely different from what they have been for the last 12 years.
Sandusky July 13 1864
My Dear ever considerate Jay
thousand thanks for your Telgraph! The terrible news that 70,000 Rebels
had attacked & carried several of the
of Washington on the Northern side, and that they were within 2 miles of
the City, had been recd some two hours before and half the reading
population might be seen in separate crowds panic stricken, enveloped in
gloom and clad in sackcloth & ashes.
They seemed certain that Washington had been sacked and destroyed and that
all was lost. Pitt tried to give them
courage, but they were inexorable in their despair. Our Lady friends who have husbands
children there were shedding tears and wringing their hands and panic and
alarm ruled the hour. Suddenly, your
telegram, like a winged messenger of Grace, came to us, on Water Street, while
Pitt was vainly endeavoring to modify their fears and an instant sense of
relief was observed among all Its contents were immediately heralded to
every part of the City and comparative Comfort & Calm at the present
writing again prevails. Still every
thing except your assurance of the safety of Washington is left doubtful and
uncertain Your avowed hope for glorious news implies that a conflict
is going on and points to a triumph, only through the fiery ordeal &
of Battle! Else no glory would be won.
Thanks a thousand thanks for the telegram. I only write to send them We are all well Mother says God
bless dear Jay and the whole city vote you a return of Thanks. I trust you may not have been mistaken We
had already began to imagine how Auntie Hend [?]
& little Kate, Fred, Pitt and Jay would look and act and fare
continue until the contest is ended, to feel great anxiety as to the
result. But must possess
ourselves in patience. If all passes off without further injury
than the destruction of private and corporate property & the transfer of
a few millions of horses & supplies with which to strengthen the Enemy
the injury may be amply repaid by the warning it will give to Pennsylvania and
New York to shake off their deadly lethargy and to be prepared hereafter at a
moments notice by proper enrollment and discipline as Minute Men to
meet their invaders on the threshold and annihilate them. Let them be prepared as Ohio and Indiana
in the midst of domestic traitors are prepared and we shall have no
more such destructive raids upon your great thoroughfares, no more such murders
& plunderings & robberies as have disgraced your great States.
But it is getting too dark to continue and I am too grateful to you to scold any more tonight. If I could I would freight each syllable of this hasty letter to you with love like a bee returning to his hive with his gills and thighs loaded with honey take it all for yourself Lizzie & all around you.
Ever and even in the dark
Sandusky July 26, 1864
Your favor, Dear Jay, enclosing printed extracts we recd last evening. We were glad to hear that all were well at Washington as well as at the Cedars. What can we do for the relief of Autie Hurd? Homesickness is a most distressing disease. I fear it may have been super induced by the late imminent peril with which her personal liberty & that of those in her charge, has been menaced by the siege & assault on the Capitol. Will it be safe to lock up the house & bring the children away? I fear not. If Mrs. McMeans could be prevailed upon to suspend her visits to the Hospitals & devote her time to the household, Mrs. Hurd might be released.
[Cross-written across this last sentence, the following:]
This clause falling under the eye of your good mother was ordered to be stricken out, which is done accordingly after the manner of the celebrated expunging resolution of the Senate of U.S. You will therefore treat it as expunged.
I hope H.D. will return soon, if nothing can be done with Bonds in Europe and while gold continues to be a mere article of Merchandise. I see not how Europeans can afford to give more than about 40 cents on the dollar for bonds as they can buy greenbacks at that price which can be exchanged at par for bonds. If I reasoned differently the other day in my letter to Wm. G it was for want of a moments reflection for which I pray you to apologize. Still may it not be an object for Govt to sell Bonds in Germany at a very large discount for gold there as one of the means of bumping down the price of gold here.
glad you find the new Secr friendly and trust your prophecies touching the
War and finances will be as well verified as that of your Telegram during the
siege of Washington. That was a day
imminent with peril. And but for the timely arrival of the 6th
Corps of Veterans of which you had doubtless taken some means to be advised
nothing could have saved the Capit
being sacked & captured. This
should be a warning to the Great States North to be prepared with disciplined
and well equipped Minute Men, hereafter. You dont say a word about Jay, Jr. from which I infer that he
has actually again gone to the War. Do
tell me about him. Your good mother
continues to improve. All our several
friends here are well except an ugly cough which troubles me greatly. When will you come? The World seems to be excited about
Gibraltar! The work it is said goes bravely on But they are taking too much
pains with it to get on rapidly.
Glad you are going down to Cape May with Lizzie, Sallie and Harry. Hope you will all be benefited by the visit You said nothing about Mr. Parvin Hence we infer that he is better God grant him a speedy recovery. Not knowing where to direct I must trouble you to forward by your next package the enclosed letter to H.D. I write him because he desires it: not because I have any thing to say can interest him. Give our love to Lizzie and all the children & friends &
believe me as ever your
Sandusky August 5, 1864
My Dear Jay,
& Pitt have just advised me to send a par of my 5/20s $3,000.00 to you by express for
exchange into the New Series of 81s[?].
I had no time when I handed them over to write you particularly about
them, but acted upon their advice knowing that you would allow me the
difference between the accrued interest (gold bearing) in the 2 kinds of
bonds, after deducting commissions
. When the price of gold is 250 it gives an
interest in greenbacks of 15 percent which for the 2 mos greater int on the
5/20s gives a difference of 2 ½ per cent in favor of the 5/20s But I shall be satisfied with any allowance you
may make me for the difference. The
price of gold I fear will be much higher in Novr than Jany in which case I
should be the loser by the exchange and if on the whole you think it not best
to exchange them for 81s[?] please keep them for me I reserved $500, which
with those I send you, constitutes my sole financial wealth and I therefore
feel the necessity of preserving them so that I can be the better able to
travel to & from Philadelphia - & to purchase old rye
& cognac to keep up my spirits as near par as possible during these sad
times of disaster, gloom & terrible depression. Oh! who can coin words or command appropriate
terms, to express the deep dyed [?]
overwhelming infamy & disgrace of the great States of NY & Penn in
not providing in time a well organized thoroughly drilled & equipped
Militia s Of Minute Men ready to repel surround & crush an invading
foe At a Moments Warning. I have
adverted[?] to this before last time the late raid & burning of Chambers Pa[?]. I am madder than ever I understand the
who by their treasonable inaction have invited the invasion are actually
soliciting relief They had better not come to Ohio who at a moments
warning furnished more than 32,000 of her best ?? young
men & sent them to the front No Ohio rejoices over the just retribution
they have received for their stupid & criminal neglect to defend themselves
- & for me I wish the Rebs would burn down every house & factory of
those treasonable members of the Pennsylvania Legislature & their adherents
who last winter refused to place their state in a condition of efficient &
But enough of this I am glad I am too old to travel in Europe avoiding thereby the shame & humiliation of acknowledging myself a citizen of a Republic containing within its limits great States so lost to all honorable patriotism & so criminally regardless of the heritage they received from their fathers When will you come home & rest? Dont place too much confidence in Govt Securites I dont croak to any one but you but I see no light either in the either in the east or in the west for our poor country. Think of this seriously I am right in my apprehensions I know it & beg you to be cautious.
In haste very Affy your old
Pitt sits by - & says I am right
He is a philosopher & enjoys a sort of second sight.
Middle Granville Aug 30, 1864
My Dear Jay
reached here on Sunday morning, having lodged, Saturday night at West
Granville, which had been the scene of several interesting evnts of my early
life. I have no time to give you even
idea of the thronging emotions which this fact[?]
of my visit awakened &inspired. I
rose at daylight walked to the Academy now standing exactly as it did 60
years ago where I won youthful honor; thence to the office where afterwards I
studied law with Stephen; Thence wherever memory directed every where
finding the very air crowded with the spect ers of
friends, once dear now cold - & freighted with memories, pleasant
but mournful to the soul. At 10 am I reached
this sacred spot sacred & dear to me, above all inanimate things on
earth. Having registered my name at the
old hotel first built in 1794 I went into the good old church opposite
taking my seat in the same relative position to the pulpit, which had been
occupied by all our family in the long dim past & yielding myself up to a
flood of memories & reflections which no mortal pen can describe.
the choir struck up a prelude overture full of majesty & entrancing
and as the loftier notes rang around the same walls which 60 years ago were
made vocal with voices now forever silent I could bear the pressure no
longer and gave myself over to
But I will not record the fact that
any thing on earth can unman me.
Most of the day was spent in the cemetery. Yesterday the old homestead was reconnoitered But as my time here is too precious to be wasted in description and as my buggy is waiting at the door to aid me to other explorations I must leave every thing unsaid of what has been seen and & enjoyed, until I see you.
myself by no means unknown among the descendants of my Seniors &
And every body seems anxious to make my stay here as pleasant and profitable as
possible. The good family occupying the
old homestead farm compelled me to dine with them saying they wished me to be
able to tell my children that at this late day I had dined in the same house in
which I had been born. I have eaten early
from the same tree which regaled my appetite in 1794 & drank from the same
spring which quenched my thirst during all my boyhood Blessed be God for
vouchsafing to me this priceless privilege.
Do excuse this wretched scrawl. I could write volumes if time permitted but must close.
I shall tear myself away tomorrow or next day - & come out from the past to the present world again, if possible Many may sneer at what they may call this weakness of mine this passion of visiting old scenes & old graves - & recalling old memories But I envy not their callous insensibility. I would not exchange one hour of the sad but exquisite delight I have enjoyed in wandering down through those deep & solitary cells Where pensive, Heavenly Melancholy directs for ages of that Stoical enjoyment which feeds only upon the chaff & husks of life.
If I can
get time I will give you a more full & satisfactory detail of my insp
I hope your & Dear Lizzie reached home in safety finding all well. Give my love to all.
In great haste
ever very Affy
Sandusky Oct 14, 1864
My Dear Jay
The arrival of your telegraph at about 1 pm on Tuesday, startled your mother, until read. Not thinking it probable that you could have reached Philad she was frightened with apprehension that dear Lizzie was sick or that some other calamity had befallen you. The announcement of your safe arrival filled us with joy & thankfulness.
Wm G & party have just left. They will stay at Cleveland tonight & over Sunday at Pittsburgh & reach Phil on Tuesday. Ever since you left, we have had most delightful clear weather and our regret is that you could not have remained to share in its enjoyment. Wm G could not be persuaded to stay longer, and yet he does not deny that his visit has been a pleasant one.
Your letter also of the 11th is recd for which many thanks. Revd
W. Hendricks is over from the Island today with his wife
& 2 or 3 relatives at Pitts until Tuesday next. H
exchanges with D. Bronson who goes over tomorrow. Your letter to [?] is delivered.
The tower is completed and looks beautiful. I shall try to go over once more before the close of navigation & will report progress.
holds her seat now at the old home How we shall be able to endure the change
I cannot foretell. An occasional letter
from you & H. D. will be
aour only solace. Write as often as you can
I am gradually improving I hope although the old malignant on my arm still remains stubborn & troublesome - & the appetite imperfect.
run out again in Nov? & finish your visit & Hunt
Love to all
P.S. Since writing the above Emilys excellent & welcome letter & your brief note was recd.
We are grieved to hear that Lizzie still remains ill. Give her our love & condolence.
By the by remember very gratefully to your good Mary who so long ministered to my necessities.
Sandusky Novem 6, 1864
My Dear Jay
believe I am your debtor in the letter line, and therefore must write
altho I have no news to communicate.
Our city has, within the last 24 hours, been thrown into an unusual
excitement by Official intelligence of a threatened formidable raid from
Canada: But, as the Daily Register will
inform you of the particulars, it will be no news to you. What think you of the craven[?] daring , and
stupendous fraud of Gov Seymour and his official agents lately practiced upon
the Soldiers? & of the recent developments of the democratic Treason in
Indiana? Is it possible that the few
honest men left in that party can act longer with them? This question will be answered before this
reaches you and the great issue decided, which involves nothing less than the
life or death of the Republic. As the
hour of trial approaches, the patriots mind becomes invested with an awe,
terrible, and almost overwhelming in view of the possible result. Our only reliance in this dread crisis is in
the divine interposition & protecting arm of the God of our Father. Never, since the March of time was first
sounded, in the morning of creation has there been a political or natural
issue, so wholly fraught with weal or woe to our Country to the whole world
and to all the races of mankind that are to succeed us, as that which is to be
decided on Tuesday next. We look to New
York, with doubt & fear, & to old Pennsylvania, only with trembling
hope. I both decide against us we are lost. Not because that will give the traitor Mc
the Majority, but because it will create the occasion of treason in New York
as a rallying point for the Rebels in Canada, and the Armed Conspirators in
Ohio, Indiana & Illinois, with the probable cooperation of the malcontents
enough. If we are not burned out
before, Ms. Cooke,
Clive Mills and others of the party will leave
for Phil. on the 9th. I
cannot leave until all danger is passed. If possible I will come on, the week
leter to Clive
Mills enclosing check for Mrs. Craig was received & extorted much
grateful praise from all the people & the warm & tearful gratitude of
the afflicted & amiable donee. All
hope that the gallant Lieut was alive, had expired until yesterday news
believed to be reliable was recd that he was alive & well in one of the
Southern prisons!!! This has created
As all the party will soon be at Wm Gs you can learn all else of the happenings here.
Give love to all and grateful thanks for many kindnesses.
Ever Affy your father unworthy of such a son
[Undated. Presumably November 20, 1864]
several brief letters of the 9th & 12th were recd
for which many thanks. I have inclosed
herewith a note to your Mother suggesting that she had perhaps better stay
& make her visit for the winter now thus saving the peril & fatigue of
a 2nd journey in which case I will join her I should like to be
in Washington soon after the opening of the next session - & we
return early in January if she desired.
She will show you the proposition Please advise me on the subject, by
return mail so that I can prepare to act accordingly.
election was unlike any other since the founding of the Govt. It decided
nothing merely personally between Lincoln and McClellan. The Cause was everything It decided at
once & forever that the people of the U.S. were a Nation one &
inseparable , now & forever. It
proclaimed in a voice of thunder that the Republic should stand & its enemy
should perish. The Heroism &
patriotism of our countless battlefields have been glorious, but the Heroism of
the American people at the Ballot box on the 8th was sublime. Among its trophies may be ranked the recent
with treason the death of Democracy & slavery neither can ever
raise their head in triumph again
Love to all & many blessings.
Monday eve November 21st 1864
My Dear Jay,
kind letter from N.Y. of the 18th came to hand this morning, bearing
your filial benediction which fell upon my old hea
like dews distilled in Heaven. In my
letter yesterday to your mother I almost complained of you & Pitt for
neglecting me in my solitude but on a second thought fully excused you on the
ground of the constant pressure of your other duties.
I knew you must have been busy but I little thought that you were being tossed about for 10 days like a shuttlecock backwards & forwards, between Philadelphia Washington & New York with a load of ten millions on your back!! & with the additional weight $15,000 a day dropping into and loading down your pockets!!!! Can this be so? Did you purchase of Govt at par & get 1½ premium on Sale? Or buy at 1½ discount? I doubt whether an equally successful financial individual achievement was ever accomplished in the U.S.
I almost hope you will be able to avoid a re-engagement in the old agency business I fear it may impair your health, besides I apprehend the hazard will be greater now than before But if you must you must If you do make the risque[?] & care less if possible, or the charge larger.
I was rejoiced to hear that dear little Harry was better - & that Mother had not lost the good health with which she left Sandusky As long as the pure Brandy lasts I should not hesitate to insure her.
The hour for evening mailing has arrived & I must say goodnight.
I write in the old dining room solitary & alone.
I shall patiently await the decision of Mrs. C on the subject contained in her letter which must determine whether visit Phil this season, or not.
It is too bad that I cannot see you all oftener. But to know what you are - & to muse and dwell & feed upon it is happiness enough for this world.
May God bless you now & forever.