January 4, 1835 letter to James & Sally Harris from Polly Gaylord

January 4, 1835

To:  James & Sally Harris, Comstock, MI

From:  Polly Gaylord, Franklin Mills, OH

Arrived in Franklin Mills, Ohio, nine days after leaving Richfield, New York, and was very seasick on the lake. On October 15, she “ventured my future fortune with a young man of about 27 years of age … by the name of Leister Gaylord.” She hasn’t heard from Richfield since she left. She wrote to Anson October 1 but hasn’t heard back. He was out to Chetaugue after his father and mother after she went away. She got a letter from him a few days before she started and “father and mother request me in Anson’s letter to stay and live with them.” She thinks Anson would have been glad to have her stay and do the work and take care of them but she has never been sorry for leaving. She had nothing but persecution from William Warren who invented all kinds of stories about her.

Scan of 1835-01-04 Polly Gaylord to James & Sally Harris

Franklin     January the 4 1835

Respected friends[1]

After a long silence for which I am hardly able to apologise I now take by pen to write in answer to the letter I received from Lucena[2] last August a few days before I started for this place. Then I neglected through hurry of business to write immediately back thinking when I arrived here I should have more news and more leisure. But when I arrived here which was the 27th of August after a tedious journey of nine days from Richfield through which I had good success excepting that I was verry sea sick on the lake. After I arrived here I waited three or four weeks in order to get my mind settled and make some calculation for living but in the mean time my mind became more unsettled than before till about the 15th of October at which time I ventured my future fortune with a young man of about 27 years of age of good report in this place by the name of Leister Gaylord. Since that time I have been waiting to have him determine where he should settled down. He has at length purchased a small place of about 40 acres with 15 acres of improvement a log house and barn, a thrifty young orchard of about 100 trees large enough to bear. We are about 30 miles south of Cleveland and about 2½ miles from Franklin Mills and about 4 and ½ miles from Ravenna which is the County seat – I like this part of the country verry well. We have a mild winter. We have had a little snow 6 times the deepest not to exceed 3 inches. The ground is bear the most of the time. I have not much news to write excepting what immediately concerns myself and family. I have not heard from Richfield since I came from there. I wrote to Anson the first of October but have received no answer. He was out to Chetaugue after his father and mother when I came away he had been gone about four weeks. I received a letter from him a few days before I started. He advised me not to start on acount of the Cholera. It raged in Buffalo and Cleveland and some other places when I came thro but we escaped and have enjoyed good health ever since you left me. I dont know of any thing in particular that happend worth relating after you went away excepting that Mrs Cook died I think in June. Father and mother request me in Ansons letter to stay and live with them. They thought they could do so well by me that it would be better for me than it would to go to the Ohio but I thought I knew father so well I had better not stay. I suppose Anson would have been glad to have had me stayed and done their work and took care of them but I have never been sorry for one moment that I came away. I met with nothing but persecution from William Warren. He told all manner of stories he could invent and they were principally laid to Nabby[3] and Lucena. I left there and left old mother Brighum and Augustus Cary sole managers of Mr Warrens business for about four weeks before came away. Wm Warren and I parted on unfriendly terms and miss Miller was as unfriendly to all appearance as he was for they seemed to be both one in all things.  I heard of their talking verry bad about Nabby and Lucena after they went away and old mother Brigham helped against them and me two. All she could invent she and Mr Warren were verry intimate indeed but I left them to their own Destruction and have not heard from them since. I sold my things as well as I expected it cost me 27 dollars to move out here and I had 15 dollars left when I got here. Father and mother live with Joseph Foster. Abner and his wife live with us. They are building a little distance where he takes a farm for three years of more. Lucy,s lameness continues about same. Ambrose came came in company with us to Cleveland. He has moved to the town of Broom in Seneca County about 100 and 20 miles from this. My children are well and my friends join with me in remembering their respects to your whole family. I do not want you should neglect writing to me because I delayed so long for I have been the more particular now I have written. Write as soon as you receive this and write as often as you can. I can assure you I shall ever be glad to hear from you and hope I shall yet again see you all. I must draw to a close by remembering my love to you all to Mr and Mrs Harris in particular and I remain yours ever with respect to your whole family.

I have never got any thing of Lebeus Loomis for making that shirt he swore that he paid Mr Harris the 50 cents and Mr Harris agreed to turn it to Lucy when he got to Eden

Polly Gaylord

[to] James and Sally Harris

PS when you write to me please to Direct to Leister Gaylord, Franklin Mills, Portag Co[4]


[1] James & Sally (Hodge) Harris

[2] Lucena (Harris) Brockway, James & Sally’s daughter

[3] Abigail (Harris) Bristol, James & Sally’s daughter

[4] Franklin Mills is now known as Kent, and is located in Portage County, Ohio

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