June 1, 1834 letter to Charles Luke Keith Jr. from Harvey Keith

June 1, 1834

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr., Pavilion, NY

From: Harvey Keith, Comstock, MI

Father and Catherine arrived the 18th of May. Father bought 160 acres. Hears that Luke wants to go to “the Illinois” but Harvey wants him to come out to Michigan first and then if he doesn’t like it he can go further west. The apple tree grafts that he brought from Covington are alive and he has set them in the roots of a large apple tree he found in town which was set out by the French or the Indians. He is building a log house, which is the custom of the area. “Mother will have to live between Martin and Jesse Turner when she comes.”

Scan of 1834-06-01 Harvey Keith to Charles Luke Keith Jr

Comstock Kalamazoo M.I.

Dear Brother[1]

I now take this oppertunity to write a few lines to you to let you know that we are all well and hope these few lines will find the people all well in Covington[2]. Father[3] and Catherine[4] got here the 16th of may. They had a verry pleasant time up the lake. They took bad colds coming up the lake but have got over them now. Father like the country verry much. He has bought 160. acres of land forty of it is within one quarter of a mile of my place. He has gone to work on it. The rest lies two miles off. He has got the best timber I have seen in the teritorry. Father tells me that you talk of going to the Illinois in the fall. I think you had best come here. You can do as well here as in the Illinois. Come out this fall. We will get out some timber this winter for waggons. Here will be a good place for a waggon maker in a short time. You had best not go to the Illinois a lone. If you should be taken sick in that country amongst strangers you know not what may become of you. At any rate if you go come this way. It is about as near as any way and then if you dont like this place you can go father west. Ethan[5] has taken a job of chopping and clearing ten acres for 90 Dollars. The man finds team and boards him. He has got it partly choped. He has planted about two acres on his place. That is all he could get ploughed. I have not ploughed any except a garden. My apple trees lived that I brought from Covington. I have got about thirty grafts alive that I set in the roots of an appletree that I found her in this town. It was a large tree set out by the french or Indians. I dug up the roots and grafted them. I shall soon have apples here though not before another sumer I dont expect. I want you should save me some grass seeed red top I want. You will find it in James lots. I want about a quart if you can possably find it and send it by Father and send me some white clover seed if you can get it. I have not got in to my house yet. I could not get lumber till last week. I shall get into it this week I think. I am building a log house. That is the custom of this country. I have sold my mare and I think I shall sell the horse tomorrow. There is a man wants him. The people are all well here that you know any thing about except the Austins people. Mr Austin an Ben have the ague this spring. Mr Crane and his wife have been here to day. Give my respects to all the folk in Covington that say any thing about me. Tell Marion[6] I have her letter she sent me and was glad to see it. I should write to some of the rest but I send it by Mr Tubs and dont want to load him down with letters. Tell mother[7] she will have to live between Jesse and Martin Turner[8] when she comes to Comstock. I cant think of any more this time so good by. Write to me the first oppertunity.

Sunday afternoon Jun 1st 1834

Yours &c[9] Harvey Keith

[to] Luke Keith Jr

Alfleda[10] say there is some pretty girls and you had best come out here and see them. There is one girl coming here this fall that has got _____ acres of land lying close to mine and perhaps you might get you a farm verry easy. He name is Alvira Tubs.

H Keith


[1] Charles Luke Keith Jr., referred to, and better known, as Luke, was 20 years old at the time

[2] Covington, New York

[3] Charles Luke Keith Sr., also known as Luke

[4] Harvey’s and Luke’s sister, Catherine (Keith) Bradley

[5] Catherine’s husband, Ethan Bradley

[6] Perhaps he is refering to Marion Wolcott, their first cousin, who also lived in Covington, and was nine years old at the time. They were all grandchildren of Jesse and Katherine (Beal) Willcutt Jr.

[7] Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[8] Brothers Jesse and Martin Turner were also grandchildren of Jesse and Katherine (Beal) Willcutt Jr.

[9] Etc.

[10] Harvey’s wife, Alfleda (Starr) Keith

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