June 24, 1838 letter to Luke Keith from A. T. Jones

June 24, 1838

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr., Pavilion, NY

From: A. T. Jones, Comstock, MI

Is living with Grandmother. She has gone up to “your fathers.” Catherine said that Luke was getting homesick and was coming back to Michigan. There have been 20 weddings in three months. Caroline Willcutt is to be married. Catherine and Aunt Nancy, “the two widdows”, are trying to catch Norman Demmon for a husband. Mrs. Betsy Lee had three of her ribs broken by a kick from the old cow. Harvey is doing well since he got to be Esquire Keith. Catherine wants Luke to come live with her; she doesn’t like living alone. Uncle Alvan’s wife died the 8th of March; she left him with four little children. He lives about seven miles north of Rochester.

1838-06-24  1838-06-24C 1838-06-24D

Comsock         June 24, 1838

Luke Keith Esqr[1]

Sir haveing good chance to send a few lines to you I shall try to improve the time and not wait any longer for you to write first, but if you get this you must send me an answer soon or I shal think you dont do the fair thing but wee will see what sort of letter it will be, not one of mutch sence I will assure you. I am now living down in the timber with Grandmother and as happy as a king. I have got a garden of about two acres which make me about as mutch work as I want to do but you know that I am a lazy chap but I have no one to drive me but it is hurrying times now with the farmers around here and every one wants to hire so I work out once in while a day. It is a fine day to day so but rather windy. I am all alone to day the old lady has gone up to your fathers[2] and around about there to see the folks. Luke if you was here to day we would have a tune or two as I have got violin and a good German Flute. I am trying to learn to play on the fiddle but it wants fixing up before it can be played atall and I want you should com out here as soon as you can and fix it for me. We was up to your Fathers Fryday. Catharine[3] told me that you was a getting home sick and was a coming back to Michigan and I was verry glad to hear it and I hope you keep sick until you come. Times have alterd some since you was here. We have had some new comers here in the timber. There has been as many as 20 weddings in this town within three months but none that you are acquaintted with but we soon shall have one, that is Caroline Willcut[4]. The two widdows Catherine[5] and aunt Nancy are on a strife to see which shall have Norman Demmon but I gues he will take them both for they wont either of them give up. Luke you ought to be here to have some of the fun. Luke I am a going to writ a little more on this side for fear you cant read the other. It now about two oclock and I am a going down to Mr. Lee’s[6] in a few moments to see the sick. Mrs Betsy Lee[7] had three of her ribs broken about three since by a kick from there old cow which makes it prety hard for Mr Lee. The rest of the people are well. We have had no death sinc you was here excepting Teadway which you have likely herd of. Harvy[8] is a doing well since he has got to be esqr Keith. His things are increasing both in house out doors. It is a pitty he haddent been put in esqr before that is in family concerns. Catherine is a going to keeping house this fall and you had better come out here and live with her and then you can work at your trad or on a farm jest as you please but you mus live with her for she cant stand it to live there alone. She has got about an acre of wheat and half an acre of rutabagas a growing which will make bread enough stuff enough for her cow next winter so you will live like pigs in the clover but I need not medle with that which is none of my business but she wants you should come and live with her. She thinks she should enjoy heself better in her own house than she does at her Fathers. I shant writ mutch more for the more I write the worse it looks but if you can read this you send me one and then I will try do a little better. It was lonsone times for a spell aft you went away that is with me but I made a live of it and heard that you was a coming again so have got me Flut to ready for you to come. We have had a letter from Uncl Alvan[9] this spring. His wife died the 8th of March left him with four little children. He will be out here in agust. You had better come with him. He lives about 7 miles north of Rochester. I must begin to wind off. You must be carefull not set up to late nights especelly Sunday nights for that makes a fellow sleppy Monday morning. Speak a good word for me to some one for they are all gone here cant get one long enough to go to independence so I shall try to harve(st) and hoe my watermellons. If you cant read this send it back and I will send you annother but if you can send me an answer. So fare yo well for the presant.

Your most obedient and humble servant A T Jones[10]

To th Hon Luke Keith esq.

P.S. I shall send this letter by Mr Watkins if see him if not by the maile.

Yours VP A T Jones

Luke Keith esqr

There is a good deal of an ending to this letter but you know how it ought to be don so I dont care play fair well Ginsok forme

[1] Charles Luke Keith Jr. went by the name of Luke as did his father, Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[2] Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[3] Luke’s sister, Catherine (Keith) Bradley

[4] Caroline Wolcott married James Earl October 10, 1839. Caroline and Luke were first cousins, both being the grandchildren of Jesse and Katherine (Beal) Willcutt. Various members of the Willcutt line changed the spelling to Wolcott

[5] Perhaps this refers to Catherine (Keith) Bradley. Her husband, Ethan Bradley, died October 9, 1835

[6] Ezekiel Lee, son of Charles and Rhoda (Keith) Lee; Rhoda was Luke’s aunt

[7] Elizabeth (Strong) Lee, Ezekiel’s first wife

[8] Luke’s brother, Harvey Keith

[9] Alvan Turner, Luke’s first cousin, the son of Asa and Lydia (Willcutt) Turner

[10] Have not been able to establish a blood relationship between A. T. (or A. F.) Jones and the Keiths. The 5-27-1838 letter suggests that he is living with Aunt Lydia, the 6-24-1838 letter from A. T. Jones says his is living with “Grandmother,” and the 5-23-1847 letter says that “A. T. Jones lives with Mr. Wells down below Lees.” A search of the census records shows an Asa F. Jones living with Harvey Keith in 1850

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