August 19, 1844 letter to Charles Luke & Hannah Keith Sr. from Matthew Keith

August 19, 1844

To: Charles Luke & Hannah Keith Sr, Covington, NY

From: Matthew Keith, Winfield, NY

Received their letter and would have been glad to meet them at Covington, but cannot because money is very tight. They have received word that his wife’s oldest brother is not well and that they should come see him. If they do, they shall go in September and be gone about 15 days. He has had to pay out $250.00 in 18 months and he has lost a debt of $280.00 in Illinois. He has given away his Michigan land to his children. Has looked at the constitution of the Alphadelphia Association and is a little afraid of it, but would like Luke to send him the papers when it gets in operation.

Scan of 1844-08-19 Matthew Keith to Luke & Hannah Keith

Winfield[1] August the 19th 1844

Dear Brother and Sister[2]

I once more take my pen to let know how we do. We are waneing out Pretty fast. My own health has Been very poor for a month past. I feel almost worn out. I received your letter in due time and was glad to hear that are well. I should Been exceeding glad to have accepted your invitation to meet you at Coventon.[3] Money is very hard for me to get. If I had your letter three days sooner I should have come. Miss Keiths[4] Oldest brother Jarvis [or family?] is quite low. They have sent for to come and see him. I sent word only three days Before I got your letter. It is not certain that we shall go. If we do we shall go the first of Sept and Be gone about 15 days. I should have Been exceeding glad to had you and your wife made us a visit. I do not mutch think I shall ever see you again. Time grow Darker every day. We had laid out next summer to have come to michigan. I have had to pay two hundred and fifty dollars in about 18 months. I had it to live and it must be paid soon. I have just heard that I have lost a Debt in Illinois of 280 dollars which I expected was safe and was looking for the money or apart of it every day to help me out of my troubles but it is gone for ever. I have given away My Michigan lands to my children in order to get rid of that trouble 7 lots I have one yet. Our friends have one. All well as usual. I looked at your constitution[5] not as mutch as I mean to do. I am alittle afraid of it but I hope you will Prosper in it. Give our Best love to Esqr Spouge[6] and family and to sister Lee[7] and your children. When you get home send me some of your papers when they get in opperation.


Matthew Keith

to Luke and Hannah Keith


[1] The back of the letter, which was folded so as to make its own envelope, shows “Winfield N.Y. Aug 19,” and is addressed to “Luke Keith, Coventon, Genesee County N.Y., Pavillion Post Office”

[2] Charles Luke Keith Sr., who went by the name of Luke, and Hannah Willcutt.

[3] Covington, New York. Luke and Hannah were living in Michigan at the time of this writing, but it appears that they were visiting relations in New York

[4] His wife, Lucretia (Jepson) Keith

[5] The Alphadelphia Association. See page following the May 23, 1847 letter for a brief description of the Alphadelphia Association

[6] James Sprague, husband of Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague, Luke and Hannah’s daughter

[7] Luke’s and Matthew’s sister Rhoda (Keith) Lee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s