May 6, 1848 letter to Charles Luke & Jerusha Keith Jr. from Dwight Crittenden

May 6, 1848

To: Charles Luke & Jerusha Keith Jr.

From: Dwight Crittenden, Albion, MI

Father has sold his farm in Hanover and bought again in Concord.

Scan of 1848-05-06 Dwight Crittenden to Charles Luke Keith

Albion May 6th /48

Worthy Uncle & Aunt[1]

I take this oportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that I have not forgtten you entirely. My health is quite good at present. Ellen[2] is now here attending school. I think I shall stay here this summer with Scranton & Dean.

I was at home last Sunday. Our Folks wer all well. Father[3] has sold his Farm in Hanover to Mr Hale for $2200 and bought again in Concord. He Recd a letter afew days since from Uncle English[4] statng that his share of the Estate was sold to Mr C____ for $1103. He will start for Covington next Monday and will probably be back in about two weeks. Uncle Henries[5] health is very poor, the rest of the friends are well. I have herd nothing from Saline[6] since you was here last winter. I hope you will write me on the receipt of this and let me know how homesick you are. I hope you will Excuse this scrawl for I have nothing to write with but a miserable old steel pen.

Respetfuly yours

Dwight Crittenden[7]

——-

[1] Charles Luke Keith Jr. and Jerusha Crittenden, Luke’s second wife; they were married July 25, 1847

[2] Ellen Crittenden, Dwight’s sister

[3] John Crittenden, Jerusha’s brother

[4] Charles English, husband of Clarissa (Crittenden) English, Jerusha’s sister

[5] Henry Crittenden, Jerusha’s brother

[6] Saline, Michigan, where various family members lived

[7] Dwight was the son of Jerusha’s brother John Crittenden

July 25, 1847 letter to Charles Luke Keith Jr. from Harvey Keith

July 25, 1847

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr., Pavilion, NY

From: Harvey Keith, Comstock, MI

Has been very warm and wet, so much so that wheat is growing in the shock. Would like a first rate set of wagon arms and boxes. Wants to know when Luke is coming home.

Scan of 1847-07-25 Harvey Keith to Charles Luke Keith Jr

Comstock July 25th/47

Luke I Receved your letter in due season. You wished me to see Cathrine in regard to Clapps concern. Clapp has not got back yet. He said he would write to him. Whether he has or not I dont know. Father wants you to pay her what he owz & he will pay you when you get here. Father & Mother[1] is quite sick with the ague or chill fever. They have not been sick but a few days. Mrs Zeiglar is quite sick chill fever other wise it is very healthy for this season of the year. It is very warm & very wet so much so that wheat is groing in the shock. I have been to Fathers to day. His is all grown together. The best crop we have had in some time. I am to work on the mill. We are getting along very well with it. Mr Hunt has burried his wife this sumer. I have been thinking of sending & have you get me a set of waggon arms & boxes. They make such work here casting they are not worth much. If you can get me a set and get them turn’d or fitted up & have any way to bring them I should like it. You may do as you think best. I want a first rate set.

Mrs Starr[2] is here. She came here this moring. I send this by her. When you write me again say what time you will probably be at home & when you get to the burgh[3] call at the mill. I shall probably be there if nothing happens. Mother wants you should see Westly[4] & have him write to her. Give my respects to Wetly. Tell him he must stick to his trade and be steady get it learnt and go into some good place & set up for him self. Give my respects to James & family & to all others that may enquire after me.

Yours &c

Harvey Keith

——-

[1] Charles Luke Sr. and Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[2] Presumably his mother-in-law, Alfleda Starr

[3] Galesburg, Michigan

[4] John Wesley Keith, Harvey’s & Luke’s adopted brother

The Alphadelphia Association

alphadelphia_association

The Alphadelphia Association

The Alphadelphia Association was established in Galesburg, Michigan, in 1844. A German, Dr. H. R. Schetterly, was the leader. Three thousand acres of land were purchased, and a large mansion was built. At one time probably 300 members were admitted. The common property was valued at $43,897.21 in 1846. It was disbanded in 1848.

Two of the primary founders were the Rev. Richard Thornton, and the Rev. James Billings, both Universalist preachers. They published the Association’s paper, the Alphadelphia Tocsin, from 1844 to 1846.

The association was founded on the principles set forth by French socialist Charles Fourier which combined a belief in the possibilities of scientific evolution and social progress and the sense that ridding the world of evil would inaugurate a “reign of Social Harmony” that would hasten, according to the members of such groups as Alphadelphia, the coming millennium or the thousand year reign of Christ on earth.

The constitution for Alphadelphia was drawn up in December 1843 by a small group of individuals from various Michigan counties. These same selected members for a site committee to search out a suitable location for their home. Some partially cultivated acreage in Kalamazoo County seemed ideal for their purposes. The land was cut across by the Kalamazoo River and close by the anticipated completion of the Michigan Central Railroad tracks. Those who owned land on the site were encouraged to join the organization.

In the spring of 1844 a barracks for living quarters was built. There would also soon be a saw mill for the timber on the land, a blacksmith shop, and a printing office. From this latter office, the Alphadelphia members printed the Alphadelphia Tocsin and a journal, the Primitive Expounder.

Alphadelphia lasted but four years and really flourished only for one year until 1845. Some members left because of poor economic conditions and their sense that they could better themselves elsewhere. Internal dissensions also tore at the organization with charges of mismanagement and the shortage of cash to do business and to pay taxes. Alphadelphia ceased functioning, according to their records, in 1848.

More information on the Alphadelphia Association can be seen here.

May 23, 1847 letter to Charles Luke Keith Jr. from Harvey Keith

May 23, 1847

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr., Pavilion, NY

From: Harvey Keith, Comstock, MI

Jane Earl died Friday morning. The sore on Alfleda’s foot has pretty much healed. She has not done a day’s work since February. He is going to be working in the flowery mill. Galesburgh is growing. Alonzo Matthews sold his farm to Mr. Percival and it has been laid out into village lots. They have sold all south of the railroad and some north. Frank Clark is going to put up a brick tavern. Marion Wilcut married Mr. Rice from Illinois last Sunday. Harvey’s son Ruel lived only five weeks.

Scan of 1847-05-23 Harvey Keith to Charles Luke Keith Jr

Comstock, May 23rd /47 Sunday afternoon[1]

I have been trying ever since I got your last letter to get time to write but something happens every Sunday so that I could not get time. I have been to work all the forenoon and ought to be this after part ‑ we are generally enjoying good health here now. Jane Earl has been sick this sometime. She died at Charles Whitcombs Friday morning. Alfleda[2] has begun to step on her foot again. She has not done a days work since the first of Feb. The sore is pretty much healed up. I am to work in Galesburgh this summer on a flowery mill Ford Mills & Batt ar building for two run of stone. I get 10/- cash & my Board. Galesburgh is coming up this summer. Alonzo Mathews has sold his farm to Mr Percival. Has had it laid out into village lots. Has sold all south of the Rail Road and some north. Frank Clark is going to put up a brick tavern house in front of the old log house. He gave $.100 for the lot to build on. Henry D was down last Monday. He is the same old Henry. We have had a verry Backward Spring. People have not got their planting done yet. Father[3] ploughed his ground last fall & has got it planted. He has planted fifteen acres. It rains here about half of the time. Wheat looks verry well this Spring. Westly[4] wants to know what kind of a cake mother[5] wants. She says if he sends it she wants it sweetened but if he brings it she will take it without sweetning. Henrys health is verry good this sprig. Jo live in the old log house. Mr. Tubbs and Jake are in the other. Mead has gone to Ingham County. Crid & Taylor stay in the Manshion[6] yet. I have been building a hog power for Crid this spring. Alphadelphia[7] remains the same a usual. Ford has been trying to get his place back but has not brought it about yet. He offerd $.6.000 Stock for it and wanted the buildigs moved back on to it again and we wont stand that no how ‑ we had better set fire to the building than try to move them for the will hardly stand where they are. We have sold the square timber & old lumber to Mart and Nelson for about $1.80. Marion Wilcut[8] was married last Sunday to a Mr Rice[9] from Illinois. He came here last fall. They are going to start for the west in a few days. Groves goes with them. Uncle warren[10] is to work with me on the mill. Ezekiel was to have started last Thursday for the far west. Have not heard whether he has gone or not. Aunt Salina live with James on the widdow Earls place. Marquis Lee[11] has just been here. They are going to start tomorrow. The boys feel like death to go away. Mark says he had rather die. You mentioned in your last something about going into business when you get back. If I should go in with you I think we could do better here than at the Burgh for this reason. Here we could keep cows horses hogs & sheep if we wanted to but over thare we should have every thing to buy. We can get all the work to do here that we could do & we could do no more any whar else. I have Been down to Joes. He says tell Luke heis tinding Juliette this summer. He has got a pen built & keeps him shut up all the time. You said you had forgotten the name Alfleda hat laid up for the boy. We calld him Ruel but he lived only five weeks.[12] You say that when you come back you come double.[13] I should like to know in what way you in tend to double up. I have heard of animils doubling up and sticking their nose in their …. A. T. Jones[14] lives with Mr. Wells down below Lees. I saw him last Sunday. His health is about the same. Cathurnce[15] & family are well. Aunt Rhoda[16] has gone to Gull to live. There is a prospect of plenty of fruit this season. Wheat is slling at Battlecreek for $.100 in cash. Father is going to cary his there about 50 bushels.

Write when you get readdy. Our respects to all. Tell James to write som day.

Yours When you get it

Harvey Keith

——-

[1] The letter was folded in such a way that it made its own envelope. It was addressed to C. L. Keith, Pavilion, Genessee Co., N York. Charles Luke Keith Jr. went by the name of Luke as did his father, Charles Luke Keith Sr.

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

[3] Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[4] Luke and Harvey’s adopted brother, John Wesley Keith

[5] Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[6] Most likely referring to the Alphadelphia Association mansion

[7] See next page following for a brief description of the Alphadelphia Association

[8] Luke’s and Harvey’s first cousin, Marion Willcutt, daughter of Warren Willcutt and Electa Damon

[9] Elijah Rice

[10] Warren Willcutt

[11] Luke’s and Harvey’s cousin, Marquis La Fayette Lee, son of Charles and Rhoda (Keith) Lee

[12] Ruel was born March 6, 1844 and died in April 1844

[13] Luke married Jerusha Crittenden on July 25, 1847 so perhaps this is what he was referring to

[14] 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 is living with Harvey Keith in 1850

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

[16] Luke’s & Harvey’s paternal aunt, Rhoda (Keith) Lee

December 13, 1846 letter to Charles Luke Keith Jr. from Harvey Keith

December 13, 1846

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr., Pavilion, NY

From: Harvey Keith, Comstock, MI

Gives a brief account of what has been going on since Luke left. There have been some deaths and some marriages. Smallpox has broken out in the area. Was to Flanders and saw Henry. He “wants to see you Louis Grandma Payson.” There was a meeting of the Alphadelphia Association and some want to divide the land.

Scan of 1846-12-13 Harvey Keith to Charles Luke Keith Jr

Comstock Dec 13th/46

You will discover by this that I am in Mich. We got your letter yestrdy which found us all in very good health. Father[1] has been unwell a few days back with a bad cold but has got pretty much over it now. I got home the third day of Nov about eight oclock in the morney just in time to vote. We have had first rate weather for business this fall but I have not done any thing but rig up a place for my cattle mud up my house &c. I am going tomorrow to work on Cooleys mill up at Dibbles place. I will give you a short history of what has takes place in this part since you left.[2] There has been some deaths & some marriages. Eli Clintons wife & her twin brothers are all dead. Dict Harrises wife Died the day before I came home. Hannah Low is married to Silas Low. Widdow Whitcom is married to Braddock Baley and moved up to his place.

We are having in this place what the Doctors call the small pox. Lyman Bacon & family have been to Indiania on a visit this fall came home three weeks ago on their way home stop’d at Charls Galligans staid all night. He was then braking out with the disorder gave gave it to two of the children one of Charles & one of his Brothers that lives in the house with him. There is none others got it yet. Bacon did not know what was the matter with him.

You wanted to know how the old cow gets along. She has not got a calf yet dont think she will have before Feb. Mother[3] & Wes[4] made a bet before he left. She says he must get the biscuit ready. He bet she would give milk by the first of Dec. Mother says tell Wes he must write to them and let them know what he is doing.

I have been down to Flanders.[5] Henry[6] says he wants to see you Louis[7] Grandma Payson.[8] He has had the ague considerable this fall by spells. He is having it now. Flanders says he has not got any pay from those demands you left. I want you should make a pattern for the axletree to my waggon and bring with you if you come home in the spring. John Earl was here to day. Says he wishes you wer here to build him a waaggon. They have not got their works to going yet. They cant get their Engine. It was to have bee here the middle of Oct. Their boiler has got here. They have a grist mill saw mill & Distilery all to go by one Engine. David Smith has bot Capt Thayers place on the Indian field the place that Ruel Starr[9] first bot. I have not seen him. R. S. Clapp has not got back nor I dont know when he is coming back. Alphadelphia[10] remains about the same. We had a meeting the other day. Some were for dividing the land according to the stock others not. Ransom thinks that Bond a good one. He says he is not going to divide his farm but is in favour of wating a while longer pay up the Vandewalker Mortgage and then put that Bond into the mill and see what they can make out of it. But for my part I am willing or would rather have ten acres. I know it was mine and to have it lay along in this way for a number of years. Crid lives in the old printing office cooks and eats his own Bread and Diner. Cooks it all on the _____ stove. Father has been down in the woods to day. They are all well. I have not been there since I got home. You say you have sold your knife for fifteen shilings. I dont think you got pay for making it. I keep mine yet.

You say that Mr Starrs family are all well but Orson. We did not know that he was in that part of the country. I saw him the fore part of Sept said he was going to the coppe contry to spend the winter. Write to me let me know how long he has been thare and whether he went to the copper mines. I dont think of any thing more to write this time. Give our respects to all the friends in Pavillion.

Yours When you get it

Harvey Keith

——-

[1] Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[2] After Luke’s wife, Minerva (Payson) Keith died on August 29, 1843, it appears as though he traveled back to Pavilion, New York, once or twice. His daughter, Lois, was living with her grandmother there until he could get settled again. It is also possible that he was courting his second wife, Jerusha Crittenden, at this point

[3] Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[4] John Wesley Keith; Bible records indicate that he was adopted

[5] After Charles Luke Keith Jr.’s first wife, Minerva (Payson) Keith, died, Joseph & Amanda (Hobbs) Flanders took in their children, Henry and Lois Keith. From letters from that time, it would appear that Lois was then sent to Minerva’s parents while Henry lived with the Flanders family. According to Carol Boyer, the Flanders raised Henry even after Luke married his third wife, Sarah (Crawford) Keith. They wanted to adopt Henry but Luke said no; however, it looks like he lived with them throughout his youth. This seems to be corroborated by the 1860 census showing “Henry L Flanders,” who I believe was actually Henry L. Keith, age 16, living with Joseph & Amanda. From a picture album, written above Mary Flanders’ picture, it was written: Mary & Edwin Flanders raised Lois & Henry after their mother Minerva died until Luke married Jerusha Crittenden. However, Edwin Flanders was born 10-7-1837 and Henry was born 8-20-1843, so that is obviously wrong

[6] Luke’s son, who was about 3-1/2 years old

[7] Luke’s daughter, was was about 6-1/2 years old

[8] Research continues as to “Grandma Payson”

[9] Harvey was married to Alfleda Starr so perhaps this is one of her relatives

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