September 25, 1849 letter to Luke Keith from Joel James

September 25, 1849

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr.

From: Joel W. James, Charlestown, OH

He was at Uncle Jason’s for 3 weeks because of his wife’s illness. She had the ague on the way to Michigan. Joel was 33 years old yesterday. Mother wants him to tell Aunt Hannah about John’s affairs. She was opposed to John’s and Catherine’s match up. Catherine was determined to have John and did everything in her power to get him. She has apparently left him. Sends regards to Aunt Lydia. Wants to know how Uncle Warren is. Wants Luke to find out if Catherine intends to come back because John wants to know. Joel lives in Garretts­ville, Ohio, but is staying at his father’s in Charlestown to help him shingle the house.

1849-09-25 1849-09-25B 1849-09-25C 1849-09-25D

Charlestown Sept 25 / 49

Respected Friend

It being a rainy morning so that I could not attend meeting: I thought I could spend some time vary agreeably in writing you a few lines. Altho passing twice through your town I did not have the plasure of calling upon you: The first time I should have stoped but for my hurry and the expectation that I should call on my return. Having anticipated much pleasure in making all my friends a viset I was doomed to be disapointed, having taken a Ticket at Millwaukee for Detroit thinking that I could get a permit to stop; But I was disappointed so that I could not without some 8 or 10 dollars expense which I was then not able to do. If life and health is spared I intend to make you a call next summer; My health is not vary good. I have the Ague[1] occasionaly which is not vary agreeable. Father[2] and Mother[3] and all the family are as well as comon; It is a general time of health in these parts. There is but little fruit here this season. Wheat come in poor it was badly hurt by the rust; corn & Potatoes look well. 11 Oclock and it continues to rain. It is probably the beginning of the live storme as we call it. I like to have forgotten to say that I was at Uncle Jason,s[4] some three weeks on account of the ill health of my Wife[5]; she had the Ague before we started and every other day on the way to Michigan. On that account and for some other reasons I thought best to sell my Horse and Carriage and make use of other menes that we might accelerate our journey. We found Uncle Jason him and family well. We found Uncle Jason him as cheerful as ever full of life and glee. But old Time with his Locomotive powers is a conveying us along one and all to that bourne from whence no travellor returnes. Yesterday I was 33 years old; surely our life is but a vapor which appears for a little while and then vanisheth away.

Mother wants I should write a wourd for har to Aunt Hannah.[6] Time and trouble is makeing an impression upon har which is plain to be seen. It regards Johns[7] affars. She has been blamed vary little by those who were best acquainted with the circumstances: she was strongly opposed to the match and said everything that could be said in opposition to it but all to no avail. Catharine was determined to have John and she accomplished har end. And I say it understandingly and knowing what I say that Catharine never would of had John had she not made use of every means in har power to have accomplished it; even by saying that har hapiness presant and future depended upon it. Yet for all this Mother will pass it all by say nomore if she will come back and do as she should do. But I hope that John will act the man so much that he will not go for har until she is willing to return. Not to live in the house with Father and Mother I do not say; for John has a house engagued until he can build which he will do as soon as Catharine will assist him. John has property and has not put it out of his hands as Aunt Electa[8] has reported. And he can make a home comfortable and who is to blame for Catharines not enjoying it. And who is to blame for har presant circumstances no one but har self all this is true and can be proven if necessary. Mother sends her respects to Uncle Luke[9] Aunt Hannah Aunt Lydia[10] and all the Relatives and friends. Give my respects to all who inquire after me. This from your friend; Joel W. James[11]

Luke Keith Jr.[12]

I wish you would write on the reception of this, and write all the perticulars; write how Uncle Warren[13] and family are a getting along; ascertain and write whether Catharine intends to come back to the place and Oblige John for he wants to know.

My residence is in Garrettsville. I am in Charlestown now at Fathers helping Shingle over the house.

No more at presant. J. W. James

P.S. Direct your letters to Garrettsville Portage Co. Ohio

[1] Chills and fever

[2] Aaron James

[3] Irena (Willcutt) James

[4] Jason Wolcott, Irena’s brother (many Willcutts changed the spelling of their last name to Wolcott)

[5] Lucy (Tilden) James

[6] Luke’s mother, Hannah (Willcutt) Keith

[7] Joel’s brother, John James

[8] Their uncle Warren Willcutt’s wife, Electa (Damon) Willcutt

[9] Luke’s father, Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[10] Presume he is referring to their aunt Lydia (Willcutt) Turner

[11] Luke’s mother, Hannah (Willcutt) Keith, and Joel’s mother, Irena (Willcutt) James, were sisters

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

[13] Warren, Irena, Jason, Hannah and Lydia were all sons and daughters of Jesse Willcutt and Katherine Beal

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