December 28, 1857 letter to Luke Keith from Charles R. Cridland

December 28, 1857

To: Luke Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Charles R. Cridland, Delaware, KS

He is quite disappointed because the goods that Luke sent only made it as far as Lexington but wasn’t able to go any further because ice closed the river, so now he probably won’t get them until spring. His brother was able to send him a machine from Ohio. He hasn’t made any brooms yet as he is waiting for a barrel, which his neighbor promised to get him, to hold water to dip the corn in. His wife is upset because she hasn’t received her rolling pin, washboard, and other things.

Delaware December 28. 57

Dear Sir

I received a letter from you dated Oct 12th in which you stated that you should send the things you had been getting for me in the course of the week. I wrote to you in reply, and requested you to try to do some thing for me in relation to disposing of the stove and furniture I left in Michigan. I have been much disappointed in not hearing anything from you.

The things you sent me met with the same fate which I have so much dreaded, and which I did my best to caution you against but I have no doubt you did the best you could for me, and so it can’t be helped. I wish you had sent me a line at the time you shipd them, for then I should have written to St Louis to have them attended to, but as I did not hear from you, I thought perhaps you did not make out to send them so soon as you expected. I have written to St Louis and find that they were shipd from there on the 12th November and got so far up the river as Lexington when they met the ice and were unable to proceed any further, so the Boat unloaded her cargo at that place, and made haste back lest she should be cought frozen up in the river. So I can not get them until the river opens up in the spring. The river was closed only about a week when the weather changed & it has been open ever since, and a good many boats have since come through from St Louis. Had my things been shipd a few days earlier or later I should perhaps have got them, in order to be sure. My Brother in Ohio had suggested to me that if I could not do better, he would send me a machine from there, and in order to be sure, I advised him to do so. He shipd it on the 12th Nov. and it came to hand about a week ago with _____, twine, wire and 200 handles, but I had given up in despair any idea of its getting here, and I had hunted up a dutchman in Leavenworth who had a foot lathe, and got a band and roller turned and had commenced to get up a machine myself. When I happened to be in Leavenworth and was told that a boat had come up in the night and had something for me, I went on to the Levee and found sure enough it had come at last.

It appears to be an excellent machine. It works with a foot wheel, which is geared to the roller with a band and it is made expressly for brooms which are made with twine and wire both. It cost 20 dollars, and 15 doll freight. The bill of what you sent is $6.10. I am getting dreadful in debt. I had to borrow the money to pay the freight and have not earned but about 8 dollars since I have been here, so I am a good deal behind hand. I have not made any brooms, for a neighbor of mine who promised to get me a barrel to hold water to dip the corn in, did not go to town as he expected last tuesday, but I hope I shall get to work pretty soon now.

As I did not hear from you I supposed perhaps you wrote and enclosed your letter in the box, and as I can not get that till spring I hope you will write as soon as you can. Every time I hear from my wife, she wants to know what has become of her washboard & rolling pin, and things, and I tell her that I have made inquiry several times about them, but some how or other I can not hear any thing about them. I do not know, but you will find her on hand with a pocket full of rocks, some day when you are not looking for her, for she says she means to come and see her old neighbors in Michigan, though she don’t say a word about coming to Kansas. Let me hear from you and let me know what I owe you.

Since the middle of Nov (when we had a cold spell) the weather has been very mild, frost at night sometimes, but warm, and dry. We have had no snow to tell of but once about an inch on the 20th Nov. I was threshing beans yesterday out of doors with out my coat. I like Kansas pretty well yet. I hope you all are well and am your friend

Charles R Cridland

Please let me know what there is in the box and how many handles, if you counted, and what I can get handles for in Galesburg now and in March.

September 2, 1857 letter to Luke Keith from Charles R. Cridland

September 2, 1857

To: Luke Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Charles R. Cridland, Delaware, KS

Is disappointed that he has not heard back from Luke. His corn is ready to cut and he should start making brooms in a week or two, but he doesn’t have the machine and the handles. Writes about his trees that he left in the nursery and what could be done with them and more instructions regarding the broom machine. He has been ailing from the ague and is taking quinine & whiskey as a cure. He is getting better but not able to work yet.


Delaware R J. Sept. 2. 1857

Dear Friend

I rec’d your letter yesterday and was much disappointed at its contents, that you did not more fully inform me of my business in Mich – I wrote to Taylor on the 30th June requesting him to see if he could sell the stuff I left or a part of it to Loren[?] Clark (as he wanted it) and have him pay me in soft wood lumber at Clarks Mill. I told him you would make a bargain with them to turn part of it into handles and take their pay in lumber and that if done it must be done very soon. Shortly afterwards I wrote to you requesting you to enquire about it and to assist me if possible in the matter and to write to me any way and let me know if anything could be done or not and you do not say a word about it. My corn is almost ready to cut and I should be making up brooms in a week or two if I had the machine and the handles. I trust you will write me immediately and let me know about it all. Now about the Machine. I gave very definite instructions to Squire Bristol what I would do about it and I cannot understand the proposition you make now. I told Bristol I would take the machine if Wan would take his pay out of the trees that were left standing in the nursery and I would not be particular about the price, but you do not say when he expects to take the trees nor what he asks for the machine. I do not know how many trees there are left & whether they would pay him or not and I am not disposed to pay any money, and it is too late now to parley about it as I must have a machine immediately if I have to make such an one as I can get up myself, and I do not know that I can find timber this side the rocky mountains fit to make one of as there is no time to be lost. I tell you what you must do. You must see Wan and make the best bargain you can with him. It is not likely the trees in the nursery will be of any value to me and you may turn them part or all of them out to him, cherry trees, everything there is if he will take them. And if You must try hard to do that first, and if that will not do, then you must pay him the balance out of what Squire Bristol has of mine. The Squire promised to send me a list of the number of the trees and the parts he got of me, but he has not done it and therefore I cannot give any very definite direction about them. I do not expect to get any of the trees sent to me the Squire has. The expense and the risk I find it too great. I have lost all those I brought in the Spring and I do not think it best to try again, so you will make a dicker with him somehow, and it must be done soon to be of any use. I would rather have one sent the middle of Sept than a wagon load the middle of October. It would be ten to one that it would be at St Louis till next May, so he must fix up Clark’s and let me have that. I think you had better take it to pieces and box it up in a high box. Perhaps a boot box would hold it, and you could fill it up with some of the things you have of mine. I wish you would get me the irons and make me a lever for a lever press. I could fix the rest of it if I had the proper irons and the lever, and if you could make a pattern for a jaw and get me a pair cast at Kalamazoo, I should like it. I have I am taking Quinine and Whiskey to cure the Ague and am getting better, but I am not able to work any yet.

Charles R. Cridland[1]


[1] While the letter is unsigned, from previous and subsequent letters it has been determined that the writer was Charles R. Cridland