1830: Henry Swartz to Catherine Swartz

1825 Map of Buffalo, NY

This letter was written by Henry Swartz (1776-1838), the son of Abraham Swartz (1731-1807) and Elizabeth Bachman (1732-1812). He was married to Catherine Seese (1784-1834) and they had several children, two of whom are mentioned in this letter: Abraham (b. 1804) and Samuel (b. 1813). A third child, Elizabeth Swartz (b. 1807), finished the letter.

Henry wrote this letter to his sister, Catherine Swartz, telling her that Buffalo was “very flourishing” with “a great many buildings” being constructed. “They have been building a Bank of the United States in this place” and are “building a Roman Chapel near where we live.”

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Addressed to Catherine Swartz, Plumstead Township, Bucks Co., Pennsylvania

Buffalo [New York]
November the 13th 1830

Dear Brothers and Sisters and mother,

I have once more taken the pen in my hand to write to let you know that we are all well at present. I hope that these few lines may find you in the same state of health. We have seen in your letter the loss of our father. With sorrow, it is felt but the Lord gave it and the Lord take it. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

I should have wrote sooner but we had sickness in our family. Abraham had the bilious fever and was sick about 3 months. Samuel had the bilious fever and was sick about five weeks. He is better now so that he can walk about. Abraham is about again. It is tolerable healthy now in Buffalo. We have had a very fine summer season — very good crops & business in this town is very flourishing. A great many buildings on. They have been building a Bank of the United States in this place. They are building a Roman Chapel near where we live. We have found a far superior place here of that to Ithaca. I have bought a lot and have built a very good house upon it. I have sold my land that I had bought and gained a hundred and sixty dollars by the sale in cash.

I do wish, my dear brothers, you could be along with us here to fish. We can catch as many fish here as we want — catfish weighing from ten to thirty pounds, and other fish equally as large.

I must come to a close since Elizabeth is a going to write. I want you to write as quick as possible. So with respect, I remain your affectionate brother, — Henry Swartz

Beloved Aunt,

I write you that I am in good health at present. I have had the bilious fever and mother had the ague, but has got her health again. [My brother] John’s family is all well. [John’s wife,] Mary Ann, has a young son about seven weeks old. [My brother] Abraham and myself had calculated to come down this fall if we had kept well. I want to come down in the spring if we keep well. John talks of coming too. I live at home now.

I was at two quilting parties last week. We had a invitation to an apple cut _____ to Canada but Abraham was not well enough to cross the river. I have a good many acquaintances in Canada. Mother wants you to write about all our relations — Uncle Joseph’s family and Seese’s grandmother in particular — and where you all live. I want to hear from you very much. We should’ve wrote but did not want to write until we all got well.

We have subscribed for the Doylestown [Pennsylvania] paper and expect it next week. I want you to write about pretty plack, if the witches plagues her, and old parcipity yet. And as I know of nothing more in particular, I shall come to a close. I wish you would write soon and tell us how you all do, where the girls all are, and how Uncle John’s family are. Mary Ann sends her best respects to Mary Seese and all of you. So I remain your most affectionate niece, — Elizabeth Swartz

In respect of my other relation Abraham and Joseph Trissel’s folks, and all my relation, if you see any of them, I wish that you would let them know that we are all tolerable well and would wish to receive a letter from them.


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