1832: Caroline (Underhill) Cromwell to William Cromwell

This letter was written by Caroline (Underhill) Cromwell (1803-1848), the daughter of Joshua Underhill (1765-1839) and Mary Sutton (1767-1820). She wrote the letter to her husband, William Cromwell (1800-1871), a farmer of Monroe, Orange Co., New York, who also kept a dry goods store in New York City. He was the son of James Cromwell (1752-1828) and Charlotte Hunt (1762-1839). Caroline wrote the letter in the late summer of 1832 during the cholera epidemic in New York City. While the epidemic raged, victims were quarantined and residents were advised to stay out of the city, if possible.

Caroline mentions her brother-in-law, John Cromwell (1803-1883), a farmer who was married to Letitia Haviland and lived in New Windsor, Orange County, N. Y.

From 1860-1863, William Cromwell’s NYC Dry Goods business was located at 118 Chambers Street in a an Italianate-style, store-and-loft building that was constructed in 1855 and owned by Luke H. Holmes, a merchant whose business was located on Maiden Lane. The 1850 and 1860 Census records enumerate William Cromwell residing in New York City. Perhaps he relocated to NYC after his wife’s death in 1848.

Stampless Cover

Page 1

Bottom of Page 1

Page 2

Page 3


Addressed to William Cromwell, No. 24 Street, New York

Monroe [New York]
8 Month 19 Day 1832

My dear William,

I received thy letter last evening bearing date the 12th, also on the 15th one from sisters Elisa & Mary. Also on last seventh day two letters from thee — one from J. S. Potwin dated Burlington, Aug 2, in which he states, “I am informed that Otis Loomer & Co have stopped payment, and I presume the small account which they accepted to you for me they will not honor, I do not wish (to save expense) to have it protested and wish you to have it withdrawn, and within thirty days after it becomes due, I will forward you a draft without fail for the amount — perhaps sooner. Money here is very scarce. The cholera along the Lake has ruined business, or I would send it to you without a moment’s delay. Yours truly, — J. S. Potwin.”  A protest of the said bill I received with this letter.

The other [letter] from Samuel Fisher dated Troy, August 4th, as follows, “My losses and misfortunes are such that I have been obliged to stop payment, and I have made the communication to all my business creditors in Troy with the request for them to extend their payments one, two, or three years without interest on my own personal responsibility. This is the best that I can do and I think it will be much better for my creditors than for me to assign over and have all sold at auction. My creditors here have agreed to do as above stated rather than have me assign over, or to take their pay in such real estate as I can turn out, provided my creditors in New York will come into the above proposed measure with those in Troy. There are recent failures by which I have lost a large amount for me, and it is the great reason that I have to stop. The gentleman who will hand you this is from Troy and can give you any information you may wish. Yours with much respect, — Samuel Fisher”

I do not know how thee will like my sending copies instead of the originals. My object was to save the postage and as I have copied all their contents, concluded this would answer the purpose. Should have sent before had I known positively when thee would be in the city. So much for business. Now for something else.

I am much pleased with the disposition of thyself as regards lodgings and also as regards board except in one particular. I fear there are many things brought upon their tables which (I must not say Graham for that would not please thee) but which the physicians at the present time disapprove of, and which thy own experience has taught thee does not contribute to thy best health and comfort. And excuse me my dear William if I have not that confidence I should wish for in thy self denial in diet, at the present so all important. How many instances we see in the papers “an error in diet was the cause of this man’s sickness or this woman’s sickness.” I believe I cannot impress it too strongly but why do I attempt it? It cannot be but thee will consider thy health paramount to any considerations of this kind, because thy food is of good quality and sweet.

I hope we shall soon be allowed to return to the city. Also, I am ready at any time thee directs. Perhaps John & family may go down at a proper time for us. If so, and thee does not wish to come up, suppose we come in their company if they go from Newburg as I should think they would. I hope the weather has been pleasanter in New York [City] than it has been here for the last few days. A storm commenced here fifth day night and still continues without much appearance of stopping.

I have not been to D. Bull’s since thee left but think of going next fifth after monthly meeting and stay till first day. D’s girls left here last 4th day for their grandfathers. D and Betsey were here fourth day to Preparation Meeting. Left the same day. S and R Brown were here last first day. R quite well again.

Our friends here eat cucumbers and get sick, get well, and eat them again, When they are sick they say, “I shant eat anymore cucumbers.” When they get well they say, “I am sure a few can’t hurt anybody.” However, none of them have had more of the cholera or cholera morbus than the premonitory symptom except Letitia had quite a ____ with vomiting &c. and a chill quite smart. The next day had not eaten anything they thought could hurt her except cucumbers. All well at present — thy own family included.

I had like to have forgotten one thing — do not chew much tobacco, Has thee sent for Lindley and John? Get plenty of help to assist in putting thy store to rights and not over fatigue thyself. We enjoy ourselves but we have been so long from home. Shall be glad to get back again to New York [City] and our homes. John has not felt quite so well contented since thee left.

Mother endeavors to keep her large family in order but poor dear old woman, she has to scold sadly sometimes to make it out. I endeavor to maker our children as trouble as possible, go to school steadily, &c.  Now they are going to meeting and want my letter to carry so I must conclude. Take good care of thy own dear self and thee will promote the happiness of thy affectionate — wife

Write when thee has leisure.


Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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

"Though distant lands between us be"

Civil War Letters of Monroe McCollister, Co. B, 6th OVC

"Tell her to keep good heart"

Civil War Letters of Nelson Statler, 211th PA

"May Heaven Protect You"

14th Connecticut drummer boy's war-time correspondence with his mother

Moreau Forrest

Lt. Commander in the US Navy during the Civil War

Diary of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry

Fighting with the Irish Brigade during the Peninsula Campaign

"Till this unholy rebellion is crushed"

Letters of Dory & Morty Longwood, 7th Indiana

"I Go With Good Courage"

The Civil War Letters of Henry Clay Long, 11th Maine Infantry

"This is a dreadful war"

The Civil War Letters of Jacob Bauer, 16th Connecticut, & his wife Emily

Spared & Shared 16

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Lloyd Willis Manning Letters

3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Co. I

The Yankee Volunteer

A Virtual Archive of Civil War Likenesses collected by Dave Morin

William Henry Jordan

Co. K, 7th Rhode Island Infantry

No Cause to Blush

The Bancroft Collection of Civil War Letters

William A. Bartlett Civil War Letters

Company D, 37th Massachusetts Infantry

The John Hughes Collection

A Virtual Archive of his Letters, 1858-1869

The Civil War Letters of Rufus P. Staniels

Co. H, 13th New Hampshire Volunteers

This is Indeed A Singular War

The Civil War Letters of Henry Scott Murray, 8th New York Light Artillery

The Letters of James A. Durrett

Co. E, 18th Alabama Infantry

Spared & Shared 15

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The Civil War Letters of George Messer

Company F, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Jeff's Prayers are as Effective as Abe's

The Civil War Letters of George S. Youngs, 126th New York Vols

Soldiering is a Very Uncertain Game

The Civil War Letters of Lemuel Glidden, Co. K, 145th Indiana Infantry

Tough as a Pitch Pine Knot

Letters of John Whitcomb Piper, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

An Honorable Peace

The Civil War Letters of Frank B. Knause, 6th Michigan Infantry & Heavy Artillery

Looking for a Rebel to Give him a Pop

Letters to & from Sgt. John Henry Ward, 93rd PA Inf

Civil War Letters of William H. H. Kinsey

Co. H, 28th Illinois Infantry

Spared & Shared 14

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The 1863 Diary of Thomas Wilbur Manchester

A Rhode Island Soldier in the American Civil War

The Daniels/Stone Digital Archives

A Collection of Family Civil War Era Letters & Ephemera

Spared & Shared 13

Saving Civil War History One Letter At A Time

Dear Nellie

Civil War Letters of Thomas L. Bailey

Homefront Letters to Mark Rankin

Co. B, 27th Massachusetts Vols.

These Troubling Times...

The Civil War Letters of William H. Walton, Co. B, 3rd New Hampshire

Reluctant Yanks

The Civil War Letters of Joseph F. & B. Franklin Orr, Co. F, 76th Ohio Infantry

Hunting rebels as a dog would a fox....

The Civil War Letters of George W. Scott of Co. I, 46th Massachusetts (Militia)

The Civil War Letters of William Hunt Goff

Company H, 24th Massachusetts

The Charles Wetmore Broadfoot Letters

Aide de Camp to Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes

Spared & Shared 11

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Billy Yank & Johnny Reb Letters

Civil War Letters Transcribed by Griff

To the Front

The Civil War Letters of David Brett, 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery

Dear Jack

Letters received by Dr. John William Crapster O'Neal

For the Union

Civil War Letters of William Freeland, Co. F, 132nd New York Infantry

%d bloggers like this: