This letter was written by David Belding Drake (1804-1869) to his parents, Asaph Drake (1775-1871) and Louisa Belding (1770-1854). David married Caroline Wilson (1806-1865) in 1830. Their infant son Asaph Drake is mentioned in this letter.
David’s father, Asaph Drake was born May 27, 1775, and came to Weybridge, Vermont, in 1793 from Massachusetts, settling at Belding’s Falls, and began work for David Belding, finally taking the daughter of the latter ( Louisa) for his wife; she was born May 13, 1770, and their marriage occurred December 15, 1796. They had nine children, six sons and three daughters, as follows: Elijah G., Lauren Isaac, David B., Mary L. B., Sylvia L., Cyrus B., Polly A., and Solomon.
Addressed to Deac. Asaph Drake, Weybridge, Permont, Vermont
Stockholm [New York]
April 16th 1832
I have just received your welcome favor of March 24th, which informs me of your happy meeting with Brother Cy[rus] and my _____ scrawl of the 27th February. I can assure you it rejoices me to hear of your happy meeting. How gladly would I sit down with you and feast myself in friendly converse. How oft my mind carries me back to happy hours spent under my parental roof. But those hours are gone by and my mind runs back to them with delight and it rejoices me to think even the rest of the family can sit down at stated seasons and enjoy friendly interview. And further, I am glad to learn that business is lively with you and hope that you all will be enabled to accomplish all your undertakings.
I have received one letter from you since I wrote and I am ready to acknowledge that I am faulty in writing and I might make many excuses but I know you will forgive.
16th Evening, 8 o’clock
At the same time I received your letter, I received one also from Mr. Chapman giving information respecting the property you spoke of. He says the dividend is about sixty dollars each [and] that he has on hand a horse and a yoke of oxen which he wishes to divide between his wife and mine. Caroline thinks we had better let you have that property in exchange for the same amount of your property here if you will take it. I have written to Mr. Chapman to the same amount. At any rate, we wish you to take charge of the property and your doings shall be binding on us. When you come this way, please bring the receipt you hold against me. Caroline says put in Mother too, and I fully unite in the request. You may be assured we should be happy to see you both. We think you would have been pleased to have seen your little [grandson] Asaph plaster his face today with a spoonful of warm sugar.
17th, 11 o’clock
This is a cold, snowy, wet day and the water is considerable high in the [St. Lawrence] River and our bridge has just now broke in two and wheeled to the right & left and halted. And I could tell you L___ stories but I won’t for they are no more than every man has to bear. The sun does not always shine; neither does it always rain. But a constant change constitutes our happiness.
Tell brother Cyrus B. what he has written is very acceptable and I want he should collect his winter’s fees for to pick paper out of the post with, and when he shall make a tour this way, we shall be glad to supply him with dyspepsia bread. Tell [my sisters] Sylvia & Polly I do not forget them, nor any of my friends, and should be very glad to see them whenever they can come this way. Be sure to write for I shall expect long letters when you come from each that remains at home. I think probably they have written me since I have them, but I do not know.
I thank you for your wishes respecting the hay. My cattle have not wanted for hay though they have done badly. I shall endeavor to comply with your requirements respecting writing. Give my love to mother and all the friends. Yours with esteem, — D. B. Drake
As it is some time since I have troubled you with any of my scribbling, I will now comply with Belding’s invitation to fill up the vacancies in this letter. I can assure you that it gives me much pleasure to hear that Father intends to visit us this season, and flatter myself that he will not come alone in a waggon while ther are so many at home that can accompany him. I hope that you will have a pleasant journey out, and come so that you can spend some time with us, if you do not get home-sick. I have heard from some quarter, now forgotten, that sister Lucy intended to come to Bangor with her husband this summer, if her health would permit. If she should come, I hope that she will find the way to our house and we shall be very happy to see them both.
Please to give my love to Sylvia and Polly, and tell them that I have not received any answer to my last message to them. But if they are intending to answer it soon in person, I will freely excuse them. Give my love to all, and please to accept the best wishes of your affectionate daughter, — Caroline