1836: Joseph Alonzo Baldwin to Louisa Beach

Indians attack settlers in Florida, Alabama & Georgia in 1836

This letter was written by Joseph Alonzo Baldwin (1814-Aft1880), the son of Augustus Baldwin (1784-1836) and Betsy Goodrich (1785-1860). Joseph married Mary P. Porter (b. 1824) of Branford, Connecticut, in September 1841.

Joseph wrote the letter to his cousin, Louisa Beach (1817-18xx), the daughter of Asa Beach (b. 1776) and Nancy Goodrich (b. 1782). Louisa’s mother, Nancy Goodrich, and Joseph’s mother, Betsy Goodrich, were sisters; thus making Joseph and Louisa first cousins. The identity of Nancy and Betsy Goodrich’s parents has not yet been verified. However, it is believed that they were daughters of Daniel Goodrich (1739-1814) and Mary Page (b. 1743). Daniel Goodrich was a prominent ship builder in Branford, Connecticut. He was the great grandson of Richard Goodrich, an original settler in Guilford, Connecticut, about 1639.

The letter is significant for its description of the Second Creek War in western Georgia near the village of Columbus.

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Addressed to Miss Louisa Beach, Branford, Connecticut

Macon [Georgia]
May 15, 1836

Dear Cousin,

I have now seated myself to write a few lines. My health is good at the present time. I have been a little unwell but not so as to give up business. I have not much news to write, if any. I have been waiting patiently to hear from you but I have not heard a word this long time. I begin to think I have not a friend at the North. If it is so, I shall not cry for I am a sorter of a Independent boy brat. I [paper torn]. I have a few friends. Oh, if I could only meet in your Father’s house one hour, I would give all the old shoes I have got — and that would be a number of them. All of my people want I should come home now. Suppose I should go home; after I had been there 3 days and seen all of my relations & friends, what could I do then? Nothing. Perhaps I might get married. Well then I should be bad off.

Now I will write you what skinny. The [Creek] Indians are cutting up at Columbus about 90 miles from Macon. They have commenced killing & plundering & are doing all the mischief they can find. The Indians have killed a great many families before they could make their escape. There has about 2000 people fled to Columbus for safety. The Indians have threatened to burn Columbus. The Indians have taken possession of the ferries so that travelers can’t pass. They have stopped the mail so that don’t run. It is a serious time in Columbus at present. We have war all around us & rumors of wars. I presume this will be no news.

Miss Louisa, I wish you would write me all the news there is in Branford. Who has got married since I left and who’s turn it is next where there is so many handsome girls as there is in Branford. I should think you would have a wedding every day. Don’t all get married before I come home. Miss Hannah Russell left here for the North in April. I did not go to see her. I have seen her I should think about 5 or 6 times while she was in Georgia. I began to think I had better stop for fear I might break up some match. All I have to say she is a good girl — too good for Lon. Give my best respects to your Father & Mother & all friends.

Miss Louisa, if you get married, I beseech of you to get a good husband. If he is not so rich, you can live just as well. You want one with a good temper & a sober man. Don’t get one that is cross.

From Joseph H. Baldwin

P.S. I have seen Amin Barker. Don’t let anyone see this. Write me soon. It is now 12 o’clock. Good night.

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