1840: Joseph Cummins to Joseph Wallace

This letter was written from the frontier village of Sidney, Ohio by Joseph Cummins (1798-18xx) who emigrated there in 1834 from Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. Cummins was engaged in “merchandizing, tanning, and farming” in the Shelby County community.

Joseph wrote the letter to his brother-in-law, Joseph Wallace, a merchant and lawyer who lived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Wallace also served as treasurer for the Borough of Harrisburg 1836-1839, and as deputy secretary/treasurer of Pennsylvania.

See also 1845: Joseph Cummins to Joseph Wallace

Stampless Cover

Page 1

Bottom of Page 1

Page 2

Bottom of Page 2

Page 3

Bottom of Page 3

TRANSCRIPTION

[Addressed to Mr. Joseph Wallace, Front Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania]

Sydney [Ohio]
August 6th 1840

Dear Sir,

We were pleased with the receipt of your favor of the 30th ult. yesterday & delay not to satisfy, as we hope, the anxiety therein expressed. It is painful to my arm & hand to write & I do as little of it as possible. Whether my letter will be long or short will appear at the conclusion. I hope you received my letters for they are not noticed in yours.

We are sorry to hear of Mother’s infirmities, but trust & pray that Providence may sanctify all her afflictions & cause them to work out for her a more exalted weight of glory hereafter, in the full enjoyment of those blessings God has promised his people, such an “eye hath not seen nor ear heard, nor _____ it entered into the heart of man to conceive of.” I should be glad to visit Mother but circumstances forbid it now. Should we meet not again on earth, may God grant that we may meet in his kingdom when sin & sorrow shall know us no more forever.

In answer to your questions – Are you going on prosperity & to prosper & are you happy?” We are all in the possession of health, except myself. I am recently more troubled than usual with pain in the side & breast, debility & diseased affection of the nerves. Our boys are lively and active. Reynolds is industrious, has been working at hoeing corn, harvesting &c. for three months past & they all take delight in attending to the feeding &c. our stock.

As to prosperity, the times have forbid the making of money. There is very little in circulation. No demand for produce & the farmers cannot pay their debts. Consequently we are unable to do business advantageously. The crops are exuberant & we have on our land an abundance. We are raising  Durham cattle & Berkshire hogs. We imported the stock from New York.

As to being happy, happiness you know is a relative term & by mankind, & I would say of myself, has been sadly misunderstood, in its application. I believe that we are just as happy as we are virtuous. I mean such virtue as the scriptures exhibit & enables man to perform his duty towards God & his neighbors. These qualities, in my opinion, stand in juxtaposition, and strictly speaking, have no separate existence. We might be happier than David, Solomon, Joshua, or any of those worthies, if we were more virtuous than they. Here is the true focus of our philosophy, and where we may & ought t wield it to our present & future prosperity. Therefore I would say. If we are not happy, the want of virtue is the cause. We are at last comfortable & enjoy some of the scintillations of happiness.

"Old Tipp" -- William Henry Harrison

I was at a convention at Greenville [Ohio] the 28th July where there was not less than 10,000 people tho’ it was in the throng of harvest. Old Tipp addressed the meeting for two hours, in a very perspicuous and emphatic style, giving his opinions freely on many of the most important features of our government – showing that the pecuniary distress & many of the evils existing in our country, have grown out of the maladministration of the party in power – that the government has assumed the powers of monarchy & are rapidly approaching despotism &c. He is 67 years of age, has a stentorian voice, energetic body, and mind still vigorous & glowing in its pristine glory. Gen’l Harrison is, I believe, a man of sterling honesty & if not first in the Nation as to talents, amply qualified for President & entertaining such views of the policy of out government, as will conduce to the welfare of the people. His election is, I think, certain. The same spirit that was infused into the minds of the people in ’28 for Jackson now exists for Tip. I hope that the result may be for the welfare of the country & not the exultation of men or party. We have not had time to hear any news from Indiana, Ky. &c.

I have nearly filled the sheet & will shortly conclude with love of Jane & self to Mother & the rest of you. I hope her latter days be they many or few, may be blessed with peace of mind & absence of pain & misery. Yours Truly, — Joseph Cummins

FOOTNOTES

A Whig, Josiah Mongar headed a “company of 100 men in uniform” which marched in a rally for William Henry Harrison held at Greenville, Ohio in 1840 “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” presidential campaign. A thousand people from Randolph County, Indiana were among an estimated 100,000 attending the rally.

Advertisements

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

Spared & Shared 19

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Recollections of Army Life

by Charles A. Frey

The Civil War Letters of William Kennedy

Co. B, 91st New York Infantry

The Glorious Dead

Letters from the 23rd Illinois Infantry, the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry, the 64th New York Infantry, and the 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Cornelius Van Houten

1st New Jersey Light Artillery

Letters of Charley Howe

36th Massachusetts Volunteers

Sgt. Major Fayette Lacey

Co. B, 37th Illinois Volunteers

"These few lines"

the pocket memorandum of Alexander C. Taggart

The Civil War Letters of Will Dunn

Co. F, 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteers

Henry McGrath Cannon

Co. A, 124th New York Infantry & Co. B, 16th New York Cavalry

Civil War Letters of Frederick Warren Holmes

Co. H, 77th Illinois Volunteers

"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

%d bloggers like this: