1843: Charles Farrington Woodruff to John Chauncey Pelton

Charles and Minerva Woodruff Head Stone

This letter was started by Charles Farrington Woodruff (1812-1849) and finished by his wife, Minerva Jennet (Pelton) Woodruff (1817-1889). At the time this letter was written, the couple only had one child, Mary Cordelia Woodruff (1841-1923), who is briefly mentioned.

The letter was addressed to Minerva’s brother, John Chauncey Pelton (1824-1843) who died less than three months later at age 19. Minerva and Chauncey were the children of Platt Pelton (1780-1859) and Phoebe Snow (1788-Aft1843).

Minerva and Chauncey had a brother named George Philip Pelton (1820-1893) who is also mentioned in this letter.

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Addressed to J. Chauncey Pelton, Monticello, Sullivan County, New York

Ithaca [New York]
May 12th 1843

Dear Brother Chauncey,

Your letter of the 10th is just received. It affords us great pleasure to learn that mother’s health continues to improve and we now think there is good reason to indulge the hope that she will in time once more get about the house again. But while we hear such cheering intelligence respecting mother, it grieves us to learn that your own health is not so good as when we were there, and that it is not improving. We have considered the matter and have come to the conclusion that if you come out here forthwith and remain with us, that there is every reason to suppose you will regain your health. Change of air, and new scenes — something constantly to divert your mind — with gentle exercise, increased as you are able to bear it, will cure you is any think will. I do not believe you want much medicine, but you are discouraged and think too much about yourself. We have answered your letter immediately because we consider it important that you should come here at once. You cannot be worth much at home while you are so, and instead of losing your services, they will be relieved of having to make your bed and wash your clothes, which, while mother is sick, is something. Now don’t make any if’s, nor ands, not wait to get your clothes in order, nor any such thing, but just pack up your duds and start. Now mind, if you value your health, come without delay if you are able to travel. The stage will be the cheapest and quickest way, if you can stand it. If not, you can go the other way. We shall look for you soon and shall be very much disappointed if you are not here in four days after you get this letter. I am quite busy now adays and shall have to get Minerva to make up the balance of this sheet. Yours, — C. F. Woodruff

Friday afternoon, [May 12th 1843]

My dear Father,

I think it would be the best thing that could be done for Chauncey to let him come & stay some time with us. He could take as much exercise as he could bear — read, write & study some, & visit some, play with Cordelia some &c. The change would probably do him more good than anything else could, and it is certainly very important that something should be done for him. If it is not done soon, it never can do any good. He is very much depressed in spirits & discouraged about himself. All this is very bad for him.

George told us when we were at Poughkeepsie that he thought he thought he should come out here when the weather became pleasant, & that he should come by way of Monticello. Perhaps he may be coming soon & would accompany Chauncey. But if he comes, the sooner you fix him off the better as he would not be likely to stand travelling as well in very warm weather. I wrote yesterday to Mary & should not have written so soon again if we had not considered this matter required haste.

There is not much here that is new. Business is somewhat improving. The weather is very warm & pleasant today.

Are you better than when you were here? I hope some of you will write often & keep us informed of Mother’s health & other matters of interest. Send love & a kiss to mother & the rest of the family. Affectionately yours, — Minerva

2 responses to “1843: Charles Farrington Woodruff to John Chauncey Pelton

  • Kate

    Platt Pelton is my husband’s 4th great grandfather. This letter is a true find indeed! I would love to know if there are more found from this family! How did you ever find this!!

    • Griff

      I transcribe thousands of letters—most of them Civil War era—for a few clients who buy and sell on e-Bay. In exchange for the transcriptions, they allow me to publish the letters on my Spared & Shared websites. Glad you found the letter.

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