This letter was written by Charles Goadsby Ferris (1796-1848). He was born at “The Homestead,” Throgs Neck, the Bronx, New York. Ferris received a limited education, studied law, and was admitted to the bar and practiced in New York City. He served as member of the board of aldermen in 1832 and 1833. Ferris was elected as a Jacksonian to the 23rd Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Dudley Selden and served from December 1, 1834, to March 3, 1835. He was elected as a Democrat to the 27th Congress (March 4, 1841 – March 3, 1843). He was largely instrumental in securing an appropriation through Congress to build the first telegraph line. He died in New York City June 4, 1848.
The letter was addressed to Col Aranthes Everts, a Colonel in the War of 1812 who raised a regiment that went on foot through the unbroken wilderness from Hector to Buffalo. “He had command of a fort when a flag of truce was sent to him, and a demand to surrender was refused. The General in command sent word, “I want you to understand that we will take our breakfast in this fort to-morrow morning.” Colonel Everts replied, “If you undertake it you will get your supper in hell.” The Everts family originated in Wales, but has been associated with American history from an early period in the settlement of the country.
Addressed to Colonel Aranthus Everts, Burdett, Tompkins Co., New York
June 13, 1843
Col. A. Everts
It affords me pleasure to hear of your return to your family safe and well and sincerely hope that your land speculation in Iowa may be profitable to yourself and your posterity. You may remember I sometime since expressed to you my belief that great speculations were to be made in Virginia near the seat of government and I am confirmed in this view by the fact that many eastern families of good standing are purchasing and moving into this country. Mr. Mintern [McKeon?], a late member of Congress from Rockland County in our state has purchased largely and some of his relatives followed his example. I understand that one of our present members from New York has purchased within fifteen miles of Washington eleven hundred acres of land, well fenced, with buildings and tenements n the same for four thousand dollars. The place is well-fruited, with the convenience of excellent roads and the advantage of good markets.
I thank you for your appearance of attention to my Harriet and have every confidence in your friendship which I have so long enjoyed. I have spoken to Mr. [Augustus C.] Dodge – the delegate to Congress from Iowa – to give me early information of the confirmation of the treaty with the Indians to which you allude, and I will send word to your son as soon as I receive it. Please to caution Mr. [Nathan] Scovell against cutting down any sound timber. I expect to be at Hector [Schuyler County, NY] next summer as I shall not be on Congress. In the meantime, accept the appearance of friendship and esteem for yourself and family. I am truly yours, — Charles G. Ferris
Nathan Scovel received a medical education at the Albany Medical College and settled as a practicing physician at Merryall, Wyalusing township, Bradford County, Pa. He remained there until about 1822 and then removed to Hector, Schuyler County, N. Y., and lived on the shore of Lake Seneca, near Burdette. Late in life he went to Painted Post, where he died. He was a man of average height, blue eyes,
dark hair, and robust health.
Palus E. Everts was born near Elmira, New York, January 24, 1839, and is a son of Lawrence and Margaret (Wiggins) Everts, both of whom are natives of the Empire state. The father was born in Schuyler county, and was a son of Aranthus Everts, who was born in Massachusetts and whose wife bore the maiden name of Margaret Matthews. Having arrived at years of maturity, Lawrence Everts was married in the Empire state to Miss Margaret Wiggins, a daughter of William Wiggins, also a native of New York. In the year 1844 they left the east and came to Henry county, Iowa, settling on a farm of two hundred and forty acres, on section 36, Jefferson township. Upon the place was a small cabin and a few acres had been plowed but otherwise the entire tract was unimproved. He built a house, broke the prairie and transformed the once wild tract into richly cultivated fields, continuing the work of improvement until he had as fine a farm as could be found in the township. As a worthy pioneer settler he assisted materially in the early development and progress of this section of the state and his worth as a citizen was widely acknowledged. In the family were three sons and six daughters.