1843: George O. Vail to Ephraim Gates Hulett

Advertisement in the 1865 Buffalo Directory for George O. Vale’s Slate & Marble Business.

This letter was written by George O. Vail (1810-1879) of Danby, Vermont. He was the son of John Vail (1785-1848) and Ruth Rogers (1787-1840). George married Helen Shaw about 1830 but they were later separated. At the time he wrote this letter in 1843, George had just finished a three year term as the Danby town constable. By 1860, George had opened a slate and marble business in Buffalo, New York, on Ohio Street near the corner with Chicago Street.

George wrote this letter to Ephraim Gates Hulett of Wallingford, the son of Thomas Hulett and Polly Gates. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Desdemona Hyde (1815-1849) in January 1843. It was to Desdemona that George Vail addressed the second part of his letter. His second marriage was to Amanda Danforth (1826-1869).

Stampless Cover

Page 1 addressed to Ephraim Hulett

Page 2 addressed to Desdemona Hulett


Addressed to E. G. Hulett, Wallingford, Vermont

Danby [Vermont]
24th April 1843

Dear Sir,

I find we have yet on hand 5 cows that we expect to sell. They are all young but one. The price will be from 15 to 19 dollars — only one up to 19 which is one I milked last summer and intended to milk this summer, but I will sell such as will sell. I think if you will come down, I can trade with you. Should like to here you come down soon as we want to sell when opportunity offers. I shall be at home tomorrow (Tuesday) and would attend to it if you can come. Sincerely yours, — George O. Vail

2 three year olds with calves by their sides
1 Cow old enough to be good if she ever will be
1 do. 7 years old
1 do. 5 do. do.

P. S. While I sit writing the supplement to this letter, a man calls and wants to know if we have sold those cows. Says he will call and see them in a day or two. I think you had best come down tomorrow. Geo. O.

Danby [Vermont]
24th April 1843

Well Friend Desdemona, I have written to Ephraim about the cows and turned the paper over to fulfill the request to write the other leaf to you although it was made in jest. Yet will I daub the ink on this page in some shape. About all the news here is that I got safely home last eve before dark after an absence of 13 days, which was the cause of much rejoicing as if I had but just returned from a journey of thousands of miles. Yea, it is pleasant & agreeable after a few days absence to meet the fond embrace of an only sister — kind & affectionate — Ah!! there is “no place like home.” Most certainly you are ready to respond to such a remark — you who enjoy every facility to render home a paradise — indeed. Yet how often it happens that persons are unhappy although perched upon an eminence surrounded with every thing that the heart could wish — and why? Because there is a lack of contentment they do not appreciate duly their advantages, and there is often a want of morality without which nothing earthly can ensure happiness. And what is there so desirable in this world as happiness. And if desirable in this world, how much more so in one that is future? What is more rational to suppose then that whatever will ensure true happiness here will serve as an inevitable guide to happiness in future.

Desdemona, I would not be thought a flatterer but since I called on you last Thursday, I have though much of the very agreeable manner in which you seem to live. I think I am sure that your life partner is one who will ere be disposed to render home happy and who will make his bosom companion his dearest friend. As I look upon him as one of my best friends, so I shall look upon you also as a friend, hoping I may ever merit a place in your list of friends. I remain yours sincerely, — Geo. O. Vail

The Gravemarker of Ephraim Gates Hulett and his two wives.


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