1844: Theodore Watson to Daniel Clapp

This letter was written by Theodore Watson (b. 1815) to his brother-in-law, Daniel Clapp (1809-18xx). Theodore married Sophia Clapp in 1840 and lived in Waverly, Illinois. Daniel was married to Maria Thompson and lived in Hudson, Ohio. Daniel and Sophia Clapp were the children of Reuben and Hepzibah (Bates) Clapp of Montgomery, Vermont.

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Addressed to Daniel Clapp, Esq., Hudson, Ohio

Sangamon Courts
[Apple Creek, Illinois]
April 23, 1844

Dear Daniel,

I have sit down to write you a letter that I suppose you will not be able to read for I am tired being behind with my work and now here to spring catch up & must write in a hurry. as for myself, I am not very rugged but am alive yet. Some time in the winter I had a log fall across my breast and broke three ribs. But now they are well & I am about as ever.

As regards your affairs here, I hardly know what to write. But would not like to have you come out here on a fool’s errand after money as I haven’t ____ and did not get enough to pay my expenses. My wish was to have been able to have obtained money East, so as to have called on you & had a settlement with you. But I was sorely disappointed & somewhat vexed with all. But so the world uses me (just my luck). I will make you a proposition which I sincerely think will be a good trade for you. I have here 160 acres of land. I will give you the 80 acres that is west of the farm (that is between the me — the house — and town) and a small part of it is in my field sowed to timothy, & the 40 acres that lies north of my fields (120 acres in all) for your accounts, which is less than three dollars per acre, unless you count in the Pete A. Dunham debt, which are not worth two bits on the dollar. The 80 acre lot is not more than two miles from town & they’re joining and improvement makes them worth some more. I offer you it, at just about cost, county taxes & all. You know where it is as & the quality of the land. I can grow as tall corn as anyone in the settlement & never have I entirely missed a wheat crop as that is more than most can say.

Now if I can trade the land with you so that it will answer your purpose or can make something out of it, I wish you would take it. If not, I don’t wish you to have it at any rate. I have 40 acres under fence which is as much as I can tend as I now a,. The note that you hold against me I must try to pat this fall in part at least. Sophia will fill out the rest. My hand is hard and stiff and I can’t write. The above shows that very evident. I have paid the taxes on your lot for the two last years which I suppose is correct. Yours affectionately — Theodore Watson

P. S. It was hard to leave our dear Sophie but one consolation, she is in good hands. If sister Julie does not spoil her by petting her. We hear from her often and she is much loved by her Uncle & Aunt. I would not have you think from what I have written that I don’t want to see you for we should be right glad to see your face in Illinois once more. And if you come the way of Toledo, pray be sure to call on our little one there. Won’t Mr. Wolcott give us a call?

Dear Brother & Sister,

One word more added to the above (with this pen, I think must be an unaccountable curiosity). I was very glad to hear from you, that you are well &c. Shall be happy to see you here & hope it will not be in vain. I do hope your affairs here will sometime be settled. Did you think that Theodore would prove a defaulter?

Maria, you must come too. I wish you had never gone back — that is, if it would have been as well for you to have remained here. In haste, your ever affectionate sister, — Sophia C. W.

P.S. There has been many deaths in this vicinity since return — Mrs. Blaney, old Mr. Sawyer — among the number. I think of no others whom you were acquainted. Mrs. Allen has buried her two last children — about the ages of our two — they are deeply afflicted, also Mrs. S. for the loss of her husband.

I hope to hear from you soon, whether you come or not. Love & respects to all that inquire. I hope you will see little Sophie, but would much rather see her myself. John is very heart and is mischievous as ever one child was. A real _____ as [our brother] William says of his little boy Willy.

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