The author of this letter was Nathan Henry Bitely (1822-1884), a son of Joseph Loadman Bitely (1785-1858) and Laurilla Durkee (1801-1882) of Moreau, Saratoga Co., N.Y. Nathan was a graduate of the Balleston Springs Law School who came to Paw Paw, Michigan in 1851 and later Lawton, Michigan. He served in the Michigan Senate as a Republican, but devoted most of his career to horticulture.
Since there was no preparatory school or academy in Easton, N.Y. where Nathan wrote this letter in 1845, it is likely that Nathan was concluding a term as the teacher of his own select school in the community, hence the choice of words: “my school” rather than “our school.”
The letter was sent to Nathan’s brother, Eugene Bitely (1824-1873). It is addressed to Fort Edward, Washington County, New York, where Eugene must have been staying with his Uncle’s family.
Editor’s Note: See also 1842: Alonzo Flack to Nathan Henry Bitely.
[Addressed to Mr. Eugene Bitely, Fort Edward Center, Washington Co.]
Easton, [New York]
Tuesday noon, March 11th 1845
I just this moment received your paper from which I learned that the first papers which I sent were not received & that the writing upon the last was so effaced that much of it was unintelligible. I therefore, send you this that you may know what I intended to communicate in the other.
My school will close on Saturday the 15th. I shall have a rehearsal which will be held at the school house which will consist of recitation, composition & perhaps some declamation. We intended to have held it at the church but for various reasons have concluded otherwise.
Get Lydeus to come with you if you can. Come down on Friday afternoon or early on Saturday morning and I will get through in season to return that night.
Yours in haste, — N. H. Bitely