This letter was written by Rev. Francis Norwood (1797-18xx), son of Francis Norwood (1771-1823) and Lucy Pool (1776-1844). The reverend married Adeline Augusta Choate (1810-1886) in Beverly, Massachusetts in 1827. The couple were sponsored by the Home Mission Society in the late 1830’s while serving in Wilmington, Massachusetts, and in the mid 1840’s while serving in Windsor, Massachusetts.
The letter was sent to Wilmington farmer Caleb Eames (1798-1866), the son of Caleb Eames (1863-1828) and Elizabeth Symmes Locke (1779-1844). Caleb was married to Sally Gowing (1799-1861).
In the letter, Rev. Norwood provides his friend Caleb Eames with instructions for the rental and maintenance of a farm owned by the Norwoods where they resided when living in Wilmington, had failed to sell, and were (in 1845) renting.
Addressed to Mr. Caleb Eames, Wilmington, Massachusetts
January 28, 1845
Mr. Caleb Eames,
When I was last at Wilmington, Mr. Timothy Carter informed me that he would like to be excused from further management of my place as he lived so remote & had so much business of his own. I told him I would get another agent & wished him to speak to you & write me in case you could not undertake.
Not having heard from him, I conclude you are willing to act in this matter & therefore I write you at this time to acquaint with my wishes. First of all, let me say that I expect you will attend to the cutting & getting up of Miss Morrill’s wood, according as I agreed with you before leaving Wilmington. I should prefer to have the house farm rented to the same man to go in & improve by the year from April next.
Don’t you know – or can’t you find – some good tenant? I think I ought to have $120 with taxes paid. But if you cannot get that, get us near that as you can. In renting the place, I should not think is best to give any privilege of cutting wood. If you think any thing is really needed to be done on the house for present convenience, you will please see it done in an economical way, however, as may be. Before I left, there was a leaking in the roof between the body of the house and the new part I put up. Perhaps that needs looking after.
In the Spring, the fences will need attention. But in case of letting the whole to one man, you would doubtless make it a condition that he repair the fences. If you cannot get a good tenant to hire it in the way I have named, then do the best with it you can. Should you know or hear of any who wishes to purchase it, let me know.
When Mr. Carter has settled up matters, please take a minute of his doings, the money paid to him &c. & send the account to me with information who now rent the place, at what rate, &c. Hope you will be able to do this soon.
I feel great confidence in committing this business to you, assured that in undertaking it, as I beg you will, & am almost ready to say you must, you will feel an interest for my sake to do all that can be done. Of course I shall expect to pay you for your services.
When at Wilmington, I directed Mr. Morrill to sell some boards of mine that were around the mill & about my barn & pay the money I think to you. Has he done it? If not, will you see to that matter & sell them soon. So much for business.
I was very sorry not to see you & your wife in my late hurried visit. We often think & talk of you & yours. How happy should we be to see you on the hills of Berkshire & around our fireside. Since I was at Wilmington, the good people have made us a donation visit, bringing with them many valued articles of clothing, fod, &c., showing great kindness of feeling & liberality by which we feel ourselves laid under very great increased obligations. Thro the distinguished mercy of our heavenly Father, we are all at the present time in good health. All the children but the babe – Elizabeth – attend school. Some time ago you lost your dear Mother, & since, I have lost mine. Herein we are admonished. Let us bless God that they died in hope of a glorious immortality. And may we & ours be gladdened in our preparation to follow them. Am sorry that things look no more encouraging in Wilmington. Is there not a cause?
Very affectionately yours, — Francis Norwood
Remember us affectionately to Dr. [Silas] Brown’s family, Mr. [Henry] Carter’s &c. Is Mrs. Laynes yet alive? Please let us hear from you before long. Hope the dear children are all well & walking in the pleasant ways of religion.
Mrs. Norwood sends much love to your dear wife. So would all the children to your children, if they were at home. We are very contented and happy, & hope we may be doing some good.