1849: James H. Crowl to Samuel Ring

This letter was written by James H. Crowl in 1849 while employed in the Cleveland lumber yards. He wrote the letter to Samuel Ring whom he addressed as “father” so either Samuel was his father-in-law or James was adopted or otherwise raised by Samuel.

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Addressed to Samuel Ring, Esq., North Sterling, Cayuga County, New York

Cleveland, [Ohio]
March 20th 1849

Dear Father,

I have for some time though I ought to write you but as I had not heard from you for a long time, I did not know of your whereabouts till I received a letter yesterday from Jane who said you was still in Sterling. The friends in Troy were well. We are well as usual. Our boy is a fine fellow. He is healthy & smart — just the age to be interesting. You would like to dandle him on your knee. He is now nearly 8 months old. We have been trying to get Jane to consent to come out here this spring with John [Gay] Younglove who is on a visit at the East & has got married [on 21 Feb 1849] to a Miss [Lauretta] Kellogg of Hartford, Connecticut. The main objection she offers to coming is want of means & ability to obtain a living after she gets here. We are about writing her that I will send her the necessary means to come & she can live here as well without employ as in Troy. And if she is able to teach, this is as good a place to obtain employment as any other. I think it would improve her health more than anything else, don’t you? A trip across the lake & change of climate would cure her. This is one of the main reasons for wanting her to come out. We would like to be favored with her company if you think best for her to come, Or if not, she would like your advise on the subject. If you think worthwhile, you had best write her immediately.

I have made arrangement to remain in the Yard for another year from the 1st March with a salary of $500 though the Yard has changed hands & is now in the hands of Daniel Sanford, formerly a ship carpenter or builder. He has a capital sufficient to carry on a good business. The railroad is in progress of building to Columbus & one to Pittsburgh & plank roads will be built shortly in 3 directions from this place & on the whole this must be a place of importance.

Do you think of coming out here again this summer? I think you want to see your grandson & perhaps you may want to see your brother in this state. I wish you would write us immediately on the receipt of this as it is sometime since I have heard from you. Let us hear from you. We received a letter from Rhoda a short time since at which time they were well & thought some of moving to Oswego. Please write soon & much oblige. Yours affectionately, — James H. Crowl

  • “The late Daniel Sanford, whose name is held in esteem by old Clevelanders, was born in Milford, Connecticut, in 1803. At a very early age he left his home and went to New York where he learned the trade of a ship joiner, one of his first jobs being upon the cabins of the Fairfield, the first steamer on the East River. In 1834, he came to Cleveland and worked for some time at his trade as a journeyman ship joiner. In coming time he aspired to build ships on his own account, and for this purpose formed a partnership with Luther Moses. The first work done by the firm was on the steamer New York, and subsequently the steamers Ohio and Saratoga were built by them. In addition to these a very large number of propellers and sailing vessels were built, and canal boats almost without number. The mere list of crafts of one description and another, built by this firm, would take considerable space in our pages. In 1849, the firm, which had done so much important work in the ship yards, was dissolved and Mr. Sanford changed his business from ship-building to dealing in lumber, which he entered upon on a large scale and continued under the title of D. Sanford, and subsequently Sanford & Son, until his death, which occurred on Sunday morning, September 22, 1864.”

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