1851: Jonathan Balderston to William Balderston

This letter was written by Jonathan Balderston (1823-Aft1860) to his brother William Balderston (1821-1900). They were sons of John B. Balderston (1779-1828) and Phebe Longshore (1785-1851). Also mentioned in the letter was their older sister Rachel Balderston (1807-1880), the wife of Zephaniah Force of Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Balderston tells his brother there is excitement in the streets of Philadelphia in anticipation of the visit of celebrated revolutionary Louis Kossuth of Hungary on 26 December 1851, and also of entertainers Jenny Lind and Matilda Hays. He also mentions the “Treason Trials” then underway in the city. These were cases involving the “illegal” sheltering of runaway slaves being heard in Federal Court as the government attempted to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. The cases caused fever-pitched excitement among the mostly anti-slavery residents of Philadelphia.

Stampless Cover

Page 1

Page 2


Addressed to William Balderston, Ocean County, New Jersey

Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]
December 8th 1851

Dear Brother,

I take a few minutes to address you a few lines notwithstanding some two or three of my letters remain unanswered. I left sister Rachel’s at 6 A.M. Thursday last and took the cars for the city at Yardleyville, arriving here about 10 A.M. My health is good having recovered pretty well from the effects of my delightful excursion in Buck’s County. I should think this severely cold would effectually check your out-a-door agricultural operations. There was quite a snow over part of the route that I passed coming down Thursday — particularly between Tullytown and Lacony, but not much in the City. I hope the poultry market here will improve soon and then you will come to the City and have better luck and also find time to pay me a sociable visit. By the way, the damaged condition of your pocket seemed to have been a matter of some interest to myself inasmuch as my knife seems to have shared the unfortunate [fate] of your knives and dollars.

Jenny Lind

There [is] a good deal of interest going in the City at present in the way of amusements and exciting topics, this being the proper season for the first, and Jenny Lind and Miss [Matilda Mary] Hays are to visit us soon and create a sensation of course. But the great [Louis] Kossuth will doubtless produce a degree of excitement and enthusiasm on his arrival, unusual if not unknown previously to the quiet Quaker City. Great preparations are being made for his reception which will be grand and imposing. We will have some advantage over New York by reason of the greater length of time allows us for preparations.

I do not think of anything especial to communicate and could not take since if I did for doing it. The speeches in the Treason Cases are being delivered but the Court room is so crowded that it is difficult to obtain admission thereto. Members of the Bar are always privileged to admission but at the present, the privilege is of little value.

Please write soon and believe me to be truly your affectionate brother, — Jonathan Balderston

30 December 1851 article in New York Times describing Kossuth’s reception in Philadelphia on 26 December.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

"Though distant lands between us be"

Civil War Letters of Monroe McCollister, Co. B, 6th OVC

"Tell her to keep good heart"

Civil War Letters of Nelson Statler, 211th PA

"May Heaven Protect You"

14th Connecticut drummer boy's war-time correspondence with his mother

Moreau Forrest

Lt. Commander in the US Navy during the Civil War

Diary of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry

Fighting with the Irish Brigade during the Peninsula Campaign

"Till this unholy rebellion is crushed"

Letters of Dory & Morty Longwood, 7th Indiana

"I Go With Good Courage"

The Civil War Letters of Henry Clay Long, 11th Maine Infantry

"This is a dreadful war"

The Civil War Letters of Jacob Bauer, 16th Connecticut, & his wife Emily

Spared & Shared 16

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Lloyd Willis Manning Letters

3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Co. I

The Yankee Volunteer

A Virtual Archive of Civil War Likenesses collected by Dave Morin

William Henry Jordan

Co. K, 7th Rhode Island Infantry

No Cause to Blush

The Bancroft Collection of Civil War Letters

William A. Bartlett Civil War Letters

Company D, 37th Massachusetts Infantry

The John Hughes Collection

A Virtual Archive of his Letters, 1858-1869

The Civil War Letters of Rufus P. Staniels

Co. H, 13th New Hampshire Volunteers

This is Indeed A Singular War

The Civil War Letters of Henry Scott Murray, 8th New York Light Artillery

The Letters of James A. Durrett

Co. E, 18th Alabama Infantry

Spared & Shared 15

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The Civil War Letters of George Messer

Company F, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Jeff's Prayers are as Effective as Abe's

The Civil War Letters of George S. Youngs, 126th New York Vols

Soldiering is a Very Uncertain Game

The Civil War Letters of Lemuel Glidden, Co. K, 145th Indiana Infantry

Tough as a Pitch Pine Knot

Letters of John Whitcomb Piper, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

An Honorable Peace

The Civil War Letters of Frank B. Knause, 6th Michigan Infantry & Heavy Artillery

Looking for a Rebel to Give him a Pop

Letters to & from Sgt. John Henry Ward, 93rd PA Inf

Civil War Letters of William H. H. Kinsey

Co. H, 28th Illinois Infantry

Spared & Shared 14

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The 1863 Diary of Thomas Wilbur Manchester

A Rhode Island Soldier in the American Civil War

The Daniels/Stone Digital Archives

A Collection of Family Civil War Era Letters & Ephemera

Spared & Shared 13

Saving Civil War History One Letter At A Time

Dear Nellie

Civil War Letters of Thomas L. Bailey

Homefront Letters to Mark Rankin

Co. B, 27th Massachusetts Vols.

These Troubling Times...

The Civil War Letters of William H. Walton, Co. B, 3rd New Hampshire

Reluctant Yanks

The Civil War Letters of Joseph F. & B. Franklin Orr, Co. F, 76th Ohio Infantry

Hunting rebels as a dog would a fox....

The Civil War Letters of George W. Scott of Co. I, 46th Massachusetts (Militia)

The Civil War Letters of William Hunt Goff

Company H, 24th Massachusetts

The Charles Wetmore Broadfoot Letters

Aide de Camp to Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes

Spared & Shared 11

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Billy Yank & Johnny Reb Letters

Civil War Letters Transcribed by Griff

To the Front

The Civil War Letters of David Brett, 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery

Dear Jack

Letters received by Dr. John William Crapster O'Neal

For the Union

Civil War Letters of William Freeland, Co. F, 132nd New York Infantry

%d bloggers like this: