1852: Amanda Williams to George Hathaway

E & H.D. Farwell Ad for the “Coffin Warehouse” in Buffalo, 1852

This letter was written by Amanda (Hathaway) Williams (1829-Aft1920), wife of Joseph Little Williams (1816-Bef1900) — a farmer in Jefferson, Ashtabula, Ohio. They were married on 17 October 1848. Amanda wrote the letter to her brother, George W. Hathaway, who resided in Buffalo, New York, while working for his brother-in-law, Eldridge Farwell (1812-1864). Eldridge was married to Nancy Hathaway (1822-1889), the older sister of George and Amanda.

Eldridge and his brother, Henry Delano Farwell, were partners in the coffin manufacturing business in Buffalo. Eldridge was an Alderman of the old 5th Ward in Buffalo and was chairman of the School Committee. In 1853 he removed to Chicktowaga and at the time of his death he was one of the commissioners of the Erie County Penitentiary.

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Addressed to George Hathaway, Buffalo, New York, Care of Eldridge Farwell

Jefferson [Ohio]
January 11th 1852

Dear Brother,

I have been waiting a long time to hear from some of you but have finally concluded to write myself as there is no prospect of my hearing any other way.

We are all well excepting hard colds which most everybody are complaining with. We have felt very anxious to hear from you all as we have not heard one word since Mr. Farwell and Nancy left Ashtabula Harbor. They promised to write when they got home. I think they have been very negligent about writing but we will overlook it this time if we get a letter soon. If not, I shall lay it up against them. I want you to write as soon as you get this. I never have had a line from you since you lived in Buffalo.

They are having a great times about the school here this winter. They have got an old maid to teach. She has whipped Tip Stilson with a raw hide and whipped John Moore with a ruler. Aunt Sally Webster has taken her girls out of school and they have talked hard of turning the old maid out but I do not think they will. I believe she don’t take snuff.

I want you to tell Ann that my baby has run alone about 2 months. She can get up in a chair and has climbed up on the stand twice. She is 11 months old and has not got a tooth in her head although she can say several words. She can say Pa and Ma and dash and goodbye. She wants to see her Uncle Nick and Aunt Sis very much. Mary Hatfield was married in November. She moved right away. Steven Hoskin and Mary Webster was married last Wednesday at Ashtabula. They went to keeping house the next day. Steven Hoskin has bought that house where Elder Knapp was to live.

I was up to father’s yesterday. They are well. Father has sold his oxen for 87 dollars. We had company Christmas. We had 29 persons besides our own folks to supper. Ralzemans and Charles’ folks was here New Year’s. They were all well then. I have not seen any of them since. Charles Williams wife has been very sick, but the doctor think she will get well now if she has good care.

Joseph says he is going to California in February. There is several going from Lenox, but that is all gas about Joseph going.

Tell sis to write to me. She promised to write. I want to know if that medicine has helped Mr. Farwell. I want to hear all the news. Tell Nancy to write. Give my love to all the folks. I can not think of any more to write. You must not let any body see this for my pen is very poor and I am very cold and I have got to go to getting supper. Now you be sure and write. I shall look for a letter next week. Now don’t disappoint me for if you don’t write to me, I shant write to you again. So good bye. — Amanda Williams


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