This letter was written by Charles McLaughlin (b. Abt 1800-1810) in Bangor, Maine. He mentions a sister named Betsey and a brother named James, to whom he addressed the letter.
James McLaughlin (1807-18xx) married Almira Tilton (1807-18xx) in 1838. She was the daughter of Rev. Nathan Morris Tilton (1772-1851) and Mary Furness (1766-1851). James McLaughlin’s claim to fame is “The McLaughlin Plum.”
Addressed to James McLaughlin, Esqr., Bangor, Maine
Alexandria, District Columbia
15 September 1835
I am sorry to inform you that I have been sick. I have had two short attacks of sickness. I feel quite well at present but weak. I am not able to travel yet. The Doctor advises my traveling south. They all agree that the southern climate will suit me much the best. I am in hopes to take my departure about the first of October.
Please tell Sister Betsey that there is nothing like calomel yet my mouth was quite sore when I was taken sick and the calomel cured the mouth as well as the fever. I took deal of cayenne at Scarborough and it done no good. Neither did the curative powder that I got from Doctor Sewell — the God father of cayenne. Our climate calls for calomel and yours for cayenne.
I have traveled upon a number of railroads and feel a little disappointed about the speed of traveling. The Boston and Lowell, I believe, to be the best. They travel faster and the road is much more perfect which is the reason of it. It is is said they travel the distance in about one hour, which is twenty-seven miles. The speed is generally, I find, about fifteen miles an hour — sometimes twenty.
I went out by Wooster from Boston and thence to Hartford in Connecticut, and thence to New Haven — the most beautiful place I ever saw.
In consequence of the high price of cotton, servants is very high. Good men is worth eight hundred dollars and scarce at that price. I may purchase a few before I leave and I may not, We know they must fall?
My love to you all and all inquirers &c &c. — Charles McLaughlin
I could mention all your names but it is not necessary.