1843: Alanson W. Downs to Jabez Henderson Downs

This undated letter was written by Alanson W. Downs (1811-1878) and his wife, Roxey (Wentworth) Downs (1817-1869) of Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Alanson was the son of Jabez Downs (1776-Aft1841) and Lydia Henderson (17xx-1855). Roxey was the daughter of Lebbeus Wentworth (1787-1872) and Roxey F. Philly (1791-1961). Alanson and Roxey were married in April 1840; their child, Cornelia Lucretia Downs, was born in July 1841.

Alanson wrote the letter to his younger brother, Jabez Henderson Downs (1813-Aft1870). Jabez later relocated to Dixon, Illinois.

I’m going to conjecture that this letter was written about 1843.

Stampless Letter

Stampless Letter

Addressed to Mr. Jabez H. Downs, Tyringham, Berkshire County, Massachusetts

Almond [Allegany County, New York]
June 23 [1843]

Respected Friends,

I improve this opportunity to inform you of our health and journey &c. My health is good. Roxy’s and Cornelia’s health is not very good but much better than they have been. We had rather a long journey for the distance we came on the canal and Burton with the wagon. We was from the 4th to the 14th in getting here. Cornelius stood it very well till the last two or three days when she got cold and was about sick and also the rest of us. Roxy and Cornelia has been very sick since we got here but they are getting better now.

We found our connection [relatives] well and in good spirits. I have not bought any land yet. We live with Father now. I am helping Linus build a house and when we get it done, I calculate to live in his house next winter. I got some buckwheat and made some garden. Linus & I calculate to sow about half an acre of turnips. Times are hard and money scarce but crops look tolerably well, but late.

I found the country as good as I expected except not so clear from stone. The soil is generally good. We have had it very cold since we came here but now — for a week — it has been warm and a very growing time which seems to put all nature into motion.

I met with some bad luck in getting out here. I made a bargain in Albany to have my goods carried to Rochester for fifty cents a hundred [weight] and took an agreement to that effect of an agent, as he styled himself. When I came to settle, the captain charged 56 cents and declared he [knew] no such agent. His name was Chase — a small man. I talked to him very plain. If any of you travel the canal, beware of him at Rochester. I hired my passage to Dansville but instead of being carried to Dansville, we was left to Mt. Morris — 15 miles below — which made it cost me five dollars more than to [have] been left to Dansville.

I do not think of any more in particular to write. I must make this letter answer for all at present. I will leave room for the rest. I want you to write soon. You must not wait so long as I have thought that I would not write till Burton was back.

I remain yours, &c., and all the rest, — A. H. Downs

Ever remembered Friends,

I improve the present opportunity to write a few lines to let you know that I have not forgotten you. Alanson has written all the news so I have nothing of much importance to write. After a rather tedious journey we arrived amongst our friends. Found them all in comfortable health. Mother’s health is not very good but about the same as when in Sandisfield.

We are comfortably situated in a log cabin. I suppose you all think you could not live in a log house but it’s fun — no mistake. If we did not live in hopes, perhaps we should be discouraged, but I hope the time will come when we shall be able to own a small farm & comfortable house. This is all I ever anticipate and perhaps more than I shall ever realize.

Linus & Mary Ann seem to be quite content. They are building a house in the woods. They mean to get it so as to move into it before haying. William, we want you out here in the woods and then we would have quite a settlement of yankees. Father is quite anxious to have you come. He thinks it would be the best thing you could do to come and take up some new land. As for Henderson & Sally, I don’t suppose it would be of any use to even ask them to come here to live, but I hope you will come and make us a visit. I suppose Paulina has taken up her abode on Beach Plain before this time. Please give my best respects to her mother. Aunt Miller said I must write her best respects to you and tell you she had not forgotten you. Please give my best respects to brothers, sisters, cousins, and all who take the trouble to enquire after me.

Burton can tell you more than I can write so I think it unnecessary to write all the particulars. You must not forget to write to us for we shall be very anxious to hear from you all.

I will now close by subscribing myself yours affectionately, — Roxey Downs

2 responses to “1843: Alanson W. Downs to Jabez Henderson Downs

  • Diane Barth Swartz

    Thank you for posting this– it’s very interesting, as I have another letter from Roxy Downs to the family back home in Sandisfield, a year later. I am passing this letter on to Sandisfield historian Ron Bernard, if anyone has any interest. 10/12/14

    • Griff

      If you’d like me to transcribe and post your letter with this one, please send me images of the letter suitable for posting. If willing to do so, leave a reply and I’ll give you my e-mail address. — Griff

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

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

Spared & Shared 12

Saving 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

I shall be Willing to Suffer

The Civil War Letters of Marquis Lafayette Holt of the 3rd New Hampshire Infantry

"Shall the Union be Preserved?"

The Civil War Letters of William Henry Hodgkins -- Co. B, 36th Massachusetts

The Civil War Letters of William Busby

A Private in Co H, 20th Iowa Vols

Diary of Henry Knox Danner

The Civil War Experience of a Private in Co. K, 30th Pennsylvania Infantry (1862-1864)

%d bloggers like this: