This letter was written by Martin L. Morgan (1826-18xx) to his brother, George Washington Alcot Morgan (1824-1899). They were the sons of Martin Morgan and Lydia Alcot of Elyria, Ohio.
George Morgan later settled in Michigan where he served in Co. K, 8th Michigan Volunteers. He married Sarah A. Harman (b. 1838). George died in Leslie, Jackson County, Michigan.
We learn from the letter that a grasshopper invasion into northern Ohio occurred in the summer of 1850 causing the destruction of crops in that vicinity.
Addressed to George W. A. Morgan, Collinsville, CT; [forwarded to] Hartford, CT; [forwarded to] Humphreysville, CT
Dover [Cuyahoga County, Ohio]
October 6, 1850
My dear brother,
I now take my pen in hand to let you know that we are all well with the exception of a cold — that is myself and children has a cold. Uncle Seth’s folks are all well. I was there day before yesterday. They said they had a letter from Solomon and you wrote in it you should not write to me again until I wrote to you. The reason of my not writing was because you wrote in your letter that you should write again in a short time so by not receiving any letter from you, I did not know whether you was there or not.
In regard to your tools, I could not get them nor even your clothes until I would let him take the keys to open your trunks. By so doing, he took out your auger that belongs to the machine and two chalk lines and said that the lines belonged to him. He would not give up any of the tools until you paid him. I was out to Eats last Sunday and I see the Benham’s and they said that Lew had lent your ____ing machine to Dea. Tomlinson and he is a using your plains and saw on his house. Now I want you should write whether you are coming back this fall or not and if you are not, write whether you want I should take a lawful process to get them tools or not.
R___ and his wife was to Uncle Seth’s the day before I was and they said they should write to you. They was well. All the rest of the folks are well. Russell and his wife has got another shaky tail boy about a week old. The mare I have not sold yet and cannot sell her for what you ask for her. She has done well in regard to the feed. The grasshoppers trimmed the grass and corn and oats so that there is not more than a half crop in some parts of this county. Hay is worth 18 dollars per ton. Corn is worth from 40-50 cents per bushel. Oats 35, wheat 85 cts. per bushel. The mare I cannot keep this winter without you send the money to buy keeping.
Along in July and the first part of August, I was not able to do much of anything. I had a kind of bilious fever — so said the doctor. It has been very sickly around here with the bloody dysentery. Old Mr. Tollett died two weeks ago, Pap Taylor about 10 days ago, and a good many been sick that lived it through. Orissa lost her little boy about two months ago. I cannot write about everyone in particular but I believe the folks are all well as far as I know. Aunt Manerny is dead. She died some five or six weeks ago and I understand the rest of them is sick. Lew had a letter from them and he told Mr. Oaks to tell me I have not seen Lew so as to know the particulars about them. You can tell Aunt Hannah and Uncle that I send my best respects to them and should like to see them. You can tell Solomon, Sylvester, and Levi that I send my best respects to them and should like to see them. Mr. Avery wanted I should write to you to know how long a payday you would give on that land of yours if you could have one hundred dollars down and for you to write what was the least you would take for he knows of a man that wants it and will pay one hundred down.
Mr. Benham paid me two dollars and kept the gun. At that time I was short for money so I have used it. If you want it, I will get it and send it to you as soon as I can make a raise of it. About the mare, if you think you had better sell her, write what the least you can take for her. I think you can’t get over $75 for her now as horses are a going.
I ask but what I should tell Uncle George and he said by gosh, Lucy sends her best respects to you and all the rest of the folks that she knows or has heard of down there. Write as quick as you receive this.
Your affectionate brother, — Martin L. Morgan