Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Frisbee Letter 1855

Transcribed by Douglas H. Shepard, September 2013

                                                                                                            Fredonia, Feb. 16, 1855

Dear Brother, Recd yours of the 19th ult. In 21 days after its date — rather a long time on the way — had recd.later news from Sevastopal — but was glad to hear from you, and especially that you were all well. Am aware that it must be very much like work to do as you are doing, but then, while it brings health for the prudent, it works out all the requisites for enjoyment for the future; and still it is probable the real happiness will be no greater when you have acquired all you hope to, than you are now enjoying , for

            “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.” I did not suppose you had got into a country of wolves; but I guess the crazy man’s “dumb’d old cook stove on wheels” (the Locomotive) will scare them away ere long. We are all well, and so are Joel’s folks. Our family is small — only wife and I and Sterne. Sterne is doing for himself. He had been getting out an invention for Gate Latches and window Blind Fasteners. The principle is a movable Catch (or Ketch) All that have seen it think it is a good thing. He has made a bargain with Pratt &c of Buffalo to manufacture and sell them (they like it much) and give him a per centage on all they sell. He might do well with it and I hope he will. Junius is doing well in Buffalo — is getting a first rate run of trade, wholesale and retail — Glisan has about $5,000 cash into the concern.

            A little about our business now — Nothing has been done with the stove and pipe since you were here, until 2 or 3 weeks ago, when Massenberg wanted a stove for the present — looked at this — I offered the Stove and pipe for $4. — he did not like to buy it at that, but would give 6d a week for the use of it till warm weather and I let him take it. Your note to Lamson for about $10 will become due soon. Now if you will send me $6. in a week or two after you receive this I will give you the Sage note — pay Lamson — take the Stove and pipe and square off. This certainly will be a good trade for you. We have had a good deal of winter for the last three weeks, and although it was warming a day or two ago, it is snowing again to-day. I think you have sit with closed doors since you wrote, by the accounts I have seen from the west. Fayette was here a week or so after our storms commenced and was joking about our cold wintry country, “so different from Iowa” — when at the same time the cars were a week getting from Chicago to Rock Island and two or three weeks to St. Louis! I have just seen in a Buffalo paper that only yesterday the snow was so deep at Chicago that the trains were all day getting to the confines of the city. I had a letter from Lucy not long ago. She is boarding in a family in the suburbs of Chicago and doing their sewing. Henry is with Col. James. I sent a paper to Geo. L. Nicholson  a short time ago, and he sent me a Valley paper, which I send you. It seems he is in trade, in partnership with one Root, I suppose a son of Asahel Root, but don’t know. I don’t think I shall go west the coming season. If I can get away at all I should like to go east, and visit old Valley scenes once more; but I don’t know how it will be. Every day and week brings its weeks cares and wants, and besides I have got to repair up the old homestead and move this spring, and that’s no small job. The old house too an’t big enough and I have got to put on an addition — so it goes, the smaller the family the more room is wanted. We have heard that Groves talked of moving back here — that he did not like it very well there — that his folks and Sage’s had been sick a good deal. Great rejoicing here over the re-election of Seward, and great mourning among the Know Nothings. By the by have you got any of these critters out there with you? There are lots of them here, but they don’t seem to be very harmonious among themselves, and I think they are growing less. We are looking with considerable anxiety for the passage of our Maine law, and it will be pretty generally carried into effect. The old Whig and Democrat parties appear to be pretty much used up and it would seem as though it was to be Know Nothing and Anti K.N. It is a strange kind of a party, that one of the important things about it is, to not let any body know that you belong to it. I suppose Glisan and Sterne both belong to it. Glisan returned to-day from a a [sic] K.N. gathering at Syracuse where it is said there were 1700 gathered. Suppose they are marshaling their strength for the Presidential Contest. — This has been Valentine week and we have had a considerable run in the trade; but having a few left over thought I would send the girls one if it did come late. Have not heard from uncle Israel in some time. I believe Lucy told me when she was here last summer that Ansel Warren’s mother and sister (Mrs Eaton) were keeping house for him — that old Mr. Warren was dead. Nothing special in religious matters here; elder Kingsley, the Baptist minister, has bought and fitted up the old Cushing place and expects to move there this spring. Alford Stoddard owns the place you left here. Business is pretty good here tho’ money is scarce. Several new dwelling houses are going up the coming season, and I expect there will be a new Bank started here. I shall continue to send you the Censor from which you will get most of the local news, which will save me the time of writing. But you must write often. I should like to come out there and see  you, and if our lives are spared two or three years longer I think we shall do so. Wife and I have this week been sitting for our Degerreotypes — had four taken of each — one for each of our children and one to send to Syracuse. Should like to send one to you and Lucy — perhaps we will by and by. You see now I am not in your debt for a long letter. Wife sends a great deal of love. Lucy too, and says her aunt Eliza must fulfil her threat to write a long letter. Adieu. H.C.Frisbee

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