1825: Hugh Fulton to Robert McKnight

augustaThis letter was written from Augusta County, Virginia by Hugh Fulton (1778-1857), the son of William Fulton (1735-1802) and Margaret Lusk (1741-1825). William Fulton was a farmer; he bought 200 acres 15 August 1758 from John Fulton located on the south side of Moffet’s Creek adjoining William Kennedy’s corner. William Fulton was quite young when his father died. As a result, William deviated from the traditional naming pattern of that era and named his eldest son after the brother, John, who had looked after him and remained close to him throughout his life until John’s death in 1790.

Hugh wrote the letter to his sister, Elizabeth Fulton (1771-1854) — the wife of Robert McKnight (1779-1856). Robert and Elizabeth were married in 1807 in Augusta County, Virginia. A history of Green County, Ohio, says that Robert and his brother Samuel had come to Ohio as early as 1803 and started a distillery in Greene County. They were later joined by their brother, William McKnight (1777-1853). William married Elizabeth (Fulton) McKnight’s sister, Jane Fulton, in 1808.

Hugh’s letter records the death of his mother, Margaret (Lusk) Fulton, on 15 February 1825 which has not been found elsewhere.

1825 Letter

1825 Letter

Addressed to Mr. Robert McKnight, Green[e] County, Ohio, Zeny [Xenia] Post Office

[Brownsburg] Augusta County, [Virginia]
June 25th 1825

Our good friends, we are again about to inform you of our present situation. We can feelingly inform you of the death of our aged mother who departed this life on 15th of this month. She was bedfast for two months & wonderfully afflicted with cancer on her lip. It dried up after a healing under her jaw. The healing was lanced & it broke different times of its own accord. As for the rest of us, we are generally well, thanks to God.

We are very sorry that we can’t get word from each other oftener. We have wrote 2 or 3 letters to you and has received no answer — that is, to William [McKnight], We trust if ever you receive these that you will not treat us so any longer for we really long to hear from you all. Now fail not, I beseech thee, for nothing could be more pleasing to us than to hear from you all. We desire that friendship may continue with us & our love to each other.

As for brother David, he is still with us but has not been very healthy for some time. It appears like a cowell [?] complaint with him. James Strong ¹ & family are all well. Elijah — his son — is married not long since to a Mrs. Anney Surfis ² — daughter of Christian Surfis; all near neighbors. The neighbors here are generally well. William Sproul, Esqr., has lost his wife not long since.³ Also Hugh Daugherty’s 2d wife was buried this week. John Byers and family are generally well & sends their kindest compliments to you all and could wish to receive a letter from you once more, if you could make it convenient.

But I must conclude for this time by saying that we hope and trust that God may be with you and for you all is the sincere wishes and prayers of your brothers & sisters. So farewell for this time.

To Robert & Elizabeth McKnight
From Hughy & Mary Fulton

¹ James Strong (1766-Aft1850) was married on 2 November 1798 to Sarah (“Sallie”) Fulton (1781-@1840), a younger sister of Hugh Fulton. Their son, Elijah, is mentioned in this letter.

² Virginia marriage records show Elijah Strong married “Anney Surfis” on 17 February 1825 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. 

³ Esther (Beard) Sproul, wife of William Sproul (1769-1837) of Newport, Augusta County, Virginia, died on 30 March 1825.

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