1841: Soffarine Westfall to Capt. James S. Lewis

Westfall's Signature

Westfall’s Signature

Remarkable, despite his unique name, I could not find any record of the author of this letter whose name appears to read Soffarine Westfall.

Westfall wrote the letter to Capt. James S. Lewis (1798-1892). Lewis, a former sea captain, came to Iowa in 1839 with his wife Florenda Hanchette (1801-1901).

1841 Letter

1841 Letter

TRANSCRIPTION
Addressed to Capt. James S. Lewis, Rock Creek Post Office, Cedar County, Iowa Territory

Beemersville, [New Jersey]
February 16, 1841

Mr. James S. Lewis
Dear Sir,

I have received your letter directed to the Postmaster at Deckertown. We are enjoying comfortable health. I have lived near Deckertown for the past year, work at my trade a part of the time. I have hired out for one year from the 1 April next at Beemersville to work a farm & my daughter manages a dairy of cows. The times are rather hard in this section of country. Rye is worth 3/6, corn 3/b, buckwheat 3/, oats 3/, wheat 7/ to 8/ and other things in proportion.

Thomas left us last spring a year and we have heard nothing of him since. The last account we had from John he was in Wisconsin Territory.

We have had a flood that extended throughout this county that swept almost everything before it — factories, bridges, & mill dams was swept off without number & many lives lost. ¹

I would be glad to hear from you often. Direct your letter to Beemersville, Sussex County, New Jersey.

Yours in haste, — Soffarine Westfall

¹ The destructive freshet occurred during the first week of January 1841.


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