1842: Mary Jane Carr to Andrew Jackson Carr

This letter was written by Mary Jane Carr to her brother, Andrew Jackson Carr (1822-1885). They were the children of John Carr (1793-1845) and Mary (“Polly”) Neal (1795-18xx). John Carr fought at the Battle of Tippecanoe and later became a brigadier general and major general of the Indiana militia. He was elected a Jacksonian Democrat to the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, & 26th US Congresses. His son, Jack Carr, served in the US Army during the Mexican War, served in the Indiana House of Representatives, and served in the Union Army again during the Civil War.

Mary Jane Carr married George W. Dunlap on 25 March 1845 in Charlestown, Clark County, Indiana. George was a well-to-do owner of a brick manufacturing business in Louisville, Kentucky.

The letter was undated but clues in the contents of the letter lead us to conclude that it was written on 14 February 1842 while Jack Carr attended Indiana Asbury College in Greencastle, Indiana.

1842 Letter

1842 Letter

Addressed to Andrew J. Carr, Green Castle, Indiana

[Charlestown, Indiana]
February [14th, 1842], Monday night

Dear Brother,

I have for some time intended answering your letter but have neglected writing until this late period. We heard from Sarah about two weeks ago. She was then well.

On the day I received your letter, I received one from Orra. She said you had been there but was much changed since last spring — that you had grown tall and straight and quite handsome; only a flattery, I presume, from her ladyship. She said she was coming in next spring. Her mother joined her in sending her compliments to me with a very pressing invitation to make them a visit which I would indeed be pleased to do if it was in my power to do so.

I have not seen A. Green since Christmas but have had several letters from her. I had one from her today. I suppose she is so much engaged with the Temperance Cause that she has not time to visit. Tomorrow they are to have a great time in town. Angeline wrote to me that they was to have a party at John Bottorffs. He keeps tavern where Parker formerly did. It is the first I have heard of it. I have had no invitation to attend, though thank heaven I feel no disposition to attend a party where there will be none except the trash that Charlestown affords. Greens do not keep tavern now. They have moved where Bottorffs lived back of Athens. Kimberlake has been to town for several weeks but has now left. He waited on Ange all the time he was there. She is very much pleased with him.

The matrimonial fever has been raging here for some time and has indeed took off a goodly number. We have had several cases of it in our neighborhood. Last week Frances Davis was married to some person they call Dick Green ¹ and a few days afterward Miss Hilterbridal and Siss Daily all but me told you about myself and Joe Sin is a positive falsehood of his own make. It is true he had been here several times after you left but what signifies that he left for Cincinnati. A few days after Bill, we started to Indianapolis. He was taken sick there and has not yet returned.

Tom and I was out at Uncle Joe’s last Saturday night and at Uncle Tom’s Sunday. Uncle Absalom was there. I think we must try and go up there when you come home.

Alfred Spangler has sold out and is going to move away in a few days to Illinois. Aunt is going with him to spend the winter. Tom Duch received his letter from you and read it without any assistance. Canter’s dog and ours had quite a fight the other day. The issue of it was Phil was so badly hurt that he died the next night. Trip pretty badly wounded but is now recovering quite fast. I believe I have no more news worth communicating. I expect it will put you up to all you know to read this miserable scrawl for Pa has been running about with the candle so much that I have written half of it in the dark.

No more at present. From your sister, — M. J. Carr

¹ Frances Davis married Richard (“Dick”) E. Green on 9 February 1842 in Clark County, Indiana.

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