This letter was written by Elias Newton Clark (1814-1895) to his parents, Elias Clark (1780-1853) and Elizabeth B. Newton (1781-Aft1850). Elias Newton Clark was married to Minerva Content Marks (1817-1886) in the 1830s and this letter includes short messages from their oldest boys, William Newton Clark (1837-1907) and Thomas George Elmore Clark (1841-1849).
Little did the Clark family realize when they wrote this letter that tragedy was about to befall the household. Ironically eight year-old Thomas had only a few days to live when he wrote this letter. U. S. Mortality Schedules show that he died on 17 October 1849 after a fever of only three days.
Addressed to Elias Clark, Esqr., Waterbury, Connecticut
Liverpool, [Medina County, Ohio]
October 12th 1849
Dear Father and Mother,
I received your letter a long time ago and now I take my pen in hand to answer yours and Sarah’s, which I received just one week after yours. The summer past has been very dry — especially the latter part of it till within a few days past. Last week it rained every day and this week it has rained every night, and now it is very wet. We had a good crop of grass. Corn is very good. Wheat was almost an entire loss. I had ground enough for 200 bushels and I only had 75 bushels and that does not fetch much. Oats was very light. Sometime in August I had the cholera which brought me very low but by the aid of a Thomsonian, I soon got about and am now in good health, and the rest of us are all well.
Mother wants to know if I keep my wrists swathed in wormwood and vinegar. I can tell that I do not, but that the [paper torn] I should have to for they ached and was lame for a few days and they are not very strong, however, at the best. The summer past I have not done much for I have been either lame or sick a good part of the time. But I live in hopes that another summer I shall be able to do more than to get a living for I have not made anything for the last year.
You say something about my selling my farm. I do not know as I care much about selling and going back there to farm it for I have got a good farm here — as good land as any of my neighbors, and that is good enough. But there was a man came along the other day looking for a farm and offered me my price ($2500) but the pay did not suit me. It was $400 down and then $500 a year till it was paid. I am sorry to hear that your health is poor but I hope you will write another letter soon as you receive this or have Daniel write for I want to hear how you get along. William and Elmore writes a little just to let you know that they can write.
I want to say a few words to brother Daniel. I have got a little money for you and I have thought that I would come and bring it but it is so late in the season and I have not got but one hundred dollars and to come down there would cost at least 25 of that and that would leave but 75 for you. If you want it, send me word. Until I hear from you, I shall put it out on interest so as to have it anytime when you want it. You will please to write soon and when you want the money if you can send how I can send it. I have thought that I would send you a check on some Bank and if I do, I shall send it in 2 or 3 weeks. I do not know whether to send or put it on interest. If you want it, you will send soon without delay.
I wish to be remembered to you all and all who may enquire about me. — E. N. Clark
October 8th 1849
Dear grandfather and grandmother,
As father is going to write to you, he wishes to have me write part of the letter. You must excuse my writing if it is not very good for I never tried to write a letter before this. I am not twelve years old till December and I never tried to write at all before last June. We are all well. I should like to see you very much. Tell Aunt Delia ¹ that I do not cry for “foogar” now. Give my love to all my uncles, aunts, and cousins and tell my cousins I should like to have them write to me. And to write yourselves.
From your grandson, — William N. Clark
Father wishes to have me write a few lines in this letter. If I do not write as well as William does, you must remember that I am almost four years younger than he is. I am only eight years old a few days ago. I wonder if [paper torn] little cousins of my age can write as well as I can. I hope they will write to me and if they can beat this, I will try to do better next time. My love to you and all my relations.
From your grandson, — T. G. Elmore Clark
¹ Delia A. Welton (b. 1812) married Daniel Baker Clark (b. 1811) of Waterbury, Connecticut. Daniel was an older brother of Elias Newton Clark.