October 11, 1861 letter to Sarah Keith from Platt & Nancy Betts

October 11, 1861

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Platt & Nancy Betts, Omro, WI

Platt Betts writes the first part of the letter. Mentions David, Robert & Prosper. Henry’s wife had a boy 9 weeks old when he wrote. Wishes Luke would get a home by them. Added a kitchen to their house this summer. Nancy wrote the rest of the letter and said that Hiram had written and how much it troubled her that he had gone to war. She hadn’t heard from David in over five months. At that time he talked of going to New Mexico. She was afraid he had “exposed himself to the hostel Indians.” Said Louisa said Sarah should call the baby “Allus (Alice?). I say put Louisa to it.” She wants Sarah to tell the children grandma wants to see them and they must take good care of the baby. Mentions Aunt Linda and Aunt Walls.

1861-10-11 1861-10-11B 1861-10-11C 1861-10-11D 1861-10-11env

Omro   11 Oct 1861

Dear Daughter Sarah

We received yours of the 17th of August, and should have replyed to it before this but for the want of Change to pay Postage. We have nothing but shin plasters[1] for chang here. Your mothers[2] helth is not as good as usual for her but able to keep about her work. My helth is good as might bee Expected for a man of my age.[3] Prosper[4] received a letter from Hiram[5] a short time past he was well then. We have Received nothing from David[6] for a long time. Roberts[7] family, and Prospers helth good as usual. Mother received a letter from Henry[8] they was well at that date. His wife[9] has another Boy[10] 9 weeks old when he wrote. Pleas write often. We wish Luke[11] would come out here and get him a home. We had 100 bushel of wheat for our part about two thirds of a crop. 7 bushel of apples potatoes verry poore, hay light. We have built us a kitchen to our hous this sumer. We lost our heffer last Saturday night. That leaves us but one cow and she is farrow.

We send our love & Respects to you all.

P Betts

N B Betts

Dear Sarah I received tow letters from Hiram. He was pleas with his situation at present but you dont know the trouble of mind it has made me his a going to the war[12]. It is about five months seance we have heard from David. He talk of going to new Mexico but if he went he wold let us know but that has ben the last but I am afrade he has exposed himself to the Hostel Indians but in all my troubles about them I feal to give them up in the hans of God. I know he is abel to take care of them. I feal to to put my trust in God and wanto feal reconcile to his will knowing that he can do noth rong. I was glad to hear that your health was better and that you had got along with your trouble so well. Louise[13] sais you must call your baby[14] Allus I say put Louisa to it. We wist you could live near us. Tell the children granma wants to see them and they must take good care of the baby. Remember me to Lous[15] and her husband[16] and Henry[17]. I have written to Edwin[18] but have received no answer as yet. Henry sais you dont write to him. Do write him a good letter. Give my love and respects to Aunt Linda[19] and Aunt Walls and all inquiring frings. My best love to you Luke and the Children. This is from your mother

to S C Keith

N B Betts

[1] Unsecured paper money

[2] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[3] He was about 80 years old, having been born around 1763

[4] Sarah’s brother, Lucius Prosper Crawford

[5] Sarah’s brother, Hiram Crawford Jr.

[6] Sarah’s brother, David (D.C.) Crawford. In spring, lured by “Pikes Peak Gold Fever,” David left Michigan, toiling behind a mule train, which reached Denver in May

[7] Sarah’s brother, Robert Crawford

[8] Sarah’s brother, Henry Crawford

[9] Virginia (Worley) Crawford

[10] See Hiram Crawford’s 4-6-1862 letter stating that Henry’s baby had died

[11] Sarah’s husband, Charles Luke Keith, Jr.

[12] On July 22, 1861 Hiram volunteered to fight for the Union as a member of the Indiana 20th Regiment Infantry

[13] Robert Crawford’s wife, Louisa (McCann) Crawford

[14] Sarah’s daughter, Louese Jerusha Keith, born July 3, 1861

[15] Sarah’s stepdaughter, Lois Keith

[16] Byron Clark

[17] Sarah’s stepson, Henry Keith

[18] Sarah’s brother, Edwin Crawford

[19] An entry in Charles Luke Keith Jr.’s diary notes that “Aunt Linda Hobbs died on March 13, 1874. Perhaps this is the Aunt Linda mentioned in this letter. The relationship, if any, is unclear at this time.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Two New Bloggers in the Neighborhood | Home Sweet Abbey
  2. Trackback: October 11, 1861 letter to Sarah Keith from Platt & Nancy Betts – Letters & Diary Entries From the 1860s

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