Saturday, March 22, 2014


The following is a scan of a letter written by Sally Harger in 1838, with a transcription below.  This letter was acquired through an eBay auction.   The transcription keeps spelling and grammar intact.  There was little punctuation in the letter, so extra spaces were placed between sentences for easier reading. She was writing from Clarkson, New York, which is near Rochester, to Troy, New York, where her daughter Sally Mariah (Harger) Peck lived.  Other children lived in nearby towns and the letter was passed on to them.  Sally Harger's sons Ephraim and Cyrenius had died.  She visited the families after the deaths and in this letter she describes her journey home.  The paragraph to Sally is to Ephraim's wife who was left a widow with two small children, Emily and George.  Mary Jane is the daughter of Cyrenius.  Cyrenius was a widower when he died, so his four children including Mary Jane, the youngest, were orphans.  The writer's daughter, Caroline, lived six miles from her home and she stopped to see her before returning home.



Outside: To Mr. Harrison Peck Troy NY

Clarkson Dec the 16 1838
Dear Children
According to agreement I will write a few lines to you concerning my journey home I did not start from Sand Lake until the next Monday then I took a boat and was one week & coming as far as montzuma which was one hundred miles from home their I took the stage and had a very fatiguing journey the rest of the way home the road being so rough and having to ride night and day I got quite fatigued Tuesday evening I arrive at Rochester and put up at the Eagle tavern and stayed their two nights and one day on the account I could not get passage the stage was so crowded Thursday morning I took the stage and I came to Clarkson then I was three mililes from Carolines then I took a chance to go over their their I stayed until the next Monday which left me six miles from home I sent word to our folks and they came and took me home and being so fatigued I omitted writing thinking to have some better news to write and having thus given you a description and a full detail of my journey home I will turn upon another subject After I got home our folks was about going out to ask if they could put away their Michigan land and as good luck has turned in our favor we have had a chance to put it off to a very good advantage we have traded it off for twelve hundred and eighty dollar for a farm in the town of Barry consisting of fifty acres at forty one dollars per acre with a good new house and barn well finished The house painted outside and in with a good well of water clost by the dore with a new patron pump likewise we have fruit of all kinds a plenty peaches plums cherrys quinces aples the orchard is a young orchard half of it grafted with the best kind of fruit the farm come to twenty one hundred dollars which leaves us in debt two hundred abthong(?) we had property throwed in to the amount of about the same there is fifteen acres of wheet and we have half of that now ????milk and a number of farming utinseals likewise a very nice new stove with all the furnature with it I have not given you a description of the farm whare it lies it lies between Holley and Albion A fine street with good inhabitance and a school house within twenty or thirty rods we do not take possession until the first of April and as we are now settled in what we are going to do if it is your mind to come out here if you will write what kind of business you would like to go in we will try to make arrangements for you there is a cabinet shop about three miles from us and I do not know but what their would be a chance to get in somewhere near and go in the business of making chaires so that you could make it prophitable we have not had a chance to look about yet besides we did not know what your mind would be about coming so far west but if you come and want assistance your Father says he will try to assist you in coming and fetch Cyrenius’s children with you   he says he will take Cyrenius to live with him if you think of coming write and let us know and we will look and see what for a chance there is for you   we shall want to hear as soon as you come to a conclusion we shall mail another letter with this to send to Sand Lake as the distance is some ways and you could not easily send it up
 Sally I hope you will bare up with fortitude under your trials and afflictions and I trust your parents will assist you in taking care of your little ones I expect it would be more agreeable to you to live with your parents then any other way you must write to us and let us know how you get along with your little family you must try and come out in this western clime and make us a visit if nothing more   Mary Jane stood her journey very well. She is well and well contented she says she would like to see Emily and George and and all the rest she is very much pleased with our new house she says she wants to see you all but does not want to go back their to live    I have nothing more to write at preasan and the evening is far spent I will draw my letter to a close and sign myself your affectionate Mother until death

Sally Harger
Ephram Harger