The following letter was directed on the back as follows:

Free Osborn Hollow N.Y. Augt. 18

Mrs. Hannah Phillips Albion, Edwards Co., Il.

Osborn Hollow Broome Co. N. Y. Augt. 17th, 1837


Dear Friends,

A rainy afternoon gives me a little leisure from by farming business and I improve a few of the passing moments in writing a short letter in the hopes that it may find its way to you. We think it strange that we receive so few letters from you. The last was dated March 8th 1837. We have written to you since, but as our favor, if you esteem it such, has not been reciprocated, we apprehend it has not reached you, which considering the great distance is not a matter of any great wonder, but a considering that ought to excite us to write the ofterner.

This has been a season of scarcity as respects porvivion in this region, but notwithstanding this visitation of adversity and distress, our family and that of our aged parents have been distinguished above many of our fellows in that we have comfortably fed thus far and new grain is now getting so as that it will so to grind and we are glad to say that the harvest about here is coming in very well so that we expect sustenance another year. But we understand that in the eastern part of this state and various other places, the wheat crop is almost a total failure so that the prospects of the destitute is still discouraging.

Our dear parents enjoy a good degree of health for prople of their age this summer. They have let out their farm to a man upon work shares who lives in the house with them, which relieves us of a great deal of care of them and he is raising stuff on the farm so as that they will have a supply of eatable if nothing extraordinary happens to destory the present prospect.

Eliza is teaching school in our neighborhood this summer but her school has now dwindled to almost nothing because of the prevalency of the hooping cough. Our two youngest children, Joseph and Harriet, have it but not very severely as yet. The latter, however, had not had it long enough to determine how it is going with her. The rest of our family enjoy very good health. The detress [sic] in the money market is severely felt in this section of country and is operating distinctively [destructively?] on my own pecuniary calculations, but I hope not so as to deprive us of a home. And now if this sheet should reach its destined port and fall into the hands of any of our dear friends in distant Illinois, may it at least serve to move some hand to drive the quill a few minutes for we do want to hear how you all do and how you get along "these hard times". To think of seeing you, I suppose is all idleness but as we may be kept constantly informed of each other's welfare at so trifling an expense, it seems to amount to a crime to neglect to write.

I must say, however, that I have an almost insurmountable dislike to letter writing, which too often leads me to abuse privilege and friends, but in others appears to me to be but a poor excuse. The Chenango Canal is completed and in sucful [successful] operation so that now a water communication [exists] from near our habitation to the "far west" but how near to you I do not know. Only, I know that people may go by water via the lakes to Chicago Il.

Electa still saya she cannot write and the time is growing short and the rest are all busy and so none will share in the privilege on this opportunity but myself. Mellissa is now in good health. Her family is also well. Mother has just left now to go home and get supper. And I guess you think by this time I am in want of news to write and so it is, and most gladly quit an exhausted theme and subscribe myself dear sister, unswerving friend

J.R. Osborn

Mrs. H. Phillips


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