Addressed to "Mrs. Hannah Phillips, Albion, Edward Co. Ill."

"Free J. R. Osborn P. M. Osborn Hollow N.Y. May 13"

Osborn Hollow Broome Co. N. Y. April 23, 1837

Dear Friends,

Your kind letter of the 8th-13th march last has been Recd and our hearts were made glad at the breaking up of the long silence. That we heard nothing for so long a time was a matter of wonder and affliction to us and we had already begun to imagin that you had met with a total extermination so that no one was left to tell the sad tale, or that you had gone beyond the reach of mail facilities. The uncertainty of temporal blessings ought to admonish us to a diligent improvement of them while they are ours. The privilege of writing at the cheap rate we can now, is held at the pleasure of a single individual fellow man. Then let us use while we enjoy. We live at a great distance apart and that some of our letters should fail of reaching their destined depot is not to be wondered at. Therefore, to wait for an answer to each succeeding one before we write again leads to unpleasant suspense. In saying these things, however dear friends, I would not be understood to censure. You have probably good reasons for not writing oftener. According to our present calculations, months will pass away before I have the privilege of reading any more of your letters or of sitting by my own fireside and scribbling a few lines to you. I am expecting to start within a few hours to go some 100 miles to the west to be gone all summer and maybe longer, and to tear myself thus away from family endearments and become the servant of mill owners in strange lands requires a great deal of energy and self command, but the promis and hope of gain excites and I consent to go. I suppose Dr. [dear] sister, you remember how our house was when you was here. Well, it remained in the same unfinished and uncomfortable state until about a year ago. I turned my attention to it again and have succedded in getting it nearly all compleated except painting. We have just finished plastering and a dirty job we had of it, too. A cold spring succeeds a cold winter in this region and what privations these dispensations will lead to, it is impossible for human wisdom to discover. I can see now banks of snow that probably fell last Dec. while I sit writing, and on cleared land too. But amidst all portentions to calamity, it becomes us to trust in a merciful providence which has hitherto sustained us and given us a present supply. I must leave the other pages for others to fill, so farewll.

J. R. Osborn

[April or May 1837]

Dear friends,

As my uncle has written one of these pages and left the rest for others to fill, I gladly embrace the opportunity of sending you a few lines to let you know that I have not forgotten you, although I have for a long time been silent...No, I often think of you as an affiliated family, far from the most of your friends. And sometimes I almost wish myself with you, that I might share your sorrows and your joys, for while thus separated I can only faintly anticipate them. Affliction and death is the common lot of mainkind. Death, like an inveterate foe pursres us though every lane of life. Nor is he partial to any. Age and innocence are alike exposed to his cruelties. On one hand, we behold the smiling infant snatched from tender embrace of its fond parents, burying their hopes and furture prospects in an untimely grave; while on the other hand, we behold the blooming youth sinking under his fell grasp. Nor are we surprisec to see the middle-aged or the more advanced in life falling to his relentless hand. How important then, that we live in constant preparation for death, for no age is exempt. Cousin Electa, you say, knows what it is to be afflicted. I trust she has learned thereby not to place her affections on things of earth but rather seeking to lay up treasures in heaven. I think it would be pleasant could I spend the summer with my dear aunt and cousins and exhale ith them the fragrance of the morning air on those beautiful prairies, but you are in the far west and I in the east. The distance is more [than] 1000 miles and I must be content, so farewell.

Permelia Negus

[May 11, 1837]

Dear Aunt,

As Father and Permelia in their short Epistles have given you but a few particulars of our welfare, I shall be under the necessity of filling up a sheet with particulars. Father is gone from home to be gone several months. Mother's health is good this spring, but she is somewhat lonesome to have dear Father gone and the care of the family entirely devolves on her in his absence. But should he have his health, his absence for a season will only tend to make us more comfortable. He has the offer of two dollars per day as long as he will consent to stay. But it seems cruel to have [him] torn, as it were, from his home and family to be a servant to mill-owners.

My health is good. I am engaged in teaching school this season in my own neighborhood. I board at home a considerable part of the time. I have a pleasant school and enjoy myself quite well in my new employment. Sisters Delia and Julia have grown to be women. They are both of thwm taller them mother. Julia still retains the rosy cheek and sparkling eye. She is the very picture of health, but many a lovely flower is withered ere the sun reaches its meridian height. Selia has [a] feeble constitution. She, however, enjoys tolerable good health. Brother Albert is a large and healthy boy. Richardson is rather slender. H e is generally midling health. They are getting to be quite a help to Father about the farming business. Timithy [sic] is to work here this summer by the month. Little Joseph you have never seen, but he is a sprightly boy. He is [but?] four years old. He goes to school every day and learns very fast. Sister Harriet, the Youngest, is now past two years old. She is a plaything for us. All the glow of health is pictured in her countenance. Also, Grandfather and Grandmother are as well as can be expected. Grandfather has let out his farm for three years to a man that has a small family. Mr. Young, (for that is his name) lives in the house with them. Melissa lives about half a mile from us. Her husband is as lealthy as person in general. They get a comfortable living. M. sends her love to you and yours.

Tell Cousin Electa we read her kind Epistle with much heartfelt satisfaction. I hope that we shall hear from her often and I would say to you, Dear Aunt, do not forget to write very often. Mother says do not forget to write about the country. Is there not some poison serpent on those beautiful pariries. Have you ever seen or heard anything about sick-wheat? Write now, and fill a sheet full. You need not be suprised if you should not hear from us in some time on account of Father being gone. Give my love to all the dear cousins. I should be happy to spend the summer with you and visit the beautiful scenery of the "far West".

The spring is backward, the weather cold. It is hard times in this country for poor people. Provisions are high. The canal is finished and some boats came down a few days since. The profits of the postoffice is increasing. We have forty-seven copys of newspapers. Out of that No [number?] we have seven copies of a paper called the Advocate of Moral Reform. I will send you a copy as a sample. I think you will like them. Please to write immediately after reception of his imperfect composition.

I must close by subscribing myself as ever, Yours

Eliza M. Osborn

May 11th 1837

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