On the outside: J. R. Osborn P. M.
Osborn Hollow N.Y.
April 20

Widow Hannah Phillips
Albion Ill.
Edward Co.

Page 1.

P. O. Osborn Hollow Broome Co. N. Y. April 18, 1838

Dear Sister and friends,

Eliza wrote to you some three or four weeks since and the way she stated to you my then condition, if her letter has reached you, may have excited your apprehesion as to the final termination or result of the afflictions under which my frail body was then laboring, and to relieve your minds from anxious suspense touching my case and other important matters, I feel inclined to write to you today. And [I] have the happiness of stating to you that after having suffered a privation of health for some eight or ten weeks and a portion of the time confined to my room, have at length, thro the influence of the divine blessing upon medical treatment, so far recovered as to be able to do a little work and entertain a hope preducated upon past experience and present feeling that I eventually shall in the course of a few more weeks regain my usual state of health.

Realizing the inquisitiveness of the human mind, I anticipate that some one will say "I wonder that ailed him?" But to give a satisfactory answer to this inquiry is to me a difficult task. The doctor, in describing the rise and progress of my complaint, used many terms and phrases peculiar to men of his profession and altogether unmeaning to men of my acquirements, as to leave me in darkness as to the subject further than to say that a disorder and redundant gall produced an inflammation on the liver and other intestine members, debilitating the whole system and producing, in effect, what is generally known as jaundice.

As to Father and Mother Sadler, I may have told you some time in the course of the last summer that they had leased out their place for three years to a man who had moved into the house with them. And so it was then. But in the course of last fall, the lease was given up by mutual consent and the man moved away. But they have lately [end of page 1] let another man of a family into their house to live a while (I don't know how long) and he is to improve some of their land upon shares. They both enjoy good health for people of their age. Mother does her own housework in the general and walked more than a half mile yesterday to visit Millisa and home again the same afternoon. Allen Negus has rented a farm in this neighborhood and taken Permelia to keep his house. Timothy, I believe, lives with them. Benjamin has just come out of his minority, but where he is now or what calculations he is making for his future support and temporal advancement, I do not know. And while I am speaking of the Negus children, I would just say that Korneill [spelling uncertain, could be Roswell??] is married and has moved away to Conneaut Ashtabula Co., Ohio. But what he is doing to improve his temporal condition there, I am in possession of no particular information.

I believe I told you years ago that letter writting was an irksome task to me and it has grown no less so het [sic]. But in paliation of what as I suppose appears to you a criminal neglect on my part, I would say that business called me from home for the space of nearly three months from the latter part of Sept last having returned in a declining state of health and my mind impressed with the idea that I had written last and having nothing special to communicate, I conceived myself excusable in keeping silence.

If I mistake not, Eliza in her last communication told of the state of our dear Redeemer cause in this region and in what particular respects the friends of Zion were exerting theemselves to promote His glory in this place, so that I feel excused from saying more on that subject further than that no material change has taken place since the date of her's.

The employment of teaching school, dear sister, I conceive to be very laudable vocation and opens a field of extensive usefulness to its votaries. But considering your age, and the [end of page 2] many afflictions thro' which your path of life has led, I should think it involved more care and anxiety than could reasonably be expected you are purposed to meet. Divine grace has, I doubt not, however, shone peculiarly conspocuuoous in your case and qualified you to discharge with a large measure of propriety the duties however arduous and complicated which devolve upon such as have the training of the infant and youthful mind. May it continue to be your steady purpose to follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit and promp the declaration glory of God in whatever capacity He may call you to serve Him.

A description of the generally uniform level face of the county of the far west interspersed with fertile prairies of every shape and size as given by yourself, your daughters, and others having passed thro' or inhabiting that region, sonetimed in making comtemplative comparisons between that and this rough and broken country excited the wish that I could effect a change in my situaation and share the advantages and ease in obtaining a livelihood with those who cultivate an easy and productive soil in preference to one that is hard, stony and comparatively sterile. But the wish is no sooner excited than blasted by the reflection that here lies all the unconsumed avails of may [many?] years of hard labour in unsalable property. But in whatever it consists is useful and in some cases is indispensible necessary and such as makes a home, and in some respects a comfortable one. And to this may be added another tie that seems to bind us here at leats during the natural lives [of] our aged and respected parents.

Electa still declines bearing and part of the burden of writing to our numerous circle of absent friends. But is neverthe less always pleased to receive letters from any of them at very short intervals and anxious that each favvour should be promptly reciprocated. Our children are well and send their love to you all. I have no more room to add more, so adieu

J. R. Osborn

On the back of [original] page 4:

I think you will rather complain of my scribblings than of writing a short letter this time.


[Bracketed within this text are noted identifying the page ends of the original, handwritten manuscript.]

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