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Letter from John A. Hodge and his wife Eveline (Goodrich), in Davenport, Del. Co. to Willis E. and E.A. Bunn in Clayton, Jefferson Co. Ann Roberts Allison, Des Moines, Iowa, September 8, 1998

Davenport May 10, 1841

Dear Children,
We take the present opportunity to inform you of our situation, health, etc. We moved on the 16th of April. The family likes our situation better than they expected. The neighbours appear friendly. By what we can learn it is a peacable neighbourhood. Walter was unwell when Willis left he got better soon and is now smart. I do not know what we would have done if he had not been with us, for the night we got here I was taken with the inflamatory Rheumatism and we had a number of loads more to move. I have got able to work, but am not rid of the rheumatism yet. Mother has not entirely over the Measles, but she is about. Rebecca remains feeble yet. Eveline has not entirely got over them.

Henry and Lucretia are very smart. We were sick so long that we all now gave up moving this spring. If we had not moved part of our goods we should probably have given it up for this spring. It was quite a lark for us to leave the place so soon after depositing two of our number in the silent tomb.

Mcleards have lost their youngest child since we moved. It had the measles. We have not heard from Louisville within the last two weeks. We must say to the honour of the people of Louisville that they were very kind to us during our sickness and afflictions. All classes seemed to symmpathise with us, and offered us every assistance that we needed.

The spring is very backward here. They have not sowed any yet. We only commenced Friday last to plough. Hay is very scarce here. Grain is not very high. Oats are 28 cents per bushel. Rye ?/b. Wheat about 9/b. The farmers here generally keep dairy. We have but three cows at present. I do not know but Julia will get one or two.

Julia enjoys tolerable good health at present. She has had a hard cough but she is not much troubled with it at present. I do not know what we would have done if it had not been for her in our sickness, and since we moved she has been a great help to her mother in cleaning house etc. If you write to us direct your letter to Meredith, Delaware Co. We all send our love & respects to you. Please write often-

We are very much in want of some money. I wish you could send it soon for we are among strangers, and the credit system of course will not go quite so well.

Yours Respectfully
John A. Hodge

The second letter is also from John and Eveline Hodge at Butternuts, and to Willis E. and E. A. Bunn at Cape Vincent, Jefferson Co. NY

Butternuts April 21st 1844

Dear Children,
We would embrace the present opportunity to inform you of our residence, health, etc. We are all well. We now reside at the Hargrave Factory in Butternuts. We moved the 1st of April. We live in the house that we moved out of. Rebecca and Eveline are in the factory. We lost our farm and all we paid. We have not heard from Walter. We rec'd a letter from Willis & Folger requesting me to inform them where Walter was. I know nothing about him, and I should have answered their letter then, but I thought after we had got through with our work I would go to Nineveh and see Walter and advise him to go out and arrange his business but I could not get time to go, and I wrote to Mr. Pollard and requested him to inform us where Walter was but have never received an answer. After that we learnt from Emilys letter that he had gone west. If I could hear where he was I would write to him. I am supprised at Walter doing as he did, and I was disappointed in not receiving any money from him. He promised so positively that I might depend on it when he knew my property was under Execution.

You have probably heard that Julia has a son. He is a fine boy. He is over three months old. His name is Anor-John. (Ainer Munson) Father named him after a brother of his.

Write to us as soon as you can and inform us how you get along, and if you know anything about Walter write and inform us about him. Mrs. Bryan requested us to send her respects to you when we write. They are well. Emily is a fine girl. I do not know whether we have written since Rovilla Holmes was married or not. She married a Houghtalling. She had had a pair of twins. They are dead. Old mister Holmes is dead. Our friends are well. The times seem to be about as usual in this place. Malifra Church is getting better, she can talk loud and can bear the light. Emily is allmost as bad off as Malifra was but not the same complaint. What her complaint is I do not know. Mr. Churches family are well.

Write soon and inform us of your health and how you got along with Walter's debt, etc.

Two small children have died in this place since we came here. One was Wm. Avery, and the other Richard Garratt. We all send our respects to you. Crete says you must come out and bring Bert(?).

John A. Hodge Eveline Hodge

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