Delaware County NY Genealogy and History Site

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I thought the following old letters written from Isabella Fraser Dickson in Delaware County NY to her cousin Nancy Maria Steele in Wisconsin were interesting. (They were grandchildren of William Cowan who is buried in the old Presbyterian Cemetery). I copied the spelling, lack of puncuation and capitals, etc. 'as is' as I thought it added flavor. - Patti Gottschall Schuknecht, March 15, 2001

New Kingston November 11th 1878

Dear Aunt
I will try to write you a fue lines to let you know that my mother is gon She died the first day of November her health was verry good all Summer excepting some times She took a pain in her breast. When she would take a warm drink and raise up wind She would be better She was staying with Eliza. The day She died she was in her usal health She went to bed a bout 8 clock She had not ben to bed long when Anna Spoke and said thare was something the mater with Granma Eliza went and spoke to her and asked if she had a pain in her breast She said she had Thay got her a warm drink then she vomited some with a little blood They sent for the doctor and Herman came down for me but she was gon a fue minits before I got thare She died about half past ten I saw Eliza yesterday She said she was going to write you a letter before long and she would write you all the particulars her Husband died last March of consumption thay ware preparing to build a new house the Sellar was dug and most of the lumber was thear before he died it has made a verry busey Summer for her she has got it verry near ready to move into now I and my family has enjoied good health this last year which I am verry thankful for Oh how I do mis my Mother but I hope she has gon to a better home

Well you please write me a letter before long give my love to Eliza and her family and tell her to write me a letter give my love to Uncle James and all the rest No more at presant

From your neice Isabella Dickson

Roxbury April 21st 1851

Dear cousin
I take this opportunity to answer your letter which I received last winter we was glad to hear that you was all well Grandfather still enjoys good health he is not so spry to walk as he was when you saw him last he walked over to the stone chuch several times last summer he went down to [Yeafiels?] school house last winter every sabath thare was meeting and that was every three weeks We have had a fine winter but rather a scarcity of snow for good sleighing the snow came on about the first of December and continued till abouyt the last of Januaary and then went off thare has ben so sleighing since and now we have fine wether at presant We are getting along about the same as we was when you left Plattekill Elizabeth has hired to William Murrys this summer he works in the black smith shop again and has hired William Bigger to work on the farm Isac Delimeter died a year ago last winter James is maried to Ann Lathan perhaps you ma have seen her as she worked at john Archibalds the summer before you left Delaware he has built a fine new house and has bought William [Vanakins farm for 200 and 50 dollars Gorge McFarland ofard him 2000 dollars for his farm before he bought Vanakins [Larry?] works at John Thomsons this summer William Sprague has sold his farm to J Green Reynolds he is going to work at the Carpenter trade with his father his cows at his [valdue?] went from 22 till 35 dollars John B Thomson went a voige to Scotland last fall for his health he has ben sick ever since he landed he writes that he never knew what it was to be sick before The last word that we heard he was in the City of Glasgow sick with the small Pox Thomas H Johnston returned from Califoria last December with the shining dust but thare is not many that knows how much he has got John H Johnston has gon to California this spring he is taking 200 pair of panteloons with him John Murry John Vanbenschoten and Moses Luis went to California last summer they write that they have not seen the grate chunks of gold that they read of before they went they advise all ther friends to stay at thare comfortable homes William Rutherford John McDonals and Gibert [Urnous?] went to California last fall I think that Califorina feaver is abating now Thare was a letter came from Charls and July Ann Delimater this spring they write that they have lost all they had they wanted thare relations to send them mony to bring them back to Delaware again Thar direction is Buffalo grove Ogle County Illinois I supose you have heard that Hannah Cowan was maried last fall to Almerin Cartrite she has moved in with the old folks in Potava Hannah Mc Farland is maried to John [Denund?] he has bought the farm that Henery Reynolds owes up on the hill they moved on to thare farm about three weeks ago Elizabeth Johnston was maried last january to John Archibald James Scott has maried Mary Winters they have moved on his Gradfather [Rissbe?] farm Old Mrs Russle died about a year ago. Sandy is maried to Lizzy Archibald Thare is no one living in your grandmother's old house now Andrew Cowan and his wife was up at our house last fall He has got tow smart children Helen and John Adam Cowan has built a splendid new house we was at the house warming last Christmas Thare was about 100 eat supper thare that night his youngest son aged about one year died this Spring with the measeles thare has ben a grate many cases of measels around this spring The Edy family from [Weever?] holow is going to Wisconsin this Spring Elizabeth says she is going to Wisconsin when she wants to get maried but I think I would rather go without a man as go as far as Wisconsin for one. I supose the next word that we her you will be maried I have heard a report that you was maried I should like to see you all again I supose Hermon is quite a big boy and Washington and little Samuel Father and Mother send their best respects to your Father and Mother and you all Elizabeth sends her love to Mrs. Rape anad you all Priscilla Reynolds sends her love to you all I want you to write as soon as convenient no more at present from your affectionate cousin. Isabella Fraser, My love to all
Nancy Maria Steele

Stratton's Hill - 10 April 30

Miss Nancy Maria Steele
Lodia Columbia County Wisconsin

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