LETTER FROM LINDSAY, ONTARIO 24TH NOVEMBER 1841
Written by Jesse Thomas Purdy with postscript by Hassard Wilcox Purdy
apparently to Amos Wright in Richmond Hill, Ontario
I write to inform you of the State of our health which at this time through the blessings of God is Rather Improving. Hassard is getting some better but he has the Ague & fever whenever he exerts himself a little to (sic) much.
Hassard wrote to you that I had been up and taken Father down to my place since which time I received a letter from him that the people up the river had held meetings intending to pull down our Mill Dam & wishes me to be here on the first of this month. I cam up and informed the Justices of the peace and claimed their protection. They came on and the people up the river collected to the Number of thirty to forty and commenced an attack on the Dam and cut away all the posts in front of the dam at the far side of butment (sic) and dug away round the far end till the water run so much that it prevented them from work. The next day they came on and cut off one cap of the saw mill flooring and cut into several others when a third magistrate came after which the(y) desisted untill (sic) the magistrates could send to the Government a representation of the sickness prevailing. (End of first page)
Here they impute all the sickness to the dam.
I then went home and went to Kingston to the provincial Secretarys office and they had received the Magistrates communication the day before and had sent by that days mail to a person near Peterboro to gow (sic) out and examine the dam and report to the Government whether it was the Dam in his opinion that caused the sickness.&&. I then came immediately up (not yet knowing who the person was that was to make the investigation) and arrived here on Friday night and he came on Monday night and who should it be but Dr. John Gilchrist M.P. A Reformer and (one) that was in the Reform parliament when our business was before them and we think we shall be by him fairly represented. The Mills are idle till the Government settles the matter which I expect will be very shortly.
The old lady (Fatherís wife I mean) came back and Hassard was away at that time with the key of the house and she broke it open and is living by herself. Father wrote her a letter to dispose of his property and Hassard would furnish her a conveyance down to him and that she must give the writing for his maintenance and the wright (sic) for 160 acres of land in Illinois to Uncle Thomas Purdy. (End of second page)
But she refuses to do so. She says she is as able to keep them as Thommy (sic) Purdy or any other of the Purdys. She resorts to every means in her power to make up a story, getting people that come to the mill to chop her wood and says not a word to Uncle or his boys and carrys in long wood and puts on the fire when there is short wood that she might put on. Father takes solid comfort down at our place or would if it was not for fear of her he says. She would call him and all of us all the cheats and liars and names (sic) she could lay her tongue to and that not once or (twice?)[missing] but allmost (sic) every meal & bed time, the day he could be out of her way some part of the time, and will call God to witness that she never said things, that we can prove by good evidence, We are meanest family that ever was,
Sarah was this & the other & is an infidel &&. She has led Father a hell uppon (sic) earth or as near that as possible, and Father says he will never undertake to keep house with her again if he begs his living from house to house.
He regrets what he has done now and also that him and your mother had any words on the subject. I would wish you would write a king of family letter and remember Father in it particularly. He is old and should have as (End of third page) * little on his mind as possible. He is (not?) verry(sic) well his legs swell from his knees down to his feet and is obliged to keep them swaythed (sic) to keep down the swelling. (If) it was not for this he would be considerable smart for him. I have a great deal on my mind that is not worth putting in a letter but I hope you and Mariah and all you(r) Fathers folks will try and make us a visit before the sleighing quits this winter when the business is settled about the mill. We will let you know how it is adjusted between us and the people in the Government.
In the meantime we subscribe ourselves
Your affectionate uncles
Jesse T. Purdy
Hassard W. Purdy
Amos Wright Esqr
You must give our respects & best ones to all you(r) Fathers folks & all our Friends
[NOTE: from the asterisk * is written across the side of the third page perpendicular to previous writing.]
[NOTE: the following is written by Hassard perpendicular to the writing on the first page]
Nov the 6
I did not mail this last week as I intended. Jesse started for home the next day after writing this letter. I have had the ague since he left but through the Blessing of God I am better now than I hav ben
(sic) since first taken sick.
Contributed by Kaireen Morrison
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