I haste to add some matters of business

Joseph Culver Letter, January 19, 1863, Letter 2, Page 1Monday Morning, 19th Jan./63

Dear Mary

As an opportunity may possibly offer to-day to send letters North, I haste to add some matters of business. There are some laths standing in the corner of our hen house. Please get some one to put them in the wood shed, else they will all be destroyed. See that all the doors are securely fastened of the house, &, if Foote did not put in those window glass, close up the place so that the snow & rain will not get in or it will destroy all the ceilings & paper. I have some fear of the kitchen sinking when the frost comes out of the ground. The foundation is very insecure. If some of our friends will give it a little attention in time, that part of the building can be saved. I had hoped to be able to have made it secure before this.1

Ask Bro. Utley to get you the amount of tax due on the NW 1/4 of Block 74, Original town of Pontiac, also the amount of my personal tax now due.2 Also in a memorandum book of mine marked “address of correspondents,” you will find a list of lands purchased by me and assigned to James Longdon, J. H. Case, & Charles Zug.3 I want a list of those tracts assigned to Charles Zug with the amount of tax due on them. They are all in town 30, Range 5, I think.

Tell me who the Town collector for the Town of Pontiac is, &, if the legislature postpones the time for the payment of taxes, I wish to know it immediately.4 Please see that all the gates around our lot are securely fastened & the fence in a good condition, a very little opening may cause us serious damage. You never gave me any account of our sweet potato crop. You know it was an experiment, & I should like to hear the result.5

Harrington wrote to me about some matters of business with Workman Hickman;6
I referred him to my letters in your possession. It occurs to me that I possibly copied my answers to Workman Hickman in my copying press. Please look in that, & if it throws any light on the matter, show it to him. I leave him to explain its nature. It is unaccountable to me. I was sure it was all settled & hardly think I am mistaken, yet I done a large amount of that business & there is a possibility of a mistake.

Look among all my papers & give him every information you can. I do not wish you to run the risk of contracting disease to accomplish it. He can wait until danger is over. It also occurs to me that the letter acknowledging the receipt of the certificates may be in the drawer containing my receipts among them. Please look there also. I am better today. The train is coming,

Good Bye
J. F. Culver

  1. On Jan. 31 Mary Culver informed her husband that “every thing is right over at the house.” Her brother Sammy had attended to the laths and reported the kitchen secure, while Mr. Foote had put in the window glass before he moved to Wisconsin. Mary Culver to J.F.C., Jan. 31, 1863, Culver Collection. []
  2. The tax due on the NW 1/4 of Block 74 was $7.18, and Culver’s personal tax for 1862 was $1.66. Ibid. []
  3. It has been impossible to further identify James Longdon and Charles Zug. For further identification of J. H. Case, see letter of July 2, 1863. []
  4. Mary Culver wrote her husband on Feb. 1, 1863, that James G. Albe was the Pontiac tax collector, and the legislature had not changed the date for payment of taxes. Mary Culver to J.F.C., Feb. 1, 1863, Culver Collection. []
  5. The sweet potato crop had not thrived, most of the hills producing not more “than three or four potatoes.” Mary Culver to J.F.C., Jan. 31, 1863, Culver Collection. []
  6. It has been impossible to further identify Harrington and Workman Hickman. Mary Culver wrote her husband on Feb. 1, “I called on Harrington this p.m. but could give me no help, on the business. I have looked through your papers and can find but one letter from Hickman and that casts no light on the subject.” Mary Culver to J.F.C., Feb. 1, 1863, Culver Collection. []

About Colleen Theisen

Outreach and Instruction Librarian. Lover of coffee, as well as 19th century photography, painting, tourism and print.
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One Response to I haste to add some matters of business

  1. Wow, I just randomly came across this blog. This is incredible. Seeing real-life artifacts like this that give us a very personal window into live 150 years ago feels so much more real than any movie or textbook ever could.

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