Family letter about difficulty of farm life in Union Grove, Illinois in 1861


Date Written

July 20, 1861

Joel Sylvanus Wells was 36 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Israel Wells, was 40 when it was received.

Joel Sylvanus Wells died 18 years, 5 months, 8 days after writing this.
It was written 162 years, 2 months, 15 days ago.
It was a Saturday.

July 20, 1861

Dear brother sur,

I have been looking to here from you for a long time we begin to think you intend coming out but we can’t see what you are coming for times is very hard here no money here. Wheat 40 cents corn 10 you can’t get anything for your corn now and I can’t see how the old man Harrison can pay you. You can’t get anything out of it now. If you come you must calculate to stay some time or you must bring money to bare your expense back and that you had beter save the wheat is good on your place we are goin to cuting Monday the Drainage Comishioner is sewing (suing) some but I can’t find as he has done anything with yours. He has sewed (sued) me. There is a case he bore the supream court. They are rather hanging on to here (hear) that decision. I think i will let them have mine.

Do you want me to take your place on the same terms next year if so I think I will take it but I want to know soon for I want to plow as soon as I get the wheat stacked I can start 2 teams and get it all plowed up in season. The wheat is tolerable clean from weeds some parts was very weedy but I cut the tops all off part with a sythe and part with a reaper that put the weads back so the wheat go the start. I think you will do beter this year with your place than you ever hav done. I am in town and am in a hury if there is anything more you want to know writ. One 80 your land was sold for tax for the year Andrew Harrison payd the tax. That has got to be tended to prety soon. Andrew payd what was assest to you but this was left out some way.

Write soon

J. S. Wells

Scans of Letter