Representative writes his cousin from Florida

Author

Date Written

April 19, 1869

Hugh White was 70 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Abiah Lawrence Plumb, was 70 when it was received.

Hugh White died 1 year, 5 months, 17 days after writing this.
It was written 150 years, 6 months, 27 days ago.
It was a Monday.

Palatka, Florida
April 19, 1869

My Dear Cousin Abiah,

Your very welcome letter reached me by the accidental mail of the 16th only 4 days occupied in transit & I ought to be able to write just as good a letter as yourself, but our folks seem to think you can beat me, out and out, & I do not doubt it because you have a cane & I have a nothing but a hot sun with mercury at this moment standing at 800 & the sand in the garden & yard shiny like snow & as oppressive to the eyes. I do not remember what I wrote to you, but it seems I made many inquiries & some of them much to your astonishment. Though I admit 4 score years ought to be astonished at something, even if at itself if nothing better can be come at, but you have a never failing source of novelty and interesting conversation. The unexplored & for aught you know endless cavern will not fail to amuse if not instruct the citizens of Canaan & Sailsbury whether they admit or deny the great curiosity on any part of it. At all events I am greatly pleased to hear from my cousins & I hope you will be able to transmit my earnest, kind, & cordial love & appreciation for each one and more especially for those who manifest any regard for me & mine & Mrs. Porter & Ma have very much the same feelings & hope you will accept love as cordially & earnestly as it is offered.

Sister Susan is worried about Charlotte’s cough & thinks that if she only could spend the cold weather; that cold which chills & [?] one’s bones & whole body at this place, or some one place as soft & mild in atmosphere that she would be intensely relieved & be rebuilt & possibly rejuvenated. I suppose cousin William Adam could not think of such a journey & I suppose I ought not to think about it, still what I have is my own & I have pensioned off the children tolerably well. Bell has a good house & 20,000 at interest, William has a good house, & large farm & about $18,000 at interest, besides the farm, far which he was offered $50,000 last fall; my own income will this year reach upwards of $15,000 & that ought to be a competence for two such old pages as Ma & myself with our [?].

I may write today we have from my planting, snap beans, potatoes, peas, lettuce, potatoes, turnips, radishes, spinach, & onions & what surprises one is that fish taste good, yet a kind of fish they call trout, but are in truth a Bass but better, far better than pickerel. These Bass broiled or glazed within good pork fat, one savory and one sweet & quite digestible. I like them better than the shad but Mrs. Porter & Ma, liked the Shad better. We had these in February early and they have not all passed away yet, though I care but little for them. The Mullet have not made their appearance, though a sea fish, it was told to me yesterday that they spent most of the winter in the lakes, south of this point. About going north, we have not decided upon any point beyond Charleston, which city we calculate to reach on Saturday next, and then decide what next. Mrs. Porter will remain here about 5 or 6 weeks longer and a Mrs. Tiffany who stops here as sort of an assistant. She will probably return with Mrs. Porter & Miss Henry, stop here till sometime in August, and till the alligators are in full force of which animal I have desired to show Mrs. White a gain specimen but have not been able to do so.

I must before closing express any thanks for the brave and patriotic course of the people of Connecticut at the recent election. I did tremble and quake, and was exceedingly afraid; but all has come out well, the defeat of Dixon is particularly gratifying, he was in the same congress with me, and while I could not accord to him any great amount of talent or brilliancy of intellect, I did rely upon his truthfulness & soundness, but it appeared he was nothing more than an adventurer, no manhood or manly soundness in him, or Babcock. But I do thank the people of Connecticut for their firmness & soundness in the right causes.

And you may so express my feelings to all whom you may speak to upon the subject. I wish you would convey to cousins Harry & Betsey & Ella & Mrs. Adam & Sarah m and loyalty. affectionate regards, also to Hugh W. Franklin & Julia Pease and our cousins all & I will add that if practicable we will come to Canaan, the ensuing summer, in case I do not make a trip to the Rocky Mountains as I now expect to do in June. We will also visit Rent, for I may as well allow you to be advised that I am pretty much subdued by petticoats & must carry myself very much as Mrs. W. diverts. But I have not nor do I intend to have any business on hand to hamper or worry one though I would not be idle & do not intend to be a drone. If you hear of or about Mr. Elisha Mansfield please send to him my compliments and kind remembrances & if you will please write to me at [?] & I will try to answer and if you can please come up and make us a visit.

Your cousin,
Hugh White

Scans of Letter