Son writes Mother and family about how New York perceives several union generals
July 9, 1862
John Delano Shearman was 18 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Hepsa Hathaway Howland Shearman, was 56 when it was received.
John Delano Shearman died 66 years, 6 months, 4 days after writing this.
It was written 157 years, 10 days ago.
It was a Wednesday.
New York, July 9, 1862
Dear all hands,
I received M E.’s yesterday, Mother’s and Isaac’s today and despairing of doing justice to all three individually, I propose to make a stock concern of it and give you each a share. It has been excessively warm here since Sabbath last, but that was I think the climax. The thermometer reaching about 95 fairly (I saw it in one place 97 in the shade but think the place rather warmer than the average owing to reflections). Since Sabbath, it has been comparatively cool at 85 and thereabouts; I am getting nicely done and shall soon be ready for table and those wishing outside cuts can have some beautifully browned. M. E. mentions her favorite topic, shirts, as if she was possessed to bore me to death with that familiar theme, and now all I’ve got to say on that indefatigable subject is if you send me any more, I want know what to do with them unless I present them to Mr. H, and as for adopting my style of cuff on these, I have, for the old is decidedly preferable, as these are continually in the way though I turn back and pin up—well several times a jiffy during the day.
I called for Uncle John at the Astor last evening, but he was not in; shall go to the ship tonight and then to hotel and see if I can catch him. I conclude you hear nothing from Uncle John Green’s family nowadays from you’re not mentioning them; whenever you write please inform them that nothing would be more acceptable to me than a letter from that vicinity posting me in regard to affairs there. If there are any real Yankees in New Bedford who wish to make a fortune now is their chance. Confederate bills (I guess of all denominations) are sold in N. Y. for one cent each. Buy up a lot of these for $.10 say, get $5000.00, over the gauntlet and circulate the funds where they belong and are not at so much discount as here. Here in New York people have no more scruples about criticizing one government official than another; and MacClellan is picked up and turned over by anyone who takes a notion and no one interferes. Fremont has friends I’ll notice one very influential that is myself. MacClellan’s slow motions are generally derided; Lincoln’s constitution is made sport of; Butler is the general pet of the fancy, “a regular bulldog”; Burnside has ceased to be talked of as also have Foote, Farragut, Hallack & Buell or more properly talk has ceased about them. Hunter was pitied because he could not free the slaves as he wished and Gov. Andrew of Massachusetts commands now more respect I think here than any other state in the Union and I guess her bank notes are taken at less discount even than some from this state.
The slip I enclose from the N. Y. World is all true and exposes a state of affairs that I never heard of before. Why it’s the hardest work to get a bill changed here unless you pay about five cents on the dollar for the accommodation that I ever saw; and there would be no better speculation in my opinion than in gold and silver. Mother mentions wash-rags in one of hers and washing. I bought a coarse towel which I cut into wash-rags and they go first rate; my washing is done at the house. I went to the Gallatin last evening to see Uncle J. but he had left for N. Bedford; I can see the Ge fly from the window here. I believe there’s nothing more to say generally so I close with this with lots of love to all and kisses for Mother, Baby, and Ike.
I am sorry he finds it so weedy, seedy, needy, feedy, meady, ready, etc. in the garden, but he must try and keep cool and let his capillanit have vegetation at the same time that he suppresses the growth of weeds; he writes nothing in regard to the tomatoes that I so carefully transplanted under Frank Huttleston’s immediate supervision. By the way, how is that young man who pronounces potatoes poisonous? Tell him I’ve eaten them since I arrived here and cannot exactly call them poison, but acting more like a narcotic as since I’ve commenced eating them I find I’m obliged to go to sleep at regular hours of the day, generally at about 8 ½ o’clock in the evening, also that the charm is not broken till about 5 o’clock the next morning.
Hoping Isaac he will keep his spirits up by pouring very pale ale down, I remain,