Young husband on hunting trip writes home to wife
Oct. 22, 1840
Patrick Henry Thomson was 21 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Julia Maria Farnsworth Thomson, was 19 when it was received.
Patrick Henry Thomson died 60 years, 5 months,
It was written 180 years, 5 months, 20 days ago.
It was a Thursday.
October 22, 1840
My Dearest My Wife,
I intend to give you the outlines of our trip if so it may be called in perhaps not quite so brief a style as is my accustomed method of doing.
I shall begin at the very time I left home which was I confess was with quite a sorrowful spirit and felt quite a good deal like flinching but you know I am too much of a man to give out after making so long preparation for it.
We went you know by the way of the iron works road which we flattered ourselves was much better than we found it. After going up only to Grand Pa’s gate I had a great mind to cut across to the turnpike and go that way you know to Winchester which I Have no doubt would have been the best way. However, we trudged along through the mud and mire until we reached Clintonville or Step’s Crossroad, where we stopt to have our horses fed and to rest our bodies about three quarters of an hour, they being very tired and the place being about half way to this place. We then called for our horses which had had not even the mark of a curry comb or brush on them nor the saddles taken off and what do you think he charged us? Why twenty-five cents a piece! Out of the question.
It is now 2 o’clock and we start again on much the same kind of road a[s] we had just come over which I assure you was bad enough but we seemed to get on pretty well for about fourteen or 15 miles when it was growing pretty dark and rainy and on making inquiry found we were in the rong road and had to turn back about a mile and then take the roughest and hilliest road prehaps and soon came to where there was nothing but one big hill and the thickest woods prehaps and it raining and as dark as a dungon and not a cabbin light to be seen ; in fact, I felt quite uncomfortable as it was, but nothing like I would have felt alon.
It looked to me that we had followed our noses about 6 or 7 miles when to my astonishment I hear someone step not more than three feet from my horse’s side. I instantly prepared to defend myself should he attempt anything rough which indeed, I looked for, it being so late and I having heard him so suddenly and so close to me. I asked who that was without seeing him when he replied quite respectfully and said it was about one & ½ miles to town which was very consoling news to us as it was a most unpleasant night to be out, more especially in the woods where the wind was blowing so very hard that I felt myself crying for fear of a limb of a tree would choose me as the spot to light on. But I a short time, though not so to us we saw several lights looking out of there respective windows; we began to be somewhat cheerful but when we got to this long looked for lodging town, behold there was no one on the street and no lights but those that gleamed from an occasional window or a door, in a word, it was nearly as dark in town as it was I the woods from which we had just made our exit. We, however found an old negro and got him to tell us the way to Uncle Daniel’s; which we found about half past seven o’clock which was very pleasant to us way worn hunters. I think it has been but seldom in my life that I have been so glad to find some where to rest my body from the toil of a day. We were compelled to wear our big coats the greater part of the day which was very disagreeable to both of us, Thomas’ being too tight and mine so heavy as to almost distroy the use of my left sholder by the time we stopped.
Twas not long after our arrival before we went to bed and where I was glad enough to lay my body in bed. We remained until about 6 o’clock this morning and got up quite refreshed with sleep; in fact, Thomas said he could hunt deer today he is so little tired and I don’t know if I couldn’t if I were sure of finding one for you alone my wife! I tell you my wife, the way my place that came in contact with the saddle was soar last night is not [th]at funny, but it’s about well this morning I believe.
This morning at breakfast time was the first of my seeing Aunt Lien and instead of finding her dead as we had heard she was, I don’t know that I ever saw her look much if any be better in her life. It was Mrs. Charles Daniel from this place who died which caused the rep[ort].
Our horses were very much jaded long before we stopped that is for an hour or two more especially DR but they seem to be doing very well this morning. Our Bob is a great horse. I tell you he was much more spry all the way than DR. I shot off of him two or 3 times the last time at a squirrel when I just dropped the bridle on his neck and fired without his seeming to move even an ear for it. He is worth, in my estimation , twenty dollars more for that quality.
Uncle Daniel, Cousin John, and Uncle Cliff say they think I can’t find their trac and if I do, it will be of no value, so little that they have no idea any one has it in possession, I think, therefore, that I will spend but little time in looking for it, more especially as old Bob Wicliff claims all the land about there and of course would sue me should I get it in possession, if it be of any value.
I intend going to see an old man who has been in the habit of surveying land in that neck who is at this time in this town who I somewhat hope knows something of it. I shall go to see him today sometime as I shall not leave here until tomorrow. We had the pleasure of seeing a sample of the people, we will meet with in the mountains, this morning, the most friendly creature of the sort I think I have ever seen. My sheet is full and I must come to a quit of course indeed it goes hard with me to quit writing to you but I must.
Cuff give my love to Father and your Ma and kiss our little Eliza for its Pa over and over again.
P.S. Thomas is our hunting birds; his leg [?]. He would I have no doubt send his love to all of you if he was here. Tell Mother I will write her next. Love to all our friends and my Dear Wife good bye. Know me as ever your devoted affectionate husband.
P. Henry Thomson
Write me immediately to the Olimpian Springs and let me find a letter from you in this place should we return here no matter how soon after next Munday.
Your truly and ever devoted Henry
My Dear Cuff. Since writing and sealing this I have determined not to visit the springs so you will write to me only to this place. I am now on my way to a Mr. Thos. Hixe’s and will return to this place likely on Sunday, try and let a letter me[et] me here. Your own affectionate,
P. Henry Thomson