1833: John Parker Daniels to Thomas J. Gross

This letter is attributed to John Parker Daniels (1802-18xx) who datelined it from Trapp, Pennsylvania. From the letter we learn that he held political aspirations but in 1850 he continued to hold a clerk’s job.

Daniels wrote the letter to Thomas J. Gross to an address in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It isn’t clear whether Thomas was a native of the Harrisburg area or possibly there attending school, etc. I could find no on-line record that would confirm his identity either.

Regretfully, I cannot even make sense of the bulk of the content in the letter — if I have transcribed it correctly. The only other full name I could glean from the letter is Ben Seltzer.

Stampless Letter

Addressed to Mr. Thomas J. Gross
H. Prep.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Trappe [Montgomery County, Pennsylvania]
January 26th 1833

Dear Friend,

I received several Harrisburg papers of you this session and one quite lately which was filled with petitions presented and stray cows, dogs, hogs, sheep, &c., &c. What the devil do you send such papers as them for we have better than them here. Washington papers I want, and now on with them for there has a thought entered my head that I may get to be member of Congress yet and I want [to] know all about the rules.

I received a letter from Seltzer last week and I will give it to you verbatim (or the greater part of it). “It appears from the tenor of your letter that poking has become a fashion in your little town. Seven up used to be the height of our ambition some years ago, but I have held a flush before now and fetched all up standing. As for Bill, Ben, and Jeff, I have every reason to believe they are perfect as their knowledge in their youthful days was well adapted to the fundamental principles of pokers” — and pickpockets, he might have said. “Jeff’s apology is accepted even admitting poking was in question as I am a little forgetful at such times myself. You request me to inform you when I will return. It is impossible for me to say though I have some business in the City of New York and it is more than probable I may get to the Trapp next summer but if I should (on Preparations) as I am the same I always was. As regards my business, I have but little to say. Doing considerable business owing considerable money though the prospects are favorable admitting no bad luck.”

I will refer you to Ben’s letter for the poking news of the place. The people of the place are all well. No more at present. I remain yours truly, — John P. Daniels


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