1837: Rev. Nelson Hoag to Solomon Porter Woodworth

This letter was written by Rev. Nelson Hoag (1811-1844), the son of Samuel Hoag (1774-1851) and Cynthia Bennett (1775-1863). Rev. Hoag’s wife, Lorinda (Woodworth) Hoag (1812-1867) also adds a note. Rev. Nelson Hoag was a minister in the Genesee Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, first admitted on probation in 1836. He was elected to elder’s orders in 1840, but died in 1844.

The Hoag’s wrote the letter to Lorinda’s parents, Solomon Porter Woodworth, Sr. (1775-1857) and Sarah. Reference is made in the letter to Lorinda’s brother “Porter” (Solomon Porter Woodsworth, 1814-1897), and to another brother “Warren” (Warren Leonard Woodworth, 1815-1849) who had recently relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Sandy Hill was incorporated as a village in 1810. Its boundaries expanded to their current limits in the 1840s. In 1910, the village’s name was changed to Hudson Falls, New York.

Stampless Letter


Addressed to Mr. Solomon P. Woodworth, Sandy Hill, Washington County, New York

Dansville, [New York]
October 28th 1837

Dear Friends,

Though I have but a very few minutes that I can devote to writing, yet I am unwilling to deny myself the pleasure of penning a few lines. We have enjoyed very good health since we last wrote you & the last Conference year has passed tolerable pleasantly. The circuit I am now on is 40 miles southwest of where we lived last year and it is about 25 miles south of Lima. The people in the neighborhood where we live seem to be remarkably friendly. We have a large and living society.

I design, if Providence favors it, to try to manage to visit you this winter but it remains uncertain as yet. I hope you will write as soon as you receive this and tell us what and how you are all doing for we know but little about you. I suppose Porter is in business in Sandy Hill. I understood he designed to commence there last spring, but whether he remains there, or whether in the general rush of great fabrick he has not shared the popular fate of suspension, if not dissolution or destruction, we know not. As for Emmons, he is on the safe side as long as terra firma yields his fruits, for farmers are rioting upon the sufferings of the oppressed. And whilst the almost universal cry is pressure of the times, scarcity of money &c., with the farmer it is but by sympathy for all he raises brings him money at the highest price. But it is but just it should be so for businessmen have carried the sway for many years past and reaction is natural as null is just according to the old adage, every dog must have his day.

Yours in haste, — N. Hoag

Direct to Dansville, Livingston County.

October 28, 1837

Dear Friends,

I once more address you by letter. I feel very thankful that I have the privilege of addressing you thus tho’ we are not blest with the privilege of  conversing face to face. Warren visited us on his way west. We received a letter from him a few weeks since. He wrote he was very anxious to hear from you. He said he had written several letters home and had not heard one word from any of you since he left. If you have not written yet, do write immediately for I know how to pity him. Be assured it is hard to be among entire strangers and hear from our friends, but harder still not to hear from them at all. Warren is in Cincinnati. We sent a letter to him last week.

We are on Danville Circuit this year and we live in a very lonesome place but have a good home. We moved here a fortnight ago today and have not got much acquainted and I have been quite homesick since we lived here. I wrote a letter last week and Nelson refused to send it because he said I wrote so much homesick in it.

Lucinda, the little babe has got to be a great boy. He walks and talks and is as  a little fellow as you ever saw. Wilber is almost a man. I cannot write much more as Nelson starts to his appointment in a few minutes and has got to take this to the [post] office. I expect to come home this winter without fail if we are prospered. I want you should write as soon as you receive this. Write all the particulars. write without fail. Give my love to all my dear friends. Yours in haste, — Lorenda Hoag


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