This letter was written by Deidamia A. (Williams) Utley (1800-1861), the daughter of Ephraim Williams and Deidamia Averill (1776-1859). Deidamia was married to Enoch Utley in Spencertown, New York.
Deidamia wrote the letter to her mother, who was married to her second husband, James Shaw (17xx-1869). Deidamia’s daughter, Laura M. Utley, adds a second letter.
Addressed to Mrs. Deidamia Shaw, Spencertown, Columbia County, State of New York
Sherburne [New York]
June 25, 1843
Most affectionate Mother & Sisters,
This being the first opportunity since I received your letter. I will try to improve it & let you know that I am in the land of the living while many are sleeping in the dust — one funeral yesterday & another today but both cases was the consumption. But the fever that was here last winter is not so great. Enoch was taken sick the 28 day of April about four o’clock in morning. We did not think that he could live. We sent for the doctor. He come. I asked him what he thought about him. He said what was done must be done quick. He did not think that he could live till morning & for four days we did not expect his life. We had the new Doctor [Elijah K.] White ¹ that came into the village last fall. He was the greatest doctor that has ever been in this country. He married for his wife Aaron Kellogg’s brother’s daughter — cousin to Edward & Amelia Kellogg. But poor man; he died about 3 weeks ago & all of Sherburne mourn the loss. I do not think we shall ever get such a doctor here again.
Enoch’s complaint was the information [inflammation] in the bowels & bladder. He was confined two weeks but he has got about again & works hard but not so well as he was before he was taken sick. I was over him all the while. Laura & I was up with him night & day all the time he was sick that we dare not leave him with others for if he had not had the best of care, he could not of lived. we done all that we could. Laura, nor I, have not been so well since. We have a great deal to do & but little strength to do it with. I have worked over with my hands since the 16 of April almost 8 hundred weight of butter & I feel worn out. But I keep going. How long I shall, I know not.
O how I want to see you all & talk with you. Everything looks well here & looks as though we should have good crops. I feel very sorry to hear that Lauren’s health is so poor. Laura, I want to see you. Do come & see us as soon as you can.
Mrs. Lanphire died the last day of of April. The family feel very bad to lose both father and mother. She died very sudden & Waity keeps house for Jesper. Waity’s health has been very poor this spring but is better now. Laura write to me. Give my love to your children. Amelia, how I do wish that you could come out here this summer to see us. How much I do think about you. The tie that we are bound with, I hope will never [be] broken until death. I think of [you] daily. Write to me for that is a great comfort when I am here far from you.
Julian, I thank you for writing & I would thank Hosea if he would write my love to you both. I hope you enjoy yourselves well. Take all the comfort you can & come & see us as often as possible while we live. You wondered why Marvin lived to Kings. It is because he is broken down & with nothing. Dortia’s health is better. Hiram & his wife & Sallyann are well now. Mother, I must tell you old Mrs. Treat wanted I should send her love to you & said she should never forget you while she lived. Mrs. Lloyd & family, Nelson said I must tell mother Shaw that he wanted to see her & he should come down next fall & see you if he cold find a wife to fetch down with him. But he did not he could fnd one. Mrs. Perkins sends her love & all the rest. Ephraim sends his love. Said I must tell you he went to school last winter & learned to cypher. He works hard this summer. Eugene goes to school every day. He says, tell grandmother that a year from next fall, we shall come down there instead of the fever. This summer, people are very sick with heavy colds. Laura has been sick two weeks with it & now we have men come on to shear sheep & I have to step live or die. We churn every day so you may judge what we have to do. I am so tired, I cannot write much more.
No body knows how much I want to see you all but myself. O mother, remember your poor child that is here alone while you live. Farewell, my mother & sisters. — Deidamia A. Utley
Sherburne [New York]
June 28th 1843
You all take so much pains to write to me, I though I would write a few lines to you all. My health is not very good but it is the general complaint about here. But I hope these lines will find you all well and in good spirits and enjoying the pleasures of life. There is not much news on hand but Mrs. Edward Dart has got a son about 2 weeks old. He has not gone to house-keeping yet. They live to Mr. Harris’ yet and I do not know but they always will. Julian, Almira Foote ² was married about 4 weeks ago in the church in the village. She married a stranger in this place. William [T.] Eaton ³ was married about two months ago to a girl in Earlville. Elizabeth S. sends her love to you all. Daniel is a building a new house this summer. I should like to see you all and you must all come and see us as soon as you can. Tell Mr. Parsons that I thank him for writing to us. He writes so often that we are tired of ruling the letters out of the office. So now I will close by subscribing my name as your friend and relative, — Laura M. Utley
Mother, old Mr. Davis is alive & that is about all. He is a sight to behold. Poor man. Every day or two, they think he cannot live & then he will revive up again & so he lives along from day to day. Now mother, do write. All of you. As for Amelia & Happy. I do not know but they may get old Captain Bowen. He is almost blind, halt, & lame. He was enquiring where Amelia was yesterday. Give my love to all that may enquire. Farewell Mother, Amelia, Laura, Julian, Hosea. — Deidamia A. Utley
¹ Dr. Elijah K. White, who died at Sherburne June 6, 1843, was a Post Surgeon in the Seminole Indian war, and had come on from Florida the Fall previous, to visit his brother, Dr. Amos Kingsley White, but found on arrival that he had already died, Oct. 11th, 1842. He therefore took up his brother’s practise, but died himself a few months afterwards, as already stated. A small monument in the Episcopal Churchyard marks their joint graves. They were gifted men and their early death was seemingly inscrutible. Dr. E. K. White left a widow, a lady of rare worth, who returned to Canaan, Columbia Co., her early home, and successfully engaged in teaching a boarding school there for many years. She died at the residence of her only son, Henry K. White, a prominent lawyer at St. Joseph, Mo., Jan. 27, 1890. Drs. A. K. and E. K. White were the sons of Dr. Vassal White of Berkshire Co., Mass.
² Almira H. Foote, of Sherburne, N. Y., born Feb. 22, 1819, dau. of Asa and Elizabeth Foote, was married on 27 May 1843 to Jonas Autle White, a farmer who was born in Whitestown, N. Y., July 25, 1815.
³ William T. Eaton (1819-1884) of Sherburne, New York, was married to Lavinia R. Robinson (18xx-1867) on 3 May 1843.