This letter was written by Susan Atkinson Jones (1825-1902), the daughter of Joseph Jones (1773-1849) and Susan Atkinson (1773-18xx). Susan married Leverett Holbrook (1821-1877), the son of Luther Holbrook (1780-1863) and Sarah A. Durand (17xx-1846).
Susan wrote the letter to her cousin, Susan Clarice Wheeler (1824-1872). Susan married William Hart (1821-1887) on 4 May 1847 in McHenry County, Illinois.
Addressed to Miss Susan C. Wheeler, Alden, McHenry County, Illinois
November 28th 1846
Perhaps dear cousin you think that I have forgotten you entirely and the promise I made to write to you immediately, but I assure you that is not the case and the only excuse that I have to make is a want of time. I have been very much hurried with work since I came back. There has been quite a change in this family since I left. Mrs. Eastman’s oldest child died Tuesday of that week that I left you. His disease was croup. He was sick only 5 days. Everything was tried that could be thought of but all in vain. We all miss him very much. Mrs. Eastman was nearly worn out with hard work and anxiety when I got back. She had about concluded that I was not coming. She did not get a girl until 3 or 4 days before I came. We are all as well as usual now.
I suppose you would like to know how I got along after I left you. I assure you I had a lonely ride. We got to Crystal Lake about 7 o’clock and stopped at the lake house for the night. O how I wished I was on Quality Hill. (I had a very strange invitation to ride from there to Chicago in a carriage but of course I would not accept the invitation as it was from a stranger.) The stage did not start until after sunrise the next day and arrived here about 4 o’clock. It was a long day to me. I was the only passenger and the road was rather rough. I felt very much fatigued and was heartily glad to get to my journey’s end.
I received a letter from home soon after I got back. Father had been dangerously sick but had got better. The rest of the family were well. They said they should be very glad to have me spend the winter at home but still wished me to do as I thought best about it. I expect I shall remain here though I often wish I was where I would not have to work quite so hard as I do now. I sincerely hope that you never will be obliged to work out for a living (I should like to know how that new house gets along).
I often think of the many pleasant hours that we have spent together and I hope the time is not far distant when we shall again enjoy that privilege.
Have Alfred and Joseph broken their pledge yet? I have not tasted one drop of tea or coffee since I left you. I hope you will write soon and tell me all the news. Do not put off as long as I have. I did not intend to do so but it is a great task for me to write — especially when I have so little time. Mrs. Sutton, Juliette, and Mrs. Eastman send love to Aunt. Mrs. Eastman thinks of going East next summer and would be glad to have Aunt accompany her.
Have you heard from George or Mary yet? Do write soon. It is getting late and I must close. Much love to all. Please remember me to Mrs. Johnson. I shall expect a letter from Aunt soon.
I remain your affectionate cousin, — S. A. Jones
(Please excuse this scribble.)
30th. As I have a few moments leisure I will add a few lines more before I send this. I had almost forgotten to tell you about the fire we had in this city last week. ¹ We were aroused between 4 and 5 o’clock in the morning by the cry of fire. It broke out in a large warehouse on the bank of the river. The wind blew very hard. There were 7 or 8 buildings burnt. I cannot enter into the particulars for want of time so good night. — S. A. J.
¹ The fire occurred on 28 November 1846 and was first observed about 5 o’clock in the morning in a large warehouse owned by Messrs. Maxwell and Prescott and occupied by Therou Pardee. It was entirely consumed. A strong wind caused it to spread to buildings on the other side of Water Street but, fortunately, an accumulation of snow prevented further destruction. Four or five buildings on Lake Street were destroyed. Lost in the warehouse was about 20,000 bushels of wheat.