1848: William Southwick to John Augustine Bingham

What William Southwick might have looked like.

This letter was written by William Southwick (1805-1883), the son of Jesse Southwick (1758-1826) and Nancy Moore (1770-1845). William was born in Junius, Seneca County, New York. As a teenager, he traveled with his parents on a family boat from Olean Point down the Alleghany River, to the Ohio River, and up the Illinois River to Shawneetown, Illinois, in 1819. The family moved from Shawneetown to a village called Milton, near Alton, where they remained till March 20, then moved to Sugar Creek and settled in what is now Woodside township, six and a half miles southeast of Springfield, where they commenced farming. His father died September 25, 1826, and his mother in February, 1845.

William received only a common school education. He was married in September, 1831, in Sangamon County to Louvicy Proctor, born November 23, 1811, at Charleston, Clarke county, Indiana. [Source:  1881 History of Sangamon County, Illinois, Inter-State Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1881]

Southwick wrote the letter to John Augustine Bingham (1819-1865), the son of John Bingham (1788-1854) and Lydia Thompson (1785-1839) of Vermont. John was married to Caroline Eliza Churchill (1824-1917) in  November 1843. He was the first lawyer to reside in Green County, Wisconsin, and the first elected judge in Monroe.


Addressed to Mr. John A. Bingham, Monroe, Green County, Wisconsin

Springfield, [Illinois]
March 27th 1848

Dear Sir,

Yours of the 14th came to hand in due time. I received a letter some four months ago from Mr. Baily. In that, he made me an offer for the whole of my land embracing the trusts you mention for which he offered $750.00 for the whole. In answer to that I told him that he could have it if he would pay the whole amount this spring. Since that time, I have not heard anything from him.

Now sir, if Mr. Baily don’t want the land, you can have it for the same if you will pay all down. I prefer selling all at once and this is the reason I offer it so low.

You could say that you expect to go to St. Louis. If you should call and see me and I think we can make a trade.

Yours &c. — William Southwick

P.S. You would do me a kindness by answering this and letting me know whether there is anything due in the shape of taxes.


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