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Letter written by John Elliot in Omro, Wisconsin to his daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth Elliott Read and John Read in Cincinnatti, Ohio. The Elliott and Read families had emigrated to the US in 1851 from England. The letter discusses some of the hardships of immigration and westward movement experienced by these families: Omro Dec. 21st 1851 Dear Son and Daughter These few lines come with our kindest respects to you both hoping they will find you both in the enjoyment of good heath as I am. Happy to inform you I am on pretty well considering the coldness of the weather. The winter has been set in for two weeks and this last week has been very severe indeed. We could scarcely keep ourselves warm by the side of the stove and every thing was even froze in the morrow. But, now the weather is some little calmer so that we hope we shall be able to manage through. How is the winter with you and how are you getting along? Please do send us all particulars. We have sent you two letters, Charles one and Emma one, and had no answers to neither of them which has made us very uneasy indeed for fear of something the matter with one or both of you. Your dear mother often dreams of you and is always talking and wondering how you are going on. She often wishes you was here or else she was with you there. She feels much for you being in the state you are without having her with you. But, you know at this time of the year, it is impossible for you to come here or her to come there. So my Dear Elizabeth, look to one above and keep up your spirits and no doubt that the Lord will bring you safe through. We feel no doubt, but John will do his best to make you comfortable, such as getting a comfortable woman to be with you until you can manage yourself. But take care of getting cold, for often the second lying in is worse than the first and whatever you do act very careful in that respect and put your whole trust in God and he will bring you safe through. And if all be well we hope soon the time will soon come when we all shall see you again with your dear husband and little baby to keep up your spirits and we hope all will be well. You have been informed about your sister Mary Ann being married to George Challoner. They have bought some land altogether and divided it into little farms so they will all have a house on their own land. But at present we have none, but we are living in the cottage that your brother William had put up for our reception. And very pleasantly it is situated close by the Fox River, so we can sit by our window and see all the steamboats pass every day. But now the river is frozen so that the cattle and carriages can pass over. George and Mary Ann [Challoner] are gone down to Buffalo to settle some business, which could not be settled before we went up to the west. They sent us word that they had wrote to you both, but they had not received an answer. We have had a letter from your Aunt Allcock. They are all well and send their love to you both. Thomas Appleton and Mary Ann send their love to you both likewise Luck to all of them send their love to you so does all your relations and friends. We was talking today of last Christmas day where we was and how we was enjoying ourselves with roast beef and mince pies. Oh how happy thought it be to have fun enjoying the same this Christmas with you. Dear son, send us word if you have heard from your mother, sister, and brother and how they are [illegible]. Dear mother wishes to know if you have got all your little matters ready for the little stranger. Please do send word in your post. Your sister Emma often talks of you and more so when looking over the things in the box. She says, "Mother, this thing would do nicely for Elizabeth's little stranger". Well dear Elizabeth, they told me to tell you they would take them for you and they would have sent you a little cap and some lace if they knew how to send them [illegible]. But however, she will save them for you and you must send all the particulars if you have spoken to a person to be with you and what kind of a person she is. May heaven's blessing attend you in all our prayers. At Omro there is very little work to be done, particularly at this time of year and no cash for your labors. It is all store pay and sometimes hard to work to get that, but it all will be well and we can see through the winter. It will be better in spring and summer. They mostly calculate to get as much in the summer as will see them through the winter. I suppose I have as much ready cash for the little labor I have done as all our lads. Although, they have all got a house of their own on what they call a village lot. How is work with you and what is the wages general and the cash pay and what kind of a place is Cincinnati? And how are winters and summers for being hot and cold and [illegible] healthful place. I am now getting near to close so will please to write by return post and send to us all particulars. Josiah, his wife and Challoners send their love to you both. John, Hannah, William [illegible] send their love to you both wishing they soon to see you both. Emma's best love to you both, also mine and your dearest mother's very, very best love until Death. John and Mary Elliott [illegible] follows and please send your directions very plain and may not mistake it….to Mr. John Elliott Senior Omro Winnebago County Wisconsin America Wishing you a Merry Christmas and happy New year. When it comes, please to give our kind respects to Mr. and Mrs. Thwaites when you see them. So for this time fare well and may Heaven's blessings be upon you, Amen.
Letter -PIONEERS AND IMMIGRANTS -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009