Previous Next
Record 178/261
Letter written by Hannah Read in Cobridge, England to her son John Read in Indiana. The Elliott and Read families had emigrated to the US in 1851 from England. The letter discusses some of the hardships of separation from family: Cobridge Cobridge July 13, 1852 Kenton/County My dear John, I now sit down to answer your welcome letter, which I received on the 3rd of July. I expected a letter about that time. Joseph called you to your dinner on the Wake, but you did not come. I did not forget to look at the Moon and stars; many a time since you left home and trusted they were shining as beautiful over you as they were over us. I heard a little of you on the Wake Monday, and understood the stone was still rolling which made me very unhappy. I am very glad to hear from you, that you have got a good situation, and in a delightful country, and am very glad to hear that the stone as found a flat side to rest upon. I hope you will do your duty, both toward your master and shopmates as you are serving your earthly master truly. I trust you will not forget your heavenly one. As I never forget to pray for you, you did not send me word whether there is a Protestant Church near you or how you spend your Sabbaths. Dear John, you may rest assured that I shall never cross the Ocean, nor no one else belonging [to] me if I could hinder them. Neither would you if you had waited for my consent. Joseph and Elizabeth are all the comfort I have left, you know but dearly as I love them. I would choose rather to follow them to their graves than they should ever leave their native land, a land flowing with milk and honey. It is too late for me to sew wild oats. The money you speak of is but a trifle. But be as it may it has been too hard worked for to throw away in such a manner. I am very sorry to hear of you all being so poorly. I think Elizabeth must have suffered much with traveling so many hundreds miles with a young baby. I do not wonder at her having a gathered breast, but I hope you will try and do better for the future. I should feel very happy if you were settled in England, as I could see you at least sometimes. You say you will come over next winter. We shall be happy indeed to see you, but I would advise you to not let it be after winter as I should be afraid to know you were on the sea in bad weather. And Joseph says you must not leave Elizabeth and baby behind you this time, for he shall not let you go back. Mrs. Hales has brought him a first rate gun from Liverpool. He has wrapped it up in the same paper, to save it for his little nephew against he comes. Benjamin Beardmore has got the foundry work belonging to uncle Samuel Taberner's master, and a very good situation he has. The Price's used to have it, but they have lost it through drinking and neglect. Aunt Sarah says if you were here now, she thinks you would have plenty of work and I think you would enjoy better health, as the heat and cold are so severe. I think it must be very bad for you. Mr. John Nicklin has given up his foundry and one of Mr. Forester's sons have taken it and the Price's are gone to work there. Dear John, I have one thing to beg of you. If there is any one you do not like, I hope you will not mention them in your letter. I wish you to know that the gentleman you spoke so well of can neither prove a friend or a foe to you. He enquires very kindly if I have heard from you. Therefore, I would not have it known what you say of him for all I possess. Elizabeth and Joseph are in good health, but not got much bigger. But, I myself am very poorly and have been the most part of the summer. Your cousin Thomas Williamson and his sister Ann came to our house last Saturday night and went back on Sunday and he has taken your directions and he says he shall write you. Elizabeth has sent you a newspaper, as she thought she should like you to know what has gone forward in the potteries this last week. Benjamin Beardsmore and wife desire to be kindly remembered to you, your aunts, uncles, and cousins join in kind love to you both. Elizabeth wrote the last letter and Joseph wrote this. Eliza Smith is living at Dr. Walker's, Burslem, as housemaid and a very nice place she has, and Mary has just come out of her apprenticeship, and still works for Mr. Walley, and Ellen is serving an apprenticeship with Miss Robinson of Hanley. Young George Hales just married about six months ago and married the nurse from where he served his time, and it is a pretty kettle of fish. Be sure you write again as soon as you can make it convenient, as I shall want to hear from you. God Bless you, and be with you, and prosper through life. We are expecting a young Joseph Clark every day, and also a young Abraham. So no more from me at present. Your ever loving and affectionate mother, Hannah Read JOSEPH READ AGED 10 YEARS God bless you brother John and send you safe back for there is no place like home.
Letter -PIONEERS AND IMMIGRANTS -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION ~ For access to this image, contact

NOTICE: This material may be freely used by non-commercial entities for educational and/or research purposes as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other presentation without the permission of The Oshkosh Public Museum. 2005 Oshkosh Public Museum, All Rights Reserved   
Last modified on: December 12, 2009