PIONEERS AND IMMIGRANTS
Letter

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Record 180/261
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Admin/Biog History John Read (frequently also spelled 'Reed') was born in England in 1829. His mother's name was Hannah Read. He married Elizabeth Elliott, daughter of John and Mary Elliott cica 1850. They emigrated to the United States through the port of New York in June 1851. In December 1851 they were living in Cincinnatti, Ohio where their son John E. Read was born. Daughters Mary E. and Emma E. were born in Indiana in 1852 and 1853. John Read applied for US citizenship in Winnebago County, Wisconsin on November 8, 1853. His in-laws, the Elliots, had been living in Omro, Wisconsin since at least 1851. A daughter, Anna M. Read, was born in Wisconsin in 1858. John was not living in 1860 when the US Census was taken. His widow Elizabeth lived with their children in her parents home in Omro until their deaths in 1872. She moved with Emma and Mary to Oshkosh before 1880. She died in Oshkosh on March 23, 1911.
Classification Archives
Collection Small Collections, People
Dates of Accumulation December 31, 1854
Abstract 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, the Crimean War, and family matters in England:

[Note at top] Don't be long before you write again be sure.

Cobridge December 31st 1854

My Dear John,

I now sit down to answer your welcome and long wished for letter which I received on the 18th of December and I am very glad to hear that you and your family are in enjoyment of good health and prosperity with family around you. I am very glad to hear you say you are settled and as you say you will come to fetch me. I thank you for your kind offer, but I am not strong enough to undertake so long a journey and I am not able to do much towards a living either there or anywhere else. I have not been at Hanley but once for this last five years. I am a little better now than when I last wrote to you. Elizabeth and Joseph are very well at this time. Thanks be to the Giver of all good things. They do all they can for me. Joseph has begun to work [Joseph is twelve years old] this [illegible] in Messr's Goodwin's warehouse and when he works all the week he gets half a crown [2 shillings], but [illegible] is very slack news. You wished to know if we heard much about the war here [Crimean War]. We do hear and feel a great deal to our sorrow. It distresses our country very much in many ways. It makes a great stagnation in work and we have provisions very dear on that account though we have had a plentiful harvest. These people that have work are compelled to pay to a patriotic fund for the widows and orphans of the poor men that have fell or may fall in her Majesty's service. They are forcing all the young and strong men for the Militia. They are encouraging all the men and boys to list that ever they can, which grieves their parents very much.

I have not seen your aunt Sarah since a few days after I received your last letter. She had then been at a sale with the intention of buying her son Joseph a piano, but she did not by it as it was too dear for her. She called at my house and I read her your letter and have not seen her since. I think they have all forsaken me, but I trust there is one above that has not forsaken me. I have not heard anything of Benjamin Beardmore nor don't know where he is. Your old aunt Martha is no more, she died a few weeks since. I received a note on the Saturday night to attend her funeral on Sunday, but as I had such short notice I could not, or rather would not, go as she died on Monday. James Rogers has been in a very poor way for twelve months and has not been able to work. He has lost one eye through inflamation or bleeding with leeches. He has made a will and left all his riches to his brother Joseph and is living with them at Longport. James Clark has got a piano a short time since. His mother would not go to look at it, but told Abraham, being intoxicated as usual, said it was very nice and went to play the tune of the 'Huckster's daughter to sell her cherries red' and stuck to it all night and made them much fun. Joseph Clark has got two daughters and another very near at hand or else a son. He has got a pig [and] goes past our house several times a day and looks quite big. Abraham has got three daughters and a son three weeks old, so his history is soon told. John has got two sons and four daughters and five cows. He has built several houses at Hanley. He has killed two pigs this Christmas, so you see he is doing it very grandly. The foundry work is very brisk now. They seem to be doing a great deal of business at Mr. Hale's and have been for a long time now working all hours. Mr. Ralph is a very big man. He is like his father. He has something to do with all the business of the country. He is not married and has none to live with him but old Ann and so they make it out as well as they can. Robert and William are living with their mother. William keeps wenching as usual. Fredrick is set up of himself in Burslem and is still a bachelor and George is set up in Hanley and has got one daughter and another coming. Edwin is married and has got a son and is still working as a journeyman. Charles is out of his time and has got a situation in Liverpool. Now I must tell you who is working for Mr. Ralph: James Hammer's boy, George Hales, John Shenton, John Pool, the old stage players, the Moulders are Mark Salt, Luke Baxter and John Wood, a boy, L. Bostock, the metal melter, the filters are Dan Ball, Eli something, but I don't know what.

I have sent you a paper according to your wish. I see yours a few days before your letter. It was very acceptable. I was very glad to see you had not forgot me, but we wished it was a letter. Aunt Rebecca and family are very well and join us in kind love to you and all. Eliza is living at Bucknall as cook with one Mr. Neigh of [illegible] Hall and has a very nice situation. I like your little girl's name very well [Mary E. Read was born in 1853 or 1854]. I hope you have had a merry Christmas and I wish you a happy new year. Elizabeth and Joseph send their nephew and niece many kisses and would like to send them a Christmas pie if possible. So God bless you both and your little ones and guide you all safe through life. We should like to see them and kiss them all in reality. So no more from us at this time. Your ever loving mother, sister, and brother E., H. [and] Jos. Read.
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Legal Status Oshkosh Public Museum
Object ID SC618.12.5
Object Name Letter
People Read, John
Read, Elizabeth Elliott
Read, Hannah
Subjects Immigrants
Emigration & immigration
Pioneers
Westward movement
War
Title Letter
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009