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Admin/Biog History Thomas Boting Petford Sr. was born circa 1790 in Worcestor, England. He served in the British Military circa 1815. He married Mary Lowesmore and they had at least five children; Thomas Jr., John, Henry (Harry), Mary Ann, and Elizabeth. The family immigrated to the United States through the port of New York in 1845. They sent Tom Jr. ahead while Tom Sr. and part of the family followed to Wisconsin Territory in 1846. They came to Milwaukee and then to Butte des Morts. Thomas Sr. died in Butte des Morts on Friday October 25, 1850 from stomach ulcers complicated by severe drinking. His wife Mary died July 7, 1876 at the age of 74 and is burried in Plummer Cemetery. No trace of Thomas Sr.'s grave can be found. His son mentions in a letter that he was to be burried in Oshkosh, but the earlier burrials were moved to Riverside Cemetery, which has no records of his grave. He is not burried in the family plot.
Classification Archives
Collection Petford Collection
Dates of Accumulation 1845
Abstract Letter to Mr. Hayes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Thomas B. Petford, Sr. in New York. Written shortly after their arrival in America from England. He is inquisative about Wisconsin and discusses the family's voyage from England. He also inquires about his son, Thomas B. Petford, Jr., who has gone on before them to Wisconsin.

Mr. Hayes
Milwaukee Wisconsin

Dec. 12th [1845]

Dear Friend Hayes,

I write to wish [you] well and [hope] you [are] all in good health as it leaves me at present. I am at New York at present. I thought of coming up to you. Mrs. Petford was took ill. I was obliged to have the doctor & [the] canal froze up. We had a rough voyage across the water, which made it worse. We have taken a house for the winter. Many respectable people advise me to settle at New York. They say there is nothing but barter at Milwaukee and at Wisconsin and I shall have the fever and all complaints. Please send me every information about the country. We was 29 days a coming. We had like to have been lost. I was not sick. We was drove 1000 miles out of our line. There was ships 16 days longer than we. I shall see what the farming is round New York. Send me word how Henry is a getting on. I don't repent coming. I think a farmer might do very well in this country, potatoes, [illegible]. And look at the price of land in England & payments. I think we can buy a farm, what we may rent one. For in England and everything is as near as [illegible]. I hope Henry is gone [illegible] to some thing it would be a pleasure for us to meet all again to talk about our trouble coming and about Worcester. I should like to hear how Powell is getting on. I was surprised as you & Powell could not agree in coming. I heard so in Worcester. There was 5 of us come to America. Send me word whether you have heard of Thomas. The last letter he wrote to me he said he should write to me in September. I watched three weeks for it. He never sent one. When he wrote to me he said he should go to Wisconsin within 114 miles of Milwaukee. I sent to Henry to say where Thomas was. We started in Liverpool [2]9 days to come by a ship called the Yorkshire. I wrote to henry when I was in Liverpool. You write to me as soon as you can. I can't get in to any business till I hear from you. I am glad I left England for times got worse before I left. My land lord tried to take every advantage of me and I thought every one else. Them are the sort of people to live in England. We are three miles from New York by the side of the [illegible] River. You direct to me [through] William Taylor, Through Tavern, No. 320 Hudson Street, New York.

I am your most affectionate Friend
Thomas B. Petford

I would like to come to see you. Send word whether you have any game.
You Write to me as soon as possible. Do not forget.
Give my respects & Mrs. Petford to Mrs. Hayes & wishes you both all the happiness this world can afford. I hope that we all shall meet again. Tell Henry I shall come in spring myself to see the country and bring my gun. Give my love to Henry and his mother. We hope we shall hear a good account of him. He is that age has he ought to find what made is best and being in the country he has not been according to promise his word that he should come to dinner some Sunday. Mr. Hassop(?) talk[ed] of coming in Spring. He & I was great friends after you left. It did not last long. 3 or 4 come two or three times a week to my house (most weeks) Mrs. T. and I was at the boat race on [illegible] two days [illegible] day we was invited to tea. We did not go. The 2 come again, Mrs. Was not for going. I made her promise. We went in time to Tea. It was not ready and she seemed not to expect us. Hassop was in that they did not fetch him. We both started without tea. We went there on purpose. Till then his son was to come with us to New York. He had a sale. Our [illegible] acquaintance began. He [section torn and missing] the same. I told him that would not. So he promised me to [section torn and missing] the means to come to America. That's what he told me.
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Object ID RG10.10
Object Name Letter
People Petford, Thomas B., Sr.
Subjects Immigrants
Emigration & immigration
Westward movement
Title Letter
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009