THE CIVIL WAR
Letter from Mary Ann Russell Jewell to her daughter Mary Eleanor Jewell Sawyer

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Record 186/294
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Admin/Biog History Mary Russell was born on December 23, 1818 in Salisburry, Connecticut the daughter of William Pew Russell; attended Catherine Beecher Stowe's "Hartford Female Seminary"; taught by Harriet Beecher Stowe; taught school; married Henry Chapin Jewell on October 1, 1833 in Connecticut; Sunday School teacher: occasional wrote for Oshkosh papers: President of Ladies Aid Society during Civil War: two children lived to adulthood: Mary Elanor Jewell Sawyer, wife of Edgar Sawyer, and Henry Augustus; emigrated to Wisconsin 1843; Algoma in 1848; died in Oshkosh on June 23, 1889.
Classification Archives
Collection Edgar Philetus and Mary Eleanor Jewell Sawyer
Dates of Accumulation July 26, 1863
Abstract Letter from Mary Ann Russell Jewell to her daughter Mary Eleanor Jewell Sawyer. Mary's Sawyer's mother, Mary Ann Russell Jewell was president of the Oshkosh Ladies Aid Society, which helped raise money for soldiers and their families during the war. She discusses the New York Draft Riots, victory at Vicksburg and other events.

Sunday Evening 26 July 1863

My Dear Daughter
I wrote in great haste last Monday PM and have since received your good long letter written week since and last evening. I was much pleased to receive a letter from Cousin Mary and Henry one from Moore so have high favors the past week with social privileges. We had an unusually pleasant visit from our Milwaukee friends. They left yesterday morning and I fully designed devoting the afternoon to writing to my daughter but by the time we had cleared up the house I was so weary that I felt inadequate to writing. A weeks visit from so many children, of course, would disarrange everything. Monday it rained & we visited among ourselves at home, Tuesday had company to tea, and while at the table Mr. Jackson handed his wife a letter which he thought was from her friend Mary. Of course she was much pleased and was excused a few moments to read it so that is another time I have heard from you last week. Wednesday spent at home - a menagerie in town and the Henry's attended in the evening as all, except the children, spent the evening at Gov. Bashford's. Ice cream etc. etc. and we passed it quite pleasantly. Thursday we had a delightful visit at Dr. Harwood's to meet Mrs. Ball. Every thing nice and pleasant. Friday morning, Father carried us, children, and all in "the Brett" up to Bute des Morts to call upon Mrs. Hull. Had a delightful ride, the country looks magnificently, such splendid crops in luxuriance and the finest barns all the way I ever saw, perhaps a dozen as nice as Mr. Rogers. Mrs. Hull has a very handsome place and fine house and every thing in style. She received us very cordially and urged us to spend the day, but we made just a pleasant call and returned home to dinner and then [illegible] for Mrs. Sawyer's to spend the afternoon where we met Mrs. Governor B[ashford] Mag F., Mrs. G. Paine & Mother Paine. Father, Uncle John & the Henry's all came over to tea and such a tea. Even exceeded Mrs. Sawyer herself: Biscuit, Tongue, Raspberry Jam, Oranges with grated Coconut & Sugar over them. Splendid Coffee, Tea, & all varieties of nice cake and Ice Cream, etc. etc.

Monday after tea I seemed to have reached the end of my sheet before I had fairly commenced writing and so I will fill this blotted sheet which Henry spoiled while writing to you and thus sustain my reputation for economy. H[enry] does not like to have me see his letters even to you and for fear of discouraging him I do not insist upon it. However, I presume I shall repeat what he has written in the way of home news but you will doubtless excuse that. Well you may imagine us at home that evening. The Henry's are preparing to ride to Oshkosh with "the Colts". Father is completely exhausted with an unusual or I might say usual days work but smoking rather comfortably and will probably be refreshed in time to repeat the same thing. He with a crew of Dutchmen have been bailing out "the Scow", which unfortunately sprang a leak while loaded at the wharf back of the Mill. Consequently, [it] had to be unloaded, repaired, & reloaded-no small undertaking. H.A. has been engaged drawing lumber to Mr. Paine's Mill and although fatigued is ready to accompany Henry Mills to the P[ost] Office and take a ride. Henry Mills expects to spend tomorrow night with Edgar in Fond du Lac and next day is obliged to venture to Milwaukee. He has enjoyed his visits unusually well and so have we, we had not even touched his gun. There is to be a Steamboat Ride on Thursday of the young people in O[shkosh], and the young gentlemen are anxious to have him remain but his orders are positive and not change. Clerks are too much confined particularly in large cities [and] there is but little chance of enlarging their ideas or expanding their minds. Hence the apathy in such commercial centers, among Merchants in regard to political management. Demagogues who are usually men of almost no business at all or tenth rate lawyers, assume and the business men allow them to rule, and until business men awake to their responsibilities, we may look for mobs and misrule generally. The nation is being educated rapidly and may we not hope thoroughly[?] We apprehend no trouble in this city in regard to the draft. Men of principle rule if they are not predominant, and they do not attempt to shirk from duty. Even if they serve the City Seven years. Such contemptible young lawyers as E. P. Finch [an Oshkosh lawyer] have found, the estimation in which they are held by respectable citizens and I think will desist from further attempts to spout treason here after the rebuke at the Vicksburg celebration.
Are we not having a bright record of victories this doubly sacred month of July? A coincidence with a meaning that Vicksburg should fall upon the morning of the glorious fourth! And still more heart cheering is the fact that the hand of Providence is publicly acknowledged in all this, even our defeats are allowed to have a purpose, from which good shall eventually come. I think I can discern a kind Providence even in that terrible and disgraceful riot in N.Y. City. It showed up so palpably the leaders and the tools. It is "the hand writing on the wall". If I owned a printing machine I would say more but any paper will give out again I fear. I want to say so much to you all. Anna has been washing (Milwaukee Extras) and has her clothes all ready for ironing tomorrow. Our house is in perfect order once more. Anna says tell Mary that her Orange tree grows so fast she is afraid it will blossom before she returns, and then what will Mary do[?] She says she keeps it behind the house (on the flower stand upon the platform) for fear somebody will see how fast it grows. She does wish you and Eliza would come home and wishes me to tell E. that there has been several girls here but none so good as she. She sends her love to you both. She superintends Ice Cream & now you are gone much to her satisfaction. Vesna is nicely settled, but her Father is quite ill yet and they still feel alarmed though hope he may recover. H. Foreman is in one of his miserable conditions, complaining & desponding as ever. L. Bashford has left for Lyons where he expects to leave his family for awhile at least. Gov[ernor] [Coles] B[ashford] is also going to Arizona as attorney for a large mining company. His family remains here. Mr. Marble is preaching in Waupun but family still here. How I wish we could just come to S[alisbury] and attend church every Sunday & enjoy with you the privilege of hearing Mr. Ruce. Is he not eloquent and sound too? I knew you would appreciate him. Who are your [Ladies] Aid Soc[iety] Officers? We are driving business, plenty of funds from various sources, donations of $50 $75 & $100 in addition to our fund of $231 raised on the fourth, we average sixty in attendance each week. Tomorrow pack another box, God have mercy upon our soldiers. Do you see Gody or shall I send yours to you? If there is anything in the Northwestern I think you would like to see, I shall send. Thank Cousin Oliver for those papers. I shall write to him soon I hope.

Before & after tea Mrs. Paine played & sang as only Mrs. P. & Aunt Lorine & Eliza can sing. By the way I have ascertained from others since E. left what I knew before that E. has a splendid voice and plays so well. I omitted to mention that on Wednesday forenoon we took all the children down to the Point to have the little boys P. & Charles go in bathing and while there we saw several people coming, Some in carriages & some on foot, and soon learned that the Elephant "Hannibal" was close by and was to swim the river at the very place where we were. He walked majestically down to the water & soon commenced filling his trunk with water and pouring it into his mouth. After drinking about a barrel, he proceeded to give himself a shower bath with said trunk and at length swam the river with out difficulty, much to the amusement of the spectators which had become quite a crowd. Well there I have occupied so much room in just describing the visit I fear I shall omit to inform you how much we all love you. I am so glad you are enjoying your visit so much and have formed so many pleasant acquaintances. I presume you enjoyed the ride to Falls Village. Is it not an ancient and a modern town combined? Did Cousin Mary show you Mrs. Wolcott's old house near the bridge? Where I have passed so many happy hours? That is the same river which runs past your Grand Pa's old place in Netaug. I imagine you and Eliza have had a delightful time at Mr. Parks and came to Church with them today. I must certainly excuse Aunt Marcella from visiting but hope you do not make any additions to her case or labor. I reckon you will spend this week with Aunt Lorine or else go to G. L. Basington's. I would make my visit there when it is most convenient but should you desire to come home when Uncle John comes East for goods last Aug. or Sep. you had better do your outside visiting first. However, you could meet him at V D ville as well as any where. He is undecided yet where he may go. Mr. Hay left last Friday but I knew that you had not completed your visit so I made no arrangements with him. We are all well and think of you and our dear friends in Conn. every hour. I am anxious to hear how the draft proceeds in that state. Hope & trust they will be prepared for rioters. I hope Aunt Chassie, Uncle Hiram, & Agnes will all meet you at Grand Pa's. You will like them all. I am sitting in your chamber to keep clear of mosquitoes, which are in their prime about these days or rather nights. We have had but little hot weather and no rain until the past week a little.

[Written on side of page 2] About that carriage 'tis only Gov. Bashford's Brett, which Father bought cheap on speculation $75. I want him to keep it and sell the other 'tis easy and comfortable.
[Written on side of page 3] give my love to all who inquire for us. Aunt Marcella must send her messages by you until that convenient time arrives. Kiss all the children for Aunt Mary.
[Written upside down on top of page 3] Write always how dear Grand Pa is and whether he is tired of so much young company. Tell Mrs. Bushnell she must call upon you when she needs extra help. You must have a large family.
[Written upside down on top of page 4] Be a girl and thus honor your Father & Mother we thank you for your promptness in writing. Have you plenty of money? Good by dear Mary from your Mother.
[Written upside down on top of page 5] Tuesday Morn, I have not closed up my letter since I knew H. sent one yesterday. Aunt Mary & Mr. Bailey will come Friday.
Event Civil War
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Object ID RG18.3.53.5
Object Name Letter
People Sawyer, Mary Eleanor Jewell
Jewell, Mary Ann Russell
Subjects Civil War
Homefront
Draft
Draft protests
Draft resisters
Campaigns & battles
Title Letter from Mary Ann Russell Jewell to her daughter Mary Eleanor Jewell Sawyer
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009