A letter from Patrick Shepard Shearer to his father

The following interesting letter was written by
Patrick Shepard Shearer (No. 132), to his father, Patrick
Shearer, in 1839, while the former was visiting his rela-
tives in Massachusetts:

Belchertown, July 6th, 1839.
Respected Father:

I take the present opportunity to inform you where

I am, and how I am getting along. After leaving Mr.

Beaman’s we went to Meadville, Pa., then to Jamestown,

N. Y., passed Angelica, crossed the Gennesa river, passed

70

Bath and Crooked lake, Senneca at Jefferson, passed
Ithica where there is a canal, railroad, and lake. These
lakes are from twenty to forty miles long and have steam
boats on them.

I went to Cooperstown on the Susquhanna river,
then to Chewy Valley, where we took the pike, then
went to Albany where we crossed the Hudson. Here
we saw the cars that run from Albany to Utica. This
is the greatest curiosity I ever saw. They had about
four hundred passengers, and run at the rate of twenty
miles an hour.

From here I went to Stockbridge, Mass., then to
Hartford, Conn., where we arrived on the twenty-
seventh of June, where I remained until the first of July
at Mr. Beaman’s. Then I went to Springfield, then to
Patsbridge, where I found Uncle King’s youngest daugh-
ter. I went the next day to the Three Rivers P. O.,
where I saw Uncle and Aunt King. Aunt’s health is
very delicate; they live with their two daughters who
married Barkers. I went next to Dr. Shearer’s, then to
Mr. Jenkse’s, also to Jedediah and Daniel Paine’s.
Daniel knew me some distance away. Independence
Day now comes in this country on the fourth of July, and
we held ours at Thorndyke. They had a band of
music and company of young ladies and gentlemen
dressed in uniform, and a dinner. Uncle Shaw was there,
but I did not see him. I saw cousin Shaw who married
Seneth Shaw.

Cousin Shepard Paine has the care of Daniel’s part,
and he says it is about eleven hundred dollars. Cousin
Shepard talked with Uncle Shaw, and told him I was in
the place. Uncle Shaw said he thought I could have
the money now if I would make a discount. Uncle
Joseph’s property sold for about one third value. His
silver plate and cups sold by the piece for one third of
what the silver smith paid second hand. I intended
71

seeing Uncle Shaw before I write, but fearing you would
be uneasy I write now. I have been at Uncle Jonathan’s
and am now at Uncle Lemuel Paine’s and expect to go to
Uncle Shaw’s in a few days.

I stood the journey very well except one bad cold.
It was very wet and cold a good part of the way. I rode
with my overcoat on from the sixteenth to the twentieth
of June and saw flocks of sheep not sheared as late as the
twenty-fourth. Crops are very backward in New York,
but look better here. Leonard Shearer is in the State’s
Prison at Boston, but not a criminal. He has charge of
the prison and a store in Boston that his brother tends.
My relatives appeared to be very glad to see me. Uncle
Shaw has some of your part collected now, but I don’t
know how much. I like this country very well, though
not as well as ours. I haven’t been homesick yet though
I intend to return as soon as I can get my money and
not before, if it can be got. A man can travel cheaper
in this country than in Ohio, although provisions cost
double.

Tell Mr. Jenks his friends are all well in this country.
I should like to see you all when time brings it about
that we shall meet, but I should like to see Franklin now.
I have been through the factories, and saw the machinery
and its inmates. The machinery- is beyond what I expect-
ed. As soon as I see Uncle Shaw and know more about
your business, I will write again. Cattle are very high.
Cows are worth from forty to eighty dollars per head.
So no more at present.

Patrick S. Shearer.

Lemuel Paine, (Gen. VL No. Ill), b. Sept. 27,
1781, in Ludlow, Mass.; d. Feb. 7, 1867, at Princeton,
111.; m. to Elizabeth Morse, b. 1779; d. Sept. 17, 1860,
at Belchertown, Mass.

Residence: Belchertown, Mass.

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