Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Diaries & Letters of Tri-Counties
Tri-County Genealogy & History Sites Home Page
How to Use This Site
Warning & Disclaimer
Diaries & Letters of the Tri-Counties
Introduction to the Mary BURNS Letters
Burlington Township Page
No Unauthorized Commercial Use
Contact Joyce
Contact David
Mary Angeline BURNS Gorham 1844 -1916
Copyright © David V. Kester, 2001
Letters sent to Mary BURNS Gorham
Township: Burlington Township, Bradford County PA
Transcribed  by David Kester
Year: 1857-1869
Photo Source : David Kester

Burlington Aprthe 20th /65

My Dear Uncle & Family

Your letter came at hand this afternoon and found me at school, [To] which I hasten to reply. We have not had a letter from Uncle Philander since I received a letter the first of April. But Tracy Knapp wrote A letter to his wife & stated that Philander and all the rest of the boys were all right. We have been uneasy about him until this very moment. I will tell you how we heard. Mr. Marsillus(94) has been down to Isaac Soper’s after hay and they told him and he told Pa. They were sent on beyond Richmond in pursuit of the rest of the enemy, so I suppose they do not get time to write. But we had got our minds about made up that they were all dead(95).

Orry stayed to Uncle Horaces last night & went down to the corners(96) this morning and left word for the doctor to go and see Uncle Horace for he is worse. Got your letter and went on over home and told Granma about him and she has started to go over there [but] is going to wait until after supper and I am going with her, take this letter along and wait until morning to see how he is. He was taken with pain in the bowels just as he was before. We are afraid he will be as bad as ever but may not. He has overdone, he sowed 8 bushel of oats and dragged them in and sowed his hay seed and has not done anything since. The Docter said when he was sick before that if he was ever as bad again he would not get well.

Uncle Rob has just got home today or Granma would not have dared to come away for fear some accident might happen. Granma has got your piece wove. There is 41 yards and 5 Run of filling left. She has got her carpet in and five yards wove of that. She says she does not know how you will get your cloth if she does not go down. She says she wants to come if she can not stay but a week or two, but she does not hardly [want to] go with some of the children and cross the river on a Ferry boat.

It is now half past seven Oclock and I am seated at the table at Uncle Horaces. The Docter has not been here yet. Uncle Horace is on the bed. He is about the same as he has been all day. We can tell better in the morning whether he is any better or not.

Orville Crandall came back with Uncle Rob and Bye went out to Lakeville where Emma lives(97). I have not seen them yet. I suppose Aunt Sarah Ann was very happy to see them and Uncle Rob anyhow. Granma said Aunt Sarah A. looked as pale as though she had just fainted(98). I guess I will lay my Pen and paper aside until morning.

Morning has again returned and Uncle Horace is not any better. He can not sit a great while to [a] time. Granma is going down to the corners this morning and get this mailed and get the docter. Aunt Mary you must not worry yourself to death for if he gets any worse or is like to get any worse I will write immediately.

Eliza and Miron Beach(99) have broke up house keeping. Eliza has been to work by the week at Gerome Hill’s and Miron done his own cooking in the shop. Eliza got tired of working by the week so she lives in the shop. They have rented their house and a family lives in it. Some said the reason why they broke up house keeping was because he was afraid of being drafted and others said it was because he was too stingy to live [there], I guess a little bit of both. We heard he had got his teeth all pulled but guess it is a story. The drafted men are all struck off(100) and [that’s] good news. Granma is in a hurry and I must close, Write.

[Hurriedly written in the margin] We are very sorry to hear such news about Johnnie(101), he is such an unlucky child.

Floretta to all of you.


(94) Isaac Marcellus, Burlington Township Farmer, age 74 and Isaac Soper neighboring farmer, age 36 both lived in the vicinity of Kendall Hill.

(95) "News of Lee’s surrender reached Bradford County early Monday morning, April 10th, creating the wildest enthusiasm and excitement. Announcement of the assassination of President Lincoln reached Towanda by telegraph Saturday morning, April 15th, producing universal consternation and sorrow, [but was soon followed by] "gladsome homecomings of soldiers from the war" (excerpted from Heverly’s Bradford County Chronology)

(96) The "corners" was a colloquialism for Burlington Borough where two major roads intersected. Horace Burn’s farm was just a couple miles up the road from the Borough.

(97) Emma Burns was a cousin who had recently moved from Dundaff, Clifford Township, Susquehanna County, Pa. To Lakeville, Livingston County, N.Y. to teach at nearby Geneseo Normal School (see letter #58). "Bye", Byington Burns and Orville Crandall were also Burns family cousins (see letter #77).

(98) Mary’s sister Sarah Ann BURNS Kendall, 35 year-old w/o Robert D. Kendall and mother of three was dead of unknown causes four days later, April 24, 1865.

(99) Eliza Jane Gorham, James Gorham’s half-sister and Myron Beach were married in a double ceremony along with James and Mary on July 4th, 1862. Myron and Eliza had set up housekeeping in a rented house in Burlington Borough where he was a shoemaker.

(100) meaning their notices to report were cancelled as the war had ended eight days earlier with Lee’s Surrender to Grant at Appomattox, Virginia on the 12th of April, 1865.

(101) Johnnie, James and Mary’s four year old son had probably gotten sick or injured.


Transcriber’s Note: While there is no portion of a date on this letter it is the considered opinion of the researchers that it was written in June, as ascertained by crop timing, in the year 1865 as determined by court records in the case of John C. Marcellus vs. Charles Morgan and Zophar Morgan.

[June, 1865]

Well Mary,

Ma has just got home and she thinks I must worry your patients a little longer. Ma says that I ought not have said so much, but you know that it will go no farther. I think enough of Lucy, but still it make[s] the Irish start once in a while. Debbie got a lot of old duds down there the day that we spoke pieces(102), some old straw Bonnets and an old snuff box and that day

Frank and Lucy was up there to school and Debbie asked Frank to carry some of them and Frank said that she wasn’t a going to carry her old duds for her. I though that she was pretty independent and besides all of that, Debbie toled Frank that she was going to stay all night with her and Frank said {Well} and when they got down by Uncle Dan’s(103) Frank stopped there and stayed until dark and Debbie went and took the things down and came back up to Grandma Kendall’s and stayed all night. Ma was telling Uncle Philander what Mary said, if we wanted Granma [Burns] we must come after her [in LeRaysville]. Philander spoke and said that he did want her to help him do chores. He had got so behind hand with his work that he had not time to go after her, but Granpa Kendall says that he would not slave for Lucy, that she is just as able to work as you are. You are old enough and have worked hard enough to have your time.______

Ma has not got any carpet yarn yet, but she has about made up her mind to get some [more] of this hemp twine. She bought one ball, and there was not quite three knots in it. It counts up for it is ½ Dollar a pound and it takes 4 ball for a pound, but Ma can not stand it to mop She cleaned all day yesterday and today she is lame. We are a going to have the teacher this week. It don’t do any good to clean for it rains about all the time. There is but a few that has their corn planted or oats sowed. Pa has got only 1½ acres of corn planted yet he went down in the fields to get the old mare to furrow out corn and found a little colt with her.

Carl Marsillus(104) prosecuted Zoph Morgan and Manda Clark(105) for buying his things, but he did not gain much for it for they beat him. He has had to pay a cost of $25. Marsillus has apealed it, but pa and a great many others think that he had better let it go as it is. I must close. I am going to write to Uncle Harry(106) before many days. When he gave me that package he toled me to write to him. Write.

From Floretta to M and Gorham

[P.S.] Fanny Travis(107) has got another girl. Philander and Lucy has got their Photograph(108), got mine for 2 dollars. Charley Gustin’s(109) wife has got a pair of twin girls. Abe Robason[‘s] wife has got a pair of twin boys. Uncle Rob had a swarm of bees to day and they went back.


(102) A school exercise in public speaking involving the scholars in short one act plays which often included costumes.

(103) Probably Daniel M. Lane’s home which was on Kendall Hill road about a half mile down from the school and a little before the Burns homestead across the road, where Lucy and Philander lived.

(104) The Marcellus farm was on Slater Road about a mile west of the Burns, Kendall and Lane farms. Carl was the 33 year old son of Isaac Marcellus.

(105) Zoph Morgan, age 23 had been discharged from the army in Nov 1863 due to ill health from an injury incurred in the war. On 19 September, 1866 he married Juliette Knapp, niece of Floretta’s grandmother Deborah Knapp Kendall. The details of this case are not fully explained and shall remain a mystery. Let it suffice to speculate that they were trivial The nature of Amanda Clark’s involvement in this case has not been ascertained. The appeal dragged on until it was finally discontinued in June 1873.

(106) Henry Burns, age 69, a widower since the death of his wife Katherine Scott Burns (see letter #58) two years earlier. He lived in Clifford Township, Susquehanna County.

(107) Wife of Zury Travis, another Kendall Hill farmer related to the Campbell/Burns/Kendall/Lane clan through his mother Sally Lane.

(108) This is the first time any of the writers has used this word. It was previously referred to as a "likeness"

(109) A close friend from the Luther’s Mills area.


Burlington July 29 1865

Dear Aunt

I now seat myself on purpose of writing you A few lines. Pa & Jennie has gone to Towanda, Orry is down in the field Mowing and as I am here alone thought I would scribble you a few lines to pass off the time. Although I have not got much to write [I] wanted to hear from you, but had much Rather see you. We are all well at present but pa, he is pretty lame. I have been Sick but have got Well now. Have had an awful lame arm. I had Dora Sweet here to stay with me(110), but she done more hurt than she did good. She was boarding and going to school. She would come Monday morning and go right off to school with out doing a thing and then Friday night she would go right home from school and not even help me wash or anything. And all she would do nights was to make a little cake or some such thing and eat Cream and Sugar on her bread. She would come home nights and eat two or three slices of bread with cream & Sugar, but I would not cared so much about that if she would took hold and helped me. The other day she came up here and stayed all night and most all the next day and that day I washed and she never offered to help do a thing at all. All she cared or talked about was the boys and I don’t like such Company.

Well, guess you have heard about Enough of this foolish trash so I will write you some more mabe more interesting. The first is Huldah Clark(111) has got a busting big boy. Billy wrote home to State that he wanted that Hundred Dollars that he Sent to Huldah and the next day him and Huldah Went down to Towanda and I suppose she traded out half of it. She will not let him have it. He declares that he will kill her and Robinson. I suppose it is both of them.

Well Jest nuff of that, so now for Uncle Gerome. Well, Sam Gibbs(112) has been in the army Expecting his wife(113)[to be] to home behaving her Self, but no, she did not stay to home two weeks while Sam was gone, but she was up to Uncle Dan’s(114) all [that time] and after he came back and Sam caught them at it but said nothing. He heard the stories but did not believe them. So now they have gone west together(115) and still Sam dont believe the stories. She has got the wool pulled over his eyes so he don’t see nothing. He went and took her up to Waverly(116) himself, gave her 250$ when she started, bought her ticket and traded out over 50$ in Clothes for her. He is a perfect fool. His Mother talked pretty plain to him and now he is asking around if it is so and it is so for I have seen it with my own eyes and told him so to. And folks blame Aunt Alvira(117) just as much as they do them for having such work in her house. Oh Dear, if I could only see you I could tell you a good many things, but I don’t like this talking with a pen or pencil. Tell Uncle James if he dont come up here before long he will be sorry. But I suppose he is into the haying and harvesting so he cant leave home.

Well write to me soon if you can not come and talk to me. I had much rather hear you talk. Well I must close my non sense so good by, all my love to all. Tell Lettie(118) to write to me and I will answer it.

From D O K

To Aunt M A G

This is kind of a queer but beautiful epistle, don’t you think so, I guess you do.


(110) Debbie’s mother Sarah BURNS Kendall died very unexpectedly three months earlier, at the age of 35 (see letter #80). Although Debbie was 14, they probably didn’t want her staying alone to fend for herself with a lame arm while she kept house for her father, brother and sister.

(111) Most likely her Kendall Hill neighbor age 20, d/o Joseph Stanton and Lydia Clark. Both Debbie and Floretta were inclined to continue to refer to their childhood friends by their maiden names after they had married. This was especially true when writing to their Aunt Mary because she only knew them by their birth names having moved to LeRaysville in 1862.

(112) Sam Gibbs and Sarah Ellen Travis were married in late 1862 or early 1863 (see letter #51). Sam subsequently enlisted in CO. H, 185th New York Regiment on 19 September, 1864 and was discharged 30 May 1865 at age 33.

(113) Sarah Ellen Travis, age 21, d/o Myron and Phoebe BAILEY Travis.

(114) Dan Kendall age 39, Gerome’s older brother.

(115) They, being Jerome and Sara Ellen, although it is not certain what Debbie meant by "west". Gerome enlisted in the army in 1862 (see letter #41, but do to an injury in his youth that left him lame, worked as a clerk in a camp hospital (see letter #48). He was discharged in 1863 and traveled west with his sister Jennie (Sarah Jane) and returned to Burlington sometime in 1864. Gerome did eventually move to Jefferson, Iowa and married his first wife Anna Keenan (b.1853, d.1891) who bore him three sons there in 1871, 1875 and 1877 respectively. It is also not known if or when he and Anna divorced, but Jerome did eventually marry Sarah Ellen.

(116) A city just over Bradford County’s northern border in New York State.

(117) Elvira LANE Kendall, Dan’s wife.

(118) Debbie’s cousin Letitia Kendall, age 10, d/o Lawrence & Jane BURNS Kendall.


Burlington Dec 16 [1866]

Dear Aunt

After not long a time I am going to try and write a few lines to you I have been very busy since I came home and have not had an opportunity to write until now.

We are all well as usual. Uncle Hor. [Horace] is very smart(119) this fall and winter. We have not heard from Granma [Burns] since Uncle Philander received a letter when I was at Pike [township]. But I presume you have heard from her(120).

Well Aunt, I suppose you begin to think you have got to live alone this winter. If Debbie keeps on I guess you will not. Uncle Rob says if Uncle James wants her bad enough to come after her she can go. I guess Aunt Jen(121) intends staying with them good share of the time this winter. I have heard Ma say that she was almost sorry she’d wrote for me to come home but she was not certain that Debbie would not go.

We arrived home safe but rather late. We stayed to get our picture taken and it was nearly dark when we started. We had company Sunday, Uncle Bill and Aunt Lucy(122), Uncle Dan, Aunt Elvira, Uncle Horace, Aunt Ruth &c &c(123). Uncle Horace had three Photographs left, all just alike. Ma took one, he gave one to me and told me to send it to you and ask you if you know who it is. Lodell(124) runs all around, gives Uncle Horace’s hat a dip in the swill pail. Occasionally every thing he gets hold of he puts for the swill pail with it. Hattie(125) has taken a few steps. I attended Huldah Clarks babies funeral last Sunday. Lovina and Sarah Ann Marsillas(126) have each got a Brat. Uncle James if you can possibly get my flannel send it out if you can get a chance or if you come after Debbie bring it along. If you can, send it to Powell’s Store(127) we can get [there] most any day. Write let us know if you do.

When I found Ma she was at Powell’s getting me a dress. It was Marino(128), 12 shillings per yard, Maroon color. Havent got it made yet, but intend to before New Years. Ma has got a Repp(129) Alapacca black, $1 per yard. Debbie has got one 50 cents. Guess Aunt Jen is down to Mr Risley’s(130) beginning this week.

Uncle Bill and Aunt Lucy is here to night, have [been] here two nights. Mr. Crittendon(131) is going to address Sabbath School scholars tomorrow down to the Peak(132) The same one that addressed Sunday School scholars at Leraysville. I have written to Granma this week and if she don’t answer it I shall not be apt to write again. Ida(133) is teaching our school this winter. I like her very much she is a first rate teacher. I guess she will learn the scholars fast. I make such work writing in this side of the paper that is not ruled so I will close for this time. I should like to here from you and here how you are getting along. Please write

Good night

Floretta Kendall

The last I heard from Lucy Gorham(134) she was not any better.


(119) As opposed to stupid which, in the nineteenth century meant in a state of stupor, usually from fatigue or illness.

(120) Which probably means that Grandma Letitia CAMPBELL Burns has been visiting her deceased husband’s folks in Susquehanna County who live less than twenty miles east of Mary’s home in LeRaysville, Pike Township, Bradford County.

(121) Sarah Jane Kendall. It seems that at least one of Mary’s cousins or nieces was always staying with her since she married James Gorham and moved from Burlington to LeRaysville. While it’s not likely that she was the only charismatic relative who had ever moved away, these 86 letters attest to the fact that she was, without question, the most missed.

(122) William Kendall and Lucy BURGESS Kendall married November 7, 1865.

(123) "etcetera, etcetera".

(124) Lodell Burns b. 1865, s/o Horace and Lydia "Ruth" KENDALL Burns.

(125) Hattie Burns b. 1865, d/o Philander and Lucy E. MORLEY Burns.

(126) Lovina Marcellus, age 19 and Sarah Ann Marcellus, age 23, d/o Isaac and Almira Marcellus of Burlington Township. Floretta is using their maiden names as did her niece Debbie in writing of Huldah Clark’s baby in the previous letter. Perhaps they thought that Mary would otherwise not know to whom they were referring or it was just their habit to speak and write of their childhood friends in this manner.

(127) One of Towanda’s largest stores.

(128) Merino, fabric made from the wool of Merino Sheep.

(129) Repp or rep, a horizontally ribbed fabric of wool, silk or cotton.

(130) Joseph and Esther Wrisley, who lived near the foot of Kendall Hill road. Jennie was

probably hired as their live-in housekeeper, a common practice at that time.

(131) This is possibly the R.C. Crittendon mentioned in the story of "Uncle Miner’s Grove Sunday School", as taken From The Child’s World, a magazine published in May, 1866 and referenced in "A HISTORY OF THE CHURCHES OF ORWELL, PENNSYLVANIA By Victor Charles Detty, Pastor Federated Church 1930-1943, at the Tri-Counties Genealogy & History Sites of Joyce M. Tice.

(132) Quite possibly a reference to Mount Pisgah, only about 8 miles to the west of Kendall Hill in southern Springfield Township. At 2,772 feet it was certainly the highest peak in Bradford County and purportedly the second highest in the state.

(133) Ida Morley, age 19, d/o Jacob and Harriet KNAPP Morley and younger sister of Philander Burn’s wife Lucy E.

(134) Lucy Gorham, 25 year old unmarried half sister of Mary’s husband, James J. Gorham. The nature of her affliction is unknown, but she died 28 Jan 1867, six weeks from the date of this letter.


Burlington May 1st [1867]

Dear Aunt & family

As it is raining and the Music Teacher (Mifs Sweet) did not come, I seize the opportunity to write(134). She comes twice a week and it keeps me pretty busy. I would like to get the worth of my money if possible.

We are all well. Granma K. had a poor spell a few days ago, thought she was dying, is better now, complains of pain in her side a great deal(135).

Dolphus Knapp’s(136) funeral sermon was preached last Sunday at Burlington by Mr. Stillwell. They came very near waiting until Sarah [his widow] was married again. We hear that she is married to a fellow in Vermont.

Burt Gustin’s baby(137) was buried last Sunday. They thought that it had got entirely well, went down to Herrick(138), came back and it grew worse and died.

Sarah Campbell(139) received a letter from Ophelia(140) stating that Uncle Owen(141) was married to a widow woman with two children. She did not say as she knew who it was.

Julia(142) sent me her picture and Sarah her baby’s, it was a nice looking boy. Sarah says it looks like Julia.

Your letter to Aunt Lucy brought sad news to us all. It seems rather singular that Granfather thought that he should go next & was called so soon(143). I should think you would want Granma to stay with you a while. I guess Aunt Lucy can get along (if she cant let her do the other thing) Frank [her sister] is going to stay with her this summer and go to school. I suppose Granma is of age & can do as she is a mind to.

Aunt Jen has not got to housekeeping yet(144). Uncle Frank wants to move in to the house now and not plaster until fall and Aunt Jen declares she never will move an inch until it is plastered. Which will conquer? They were down here on Sunday night, didn’t they have [at] it though, but then I do not know as I ought to tell of it. Henry Hill has met with a misfortune to have his mill burn up again(145). It is the third one that has burned. It was about three weeks ago. All of the mill hands went up to P. Hall(146) to a sugar party excepting the boss. He had not been gone from the mill only about ½ hour and the mill was all in flames. The same day that it burned a man was there to insure it, but Mr. Hill intended to move it to Rome(147) the next day so he thought he would wait. They have gone to Rome today to put up a new one.

I havent any school engaged in particular to teach this summer. Talk some of teaching at Bett’s District(148), can not commence teaching until June. They are trying to get Lottie to teach school up here(149) this summer. I suppose you have noticed her wedding and the death of her husband in the paper. They were married the 8th of April and he (Charles Dussant)(150) died the 10th.

Aunt Mate I can not think of anything to write and if I could I can not write on this dirty sheet of paper. I took a notion to write and just happened to find this sheet of paper and have tried to scribble a few lines. Read it if you can and if you cant you need not. Isn’t that fair?

I have made some more trimming since you were here, did not know how much you wanted, but dare not make too much for fear I could not sen it in a letter. If it is not enough I will make you some more. I must close, write soon.

Love to all

Kiss Johnnie(151)

As Floret has left room I will mention the waggon Traid you and myself Talked of. The waggon stands in the barn, has not been hitcht to move [more] than two or three times since it has been here. I have not rode in the waggon therefore I don’t know much about the run of the waggon. Our wagon is more convenient to go to mill with and carry off Buter. I will say no more about the waggon until I see you. I will venture to say I will give you six Bush[el] of wheat after harvest which will be worth 18$ with out much doubt.

Yours Truly J.J. Gorham,


L.W. Kendall(152)


(134) The writer is Floretta Kendall, the second most prolific of the letter writers with twelve to her credit (after Mary’s husband James who wrote 22 over a twelve month period).

(135) In fact she lived to the ripe old age of 88, not dying until July 1892.

(136) Dolphus Knapp was was a relative of Floretta’s Grandma Deborah KNAPP Kendall

(137) According to the Gustin Cemetery (Burlington Township) listings, Judge Leon Gustin d. May 6, 1869, age 10 months & 10 days s/o Burt K. & Annie MORLEY Gustin. They had previously lost a daughter, Rosa May on April 26,1863, age 6 months, 19 days.

(138) About twenty miles due east of Burlington.

(139) Sara Ellen Campbell, age 24, d/o Josephus and Asenath MILLER Cambpell and first cousin to Mary BURNS Gorham.

(140) The youngest daughter of James Campbell (d. 1851) and his wife Anna who lived in Dixon, Illinois with her mother Anna, stepfather Isaac S. Boardman and older sister Julia.

(141) Anning Owen Campbell, b.23 July 1809, s/o Cephas and Eleanor MILLER Campbell, m. 1st, in August 1835, Celinda M. Foster, b. 1811, d. 11 Mar 1838; m. 2nd, Almira Brewster who bore him 4 children. This would be his third marriage. Uncle Owen was possibly the first Burlington Campbell to have gone out west to settle in Illinois and was later follwed by his younger brother James, father of Julia and Ophelia and James H. (d. 1851). In August of 1863 Uncle Owen was reported to have been very ill and not expected to live long (see letter #59).

(142) Artemisia "Julia" Campbell, age 25 (see letters #6 1855 & #7 1857).

(143) This is a thoroughly confusing statement and it cannot be determined about whom she is writing. Let it suffice to state that it was none of the elder Campbell, Kendall or Burns relatives.

(144) Sara Jane "Jennie" Kendall, age 22, married Frank Beardsley who died soon after they were married. They had no children and Jennie lived with her parents and took care of her father Elam in his last illness. When he died on March 27, 1877 she, being tired from her long vigil and overcome with grief, went straight to bed. According to her brother Wayland, as quoted in "Leon Lane’s Notebook" "They called a doctor as she had been in poor health and had collapsed. He ordered her to bed and gave her a dose to quiet her nerves and induce sleep, from which she never regained consciousness. She died twelve hours after her father and was buried in a double grave with him."

(145) Henry Hill’s mill was just west of Slater Road on Wallace Run which flowed south into Sugar Creek.

(146) Philander Hall, age 44, was believed to have lived in Luther’s Mills.

(147) A village and township in northeastern Bradford county about 15 miles from Burlington.

(148) One of the nine school districts in Burlington Township located in its northwest corner and named for Silas Betts, a farmer who provided for the school to be built on his land.

(149) Kendall Hill was in the Prospect District. See letter #69 for a short treatise on the Pennsylvania School Act of 1834, which established free public schools within walking distance of every residence.

(150) Charlotte M. Black, d/o Horatio and Charlotte married Charles Durrant 8 April 1867 at her family’s home in Towanda. They were in Guilford, Chenango County, New York when he died two days later, April 10th, of congestion of the lungs at age 24. He was in the hardware business there, but was originally of Towanda. A year later she was living in Ulster (north of Towanda) when she married Robert D. Kendall of Burlington on 23 September, 1868. Robert was the widow of Sarah Ann BURNS Kendall who died on April 24, 1865 (see letter #80).

(151) Six year old son of James J. Gorham and first wife Viola Goodwin.

(152) Lawrence W. Kendall, age 45, eldest s/o Elam and Deborah KNAPP Kendall and father of Floretta.


Burlington Oct 25th [1868]

Aunt Mary

You will see by the date of this that I am eighteen years old today. And as I wish the time to pass off as pleasantly as possible I am going to spend a few moments in writing to one of the best Aunts on the surface of the earth. A few weeks ago I thought I should be with you today, but on account of examination (which passes off 30 of Oct) I could not go. After examination Debbie and myself Intend to visit you. I have not made up my mind yet whether I shall stay a week or a month. I hear you say a week. Pa says I must break an egg today it being my birth day. I tell him I think I have broken one already have for I have been to see old Carly(153) this morning. Well I will tell you how it happened. I started to go up to Smiths to Sabbath school and it began to rain as I got up to old Henry’s(154) so I stopped in because I did not want to get my new shawl wet.

Ma, Pa, Aunt Lucy and me went to Towanda yesterday. I traded nearly fifty dollars in about three hours. I bought a shawl that cost $ 10.00, a drefs for $10, furs $7.00, shoes, rubbers &c which, you see takes off schoolmarm’s money. Ma got a six-legged table and several other articles, but did not get her cotton yarn. They have got your carpet in and wove eight yards. It springs so hard that it keeps Ma and Grandma both lame. Grandma weaves until she gets nearly frozen and then ma goes up and weaves. You know our chamber is not plastered and it has been very cold and damp weather. I think by the time Grandma gets ready to go down to your house she will be sick, that is if she does all the work she has laid out to do. After she gets through weaving at night she can not feel easy to sit still until she brings over a great wad of yarn to twist and knit and acts as though she had not got another minute to live. She says she has worked harder this fall than she has before in twenty years. You know Aunt Mary she had a pretty hard seige this summer taking care of Uncle Horace(155). It tired her more than anything else.

It seems so good Aunt Mary to think that Debbie has got someone to wait on her once in a while(156). Gerome Gates(157) has been out here on a visit. Last Sunday we were all to Sunday school up here at one oclock and there was a meeting at Smith’s at three oclock. Of course we all wanted to go. Aunt Sallie [Kendall] toled us all to go up to meeting and after meeting to come down there and take supper. She toled Debbie she would go home and get supper all ready and we must be sure and come down. So Gerome Gates, Ida Morley, Flora Beach and me went down. Gerome and Ida stayed all night. She had a nice supper. We all think she is just right. They brought Debbie a very nice drefs when they came from their wedding tour. Oh every thing is lovely as far as I know. Uncle Horace is able to do his chores, he was over last Sunday but looks funny yet. I must go to Sunday school.


You will readily recollect that this the answer to my last.


(153) A laying hen perhaps?

(154) Not a laying hen, nor a rooster, but Henry B. Wilhelm who lived just up Slater Road from her father Lawrence Kendall’s farm.

(155) Horace Burns, age 35 had been sick on and off for most of the previous four years, but no mention was ever made of the nature of his affliction. He would recover, sometimes for considerably long periods, and then have periods of relapse. He died in 1891 at 58 years of age.

(156) Debbie’s mother, Sarah Ann BURNS Kendall died in January 1967, a month short of Debbie’s sixteenth birthday and she has had to manage her father Robert’s household including the care of her younger siblings

(157)Gerome Gates grew up in the Jacob Morley household and was listed there in the 1850 census as a 5 year old. His 35 year-old widowed father George and 9 year-old sister Adelaide lived just next door and the Gates apparently were kind enough to see to his upbringing. Ida Morely, two years younger than Gerome, was the youngest of the three Morley girls.


Dixon [Illinois] Aprthe28:69

Dear Granma Uncles Aunts & cousins

I have a sad duty to perform today that of acquainting my relatives and friends of the death of our dearly beloved mother(158). She died last Thursday night and was buried Sunday morning. Her disease was the lung fever. She was sick only six days. I(159) was away from home teaching school and only saw her about an hour before she died. She knew me and was able to say a few words to me. She died very quietly and peacefully so that we hardly knew she when she had gone. She was ready to go and remarked to her friends that all was well, she had finished her work on earth. She is with her friends in heaven and although it is a severe stroke to us the same God that lead her safely through life will guide her lonely daughters(160) amid the trials of life to the same seat in Eternity. To Him do we look for consolation. I used to think that I never, never could give up my Mother, but called to the trials, God is my trust. A lonely and hard way is offered and in it I must walk. And even if I live to be as old as she was, half my days are spent and my only desire is to spend a life of usefulness and when death shall claim me go as peacefully as have both Mother and Father. It is another call to draw us heavenward and in fullness of heart I can say, God’s will, not mine, be done. Oh may we all meet in heaven though we may never see one another again on Earth. I wish cousin Sarah Ellen(161) could make a trip west this summer. I think she could spend a few months very pleasantly. I shall return to my school, a few miles from town, in a week or so. Mr. Boardman(162) has been very ill of the same disease, but is better. Little Annie Boardman(163), the baby, is very sick we have nearly given her up in fact we are truly an afflicted family, no one being Perfectly well except myself. No one is dangerously ill except the baby.

I must close. I think that there ought to be more frequent correspondence. Much love to all.

Yours in affection,

Julia Campbell


(158) Anna Crane ROBBINS Campbell, widow of James Campbell, Grandma Letitia’s brother.

(159) Artemisia Julia Campbell, age 27, oldest d/o James and Anna (see letters #6 & 7).

(160) The only one besides Julia was Ophelia, three years younger. Both were born in Burlington. The family moved west during the late 1840s. Their father and younger brother James H. (b. 1850) both died of malaria during an extended visit to Burlington in 1851 and are buried in the Luther’s Mills Cemetery at the foot of Kendall Hill Road. Anna was buried in Illinois.

(161) Sarah Ellen Campbell, age 26, d/o Josephus and Asenath MILLER Campbell, all of Burlington Township. Julia apparently did not know at the time of this writing that Sarah Ellen had married John. W. Lane the previous year.

(162) Isaac Boardman, age 49, circuit clerk for Lee County, Illinois was Julia & Ophelia’s stepfather. She referred to him as "Pa" in previous letters (1855 & 57), but mentioned a Libbie Boardman who was entering college at the time and was apparently his child from a previous marriage.

(163) Annie Boardman was most likely the child of Isaac and Anna.