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Pittman Family
A Letter to Mrs. Lydia Pitman (1), Laurel County Kentucky

Iowa Territory – Lee County
June 28, 1840

Dear Mother:

I have taken my pen in hand this evening to write you a few lines to inform you through the blessings of providence we are all enjoying tolerable health and hope the unfolding of these lines will find you and family enjoy(ing) the like blessings. The connexion in this country are all enjoying their usual health.

Patsey and Eliza (2) lately paid Parthenia (3) a visit in Van Buren County in this territory. Found them all well. Charles (4) had a little brush of the ague (5) while they were there. They have four children and profess to be better satisfied there than they have been since they have been in the west. It is about forty-five miles from here. A letter directed to them in Van Buren County, Iowa Territory will go to the county seat ten miles from where they live. The nearest office that I know of to them.

The spring here was rather cold and backward but since then has been warm and seasonable. We have had just rain enough to keep the ground in good working order. Crops of both corn and small grain is very promising. Old corn is rather scarce at 50 cents per bushel. Flour is $3 per hundred at the mills and perhaps will continue so till after harvest. If the wheat turns out as well as is expected the price must fall. Bacon from 8 to 10 cents per lb. Hard times have become very fashionable in this country. Not of choice but through necessity the land sales in March drained the country of nearly all the money there was in it. Money loaned from 50 to 100 percent for 12 months at the sale. Hard as the times was the land has been entered up very close in part of the country almost everyone securing him some land upon some terms or other generally bought up by the settlers. I have 296 acres enough to make me a good farm and a desirable situation at that.

Tell Ambrose (6) I answered his letter of January last immediately on the receipt of his which was some time in the same month but have not heard from him. Since whether he received it or not I have been looking for a letter from him about three months but none has come. I begin to conclude that my last has been misplaced as the one before that in answer to his of last Sept from Richmond which come to hand by a speedy package with their contents all safe.

We would be glad to come and see you all but the times is too hard for us to come this year, but will come as soon as we are able. Some of the businessmen say the times will get better when Harrison is elected. If so God speed his election. Though we are not permitted to vote for him in the Territory. I must wish him success.

Give our best respects to all enquiring friends and relations partickularly to Father (7) and accept our best wishes to yourself and family.

Yours ……… Respectfully

Wm. G. Pitman

Patsey C. Pitman

(1) Patsey’s mother, Lydia Warren Pitman, the wife of Richard Pitman
(2) Eliza = Patsey’s sister
(3) Parthenia = Patsey’s sister
(4) Charles = Parthenia’s husband, Charles Sevier?
(5) Ague = malarial fever with alternating chills and fevers at regular intervals
(6) Ambrose = Patsey’s brother?
(7) William’s father = Ambrose Pitman, the brother of Richard Pitman and the husband of Susan Warren Pitman

Contributed by Phil Pittman

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