1861: Luther Cole to Children

This letter was written by Luther Cole (1797-1880) of Lafayette, Onondaga county, New York. He was the son of Joseph Stephens Cole (1767-1833) and Sarah Rhoades (1766-1837). He was married to Nancy House (1804-18xx) in January 1826.


Lafayette [Onondaga county, New York]
September 29, 1861

Dear Children,

Your two letters mailed the 24th inst. was received yesterday. Are are glad to hear that you are all alive but I see than Andalucia & Huldah will have to come down here at once & recruit up some. You must have the Doctor take them both & little Lucia & come ahead. You can better spare Huldah a few months to come down & recruit than to lose her entirely. Huldah need not fear that you will have to go into the army. Our daily paper night before last stated that the War Department had countermanded the order for drafting in Iowa.

I have been with Robinson two trips collecting 13 days. It uses me up entirely to travel in both rain & shine, but I am alive & am just able to put my coat on alone. I had good luck. I got enough to pay all my debts & buy me a new stove and Ma a new cloak. Ma says she calculates to exchange with Andalucia some. She wears Andel’s shawl & Andel wears her cloak. Tell the Doctor we will try to exchange my old sulky for a skeleton buggy for him to use. You know if there is no one sick, it is necessary to ride round some. If the Doctor should conclude to stay in this section, you can slide down after Huldah when she gets straightened up.

I will try to answer some of your questions. Hiram wanted to do the collecting but as I could not work he consented to let me go. He has a smart wife. Hiram’s father is the worst rebel I know of. I have told Hiram I would not employ him anymore. Uncle Joseph’s folks same as ever. Wm. Jones is near. Harry Halls is doing well but worn entirely out. Just as you will be before long. He wants to sell his great farm & buy a little place in Lafayette to die on. Aunt Damia & Harry as usual. Eliza Weston married a man by the name of Jones some time since. He has property but lives with her. He is 57 years old. Is a good looking man. Has epileptic fits lately.

Orlando Hall is married & is on the Railroad near Cayuga. Rice Alexander is not married again. Rents a farm up south of here. Keeps his children with him. George Cole, wife, & child are at his Father’s of late. All about as usual at that station. Lucy Kane is at Mr. Hill’s very poor in health. Her husband off in the fruit business. Clayton Hill us at Buffalo studying with Dr. Hill. Aunt Vina is as usual. Lucius has laid out a great deal of money on his barns & has improved them some.

Grandfather House’s estate is not yet settled. Uncle Sylvanus has bought out the widow which gives him possession of the farm which he rents out. Ma thought she could not consent to allow John’s claim of $1100.00 so I understand the Administrator will sue John for the money he borrowed of his father, Ma was willing to make John a present of the money he owed the estate but he would not accept. John has become past us twice this fall to New York but did not call. Parmenas is at his Father’s in Homer. I believe Angeline wishes him to buy a farm so she can settle down.

I do not know how much wool Luther Baker gets from his Bucks but I will venture to say nothing like Denton’s, & will venture to guess he will not get as much again. You remember the Morus multicaulis fever perhaps. Do you have the disease among sheep called grub-in-the-head? If you do, you must get 1½ lbs. of scotch snuff and put into two-thirds of a pail of water which will be sufficient for one hundred sheep. To apply it, cut a hole in the sheep’s nose through a board fence or any other suitable place & put the nose through & a person the opposite side squirts some of the liquor into each nostril. Do this about the time of putting up your sheep in the fall. This I got from Luther Baker some time since which I intended for your benefit. His sheep now keep perfectly healthy. For 200 sheep, 3 lbs. snuff & so according to the number.

I think we shall hear some big war news before long. Write often. Yours &c., — Luther Cole

Ma says the Doctor had better start with the women before the weather gets cold. You will see there will be a great demand for the staff of life from abroad.

I think they will not hang Fremont Lust yet.

No frost here yet.



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