I, Nina Mack HISTMOM@aol.com, have in my possession 7 letters, 6 written by my gr gr gr grandfather, John Marsh D'Camp, to his brother William Edgar & family, in NJ. One is about a land sale of NJ. The letters span from 1825-1837. Quakers, John Marsh D'Camp married Hannah D. Murphy 1814, in NJ and moved his family to Preble Co., OH, in 1823.
The letters are written on sheets of paper 15 1/4 inches wide and folded in the middle and are 12 inches long. They are folded in a certain way to3 X 4 to 6 inches wide to form the envelope. 25 is written in the upper right hand corner of some but several have FREE printed and underneath "John M D'Camp dep. Post Master at Williams Store, Butler Co., OH. When the letter arrives about 2 weeks later it has the date recieved written on the back. The receiver of the mail payed the postage till people would write the main topic on the outside of the envelope and the reciever would then refuse the letter. It was changed and the sender paid the postage.
For the readers that feel sorry for John Marsh D'Camp ...yes, William Edgar did move his family to Butler Co.,OH within 2 years after the last letter, by 1839. Wm. Edgar was a carpenter & bricklayer. Wm. Edgar and John Marsh, wives and unmarried children are buried at Somerville Cemetery in Butler Co., OH.
John Marsh mentions Cincinnati as well as family and friends that moved here from NJ. He tells how to make the storage box for the side of the wagon and what to bring on the trip west.
Wages & found - wages with room & board provided.
Specie - cash.
Viz - namely.
Joiner - master carpenter.
After a long time of anxious expectation I receiv'd a few lines from under thy hand ( of three several dates) about the middle of last month, in which we were truly happy to hear from our dear Parents, Brothers & Sisters once more, and as this is the only way we can converse together to make known to each other our situation as to health & welfare, while placed at so remote as distance. I sincerely hope thou wilt not be quite so remiss for the future, but write to me frequently, for it is by this our love is nourished and strenghened. I have been teaching a School this summer my quarter expires the 5th of this month and my employers do not care to send to me again because I keep but 6 hours in a day & they want me to teach 8 hours a day, which I'm not willing to do, tho, they are well satisfied as to my abilities and management. So, I leave them.
I calculate to visit Cincinnati in a week or two from this, and try to get in with uncle Abraham (Williams) to work with him at his trade, &, give up the idea of school-keeping altogether. I understood that B Dunham makes out pretty well there. I have not seen him nor Sally since they moved there. Isaac Vadder moved down to Cincinnati about 3 weeks ago, they were well at that time. I am clearing my land now a days though it has been so uncommon warm for this week past that I have done but little. I have hartly bargained for 4 acres of land adjoining mine at 7 1/2 dols per acre. But if I could but raise $300. I should buy 160 acres that lie about 20 miles north of me in this county. This quarterl(a section of land has 20 acres cleared and under fence and about 10 acres deadened, the man wishes to sell it and will take 300 dols for it. I have seen it, and it has the handsomest mill seat on it that I am acquainted with in this country, & very good land. I was happy to hear that Philemon thinks of coming out this fall to see us. I think he will never repent of his journey, provided he keeps his health on the road. Thou mayst inform him I shall be happy to see him and tell him to bring his flute & claronet along with him as it would please his uncle Marsh(Williams) & John(himself) to a nicity, as they have no such kind of music short of cincinnati. Also tell him not to let his coming end in talk altogether. I believe that Father (William D'Camp)does not think any more on coming to this country but if you all could but think it best. I'm sure if you could sell any way to advantage, that is if you could get $4000 dollars for that property it would get each of you as much of the best land at $2.00 per acre as you'd want. If Philemon (brother)comes out here this fall he may have a chance to see that land as several men from about here are going to view it this fall. I have a receipt in my possession given to me by grandfather Hatfield(Andrew, his grandmother's 2nd husband) for the 50 dols I p'd him dated in February 1820, which I show'd to uncle John W(illiams) and he say his mother told him I had p'd it he was out there. We are all about at this time except little Anna, she has been sick for more than a week. I hope these may find you all enjoying a good state of health. Please give my love to my Father & Mother, Brothers & Sisters and to thy Partner for life and accept the same thyself. Forever
John M. D'Camp
P.S. Please be particular in directing thy letters to "John M D'Camp William's Store Butler (not Hamilton) County, Ohio
Williams Store Middlesex County
Butler C. O. 15 Jany New Jersey Rahway P.O.
Dear Brother Preble Co. Ohio lst month 13th 1826
This may inform thee that we are about as well as usual. I rec'd thy favour of June 4th 1825, and was happy to hear from you all. I wrote in answer to it & have rec'd no return. I have been looking out for Philemon this fall but was disappointed, tho the roads has been uncommonly good and are tolerably so at this time. As we have had it very dry from June till now, that is, we have had no heavy rains. I was sorry that Philemon did not came out here as he would chanced to have seen a better country, than any he has yet seen, or even my father saw. It is as follows lying on the wabash, a large and navigable stream, about 200 miles west from us. The land is of the first rate soil, as black as lamp black, and from 3 to 5 feet deep bordering on the grand Prairie, that is 340 miles long and 50 miles wide here it is that a man may have a farm at once, by buying wood land adjoining the Prairie, and prairie land that is as smooth as the salt meadow, without tree or stump. This land will be sold next fall, or the spring following, at 125 cts. per acre or 800 dols for 640 acres. People are flocking from all the states to this quarter & I presume to say that it will be thickly inhabited, in 3 or 4 years after the sales. Salt is manufactured within 15 miles of this land, and may be had # for # of wheat flour. Steam boats from New Orleans has been several miles above this land. I got this information from my nearest neighbor, Charles Jones who was out there a few weeks ago to see it, and told me this as a secret as he does not wish his neighbors to know it. He has a good farm here, of 100 acres which he offers to sell for 1100 dols. It is for want of money, that prevents my trying to get some of this land, as it is said to be healthy, by people who live near it. I do not mention these things in order to over persuade any of you but this much I will venture to say that if you all entertained ideas like mine you would sell that property you live upon, if you could get but 4000 dols for it, and come here, as no person knows that in that country, the great difference in raising crops there, or here, for corn & wheat has always been a sure crop, and pork a cash article, also, the ground when plough'd is as mellow as ashes, and not a stone in the way. A man in this country who has only 50, or 60, acres of such land clear'd, I mean as I have had described can lay up from 200 to 250 dols a year, and do this with 1/4th the labor that he could in Jersey, now this may appear hard for some of you to believe, but I can explain it thus, 1 st this prairie land is already clear'd, and very rich, all it wants is fencing, to make it ready for the plow, then 25 acres put in corn (which is easier tended than Jersey land on acct of stone) will fatten 4 tons of Pork, which, at the usual price will amt, to 200 dols. 15 acres put in wheat will bring the 50 dols, besides leaving wheat and corn enough for family use and a large number of store hogs and some cattle sheep etc.
Edgar these are all facts that I have seen, and therefore do know from my neighbor Charles Jones that lives here by me, does this very near every year and of no more land than I have mentioned, and his land is not as good as I have been describing. I liked this country pretty well at first, but now since I have become better acquainted with it I still like it better and think, did people know in Jersey the many advantages a man has on a good farm in this country they'd come here without hesitation. I can not deny but that I do sincerely wish my Father, Mother, Brothers & Sisters would embrace this opportunity of getting good land and so cheap as such a one does not offer every day. Now I fear it may be thought that I have said too much on this head, but so it is I have endeavourd to speak barely the truth as it is. Uncle Marsh (Wiilliams) wrote to father a few weeks ago, and I expect mentioned the decease of our uncle David W(illiams). uncle Reuben Dunn deceas'd about the time Father was at Middletown Ohio, Sam'] M. Martin son of Old Oliver Martin, Merch't in Cincinnati cut his throat and stabb'd himself and died a few weeks ago, I heard from Charity (sister, married to Isaac Dodder) & Sally (Dunham)a few weeks ago and they were all well. I have not follow'd School Keeping this winter but work about at 1 bush wheat or 2 bush corn per day. I have 40 bush wheat nearly pd for I killed a hog that weigh'd 270 # and my black cow 110 # . 40 # tallow hide weigh'd 68#. I have bk salt and have paid for 4 acres of land adjoining me. I'm nearly to the bottom of my paper please give my love to thy wife my father and mother, Phil, and the rest collectively write soon and let me hear how you all like this letter & thy boys name and tell him his uncle John is in Ohio. Hannah joins me in unseign'd love to you all John M D'Camp
Reciev'd letter: 5 of March
John M D'Camp dep Post Master
Dearly Beloved Brother 2'd mo lst 1827
It looks like this letter was delivered by their cousin Benjamin Crane(son of Stephen & Elizabeth Williams). There is no amount written and no return address. It is addressed to William Edgar and "fav'd by B.W. Crane", is written on the side.
Preble County Ohio 5th month 11th 1828
Having a convenient opportunity, I joyfully embrace it. In directing a few lines to thee as this seems the only correspondence we can have while situate at so remote a distance I now salute thee in that love which no time nor distance can destroy. dear Brother I have waited in expectation of a letter from thee for nearly a year but am unhappily disappointed though I have written two and sent to thee by Post yet I have rec'd no answer, therefore cannot tell whether thee receiv'd them or not, but as I am ever mindful of thee I again venture to write this once that thee may know that I am still numbered among the living through the Mercy of an Everlasting God, to whom be praise Honor and dominion forever. Dear Brother our progress through life is short and that full of trouble, let us be mindful in this our day of the shortness of life and certainty of death and thus mindful we shall escape many snares of the grand enemy of our souls peace, and be thereby prepared when that awful summons of "Steward give up the Stewardship" Shall sound in our ears and found with our Lamps trimmed and our light burning and be ready to enter into the Bride chamber before the door is shut! Oh that this may be the happy Experience of thee my dear Brother and of all, of my relations and kindred with myself. Dear Brother as I have always had a desire of thy company and of seeing thy face once more still increases with my years. I wrote pretty lengthy in the last two letters I sent thee, I deem it unnecessary to go so lenthy in this. I have met with a great disappointment this winter as my school house door was locked up and I forbidden to go therein any more. This was done by only two men who are called School directors, this was thought by a majority of my employers as an act devoid of all principle belonging to men of breeding, as appears is actually the case of both of these being puffed up with pride in their office, think to swerve a whole district of their voice and power, but in this they are mistaken for though I lost by it about $30. and my employers the chance of sending to school. Yet we are united in opposing their mean
measures, and expect to have a school of our own. Though I have told thee this trouble yet would not discourage thee in the least in coming out to live with me as it is a very plentiful country. I believe those who do justly love Mercy and walk Humbly before God shall be fill'd of the good things of this life and inheritance among the Blessed forever and ever. I cannot write to thee of late without pressing thee to move out here. Edgar I am a weakly person and working alone at the carpenters trade goes hard with me not being well enough acquainted with the trade and there is not a day goes over my head wherein I do not think of thee, and say with myself, O was Edgar only here to work with me we might get the best of work and enough for 4 hands.
Benjamin W. Crane I hope will inform thee of our situation and my desires more fully than I can express in this manner. I sincerely think, I might say I know, it would be best for you all to come out here. If I am spared with life and health at any time thee will come out where my house shall be thy welcome stopping place with what ever I am able to render to thy use.. What shall I say more. I could indeed talk with thee from morn till eve'n. I fear I shall never see thy face more as I'm persuaded I never shall if thee does not move out here nor any the rest of my relations in that counrty.
Edgar I want thee to be particular and write soon in Answer to this, and all the letters that I may send to Brothers and Sisters, and I have made it a rule whenever I get a Letter from theee to answer it pretty soon. Also I want theee to let me know whether thee rec'd the two last letters I sent thee, and whether thee has wrote one to me lately.
Direct thy letters to John M D'Camp Williams Store Butler County Ohio.
I may now conclude in saying I am ready and willing to assist thee in any thing that may be lawful as a friend and Brother.
Please remember me to thy dear partner, to my Father, Mother Brother and sisters and all enquiring friends put my Brothers and sisters in mind to write I should be extremely happy to see my dear parents once more and one or all my brothers and sisters.
In love Farewell dear Brother may we live in the fear of the Lord and love of one another till death shall put and End to our sojourneying here.
John M D'Camp
To Wm E D'Camp
Middlesex, N. Jersey
Williams Store Ohio
rec'd 6 march 1829
Preble County 2nd mo (Feby) 27 1829
Some time having elapsed since I had any lines from under thy hand. I rec'd a few lines from Benj. W. Crane dated Jany 16th 1829. He informed me that he had married (Charlotte Littel)since he was out to this country. And felt desirous of moving out here to settle. I desired B W Crane when at my house to be sure to go and see my Brother W. E. D'Camp and inform him that my greater desire was that thee would set off and come to this country with thy family. Crane informed me in his letter that he went to see thee according to promised and thee told him that thee intended to come out here. I was indeed happy to hear that thee intended to come but as his letter did not inform me at what time. I have thought proper to arrest thy attention once more with a few scattered hints I answered Cranes letter by the next mail, in which I desired of him that he might show it to thee. But as Uncle John W(illiams). Rec'd by last mail a letter from Aunt Betsy(Williams) and Uncle Steven Crane moving him out. I thought this perhaps would be a chance for thee, as thy family and Benjamins would make but a moderate load. I mentioned in that letter to Crane what things were only necessary. But fearing perhaps thee has not seen it I will here repeat the articles Viz If you can come together. One Teakettle, One Skillet & one small pot will be sufficient for both families to use on the road. Though if either or both have a Copper T Kettle or Brass Kettle, bring them along. Iron wear is cheaper here than there. Sell your feather Beds as you can get feathers here at 25 cts a pound (I mistook the price in Crane's letter and set it at 20 cts #) Bring all of your Bedding and Cloathing of every description and thy Chest of Tools. Make a box to fit exactly the sides of the waggon sufficiently large to contain all thy Bedding & Cloathes except what will be wanting to use on the road. Similar to that of mine which thee saw made of 1/2 inch pine and lined at the corners to stiffen and support it, fill this compleatly tight or solid, then nail down the top firm;. This will keep the articles from being injured by rubbing together as when put in loose. If thee cannot get a chance with Uncle Stephen Crane, try and fit out a one horse waggon and come in company with him. A nice one horse waggon would be as good as cash to thee here as Uncle Marsh (Williams)would buy it of thee. I stated the advantages to be met with in this country (to the mechanick) in the answer to B. W. Crane. I also mentioned in that, that if thee could not raise money sufficient to pay a man for bringing thee out. I would endevor to satisfy him for his trouble on his arrival here, and wait till thee was able to repay it.
Dear Brother at the last time we saw each other thee expressed a strong desire to come out here and I have frequently written to thee on the subject. Yet not withstanding I humbly desire that thee will not take up with my mind alone in this matter. But use thy own will herein. As I do not wish to over persuade thee or any of my friends. But have merely set forth the truth as appears to me. Crane was out here and knows a little about what I have stated at different times, and is desirous to move out and settle here. And well persuaded am I if he acts prudently ( and apprehend nothing to the contrary) he will make his fortune in a few years. Silas Trembly was out here last fall and returned home and is back again to this country with a wife in order to settle here. If thee does conclude to come out this spring Aunt Betsy(Dell, Hannah's aunt) Vail (wife of Amos Vail) has some things she wants to send out to Hannah and if thee will get them and bring them out with thee I will pay for the carriage of them as also of that Cyphering book of mine. And if I could assure myself that thee would certainly come I could have a large job engaged ready for thee. Therefore I want thee to answer this soon as possible.
Thee informed me in they last that Philemon complained that I never thought to write him but thee may inform him that this is incorrect, as I allow to write to him once more at least and wish he would once and while write to me as that would encourage me to answer him, As it is a long time since I rec'd any from him.
My family is about middling at this time except Hannah she still keeps poorly and confined to her bed more than half the time. I am not as hearty as usual. I hope these may find thee and thine all enjoying good health. Hannah joins me in love to Mary & thee and please to remember us in love to Father, Mother Brothers & Sisters, both individually and collectively. Also to Benjamin W. Crane and his wife, Uncle Stephen and Aunt Betsy and all inquiring friends.
Dear Brother I could write all day but perhaps it would not be very entertaining to thee. Yet I may inform thee that Isaac Dodder has lived at Middltown ever since the decease of our dear sister Charity and been in a poor state of health most of the time since. I was to see Sally Dunham a little before Christmas and they were all well. Sally informed me that her father in law Joseph Dunham was deceased also Charlotte (Scudder married Jacob Rybolt). She having married and died in child bed with her first child. Sally's little girl Sally Ann was living with aunt Peggy Scudder(sister Margaret D'Camp married Stephen Scudder) at that time. It will be 4 yrs this ensung spring since Uncle Abraham Williams moved from this place to Cincinnati and I expect upon a moderate calculation that he has cleared four thousand dollars by his trade. I have frequently asked him if he would not rather work in N. York again, he says No, for he can make double the wages in Cincinnati that he could in N. York.
Dear Brother, we have been acquainted long enough for thee to be aquainted with my disposition and therefore I have been plain in my observations. But knowing as I do the advantages in this country to be met with in raising a family, all of which I leave to thy own judgement and in much Love subscribe myself thy sincere friend and Brother till we meet again
John M D'Camp
To W E DeCamp
Please answer this as soon as possible that I may hear of thy
conclusions in this matter
Direct to John M D;Camp Williams Store Butler County O.
.....written after the death of their father to sell the land. How different getting anywhere in those days by horse back or carriage.
Westfield Aug 28th 1832
Mr. & Mrs. E. D'Camp(William Edgar D'Camp & Mary Richards)
Dr. Sir I received a letter some little time since from your brother in Ohio by which he informed me that he had received the deed I sent him to be executed for the sale of his part of the land to your brothers that as soon as he received it he immediately set out with his wife to go before a Judge of the Superior Court to have the acknowledgement taken. The Judge was then attending a curcuit court 60 miles from where your brother lived & as he arrived the Judge had left the place to hold a court at another place still further off he returned home having ascertained the time the Judge would be at home when he intends to have the deed executed and will forward it to me immediately.
I wish you would be so good as to inform your brother that I expect the deed soon and will call on them immediately after receiving it & shall be glad that they will be prepared to fulfill the contract
I hope they will make the necessary preparation so that no further delay will take place
(double ss is written to look like fs.)
To William E
Rahway Middlesex County N. Jersey
on the back: Receive'd This Letter October 26th 1837
Camden 10 mo. 8th 1837
T'hy favour of the l 6th of August last fell into my hands this morning in which I am glad to hear from thee and thy family, not having heard from any of you for more than one year during which time I was often on the eve of writing to thee or Gideon yet withheld expecting that one or the other of you would write. I should be glad if Gideon could & would send me the balance due me it being twenty five dollars as I am very much in want of it this fall it would be of great service in assisting me pay my debts. (I'm not complaining) still I wish Gideon would send me a few lines and let me know how it is with him and whether he can send it or not, or if thee concludes to move out here this fall thee can bring it. T'hee wanted to know how times were here. I got a dollar a day at this time and boarded, at building cider mills & screw props and would have been glad to have had thy help as I cannot attend to half the calls, as it is difficult to attend to farming & mill making. Last evening I got home having finished two mills and I have two more engaged yet. I expect to commence one of them tomorrow morning ( if well) I have had 5 other applications that time would not let me engage most of which are laid over for another year. Carpenters wages this summer and fall have been $1.25 pr day & found. Thee knows I have ever had some hopes of thy moving out here yet I have never advised thee, having stated things as they were from time to time in my communications in order thee might judge for thyself, at same time could not help believing this to be thy country, that is, if thee could see it so, it is not much more of a wilderness than Jersey. I live within one mile of the thriving little village of Camden, eight miles north of Camden is our county seat Eaton. Five miles south of Camden lies Yankee town in Butler County and 12 1/2 south of Yankee town is Hamilton County seat of Butler. The turnpike through all these places is in rapid progression and will be finished next summer from Cincinnati to Eaton a distance of 52 miles. This country is celebrated for corn and pork many farmers clear 1000 dols. a year in the article of pork. Corn generally sells from 25 to 37 1/2 a bus. and pork sold last fall from 5 to 7 dols pr. hund. wheat at this time 87 1/2 Oats .25. this to the farmer dry goods, common shiring 14 & 15 cts pr yd. calicos from 16 c to 50 c per yd. coffee 6 Ib for one dol. Orleans sugar 10 c single pound &. I must inform thee of death of John A Williams (uncle Marshs son) who was burried 25 April, uncle Johns wife, that is. aunt Diadama/Diadania(Bourne) died 24 of March uncle John sold his house and 6 acres land in Yankee town and has moved up the Mississippi in the Illinois Country which he says is the handsomest he ever saw, Congress land for sale out there yet. I have not heard from Sally Dunham for nearly a year. John Williams left about $7000 in specie besides much other property, having follow'd Butter Huckstering about 7 years often times he clear'd 100 dols a month which was divided among his Brothers and sisters. As I had no barn on my place I put one up this summer which has involv'd me some in debt, yet I hope if health permits to get through yet I have a large family to struggle with, If Gideon concludes to send me that money this fall I want him to send me a few lines before to let me know when he puts it in the office there then I may know when to call and take it out of the office here, He may put up two bills on the Rahway Bank in the form that certificate was and send them. I had some difficulty to get the money for that certificate having to pay discount 3 pr ct. I think Rahway bills will do better. Remember me to Mother Brother & sisters, to thy wife and accept a share thy self, at same time excuse the many blunders in compositions of
thy friend & Brother John M D'Camp
I had almost forgotten to inform thee that the mill seat and place are sold.
Hamilton Co., OH Main Page
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