Friday, December 6, 2013

Love letters

Below I have copied the transcription of three letters written by my husband's ancestor, John Newton Bracken, to his wife Sarah Adams Bracken. Special thanks to William Potter. The original spelling is preserved so it is a little difficult to read, but I've kept it that way for authenticity's sake.
John N. Bracken was born in 1824 near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He married Sarah Adams in Ohio and they moved to Indiana some time in the mid 1860s, near Unionville in Monroe County. They had eight children and supposedly lived in a log cabin in the woods, if the detail in his last letter is to be believed. John worked as a carpenter and was often away from home, hence the habit of writing letters. John died in 1875, and Sarah had great trouble raising all of the children on her own after his death, but she stayed faithful. She passed in 1903. They are both buried in a cemetery in Unionville, but apparently have no marker.
Letter #1 - May 16, 1856:
Salinesville, Ohio
May 16th 1856
Dear Sarah,
  it is with pleasure that i imbrace the
present oportunity of adresing you a few lines to inform you
of my whereabouts which don't apere to me to be of much
importance for it aperes impossible for me to ??? eny thing
at all these times for i have not got my money yet and don't
no when i shal get it for the prospects seams duler (?) than
when i seen you last. and i have got totaly out of patients
and don't now what in thumder to do I rely beleve tat this
is the longest week that i ever put in in my life and its
not more that half out yet I have the promis of money the
first of next week just as i have had it for the last six
weeks but am in that it will come this time but theres one
thing serten that if i don't get it in time to go next week
i shan't go atall That's so but there's no use in bruding
over past trobles and hatchen (?) up more ill try and look
at the brite side of it any how.
I would like to see you but i don't want to till i no what i
am going to do but Sarah i can't rite and may as well quit
but rest asured that you have my hole hart I will not ad but
read 10, 11, 12 verses of 1st chapter of Romans nothing more
but yours truly yours till Death.
Letter #2 - May 1863:
Address: Mrs. Sarah Bracken
Amsterdam Jefferson Co. Ohio.
Salineville O., May 25. 3 cents postage.
Salinesville May 1863
Dearest Wife Is it with the greatest pleser that pen these
few lines to you to inform yo ua that i am well hoping you
and your tender ofspring enjoys the same There's nothing
strang (?) except its very warm wether its excedingly hot to
day and ita been Sabeth its been a very long day to me ive
not put in as long a Sunday since we was married as i have
to day but ive put in the time as well as i cound between
reding and stroling round on my old walks which seems
fermilure yet its now nearly dark and i must bring this to a
(next page)
as i expect to be at home on Saterday if it ant (?)
ranen or if the soon dont shine too hot so fare well my
derest wife and children Thomas ??? Robert Newton, John
Horrace and our derest sweeet litle tot Sarah Ann give them
all a kis for me and you can imanin one for yourself
you are al constantly in my mind in fact i harly new i thot
so much of my family before nothing more so good nite my
dearest love
J N Bracken
Letter #3:
June 19th /1867
Columbus June 19th /67
Dearest wife
it is with the greatest of plesure that i embrace the
present opertunity of informing you that i am well and hope
this mey find you all in the enjoyment of good helthe i
have stood it first rate since i came here and yet a long
week(?) with my work, i have a good place to board i have to
pay pretty well for it i mite get it cheeper
but id helf(?) to go in with the ruffs such as brick laers
and tenders the borders at this place are a beter class of
men ?? ?? ?? ??
we just finished sheeting over small()?) roof to day and the
tinners are puting on the roof so i am don of the dangers
work i tell you it made me think of wife and babys some
thing when on the top of the 4 story mill
June 20th thursday even
i am very tired this evening ive been laing floor all day
but expect to be rested by morning inclosed you'll find $5
i would of sent you more, but i don't like to risk more that
that at onst i'll send you some the next time i rite
tell Sarah Ann and Mary Patience that i am going to bring
them a new book apece with pictures in when i come home and
that i have a kiss for them and Ellsworth
Now Sarah i want you to rite to me every week if it would
only be that you are all well ita would besuch a pleasure
to me to no id like to how the corn looks and oats and
wheete and how the apells and peaches are thriving I looked
for a letter frome home this week but then none com i shall
be sadly disapointed if i get none next week well i've rote
about all that will be enteresting to you i mite rite a
hold lot of town gossep but its not worth while to begin for
this small space so fare you well for thepresent and when
we mete i anticipate a very plesant time with you and our
deer little ones at home Home sweet home there is no place
like home if ti is an old log cabin in the back woods yours
truly yours for ever
J N Bracken


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