Friday, September 14, 2012

December 14, 1862--Stephen to His Children (Page 1 of 4)

December 14, 1862

Dear Children it has ben a long time since i rote you a letter and i am a shamed of it but i have ben so irritated (?) that i could (?)  not ___ you ___Excuse me i have ben gon_ _____ are from any post office 270 (240?) miles  we are all well  Hiram (Parker) and Oren (Sherwood) myself is at the Dalles on the Columbia river in Oregon  we have a pack __orse of 30 horses and mules that we have Earned(?) this summer but we have not made any money but we think we can make money next summer  my wife and W (William Sherwood) & little children is in Cal ___ i had a letter (?) from _____
The children mentioned here are Wellington (13), Dan (11), and John (7).  They are living with their older half brother Henry Stephen Sherwood and his wife in Antioch, Lake, Illinois
Hiram (38) referred to here is likely Hiram Parker (born 1824), the brother of Sophia Parker Sherwood (2nd wife of Stephen Sherwood).  Hiram has not been found in the 1860 Census with his wife and children (he may have been in California) but was with his wife, Sylvia (from Ireland) in the 1850 and 1870 Census in Lake County, Illinois.  Hiram would also be the Uncle of Oren and William, Stephen's children.

Oren (22) and William (18) are children of Stephen Sherwood and Sophia Parker Sherwood (who died in 1853).  His wife Elizabeth Denick Sherwood was in California with their their two children, Lewis (8) and George (2).  George was born in California.

The Dalles, Oregon, 1867
Map with the Dalles and Columbia River

December 14, 1862--Stephen to His Children (Page 2 of 4)

Day(?) thay ware all well   i Expect to get them up here in the spring  mr Walker is in the mines and is well when we left the mines 3 weeks a go it is a bout the same winter weather that it in Illinois  i want you to rite me all the news (?) in general  it is Different with your riting from what it is with us  u are (?) acquainted with the country and people and you ___and you never rite us but very little news  rite a grate long letter and rite me the full perticulars of Wellingtons bone  ___ i have had (?) it only he was____  i never heard (?) whether you (?) got my letters (?) ___ or not


Wellington (born 1846) was a brother of Oren and William Sherwood and son of Stephen and Sophia.

December 14, 1862--Stephen to His Children (Page 3 of 4)

we heard of Mother Parker Death by the way of mr walker's letter   tell Hirams folks that he is well and a doing the best he can and will remember them as soon as possible   he is in company with us in packing  it takes some time to get a _____here  if we have good luck this winter  i think we can make a ___lot of money next summer   i Expect you have had very hard times and my hart has bled for you a many a time but that cant help you   i hope you have not had to under go the real hard ships that we have   i have not had my close of for 7 months to sleepe   slep on the ground roled up in a blanket

 Mother Parker was probably Lavina Farnsworth Parker, the wife of Oren Parker (died 1852).  She would have been Hiram's mother as well as the mother of Stephen's 2nd wife, Sophia Parker Sherwood.  Stephen says "Hirams folks" but both his parents would have been deceased.  Is this another Hiram?or is Stephen talking about other family members and referring to them as folks?  (see more on Hiram on page 1 of this letter).

December 14, 1862--Stephen to His Children (Page 4 of 4)

and not a vegetable to Eat nothing but bread and meat and I feel that it is but poor pay for the benevolence and kindness that i have shown to others all my life   till the children the must all rite ____to me  tell Mother Francis and the girls that if tha want __ should rite  they must __ have written several letters since we have had any___them   Elizabeth is a very Differant (?) woman to__than she was   she is a good woman _____ and a good wife and mother   you would not know her by __ ____ __ ____ your letter

Wasco County, Oregon
yours, Stephen Sherwood

in love        Stephen Sherwood

H S Sherwood
S M  Sherwood

Mother Francis would be Laura Francis, the mother of Elizabeth Francis Sherwood.  H S Sherwood would be Henry Stephen Sherwood, Stephen's son, and S M Sherwood would be Henry's  wife, Sarah.