Thursday, September 30, 2010

No escaping....

Tax time! The next document is Washington's tax receipt:

Butler Center, January 8th, 1867
Received of Washington Tharp
Five and 74/100 dollars
in full of the following Taxes for the year 1866, on Poll, Personal Property and the annexed Real Estate:

Kind of Tax $ | cts
State                    70
County             1  12
Co. School            28
T fund                  84
School House F 1  96
Bridge                    84

Total                 5  74

The receipt is numbered 42.

Sorry this looks weird; I can't get the columns to line up.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mary White and Washington Tharp Wedding Certificate

Certificate of Marriage

State of Iowa Brewer County

March 1, 1866

This Certifies that on the first day of march A.D. 1866, at the residence of Ja. Tharp Esq in said County, according to law and by authority, I duly Joined in Marriage, Mr. Washington Tharp and Miss Mary J White

Given under my hand, the first day of March
A.D. 1866  Mr. Hodges Min of the Gospel

Check out the so very Victorian artwork on the Certificate:

Monday, September 27, 2010

O.N. Neff to Andrew & Jane Tharp Jan (?) 21, 1864

Mount Flathead Jan 21 1864

Dear brother and sister I take my pen to inform you that we are all well at presant and hope these lines will find you and your family enjoying the like blessing. So far we are much pleased with the country the land through all this region of country lays high dry and rolling and has every appearance of being ****tly [letters blurred]. the soil is extremely fertile after leaving the water corses a short distance. the soil is from one to two feet deep after going through that you come to a brownish yealow clay that is from eight to ten feet deep. after this you come to blue clay below this is gravel and pleanty of pure water. not quite as strong with lime stone as the water in your country. Rachel says it dose [sic] not take as much soap to wash as it did when we use to  live along the water courses. the land is verry rich generally speaking. there is large quantities of first rate building stone such as the common lime stone and hydraulic or water lime stone and marble susseptible of a very fine pollish. This country is well situated for mill streams and mills. the Kankakee River, Oplane, Dupage, Osable and Foxe River & hickory Creek all the above name streams have water enough to keep up mill the year round except the Osable. for a rich and fertile country it is the best water of any I have ever seen. springs are tolerable plenty and water not surpassed anywhere. by digging we get water from 20 to 30 feet.

Grain is scrancer [sic] this year than usual owing to the draute during the summer. there was not rain enough to wet the ground thoroghly during the summer and fall. when potatoes was dug the earth was dry below them. Corn is selling at 31 cts oats 25 potatoes 25 to 31. Wheat 75 cts at Chicago butter is ready sale from 15 to 18 cts Eggs 12 1/2 pr doz in fact all that the farmer rases he can sell ready and at fair prices. Pork from $2.50 to 3.25 pr hundred. Beef is selling at $2.25 and more money made than you can make by rasing cattle and selling at $6.00 pr hd. the rasing cattle cost nothing but cutting prarie hay to winter on.

the weather since we have been here has been extremely dry and pleasant. there has not been more then five or six dayes but what a man could work comfortable. it is so dry the prairies have been burning. a day or two ago yesterday afternoon and today it has been misting rain. there has not been scarecly any snow this winter. snow fell about two weeks ago 3 or 4 inches deep. I hope we shall have more snow.

I have between three and four thousand nails to hard about 20 mile and a quarter. Any apples might be sold here at one dollar and fifty cents by the quantity if they could be brot before navigation opens. tel John Ryon or some of our friends to bring a load this winter while the ground is frozen.

Christian societies are tolerable plenty here in the town of Juliet three miles from here. there is a large Methodist church Babtest presbyterians New lights Episcopalians Universalits Unitarians and Roman Catholicks. the Washingtonians are doing wonders in this county as well as most other places. Joseph Beomalt that lives on brandywine has been living in this county 9 years. he says he would not give one acre of land in this county for five there. he lives about 2 1/2 miles from us and has a first rate farm of near three hundred acres.

We live on one of the publickest roads I ever saw during the fall four stages passed daily since winter 2 daily stages passes.

Rachel has her heath better than she has had it for five years and I am so hearty that I could eat a stone fence if it was made of Pie.

when you recieve this letter I want you to write. we have not Read a letter from any of our friends since we have been here. we hope they have not forgotten us. we think it is neglect we would be much pleased if you would come and look at the country and satisfy your self. the expense of comming is but small. James Yates moved to this country it only cost him about three dollars. tel Susan that Rachel would like to have her come and stay one year if she could. She is very lonsom without any of her relations here.

Direct your letter to Juliett [Wi]ll County Illinois.

Yours in haste
O.N. Neff

Andrew Tharp
Jane Tharp 
He is clearly writing "Juliett" with a U, but just as clearly they are near Joliett, IL. The names of waterways lines up, and that would make sense with the reference to Chicago (and the amount of stage travel).

He addressed them as brother and sister, so on a guess, this may be Jane Tharp's brother, or at least brother-in-law?

The Washingtonians were a temperance society.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Washington Tharp to Andrew Tharp Nov. 21, 1863

Nashville, Tenesee Nov, 21 1863
Dear Father,
I take my pen in hand for purpose of writing a few lines to you. My health is improving slowly, and I hope when these few lines reaches you they will find you in good health. Well I did expect to have at least two or three letters awaiting me when I should arrive at Nashvill, but not one have I got yet. I suppose you have been as buissy [sic] as I have been myself, and have had but little time for writing.

Well after a long and tedious march of fourteen days we arrived at Nashvill Tenn. I have had the opportunity of viewing a considerably portion of dixy and of beholding some of the disstruction and desolation that ungody Rebellion has made. I saw thousands of acres of land that had been in a high state of cultivation that was thrown out to the commons, and large mansions that are deserted, and hundreds of others that have been burned. Nothing remaines to be seen of them but the large chimney wich stand to mark the place where the mansion once stood. I think that I love my prairie home the best of all the places that I have seen since I left the far distant West.

We have had nice wheather all fall. We have had but little rain since we left Camp Roberts. The dayes are warm and the nights are cold and damp with heavy frost.  I have just received today that Soldiers Companion. I will name the articals that I received with it. One inkstand one pair scissors one pencil one pen w holder Big without holder and pens four needles one hank thread. Now I want to know what the whole rigg cost. I have taken another look and have found two combs.

Produce of all kinds is verry high here. Corn is 1.50 per bushel potatoes 3.00 per bus. or 5 cts per pound. Salt 16.00 dollars per barrel. Flour 12 dollars per barrel, Butter 75 cts Molasses 4.00 dollars per gallon, and Everry thing else in proportion.

Nashvill is an ancient looking citty. It has a splendid new Capitol. It is the nicest building that I ever looked upon in my life. Allso President Polks mansion in another splended building. 

We have marching orders for tomorrow morning at six oclock. We are to go west on the Tenessee River but to what point I cannot say. I do not think that we will go to the front this winter as they have got more men ther now than they can feed. They are sending away there horses and mules by hundreds to keep them alive. That is they send them north. 

I want to know whether you paid Mr. Phillips my share of the charges due on what I had expressed through. Write as soon as you get this, without fail and no delay. Please give us all the news. So no more at present.

From your obedient son.
Direct to Nashvill.
Write soon,
W. Tharp
A. Tharp.
This is the letter that is pictured behind the blog title on the blog's front page.

I'm a little confused about how to reconcile the letters from Washington with what I can find of the movements of the 8th Iowa Cavalry during the Civil War. He writes from Louisville on Nov. 1st that they're going to Chattanooga, then writes on the 21st from Nashville. Even if the first letter is from Louisville, TN (near Knoxville), it doesn't make sense that they'd march from there to Chattanooga and then up to Nashville--and they'd already been in Chattanooga for 8 days according to this web site (the information from which is replicated everywhere).

If anyone can shed light on this, please let me know! I'll ask some folks on campus tomorrow if I can.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Washington Tharp to Andrew Tharp Nov. 1 1863

November the 1st 1863

Dear Father
I take my pencil in hand for purpose of answering your kind letter wich I received the other day but Wich found me quite unwell. I have been havening [?] the ague, the old sort. But I think that have got it broke. yes we was hurried off from Camp Roberts sooner than we expected. We have been badly treated as a Regt, in that respect. We are no where and expect to leave day after tomorrow for Chattanooga. I do not know now when I shall be at home. Father, I want you to take the charge of my property in your own hands, and do with it as your own. I want you to see to things just the same as if they belonged to yourself.

I am going send my money home and am going to send to you, and I want you to pay my debts with it. I want you to pay Br. G Searkins 4,00 dollars out of it, and aply the Balance on my other acounts. as yet I have had no Chance to get my likeness taken neither do I no now when I will, as to Renting my farm out, do the verry best you can, as you are rite there.

well Father I am in town today and have sent home $48,00 dollars by express. There was five of us that has sent our money together. We have had it expressed to Cedar falls, all in Care of Mr. Phillips.

Mr. Phillips is my bunk mate, Father. He lives 4 miles above Shell Rock. I shall writ to him and have him leave it with Carter. I shall get my likeness taken today. I cannot get but one taken now and I will send it to Mary and as soon as I can I will send all the Rest one. I have sent home one Company Record that I want James to take care of for me until I return.

So no more at present, but still remain your obedient son,
Direct your letters to Co. J 8th Iowa Cav
Washington Tharp
Andrew Tharp.
I assume "Mary" is Mary White, his fiancee. I guess she got the first photo--tough luck, mom and dad!

A google search indicates that Camp Roberts was near Davenport.

Another teaching certifcate

The next item is another teaching certificate for Mary White dated Oct 10, 1863. It certifies her to teach in McHenry, County, IL. It's signed by Thos. Mead. I'm not going to transcribe the whole thing.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Eliza Scovill to Washington Tharp 15 March1863

March 15th /63
Remembered Cousin

All alone this evening I take my pen in hand to to try to write a few lines to you to let you know that there is such a person as I in the land of the living. we are all well at present and all of the relations as far as I know. uncle John was here not long ago. they was all well. they had just received a letter from you and one from uncle Andrew. he brought them with him. we were glad to hear from you once more but would rather have the pleasure of a visit from you all. I received a letter from Josephine stating you talked of coming to see us this summer. I would be glad to see you. it has been so long since you moved away, I have almost forgot you. well enough of that without it was better. I have been going to school this winter but did not graduate. I studied grammar arithmetic geography reading & writing. our school is out now. I expect you have graduated as you wrote to Sarah Jane like you would like for her to hunt you a wife. well there are plenty for sale I expect. if they could get them they wanted. most all of the boys have gone to war that lived in this neighborhood. it is most to hard times now so get married it is for me anyhow. pa and mother have gone to see Amanda this afternoon. they live close by us the farms join. not changing the subject we have had a nice mudy winter. it just froze up and snowed & thawed out and rained every week. it looks like spring now as we have had two nice days. yesterday and today was quaker quartly [sic] meeting at spiceland about two miles from here. I did not go. It was much to mudy. pa went but was to religious to go in the house. most all that have camps are making sugar but us this spring for orlean sugar is fiveteen cents a pound. I expect I had better quit my scribbling for it will not be of any interest to you. I don't suppose. I expect you will not think this worth answering. so no more this evening. write if you think it worth your while.

Eliza J[?] Scovill
Washington Tharp
Google suggests that there was a large refinery in New Orleans in the 19th century, so I suspect "Orleans sugar" is refined sugar.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

J.J. Moore to Washington Tharpe 14 Dec. 1862

Liberty Wright Co, Iowa Dec 14 '62

Dear friend

I imbrace the present time to inform you of our health. we are as well as usual. I had the good luck to get home on Thursday night and found all well. I stoped in Iowa falls and went in to a store to buy a plug of tobacco. well who do you suppose I met there. well I will tell you it was our young war widow that come to Munsons to stay all night withe us. She appeared to be as glad to see me as if she had found a straw. She conversed quite freely about matters and things. Well I got my tobacco and left for Popejoys where we fed in the bank barn. they thaught the chaps was quite handy. I kept dark never told them that I was one of them. they also wanted to know if the fellows fed there own grain. I told them that I was quite sure they fed their own Corn for I knew that they had corn in their waggons.

Now I suppose you would like to heare something else. well Eliza and me got into the buggy the next day and went to see that land. well it is good land a good building place on the N.E. Corner of the 80 acre lot with shelter on the north. you can have a bank barn on the county road leading south. The land is mostly dry. the timber lays just 80 rods north of the prairie. the timber is better than I had calculated it was. there is quite a young groth of timber besides a number of large trees and a quantity of fire wood. There also is 20 acres of good timber being the west 1/2 of the 40 acre lot that lays between the prarie and timber which can be had cheap. it belongs to a man by the name of Alexander. he had a chance to sell his prarie and keep the timber now he wants to sell the timber. Now I should rather have the unimproved prarie than the improved with the improvements on them tho the upper timber is the best. Now if it was not for the disputed title of the Sill farm and the farm South of the lain I should like to have them.

Now if you folks trade for the Hannan [?] land Eliza wants to give you a swap. Now this is all that I shal write at the present concerning the land matter. I had a good time to get home. Eliza sais the weather was fine all the time that I was gone. Friday it rained some in the evening Saturday was quite a fine day and this morning the snow fell to the depth of 3/4 of an inch on a level. 

We went to preaching today. I will stop writing until I get a better pen as I want to write some to father. write soon as you get this.

J.J. Moore
Washington Tharp.
I'm sure Dad will be horrified that I had to google what a bank barn was.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mary White Teaching Certificate, Oct 18, 1862

Teacher's Certificate

To all to whom these Presents shall come:
Be it known that we, ARTEMAS D. KNAPP and ALEXANDER B. DOUGLAS, School Commissioners for the county of Delaware, having examined Mary J. White and having ascertained her qualifications in respect to moral character, learning, and ability to instruct a COMMON SCHOOL, do hereby Certify, that he [sic] is qualified and entitled and is accordingly Licensed to teach Common Schools in any Town in this County for the term of two years from this date.

And we further certify that Mary J. White has attended the Teachers' Institute held at Delhi, in October, 1862, by the School Commissioners of the County of Delaware, as required by law, and by constant attendance and active participation in the instruction given, is entitled to the special consideration of Trustees as possessing the ambition and zeal of a true Teacher.

Given under our hands this 18th day of October, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two.

A D Knapp
A B Douglas

School Commissioners of Delaware County.
Mary White will eventually be Washington Tharp's wife.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Josephine Scovell to Washington Tharp 29 July 1862

This is the last one from cousin Josephine for a while, so we'll have a break from the boy-crazy teenager for the next few weeks. I for one am glad (although this is the most interesting one so far). The ink on this one is much darker, but her handwriting has deteriorated and the pen is splotting like crazy.

July the 29 1862
Dear Cousin
Once more I take up the old pen to write a few lines to tell you I am getting along. I am well at presant and I hope when these fewe lines come to hand they will find the same. we recieved your and uncles letter wich gave us much pleasure to read and to think you had not forgotten us. I wrote three letters to you last winter and as I never recieved no letter I concluded you had forgot us or you did not want to write and so I did not write no more. Pap says he has write to uncle but I did not know it or I would have wrote but you must not think bad of me.

we have not got our harvesting rite [?] done we have got our out of doors. the war times is raging most powerful all of our boys is all going of to war. we have had tolerable good times all along but I don't know what we will do now all of leading ones is going to Float tomorrow. I would like to go if I could but I feel so sorrow for the poor fellows having to leave theire good homes and at this time of the year. 

supper is over. ones the work all done and I resume my seat again. it is clenching up to rain and thundering vary loud. well & you don't imagin how or know what I would give to see you and have one good time once more. I wish you would come out and see us this fall and stay all winter: and we will have some good times. it is so dark I can't see the lines but I have one soldier that is not gone. he was in the three months soiree and in the years service. he lives in Gonnvill [?] he was hear last Sunday night and we sit up till half after four. we had a nice time I don't want him to go back. he promiced he would not. some of the boys that have came back is got to be vary hard and it takes a person pretty cute to keep ahead of them. it is to day I cant see and I wont have time in the morning. you must write to me as soon as you get this and tell me all of the news concerning of every boddy else.

you must come if you can. I want you to write as soon as you recieve this. well pap is waiting one. So we have had a splendid Sabbath scool and temperance sosiety all of the girles that belong have got white bonnets. this is the way we are know. so no more at presant but am your 
Cousin Josephine Scovell
To Washington Tharp.