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.


  1. Bingo! Looks like the Scovills were indeed Quaker.

  2. I had the same thought at first, but I'm not as sure in retrospect--she didn't go, and "pa went but was to religious to go in the house" which sounds as if they weren't Quaker, but were taking this as some kind of spectacle. I did see the reference, though!

  3. Finally got back to reading this. :) His being "to religious" could also be something that prevented him from participating in the meeting--i.e., if he'd been disowned or censured by the community in some way. What that meant, exactly, could vary depending on what Yearly Meeting they were part of. Some were (are) more conservative than others.

    The Quarterly Meeting's pretty much a business meeting. Not much of a spectacle. :)

    I'd still be surprised if at least some of the family weren't Quaker at some point given their migration pattern and settlement. If I could find them in the Quaker records we'd know for sure.