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Ellen Douglas Denison Goodnow to Isaac Tichenor Goodnow

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Manhattan July 25, 1858
My Dear Husband,
I am anxiously waiting for a letter from you as I have had none since you left Alton. William had one dated Galesburg, In all your notes you speak of diarrhea and feebleness. And a month has passed in which we have heard nothing. Have you received mine directed to Chicago and N.Y. One at C. from me and one from Joseph 3 at N.Y. No mails arrived here for more than a week, all the bridges carried off between here and Leavenworth, and consequently travail has been dispensed with. I did not write or pen a letter in the office last week but every week but one before since you left. So if you have received them you are pretty well posted up respecting us. Hatty & I have not been unwell much, nor much time to be lonesome, for Royal his father or uncle William have been here once in a day or two
[written at top of page 1] Where shall I direct my letters so you will get them Give love to all inquiring friends. Ellen

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or we have had company. They did not work but one week for Br Condray before he paid them off, and a Yankee can guess why. Have been without work for four weeks I asked Royal to hoe out our corn. He went and looked at it and said it had been plowed faithfully twice, and did not kneed it. Week ago today Jane and Henry were taken quite sick. Henry with violent chills, fever, and ague c ake in the side. Jane with intermittent fever, they have had a very sick week. Jane dangerously so that I have spent three days all day and shall go this afternoon while Joseph preaches at Mr Hardys. Br Macenlhom preaches at the meeting house. Jane was worse yesterday, has been out of her head a good deal, but yesterday afternoon quite rational said she must have rest soon or she should soon wear out. Is some better. Henry is getting along well. Dr. Robinson was very sick yesterday has been since Wednesday. There are many cases of fever. Warm Warmer Warmest weather. youve seen here.

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over by the Lake. Three at the Warners Sherwoods etc. We have had abundance of rain so that I have not been to the spring since you left without wearing your india rubber boots. And once William could not get his horse across for one day or more. 2 inches in the rain guage at one time, rained six nights in succession. Corn, potatoes, and all kinds of vegetation are growing to their greatest height. Sweet potatoes bid fair for a good crop. I have worked in the garden from one to three hours, accepts these very hottest days, and still the strawberry tomatoes are choking each other for thickness as well as some weeds. To wet to work has been the complaint and will fill things or crops with weeds. Maria came friday noon, and stayed till yesterday noon. Is looking well, and is quite contented as is Elisha think they are doing well. The old man and R. are all the time figureing for a large job at 3 dollars per day, and I guess it will end as did Br Condroy

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Don’t you mention their doing anything on a house for us. The spirit that is in the carpenters that is, how much am I going to make out of you, will never prosper. Give me an honest man that wants to earn every cent of his money or not have any. I have three old hens with me and twenty seven little chickens that have not been molested but once, and that by a Polecat who was the means of killing nine and biting old white so she came near dying but is quite well now, and as thankful & cosy to me as you ever saw anything that could thank you for life. Br Holoway has sent you three letters for that recepie for Shaving Soap which I will copy for you to hand him.
Shaving Soap
4 lbs white soap, cut it fine & dissolve it in one quart of soft water over a slow fire. When it boils add one gill beefs gall, one gill spirits turpentine, stir them when boiling ten minutes & take off to cool. When cooling stir in one ounce of Red Vermilion also one ounce of the oil of Sasafras.
Joseph puts a letter in this mail, and William says he is going to write so you will excuse me as I must go away soon. Do write me just how you are, or get someone, so that I may know the worst. Hatty sends kisses and love and I heartily join her in any number. Yours affectionately Ellen D Goodnow

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