1863 Letters

August 24, 1863 letter to Luke & Sarah Keith from Lucy Lee

August 24, 1863

To: Luke & Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Lucy Lee, Pavilion, NY

Is writing to let them know that they arrived safely at Aunt Patty’s in Pavilion, New York; however, they were detained in Buffalo for about five hours as their train derailed while it was on the drawbridge over the river. No one was hurt, but they arrived too late for their connecting train and so spent the night in the hotel and continued on the next morning. Mrs. Randal’s grandson, George Rogers, who was in the Army of the Potomac, died of a fever.

Pavilion Aug 24th/63

Dear Uncle & Aunt,

It is washing day to day & the folks are most all washing. My orders are to write some letter’s this morning I suppose to let you know that we arrived safe & sound at Aunt Pattys[1] But not quite as soon as expected. We were detained about 5 hours at Buffalo on account of the cars running off the track. It was only the hind car that the Buffalo passenger’s were in that ran off. It was when we were crossing the river. We were on the draw bridge when it ran off but there was nobody hurt, nor scart I guess. They had to send & get another car to get us off of the bridge then we were all right, excepting when we got down to the depot – we were about 5 minutes to late for the train so we had to wait until 11 in the evening. When we got to Batavia & got off the cars who should we meet there but Mr F[?]. So we went to the Hotel & staid until morning. The after breakfast we started for Pavilion, got there little before 11. We went the Grand trunk rout. But I dont want to go that rout again very soon. They went at the rait of 40 miles an hour.

Grandpa[2] stood his journey very well indeed he was some what tired when he got here the same as the rest of us but otherwise he stood it very well. Aunt Patty wanted I should say to you that George Roger’s is dead Mrs Randals Grand-son. He was in the army of the potomac, he died with a fever. His funeral serman is to be preached next Sabbath Day after tomorrow we are going to Mr Snows[?] visting. I wish that Ethen[3] was here to team it with Frank.[4] I guess that they would make a pretty good span put them together. Frank thinks that he would enjoy it right well if Ethen was here with him. I guess that I wont write any more this time to you for I have got to write a little to Helen.[5] Our respecks to all enquiring Friend’s. We would like to hear from the folks in Michigan at any time.

Yours with Respect



[1] Luke’s sister, Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague

[2] Luke’s father, Charles Luke Keith Sr.

[3] Luke’s son, Ethan Keith

[4] Presume she is referring to Aunt Patty’s grandson, Frank Tomlinson; Frank and Ethan were both about 12 years old

[5] Her half-sister, Helen (Bradley) York

[6] Lucy Lee was the daughter of Luke’s sister, Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

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