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John DeCamp of Ohio to his brother William De Camp of New Jersey 1826

Sam'l M. Martin son of Old Oliver Martin, Merch't in Cincinnati cut his throat and stabb'd himself and died a few weeks ago ...... John DeCamp of Ohio to his brother William De Camp of New Jersey 1826


William E D'Camp
25 Williams Store Middlesex County Butler C. O.
15 Jany
New Jersey Rahway P.O.

Dear Brother

Preble Co. Ohio lst month 13th 1826

This may inform thee that we are about as well as usual. I rec'd thy favour of June 4th 1825, and was happy to hear from you all. I wrote in answer to it & have rec'd no return. I have been looking out for Philemon this fall but was disappointed, tho the roads has been uncommonly good and are tolerably so at this time. As we have had it very dry from June till now, that is, we have had no heavy rains.

I was sorry that Philemon did not came out here as he would chanced to have seen a better country, than any he has yet seen, or even my father saw. It is as follows lying on the wabash, a large and navigable stream, about 200 miles west from us. The land is of the first rate soil, as black as lamp black, and from 3 to 5 feet deep bordering on the grand Prairie, that is 340 miles long and 50 miles wide here it is that a man may have a farm at once, by buying wood land adjoining the Prairie, and prairie land that is as smooth as the salt meadow, without tree or stump. This land will be sold next fall, or the spring following, at 125 cts. per acre or 800 dols for 640 acres. People are flocking from all the states to this quarter & I presume to say that it will be thickly inhabited, in 3 or 4 years after the sales. Salt is manufactured within 15 miles of this land, and may be had # for # of wheat flour. Steam boats from New Orleans has been several miles above this land.

I got this information from my nearest neighbor, Charles Jones who was out there a few weeks ago to see it, and told me this as a secret as he does not wish his neighbors to know it. He has a good farm here, of 100 acres which he offers to sell for 1100 dols. It is for want of money, that prevents my trying to get some of this land, as it is said to be healthy, by people who live near it.

I do not mention these things in order to over persuade any of you but this much I will venture to say that if you all entertained ideas like mine you would sell that property you live upon, if you could get but 4000 dols for it, and come here, as no person knows that in that country, the great difference in raising crops there, or here, for corn & wheat has always been a sure crop, and pork a cash article, also, the ground when plough'd is as mellow as ashes, and not a stone in the way. [Note from Nina: John Marsh D'Camp did later buy the land on Devil's Backbone Rd where he and Hannah raised their children and a grandson. When I was there in 1977-1778, the two story home had 10" base boards, high ceilings and kept in very good condition). The orchard and barn were gone].

A man in this country who has only 50, or 60, acres of such land clear'd, I mean as I have had described can lay up from 200 to 250 dols a year, and do this with 1/4th the labor that he could in Jersey, now this may appear hard for some of you to believe, but I can explain it thus, 1 st this prairie land is already clear'd, and very rich, all it wants is fencing, to make it ready for the plow, then 25 acres put in corn (which is easier tended than Jersey land on acct of stone) will fatten 4 tons of Pork, which, at the usual price will amt, to 200 dols. 15 acres put in wheat will bring the 50 dols, besides leaving wheat and corn enough for family use and a large number of store hogs and some cattle sheep etc.

Edgar these are all facts that I have seen, and therefore do know from my neighbor Charles Jones that lives here by me, does this very near every year and of no more land than I have mentioned, and his land is not as good as I have been describing. I liked this country pretty well at first, but now since I have become better acquainted with it I still like it better and think, did people know in Jersey the many advantages a man has on a good farm in this country they'd come here without hesitation.

I can not deny but that I do sincerely wish my Father, Mother, Brothers & Sisters would embrace this opportunity of getting good land and so cheap as such a one does not offer every day. Now I fear it may be thought that I have said too much on this head, but so it is I have endeavourd to speak barely the truth as it is.

Uncle Marsh (Williams) wrote to father a few weeks ago, and I expect mentioned the decease of our uncle David Williams. uncle Reuben Dunn (husband of Sarah DeCamp, father's sister) deceas'd about the time Father was at Middletown Ohio, Sam'l M. Martin son of Old Oliver Martin, Merch't in Cincinnati cut his throat and stabb'd himself and died a few weeks ago, I heard from Charity (sister, wife of Isaac Scudder) & Sally (?) a few weeks ago and they were all well.

I have not follow'd School Keeping this winter but work about at 1 bush wheat or 2 bush corn per day. I have 40 bush wheat nearly pd for I killed a hog that weigh'd 270 # and my black cow 110 # . 40 # tallow hide weigh'd 68#. I have bk salt and have paid for 4 acres of land adjoining me.

I'm nearly to the bottom of my paper please give my love to thy wife my father and mother, Phil, and the rest collectively write soon and let me hear how you all like this letter & thy boys name and tell him his uncle John is in Ohio. Hannah joins me in unseign'd love to you all

John M D'Camp

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Name: Nina
E-mail: HISTMOM@aol.com

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