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To Mr Isaac Sandford, Near Terra Hoot, (Terre Haute, Indiana) from L. & P. Foster, Springfield, Hamilton, Ohio

L. & P. Foster, Springfield, Hamilton, Ohio, July 21, 1821


Mr. Smith called here last week, & gave us inteligence from you to the first July inst. He says that you are both cheerful & contented; that you enjoy health: & seem busily engaged in the affairs of a living, farming[,] making brick etc. That you have sustained a loss of $2000 -- the half of which you might probably save, by taking their bills, but he thinks that rather than do that, you would loose the whole. -- But, that you have yet a secret hope of obtaining it all; -- the probability of which you perhaps know best. -- I can only say, that in no instance, have I known of a bank to revive after once going down. But if you have lost it all clearly, esteeme it but trifling: it surely gives me more consolation, to hear that you are cheerfull, under the apprehention of such a loss, than to hear that you were laying it to heart, & making it a matter of grief -- I really think, it is probably for the best, if it is all lost; it will peradventure shew you the instability of temporal goods; & lead you to set more value, on the more valuable, though the more hiden treasures of the mind. -- If a temporal loss, can be converted into a spiritual gain, the exchange is of infinite advantage. -- Which sentiment, I wish you both to imbibe, hold too, and never depart from. --

Friend Smith tells us, that our grandson Hiram, is a fine promising boy; & cralling, which shows agincy, which it will be your duty to attend too; by carfull watching, correcting, & keeping in proper bounds. It will be better for the child, to be kept in due subjection, & raised in a humble condition, than to be permited to indulge his peevish whims, & virulent passions. And the earlier he is instructed in principles of PIETY, to his Maker & his parents, the better; for early instructions, are the most abiding.

-- Could you resuscitate his paternal grandfather, for to give you advise concerning the child, what would that counsel be? This answer I have you both to consider on, through out the whole course of your parental administration; & I wish this idea, may never be out of your minds, whilst, or when it is your duty either to instruct or correct the youth. And whilst I am on this solemn part of my letter; I feal as though I had a desire to admonish you, on the great, & all important concerns of your own immortal existance; for we have but one life to live, (and that a short and perhaps a very short one too) & we have each one soul to save: & the way there too, is through a self denying life, with a firm, unchangeable hope, & reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ; who is the alone Saviour. And as the Heavens are higher than the earth, so is a Religious preferable to a vane life; because the end is infinitely different. --

Live in the exercise of Virtue, the more rigid the higher will be your reputation, even amongst men. Study the Divine graces, read them in the apostles catalogue, contemplate their nature & use; & they will help to make you what you ought to be, for both worlds. -- Scoff not at religion, or mock its professors it may be they are right, & I believe that the sincere of all denominations are right. I recommend that you shew hospitallity to all men; but especially to those who travel, or profess to travil, in the work of the gospel. --

I by no means recommend to you to follow every whim, or wind of profession, or pretention, because all is not gold that appears like it. But exercise charity when their words & actions can be reconsiled to it. -- Let your every day work, shew the goodness of your hearts & dispositions, be just to all, pay well those who labour for you, love your friends; & try to create no enemies; reproach not your neighbour, though you may dislike his sentiments, or conduct, but try to reform him. So strive, that by your examplary & good conduct at home, and by faithfullness in your neighbourly intercourse, that it may be said, that society is the better for your membership there in. I therefore advise you, to seek not to be great, but to be GOOD. ----

I wrote you by Mr. Jo. Orr relative to making Wm. Hunt a deed, if you are coming up anyway soon, it would be better for you to make the deed, though it may be done as was contemplated. -- We have no news particulars. Polina, has been very sick, is some better; Sineca & child are not well. Our family is in health, through Providential kindness; & send you their best wishes; all want to see you. Send in your next when you will come up. --

you ought to write ten times to our once, because of the many more oppertunities you have to send. --

Should you want Bob, you must send word, what wages you will give him, & whether you will agree to furnish him a good piece of land, perhaps 50 or 80 acres. -- good hands are put too to get $ 6-per month; wages since harvest have taken a great fall. -- Produce is still very low. Our late crops are light, wheat has the spot in the ear, is mildewed, & some of it sick; it is thought that little if any of the new crop will do to sell. Oats is good. Corn is promising. It is now near three weeks since we had any rain, so that the ground is to dry to plough, & paster geting short & dry. -- When you write inform us the prices of Land, of Produce, of Labour, of mechanics work etc, etc --

I. & B. Sandford In duty and affection your parents L. & P. Foster

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Date: Fri Nov 1 2002
Name: Phillip F. Schlee
E- mail: schlee@ksu.edu
Notes: This letter is addressed to "Mr Isaac Sandford, Near Terra Hoot," (Terre Haute, Indiana) from "L. & P. Foster," Springfield, Hamilton, Ohio, July 21, 1821. The original letter was received by the Pension Office, Washington, D. C., on September 3, 1902, and is contained in the Bounty Land file of Isaac Sandford, National Archives, Washington, D. C. Luke Foster (1764-1851) was the father of Belinda Foster, who married Isaac Sandford in 1819. The following clipping is from the Paris (Illinois) Daily Beacon of June 22, 1923.

The article was written by Dr. Floyd M. Davis, and entitled, “Isaac Sandford At One Time Wealthiest Man In County”: “In the ability to grasp the wonderful opportunities offered in the settling of a new country, Isaac Sandford certainly took the lead, so far as Edgar county is concerned. In comparatively few years he not only became the wealthiest man in the county, but from the early thirties until the coming of the railroads was, commercially at least, the dominating influence in the county.

From what I can learn he had no advantage over others when he first arrived to make Edgar county his home. He was born on Long Island, New York, in 1795 [1796] and when still a young man came to Ohio and in 1818 to Wayne district now Stratton township, in Edgar county, where he entered land lying east and north of Vermilion. He returned to Ohio and the following Fall with his young wife, returned and began life on his homestead. For years he made farming his business and was very successful. He had an abiding faith on the future value of Illinois lands, bought for himself as fast as possible, and encouraged those who worked for him, to do the same. I personally know of two of the wealthy land owners of the county who got their start splitting rails for General Sandford and by his advice bought cheap prairie lands.

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