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Letter to Alice (Marsh) Moore from her brother, William R. Marsh 1837

"Such Failures in N. York and all over the country you could not believe. Thousands of People out of work ..." William R. Marsh, Paterson, New Jersey, 3 July 1837


Letter to Alice (Marsh) Moore from her brother, William R. Marsh, who was living in Paterson, New Jersey, 3 July 1837.

Dear Sister & Brother

I duly recd your last letter and should have answered it long ago but Joe Woods came down the week after I got it and borrowed it and I have not seen him since-----

I received a letter from Philip writ on the 14th May times are very bad in England the mills working time and provisions very dear Potatoes 13 ro 16 shillings a Load most of the hand weavers out of employ. Betty has been very poorly all winter they had to keep Fire steady all night as she could not breath laying and she does not seem to get much better now the spring is come the winter as been very severe and the spring late. Mary (William and Alice's sister-in-law) has not been to our house for 2 years and where she is or what doing I cannot tell---.

My health is but very delicate I have had a great deal of trouble with my foot or else I should have gone to York to find her out. I don't know what the reason she has not been up---- writ to us we always used her well and paid her expenses down----I am still at the same place but we have Miserable times since the first wk in march the Mills in paterson have all but two been stopped 3 months we lost 9 weeks but are got a going again 3 weeks ago.

Such Failures in N. York and all over the country you could not believe. Thousands of People out of work I am sure two thirds of the working folks---and Mony seems to be all vanquished there is none but eastern money Passes 1243 & 5 & Bills silver you must pay 1 Dolla 20 cent for 2 half dollar for there are shinn plasters from 6 cents 12 18 3/4 and so on to 1 Doll and this is most_____is passing now Times are very bad in a____ Frontier settlements provisions quite high Flour 14 Dolls a Barrele Butter 2/ a pound____

I hope you are making a comfortable living you are fortunate if you can raise as much as will support you all___I should like to hear from you to know how you are getting along when you receive this___ I have writ back Philip___ our Family are all very well except one and send their kind love to you.

Your Affectionate Brother, Wm. R. Marsh

P.S. I am apt to think Land will come down in the west these dull times____Old Aaron Platt is dead and Wm Bulloughs wife. N.B. There 2 or 3 Irish Families from Paterson settled not far from the Arsenal in Wayne County__have been there 2 years.

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Date: Sat Mar 16 2002
Name: Wayne L McKean
E- mail: waynelii@aol.com
Notes: James Moore and Alice Marsh were my 2nd great grandparents on my father's (Felix McKean) side. They were my grandmother, Alice Moore McKean, grandparents. Her father was William Boardman Moore. JAMES MOORE was born near Dublin, Ireland, about 1800 and died Dearborn Tp., Wayne Co., MI, 6 Sep 1873. His mother died and his father remarried, and finding it difficult to get along with his stepmother he left home and came to America. He never heard from his family and rarely spoke of them. He went first to Boston, but after about a year he went to New York where he married in New York City about 1827 Alice Marsh,who was born Bolton, Lancashire, England, 29 Apr 1800 (christened 5 July 1800) and died Dearborn Tp., Wayne Co., MI, 8 Aug 1871.

Alice was the daughter of Richard and Nancy Ann (Morris) Marsh (Information from records of the Dean Church, Bolton, Lancashire, England).

From the records of the Deane Church on the Bolton and the above letters you can figure out Alice's brothers and sisters: Thomas, born 20 Aug 1788; Betty, born 9 July 1791 and married 2 Aug 1807 William "Philip" Boardman; Lucy, born 118 July 1795; William, born 3 Feb 1798; Peter, born 6 Apr 1803; Richard, born 28 Apr 1804 and married 3 Jan 1825 Mary Riley; Mary Ann, born 15 Nov 1806. Alice's mother, Nancy Ann's, sister, Ester Morris, married 9 Apr 1776, Thomas Bollough. Ester and Thomas's daughter, Mary Bollough, who was born 25 Oct 1777, married 6 June 1797 Richard Worthington.

The reason for this information is that these people are mentioned in the above letters from Alice's sister and brother-in-law, Betty and Phillip Boardman. The family history has it that Alice's maiden name was Bordman and that she had married Peter Marsh when she was very young and had two children, Nancy and Maria Marsh. Peter was to have died young and she supported herself by weaving and when it became known that cloth could be manufactured she thought her way of making a living was blocked, but she was mistaken for there was a greater demand for hand woven goods. She sold everything that she owned to get enough money to come to America with her two children and an uncle, William Marsh. From the Deane Church records on the birth of Nancy and Maria, only Alice's name was mentioned.

Also from the before mentioned letter from her brother, William Marsh, it was not her uncle William, that she came to America, but her brother, William. Alice started a store in New York, her first investment being one dollar, but although this amount seems small, she increased her stock, and when she married James Moore she had a thriving grocery store. After their marriage they continued to manage the store until 1834 when they emigrated to Michigan. As soon as navigation opened, in the spring of 1834, they traveled up the Hudson River to Albany where they embarked on a canal boat on the Erie Canal (Erie Canal, the first important man made waterway in the United States.It is a new part of the New York State Barge Canal. The Erie Canal extends from Buffalo on Lake Erie to Albany on the Hudson River. It connects the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean at New York City. The canal was built by the State of New York from 1817 to 1825 through the efforts of Governor DeWitt Clinton. The original canal was 363 miles long 28 feet wide at the bottom and 4 feet deep. Travel time from Albany to Buffalo was cut from 10 to 3 days by the canal. The Erie carried many emigrants westward into Michigan and further points west.) They most likely took the steamer, "Michigan" (The Michigan was launched at Detroit in 1833 and until 1837 was regarded as the finest steamer on the Upper Lakes. The builder and owner was Oliver Newberry of Detroit). Traveling early in the Spring of 1834 they most likely ran into some fearful storms on Lake Erie. James bought government land, patent dated 4 May 1834, about 1 miles west of Monroe St on Michigan Ave. The land now lies in the two cities of Dearborn and Dearborn Heights.

When they first settled here, the trail was too narrow for a wagon and they had to carry their furniture through the woods. Their first home was built on an old Indian trail cut through the woods and coming out to the main road about 1 miles west of Dearborn. Tradition says that James was Roman Catholic, and Alice, Anglican.

We believe that the first three children were baptized as Roman Catholics in New York City. When one of the others, probably Lucy, the first to be born in Michigan, was to be baptized, the priest kept them waiting so long that James left the church in disgust and they joined the Methodist Church. In 1856 they built a frame house in which they lived until they died. In 1850 James was a farmer in the Dearborn Tp., Wayne Co., MI. In 1870 they were retired living in Dearborn Tp., next to his son, George (census: 1850, page 276, family 48; 1870: page 50, family 85).

Children of Alice Marsh: Nancy #2; Marie #3.

Children of James and Alice Moore: John #4; Richard #5; William Boardman #6; Lucy Ann #7; Sarah Elizabeth #8; Alice #9; George Edwin #10; Mary Jane #11.

1826 England to Michigan | 1836 Eng to Michigan | 1837 NJ to Michigan

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