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Letter to Mrs. Julia E. Terry, Care of Ward Woodbridge, Esq., Hartford, Connecticut, from her husband, Charles A. Terry, Cleveland, Ohio, August 17, 1842

I dont think I have smoked a cigar this two months. You know I used tobacco for my health.....Charles A. Terry, Cleveland, Ohio, August 17, 1842


Cleveland August 17 1842

My Dear Wife

Your dear kind letter of the 12th has this morning been received and tho I wrote you on Sunday yet as you gave me a little scolding for not having written the week before, I feel in duty bound to vindicate myself instantly from so un merited a charge.I did write dearest a long letter & what is more paid the postage. I believe I stated in my last letter that I had written on friday of week before last but I believe I was mistaken and that I wrote it on Sunday evening the 7th I think it was mailed Monday certainly the day after I wrote and I paid the postage myself to save you as much expense as possible as I shall always do in future. I think you must have received it the next morning, as I have never had a letter fail since I lived at the west.

I have been very busy thus far this month and have charged nearly $200 already, and I have sometimes been so busy and so tired that I have on that account not been quite so punctual to the day as usual, but I have written oftener than once a week ever since you left me, so no more scoldiness Madam Dearest wife how warmly do I respond to your wish to see me once more. I begin to count the days which will elapse before I can leave here, for leave here I will if it is possible to do so.

I shall find no difficulty in the procuring part of it and the only question will be whether I shall not be too busy. If I am very much occupied of course I shall not come, but I trust I shall not be, and that it will be in my power to see all my treasures safely back to their western home. How little do they know of true love such as ours who imagine for a moment that absence can ever weaken one particle of its strength. Soberly I look forward to the moment of our meeting as the happiest any of my life, and Julie ‘till we get home, let us when we meet put aside as much as possible all the cares of life and for a few days at least be carelessly happy.

With you and the dear little girls I never can be wholly unhappy, but I pray Heaven I may never again be the prey to such pecuniary anxiety of mind as I have suffer’d from for some years past. It has injured my health, and worse than that my temper; for I think I naturally had a good temper, and since I have taken the grand step I have had better health and more equanimity of temper than I have known for years, and I think you will find me quite a decent husband. If I have my health we can never again be embarrassed as we have been, if we go upon the principles of never getting in debt. How hard I will work and how happy we shall be, when with our little ones about us we can sit down at evening and commune together.

Dear Julie, I want to see you so much that I feel as if it was impossible to wait ‘till October. You said in one of your letters that you hoped I had left off tobacco. I have left off that and spirituous liquors, and I dont think I have smoked a cigar this two months. You know I used tobacco for my health, and certainly it did me much good, but now that my general health is so good I have no need of it.

I wrote you in my last letter that I was somewhat unwell Since then I have had a slight return of my illness but am much better to day and I think have seen the last of my troubles of that kind.

To day I rode out to Cables to see his fruit. He has hundreds of bushels of peaches and plums just ripening, and certainly it is a beautiful sight. If I could give you one basket of them I would consent not to eat one again this season.

I had a letter from Louisa this morning she says they have had no fruit at all there They are all well. Adrian never writes to me. (continued on top and bottom of address side of letter)

My patient is still ill at the American house and I am yet without money to send you but my next letter will no doubt contain it as the lady is convalescing. I shall make about forty dollars from it, part of it I shall send to you, and part lay aside for your return. I was compell’d to get fifty dollars advanced by Uncle out of the $600 as I could not otherwise be sure of paying my bill to Butts and I would not be in debt to him any longer. It makes no difference, as it saves the money I should have otherwise paid him from my practice. I have made about 800 dollars already this summer, and shall probably make four or five hundred more before I come on for you (cross-writing on first and second pages of letter) so you see I have not been idle this summer.

I think we shall live a great deal happier than ever we did before, and the less we mingle in gay society the better One of these days Julie if I am prosperd [?] we shall be well off, for I have a good practice and many kind friends and industry and frugality are sure to succeed.

I had been hoping that Caroline did not intend coming out ‘till October, and that in the event of my not being able to come for you she and Mr Grant would be your escorts. I hope they will not come to the Falls without coming to Cleveland. It would be a very great pleasure to me to see them, and they will be in the midst of the fruit season. Tell Caroline I will show her peaches but little smaller than Eliza’s load!! Do urge them to come. I could write to Caroline if I thought it would have any affect.

Did you know Henry Ritchie was married to someone in Buffalo I dont know who – You ask me about the story of George Kingsley’s pocket book being found. Henry took an old one of his brothers on to the cart with him and at Rochester had his pocket picked and the thief took this old pocket book – I wish dearest I had any news to tell you, but there is none stirring here.

When I commenced this letter I was quite low spirited, but writing to you as usual has put me in good spirits again Give my love to all and tell the dear little girls father thinks of them all the while. Tell Nelly I should like to hear her say Bache bache once more and Julie sing [?] Uncle John.

Good night dearest dearest Julie

Your affectionate husband Charles A. Terry

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Notes: Letter to Mrs. Julia E. Terry, Care of Ward Woodbridge, Esq., Hartford, Connecticut, from her husband, Charles A. Terry, Cleveland, Ohio, August 17, 1842; from the Phillip F. Schlee Collection.

Charles A. Terry (d. 1872), married, in 1836, Julia Woodbridge (1813- 1871), daughter of Ward Woodbridge and Mary Strong; three children: Ellen Frances (b. 1837), Julia Woodbridge (b. 1839) and Eliza Hudson (1841- 1843) -- Ward Woodbridge (1771-1856), son of Ward Woodbridge and Sarah Olcott; married in 1793 to Hannah Bigelow; married in 1809 to Mary Strong -- Caroline Woodbridge (1816-1858) married in 1842 to Sanford Billings Grant.

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