Letter Written from Alfred Hovenden to George Hovenden
submitted by Robert Schmidt

 

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Alfred Hovenden

 

Aurora, Marion Co. (NOTE: State of Oregon) April 5, 1864

Dear Brother (Note #1),

I received your kind letter some weeks since and intended to answer it right away but when I thought I would write, some one would come in and we would have to talk about the war and the Democratick ("Democratic") Copperheads, there is plenty of them here, and I have waisted a great many arguments in trying to convert them to Union men, they all say they are for the government but opposed to the Administration, which in my judgement ("judgment") is an impossibility, for a man to be in favour of the government and opposed to it at the same time, I claim the government is the present Administration, and if any man does not support the Administration in all its efforts to crush out this D--n rebelion he must support Jeff (NOTE: President Jefferson Davis of the Confederate States of America) in all his efforts to brake up this government, some of the copper heads say we will have a fight the next election here but I do not think we will if we do I think there will be a fewe ("few") the less when we get through. I see in my last paper that they have commenced in your state in Coles Co., but I hope the next newse ("news") we get the union men will have them all shot down and the bulk of them hung that would be to god ("too good") for them, for your state has furnish ("furnished") more volunteers than any other state in the Union according to its population; I was sorry to hear that Glenn Ewalt was what I call a traitor and votes all the time with the D--n traitors I want you to tell Glen Ewalt to support the government in their effort to crush out this rebelion, because I believe that if he does not, he is a Benedict Arnold who would have sold this country to the inglish ("English") because he was a disappointed officer, I must now leave this matter with you trusting that you are doing as much for the government in your skelping copperheads as you are in killing the Preachers Wort (Note: also known as St. John's Wort or Klamath Weed, a plant - pernicious weed - well known in the Klamath Valley of Oregon).// I will now finish this letter since I pened ("penned") the above I have had some considerable trouble in regards to buying land I bought a half section land for $2500 and there was a judgement on it of eight and fifty dollars and the man promised to pay it of ("off") and then did not do it, so I had a great deal of trouble to make my self safe I think I am safe now I are going tomorrow to pay of ("off") the judgement and he has given a Morgage ("Mortgage") on other property.// I are living on the same place that I took up in fifty (1850) and I expect to live here for some time yet, I like this country in some respects better than the old (Illinois) and not in other parts the land is not so rich as with you but we can raise better wheat and oats but it requires more plowing corn does not do well here although in places they can raise about forty (NOTE: bushels) per acre we can beat the world for apples this year we will not have heavy crops as I am afraid the spring grain will be a very light crop for it has the appearance of a very dry spring and summer and if it does continue dry grane ("grain") will be very high here this fall, I sold five hundred bu ("bushels") of wheat the other day for one dollar per bu ("bushel") and one hundred bu ("bushels") oats at 50 cents per bu ("bushel"), I have about 2000 bu ("bushels") of old wheat left and I think it will fetch a good price after harvest and I think I will have enough oats to do me for one year if I do not raise any. I have about four thousand pounds of backon (NOTE: "smoked salted bacon") that I intend to keep until fall, it is only worth 11 to 16 cents per pound it was worth 25 cents per lb. last fall, cattel ("cattle") are selling for 3 years old stears 20 (NOTE: $0.20 per pound) for four year 25 to 27 (NOTE: $0.25 to $0.27 per pound), cows from 15 to 25 (NOTE: $0.15 to $0.25 per pound), sheep $3 to $4 a head, these prices are in gold, greenbacks (NOTE: paper money) are worth 65 cents on the dollar, calico is selling from 16 to 20 cents yeard ("per yard"), recived ("received") a letter from Charley (NOTE #2) the other day they was all well and talk of coming to Oregon on a visit this fall I hope they will for I would like to see some of his stock. Amos (NOTE #3) lives about one mile from me he has got a good farm and a good wife and three very prity ("pretty") children one boy and 2 girls his old dad in law (NOTE: William Whitney) is very rich; in your letter you said you had got my share of the monney ("money") that was left to me by poor Father (NOTE #4), now Georde ("George") I want you to give my share to my sister Caroline (NOTE #5), and Amos told me to tell you to give his to Ellen (NOTE #6) for we believe that it was the wish of poor Father for the three youngest girls to have it as all the rest did not kneed ("need") it now I will close this in love to you and Susan (NOTE #7) and all my nephews and nieces hoping that we may see each other again, from your Affectionate Brother

ALFRED HOVENDEN (NOTE #8)

George - I would like to hear from you often and I will answer your letters more pintialy ("punctually") then I did the one I got from but you must excuse me for I have had too much to do that I could not settle my mind to write.
AH

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NOTE #1: George Hovenden (brother of Alfred) - Born: June 17, 1815, Oad (Wood) Street, Borden Parish, Kent County, England; Arrived in Peoria County, Illinois on August 10, 1843; Died: September 30, 1901, George Hovenden Farm, Elmwood Township, Peoria County, Illinois; Buried: October 3, 1901, Trivoli Cemetery, Trivoli Township, Peoria County, Illinois.


NOTE #2: Charles Hovenden (brother of Alfred) - Born: October 15, 1828, Oad (Wood) Street, Borden Parish, Kent County, England; Arrived in Peoria County, Illinois in September of 1844; Arrived in Foster's Bar, Yuba County, California in September of 1849 as a participant in the California Gold Rush; Living in 1864 on his Hovenden Ranch, Etna Township, Siskiyou County, California; Died: February 14, 1909, Fort Jones, Scott Valley, Siskiyou County, California; Buried: February 16, 1909, Citizens Masonic Cemetery, Fort Jones, Scott Valley, Siskiyou County, California.


NOTE #3: Amos Hovenden (brother of Alfred) - Born: April 23, 1831, Oad (Wood) Street, Borden Parish, Kent County, England; Arrived in Peoria County, Illinois on December 1, 1846; Arrived via the Old Oregon Trail in Marion County, Oregon in September of 1849; Living in 1864 on the Amos Hovenden Farm, Butteville Precinct, Marion County, Oregon; Died: September 17, 1895, Amos Hovenden Farm, Hubbard Precinct, Marion County, Oregon; Buried: September 20, 1895, Butteville Pioneer Cemetery, Butteville Precinct, Marion County, Oregon.


NOTE #4: George Hovenden (father of Alfred) - Born: December 1, 1784, Oad (Wood) Street, Borden Parish, County Kent, England; Arrived in Peoria County, Illinois on December 1, 1846; Died: September 13, 1860, William Hovenden Farm, Logan Township, Peoria County, Illinois; Buried: September 16, 1860, Trivoli Cemetery, Trivoli Township, Peoria County, Illinois.


NOTE #5: Caroline (Hovenden) Burbank (sister of Alfred) - Born: May 13, 1836, Oad (Wood) Street, Borden Parish, County Kent, England; Arrived in Peoria County, Illinois on December 1, 1846; Married: Benjamin Franklin Burbank, March 8, 1860, Methodist Episcopal Church, Trivoli, Peoria County, Illinois; Living in 1864 on the Benjamin F. Burbank Farm, Valley Township, Stark County, Illinois; Died: July 13, 1903, Benjamin F. Burbank Farm, Fairview Precinct, Sarpy County, Nebraska; Buried: July 16, 1903, Springfield Memorial Cemetery, Springfield, Sarpy County, Nebraska.


NOTE #6: Ellen (Hovenden) Manock (sister of Alfred) - Born: October 17, 1822, Oad (Wood) Street, Borden Parish, County Kent, England; Arrived in Peoria County, Illinois on December 1, 1846; Married: Nathan Manock, December 17, 1848, Methodist Episcopal Church, Trivoli, Peoria County, Illinois; Living in 1864 on the Nathan Manock Farm, Elmwood Township, Peoria County, Illinois; Died: May 30, 1903, Elmwood, Elmwood Township, Peoria County, Illinois; Buried: June 1, 1903, Trivoli Cemetery, Trivoli Township, Peoria County, Illinois.


NOTE #7: Susan (Kitchener) Hovenden (wife of George, sister-in-law of Alfred) - Born: August 3, 1818, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England; Married: George Hovenden, November 16, 1841, St. George's Camberwell, Greater London, County Surrey, England; Arrived in Peoria County, Illinois on August 10, 1843; Living in 1864 on the George Hovenden Farm, Elmwood Township, Peoria County, Illinois; Died: October 25, 1911, Hovenden Farm, Elmwood Township, Peoria County, Illinois; Buried: October 27, 1911, Trivoli Cemetery, Trivoli Township, Peoria County, Illinois.


NOTE #8: Alfred Hovenden - Born: August 26, 1824, Oad (Wood) Street, Borden Parish, County Kent, England; Arrived in Peoria County, Illinois in September of 1844; Arrived via the Old Oregon Trail in Marion County, Oregon in September of 1849; Married: Sarah Anne Soden, June 29, 1856, Bartholomew Soden Farmhouse, Spring Valley Precinct, Polk County, Oregon; Living in 1864 on his 1,200 acre farm in Hubbard Precinct, Marion County, Oregon; Died in a runaway carriage accident December 10, 1885, Hubbard Precinct, Marion County, Oregon; Buried: December 12, 1885, Hubbard Cemetery, Broadacres Road, Hubbard Precinct, Marion County, Oregon.

This letter was preserved by George Hiram Hovenden (1880-1973) of the Hovenden Orchard Farm, Trivoli Township, Peoria County, Illinois, grandson of the recipient, and his daughter Caroline (Hovenden) Davidson (1929-2002).

 


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