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Lowell History: Letters



                                              Cleveland Ohio Feb 12. 1842

Dear Brother and Sister

I now once more resume my pen to addres you.
and to write a few lines to you hoping they will
find you and yours and you all in good health
that best of earthly comforts, my health is not
very good.  i have not enjoyed good health for 
a year or two past the extremes of the weather
affect me considerably.  Father and Mother3 are
both well, but Father cannot work the same as he
used to do, Mother is pretty smart and although
she is nearly sixty she can go through with her
work pretty well.  it is a great deal of trouble 
and hard work for her to take care of the milk and
butter from five cows, and but very little profit
the last year or two.  Elizebeth4 and the Children are
well they grow finely Robert5 takes learning very fast
he can read tolerably, and spell three and four syllables
Mary6  is learning to knit and is quite a fat lump of a 
girl, John and Margery Vinall7 are both well their 
little boy John is well at present, he had a very sick

  1Robert C. Smith b: 1816, Eng; occupation: farmer; married 
    Alice b: 1817, Eng; residing 1850: Warrensvile, OH; 
    children: Catherin Smith b: 1840, OH, Humphrey 
    Smith b: 1842, OH.
  2Brother –John C. Smith b: 1814, Preston, Eng d: 17 Jan 1881, 
    Lowell; occupation: Merrimack Print Works, calico printer; 
    1st married 1836: Mary Trull b: 1823, Dracut, MA d: 22 Sep 1874, 
    Lowell; children: 6; 2nd married Caroline Trull b: 1819, Dracut, MA.
  3Parents: James Smith b: Eng; occupation dyer; married: Mary; 
    children: 7; emigrated to Boston; worked and lived in Lowell; moved 
    with wife and some extended family to Ohio before 1842.
  4Sister – Elizabeth Smith b: 1812, Eng; emigrated to Boston 1830; 
    married 1834 Lowell: Charles Sharples b: 1814, Eng d: 1850, 
    Lowell; children: Robert Sharples b: 1835, Lowell, Mary Ann 
    Sharplees b: 1837, Lowell, Eleanor Sharples b: 1846, Lowell, 
    Nancy Sharples b: 1848, Lowell; moved with extended to Ohio 
    before 1842; residing in Lowell 1850.
  5Nephew – Robert Sharples b: 1835, Lowell; parents: Elizabeth 
    Smith and Charles Sharples; moved with his parents and extended 
    family before 1842 to Ohio; residing in Lowell 1850.
  6Niece – Mary Ann Sharples b: 1837, Lowell; parents: Elizabeth 
    Smith and Charles Sharples; moved with her parents and extended 
    family before 1842 to Ohio; residing in Lowell 1850.
  7John J. Vinall b: 1818, Eng; occupation: plane maker; married 
    Margaret b: 1824, Eng.


time last summer.  they was afraid they would lose
him, John is very steady and very industrious.  him
and another young man by the name of Marble have 
just started bussines.  and are now carrying on the 
Plane bussines in this City, they bought Mr. Marsh 
out the man that Lewis Cutler. Marys husband
worked for.  Lewis and Mary8 are both well they have
got a very fine fat boy Charles Crosby9
Cutler on account of Mr. Marsh selling out Lewis
took Mr. Marbles place in warren10 a town about
fifty miles south of here Mary has gone to live
with Father till spring openes and the weather and
the roads will admit of her removal if he likes well
enough to stay. thus I have given you a brief
account of our family here.  John and Lewis are
neither of them pious,  Lewis is a strong wasingtonian
he was a hopeful member on probation of the Methodist
Episcopal Church last Winter but he has gone back
to the weak and beggarly of elements of the world.
Elizebeth and Margery are neither of them pious but the have
both know the way.  Mary is still hopefull and
would do well if he would lead her along. i was at
Fathers on the 30 of January, and we had a melting
time in Class after hearing Br Crane preach.
we have a class of 16 members and although i live in 
the City my name stands on the Class book in Warren-
sville11 we have had quite a number joined the class
the last year, William Walkden12 has come out on the lords
side, and taken a decided stand  i hope not to be moved again.
his Father13 and Alice and Mrs. Brogden14 and Betsy 
Barker15 have all joined the class and Mrs. Walkden16
is inquireing the way, and beginning to think about
the one thing needful.  a have enlarged on the subject of
religion because I thought the news of our prosperity here
would be interesting to you, for my own point I am 

  8Sister – Mary Smith b: 1820, Eng; emigrated to Boston 1830; 
    moved with her extended family before 1842 to Ohio; married: 
    Lewis H. Cutler b: 1821, NY; occupation 1860: physician 
    surgeon; residing 1860: Pleasant, IO..
  9Nephew – Charles Crosby Cutler b: 1836, OH; parents: 
    Lewis H. Cutler and Mary “Betsey” Smith; residing with 
    Daniel and Betsey Cutler 1850: Warren, OH; residing 1860: 
    with Lewis H. and Bestey Cutler in Pleasant, IO.
  10Warren, Ohio.
  11Warrensville, OH.
  12William Walkden b: 1813, Eng; residing 1850: Columbus, OH.
  13William Walkden b: 1785, Eng; residing 1850: Warrensville, OH.
  14Helen Bragdon; residing 1850: Warrensville, OH.
  15Betsey Barker; residing 1850: Warrensville, OH.
  16Mary Walkden b: 1796, Eng; residing 1850: Warrensville, OH.


still endeavouring by the grace of god to make heaven
my home, and although my body may fail as it
fails i trust my spirit will ripen for those mansions
of eternal blessedness which are prepared for all
those that love our lord Jesus Christ, and i trust 
that you and your family are serving the lord we
always remember you all at at throne of grace and
let us still pour our ardent supplications to a throne
of grace till god by his spirit shall arrest every 
member of our family and we shall all be adopted into
the family of god, we have had a protracted meeting here in
Cleveland17 for the past five weeks and it still continues
fourteen joined the church last Sabbath, the number
that has been converted i have not yet learned, there
is protracted meetings and great revivals all round the country
in nevanna they have continued three months and 
are still going on  i suppose you know that i am 
learning the wheelwright bussines, i am working in
Cleveland for Mr. Jones18 he gives me six dollars a month
and board or at least agreed to do so i worked out last
winter and am working out this and the whole amount
of money that i have received for my work is 3 dollars and 25
cents, last winter i took two [one?] horse wood works one
of which father has got and the other one is sold last
fall and i have got about half the pay for it, it is scarely
any use to sue for any thing here for they will put 
every thing out of their hands, there is nine wagon makers shops
in this town, and there is scarcely one that pays their hands
in a half way decent manner.  some little money, groceries
dry goods and all kinds of truck and cheated out of half
your wages at that, i am allmost discouraged and if it
was not for learning i would not stay i hope that you 
are doing better than this, it is hard times for a man
with a family here for all trades are a like i hope that
James19 is saving every cent that he can, land here is
low at present the lot North of Fathers was bought.
few weeks since for 7 dollars an acre and five years
to pay for it in it is a good time to take up land
money is so scarce and so many are involved in debt
and have to sell, i should like very well to take up
a piece of land myself was i situated so that there
was any possibility of paying for it, if a person has
a farm if the times are good he can sell every thing

  17Cleveland, OH.
  18John Jones; occupation:  livery stable.
  19Brother – James C. Smith; residing: Lowell.


he has to sell. if times and seasons are bad he has to 
eat and drink [----] of his farm with industry i want
you to consider these things well if you have any notion
of farming, i think you have a better [shot?] than Cleveland
affords me at present.  Banks are breaking every day money
is not sure from one day to another but I have no bills
to lose any thing by, let us lay up our love and our 
treasure above and be rich in faith and heirs of that in 
heritance which is incorruptible undefiled and that fadeth
not away, give my love to my Brothers and Sisters
Nephews and Neices and all inquiring friends, Father and
Mother Sisters and Brothers send their love to you all and friends
my love to you and yours, so no more at present from your 
affectionate Brother Robert Smith

Father received a letter from Savage state that Ann
and her family had arrived safe and sound we were glad
to hear it and hope they will do well I had forgotten
to mention it before Gerry Capting wonder if the
Washingtonian Society reaches any of the out casts
Down your way now a days it does wonders all around here
Accept of these few scraps and try to mend them
If you please Direct for           Robert C. Smith
                                              Cleveland Ohio