October 9th, 1860

No 6. Pine Street N. York Oct 9 1860

Dear Geo B.

I have just Recd a letter from your Aunt Martha dated Saturday & mailed yesterday Morning I Suppose from what your Aunt wrote She went back to Louisville yesterday (Monday). She seems to interpose many objections to locating in New Jersey so far away from Elizabeth one hour & a half ride at a cost of 4/–. Now I prefer the Mild climate of N. J. with its warm Early springs late falls & mild winters where Apples Pears Peaches Grapes & Splendid cherries & Luscious Strawberries grow in great profusion with a small farm under good improvement with very little to do but go right to living comfortably.

Every Grape vine of 4 or 5 years age will pay a clean profit of three to five or six dollars. I can easily cultivate 200 of these. Every acre of cultivated black berries will pay a clean profit over and above all expenses of $300 to $350. Every acre of Strawberries will pay a profit of $800 to $1,000 pr acre And Every acre of currants will pay a profit of $300 pr acre and so I might go on. On the other hand what will a farm on the St. Lawrence pay? A naked farm with no house on it not a shrub bush or fruit tree and the climate will not produce small fruits to advantage & if it would where is your Market for them[?] I think the idea preposterous that at my time of life I should undertake to get a living on a bare farm by Keeping a half dozen Cows and a few chickens three or four pigs and two or three dozen sheep and hire Every thing done. The idea is ridiculous for me to settle down in that frigid climate where four months of the year must be devoted to putting up fodder for stock the other Eight Months.

The place in N J I have selected is close by the city of New Brunswick which affords a better market than New York. This is shown by the fact that Market Stuff of all kinds is taken from N. Y. to that place daily. Land is fast increasing in value in the vicinity of N. B. and they are already extending five house[s] out of the town on the same street I propose to locate on and it will be but a short time before this place I have in view will be literally in town. It is only now as far from the P. O. of the City as Judge Clark[’s] present residence or perhaps 60 or 80 rods further. The country all round is rich and well settled. It is close by two R R stations and two Steam Boat Landings the Raritan River and also the Delaware and Raritan Canals. I would not take a Louisville farm as a gift and be obliged to make a living off it at my age and bodily ailments & infirmities. The thing cant “be did.” And now let me ask what you even expect to do only barely to live where you are. If you have money at interest well secured by bond and mortgage so that the income will afford you a living it is all very well and right but if you have not then I think you will find Potsdam a hard road to travel. Had I at your age known just what I now do I would today be worth $30,000 easy enough and that too with far less means to start than you could command and that knowledge I can freely impart to you but I doubt if I could make you believe it and you may never believe what I know till you are much older than you are and shall have had years of observation and experience and then you would say that your “Uncle John was right after all & had I followed his advice I should have been a rich man in the decline of life.”

Potsdam is not the worst place in the world. It is a pretty good place but it is not “The place” for men of your age [and] ability. It will do well for those who live there have property and cant [sic] get away. And when I see you I can talk a long time on matters and things. This is the day of the Pennsylvania Election[1] and I will not mail this letter till tomorrow PM so as to give you the very latest news. The fusionists[2] had a great meeting last night comprising three political parties of N. Y. city Brooklyn Staten Island Jersey City Hoboken Newark &c. &c. But out of the atmosphere of N. Y. I do not think the fusion elements are very satisfactory. Still we shall see what we shall see. My own preferences are for John Bell[3] but as I can see not even a ghost of a chance for his election, as my next choice I intend to vote and huzza for Lincoln and spit upon the miserable vascillating rascalls [sic] one and all that ever were conspicuous in defaming Henry Clay.[4] I will now hold on till tomorrow and apologize for writing such a long prosy letter but I suppose your business will not suffer while you take time to read it.

Wednesday 2 P. M. The Telegraph will have informed you if the news Papers have not of the result of the elections yesterday.[5] And it is Glory enough for one day So I will say nothing further now. Nothing new in particular since Morning.

It is my present intention to leave here tomorrow night pr Steam Boat for your place Louisville &c and will if nothing happens to prevent be at the station by the next Evening train at 10 or 11 or whatever time it may get in and if not too much trouble I would like to have you meet me at the Depot. I design to stay with you the rest of the night Friday night I mean and on Saturday get to Louisville some way where I shall stay only for a short time and return and make a short visit with you & then back here again.

Recollect be at the Depot Friday night on the arrival of the train that will be day after tomorrow night as this is Wednesday. With Kind regards &c. &c. A

as ever yours truly &c.

J Raymond

G. B. Raymond Esqr.

Potsdam, N. Y.

 

Footnotes

[1] Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial election was seen as a bellwether for the coming presidential election. Ackley, Gayle, and Patricia D. Arcuri, eds. The Pennsylvania Manual 104 (1979). Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Department of General Services.

[2] A meeting was held at the Cooper Institute in New York City on October 8, 1860, in order to promote a fusion ticket between the supporters of John Bell and Stephen A. Douglas. New York Times October 9th, 1860.

[3] Bell was the Constitutional Unionist candidate in the 1860 presidential election. Parks, Joseph Howard. John Bell of Tennessee. Baton Rouge LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1950.

[4] Clay was a prominent American politician and an important leader of the Whig Party. Howe, Daniel Walker. The Political Culture of the American Whigs. Chicago IL: University of Chicago Press, 1979.

[5] Andrew Gregg Curtin, a Republican, defeated the Democratic candidate Henry Donnel Foster. Ackley, Gayle, and Patricia D. Arcuri, eds. The Pennsylvania Manual 104 (1979). Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Department of General Services.

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