Poughkeepsie, January 27th 1821
Jane is preemptory in opining that I owe my ever dear Grandson Sidney
Breese a letter-- I am rather disposed to think that she is correct--
This circumstance of debt, added to inclination, put the quill between
my fingers. You have tested Kaskaskia; You have tried Brownsville
& you now it seems stick out your painted board on the high plane of
Vandalia: Of this place I want to receive a particular account.
How far is it from Kaskaskia & in what direction? The face of
the country in its neighborhood -- the soil -- Are there rivers or
considerable streams near -- are there mill sites -- Is the table
water pure & salubrious -- When was the first settlement made? Put
one leg of a divider in the middle of the settlement, extend the other
leg one mile from the center & describe the circle: What is the
population within such a circle? Is the Governor with you? Mr. Kane too?
If all the head of the xx is at Vandalia, the xx & bran of course
are left at poor bereaved Kaskaskia. Altho all this may be strictly
true yet I hope that Charles will not be tempted to leave a spot where
distinguished success has attended him: From a letter your aunt Helen
received from him dated 16th ult it appears that he sleeps in his store
& yet rather imagine diets there too: Between Mr Sidney Breese & myself
that same medical gentleman is most furiously in want of a prudent good
wife -- But he knows the land in which he lives & its facilities in
that particular -- I leave him to his own selection.
Our winter is quite severe. At the middle of Novr we had several days
of good sleighing: That snow however disappeared. From the middle of
December it has been an earnest winter. The thermometer in our village
stood on the morning of the 25th instant at 22 below zero -- the snow is
say 15 inches thick & the Hudson covered by ice of not inferior
measurement. Health however very generally prevails. Your climate probably
knows something of winter but not tot he extent of what is experienced
With the results of the campaigns at Washington & Albany you probably
occasionally hear. Our council of appointment will convene some time in
the beginning of the next month when it is expected the work of
To the right about, will commence on a gigantic scale. I am too old, and I
hope too wise, to take a very active part in irritabilities of this
nature -- after all, individuals not very numerous are involved: The great
mass of citizens go on pretty much as they did before, that is, as well as
they can & neither care or think much about political squabbles.
I am instructed by your Grandmamma & every uncle & aunt to assure you of
their undiminished affection. Jane & Helen confess themselves your
debtors & that they very soon will endeavor to behave very well. Eliza
& Susan must upon it that they are old enough and tall enough to
breck open a seal impressed by their friend SB as well as their older sisters.
Edwin is at home this winter & reads stoutly -- In May next he probably will
run the gauntlet. Sidney the farmer, sometimes with the axe but oftener
with a book is doing very well. We all enjoy excellent health for
which blessing I trust we are not unthankful.
Your aunt Duyckink spends the winter with her Grandson Francis at
Orandago. Your connections at Utica were all well when I last heard
from that place. We all long very much to see the hero of the lake
your brother. I think he is on board the Hornet? Let me soon know
that you have received this letter from your always affectionate Grand-parent
Sidney Breese Esq.