Henry Livingston, Jr.
Sidney Breese

Transcription - Illinois State Archives
Chief Justice Sidney Breese Collection

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 here.

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

Henry Livingston.

Sidney Breese Esq.


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