1813: Rev. Eli Field Cooley to Rev. William Schenck

This letter was written by Rev. Eli Field Cooley (1781-1860), D. D., son of Rinnah and his wife, Lucy Field, of Sunderland, Massachusetts. Eli graduated from Princeton in 1806 and was licensed by the Presbytery in 1809. He was serving the First Presbyterian Church in Cherry Valey, Otsego, New York when this letter was written in 1813. Eli’s first wife was Hannah Scudder (1787-1817) who is mentioned in this letter.

Eli F. Cooley “was a man of great and varied industry; was one of the founders of the American Bible Society, in 1816; induced the New Jersey Legislature to provide for the support of the blind, and of deaf mutes; was one of the building committee of the State Lunatic Asymlum at Trenton, and an active member of the committee which buile east and West Colleges at Princeton.” [Source: Fifty Years….by William Nelson, page 58]

Eli wrote the letter to his friend, Rev. William Schenck (1740-1823), a native of Monmouth county, New Jersey, an 1767 graduate of Princeton College, and a Presbyterian minister. At the time this letter was written in 1813, Rev. Schenck was the pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Huntington on Long Island. The letter was addressed to him at Princeton, however.

aamilfrench92

TRANSCRIPTION
Addressed to Rev’d. William Schenck, Princeton, New Jersey

Cherry Valley [New York]
March 1st 1813

Dear Schenck,

A long time has relapsed since I have written or received a letter that apologies are perhaps unnecessary. Many circumstances of an important nature have occurred among us & I presume with you since we have interchanged tokens of friendship. Sickness and death are subjects with which we have been familiar in this part of our country. Never, perhaps, since the first settlement of this country, so solemn & alarming period as the present. Many of our young men are swept away in the field of battle. number of them whom the [       ] shares fall — a prey to the pestilence which walketh in darkness. You can have no adequate concept of the extent of human misery which the last Autumn of winter here spread among us. Disease has spread from the Camp through all our towns and villages and vast numbers have fallen victims. In some towns the measles epidemic has been more alarming & mortal than in others. But in all it has been a distressing time. The whole land appears to be covered with [    ]th. In our village, some in almost every house have been or now are sick. But few deaths have as yet occurred and we pray God to remain [     ] for us. In Cooperstown & its vicinity, it has been more mortal. During the course of the two or three past weeks, several have died. Among the number are William  Dowse, Esq. ¹, Lewis Goodsell (carpenter) ², the wife of Peter Goodsell (Merchant) ³, Emma [Elvira] Clark [1798-1813], daughter of Cyrenus Clark. But we have reason to hope that this sickness is abating.

Our little children have both been sick but have recovered. I have never enjoyed such a state of health since I had the fever last summer as I used to enjoy. But we have abundant reason to hope for His goodness to us. At present we all enjoy comfortable health. Hannah has been constantly indisposed through the winter. I have seen in Trenton Federalist that a mortal disease has reigned in Monmouth. Please to inform me in your next whether any of our friends have died there.

James_Carnahan
James Carnahan (1775-1859) was the President of Princeton University from 1823-1854

Mr. [Henry] Dwight, I suppose, you have heard is settled at Utica. Was ordained February 4th, his salary $700. Mr. John Frost is to be ordained at Whitesborough [Utica, New York] on the third Wednesday [17th March] of this month. The people in those two places as well as the Presbytery greatly deplore the loss of Mr. [James] Carnahan. Perhaps he may do more good should he again preach in some other part of the vineyard. Mr. Carnahan is no ordinary man. We feel his loss.

The state of religion since the commencement of the war — except in a few places — has been at a stand or on the decline. It has been a remarkably cold time with us as to religion for sometime past, but I hope the [    ] is changing. Within two or three weeks past, two or 3 young ladies have become seriously concerned for themselves. I hope the [         ] may spread [      ]. How can it be possible that upstarts are perishing around, [and] that one who is set to watch for them & instruct them can be so stupid as I am. O for zeal proportion to the magnitude of the work.

It is reported here that Gen. [William Henry] Harrison has retaken Detroit and taken Malden. Ogdensburg is taken by the British. It is said about thirty of our men were killed. The British have taken all our public stores at that place and have recrossed the [St. Lawrence] river. Disgrace & Destruction appear to be our lot. The present season will probably present to us the [      ] gloomy prospects. The Lord reigns. Therefore we hope. And has He not a right to use the nations of the Earth readily to chastise one on other for their sins against Him?

Write us by next mail. Give us account of important news if you please. Is Isaac married? How is Mr. Carnahan? R[      ] & family well? &c. Mrs. [       ] gone to Eust[     ]?

Give our love to Isaac, [    ] & Sally, your [       ] and receive the same from, — Eli F. Cooley

Our love to C[    ] & [       ].


¹ William Dowse (1770-1813) died on 18 February 1813 in Cooperstown, Oswego, New York. He was elected as a Federalist to the US House of Representatives and died while in office.

² Lewis Goodsell (1770-1813) started a carpentry business about 1809 in Cooperstown but died in 1813 at the age of 43. He is listed among the Pioneer Cabinetmakers of Cooperstown, 1794-1850.

³ The wife of Peter Goodsell (1771-1851) of Cooperstown was Elizabeth Ruth Morehouse (1776-1813).

 

Uncategorized

Advertisements

Griff View All →

My passion is studying American history leading up to & including the Civil War. I particularly enjoy reading, transcribing & researching primary sources such as letters and diaries.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Spared & Shared 19

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Recollections of Army Life

by Charles A. Frey

The Civil War Letters of William Kennedy

Co. B, 91st New York Infantry

The Glorious Dead

Letters from the 23rd Illinois Infantry, the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry, the 64th New York Infantry, and the 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Cornelius Van Houten

1st New Jersey Light Artillery

Letters of Charley Howe

36th Massachusetts Volunteers

Sgt. Major Fayette Lacey

Co. B, 37th Illinois Volunteers

"These few lines"

the pocket memorandum of Alexander C. Taggart

The Civil War Letters of Will Dunn

Co. F, 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteers

Henry McGrath Cannon

Co. A, 124th New York Infantry & Co. B, 16th New York Cavalry

Civil War Letters of Frederick Warren Holmes

Co. H, 77th Illinois Volunteers

"Though distant lands between us be"

Civil War Letters of Monroe McCollister, Co. B, 6th OVC

"Tell her to keep good heart"

Civil War Letters of Nelson Statler, 211th PA

"May Heaven Protect You"

14th Connecticut drummer boy's war-time correspondence with his mother

Moreau Forrest

Lt. Commander in the US Navy during the Civil War

Diary of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry

Fighting with the Irish Brigade during the Peninsula Campaign

"Till this unholy rebellion is crushed"

Letters of Dory & Morty Longwood, 7th Indiana

"I Go With Good Courage"

The Civil War Letters of Henry Clay Long, 11th Maine Infantry

"This is a dreadful war"

The Civil War Letters of Jacob Bauer, 16th Connecticut, & his wife Emily

Spared & Shared 16

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Lloyd Willis Manning Letters

3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Co. I

The Yankee Volunteer

A Virtual Archive of Civil War Likenesses collected by Dave Morin

William Henry Jordan

Co. K, 7th Rhode Island Infantry

No Cause to Blush

The Bancroft Collection of Civil War Letters

William A. Bartlett Civil War Letters

Company D, 37th Massachusetts Infantry

The John Hughes Collection

A Virtual Archive of his Letters, 1858-1869

The Civil War Letters of Rufus P. Staniels

Co. H, 13th New Hampshire Volunteers

This is Indeed A Singular War

The Civil War Letters of Henry Scott Murray, 8th New York Light Artillery

The Letters of James A. Durrett

Co. E, 18th Alabama Infantry

Spared & Shared 15

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The Civil War Letters of George Messer

Company F, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Jeff's Prayers are as Effective as Abe's

The Civil War Letters of George S. Youngs, 126th New York Vols

Soldiering is a Very Uncertain Game

The Civil War Letters of Lemuel Glidden, Co. K, 145th Indiana Infantry

Tough as a Pitch Pine Knot

Letters of John Whitcomb Piper, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

%d bloggers like this: