Letter #7 – JANUARY 8, 1860  



SUMMARY
TJ speaks very highly of his regard for Caleb and clearly is intent on holding out "an olive branch. " - yet did not address this letter to Caleb. (Will is actually TJ's cousin first removed for those who follow these relationships.)

We have no idea why Thomas Jackson had fallen out with the Slater family but it sounds to be pretty divisive

Although American slavery did not feature in Thomas jackson's earliest letters, it was already a hot topic by 1859
Here John Logan supports slave hunters rounding up a fugitive family while Lincoln, Seward and Sumner look on in anger.

Source: Library of Congress; www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/chp/item/2012645248

TRANSCRIPTION

Reading Jany 8, 1860



Dear Cousin Will,
After a long silence I feel as if I want to know something about my English relations and to show that I entertain no unkind feelings I write to you as the one with whom I am last and best acquainted. It is very likely that we may never meet again in this world, therefore it would be a great folly to bear malice or harbor hate when all cause of difficulty is at an end. Therefore I earnestly hope that we can let bygones be bygones. Perhaps there were errors on both sides. And now it is past the motto of wisdom is to forget and forgive, and on which side so ever it may be, throw in the balance as a free gift of kindness and settle up the account of all that was vexatious and unpleasent by a renewal of amity and fraternal feelings for the rest of our lives. You know that there is not a man living in this wide world that I respect more, or think more highly of than I do your Father. And therefore am equally willing to think well of his sons & all the rest of his Family. Do you know that for the last 30 years of my life, the example of your good Father has been of the very greatest advantage to me. I knew your Fathers history from the start. He settled at Langly mill









page 2


and started his business life with but little to begin with. For forty years he has made the very most of his means and fought the battle of life like a brave man, with the most unflinching firmness and praiseworthy perseverence, giving his mental and physical powers to the attainment of his objects with an energy & a will that could not fail of success. Many a time in bygone years, when I met with losses, difficulties and vexations in this far off foreign land, has my mind gone back to your Father at Langly mill, and the thought that he could hold his own & make headway there, has filled me with more firm determination to stick to the one spot and "put it through" in spite of every obsticle or misfortune that came in my way. And so here I am yet, sticking to it as close as I can and most likely shall continue so to do untill I am full as old as your Father now is, if I should live so long. But business here still continues dull. We have only about one third of the hands at work we had in the summer of 1856. And were it not for combining the coal business with the rope walk it would be worse yet. I want to know how you all are and how Dear Old Aunt Riley is. I'm going to write to Watsons & make up some more money for her again & will send it in a week or two. In the meantime I









page 3


hope you & your Father will see that she is made comfortable this cold winter. I see by the papers that the weather has been very severe in England. Thermometer near zero and plenty of snow. That is almost American weather. We have had it 15 to 20 degrees below zero in some parts of Pennsylvania & lots of sleighing skating and frolick for the young & healthy folks. For myself I have not been so well, so far this winter as I was last. A tug or two with the old enemy. -- All the rest of the family and old friends are about as usual. Reading it is about in the usual style too as far as appearences go. I suppose you sometimes see American News papers. I will send you some if you would like to know how the new world wags as well as the old one Hoping soon to hear from you I am Your affectionate cousin

Thomas Jackson
PS Aunt Watson is about as well as she was last winter






AMBASSADORS' NOTES

In passing, TJ bemoans that his business is "Dull" and that could not have survived were it not for "combining the coal business with the rope walk"

This is relevant since we find that Will went into the coal business after returning to England.

We believe that Caleb Slater was about 15 years older than TJ

We welcome your comments on this document
or this website in general.

Click here to leave a comment


READERS' COMMENTS