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Gordon Wilson Collection

Gordon Wilson Collection

 

CORRESPONDENCE AND PAPERS OF THE WHEATCROFT FAMILY

            John Christopher Wheatcroft

                        1808 or 09 – Dec. 10, 1885; came to New Harmony in 1826 and joined the                        Owen Community; his wife was Ann Dransfield, 1815-1886

                        Alexander Burns, Jr., 1819 – June 25, 1846, editor of The Indiana

                        Statesman, died of tuberculosis at age 27

                        Edward Hudson Burton, 1820-1897, son of John Burton

17 Sept. 1837              Burns, Alexander, Jr., Cincinnati, Sept. 17, 1837.  To John Wheatcroft, Livingston, Clarke County, Illinois. 4 p.

                                    Left N.H., “the city of mental independence:, for Cincinnati to obtain work in his field of interest; unsolicited letters of introduction given him from Maclure and Achilles [Fretageot] to Miles Greenwood; also from Walker, Amphlett, Richard Owen; wages & living less attractive than in “Happy town” (N.H.);  discusses Thespian Society & some of plays they are presenting; by the time he’s 21 he hopes to go in business for himself – to commence a newspaper in Posey County, to equal of any in state; rejoices at the re-election of Robert Dale Owen to the State Legislature.

6 Mar. 1842                 Burns, Alexander, Jr., Cincinnati, Mar. 6, 1842. To John C. Wheatcroft, New Harmony, Posey County, Indiana. 4 p.

                                    Writes to friend requesting advice on starting publication of a Democratic newspaper, the location putting him in a quandary – the advantages & disadvantages of N.H. or Evansville; one of the main purposes of such a paper would be to help elect Robert Dale Owen to the U.S. Congress; background on his difficulties with Amphlett and James Snelling; however, he’s willing to forgive & forget & renew friendship with Snelling & hire him on the new paper; Amphlett has a great hold with Maclure even though The Disseminator has dragged along the last several years.  Warren [Josiah] has lately lectured in Cincinnati on the Time System; depression conditions are prevailing these days.

24 Aug. 1845              Burns, Alexander, Jr., New Harmony, Aug. 24, 1845.  To John C. Wheatcroft, care of Miles Greenwood, Eagle Foundry, Cincinnati, Ohio.  4 p.

                                    Report on election; “Young Democracy” triumphed locally, in the State Legislature, and in Congress despite the falsehoods of the opposition; town news – a fine concert, balls, circus coming; burial of Richard Owen’s little daughter Nora; has been given a fine horse by Nelson and saddle and bridle by R.D. Owen because of his services in the cause; Stickney is a scoundrel; Mr. Cooper a social lion; helped Turner to answer attack by Hovey.

10 July 1846                Twigg, William A., New Harmony, Ind., July 10, 1846.  To Messers Rowe, Corbin, Wheatcroft, New Harmony.  3 p.

                                    As Secretary of the Vestry of St. Stephen’s Church, Twigg is stating the conditions for rental of the Hall [former Harmonist church]

6 May 1859                 Burton, Edward Hudson, New Orleans, May 6, 1859.  to John C. Wheatcroft, New Harmony.  3 p.

                                    He is very agreeable to renting Wheatcroft space for his shop rent free; regarding difficulty with Mr. Rabear [Ribeyre] over free passage at the corner of Robinson’s Orchard (agreed to beforehand), Burton will refuse to rent it to him; R. Ford is to be informed of this matter.  [This may be reference to land lying west of present Catholic Church].

1847-1885                                      Wheatcroft, John C.  Account Book.  174 p.

Accounts for services rendered, including the care of cows and cattle; repair & maintenance of various properties, Working Men’s Institute bills, of which he was a member; charts of time worked on various homes.

Most prominent members of the community are named, among them:  Alexander Maclure, H.C. Cooper, D.D. Owen, Dr. Robson, Achilles Fretageot, E.T. Cox, Thomas Mumford, Charles H. White, Alexander Burns, R.D. Owen, Wm. Michaux, Wm. Flowers, John  Chappelsmith, Dr. Norword, George Warren, David Schnee, Victor Duclos.  See pp. 11 & 12 for amusing personal comments.

            Mary Isabel (Belle) Wheatcroft

                        1842-Mar. 14, 1896; married Etto J. Miller, 1839-1873

                        Alexander Maclure Fretageot, 1840-1862, son of Achille Emery and

                        Cecilia Noel; died of typhoid during the Civil War at Helena, Arkansas,

                        Sept.6

                        Godfrey Gundrum, 1837-1927

18 July 1861                Fretageot, Alexander M., Evansville Camp, Thursday, July 18,

  1. To Belle [Mary Isabel] Wheatcroft, New Harmony, IN 3 p.

Describes the New Harmony company’s trip to their army camp in Evansville; camp life; manes mentioned – Major Gavitt, Charly Randolph, Rich Hornbrook, Achilles Fretageot, Ell. Wheatcroft [Belle’s sister], Fanny (?), Mary Mumford; write him in care of Capt. John K. Highman.

25 Sept. 1861              Fretageot, Alexander M., Pilot Knob, Mo. To Belle Wheatcroft,

                                    New Harmony, Posey Co., Indiana.  4 p.

                                    For cleanliness and amusements New Harmony takes the lead over                                     other towns he’s been in; townspeople here fear Rebels will

                                    pounce on them so that cannon are ranged all around the

                                    surrounding mountains; interruptions of army life; old Ball tunes

                                    remind him of Charly [Randlolph] of old Union Hall; some

                                    talk that Martha was to come help Mrs. Truscott as nurse;

                                    hopes the 3 Harmony ladies will succeed in getting offices of

                                    nurses for regiment; respects to Ell.; too hurried now to answer

                                    Fannie’s note.

                                    [Susan Baldwin Truscott joined her husband in Missouri as

                                    a nurse; Florence Dale Owen Cooper and Lydia Hinckley did

                                    nursing in Evansville.]

28 Nov. 1861              Fretageot, Alexander M., Camp Fremont, Pilot Knob, MO. Nov.

                                    28, 1861.  To Belle Wheatcroft, New Harmony, Posey Co., IN 4 p.

                                    Difficulties of answering his mail; has to use Mrs. Truscott;s room

                                    as tent is too cold; suggests that she must miss the good times; has

                                    no suggestion for naming new society; temporary name “The Fine

                                    Crowd” seems appropriate; when soldiers return the Adelphi will

                                    rise again & debate the girls as they once did with the Minerva;

                                    no leaves for Christmas; names mentioned; Mary Miller, Anna,

                                    Mary M., Celia Rogers, A.M.S., Martha.

14 June 1862               Gundrum, Godrey, Tuscumbia, Alabama, June 14-17 1862.  To

                                    Belle Wheatcroft, New Harmony, Posey Co., Indiana. 8 p.

                                    Describes his situation in Tuscumbia, Alabama; water plentiful;

                                    townspeople extremely unfriendly; company cook run out of a

                                    house when he honestly confessed to being a Yankee Negro; Gen.

                                    Buelle has issued orders to furnish 250 teams, purpose unknown; a

                                    whole division almost captured by Rebel cavalry; fate of Negroes

                                    who gave Union army information was death by hanging;

                                    possibility of a female regiment of southern ladies offers

                                    interesting aspects; he is sending this letter through politeness of

                                    Mr. Warren [George?]

            Albert and Eleanor (Ella) Wheatcroft Norcross

                       

                        Eleanor, 1844-1892; Albert, 1842-1864, died in Civil War

                        Eugene Skinner Thrall, 1843-Jan. 1889; married Mary Mumford whose

            brother, Thomas Mumford, Jr., became Thrall’s partner in  a fine store; a                 a man of culture and refinement who purchased and remodeled the Opera

            House in 1888.

25 July 1863                [Thrall, Eugene], Camp at Vicksburg, July 25, 1863.  To Albert

                                    Norcross, Esq., Company F 25th Regiment Indiana Volunteers.  2 p

                                    Vicissitudes of army life; campaign around Jackson, Miss;

                                    description of present camp; N.H. news includes John

                                    Bennett’s marriage, Al’s own engagement; people mentioned –

                                    Tom, Charley Randolph, Dock Hayden

29 May 1864               Wheatcroft [John C. and Ann D.], New Harmony, May 29, 1864.

                                    To Serg’t Albert Norcross, Company F 25th Indiana, Vet, Vol.

                                    Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 4th Division, 16th AC Decatur, Alabama. 4 p.

                                    John is serving his county by hoeing potatoes and generally

                                    conceding to the demands of the ladies; observations on what

                                    the good life in the South might have been had not a few lusted

                                    after power; sad plight of Negroes; victory is being dearly bought;

                                    Ann apologizes for not writing sooner; assures Al of her concern,

                                    anxiety, and affection  for him;  news of family & friends

12 Jan. 1867                Ferd [unidentified], Mount Vernon, Indiana, Jan. 12, 1867.  To

                                    Ella [Eleanor] Norcross, New harmony, IN  4 pp.

                                    Thanks her for photograph of her husband who was killed in the

                                    Civil War; tells her how close they were & how much he misses

                                    Him, the best friend he ever had; Christmas festivities in Mt.

                                    Vernon reasonably enjoyable; working now in a Commission

                                    House, but he plans to go on the river having already a place on

                                    The “Armada” when the ice, which has shut down Mt. Vernon,

                                    Breaks up.  Names mentioned:  Hulda, Lollie.

10 Sept. 1878              Norcross, Ella [Eleanor], Philadelphia, Sept. 10, 1878, Sunday

                                    morning.  To father and mother, Mr. & Mrs. John Wheatcroft,

                                    [New Harmony, Indiana] 4 p.

                                    Writing now since most of time will be spent visiting the

                                    Centennial; sees a number of their friends including Arthur

                                    Fauntleroy; disappointed in Cincinnati; wishes to receive

                                    mail especially from brothers George & Charlie & sister Belle;

                                    love and remembrances to other family members and friends

                                    at home.

George D. Wheatcroft

           

            1849-1898

           

            Hal Wilmoth, ? – June, 1911

26 June 1864               Wilmoth, Hal L., Princeton, June 26, 1864.  To cousin

                                    George D. Wheatcroft, [Grayville, IL?] 2 p.

                                    Life in Princeton; difficulties of work with his boss; wishes

                                    he could get down to Grayville; there is to be a barbecue

                                    in Harmony on the Fourth; “Hurrah for Grant.”  Names

                                    mentioned:  Will Miller, Dr. West, Snelling, John Burton.

Miscellaneous Papers

25 June 1864               Miller, Etto J.

                                    Discharge papers, Indianapolis, IN, June 25, 1864 1 p.

29 April 1889              Miller, Belle [Mary Isabel Wheatcroft]. New Harmony

                                    IN.

                                    Civil War widow’s pension certificate and notice. 2 p.

                                    Wheatcroft Family, New Harmony, IN

                                    Miscellany

                                    Certificate stating that Mary S. Wheatcroft is a member of the

                                    Friendly Botanic Society & has the right to prepare medicines.

                                    New Harmony, Indiana, August 21, 1829

                                    Note for John Wheatcroft to Mrs. Chappellsmith requesting

                                    Berries, n.p., n.d.

                                    Receipts for jin [sic], ginger pop, cordial, conijac [sic]

                                    Brandy, coloring

CORRESPONDENCE AND PAPERS OF THE BROOKS FAMILY

            Dr. Liberty Darling Brooks, 1813- Sept. 1883, a “Thomsonian physician who

            Believed in the use of vegetable medicine only: [Local history file]; married

            Winnifred Hatch, 1819-1898

            Richard Brooks, 1840-1886, married Mary Jennie Hall, Nov. 27, 1867;  kept

            a meat market and was for a few years in charge of the Tavern;  Mrs. Brooks

            Left New Harmony after husband’s death and herself died in 1910.

            William Fauntleroy, 1826-1906; married Rachel Homer in 1855

            Jacob Ruchti, 1842-1883

            Dr. Robert Robson, 1801-1878

Brooks Family Items

1838                            Owen, William, New Harmony, Indiana [1838]

                                    Copy of the bond of William Owen to Liberty D. Brooks and

                                    Charles H. White.  2 p.

27 Nov. 1840              Hatch, Mary A., Mt. Pleasant, Martin County, PA., Nov. 27,

  1. To children: daughter Winnifred and her husband Liberty

Darling Brooks, [New Harmony, IN]. 1 p.

Informs them of son John’s death; general news of rest of family

Members; hopes so much they will come for a visit soon.

13 Mar ?                      Hatch, Rose E., Mt Pleasant [PA], March 13, ?.  To sister

                                    Winefride [sic], Brooks, New Harmony, Posey Co., IN. 2 p.

                                    Delay in writing due to illness; she is now well as is rest of

                                    family; news of friends and relatives.

Richard Brooks

6 May 1860                 Brooks, Liberty Darling, New Harmony, May 6, 1860.  To

                                    Richard Brooks, c/o T.L. Bethel & Bro, Newburgh, Warrick

                                    Co., Ind.

                                    Sending son things by Charles Stuffin who will take them to

                                    Evansville; does he need more shirts; some things are marked

                                    R.B. others or not.

19 Aug. 1860              Brooks, Richard, Newburgh, August 19, 1860.  To Father, Mother

                                    & Sister – Liberty, Winnifred, Emeline [Emma] Brooks, [New

                                    Harmony, IN].  1 p.

                                    Mr. Odle of N.H. visited; likewise Gov. Willarce [Willard?] who

                                    was unwell; several drownings have occurred; since rain is scarce

                                    corn & tobacco prices have gone up.

8 Oct. 1860                 Pitts, Edward A., Mt. Vernon.  Oct. 8, 1860.  To Richard [Brooks],

                                    [Newburgh, IN]. 1 p.

                                    Had a fine time last week at the County Fair; Mr. Cooper ran

                                    his horse into a fence resulting in the horse’s death and injury

                                    to himself; met many young ladies from N.H. including Miss

                                    E. Robson whom he loved very much; Marth, Inis & Emma would

                                    like t see Richard; election next week – Edward’s father is a

                                    candidate for County Representative; Blackburn for County

                                    Treasurer; Douglas “all the go in this town.”

11 Sept. 1862              Perky, F. G. convalescent Hospital, Evansville, IN, Sept. 11, 1862.

                                    To Richard [Brooks] [Newburgh, IN]. 3 p.

                                    Still in the bull pen although getting along tolerably well; no good

                                    news to be expected from such a place;  hopes he may soon join

                                    his regiment or get discharged; believes the war will continue for

                                    another 3 years; wishes peace would come & the Union preserved;

                                    however, a few more generals need their pockets filled with green  

                                    banks before change can be expected; has heard that half of his      

                                    regiment has deserted; he feels almost the same way.

9 Jan. 1863                  Brooks, Richard, Wetang [?] Nashville, Jan. 9 1863.  To Mother,

                                    Mrs. L. D. Brooks, New Harmony, Posey County, In. 1 p.

                                    Has just returned from Cairo, a better trip than before; John

                                    Robson will be better off with his father than as a soldier; many

                                    soldiers are returning with paroles from Gen. Price; they say they

                                    are tired of the war; the people here are “democrats of the rib

                                    stripe”.

23 Jan. 1864                Brooks, Richard, Cleveland, Tenn., Jan. 23, 1864.  To parents and

                                    sister, Liberty Darling, Winnifred and Emma Brooks, New

                                    Harmony, Posey County, Ind.  2 p.

                                    Mail is scarce; some boys have had not mail since they left home;

                                    he has had more luck than most; peace prospects are fair; sees

                                    Wm. Faunt Le Roy and H. C. Stallings; has heard from Jacob

                                    Ruchti and John Althouse; camp is scattered between Cleveland

                                    and Chattanooga; this part of state looks better than rest because

                                    citizens were Union people so fences have not been destroyed;

                                    looks something like home.

Oct. 1864                    Robson, Dr. Robert, Surgeon G1. Ind. Vol, New Harmony.  To the

                                    Examing Surgeon, n.d, n.p. 1p.

                                    From long acquaintance with Richard Brooks he has never

                                    considered him capable of withstanding the life of a soldier;

                                    Richard has suffered from chorea and exostosis of the leg.

15 Feb. 1865               Brooks, Richard, Cleveland, Tenn., Feb. 15, 1865.  To parents

                                    & sister, Liberty, Winnifred, Emma Brooks, New Harmony,

                                    Posey County, Ind., 4 p.

                                    Receipt of mail poor.  N. H. boys in his camp: Wm Faunt Le Roy,

                                    H. C. Stallings, Elias Johnson, Wm R. Johnson – brother-in-law

                                    of Jacob Utley, James Hans, John Williams; what his outfit does

                        depends on Sherman’s success & his depends on the state of the                             roads; mention of numerous N.H. people: Dr. Mann, Eliza, Clara,

                        Mrs. Wiley & Ellen, John Gregory, Mr. Corbon [Corbin?]

                                    Envelop marked “soldier’s letter”.

27 Feb. 1865               Brooks, Dick [Richard], Chattanooga, Tenn., Feb 27, 1865.  To

                                    parents and sister, Liberty, Winnifred, Emma Brooks, New

                                    Harmony, Posey Co., Ind. 2 p.

                                    Left Cleveland day before yesterday and all the boys that went

                                    from Harmony are here; will very likely be seeing Dr. John

                                    Robson in a few weeks; doesn’t know where they go next,

                                    probably to Louisville where he will look up A. L. Smith [?];

                                    doesn’t know where to tell them to write, but will himself write

                                    as often as he can on the road when he has stamps.

19 April 1865              Brooks, Dick [Richard], Camp near Raliegh, N.C., April 19,

  1. To parents and sister, Liberty, Winnifred, Emma

Brooks, [New Harmony, IN].  2 p.

First opportunity to write since leaving Wilmington; is sending home heavy Cav. coat in care of Cooper & Hunsdon;; moving camp now so will write soon; Wm. Faunt Le Roy, J. Ruchti, and H. Shaver are in same camp.

25 April 1865              Brooks, Dick [Richard], In camp near Raleigh, N.C., April 25,

  1. To parents and sister, Liberty, Winnifred, Emma Brooks,

[New Harmony, IN].  4 p.

No action going on as they are awaiting results of negotiations;

may be going in pursuit of Johnson [a Confederate commander –

Perhaps Bushrod Rust Johnson?] who has lead them a merry chase;

He may as well come to terms now as it will be worse for him when he is captured; health is improved 7 and he is in good spirits and ready to travel again afoot, which is the way, as the stage never comes along; pleased with officers who come from the

Ranks and understand well what a private endures, so used to hard

Beds he will take to the floor when he returns home; tell Mrs. Faunt Le Roy that Will is all right.

28 May 1865               Brooks, Dick [Richard], Washington, May 28, 1865.  To parents

                                    and sister, Liberty, Winnifred, Emma Brooks, New Harmony,

                                    Posey County, Ind. 3 p.

                                    No letters from home since he left Louisville; however, has heard

                                    through Wm Faunt Le Roy that they are all well; fair prospects of

                                    being home by July 4th for a dance in Union Hall; 62 men already

                                    mustered out, they may be next; Wm Faunt Le Roy and J. Ruchti

                                    are in good health.  Envelope marked “soldier’s letter.”

6 June 1865                 Brooks, Dick [Richard], Washington City, D.C., June 6, 1865.  To

                                    parents and sister, Liberty, Winnifred and Emma Brooks, New

                                    Harmony, Posey Co., Ind. 3 p.

                                    No letter yet; it would seem that mail to Washington should arrive

                                    without delay; in a very pretty camping area with trees and

                                    honeysuckle; some of the boys have visited the Capitol and Patent

                                    Office; the Sanitary Commission has sent potatoes, onions, pickled

                                    cucumbers, canned tomatoes, & lemons to the camp; Ben

                                    Williams arrived yesterday.

12 Oct. 1866               Smith, A. L., Louisville, Oct. 12, 1866.  To Richard Brooks,

                                    New Harmony.  2 p.

                                    Concerning a job traveling which he wishes him to consider;

                                    since he needs someone by Nov. 1 he’d like an immediate

                                    answer as to terms, etc.

1 Jan. [1865?]              Brooks, Dick [Richard], Bridgeport, Ala, New Year’s Day

                                    [1865?].  to parents and sister, Liberty, Winnifred and Emma

                                    Brooks, [New Harmony, Ind.] 2 p.

                                    Pleasant day though some snow had fallen; some of Hood’s men,

                                    barefoot & nearly naked, came in to take the oath and were sent

                                    north;  Hood’s [John Bell, Confederate general] career is about

                                    wound up; before Dick’s 12 months are up the Southern

                                    Confederacy will be played out; the Gov. is feeding 2/3 of the

                                    people.  7 men including 3 officers of a cavalry unit were

                                    captured by a gun boat near Decatur; they were all “strong

                                    Rebels” who will find the Northern prison fair & very different

                                    from the treatment given by them to our soldiers; he has “but          

                                    (dam) little feeling for them.”