“I expect to be growing younger every year...”
~ 1845 ~
Providence County Rhode Island
Page © TNGenNet, Inc. 2005. All Rights Reserved.
Transcription: © Jim Greve 2005

Stampless folded letter sheet.
Circular red postmark:
Red handstamp rate:
       Miss Sarah G. Richardson
       Pontiac, Michigan
       W.T. Doleson
       36 Liberty

Providence postmark.
(full letter sheet front)
Providence September 15th 1845
Dear Niece
  I should have written you long ago and now I have no good excuse to offer for no doing so. I suppose you now occasionally think of the young beaux a little and will the more readily excuse me for my negligence. We are in tolerable health at present, my wife has been much out of health since last March, but is rather better at this time. I presume you expect me out to see you this fall, but I fear I shall be obliged to omit going until next year, unless the business of Father’s estate should make it necessary and in that case I should have to put off going until very late in the season which would make it necessary for me to come home all the way by land. I now hold the office of Surveyor General of lumber and this is a very busy year for that business, and I could not well leave until the middle of November or just in time to cross the lake before the navigation closed. I shall probably decline a reelection (which takes place in February) in which case I shall be at liberty and could leave home for a few weeks at any time which would be most advisable to visit Michigan, for the purpose of closing up the business of the estate.
  Please request your Father to write me on his return from the copper region, and state what progress he has made in the business named, and what the future prospect is in regard to the collections yet to be made. I hear that your farmers have made good crops this year and I presume will obtain fair prices for their wheat, if that is the case should think they would be in funds this fall.
  I was sorry to hear of the sickness you wrote about in your last letter and was surprised at the fatality which attended it. Your village must have appeared gloomy at the time you speak of. I suppose there has been great improvements made in it since I was there in 1842. Our city has increased rapidly within the last five years. The number of inhabitants being now about 32,000, nearly three times the number there was in 1820 when I first came here to live. There is a large Irish population here, oweing to the demand for the kind of labour which they seem best qualified to perform, consequently the increase has been a large share of it, of that class of persons who are not generally considered an improvement to society.
  We are about forming an Horticultural Society which will probably embrace members from all parts of the state. The object is to improve and increase the production of fine fruits, flowers, and vegetables - a thing much needed in Providence. There was an exhibition of fruits & flowers on the 6th inst. mostly the produce of the gardens in the city. It was rather late for flowers, but you would have been delighted with some of the samples of Peaches, Plumbs, & grapes with which the tables were well supplied. At the close of the exhibition the articles were sold at auction, and produced a handsome sum of money. Some of the Peaches sold as high as four cents each, in small quantities as they were sent by different individuals. I was much pleased with your sample of Painting. My respects to all.
Yours Truly
Hiram Hill


Dear Sister: I thought Sarah would excuse me if I filled up her sheet in writing to her Mother. I believe it is not polite except in family’s. I wished to mention to you that we have received a letter from Mary Clarke, she wrote that her family and Mr. Shelden’s were well. [Illegible] he has had an attack of the fever and ague. Adelia’s family were also well. She wrote something about the drought there, said they had not had rain enough in four or five months to lay the dust. They had raised nothing, and many familys had been obliged to move away where they could obtain credit for provisions. Others were sending their cattle into Tennessee to winter. In the woods, the timber was dead. It must have been very distressing to the poor farmers if the wealthiest were so badly off. The weather has been very warm and dry here, but there has been plenty of business, so the people are generally thriving. When you come on here again, you will not find us in the outskirts of the city. We are already pretty well hemmed in. We have been extending our house by making a kitchen on the ground, that I think you will pleased to hear. Hiram has made it very convenient and I expect to be growing younger every year now. I think we are growing rather polished too, but that I leave you to judge when you get here. I certainly wear handsomer caps, for Jabez’s girl is our milliner. I wish to be remembered to all that I became acquainted with while in Pontiac. I was disappointed in not receiving a visit from Judge Bagly and wife. If any one else should come on here, request them to visit us. Mother sends love to all.
Yours Affectionately
M.A. Hill

  This letter, dated 15 September 1845, written by Hiram Hill (1803-1876) in Providence, Rhode Island to his niece Sarah G. Richardson in Pontiac, Michigan.
  Sarah was the daughter of Origen Drew Richardson (1795-1878), lieutenant governor of Michigan from 1842 to 1846, when this letter was written. Richardson and his family later moved to the Nebraska Territory in 1854. Lt. Gov. Richardson was married to Hiram Hill’s sister Sarah P. Hill in 1828.
  Hiram writes to his niece about his opportunity to visit them in Michigan, mentions the settlement of his father’s estate, the sickness in Pontiac, and the exploding population in Providence, due mainly to the influx of the Irish (for whom he does not have kind words), and he also writes about the formation of a horticultural society. There is also a postscript written by Hiram’s wife, Mary Ann (Fowler) Hill (1807-1856) to her sister-in-law Sarah Richardson. It contains mostly family news, but she also mentions the addition of a kitchen to their house, and how refined they are becoming.
Jim Greve

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This page last updated on Thursday, August 13, 2015