Poughkeepsie, December 21st, 1827.
Dear Son Charles! Dear daughter Eliza! our much respected friend, Mrs. Brewer!
The lst dispatch we have had from Painesville was from your Eliza to our Eliza.
This, be sure, was well, very well; but we long to hear again and again. Believe me, my very dear
relatives, you are all very near our hearts. 500 miles shall never separate you from our warm
I returned from NYork about 4 weeks ago from attending as a witness on the Astor trial with James
Carver, one of his assorted tenants. I was there about 20 days. Mr. Astor succeeded in this suit.
When this important question will be decided, no one yet knows. Perhaps our legislature may, the ensuing session, take
the business up in earnest; pay Mr. A. his just demands & quiet the minds of 700 families in Putnam.
I brouht up a small cold I had caught in town, which increased since my return, but is now waining. The remainder of our family
happily are quite well and so is our neighborhood generally, except our neighbor Mrs. Allen, who has for
many weeks been confined to her room & bed and is not expected to recover. Within a month past has died
Mr. Jesse Oakley, 79, & Jane Tarpenning, a neice of Mrs. Capt. Harris. Last evening was sent by Edwin at the lower & Sidney at the upper house.
All well in either mansion. Elizabeth is still with her aunt Campbell, whether she went a fortnight since to
witness the nuptials of Duncan Campbell and a Miss Ferris(?). Sally M. went with her and has returned.
Mrs. Campbell begins to go about the house.
So, doctor, you have lately been to Cleveland! Is the Ohio canal progressing? Is any part finished?
When will the whole be completed? NYorkers feel interested in this work. A person at this place
wishing to visit NOrleans will take the rout via Buffalo & your artificial river. Our Hudson and Delaware
canal is nearly finished thro. It commences near Esopus Landing where the Walkil meets the tidewater & runs thence to
Carpenter's Point on the Delaware (65 miles). Then up the east bank of the Delaware (20 miles) to opposite the
mouth of the Lackawaxen abt 18 or 20 miles to the anthracite coal mines, said to be inexhaustible. Some 20 or 30 boats
have within a fortnight reached the Hudson from say, 40 miles interior, laden with lumber, leather, &c. This canal
is 35 feet wide & 4 feet wide(deep?). Locks only 9 feet wide but 75 in length.
Our autumn has been unusually cold and wet. November was truly a winter month. December to this date has been
milder; our navigation of the Hudson quite open. This iss a coat at present of 1 1/2 inches of hail & snow, which has put a few sleighs in requisition.
(end of Henry Livingston's handwriting)
My dear Brother
Papa has given me permission to write a postscript which I embrace with a great deal of pleasure. I have
but a very few minutes to write in & you know Papa is not very patient, therefore, dear Brother, you
must forgive me if I do not express myself very elegantly or write intelligably. I want to see your
little darling more than any thing else in the world. Don't you think you will come on and make us a
visit next spring or fall? You said th Baby looks like me. It has a very good right to, for you know the memorable
likeness between its own dear father and myself. We are all well and happy & often think of you, tho
we do not so often write. We had a visit from Cousin M. Platt & Mr. Forman, a young gentleman from NYork. They came
up to spend Thanksgiving & they staid more than a week. We have had pretty gay times, I tell
you -- 4 horse sleigh and bells had to fly. I want to write to you very soon, a long
letter, all by myself, and tell you all the news. I hope yo will favor me with an answer to let me know whether
it is acceptable. B. Hughson has been spending 6 weeks in NYork; has come home quite taken up with the city and its pleasures. We are going to have
Jane W. for a neighbor in the Spring. They are going in the farm-house on Mr. A's farm in Frear Town. Give my
love to Sister Eliza & kiss little E. for me and accept a great share of love for yourself.