Henry Livingston, Jr.
Sidney Breese

Transcription - Illinois State Archives
Chief Justice Sidney Breese Collection

Poughkeepsie Aug 20th 1819

Most beloved Grandson!

As years increase memory generally decreases -- mine, however is not yet so much impaired but that I perfectly recollect that you are this moment a letter in my debt; So that the instant this scrap is put in your hand you will owe me two epistles. But no matter, it is all in the family & I am confident you are willing & able to set everything right.

Long before this reaches you I hope your old chum and uncle Charles will mix the vapour of his cigar with that of yours. His last letter to us was written at Pittsburgh where he arrived the 30th ult. His letter was dated on teh day of his arrival. His heavier baggage started with him from Philadelphia. It, in a transport waggon. He's in a stage coach. The waggon probably will require xx days in performing a journey which the coach compleated in five. He has written that the Ohio is too low to admit of the passage of the larger vessels generally in use-- And on the day of his arrival, He, in companion with a gentleman who was taken in the coach at Harrisburgh, was proceeding to Louisville in Kentucky, had purchased a skiff, awning and all, for $6. with which they intend to descend the Beautiful river as low as Louisville. From there perhaps more comfortable boats may be had. From his haste in making his aquatic arrangement, on the very day of his arrival, it is quite evident that he proposes to pass down the river without his more ponderous baggage-- How that is to go on -- where he is to meet it -- or, whether he ever will meet it is, to me, altogether uncertain. You western Gentlemen know best how western expeditions are to be conducted; But to my Atlantic mind, the more feazible way would be to be as little separated from the baggage as possible, especially when that baggage consisted of the means of future support. Heaven I hope has blessed my wanderer & that he now is safely with, or near you.

??? village has been a scene of gala for some days. On the 15 ins one corps of cadets from West-point, 240 in number, accompanied by baggage, waggons, tents &tc, &tc arrived here & encamped on a green field 2 or 300 yards north of H.A.L's mansion, & really looked altogether militaire. They every day performed evolutions with an exactness & spirit which did them great credit. Their band of music was exquisite. Every attention was paid them-- On their part all was decorum & politeness. The citizens had up a superb ball at which a hundred of our Belles had an opportunity of gazing on upwards of 200 Beauxes they never before had seen-- My girls however were not at it. On the 18th they left this place for Hudson (the termination of their excursion) highly pleased with the hospitable reception they had met with. On the day they left Poughkeepsie they came all to dine with Governor Lewis under an arbor he had erected on the lawn in front of his mansion.

I lately have received a prospectus, from I do not know who, about a map of Illinois &tc. One thing in that communication I was pleased with -- your people I find by some means lost sight of your river Illinois -- Chicago -- the lakes -- our canal -- the Hudson & New York. In a few years your exports must be enormous & this will be their route to the Atlantic. Perhaps the eastern sections of your state may join the Indianians in making the Wabash communicate with lake Erie. This would be another valuable outlet. We are doing our duty-- You will do yours -- And all will eventually be well.

I wish I was acquainted with your friend Mr. Kane. Altho unknown I beg you to induce him to accept of my respectful consideration. If Charles is with you when you receive this tell him to write very often. And you -- immediately rib your pen & fall to. I am just returned from a fortnight stay int he highlands overlooking some public surveys. I propose in a few days to go to Albany, & perhaps again go to the highlands. Tell Charles that every body here adores him & wish him here again -- But I hope he will do better at K.

Your G.mama & aunts all - all - all exceedingly love you -- Your 2 uncles also -- We unitedly aspire HEAVEN bless our Sidney Breese.

Henry Livingston


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