submitted and copyrighted by Ellen Landers
October 13, 2000
The individual who received these letters was my gr-gr-grandfather, John Richard Weller, who lived in New London, Iowa. George Whitfield Weller (b abt 1825), the writer of these letters, was the son of David R. Weller and Mary (Polly) Matthis and a cousin to John Richard Weller (b 6-5-1827), son of William Weller and Nancy Shields Denny.
Canton July 11, 1849
It becomes my painfull duty to announce to you the death of Fanny M(?) Bennett my next oldest sister. This sad event took place on the night of the first of this month. She left a daughter some two weeks old. I now have two sisters which of us will be called next god only knows. Daniel was in his 31 years, Cyrus in his 27, David in his 22 and Fanny is her 20. This last dispisation fall heavily upon me as our number is decreasing so very fast I expect that I will have to return to Kentucky as soon as I can do so. Being the only brother left of course I should feel my self under obligations to my Mother in these her deep afflictions. Her health is not good at this time. indeed I feare this sad event will hasten her to the toomb. I do not calculate on leaving this state before next spring. Of this I will inform you. my health is very good at this time. times are very dull at present. I should have paid you a visit this spring had I not been compelled to go to Kentucky I would like to heare from you. Give my respects to all write soon.
Canton, March 27, 1851
It becomes my painful duty to announce to the death of our Cousin Samuel Weller. Since our uncle Samuel Weller who died sometime this past winter in California whither he (illegible)give in quest of gold I have not learned of the precise time he died. If I do so I will inform you. His disease was typhoid fever. His death was calm and peaceful with blessful prospect of happiness in the world of spirit. This has deep sorrow and gloom been brought in the family of our_______ uncle , Sister Elizabeth was present when the sad news reached them. she describes that scene as most heartrending indeed when _______ences of this nature is communicated to us. I can but look back ___________the fearful ravages of death ________________ciate family is all too well as I Know him appreciate the lots of dear relatives merrily in the midst of life weare in death. I should have been to see you ere this butt here but have been a greate demand for work that I could leave but you need not think that guilt not visit you or have no inclination to do so if I know my own heart I know it yearns toward your firstess family and nothing should afford me sure pleasure. That tho with you all around your family fireside and mingle in ____ together in social conversations very name of Weller sounds pleasant to my ears and brings recollection of many precious hours spent in the different family circles. I certainly will come to see you some time in Summer at providential interference. I will away myself of the first opportunity to visit you. I Received a letter a few days since from Cousin Polly Weller. All and relations in the Region of County are well. They compel very much of your Father and family not writing to them and Requested me to ask you to write to them. I have not married yet and to tell you the truth then is no apparent likely hood of my doing so very soon. Sometime I think that I am old enough then again to the contary but one thing is certain that it is time I was thinking of the matter more sincerely if I ever intend so doing. My prospects for making a living is very good by useing economy I think I can make some money beside. The order of the Sons of Temperance which orders I claim to be a consistant member the cause of temperance. Surely is one taught with a great deal of interest and should command the attention of all good citizens. When I look about meand see the humiliating and disgraceful scenes produced by the use of a[ppar]ent spirits my soul shudders within me__________ hoping. Strange what man has done with all the higher on a noblest qualities made after the image of his creator and of possessing the most commanding talents. I say how strange that he should so degrade himself by guzzeling down the distilled damnation until he is brought down lower than a beast. I Said lower than a best for a beast would ________________ drink it. Please present my love to all individually and collectively and
believe I Shall ever remain Affectionately your cousin
Write Soon and often. Tell me how to get to your house.
Back of letter has address to Mr. John Weller esq, New London, Iowa, return address Canton, Mo.
Canton, April 23, 1851
I received intelligence a few days since to the effect that Uncle Samuel Weller is now at James Ashbaughs on the Missoure River and that he will be in this place in two or three weeks. in the event of his so doing you may calculate on seeing him and my self in a short time. there is probability of James Weller accompanying us. Most cordially do I congratulate you. Wishing that you may enjoy all the blessings apprestaining to a commubial State. I am always delighted to heare of my relations marrying and never do so but what I at the same time wish them abundant Success in all things. I received a letter from home yesterday from which I learn that my Mothers in bad health. Unwelcome news to me but it can not be otherwise expected as she is past the meredian of life and in the natural course of things we can not expect herto remain with us much longer. Nothing particularly interesting going on here. I have not been very well for a few days past having strong symptoms of typhoid fever though I think I will be well in a few days.
George W. Weller
Canton, Ocob 10th, 1854
It would be doing injustice to my feelings did I not at this time answer your letter informing me of the death of your much loved brother my dearly esteemed Cousin except—the Sympathy of one who knows too well how to appreciate the loss of dear Brothers & Sisters. In parting with Samuel you have parted with an affectionate and loving Brother his wife with a devoted husband and children with an indulgent parent – But why mourn we when such assurances are left. No that if we like him follow the precepts of one common Savior that we shall again meet him where partin is no more and where death will no more disturb our peaceable and happy communion. Present my best wishes and Sincere sympathies to my widowed cousin. I am sincerely wish that her sorrow may be tempered by the consolation in that world where a reunion will take place and where parting will be no more. Our general health is good. All join in Sending their love to all without distinction. I have no news that would interest you. In fact I could with nothing that would assuage your grief. This sad dispensation carrys my thoughts back to the far distant graveyard in Kentucky where lies so many of those who were so neare and deare to me. I look too to the hill neare this place where I so recently deposited the remains of a Sister who had long suffered bodily afflictions but whose Spirit is now holding sweet communion with that of my cousin past deare Brother = But I must close my thoughts – are becoming too sad My kindest regards to all. Let me heare from you often