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.