Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My Trouble Has Been So Great, Kimber Letter 9

The Kimber Letters are writings exchanged between the Kimber sisters and their mother, Keziah (Bennett) Kimber. The letters found their way to the sister’s descendants. They’ve been saved and shared among us for over 150 years. I treasure them and am grateful to the late Edna Raymond for giving me transcriptions.

In today’s letter Jane Eliza Kimber and husband Moses Seeley wrote to Sarah Bethia (Kimber) and William Mackney. The Seeley’s lived in Minisink, Orange Co., New York and addressed their letter to Sarah and William in Troy, Pennsylvania.

Seven weeks earlier Jane and Moses Seeley’s baby boy died. Jane apologized for not writing sooner but admits she wasn’t able to compose herself. Jane shares her heart wrenching pain over the loss of her little boy, Willie Emit.

        “O sister it was like tearing my heart from me to part with him …”

Jane’s grief will touch your heart.

Robert Reid's painting "Her First Born"

“Her First Born”
Painter Robert Reid, ca 1888
Courtesy Wikipedia Commons

In earlier Kimber letters the health of Kimber sister Julia Ann Elston was a concern to family members. Jane worried Julia Ann would “never be any better”.  Another sister, Abigail, remained with Julie Ann to care for her.

3rd Great Grand Aunt Jane included a short letter to her niece Mary Holly. As far as I know Mary wasn’t related to the Kimber’s. Perhaps she was Moses Seeley’s niece. Anyway, she was a close family friend and live-in help for Sarah and William Mackney.

Moses’ letter to William sounds like he's planning to leave Orange County. He tells his brother-in-law about his auction sale and says he will see him in March.


January the 21, 1855

Dear Brother and Sister

I set down this morning to write a few lines to
you to let you know we are all well and I hope
this will find you alI well and better than you
was when I last heard from you   you must
forgive me for not wrighting to you before this
for my trouble has been so great that I could
not compose my mind to write but by having faith
in God   I have given it up in a measure    you
have no doubt heard that little Willy Emit is no
more for Phebe has written to you the
particulars and Mother to    so it will be no use
for me to wright but, o Sister it was like
tearing my heart from me to part with him    if I
had not looked up to God for his help   I could
not went through it but I have the hope of one
day meeting him where parting will never be
again    that is all the comfort that I have in
thinking of Heaven but O sister I miss him
wherever I go and whatever I do    when I lie
down and when I arise enney place reminds me of
him    his little prattling voice is no more
heard nor his little hands patting around the
floor    I look around and say where is he    he
is gone home    gone home from this world of
trouble and affliction to rest in his fathers
bosem forever and ever    but O sister you have
passed through the same affliction and can feel
for me but I hope and trust that it is all for
the best that God has taken him from us but I
must drop this subject    I want you to wright
back as soon as you get this and wright if you
get Phebes  letter and if you have not  I will
wright you the particulars about the death    I
will now tell you about the rest   Julia Ann was
still getting worse the last   I knew from her
the dropsy was getting worse in her stomick and
I fear she will never be any better    Abigail is
with her yet    John folkes are well   I have
been to fathers and spent a week with them
they are well but I must close my letter    but
do wright to me as soon as you get this    if all
is well we shall be there with you soon    so no
more at present    but my love with you now and
forever    so good by
Jane Eliza Seely

Dear Mary

I received your letter and the note and have
sent it to them but I have not got it yet    I
thought that  I would get it and send it to
you and then there would be no danger of your
getting it    Mary Brink Courtright is married to
Emly Marsh and Mary Manners to John Haden
Josiah Seely wife has got a young son    I dont
know of anything more to wright to you at this
time so no more but remain your aunt til
Jane Eliza Seely to Mary Holy

Dear Brother
I will write a few lines to you    I had my
vendue december 27    my cows on an average 25
dollars per head    I sold 120 dollars worth of
hay and have got more than half of it yet    I
did not sel enny of my horses    horses is very
low out here    125 dollars for Ginney but I wont
take it for she is so fat she cant hardly see
grain is verry high out here    rye 1 shilling
corn 2 shil    buchwheat 10 shillings    Oats 5
shil   potatoes 100 dollars    money is verry
scarse here    I traded old bob away in Goshen
January 11   I got a gray horse for him even
they say he is worth 80 dollars    I told him she
would kick and strike so we traded so he took
her as she stood and I took gray as he stood but
he has got a case    he lict her til he was tired
out   he give three men 3 dollars to lick her
till she give up but my  gray is all right and
sound   but William i will come out some time the
first of March but writ as soon as you get this
so no more at present but remain yours
Moses Seely

SOURCE: Edna Raymond, a past Town of Minisink historian, gave me typed transcripts of the letters exchanged between the Kimber sisters and their parents. This letter is #9 of 31.

To read earlier Kimber Letters click on the label 'Kimber Letters' at the bottom of this post


  1. I particularly like the letter from Moses, because it is such a window into the world of a farmer.

    1. Yes, you're right Vera. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. Hello to everyone. So happy I found this blog. Phebe Kimber is a direct descendent of mine and I have, just within the last couple of weeks, began researching this part of my tree. Would very much like to connect with relatives of this line.

    1. I'm glad you found my blog too. Phebe's sister, Charity, is my ancestor. We'll talk more.