How many of us stand on the hopes and dreams of the pioneering Minors? With yesterday’s publishing of the 1872 letter between brothers Samuel and John, I am reasonably certain that I have many unmet cousins in the Midlands and West Coast states of America.
Collating the data from the letter, a Thomas Minor Society register, and Federal and state census reports from 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880, I can track one piece of the Minor Migration.
Somewhere, out there, beneath the waning gibbous moon, I have cousins in Iowa, Illinois and Oregon. If you are one of the migrated Minors, I hope you will leave a message, continuing the conversation begun almost 140 years ago between brothers Samuel and John.
On Mondays, many geneabloggers don the hat of amanuensis, to record and transcribe primary sources within our care. Today I begin sharing the records of Samuel and Elly Lowery Minor found among the papers of Samuel’s brother, my great³ grandfather, John Pearson Minor.
On the 22 September 1872, Samuel Minor of Cedar Rapids, Iowa sat down to write his older brother, John Pearson Minor of Whiteley, Greene County, Pennsylvania. The letter lacks basic punctuation and words are imprecisely spelled. I have taken the liberty of translating the newsy note, rather than transcribing Samuel’s words verbatim . Click on the images below to read the letter yourself!
Cedar Rapids, Iowa September the 22 1872
Dear Brother, I take this opportunity of writing to you. We’re all well as usual. I hope this will find you all the same. We have had very rainy weather here since the first of August so it is very difficult to save grain and make hay. Our wheat was very good. We have thrashed and have 26 bushels to the acre. Our corn is very good. Oats and hay not so good. I got a letter from Ellis not long since and they were all well. He brags very much of the health of their county and has 200 acres of land and 64 head of cattle, 40 milk cows. He said they need not lay up any wintering and their cattle is fat in the spring. They have plenty of fruit of all kinds. His nearest neighbor had 500 bushels of peaches. They have no winter of any account; ice not thicker than a knife blade. Apples will keep all the time in any old house without freezing. AJ (Andrew Jackson) is going to move to Illinois to Idair on the railroad. He has been living with one but says he can’t farm as his complaint hurts him to plow.
Sam has bought another farm and he has worked himself down til he looks almost as old as I do. John lives close to western. They have had some sickness on their family but are nearly well again. If Jack leaves I can’t tell how Elly and me will do. Sias (Josiah?) and Samuel says they live close by and they can see if we want any thing and Elly has got so she cooks for her and me all this last year nearly and we are getting along very well but we know not what a day may bring forth. I sometimes think my time short and people tells me I am good for 10 years. Yet god has spared my life til a good old age and I have a very good relish for my victuals yet. Elly and me was up at town the other day and had our likeness taken 12 of them and I send you one. We have a fine iron bridge over the river and you would hardly know our town now. This bridge is ??? our bridge that I had a sho? is gone the new one is lower down cross the plane. No more but remain your loving brother.
Samuel Minor to John P Minor