Wadsworth, W. G. & A., and Julia
Autograph Letter Signed to A. Ostrom, Johnstown, Fulton Co., New York, datelined Harrisburg, Pennsylvania September 13, 1842

quarto, three pages, some toning to paper, splits along folds, mainly second leaf, integral address leaf somewhat soiled, else in good legible condition.

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“My dear Sir,

             … the people of the Borough of Harrisburg are mostly dutch – their manners & customs are peculiar to themselves and somewhat singular. Some of the neighboring towns are mountainous but the valleys are rich beyond belief as a general thing the farms are in advance of N York with their left handed plows and I should suppose wealthy. The river rose here about six feet tis over a mile wide without rain. So we suppose you must have had some rain in N.Y. Flour is $ 5.50. The market for everything one wants I think is generally higher than the Falls but within reach except Apples they are about 6/- pr bushel and small. I shall write you at some future day the progress of pump business – our prospect – wishes & wants… “

             The letter continues on pages 2 and 3 written by “Julia” the daughter of Mr. Wadsworth, who began the letter, and who provides a lively description of Harrisburg and its inhabitants to her uncle:

         “Dear Uncle, … The city of Harrisburg (or the borough as the Dutch say) I like very much the inhabitants are very different from us Yankeys; yet I think I shall be able to understand what they say after a while for let they say leave for said allow a shilling is a levy a sixpence fip, two shillings a quarter, If you should go to a store and trade eighteen pence then ask them the amount you have traded they should say three fips or a levy and a fip. The most simple way of calling money that can be I think. The neighbors are very sociable and friendly or those that I have become acquainted with and make me think of our folks in Johnstown often. We live in a as pleasant part of the city as there is nearly on the bank of the river or in plain sight of it which is quite a sight I should think when the water is high it is something so now we are about one hundred rods from the capitol which is a splendid building. I have not visited it yet the rest of our family have. Margret goes once a week for a book the state library is kept there and everyone has the privilege of drawing books free. I think we shall not want books now. We go to market twice a week. Wednesday and Saturdays. The market men come to the city in the morning between two and three o’clock (from the country) and meet in the market to get their things ready for sale market hours from five to eight. The laidies all go to market those that have servants take them along to carry the Basket home those that have none carry it them selves it looks like a mess of Paddies. I have not been to market yet Geoff does our marketing and wont let me go with him Margy and Father went the first market morning after we came here Margaret said she never saw such a sight in her life they have every thing to sell even to peach meats strung on a string for two cents a yard the last thing I ever thought of. We have to buy everything by the quart and peck and half peck if you ask a market man for a bushel of potatoes he would say which a whole bushel I cant let you have it But if you ask for four pecks he will measure it out to you without saying a word for what they say a word for what they say which…”