Swan, Joseph R.
Autograph Letter Signed, Columbus, Ohio, October 12, 1824 to Hervey Brayton, Western, Oneida County, New York

folio, 3 ½ pages, on a folding letter-sheet, postal markings on integral address leaf, portion of second leaf trimmed, not affecting any text, in good legible condition.

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Swan, a lawyer in Columbus writes to Brayton, his cousin, describing life in Ohio and the upcoming election in Columbus:

“My Dear Cousin,

             … I have been perfectly well since I returned to this state – there has been considerable sickness here but not deadly – A man is no more pitied here who has a fever and ague than he would be in N.Y. if he had a slight head ache – a fever and ague is naught … The people here are occupied by Elections – tomorrow is the day – and tomorrow I shall see such a scene as you probably never witnessed – drunkenness, noise and Hurras are common at elections – but the electioneering business is carried on here in a much more barefaced manner than in N.Y. – the friends of the different candidates sieze upon a voter with the avidity of a shark upon his prey – lead him to the polls – ram a vote into his fist – in fact treat him like an automaton – and then the candidate – with a right arm that is exhausted – started from its socket by shaking the paws of the Aborigines – a face that is habitually and mechanically in a smirk and to hear them laugh – such an hysterical affected and, would be, laugh never proceeded from any but a candidate for office or a band – I would not however have you believe that such are all Candidates for office – not by any means – but that there are such as I have described is as true as that every one could not sit for the picture.

            My prospects here are much better than I expected when I left home –

            I spent a good part of this evening with Judge Bates of Rochester who is acquainted with James and was formerly an Engineer of N.Y. and is now employed by the Canal Com of this state. He has given me a long and detailed account of the rout and practicability of a canal in this state. He thinks the most feasible rout and the one which will be chosen by the Legislature will be from Cleavland [sic] down south about 100 miles and then taking a southwesterly course to the Scioto river – down the margin of the Scioto to the Ohio River – I presume you do not feel one hundredth part the interest in this subject that I do – it will be more to Ohio than the Grand Canal is to New Y. - …

The people here are now occupied by horse racing – have a course on a prairie opposite Columbus … The Court has not sat here since I have been admitted to the bar I have not therefore made my debut …”