46 April 10, 1859

Lucius writes Henry to say their brothers Lemuel and Anson have gone off to the gold rush at Pike’s Peak. Their older brother, Alonzo Franklin, has decided to stay in New York and has bought a new farm in Phelps. Lucius, who is now forty and no longer has a child of his own, has both a young boy staying at the house to do farm-work and a girl about the same age. He fills Henry in on the crops he is growing and commodity process in Michigan.

My transcription follows the images:


The original images are from the archives of the Ashfield Historical Society and are used with permission.


Allen, April 10th 1859


Dear Brother

I again attempt to write a few lines to let you know that we are in the land of the living & in the state of Mich & surrounded by mud and water, for it is a very rainy day. We are all in our usual health & have been since I last wrote you. Mother’s health remains about the same with a gradual decline caused by old age.

Lemuel & Anson started for Pikes Peak one week ago last Tuesday March 29th they & three other fellows have gone together with one horse team. Probably will trade them in Iowa for 2 or 3 yoke of oxen. They have taken the grey horse that I owned when you was here last they have also got the original mate and brother to him which Mr. Whitney raised & owned until they bot him. He is fourteen & the one they got from me is thirteen this spring. They weigh about eleven hundred perfectly right & their constitutions are good, the best team for that journey that I know of.

They have taken Harrisons & Lems lumber wagon & their harness that they bought when you was out here last. They put a first rate oil cloth cover on it. They wrote from Valparaiso Indiana last Sunday about 140 miles from here. I have not much faith in Pikes Peak Excitement but however I hope the boys will do well.

Anson has let his place to be worked on shares this season & his wife is a living to her Fathers. L.G. was here and stayed over night last week. His family are well. Lem was at Densmores about 3 weeks ago, they are well. I am going to repair my barn this summer & build cow house on where the old hovels are.

I have the boy a living with me this summer that Anson had for the past year with him. He is sixteen but small of his age but very trusty. We also a girl with us about the same age. Harrison is a farming on his own hooks this summer. I have sowed my orchard to oats. Wheat is worth $1.35 per bushel, corn 75 cts, oats 50, potatoes 50 cts. Wheat looks fair on the ground this spring.

If you should want to write to the boys you had better direct to Council Bluff as they will expect some letters there. There has several gone from this county in the search of gold & in fact a great many from this state. We have had a very open winter the past. I do not think of anything more of importance to write this time. I have written to A.F. today. I got a letter from him a few days ago. He has bought a farm this spring on the Canandagua Outlet in Phelps. Probably has written to you about it. Write soon. Mother & Clarissa send their love & best wishes to you all & would like to hear from you all again.

In Haste

Lucius Ranney

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