George W. Corwin’s Letter Home – 1874

George W. Corwin’s Letter Home – 1874

Note: George Corwin is a distant relative of Karen Halter. This letter was preserved in Karen’s family history and provides an interesting perspective on life in Iowa in 1874. In this letter, George is trying to convince his mother to sell her farm and use the money to help him buy land and move in with him.


View the original letter


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Dale Lyon Co. Iowa

May 24th. 74


Dear Mother

Yours of the 10th was recd yesterday.  Glad to hear from you once more but sorry to hear that you was not feeling well on account of hard labor and hope you are feeling better eere this.  Well about my liking this country I tell you its lovly.  If you could only come out here this summer and see the grass and grain wavering in the breeze


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you would not want to see Mich again to live in if you are any like myself.  Now Mother I don’t want you and Laura to feel as though no one cared for you for I have to make a great effort to keep my eyes dry while I am writing to you to say nothing of reading your letters. Now Mother you know that Uncle D. always thinks everyone a fool that don’t think just as he does.  Now as I have told


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you at other times if I thought you would ever be sorry I never would advise you to sell but I know just how hard it is for you to get along as you are now situated and I can imagine about how you feel about being left alone.  Now if you were to come here and buy a farm.  A few hundred dollars would buy you a much better farm than you or any one else has there and money loans at 20 per ct here.  I wish that Uncle R. had come here too for I have no idea that he ever saw


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any nice country.  We are having very nice weather and every thing looks fresh and green.  I am glad you are in luck to have some hay to sell at those prices wish you had fifty tons.  The people here say that it is a rather backward spring for this county but the corn is up quite nicely, & pasture is good on the Prairie.  If I can only get that place that I spoke of in my last letter I shall think I have done it, and if I can’t I shall feel pretty bad for it is the best chance to buy that I ever saw or ever will that I am shure of.


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And I know that I can make money out of it even if I have to pay 20 per ct if I can only get the money to buy with first.  $300 would get me right where I would know just what to do.   And I would have me a good home and then I want you to come out here and live with me.  Chancy says he will lend me his claim to help secure mine if I have to hire the money here if that will help me any.  Which I consider


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is very kind of him he is the only white man that I have met for you can bet that there in not another man in this state that would do that, but if you could possibly get me the money it would be much better for me and I assure you that the place is good for all that I would owe you and you shall not loose a cent.  It is just as well worth $500 as it is $300 only it is money that

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the man wants .  Well I have got about to the end of my rope so I will close for this time hoping to hear from you soon .  I remain as ever your affectionate son , G.W. Corwin


to Mother

my love to yourself & Laura