Brown, John Jr. (1821-1895) to Ruth Brown
High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.
Relates news of friends and family from "the hill," their house in Ohio. Encloses a letter from "grandfather," most likely Owen Brown. Discusses construction projects, his health, family pastimes, a fire in Akron and Ruth's recent marriage. Asks that she and their brother Owen both reply to him, and that Owen send him as many animal skulls as possible. Plans to leave the house soon, and resume time on the speaking tour. Last page includes a note from Jason Brown.
Akron Summit Co Ohio
Feby 23rd 1857
I send you enclosed a letter to you from Grandfather. He said he had forgotten the place he should send it to and so he wished me to forward it. I have been for a long time so much behind with my Correspondence generally that I have not written to you as often as I should have done.
You have doubtless learned that Wealthy and I have been residents with Jay of the Old Domicil here during the past few months. I was obliged in consequence of a recurrence [inserted: in an aggravated form] of my old difficulty with my throat to suspend my lecturing opperations for the time being and go into Winter quarters.
Have been hard at work in the open air among the sheep ever since I commenced and the result on my health has been most satisfactory.
Well Ruth, you have changed your name since I saw you [strikeout] yet if you have not greatly changed your Nature, you will still be pleased to know what is going on in these "Regions far away"
I will begin with things here on "the Hill" and endeavor to give you a faint Daguerotype. The first change that would strike your eye on arriving here would be a heavy stone wall commencing where the spring runs crosses below the Hill and extending up and around Mr Perkins's  House & along north where the Old fence used to stand. The same fence stands round the house here & the same Locust trees wave in the wind at the south of it - A new curb surrounds the well - the house has been painted over and is now a dark drab color. The chimney was taken down last summer & in being rebuilt the old fire-place was left out and there is now no old "Cubby hole cupboard" as there used to be on coming in at the front door. The clock ticks away the hours in the same old place & in the corner of the room here, stands the same little shelf & on it the same little chunked old Bibles - Wealthy & I sit writing by the old Black Walnut or "Warner table [Fred], as plump and fat as need be sits at my left playing a game of Chequers with Hiram Sherbondy.
Ellen has gone to bed. Jason is playing the same game with a Mr Nelson Hawkins who is here this evening on a "Sparking" visit with Esther Sherbondy. She is holding a light for them to see - Old Major (for you know he is one of the family) with Jack is barking near the East woods, probably at an Opposom. Mage at least regards himself as "one of the family" while he evidently looks down upon Jack as a dog Last night, Jack gave his propensities an airing by making a most unceremonious [inserted: and unchristian] attack upon one of his neighbors a little lower in the scale of being, & known as the Negroe's "Onion-eater". Although the said Onion Eater lost his life, Jack evidently feels that he himself came off in the affray only second best, his olfactory nerves having received essential damage.
 Melchiah Ritchey is married and lives in the little Old Log House beyond what was called the "Howdes Lot" Mary Ritchey marrid Edwin Hull - has a little girl more than a year old. Rose is at Mr" Perkins's - So much for things on the Hill - At Akron every thing goes on much as of old. They had another great fire last week. All that corner of the street occupied by P.D. Hall, & Hibbard & others was swept away - loss mostly covered by insurance - All the Hudson friends were well a few days since. Jeremiah & Grandfather have together repurchased the Old homestead farm.
I believe I have told much or all that is new. And yet I have [inserted: only] Just begun to write I often catch my imagination straying as Owen says to "those Alpine regions" & yet it does hardly seem that you are married. I learn from different sources that [struck: his] [inserted: your husband] is a noble & progressive spirit as such I welcome him among our number as a friend & Brother and in doing so I but utter the Common Sentiment of all here - Should like to write you a longer letter than I can to night as I have some things to say to you not only as a sister but now as a wife -
Why do I not hear from Owen? I think I have written him three letters and all are yet unanswered. Should like to get a word from all of you [inserted: a letter] [strikeout] that would enter somewhat into details Owen you must write me even if  you are compelled to write left handed. -
I expect to go to Vernon to live by the first of April - After making garden &c I shall leave again on a lecturing tour & if my throat will allow shall probably Continue in that business for some time.
I am anxious that Owen should save all the Animal skulls he can, & forward them by Father in a small snug box to Akron. or if he cannot bring them I hope he will still obtain as many as he can of different kinds. - Say to him if he will write me here soon I will send him a long letter even if it should not be so good -
It is now late & I will close, hoping to hear from you all, & wishing you all every good
I bid you Good Night -
Ever Your Affectionate Brother
John Brown Jr
Dear Brother & Sister
You see now, that you are certainly in a fair way "to be a recieving" a letter from me. I received yours and I call it one of the 1st rate letters, I wo[inserted:u]ld like more such if you have any to part with, I am afraid Owen has parted with all of his, how do you all do? How is Mother and when are they going to come out here to live. We have expicted to see them all winter. I dont exactly mean winter for we have spring here in our country. I hereby command Owen [inserted: to write] Jason Brown
The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.