better than ours at the northward, and the charges higher, averaging sixty cents a meal and thirty cents for lodging.The above are selected from a package containing nearly one hundred well preserved and intensely interesting family letters, carefully arranged in chronological order by loving hands. Taken together they form an almost complete history of Dr. John Halstead Sackett's life from the days when he began his preparation for college at the Dutchess County, N. Y., Academy, under Rev. Philander Chase, afterward Bishop of Ohio, to the end of his short but not uneventful career. Every one of these letters is addressed to his honored father and bears the signature "Jno. H. Sackett," except the very last one in the collection, which is in a different hand and reads as follows:
In the mail stage, for 400 miles we rode night and day, except when I delayed. There was no lack of company, as usually there were more passengers than the carriage could contain. After leaving Virginia our course was mostly through a country very thinly settled, covered by pine forests, level, and in many places prolific in cotton, tobacco, wheat and corn. The roads are universally level, sandy and generally very fine. But there are a few exceptions to this which language cannot portray. Owing to the evenness of the country the rains frequently deluge the roads for miles, causing in many places water passes and ponds extensive and dangerous. At night, particularly when storming, these wildernesses have a most terrific appearance. Never shall I forget the horrors of Monday night last, in traveling from the Little Pedee to Black River. In our course we were assailed by a mighty tempest and came near being upset in crossing the fords. You can form but a limited idea of the fury of the storms in these forests. In almost every instance the rivers, which are numerous, swell to a prodigious height, while the lightening and wind obstruct the roads and endanger the lives of travelers by leveling large trees, which sometimes fill the air with their fragments.
Once the horses ran away with us, and once we were upset, but amidst all these calamities it is a little singular that not a passenger sustained any damage, with the exception of having been robbed, which occurred to two, one of whom had his baggage cut from behind the stage. On the other hand we had good company, good fare, good health, and the weather mostly fine.
The lower part of this state and North Carolina contiguous to the rice fields - which is but another term for a marsh - has been as usual very unhealthy this season. But I do not find the yellow fever as prevalent in the city as it was reported to be in New York and along the route.
You would be pleased with the frankness, politeness, and hospitality of the southern people. Their manners form a striking contrast to those of the Yankees. I was twice employed on my way out in the line of my profession, and had the uncommon fortune of disposing of my title to a seat in the stage to a gent, who was extremely anxious to reach here on a certain day, for $50.00. He considered it at the same time a particular instance of friendliness in me.
The city and harbor have many resemblances to New York, only there are extensive marshes in its vicinity. The buildings are good and many of them elegant. It surpasses all other cities except New York for the splendor of its churches. It supports a vast trade. The streets are wide and cleanly and the walks well paved. The harbor commands a most extensive view abreast of the town.
Fort Moultrie, Nov. 11, 1812. - This fort is on Sullivan's Island, six miles below the town, and directly open to the sea, commanding the entrance to the harbor. The island is a mere bank of sand about two and a half miles in length and three-fourths of a mile in breadth. It is the resort of citizens during the autumnal months, and contains about 200 houses. The air is fine, but the water is bad, as we have none except what we collect in cisterns
when it rains. Our garrison consists of about 400 men and a dozen officers. The first affords me constant employment, being the only surgeon on the island, and the latter excellent society. The officers are very correct in their manners. They are all natives of this state. Our quarters are excellent and pleasant. Each officer has one room and one servant. We are divided into three messes. My mess consists of Capt. Ion and Lieutenants Hamilton and Brown. We are all bachelors. This military district, composing the two Carolinas and Georgia, is under Major General Pinkney, who resides at Charleston. He is a venerable looking man and was conspicuous during the Revolution. On the 7th I was honored with an invitation to dine with him. He is not only accessible but familiar and extremely friendly. Colonel Drayton commands this harbor and the harbor of Georgetown in this state. He is also much of a gentleman. As to my immediate commanding officer, Capt. Ion, he appears to be all that I could wish.
We frequently see British vessels off the bar, which is about five miles below this. The other day we had the mortification of seeing them picking up one of our coasters. Every vessel entering the harbor is brought to on approaching this fort. Owing to the great fatigue and exposure incident to a march through the low countries, which is literally the region of death, many of our troops who have lately arrived here have been attacked with fever. This low country, or region of rice and disease, has, in common with Charleston, been very sickly this summer.
My Dear Sir:For a number of years after the termination of the war of 1812 Dr. Sackett was in charge of hospital service at one or the other of the Government Posts in or adjacent to New York Harbor. While there he became an active member of the Masonic Fraternity, and of Tammany Hall, which was as yet a patriotic and philanthropic organization. Politically he was bitterly opposed to what he termed the despicable Clintonian faction, and occasionally made a political speech not at all relished by the followers of the Clinton. On January 18, 1821, Governor DeWitt Clinton sent to the Legislature a special message, attacking in a bitter manner Surgeon John Halstead Sackett and other army officers and civil appointees of the General Government, accusing them of the heinous crime which in later years became known as "Pernicious Political Activity." The Legislature, at the request to the Governor, appointed a committee to inquire into the most lamentable state of affairs complained of. The principal specific charge brought against Dr. Sackett was that he had discharged a baker, in one of the Government Hospitals in his charge, for not voting as he had directed at recent Gubernatorial election.
It is with deep regret that I am compelled to inform you of the sudden dissolution of your son, Dr. John H. Sackett, who departed his life on Saturday, the 14th instant. It was his particular request that I should take charge of his funeral obsequies, which have been faithfully attended to. He was interred yesterday in St. Paul's church yard, followed by numerous acquaintances and friends. Mr. and Mrs. Bingham, the gentleman and lady with whom he boarded, have performed the duties of parents toward your son. Any attention that humanity and kindness could give, he has received, and they certainly deserve your warmest thanks and gratitude. You are perfectly aware that your son has left a handsome property. The property
is secured, but still it should receive your immediate attention. I therefore intreat you to come down by the next boat, as I have many things to communicate which it would be improper to name at this time. With feelings of warmest sympathy for yourself and family allow me to mingle my tears with yours, * * * and to subscribe myself,
Your sincere and affectionate friend,
N. N. Hall.
To Mr. Samuel Sackett,
Monticello, Sullivan County, New York.
Note - On your arrival you will find me either at my house, 250 Broadway, or at my office, 47 Cedar Street.
New York, 17 June, 1822.
Dr. Sackett's complete refutation of the trumped-up political charges against him is made a part of the committee's report. But in the end, the powerful influence brought to bear on the authorities at Washington accomplished the object sought, and on June 1, 1821, an order was issued "disbanding" Surgeon Sackett - that is to say, mustering him out of the service as a supernumerary. He had in his contest with his political opponents, retained his honor and maintained his manhood. It is certain, however, that the contest referred to embittered his last years, and there is but little doubt that the results shortened his life.
In the U. S. Army Register the following record of his service appears:
John H. Sackett, appointed from New York, Surgeon's Mate, 11th Infantry, 25 March, 1812. Hospital surgeon's mate, 22 March, 1813. Garrison surgeon's mate, 15th June, 1815. Post Surgeon, 24th April, 1816, to rank from 22d March 1813* Disbanded June 1, 1821.
995. Nathaniel Sackett, 1792-1825, son of (462) Samuel and Polly Halstead Sackett, was born at Fishkill, Dutchess County, N. Y. He seems to have been a studious and precocious youth. On the fly leaf of a well preserved copy of Hutchenson's Xenophon, which was printed in London in 1797, I find written:
"This book is presented by the Trustees of Dutchess Academy to Nathaniel Sackett, as a present for his excelling in the Greek Language at a public examination on 26th April 1805.Samuel Sackett evidently cherished the hope that his son Nathaniel would study divinity, but the young man planned otherwise. In 1810 he determined to go to sea, and from that time on he led a wandering and rather unprofitable life. He did not marry. The following record in his father's handwriting, appears in the family bible:
John Thomas, Senr. Trustee."
"In a letter from my brother Nathaniel, who lives in Ohio, to his sister Hannah Arkills, he informs her that my son Nathaniel was drowned from a steamboat, lying at the wharf at Cincinnati in the month of January last, 1825."997. Samuel Bailey Sackett, 1805-1887, of Newburgh, N. Y., son of (462) Samuel and Mary Bailey Sackett, was married, Jan. 9, 1833, to Elisabeth Townsend McCoun, 1810-1886, daughter of Samuel McCoun and his wife Deborah Woodward. He was born in the hamlet of Moodna, on the west bank of the Hudson, in the town of New Windsor, Orange County, N. Y., and there his childhood days were spent up to his eighth year. Following this period came twelve years on his father's farm near Monticello, Sullivan County, N. Y., and then an apprenticeship in the general store established and conducted by his father at Little Britain Square, in
town of his birth, which brought him to his majority. In these changes of residence and avocation neither his moral training or education had been neglected, and he was generally recognized as a young man of correct and studious habits, who was well fitted for a business career by a thorough knowledge of bookkeeping and the ability to write a plain and attractive hand. Very naturally his father, being now sixty-four years of age, welcomed the young man's arrival to manhood estate by making him his partner in business, and then turning over to him the entire management of the country store. In 1833 the subject of our sketch married Elisabeth Townsend McCoun. In 1845, some four years after the death of his father, it became necessary to sell out the farm and store at Little Britain Square in order to close up the estate, there being several heirs. After this was done Samuel B. became interested in the milling business conducted on premises of Chas. Morton, near Vail's Gate, Orange County, N. Y. Some three years later he quit the milling business, for a time, and tried his hand at farming; first, for one year on the Ridge west of Highland Mills, in the town of Monroe, and then for two years at Middle Hope, in the town of Newburgh, both of which towns are in the before mentioned County of Orange, N. Y. Three years of hard work and but slight returns induced him to take up permanently a calling for which he was better qualified, and he became bookkeeper and general manager for Mr. Jas. R. Dickson, who was conducting an extensive milling business at West Newburgh in same town. He remained with Mr. Dickson until 1854, when he accepted a similar but more lucrative position with John W. Embler, in his newly erected steam flouring mill on Front Street, Newburgh, N. Y. There Mr. Sackett remained for about five years, when he became general bookkeeper for Mr. Louis J. Bazzoni, carriage manufacturer, in the same town. The latter position he filled for fifteen years, or until 1874, when he retired permanently from active pursuits. His death occurred April 11, 1887.
From the time of his coming to Newburgh to reside, Mr. Sackett was an active and honored member of S. John's Methodist Episcopal Church. serving as steward, class leader, local preacher, and for a quarter of a century as a member of the Secretary of its Board of Trustees. He was a close student of history, an untiring reader and had a most remarkable memory. When in his
company one had but slight need to consult a commentary of an encyclopedia. Honest in all things he contracted no debt he was not certain could be met, and made no promise he did not fulfill. Positive in his convictions, but quiet and gentle in his deportment, he lived at peace with all mankind; and with a firm, unwavering faith in a resurrection to a better life he welcomed death with the same quiet, glad composure with which in the days of his strength he greeted his friends.
Sarah Cornelia Sackett, m. Allen L. Riley.
2451. Mary Louisa Sackett, m. George Roberts.
2452. Henry McCoun Sackett, d. in 1862, unmarried.
2453. Elisabeth McCoun Sackett, m. William H. Lawson.
2454. Charlotte Sackett, b. in 1849, d. Apr. 24, 1905; m. Charles H. Weygant.
1002. Almira E. Sackett, 1804-1882, daughter of (463) Nathaniel and Elisabeth Ter Boss Sackett, was married, about 1823, to George P. Williamson, of Monroe, Ohio. She was born in Dutchess County, N. Y. The following letter, written by her before she was sixteen years of age, will, it is believed, be of interest to her descendants. It is addressed to her cousin, Dr. John Halstead Sackett, the No. 994 of this record.
Monroe, 26 March 1820.Some three years after the above letter was written Almira Sackett was married to George P. Williamson, a promising young merchant for the little village which had grown up on her father's farm. Mr. Williamson was the first postmaster of Monroe, Ohio and subsequently took a lively interest in politics and for a number of years filled a government position at the National Capitol. A long letter written by him to his wife's uncle, Samuel Sackett, of
After a long absence from you and the rest of our relatives and friends I am glad to inform you that we are all at present in the enjoyment of good health. Father has purchased a very handsome farm; it is as elevated a situation as any in the State. He has 100 acres of it cleared, and a comfortable house and barn on it, besides other out buildings. Father has laid out a town on a portion of his farm, which improves very fast and has several handsome buildings on it. He has named it Monroe, and I think you or some other eminent doctor would do well here, as at present we have no doctors, only quacks, who are not fit to draw a tooth. We raise between two and three thousand bushels of grain a year, and this season father has fatted between seven and eight thousand pounds of pork, besides several beeves. Father has a large stock of cattle, sheep, and hogs, a yoke of oxen, and four elegant horses, as handsome and fat as old sorrel, and he, you know, is a great favorite of mother's. Riding on horseback is very fashionable here. I have a beautiful milk-white horse, and a splendid saddle and bridle. The land here produces in great abundance. Corn yields from 60 to 70 bushels pre acre, wheat from 25 to 30 bushels, oats 35 to 40 bushels, and rye 35 to 45 bushels, with everything else in proportion. Our market
prices are nearly as good as they are in New York. Cincinnati is situated on the bank of the Ohio River and is now growing very rapidly. It contains 3 market houses, 8 or 9 churches, 1 glass house, 2 brass and bell foundries, 2 oil mills, 2 ox saw mills, one steam saw mill, 4 nail factories, 1 casting furnace, 1 steam grist mill, which is nine stories high from the river side, 1 college, 5 banks, besides blacksmiths, silversmiths, clock and watch makers, cabinet makers, and all other kind of mechanics that you have in New York. There is one horse-boat that runs from Cincinnati to Newport in Kentucky, besides other ferry boats. There are now between 40 and 50 steamboats on the river, and some of them are as large as ships, besides several keel boats which trade from Cincinnati to New Orleans, a distance of 1,500 miles, and 5 days. One steamboat, the Perseverance, caught fire and burned this spring. It was a great loss to some of the merchants, as it was loaded with dry goods and groceries. There are between 3 and 4 thousand houses in Cincinnati now. We live in the center of 4 large towns, viz., Cincinnati, Dayton, Hamilton and Lebanon.
Mr. Chase, your old school teacher, is bishop of this state. He lost his wife and is married again, and his son is at college. He lives at Columbus, where he has a very fine farm, with elegant buildings on it. We have had a great many weddings here since the new year began and I expect there will be a great many more before it ends. I suppose there have been a great many in your state too, but I haven't heard anything about yours, and I begin to think you are going to live a bachelor life. I suppose by this time you are looking for the end of my letter, but I can not conclude without reminding you of the debt you owe me, which is a new frock for the name of Almira, but I will forgive you the debt if you will send me a handsome pair of ear rings. I shall expect them in your answer to this or else by James and Matthew Dubois, who talk of moving here this summer. Should they fail to come you must not fail to send the ear rings as I have nothing now to keep you in remembrance. You must also send me a handsome red merino shawl, as they are very fashionable here, and you can afford it for you have no one to get for but yourself. As you have no wife or children I expect I will be your principal heir. Pa and Ma send love and say they expect you will soon come to this delightful country. We shall be most happy to have you spend the summer with us.
From your affectionate cousin,
Monticello, Sullivan County, N. Y., Dec. 15, 1827, shows him to have been a cultured and broad-minded Christian gentleman. Some twenty years ago the writer had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Almira (Sackett) Williamson on several occasions. She was then a widow of over seventy years of age. But she had seen much of the world and seemed to remember distinctly almost every event of her life. Her conversational powers were remarkable. In appearance she was a delicate-featured and refined old lady, but notwithstanding her age was a most delightful companion. In conversation she was not only instructive and interesting, but at times reminded one most forcible of the rollicking, free-hearted girl who had written the forgoing letter to her bachelor cousin, Dr. John H. Sackett, over half a century before.
H. Williamson, b. in 1824, d. in 1877; m. Michael Gunchel.
2471. Margaret J. Williamson, b. in 1827; m. George A. Moore.
2472. Maria C. Williamson, b. in 1820, d. May 10, 1849, unmarried.
1003. William Augustus Sackett, 1808-1891, of Cincinnati, Ohio, son of (463) Nathaniel and Elisabeth Ter Boss Sackett, was married to Mary Greenlee Ross. He was born in Dutchess County, N. Y. His daughter, Miss A. Louise Sackett, has furnished the compiler of this record the following sketch of his life:
"My father, William Augustus Sackett, was to have been named for Governor Clinton of New York, who was an intimate friend of the family, but his mother became offended at some act of the governor's and had her son baptized in the Episcopal Church and given the name of William Augustus, in honor of her brother. After their removal to Ohio, William A. was sent to Cincinnati to learn bookkeeping in one of the largest commercial houses of the town, and he became an expert accountant. During his manhood he resided in Monroe, Butler Co., in Lebanon, Warren County, and in Cincinnati, Hamilton County. At Cincinnati he was for many years a successful merchant, but owing to unavoidable disasters gave up business for himself and was at different times employed as salesman for the largest wholesale houses of that city. His last employment was as UnitedChildren.
States Gauger, during President Grant's administration. After leaving that position he resided with his daughters at East Norwood, near Cincinnati, where he died March 6, 1891."
2473. Mary Grey Stitt Sackett.
2474. Anna Elisabeth Sackett.
2475. Augustus N. Sackett, m. Floris M. Armstrong.
2476. Virginia Indiana Sackett, died in infancy.
2477. William James Sackett, died in infancy.
2478. A. Louise Sackett.
2479. Elma R. Sackett, d. Aug. 4, 1860.
1009. Elisabeth Arkills, 1807-1890, daughter of Joshua and (464) Hannah Sackett Arkills, was married to Erastus D. Conant, 1803-1880.
2500. William E. Conant,
b. in 1828.
2501. Charles F. Conant, b. in 1835.
2502. Mary E. Conant, b. in 1839, d. in 1839.
2503. George H. Conant, b. in 1840.
1020. Sarah Mead, daughter of Platt and (466) Deborah Peck Mead, of Greenwich, Conn., was married to John Robbins.
Henry Robbins, m. Abby Kimball Lyman.
2511. Sackett Mead Robbins.
2512. Julia Robbins, m. William Ferris.
1027. Julia Baldwin, daughter of (467) Samuel S. and Julia Ann Yates Baldwin, was married to a Mr. Titus, of Geneva, N. Y.
1028. Henry James Sedgwick, 1812-1868, of Ithaca and Syracuse, N. Y., son of Stephen and (469) Ann Baldwin Sedgwick, was married, 1st, to Lucinda Snow, daughter of Ebenezer Snow and his wife
Lucinda Gott, and 2d, to Mrs. Lucy Winslow (Hubbard), of Syracuse, N. Y.
2512a. Charles Sedgwick,
2513. James H. Sedgwick m. Mary B. McCartney and Kitty Warwick.
2514. John Sedgwick, m. Frances Davis.
1030. Charles Baldwin Sedgwick, 1815-1883, of Syracuse, N. Y., son of Stephen and (469) Anna Baldwin Sedgwick, was married, in 1837, to Ellen E. Smith, daughter of Rev. Ethan Smith and his wife Bathsheba Sanford, of Hadley, Mass., who died in 18__?. On June 24, 1846, he was married to Deborah W. Gannett, daughter of Rev. Thomas Battle Gannett and his wife Sarah White, of Cambridge and Natick, in Mass.
S. Sedgwick, b. Nov. 2, 1841; m. Osgood V. Tracey.
2516. Charles H. Sedgwick, b. May 22, 184_; m. Marcia Fenton and Miss Ferguson.
2517. Anna B. Sedgwick, b. May 17, 1848, m. Joseph Lyman Silsbee.
2518. Sarah B. Sedgwidk, b. Aug. 9, 1852, d. Dec. 19, 1882; m. John L. King.
2519. Frank L. Sedgwick, b. Mar. 31, 1850, d. Apr. 16, 1862.
2520. Katherine M. Sedgwick, b. Nov. 5, 1856; m. Walter A. Bulingame.
2521. Dora G. Sedgwick, b. Aug. 13, 1863; m. Frederick R. Hazard.
1032. Anne B. Gott, 1823-1847, daughter of Daniel and (469) Anne Baldwin (Sedgwick) Gott,, was married, July 15, 1842, to George H. Woodruff, attorney and counselor at law of Joliet, Ill.
2522. Miss Woodruff.
2523. Anne May Woodruff.
1033. Amelia Hannah Gott, 1825-____?, daughter of Hon. Daniel and (469) Anne Baldwin (Sedgwick) Gott, was married, Oct. 10, 1848, to Francis H. Hastings, of Chicago, Ill., son of Seth Hastings, M. D., and his wife Huldah Clark, of Clinton, Oneida County, N. Y.
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