Letter No. 6
Oppenheim, April 16, 1832
I received your letter which was dated the 2nd of this month in about 8 days from the time it was wrote, wherein you mentioned that your and David's families were all well except yourself. You never stated anything about your complaint in your throat, nor about your leaving your place, and where you are a-going, as we expect you to leave that place this spring, according as you wrote last year. You stated then that you had sold and had hired the place for one year, nor stated anything as to your friendship with David & Caty. As I found by Caty's letter, I think last fall, that Peggy had not been to their house to visit more than a year ago, and I stated in a letter to David, that she did not mention in how long a time she had visited Peggy, which is a shame to have such a thing known to the world, much more in the sight of God. Two only sisters, and sisters in the church. These things ought not to be. If we can't forgive, we need not expect forgiveness. You also stated that you think Benjamin wrote that they, meaning him and Corns., I suppose, had paid about eight hundred dollars for my father, and that he had put his property into his childrens' hands, and that it was hard to pay a debt that belonged to another man to pay, and his children can enjoy his property. You say it is hard if it is true, that indeed, astonishing that Benjamin should state such a thing. I never heard such a thing till your letter arrived, and I dont believe a word of it. I think the case was, my brothers, John & Peter, came forward and took their father's property in Pards and stayed the execution against our father, and took the debt upon themselves. I beleive (sp) John has paid his share, or half, and Peter not quite. I never heard that any of our Family wanted others to pay their debts for them, or that any enjoy other mens' labor. I have understood that Benjamin, in a letter to you, touched upon your Honesty. I and mother went to Corns. last Friday to see Betsey* [ *Christopher Klock's daughter, wife of Jonas Snell.] who hath been very sick, but then better, who told that Benjamin and Corns. were in great stress for money some time last year, and Corns. found that they could get $100 at Lawyear Markells, who is now dead. He made it known to Benjamin and wanted him to go along to get the money, but he should have said that he had to go to New York and that Corns. should get the money, and that he would stand, or pay his part. Now I understand that old Judge Markell, one of the executors or Henry, has called twice lately at Corns for money, and Corns. went over to see Benjamin, about it, and sent by Polly, your sister, since, but he give himself no trouble about it, and that he had enough to do with himself. How does this look? She also stated that Benjamin was to give Corns $300 in a Division of your father's property and on the house, which he never did, and is now outlaw and cannot be gotten. I think these things do not look very Honest. I also understood Betsey that Benjamin was fully determined to send up a supreme writ for you this summer. I told her that I thought they would settle themselves with a bill of costs as you had no Landed property in your hands. She said that Lawyer Loucks should have said they should put it in his hands, that he would get it; that he said Loucks should have said that all Lands were Holden in your Hands at the time the ejectments were served or judgements of the castle suits; I am certain that I understood the Lawyers about the time of the settlement of these costs, that it would go so far as even to the lowest part of a will, I suppose of any of those concerned, or of those that are obliged to pay towards those costs, and had any Land, with will thereon. We and all your friends here, are all well as for what we know, except Mother, who is considerable unwell this Spring, took a heavy cold lately, but seems to get some better. She said today that she wanted to see you and Peggy once more before she died. She is a welwisher(sp) for you all, and puts up many a fervent prayer for you and for me. I hope God us and our Children and our Childrens' Children., I hope we will all draw nigh unto Him, that He may draw nigh unto us. Relegion(sp) is in a low state in our neighborhood, yet the Lord is at work in many places. You stated in your letter that snow fell from the 22 day of November till the fore part of December, about 3 feet deep. The case was different with us. Here we had about a foot snowfall the last day of November. The next day it turned cold & held cold, I think , every day thro. Dec. I think we had no more than abut 3 feet of snow at one time on the ground thro the winter, & that in the woods. I believe almost all the wheat in our quarter and that on the uplands is winter killed to a great degree, but the flats look midling well.
This winter is not to be compared with the winter we had in the year 1799. We had good sleighing from the 14th November till about the 12th day of April. The 13th, I saw hay go by on an iron or steel-shod sleigh, that was taken 10 miles below this. I understood there were 1000 ton of hay fetched from the Royal grant, and fetched as far down as Caughnawaga. I paid for a great many ton in the Royal grant that winter $18.00 per ton. The 9th of April that time, the snow was with us two feet on the level, in the Bush 3 feet. We did not begin to plow for seed that spring till the 6th day of May. We, or Daniel I should have said, has not ploughed any for seed, yet harrowed the corn ground, and other fall plowing. Try enough with us to make Garden and to plough, yet it looks very much like rain, or storm of some kind.
You state in your letter about my sending letters in a private way and had to pay postage for old letters, whether is better to pay six pence for a letter put in postoffice at Mayville, or 1/6" put in at St. Johnsville, which was done out of a good design to save you postage, and the letter sent that time you would not have received at all, but thought while such a chance offered I would write. The man that took it promised to go to your house with it and deliver it himself, but I mentioned that if he did not, he should put it in the post office at Mayville, which it seems he did. We had some cold frost all the fore part of this month. Very dry for this time of year which has been hurtful to our wheat when winds blew long back.
Remember us to David & Cathy & to all inquiring
friends. If you write again, I hope you will be little more particular. Yours in love,
John B . Klock & Joseph G. Klock
Note: This seems to be about the time that the estates of my great-grandfather Jacob G. Klock and great-great grandfather George G. Klock, were being torn asunder by scheming relatives and kaniving lawyers. It would appear, also, that even brothers and their wives will sometimes quarrel. Benjamin and Cornelius, called here Corns, were brothers of John Beekman and David, and seemed to have had a great many financial difficulties.
A valuable part of this letter is the description given of weather and crop conditions shortly after the Revolution, 1799.
>Letter No. 7
To John B. Klock &
Peggy & Katy
God bless you.
Oppenheim, Sept. 10, 1832
I received yours dated 17th of last month, stating that David would come down, who has arrived safe on Tuesday the 1st, who denys that you should have told him that I have been disappointed in getting money. He wants to see your last letter, or have me read it to be satisfied in a report that you should have wrote to me that he should have been trying to make a match of Lucinda and one Failing; and denys it. I told him there was no such thing in the letter. Then he seemed to be satisfied. I found out that David slept the first night at Benjamins. I asked him what made him go there. He said it got to be near night when he came inside the Falls, and thought it might be dark till he got down. What to make of it, I do not know, as he had to walk about 5 miles afoot. I have understood from Mother that Benjamin was going to send up a Supreme writ for you, which I expect will be the case., as I understand that Lawyer Loucks had wrote to them (that is) Corns. and Benjamin, demanding about three hundred dollars which they could not well pay. I think if it is in your power, you ought to help them, and now, if you can. If you should send them some, it might make them feel easy, at any rate for a while. I think I have understood of David, or someone else, that Benjamin talked of coming up to you. David started last Monday to look at my land in Remson's borrough. He got the first day, within five or six miles of the Patent, to the surveyor whom he found sick, or so unwell that he could not go out with him to look at the land; and returned back to us again, without seeing any of the land. As there is a good road along the Patent and Canada creek, he might (have) gone to one McIntoshes on the Patent who might have shown him a number of lots near mine. He might have some knowledge of how the land lays & looks., which I think he could not helped to have liked. Now I have understood of Daniel that he talks that he would go home and try to make market for his place, and he and Caty come down next fall and look at it. My brothers, Peter and John, have agreed to go out with him to look at their lands, but come to, Peter was summoned as a juror to Johnstown, so that he could not go; and John, I understood, could not go on account of a horse; so he hath to go alone. It is a hurrying time with us, right in sewing time, or else Daniel would have gone with him; and as for myself, my feet was in such a situation that I thought I could not walk the woods, and had no horse to ride, or to spare, since he had my mare. I understood in one of your letters, that David, in a settlement with you, would not allow you but one dollar for three had from you. When he took us down to Buffalo, David tells me he gave you four shillings back & eight shillings, & six pence allowed in settlement would allow 12/6. There would remain 11/6 which I had calculated to send by him. But he mentioned that you had your pay by Loucks note I left with you. If you did not, let me know in your next letter, and I will try to make all right. We are all well this evening and all your relation here as far as we know, excepting Mother who has had a hard summer. Four turns of fever again, of which it seems she has got rid of at last. It seems she is always unwell, and at present with a foul stomach, relaps(sp) and hystericks; but hope for the better. The best of all, God with us, and enjoy our minds, tolerable well, thanks be to the Lord for all his goodness to us, and to the children of men. Dear children, try to pray without ceasing. That is my desire that we may be happy every day. Dull times with us, yet we hear of revivals in almost all parts of our land, and one so near as Amsterdam. I pray the Lord to let it extend up and down our Mohawk River till it makes a general sweep and so that all shall know the Lord. The frosts last spring cut us short of apples for the season, but thank be to our God, crops came in well with us so that we have enough to eat, and wear. David talks of starting for home tomorrow morning with my mare which I have given him. He has bought him a saddle and bridle so that he can ride. I must remind you once more to help Corns. & Benjamin, and that ought to be without fail. Cornelius is in rather low circumstances, and very hard for him to pay for others. Nothing more at present, but I asked Betsey whether I should write that she would come up again. She said "I guess not." We shall always be glad to hear from you, if he does not write, you will please to write, as we will naturally want to hear of his safe arrival. No more at present, remain your dutiful father, Joseph G. Klock.
Letter No. 8 tells of the death of the grand old patriot and soldier, George G. Klock, father of Joseph G. Klock. He was a member of Colonal Jacob Klock's regiment, and lived to a ripe old age. There are also real politics mentioned in this letter.
Letter No. 8
July 29th, 1834
I take (torn out) to aquaint(sp) you that my father, George G. Klock is no more. He (torn out) well for man of his age till last Wednesday he lay, as I understood, on the bed (he lay much of late). My brother Pete's wife, Susan, called him to come to tea, and found that they had to help him up. He trembled and seemed to be very weak. He did eat, but very little, and seemed to be helpless. I sometimes think he must have been struck with the numb palsey, was taken with purging & it seems quite helpless. I heard of it the next evening, so on Friday morning I started up to see him. Found him quite speechless, and it is quite singular that the two oldest men in all our parts, old John Diefendorf, & my father were born in the year 1742, Diefendorf in May & my father the 12th day of November so that my father's age was 91 years, 8 months and 14 days, and both died Saturday evening the 26th, and were both buried yesterday 10 O'clock, the 28th, and it is not singular for a man to come to that age, and it is said he never was a day sick in his whole life & never had taken any medicine, never so much as had a tooth pulled, or one bleed. Except the last 3 days of his confinement, I beleive(sp) they gave him some opium for his complaint, of which I think he was not sensible. His speech was entirely gone so that he could not be understood. I came there the second time Saturday afternoon. He lay as if he slept, and I did not see him move hand or foot, or as much as a finger till his breath went out of him which was about 9 o'clock P. M., I think. I never saw a person die so easy. Sunday morning, before I left him, I took the candle and went to see him. I feel rejoiced what a heavenly smile was on his face, and I do beleive he, or his soul, is gone to Heaven. I beleive if a person walks in the light he has, he does well. He seemed to be very strong in faith, and always gave good council, and seemed to love what is good.
He had when he departed, as near as we could make out, 10 children alive, 5 sons and 5 daughters, 80 grand children, and 81 great grandchildren, and I am the oldest of them all, and there may be but a step between me and death. These words are to be found in the 1st Samuel 20 Chapter & latter clause of 3rd verse and was Brother Maron's (?) text, when he preached the funeral sermon: "And I pray God if Death overtakes me, that I may be also ready with oil in my lamp." Not myself only, but all of us, and I hope God, by his Grace, will enable us to make it out. I am now in my 66 year since the 3rd day of April, and can't expect to stay long. I hope that you will pray much for your old father, that if we should not meet here any more, that we may meet in Heaven. We seem to have affliction in our Family. Mother always not well, and had a repetition take place in her groin, or a small burst something like 8 weeks ago. It does not hinder her much, only when it comes out. I got a truss for her, but it does not fit. So I will have to get another. Our Maria complains a great while with her Liver complaint and I am somewhat doubtful about her. Our Christina has complained some (torn out) & side, and takes medicine, and dose(sp) not do hard work (torn out) Lord only knows, but we hope for the best, and have (torn out) who works all things for good for them that love Him. My sister, Elizabeth, John I. D. Nellis' wife, was down with us on a visit, I think about 6 weeks ago, with her son, Bernhart, who said you had (that is) John had been to their house in Lenox sometime last winter, and started from there to come down to us, and we not seeing him, or you, astonished us much. Poor Corns. Klock had looked much to see John, and needs help or Else I beleive he will loose all, and he and his family come to want. I want to write something about the times, but do not want to do it, yet necessity seems to force me, as our liberties are at stake. It seems that Federalists, Nullifiers and Enemies of our country & of our Government have done all in their power to upset government. At least the Federal, or tory Federal senate this last session in Congress, but they have not made it out. In the first place, the senators from the States of Main, New Jersey & Ohio were directed by their state legislatures to be in favor of our Government, and appose the banks, yet 1 from Maine, 2 from Jersey & 1 from Ohio went with the Federals that gave them a majority, & undertook and drew up a resolution which they had no right to do, trying to condemn Jackson for removing the treasurer and the deposits, and sent that resolution with speeches, it is stated, by cart loads in our country & people may think that Jackson has done wrong, yet is not the case. I think if I relate what took place when at Canajohary village about 3 weeks ago, it will give you some idea. I went into one Mitchel's store to buy some rice, and when done it rained so fast that I could not go. I addressed myself to Hamanus Ehle and Mitchel, and said, "How do you come here -- have you any Jackson men here?" "Oh, no," was the reply. I said, "What is the matter, are you all belied, are you all blind here? Do you not know that Wright, one of our senators from this state in his speech that they debated on that resolution in the Senate about 3 months and then had to withdraw it?" One of them replied "Wright was a liar." I said "Show me your contradiction. He said it in the Senate." "Well, said they, we have got his speech and it was not in it." I took my Pocket Book out and laid it on the counter and said "I will stake you all that's in it, that it is." They flew, or scrambled round as to get money, but got none. When they saw my pocket book did not move, then said I, "That is what I said in the first place. Are you belied; are you blind? Have Wright's speech and have not seen that? The reason is you do not want to see the truth; you look over it." I challanged(sp) them to bring up one item against Jackson, that I stood ready to defend him; but they brought none. They then said that they were to have a special town meeting tomorrow. Their supervisor had run away. They then would show us how it was done. I said "Don't holler before you are out of the woods." I said, "Suppose you get in your supervisor, that will be no criterion for the rest of our state, for you will hear from Oppenheim next November." It was not over 3 or 4 days after I heard that the republican Sacey got in & had 42 majority. What a spirit in the people, and I am satisfied that it stands us all in hand to take care. As sure as the banks goes up & should be rechartered, liberty goes down. A great many of the best men-- (half of the back page of this letter is missing, the remainder reading as follows:)
paper stated that there is now about 10 million specie in our country and our Representative Haree made out in Congress that it is made a lawful tender. There is no nation that matters stand better than ours. Our great liberty, our debts about all paid, more money in our treasury than ever. I wish you would read Mr. Benton's speech. He said our revenues, after so many duties taken off, was 20 millions more than it was in Adam's administration & that it has increased from 74 milion since that time to 1808, & according to the first 5 months this year would be about 110 millions. Yet (people) cry distress, the canal a sollitude(sp), the lakes a waste. I saw a statement from Buffalo that 116 vessels more went out and in this year than last year the same time, & more boats, etc., and I think in New York 126 vessels more and so on, and all canal tolls are higher this year than last year. Now kick the government over, or upside down, and establish an aristocracy and let a monoply rule us, and see what we will come to. Benton, in his speech the last day of sessions, took up every point the Federal senate hath brought up, and contradicted the whole, and sent them home convicted, and the Republicans in all our quarters stand firm, and I am satisfied will prevail. I would write much more, but time will not permit. We have not quite done haying, & have to mow wheat. Wheat is not near as good as it was the last two years. The year before we threshed 8 to 9 bushel per 100 sheaves. The Lord Bless us, etc.
John, Peggy, David & Katy Klock Joseph G. Klock
Note-- Grandfather Joseph G. was strong for Andrew Jackson. He believed in a firm banking system; and this letter, written practically one hundred years ago, contains advice we might well heed today.
Continue on to Part 3, the 3rd installment of the letters of Joseph G. Klock. There are 18 full letters, two partial letters, and a letter written by Margaret (Peggy) Klock, Joseph G. Klock's daughter. These will be posted up through February 1998. The spellings and punctuation are those of the writer of the letters, Joseph G. Klock.
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