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Letter from James A. Dawson 1887
from Westernport to
Mr. Nathan P. Dawson, White Hall, Greene Co., Illinois

This letter has been transcribed by Shirley E. Williams. and contributed for use by the MDGenWeb Project.

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Westernport, Maryland Dec. 14th, 1887

Dear Parents,

As I am doing nothing today I thought I would write a few lines to you. I got here all right after a long tiresome ride. No one was at the depot to meet me but I found Aunt Aseneth's daughter Maria that lives in Westernport. She married a Kight a GrandSon of Old Enoch Kight. He works on the tram way of the Franklin Mines which is situated up George's Creek about 1 mile and a half towards Lanaconing. I went to town on Saturday after I got here and got rested. While there I went to Aunt Millys (that is Uncle Abe's wife) and took dinner. She is a Sociable old Lady and just as spry as a cricket. She has one boy working on the B and O RailRoad. Breaking, I think and one daughter that is married and lives in Kayser, a town 5 miles East of Piedmont. Another boy clerks in a store in Kayser and two smaller ones at home. I also went and seen Suzie Seltzer and Emma Dayton. Both Uncle Andrew's girls. You will remember Henry Dayton's father (Emmas husband, his name was Isaac Dayton.)

I was going down the River Just as soon as we butcher and that will be tomorrow. We are going to kill 4 hogs and a Beef. Then one of the Boys is going with me. I also saw Bill Clark in town Saturday. He is Uncle Dan Clark's son. Aunt Aseneth's man (William Grove) is a grand son of Old Billy Grove and his Brother (that is, Uncle Will's brother) married Hester Ann Clark a daughter of Uncle Dan Clark and they live just up on the side of the mountain about a half a quarter from him. This place is on what is known as Arrow's run and probably you will remember it by the name of "Come by Chance" and lies exactly north West of Westernport about 3 1/2 miles.

I went Sunday morning up ot Fern Rock Church about 2 1/2 miles north right up the mountain and heard your cousin preach a very good Sermon. His name is John Dayton a son of Old Roland Daytons. He is holding a protracted meeting up there and he said that his Father was going to help him this week. He is not an educated man but I believe he is a good one. I made his acquaintance while there. I think I will go up again tonight and all the rest are talking of going. Probably you will remember where Fern Rock is when I tell you that it is above the old Michael place a Stone House almost on top of the mountain by an old grave yard. Savage Mountain is right west of us from Uncle Will's and Savage Creek is between. Well, Tillie is getting dinner and Aunt Aseneth is Baking Bread by the Fireplace. Something I never saw done before. We had Huckleberry pie for Supper last night. They have lots of them put up. When I asked Tillie for Winter Green she didn't know what I meant but Aunt said I meant Tea berry. I haven't seen any yet but will in a day or two. I have seen lots of Laurel little and big.

I want to get Home by Christmas but they won't hear to it as they are making big preparations for a Christmas dinner. I don't know whether I will get around or not before Christmas but will try it. Aunt Aseneth has some as fine Boys as ever I saw in my life and all Good looking in fact better looking than the girls although the girls are rather good looking too especially Maria Kight.

As dinner is ready I will close for this time with Love from All to All

I am as ever your affectionate son,

James A. Dawson


I have a copy of the following letter and a copy of the envelope it was sent in - addressed to Mr. Nathan P. Dawson, White Hall, Greene Co., Illinois. My cousin who has the original is very ill. I hate to ask her for the original or for her husband to go out and get it notarized -- do you think I need to? This is the only strong tie I have tying Nathan to his relatives in Westernport.

I have done charts on all the family members named and they are the relatives that would tie Nathan to his parents: Abraham and Mary Dawson.

Does anyone know how to get in touch with Beverly Bittner? I was told that she has the records of Frances Greaves pertaining to this family. Please post replies to my e-mail address: Thank you,

Shirley Winn Williams

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