Berne Local

George Turner

Dear Children, Brother, Sisters, friends and relations,                                                                     1832
I hope these lines will find you all in good health, leaving us in the same. Thank God for it. I should have written sooner had not James Wood informed you that we were all in good health in his letter to Martha.
We left Georges Dock, Liverpool, Saturday, June 16th 1832, in the ship Glasgow--Captain Theas as good and useful a Captain as ever man came overwith. We sailed about a mile down the river first day. There we lay at anchor till Monday at 2 o’clock when we set sail for America, all in good health and spirits.
Now we shall inform you how we went on our voyage. I was 3 days sick and 7 days between sick and well. My wife was 17 days uncommon sick and 6 days in a sickly state. John Turner was 3 days sick and 7 days unwell. Susannah was 15 days sick and 8 days more in a poorly way. Elizabeth 8 days sick and 7 days ill. John Milner 6 days sick and 4 days more unwell. Mary was 7 days sick and 7 days unwell. George 14 days very sick and 7 days unwell. Johnathan was 6 days sick and 7 days in a poorly way. Margaret was 10 days sick and 4 days ill. Leah only 1 day sick. Rachel well all the voyage.
On Saturday, July 28th, we arrived at Station Island, 9 miles from New York. Here we lay at quaranteen, handed all our luggage to be inspected by the custom officers. We had to be examined by their Doctor and was all passed except one man who had rhumatic fever. Also we had to wash all our linen and bedding. Everything pass of well. We had nothing to pay for duty. On Tuesday morning, we were put on board another vessel and sailed into New York. Here we took our goods on shore.
Our luggage was free. The cost from Liverpool was 3.16.0 pounds each and one dollar a head for hospital money. Our births were in the second cabin. We was a good deal quieter and cleaner than those in the steerage. We had 28 quarts of water each day,plenty of good fire on deck for cooking. We all was free from vermin of any kind. Steerage fare was 2.0.0 pounds each, but they were uncomfortably crowded and some of them became lousey, etc.
July 31st we engaged a towboat to carry us from New York to Albany, 160 miles up the Hudson River. We paid 1 dollar a head for all of us above 10 years of age and half a dollar for those under, Rachel free. Each passenger is allowed to carry one cut and one shilling per cut above that allwance.
August 2nd we landed at Albany at 8 o’clock at night. We were 27 hours in coming and stoped 2 night and 1 day on the boat.
August 4th we engaged two waggons to carry us and our luggage to Peter Turner’s of Bern, 30 miles from Albany. We had to pay for the waggons 17 dollars. If we could have met with a Farmer’s waggon we could have got carried for half that sum, but there was not a Farmer’s waggon to be gotten on account of the Cholera being so raging. People died so that they buried them in their clothing, but now all is cleared of and done away with.
We arrived at Peter Turner’s August 5th and stayed there until the 18th when we engaged a house and 3/4 of an acre of land planted with potatoes, pumpkins, cabbage and onions, and other garden greens. We removed the same day and have to pay one dollar a month. Then we agreed with a man to reap 30 statute acres of corn and carry it to the barn, thrash it and winnow, and take it to market--us to have one-third of the whole produce for our trouble and summering for a cow and as much firewood as we require.
August 21st we bought a cow for 15 dollars, a pig for 6 1/4 dollars, 10 hens and fourteen chickens for 1 1/2 dollars. Now we was ready for work and started reaping, getting potatoes, thrashing etc
.January, 1833 we bought a Farm--167 statute acres with a good house 15 yards long and 8 yards wide. It is a framed house boarde inside and out and filled with puddle between boards. Also a good framed barn, stables, cowhouses, etc. in the town of Bern near Renslearville City, within 1/4 of a mile from Peter Turner’s. We are to pay 17 hundred dollars for the above farm.
Feby 11th, 1833, we removed into one part of the house. We suppose this will be our last removing. I believe, if we have our health we shall do better than we ever did before. We have fire wood and every privilege we desire and full possesion the first day of May.
Prices of different articles--Big Farmers horses from 50 to 70 dollars; Cows 12 to 20 dollars; Store sheep 1 1/2 dallars to 2 dollars; Beef 4 cents per lb., hind quarter 3 cents per lb.; fore quarter of mutton 5 cents per lb.; cheese 6 cents per lb.; butter 12 cents per lb.; wheat 10 shillings for 60 lbs.; Barley 5 shillings for 48 lbs.; Oats 3 shillings per bushell; Potatoes 18 cents per bushell; Apples 4 shillings per bushell; Brandy 30 cents per quart; Rum 24 cents per quart; Gin 18 cents per quart; Ale 8 cents per quart.
Wages--Labouring men (summer time) 5 and 6 shillings per day, meat and lodging found (winter time) 4 shillings a day; Masons and Bricklayers 1 dollar per day with meat and drink; Carpenters, Shinglers, or Slaters and Blacksmiths about 1 dollar per day with meat and drink, some places a little more.
The before named prices are American money; 100 cents make 1 dollar, 12 1/2 cents one shilling, 8 shillings make one dollar.
Samuel Beeley might do well if he was here; they charge 4 shillings for making a pair of shoes, price of leather 22 cents per lb. Mathew, you also might do well here by making good English goods of differents sorts and sell them. You might have a small farm and all. If you come we shall do what we can for you Their is no silk weaving near us. Most Farmers spin and weave their own clothing. If Mr Joseph Clulow as a mind to come to America, he may come to us and fare as we fare while he lives.
Weather in summer is hotter here than in England. In winter it is a deal colder and there is a great deal more snow and frost.
If you come, you may buy as good a Bean mill as you can get. Let it be a irst rate one with a good wheel and everything belonging to it (such as the corn dealers have). You must have it packed in a base wheel and all or it would broken or some part lost. You may send a small spoke shave, such as James Heap used to have, 11 pound of supefine blue jersy, 30 yards of as good barragon as you can get, 30 yards of good velveteen for boys jackets, and 6 yards of pocketing, 2 tin milk seives.
You would do well to lay in your provisions at home, such things as you like to live on--riddle bread keeps as well as the best biscuits; good hams and bacon or beef you own curing, cheese and butter and some new laid eggs packed in salt, a barrel of good home brewed ale or porter, Treacle, sugar, tea, coffee, rasins, currants--these sort of things you may getat Liverpool The best biscuts is cheapest. A little meal and flour or anything you like, a few pickles and vinegar and so on.
John Milner sends his best respects to his Brother and wishes him to give the same to his Father and Mother, also to his Brothers and Sisters and all his enquiring friends. He could like one of his brothers to come to America. He thinks he might do better here than in England. He as been in good work since the beginning of Sept. Some weeks at the first his wage was 5/a day latter part 4/a day, meat, drink, and lodging found. He likes the country well and as taken a house in Bern, keeps a cow, and is doing very well.
James Wood and Peter Turner, their wives and children have all removed 150 miles west to a parcel of woodland 200 acres in size as they have bought.
We are one mile from preaching house and half a mile from school. Our boys and girls go to school. Our Mary is living out. She as got a very good place at 6 shillings per week.
You may send a good horn lantern and some horn lights to repair it with.
Please to give our best respects to all enquiring friends and acquaintances, so no more from your affectionate Father and Mother and all the family, etc.
P.S. Write as soon as you can and send us all the particular news.
From George and Dorothy Turner and Family
February 18th, 1833Direct for George Turner, Farmer
Bern, near Renslearville City, New York State[
The original is owned by Wallace Holbrook. His Grandfather was Wallace Peasley, and is related to the Shultes's from west mt. It seems there was also a scratch copy of this letter that survived and I am presently trying to obtain it.
Marty Milner