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[Benjamin] Franklin [Butler] to Harriet [Allen] Butler, 19 October 1821

My dearest Harriet,

On Thursday morning I recd. your last letter, the other I got on Wednesday ^mornng^ with the pantaloons & vest all in good condition. I was greatly delighted with these tokens of your affectionate remembrance, & when I return I will give you a bushel of kisses for them. Yesterday morning I left here in a passage ^Boat^ to go up the Canal to Rome (16 miles before from Utica) to join Wm., who went there on Tuesday. Left here at 8 in the morning, got to Rome at 12 oClock, visited the Arsenal which is well worth seeing & one of the first in point of interesting arrangement in the Union, called at Benj. P. Johnsons (one of your old boarders) found him, very happy with a Son, being the first child & of course a great affair. Remained there until almost evening, then went to the Canal about 1/2 mile & slept at a new house erected for the accommodation of the passengers &c along the Canal. At 3 O.Clock this morning took the Oneida Chief a large passage Boat Came to Oriskany 8 miles, landed & staid there till 10 O.Clock, then took another boat to Whitestown, stopped there & saw Mrs. Mann, & at 1 O.Clock reached Utica. Rome is a pleasant village, & so is Whitestown. Whitestown put me in mind of Kinderhook, only there is but one street, & that a mile in length, & containing a great many pleasant situations. At Oriskany we were greatly entertained with a large Woolen Manufactory, which we visited. It is said to be one of the most extensive in the Union. It employs 130 girls & men, & has 22 looms in one room which go by water, & weave Sattinet at the rate of 20 yards each a day. This room is a great curiosity, but the consideration that the young females who are employed in it, are exposed to the greatest danger, tends very much to destroy the pleasure one would otherwise derive from the display of so much ingenuity & skill. I was highly delighted with my sail up the Canal, the boats are commodious, & in my opinion pleasanter than Steam Boats, because there is no rock nor motion. The canal passes through swamps & over gulphs, & in two cases over creeks without touching the water. This is done by aquaducts, which carry the canal above the creek, & is very curious. I wanted nothing but you & the babies to make the jaunt complete. But if we all live, I trust we shall have a sail on the Canal next year at a pleasanter season of the year. Wm. was at Rome 3 days, on Wednesday he went with a party of ladies up the Canal 16 miles & returned the same day. He says they had "lots of girls & other good things," though as he is dieting himself on ^toasted^ bread & boiled milk, he could not partake. He has been 30 miles & more up the Canal, & that together with my inability to begone so long from Court, has induced us to give up going to Auburn. I have got to remain here until Monday. On Tuesday we shall turn our faces homeward, but as the Roads have become very bad since we came up, you must not expect us until Wednesday about Sundown. Then look out for us. Brother will remain with me until then. He has been dieting since Wednesday morning, & has found great benefit from it. How long he will continue is not to be foretold. Before he commenced, he suffered a good deal from his complaint. But is now much better. Dearest H. I am very anxious to see you, but have to remain here until Monday, immediately after which I start for home, & when I get there I will tell you all about my great travels, & how much I missed your dear good self & the dear little girls. Kiss them for me a thousand times. Tell Margaret, Pa will come & kiss ^her^ next week. As for making me jealous, I could make you, but believe I shall reserve it until we meet. Till then dearest Harriet keep me in your heart, & remember me in your prayers. Believing me now as always

your faithful

Franklin.

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Source: N New York State Library
Collection: Benjamin Franklin Butler Papers (N)
Series: Series 3 (17 February 1815-2 December 1821)