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[Benjamin Franklin Butler] to [William Howard Allen], 7 November 1822

 

We have to thank you for your letters of the 14th. Sept. all which have been received. Though your cruise has not as yet afforded you an opportunity of gratifying your own hopes, and ^or^ realizing ^to their full extent^ the wishes of your friends, it has been useful to the nation, ^& honorable to yourself^ and ^We rejoice to learn, that circumstances have rendered it so^ what gives us no less pleasure, agreeable to yourself. Doubtless the most ^illness of our own mother has been a^ constant source of anxiety & apprehension, has been the illness of our dear mother, and In that respect providence has been beneficent beyond our warmest expectations. Her health still continues to improve, & there is every reason to believe that she will <soon> ^you will^ again be permitted to see a ^mother^ son whose affection for her ^children^ is <unless> <by> equalled by her own ^unrivalled^ merits. I have been engaged in the usual routine of business since you left. The business of my profession continues to occupy my time altho its rewards are not quite so abundant as I could wish. I have been a fortnight at Utica, which I found much in the state, as to mud, &c in which we left it last year. It has however considerably improved since that time. More than 100 buildings have been erected this year, and the general appearance of the village indicates prosperity. The Canal during the present season has advanced with wonderful success. From Rochester to Sche, it is completed, & <thus> navigation is ^already^ open near for nearly the whole distance, and will in the course of the fall, be open from R. to Sche. in distance of 225 miles. At Little Falls a splendid aqueduct has been erected, over the Mohawk, which would do honor to any Country. It is of three arches, built of hewn stone, and well proportioned. I give you these details because you have seen that part of our state, and accounts of its rapid progress in <arts> arts, prosperity, & wealth, may not be uninteresting to you. We have just had quite a warm election. Judge Yates elected Governor almost without opposition. Our friends Lemuel Jenkins & Jas. Strong are elected to Congress and Jesse Hoyt & S.S. Gardiner to the Assembly of this state, from these respective districts. You have undoubtedly heard of the rumor published here that the Alligator had fallen in witho and captured the Poloma, Spanish piratier Brig, after a sharp contest. The story was so much in accordance with our hopes, that it was generally believed,. and Even little Mag had it at her tongues end, and probably will be able to repeat it to you on your return. The children are both well, and happy. Both have improved since you saw them, Tthey are all we could wish. Mr. VanBuren is soon to leave for Washington, where he will remain until March, when Congress will adjourn. If you go to Washington I wish you would become acquainted with my friends Walworth & Rochester. Your account of the Mountain your visit to the Mountain of Carracas, induces me to mention that I have lately so far wandered from home as to make a short excursion to the Pine orchard, on the Catskill, a plain which I believe you have visited, and the beauties of which you can therefore appreciate. The falls are much finer than I expected. Affairs are going on much after the old sort. The nation is occupied in speculating as to the next presidential contest. Preparations are making a formidable contest, which will be between Clay, Crawford, and Adams. Of these I think Crawfords prospects the best. This state which will have a preponderating influence upon this question, is not yet committed to any interest, but there is a predisposition to support Crawford. Mr VanBuren intends to embark deeply in this Controversy, though he has not yet openly avowed his Candidate. His influence will be great, and will ensure him the considerations of the respective candidates, either of whom would be highly benefited by his support, and therefore, anxious to obtain it. You have heard of course of the awful calamity with which New York has been visited. Little did we think when we parted in N.Y. that you was ^exposed^ into more danger by remaining at the City Hotel, than by cruising in the pestilential atmosphere of the West Indies. Such however was the fact, and it shews us how little <we> knew of the orderings of Providence. It has produced the greatest difficulty and distress in N.Y: The citizens are now about returning to their homes, and assume the hum of business will resound through the deserted streets of that devoted city. Mr Barker has compromised his North River Bank controversy upon favorable terms. I have endeavoured to give you as much business news as I could crowd into the sheet. We rejoice in the good health which has prevailed among your officers and crew. May it continued, as well for the sake of others, as ourselves. I look forward to the next session of Congress as one of interest to you, and I trust before it ends, you will have a title. While on this subject I can not withhold the expression of my deep regret, in that common with yours, that so many ^valuable^ gallant officers have this year been withdrawn from the affections of their friends & the gratitude of their country. The ravages of disease, & the various casualties which have [occurred] have swept away many ^a gallant spirit^ an honest heart, from the hope of his relations, & the assu & honor of his family. If your ^life^ shall be spared to us, how great will be our joy, & how deep the obligations we shall owe to that Him, who holds in hands in the destinies of us all, obligations which I trust you will ^also^ recognize and gratify by acknowledge with ^fervent^ gratitude. The ^Your^ description of ^Caracus <La> <Guira> &^ the scenery in the vicinity awakened all within me that responds to the emotions excites in your own bos experienced by yourself. <Well> may you praise the hospitality of your obliging Mr B. ^which I made on account of his^ I blushed for my own country, but so it is. As a nature we have the cold, suspicious, ^reserved &^ calculating mariners of our progenitors aided in congealed still more in this quarter of the ^Union^ continent, by the inclemency of our northern climate, at least we may as we attribute it to climate, as any other cause. I must however [. . .] Utica where I have witnessed considerable genuine hospitality, &c

BFB

 

probably to Lieut Allen

Marginalia:

Charge for commissions & services.

Allen was killed by Pirates before receiving this letter. 

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Source: N New York State Library
Collection: Benjamin Franklin Butler Papers (N)
Series: Series 4 (3 December 1821-31 December 1824)