Friday, August 10, 2012

Letter from Jonathan Calvin Harvey to Isaac N. Harvey (1888)

      This is an item that is a part of a collection that Vernon Pack recently sent to me.  He deserves many thanks for including these materials.  The rest I am uploading soon into the photo and document archive on the blog (look for the tabs on the home page).

      The letter, written June 24, 1888, was mailed from Vandalia, WV.  Vandalia was the name for Streeter before the name change.  Jonathan Calvin Harvey communicates the very hot temperatures, recent severe storm, and resulting crop damage to his father Isaac (coincidentally, there is a photo of both men in the archive via Vernon).

     (my notes are in brackets and there are footnotes):

     Vandalia Summers Co WVA
     June The 24th 1888

     In ancer [answer] to your letter dated the 12th of this inst [instance] I will Say That I was glad to hear from you and that you was well as common. I will Say that we have had some of the hotest weather for this time of year I think I ever felt. The mercury was up to 105 degrees and it has been dry weather up to a bout the 20th of this month. Sam Pack* had to grinde by hand**but on the evening of the 20th I went to the mill after a turn of meal and as I came back I had to take of my turn and Saddle and get under the clift and Stay Till near by night.  It rained and hailed So and it has rained every day but once Since Same and Some places corn has been beat nearly in the ground with hail.  John Basham+ Said that his crop was clear ruined he said that it washed his corn ground all of just leaving the marks of the plow and I guess that Adam's++ crop is hurt too. My corn looks very well I got over it the first time the 15th about ten o'clock on friday morning and I have been working in the backin [a back corner]] for Buck Wheat Since I got it fenste [fenced] and the logs on the part I have clear roled [rolled] but I have been near by past going with my back for over two weeks.  The rest off [of] the family is in common health. Dow's^and Jim's^^ famileys is well and the people in general as far as I no [know] is well. 

 I got a letter from Putman [Putnam] yesterday and you can gess hoo [guess who] it is from he was as well as common and that was a good country crops range... it to waste [waist] high and that tobacco was same as large as a palm lief [leaf] hat on the hill.  he did not say what he was doing but that he was in the Bird Settlement [Raleigh County community that no longer exists].

       Basham+ has had a time with adline he had to take her with a war[a]nt of trespas and that did not do hardley any good.  She is now gone to hinton with her cow and children So I will close for this time hoping those lines will find you well.

         From J.C. Harvey To I.N. Harvey

*Samuel Pack, owner and operator of Streeter Mill.
** The water was not high enough for the water wheel to turn.
+ John Wesley Basham, my great grandfather.
++ V. Pack is not sure who he refers to here.
^ Lorenzo Dow Harvey, brother of Joshua Calvin.
^^James Harvey, Joshua Calvin's brother.


  1. Hello again Brian,
    Thanks for posting the above letter care of Vernon Pack. He may have been referring to Joshua Calvin's son, Lorenzo Dow.
    How might I get in contact with Vernon? Also, do you know Wayne Harvey?
    Thanks also for the family photos. First time I have seen a photo of Wm. S.J. Lilly and his wife, Nannie; my great grandmother.
    Thanks and best regards,
    Jesse Harvey

    1. You are welcome to give me your contact information and I will pass it to Vernon.

  2. Not sure which profile I should use to reply; anonymous was the one I got to work.
    Vernon can reach me at

    1. That works fine...I'll pass the info on.
      I forgot to answer your questions....
      I've found many people to be helpful...Vernon certainly is. Steve Trail was also very helpful. Vernon is quite the expert on the Harvey side of things.

    2. Thanks. I will contact Vernon soon.
      Isaac Newton Harvey was my great grand uncle.
      Lorenzo Dow Harvey (1872-1939) was my grand uncle. He married Elizabeth E. Basham, whose father was John Basham and mother was Martha A. How does this connect with your line? Would be interesting to know how we are related.

    3. John Henry Basham (I believe that's yours) and my great grandfather, John Wesley Basham son of Alexander were cousins.

      As for the Harveys: my direct connection is through Elizabeth Bell Harvey. She was a wife of John R. Pack (they are my 3rd great grandparents)

  3. Searching for grave of Amanda J Via, daughter of Isaac & Amanda Harvey. Amanda Via was first married to Tazewell Hayden Wood and then to Jacob Via. She is not buried with Jacob in the Anderson Vest cemetery.

  4. According to Find A Grave, there is an Amanda Via buried at Lyon-Cooper Cemetery in Mercer County. I just glanced at it, but I'm pretty sure that's who you are looking for. Go to Find A Grave, do a search and plug in her first and last name.

    Good luck