Richard Archer Correspondence

Michael Heeler at was kind enough to contribute the following correspondence dated 1879 between Richard Archer of Oregon City and his sister and brother-in-law in the U.K. Michael is researching the Heeler and Treadgold/Tradgold families and would appreciate any information on these families in the US.

Robert Tradgold of Redditch Worcestershire U.K.:
My Great Grandfather Robert Treadgold was in the Building Trade, probably also working as a plasterer, but he left Redditch to join Elizabeth Archer and was married at Oregon City. After the birth of one child (Archer), Robert and a pregnant Elizabeth apparently left Oregon to return to the U.K. some time in the 1870s. On the Overland trip to the East Coast, a daughter (Annie Jane) was born on an Indian Reservation. Richard Archer (Robert's brother-in-law) and his wife wrote to Robert and Elizabeth in Redditch on the 28th April 1879. Also included is a letter dated 26 March 1879 to Robert and Elizabeth from William Whitlock who was a J.P. and Recorder at Oregon City in the 1870s.

Letter from Richard Archer, Oregon City, dated April 28th 1879:
My Dear Bess, Bob, Jinnie & Archie,
I once more sit down to write you a few lines to let you know we are all as well as usual except colds and we all have them more or less, but I hope we shall soon get rid of them now, as the weather must soon change, it is as hot as Summer one hour and the next as cold as Winter, so no wonder we catch cold. I am glad to say we had a letter from you today and were glad to hear you were all well again. I hope you will all keep well now as it must be better weather soon after such a hard winter. I was glad to hear you had the seeds. I will send you some Butter Beans and by the time you get them, it will be a good time to plant them, the last of May is the time as they are tender and want a warm spot.

I think you must have missed a letter from us for I am quite sure I told you we had the paper for Edie and the supplement soon after. I shall send you the Enterprise with the loss of the Opposition Steamer "Great Republic". There is not much new in this place[.] Annie Roberts says she has wrote to you. Mr. Miller often comes down to see us and brings Clara he says he is about sick of his bargain, for his wife wont let any of her children do the least thing. But I don't pity him for he run into it with his eyes wide open. They are going to have a Children's May Day Party on the hill if it is fine on the first of May and want Edie for the Queen of May, but we don't think we shall let them have her as we think she is too young but we shall see. I expect Sarah has told you that we have her Mother enlarged and framed as large as life, but you are the first that I have told that we have our Mother framed as well, I wish I could say it looked as well as Mary's Mother but it don't, enlarging it made it look worse than it does in the small one. I suppose it is because it is on a card and that old one of Mary's Mother is on glass, but it was the best we could do. So Jinnie has been to Sunday School has she; tell her Edie loves to go and so does Chrisie.

I was sorry to hear you had been so sick you and Mrs. Treadgold seem to have had a hard time of it but I hope you will be all right now, you had better send a penny postcard to the Publishers of that Paper and tell them you have missed a number and they will send it (but I don't think it is worth it). Our folks at Olney have not missed any, so I think the P.M. [postmaster] kept it for himself.

But I must close for this time with love to all and kisses to the children and remain your Loving Brother and Uncle Dick

(added to letter)
My Dear Bessie, Robert, Jinnie & Archie, I now sit down to write a few lines, hoping they will find you all well again, as I am glad to say our colds are bidding us goodbye. I hope all our letters will get to you in time, we had a letter from Sarah Saturday[.] it had been two weeks so we were thinking one must be lost, but we are lucky so far. I hope Mrs. Treadgold is well again[.] it seems rather hard for you to be alone in the midst of so many relatives, so dear Jinnie likes Sunday School, Chrisie likes to go he never misses and Edie loves to go too, Captain West met her the other day, he kissed her and said he missed her at Sunday School. Dear Bess if I am began once I am at the least to write these few words, Richard has just come back from the Post with a letter from Sarah that were wrote five days before the one I had Saturday, we are just going to have our tea, we have lots of radishes, so soon, I must close with love to you all from your sister, kisses from Auntie and all of us.

(Letter from Wm. Whitlock to Robert Tradgold dated March 26, 1879 headed Oregon City)

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Treadgold,
I received your kind letter and in reply would say we are jogging along, about the same old way. My wife and myself were glad to hear from you, also glad to hear you are both well and your little children. I find from the Papers that you have had a very severe winter, how strange and in Oregon we have had a very mild winter, but are now having an unusual amount of rain, but everything looks spring like, flowers in my garden, many of them in bloom.

I am pleased to find Mrs. Treadgold is contented in her native country[.] that is all we want in this world is to be contented with our lot in life, money or position does not match contentment, we may have the wealth of California but if we do no good with the money it gives us no rest or pleasure its the use we make of it. I do not think it matters where we make our abode, if we are only content and can make a good living for our family, while we stay on this earth, which is not easy for most of us. This place is about as you left it, one or two new buildings put up the side and Logies built himself a nice dwelling on the corner where is old building stood and Wm. Pope built on the riverbank, quite a fine building. John Meldrum also built a fine house, just below entry on his farm. Mr. Califf done the plastering work, he was quite busy last Summer. I believe this was all the involvement of any note last summer. There is great talk of building a railroad from this place to Silvertown and I am under the impression it will be built. We have had two sudden deaths in this place last month[.] one was Jock Barlow, found dead in his bath and the other was Mr. Harrison, Receiver in the Land Office who dropped dead in his Office. We are having a great many marriages at this present time, quite a rage, I married three persons last month all strangers to you. Mr. M. Hedges of Cassanat will be married tomorrow, and Miss Emma Miller today to James Cockran. Henry Fouts was married a few weeks ago. A great many of the Old residents have left this place for Portland. I forgot to mention one person who was married L. Jaggers to Miss N. C. Howell of Cassanat. Portland took a great start last summer, hundreds of buildings were put up.

Portland is quite a large place at this time and improving fast, fine large brick and stone buildings, you would hardly know the place. Emigration is coming in very fast, fare from California is low, Cabin $5.00 Steerage #2.00[.] it brings some very bad stock from Frisco. Two of them were hung last week for murder and two or three more sentenced. I do not know whether I shall be able to make my trip home this year, I think not, having had my plans broken by losses, having had to pay securities for others to the amount of $4000.00 and over.

I am still Recorder and Justice of the Peace and out of that I make a decent living. It is not pleasant living on the misfortunes of others, but someone must deal out Justice and the people think I am the man to do it, so as long as they remain in that mind, I shall do it and when they get tired of me, I must step down gracefully and take a back seat. Will and his wife are still living with me, they are well, their little boy is a nice little fellow, lots of company for me. Ed and his wife are still at Portland and doing better. Old Mr. Waller is quite sick I do not think he will live long, his Son is well and his Mother, G. Miller is well doing about the same, fat as a jug. John Pilsberry his F___ is Sheriff of this County. Archie and his wife I meet them occasionally.

I believe I have given you most of the news of this place and will wind up this epistle, stating that my poor old lady has been very sick with some kind of a skin disease but I think she is getting better, but she is well in her general health and a wonder, first up in the morning and very cheerful, she desires to be kindly remembered to you and hopes you will be contented and prosperous in your native land. I will now close with our united loves to you all and may had his blessings, from your friend.
Wm. Whitlock.

P.S. I cannot tell you who Nip Broughton married some one about Albany, I think.

(The bit added to letter by Mrs. Whitlock is difficult to read)

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