Jonathan Wright to Elizabeth (Wright) Shaw, 1820

12th mo. 12th 1820

When I was at Cincinati last, & found John was gone to Sindusky, I expected he would accept the appointment, and as it has turned out so and thee has to be seperated from thy friends and relations I hope thy mind will strengthened to bear the seperation with a good degree of fortitude, as we have but one pure source of comfort in this world.  it is our greatest interest to mind and feel after that, day by day tis the only sure support that we can apply to.  it is my daily experience, and has often been the secret prayer of of my heart that my Children and grand Cildren might seek it above all worldly motives.  thee knows perhaps as much as I can tell thee and if we never see each other again in this world I hope all will be well.


Susan thought to go and see you before you started, but could get no suitable company.  thy mother desired me to tell thee, her head had got better and sends her love to you all in which I join and remain thy affectionate father

Jonathan Wright

Elizabeth Shaw



3 Responses to Jonathan Wright to Elizabeth (Wright) Shaw, 1820

  1. Pingback: A Father’s Concern for his Daughter | Arbor Familiae

  2. Kevin, what a lovely letter. Can you tell me how you interpret it?

    • ArborFam says:

      John Shaw, Elizabeth (Wright) Shaw’s husband, was preparing to serve as an Indian Agent among the Wyandot Indians in northern Ohio. He had already served once before among the Indians in the years leading up to the War of 1812, when the Indians fought on the side of the British against the American settlers in the West (specifically in northern Indiana).

      Life as an agent of the US government among the Indians posed many challenges., especially for a family with young children (one of their children, my three-times-great grandfather was five years old at the writing of this letter).

      Elizabeth’s father Jonathan was concerned for his daughter. He wrote her these words to remind her of his support and love. And also to point her toward God, the ultimate source of strength in all circumstances. As an old man, he had lived a life full of challenges himself and he knew the importance of finding strength in God.

      Thanks for asking!

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