Graham Letter - Thomas Graham 1878

Graham Letter - Thomas Graham 1878

Graham Letter - Thomas Graham 1878
In 1871 Joseph Graham added to his farm by buying land from an Elizabeth Peart. Very likely she was John's wife. However, a newspaper clipping dated 1879 in which there is a brief story describing the suicide of John's son-in-law, who shot himself while living with his father-in-law on the farm in Caton, indicates that John and Elizabeth continued to live in the area.

Letters from England were probably lost in the house fire which burned Joseph's home in 1906. The letters reproduced here are the ones which were saved along with some of the furniture. At the time of the fire Joseph was no longer living, having died the previous year. His son William rebuilt the house making it even larger than before. The new house with its fromt and back parlours now had seven bedrooms instead of five. William and his mother, Hannah, lived in the stripping room in one of the barns while he rebuilt the house.
Durham Record Office Ref: D/X 1035/25

This letter is from Joseph's brother Thomas.

Pudding Thorn August 15 1878

Dear Brother I write these few lines to hear how you are getting on and how work is with you. The men on killhope are all of work but 6 partnerships and the Ironstone men has got their notice to leave their work. We are all of work with the rest of men. But Thom* he has got a job in Northumberland burning lime We are all in good health around heare but Christopher Graham and he has worked none since November he is some easier that he was but not fit for work yet. We have not had a letter from Joseph** since April and he talked about coming back east to his farm. If you know where he is you must write and tell us. This is the third letter we have sent to you and never got an answear.

From your brother Thomas Graham
Weardale
Cowshill


*Thom is probably Thomas Graham's son
**Thomas may be referring to his oldest son, Joseph, who was born about 1850. He implies that his Joseph is somewhere in the Mid-West and has a farm in the East. This farm could have been the one located next to Joseph's farm consisting of about 40 acres which in 1885 a Joseph Graham sold to Joseph's son William for $500. The Joseph Graham who sold the land was living in Avoca, Nebraska at the time of the sale and was married to Margaret and Robert Wilkinson's daughter.