This letter was written by Robert Hale Ives (1798-1875), the son of Thomas Poynton Ives (1769-1839) and Hope Brown (1773-1855) of Providence, Rhode Island. Ives began his mercantile career with Brown & Ives in 1816 and became a partner in 1832. He was active in establishing both the Butler Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital, and was a trustee of Brown University for 45 years. In 1827, he married Harriet Bowen Amory. Robert Hale and Harriet (Amory) Ives had four children, only one of whom survived past the age of 30. Their first child died in infancy. One daughter, Harriet Bowen Ives [1832-1860], died of consumption at the age of 28. A son, Lieut. Robert Hale Ives Jr. [1837-1862], died at age 25, of wounds suffered at the Battle of Antietam. Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth Amory Ives [1830-1897], married William Gammell in 1851.
Robert wrote the letter to his friend, Capt. George William Steinhauer (1822-1871) who came to Illinois from Providence, Rhode Island. William was the son of George W. Steinhauer (17xx-1851) and Louisa Hayley Sterry (1791-1864). William married Sarah A. Downing in Fulton County, Illinois in September 1851.
Robert’s letter conveyed the news of the death of his cousin, Capt. Thomas Poynton Ives (1834-1865), the son of Moses Brown Ives and Annie Allen Dorr. Cant. Ives was married to Elizabeth Cabot Motley at Vienna, Austria on 19 October 1865 but he died at Havre on 17 November 1865 “in sight of the vessel which was to bear him to his native land.”
Addressed to Geo. W. Steinhauer, Esq., Milo, Bureau County, Illinois
Providence [Rhode Island]
11 Jan 1866
George W. Steinhauer, Esq.
Milo, Bureau County, Illinois
You will have seen doubtlessly notice of death of Capt. Ives. We had for years past felt great solicitude about his health but when he announced his intention to get married, we ere encouraged to hope that he had good reason to suppose that his health would be re-established. But alas, all their hopes were soon blasted and his bride in a few days became a widow! You may well conceive the affliction of his mother under this unexpected bereavement.
I send a newspaper containing a sketch of Capt. Ives which is not according to my taste & was published without consultation with the family, but I dare say it will interest you for your interest in the family.
I am interested to hear the state of your health & your affairs. With very fond regards to our family. I remain, very respectfully & truly yours, — Robert H. Ives
Please advise me (entire novice) of the value of the East ½, NE ¼ of 27.15.8.