This letter was written by John Henry Douglass (1837-1914), the son of James S. Douglass (1807-1882) and Azubah Godwin (1816-1889) of Upton, Oxford County, Maine. At the time that John registered for the draft in 1863, he was still single and gave his occupation as “tanner.” He married in 1868 to Susan Emery Locke (1840-1914).
John wrote the letter to his uncle, Horatio R. Godwin (1835-1900) of Rockport, Maine.
Addressed to Mr. Horatio R. Godwin, Rockport, Massachusetts
September 26th 1862
Thinking perhaps you might want to hear how things are going in in Big Upton (well about as usual). Nehe[miah] has left Mr. Bragg’s but he is on his tongs the same however. J. H. carried Henry Chase & McKenney to Bethel the 10th. They went to Portland the same day. McKinley left Portland last Friday — run guard. Henry Brooks has enlisted. Abner went to Portland last Monday to enlist but his courage failed him and he arrived home this morning. He could have had $250 or $300 for nine months — foolish boy he was to come home. There is any amount of drafted men there. I attended a draft in Grafton the 20th. Dexter Jenney was drafted. He drew No. 1. Heyibugh [?] Poland No. 2, Freehand Bartlett No. 3, Benjamin York No. 4. Jenney has got a certificate and of course No. 2 & 3 will so Benjamin York will have to go. There is to be a training tomorrow.
Capt. Frost has got a cap that cost 1.50 “G__d, I did not think it would cost over 50 cts.” He has uniformed in great agony.
How are you enjoying life at Rockport? As for me I have pretty blue times. Father & mother have gone to Lisbon. Went a week ago last Thursday. So[phia] and Warren has gone to work for Eben Eames so I am all alone now. But I am working pretty hard now. Have not had time to use your boat any. It has not been used any yet. Frost has not had much company lately so we have had not to stand back much. Joseph is off guiding now. Will have a trip of 5 days. Fernando Ames has been to work on his place this week.
Oh by the way, the night that before Jim McKenney left, he stayed to James Bragg’s. Rufus and I went down after him about ten o’clock. When I went to the door, I heard an awful rush. The next morning I found out what it was. McKinley said Ellen Bragg and Matilda Bragg was there and they went under the bed when I went to the door. I could not get him to leave that night but he promised so fair I let him stay. He was alright in the morning. I did not blame him for not leaving owing to the circumstances but enough of this.
I hear that Osgood has been offered for your two years $1200. Heywood talks buying off them. Stock is very low. I have bought that steer of Warren. Gave him $1550 for him. He girts five ft. 4 inches — is a beauty. Otis talks of buying your steers. Enough for his time if not better. Excuse this awful writing and I will try and do better when I have more time. Write soon.
Yours &c. — John H. Douglass
Charles don’t go to see Nellie at all.