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Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Diaries & Letters of Tri-Counties
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Home Page Guide Disclaimer Copyright More Diaries & Letters Ridgebury Township  Joyce New & Search
1855-1884 Letters of Cook and Covell Families 
Joyce's Search Tip - December 2010
Do You Know that you can search just the 355 pages of our
Diaries and Letters
on this site  by using the Diaries button in the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current What's New Page? But diaries and letters are wonderful sources to understand the culture of time and place. Read them and enjoy them slowly.
In a message dated 8/11/2008 11:14:20 AM Eastern Standard Time, sageofbrush@comcast.net writes:
I have transcribed my collection of family letters related to the Tri-Counties area, plus Steuben County, New York. The Cook family dates back to Reuben Sr., first settler in the Cowanesque Valley above Lawrenceville, and the Covell family first came to Chemung and Bradford Counties about 1816. Your Web site has been my number one source for putting together our family history and sharing it with my cousins here in California and in upstate New York, so this contribution is long overdue. Thank you for giving us such a treasure trove!
Dan Cook

Letters of the Cook and Covell Families

Editorial insertions are in italics: [?] means the writing is unclear.

From Sally Dewey Covell to Sally Covell Cook, 11 March 1855

March 11, 1855

Dear Daughter

it is with Pleasure that I’m prove this this opportunity of Writing to you to inform you that I am as well as common hoping these few lines may find you enjoying the same blessing. I live with Parvin and Annie is at Morgan’s going to scool this winter. Parvin’s folks are all well as common at Present. They have Lost their Little girl this winter. Sophia has got a great Boy almost Large enough to cut wood. Jacob Has had the Rheumatics all Winter. Morgan’s folks have got another Boy about as Large as his father. Calvin works for Morgan and has been there Ever since he has been out here. I should Like to Come and see you But I don’t know that I Can this spring. I should Like to have you come out and see us as soon as you can. Grandpa and Granma are as well as common. Wesley Brown Has been sick with the scrofulus in his Neck and Jaw all winter. C. T. Covell’s folks are all as Well as common. Hiram Dewey’s folks and Nathan Dewey’s folks are all Well. Aunt Sally Chamberlin is as tough as a bear. John Cummin’s folks have Lost one of their children and have got another in its Place. Jacob and Sophia says When you Wright again they hope you Will remember them.

No more at Present But Remain your Ever loving Mother

Sally Covell to Mrs. Sally Cook

addressed to Mr. Wm. Cook

Osceola Tioga Penn Bentley Creek Pa Mar 12
From Parvin Covell to William and Sally Cook, 21 October 1855

October 21, 1855

Dear Brother and Sister

I take this opportunity to inform you that we are all well at present and i am in hopes these few Lines will find you enjoying the same blessings. I have seen Oscar Decker and he says he will buy all the cord wood I can cut. And if you conclude to move out here I can furnish steady work for you this winter. We will buy you a stove and take your work for it and we will furnish all the store trade you want as cheap as you can buy this side of New York. And George Peterson is going to move away to saw mill this week and I have spoke for his house for you to live in this winter. And he thinks you can have it longer and there is two or three more empty houses here now and I Think there will be no trouble to get a farm to work next spring. If Peterson should want to move back Next spring. Morgan and his family is well and all the rest of our friends here.

If you cant come out here write as soon as you receive this. We would be glad to make you a visit but we Cannot at present. Parvin D. Covell

I like to forgot to tell you that Phebe has got another girl 10 days old and she is as smart as a grasshopper.

P.D.C. Do not forget to write

From Phylinda Strate to William and Sally Cook, 1 September 1856

Woodhull September 1 1856

Dear uncle

and aunt how do you do this after noon I thought I would write a lines to let you know that we are all well at present hopeing these few lines will find you all the same I now take this priveledge to write to you hopeing that you will be willing to except my letter mother was very sick the next day after she came from your house but she is smart as a grasshoper now she sent for my little doctor and he gave her some pills that helped her I wont say eny more about that I have been to home two weeks but I am going back some time this weak give my love to ardilla and kiss albert forty time for me kiss uncle william for me but save one for your self lucinda was buried the 20 of august they all felt very bad the last word she spoke she wanted her mother to get her spelling book and she so she could study her spelling lesson strat cleaveland wife lies helpeless henry beagle broke his arm last weak but he is doing well mother is to uncle Johns to day and aunt Jane is coming down heare to morrow granmother is well I supose you will be glad to heare from her abram sendes his love to you all and a kiss for little albert tell ardilla that heman is well yesterday was the last day of sunday school your old smart cat lives to mr beagles aunt Jane is better now then she has bin since last fall she says you must write and let them know how you get along She is now doctering with dr day

I have no more at present

write as soon as you get this

dont think you will write and not

From Phylinda Strate

Dear cousin i now take my pen in hand to let you know i am well at present and hope that you are the same it is a raning like Evry thing to day

Emaline Cook My Dear

Margit Cook My Dear I.W.Chase



From Margaret Cook to William and Sally Cook, 16 August 1857)

Other evidence (such as the September 1856 letter from Phylinda Strate, that shows Mary Jane Cook still alive at that time) shows that Margaret put down the wrong year. Includes insert from John Cook.

August the 16 1856

Dear uncle and ant cousins and All I know take my pen in hand to let you know that we all Well at preasant And I hope that those few lines will find you the same we recieved your letter last teausday night the 11 with great joy to here from you and to heare that you was All well fathe(r) is here to work for uncle william yet And he says that he shall work for him three or fore weeks longe he is left alone and he say that he dont know what he shall do yet but he has talked some of going back to woodhull again but he says that he dont wheather he shall go yet or not he was up to Woodhull yesterday and grammother and granfather was well then and All the rest of the folks Around there father says that he should like to see you for he says that he has thought About you serval times this summer he had talked of comeing out theire this fall before he received your letter And he thinks that he shall come yet in about fore or five weaks he says that he should like to see you and ant sally very much and have you come out here and

And make a visit as soon as you can know more at preasant I want you to write as soon as you get this know more at presant I remain your afectionnate brother John Cook to William Cook And ant sally Cook

Ant sally O how I wish that you was here with Me to night we would have a good time I would like to see you and uncle bill first straite tell Ardila that i am a coming out there one of those time O ant saly grammothe(r) and granfather says that they should like to see you all father wanted me to tell you that you must wright as soon as you got this letter with out fail so that we willl know wheather you got this letter or not Martha and her man lives down here by the river where you ust to live O how many times I and martha has wish that you lived over yonde(r) where you ust to live miss bulkley say that she should like to see you ant elner said the other day day when I was over there that she should like to see you very much emeline says that she would like to see ardilla and have a good visit with her O Albert if you was here with me to night I could All most eat you up and ardilla to Emeline says she wants to send this card to ardilla ant saly I should like to come out there this fall when father comes but I cant very well on the acount of Charley and Johney for they have no mother to see to them eny more O ant saly you cant think how lonesome it is here we havent no mother eny more O ant saly I would tell you more about it but I cant it make me fell so bad when I think of it but we have All got to go sonee (sooner) or latte(r) just as you said tell grammother I should like to see her to Egbert says that he wants to see Albert and ardila to Johny and Charley says that they want to see albert And dilla to poly send her love to you All last winter I worked up to nopriell [?] 12 weaks to miterg (mister?) Gellys old miss ballard is dead one of Jim workres little boys is dead miss Maury was buried to day to oce(o)la well ant Saly and uncle william it is milking time And I must close my letter Egbert has just brought in the pail of milk and Johny is a trying to ketch the pig to play with it it is sunday to night and I and the Children are alone father

father has gone out somers but will return soon it is geting dark now and I must take care of my babys you must All come out here as soon as you can

no more at preasent

so good by to you all till

I see you write as soon

As you get this with out fail

Margaret Cook to ant saly

and uncle william it is

getting so dark that I cant

see where to write so good by

Ant saly and all of you

My Dear Friend dont forget to write

A few moments shall be spent in writing to you as soon as you

I would give all the old shoes I have got to see you I am get this letter

usually well this morning and my old man is to you know Margaret Cook

him dont you/can you sing with him/If I could see you I to ant saly Cook

would tell you lots of things Charleys wife is at home Jim goodby

Moran says to Charley a few days will be what he can do Mrs. Bulkley

says she is a going to write to you Give my love to William he has lost a sister in law I was with her in some of her sickness and in her Dying moments. Poor woman suffered a great (d)eal and bore it as patientley as anny body could but she has gone home to rest give my love to the children there is much I would like to write but time will not admit (write me a letter if you please) Good Bye

Martha Odell

From Phylinda Strate to William and Sally Cook, 25 September 1857

Woodhull September the 25 1857

Dear aunt I now sit down to write to you for I am lonesome and want to see you but as I was deprived of seeing you I am glad to have the priveledge of writeing to you we are all well and I hope you are the same mother says she wants you and uncle william to come out here this fall aunt sally I suppose you would like to here from Mrs Martin she has got A girl 5 weaks old she has not sat up any utill this weak Bill Morices folks have got a boy two months old and they feel as big as life I dont know hardly what to write but I will tell you some news Opelia weres hooks this fall that will foll in her armes Abram is to work for Luis Wiley he is to home this weak for he has got a fellow on his finger but it has broke and is geting better. aunt I have herd some bad news I had a letter from Jim last weak and he was very sick dont you think that is proper bad I should like to come out there and live this winter and if you and uncle william will come out here this fall I will go home with you bring albert and ardilla for we all want to see them we look for uncle ______ folks in about two weaks and I exspect they will make there last visit for they talk of going west this fall

Uncle Johns folks was well the last I herd from them they talk of moveing in with miles finch I they are a lonesome famely wee had a letter from uncle nat and he says that he would not give his claim in minsota for all we can see in woodhull tell uncle william that granmother has her health better this fall than she has in some time no more at present

Kiss Albert for me O how I would like to see him and ardilla write when you get this so good by from Phylinda to aunt william and uncle sally excuse mistakes and I will

From Margaret Cook to William and Sally Cook, 25 June 1858

(Postscript from John Cook)

June the 25 1858

Dear uncle and ant

I now set down with the pleasure that no one can tell to inform you that I am well at this preasent time and I hope that those few lines will find you enjoying the same blessing I am to work to Mr Welles now I cant tell you how long I shall stay theire but I should like to come out theire and see you first strait Ant Saly phylinda wanted me to give her love to you all the folks around here are well I think that I shall be out thare a soon as next fall if not before you may look for me Emeline send her love to you she says tell dilla And albert that she wants to see them very bad O ardila how I should like to see you this day you must kiss albert for me Charley and John says that the(y) want to see the children ant saly the smallpokex is around here granfather folks are all well they have moved up to david wiley where we ust to live tho Widow lives there with them all

O ant saly and uncle william how I wish that I was taking to you you cant tell nothing how bad I feel while i sit here writing but it is a great consolation to me to think that I can hear from you by the way of letters o I gess it is I have shed many a tear while writing to you for I cant help it if I could onely see you all O dear how pleased I should be o albert and ardila how I do want to see you ant saly you must kiss the children and uncle william for me and he must kiss you ant saly when you get this dont wate to sleep before you write to me for it dont seame as though I could wait for ano answer now be shure and write just as soon as you get this

I remain your afectionate

Margaret to ant and uncle

write write as soon as you get this s(o)

good by Dear friends till I meet you the(y) all

send there love to you give my love to granmothr

so good by ant saly

Egbert says tell the children

that he should like to see them

and ant saly and uncle bill

you must excuse the mistakes

write as soon as you get this

so good by

to all

from Margaret to

ant and uncle

Emeline says ardila

must write to her

and then she will

write to

so good

to you all

Dear brother and sister

I now set down to write a few lines to you to let you now that I am well and I hope that those few lines will find you the same the reason I dident come out there when I agreed to was because it was such hard times for money I went and rafted but I couldent get my pay but I haint forgot you I shall be out theire as soon as can get away you must not think har(d) cause I did not come out when I agreed to I think some of moving out there this fall if I can get a house to go in to if they is any chan(c)e for me to get one write and let me no when you get this – I had thought of writing to or three weaks before I did but we kept neglcting it till now Saly I should like to see you and the children first strait But we must wait with patient till we can see one other and I hope that wont be a great well from John Cook to William Cook so good by write just as soon as you get this for I want to here from you the worst way so goodby till I see

John Cook to William

From Margaret Cook to William and Sally Cook, 14 November 1858

November the 14 1858

Dear uncle and ant I received your letter last night i was glad to heare from you and to heare that you was all well i am usuly well to day and i hope that those few lines will find you the same i received your first letter the 3 day of this month i was very sorry to heare that you had ben sick i am down to grandfathers to day they are all well i want to come back theire the worst way but i don’t now when I can come but i shall come As soon as i can i want to see you all wo(r)se than you do me Emeline wants to go to schooll this winter if i stay to home they are all the while a leasing [?] me not to go back uncle william father talks of moving in with his Folks next weak and if he does him and uncle Abram is a going to work together and he does i shall be out theire to live with you if you will keep me I asked father and Emeline if the(y) wanted me to wright Eny thing for them and father said that he dident Now as he did he said that he would like to see Em said that she dident want me to say a word a bout her and i told her very good i shouldent haft to wright it the children is well and saly you i think that i shall see you Again if we all live uncle James folks is all well I cant think of much to wright for i have got to wright some to all but you must wright as often as you can you must all come out this winter and i will go back with you good by till i see you

From your neice to uncle and ant

Adieu till i see you

to ant saly

Margaret Cook

Wright as soon as you can

From Margaret Cook to Ardilla Cook, 14 November 1858

November the 14 1858

Dear cousin i now take my pen In hand to inform you that i am well and i hope that those few lines will find you the same Well dill what a bout wils you dont have me theire Eny more to guard with you about him you think that you are share of him but old gal Ill show you before a great while i am a comeing out there and we will see how will have him dill your chance is good if i dont come back again I want to see you i could tell you lots of news dill you must kiss wils for me the next time you see him and tell him Marg sent that to him dill i want you to wright a long letter and then i will wright you one wright this weak so that i can get it a Satterday i shall be to woodhull and i shall look for a letter from you now wright without fail to me so that i can git it the last of this weak no more at present from Marg to you dill kiss albert for me and tell him i will be there before long to see him now do you wright this weak i shall look for a letter if i dont get none i dont now what i shall do from Marg to dill goodby wright


M C Miss

Miss Cook

From Abram Strate to William and Sally Cook, 24 November 1858


November the 24 1858

Dear uncle i now set doown to write a few lines to let you no that we are all well and the rest of the folks and i hope you are the same

grandda and granddmother is a keeping house alone whare John lived uncle nat is wel but is very hard times i wold like to se you and the rest of the folks firstrate out hear uncle William 8 mnts for david A buck Ffor $13 a month and i am a going to work for him this winter

driving team

time is hard hear money is hard to find it is very good hunting now but we have not killed ena dear yet but i see a big buck yesterday Abram Strate

ant sala i cant tel when i shal cum out thare but i wold like to see you out hear tell alburt for me to be a good boy and go to school this winter ardilla bee a good girl and i will tell Sum of the bois to cum and see you

I shal hafta bring mi leter to a c(l)ose for it is bedtime So write as soon as you get t(h)is

Abram Strate

From Margaret Cook to William, Sally, and Ardilla Cook, 5 December 1858

To William Cook

December the 5 1858

Dear uncle and ant a few moments shall be spent in writing to you i am well as coman i hope that those few lines will find you all well our folks are all well at present ant saly i wish that i was theire to stay with you while uncle will is a hunting i want to come back the worst way and i think i shall you and uncle william come out and i will go home with you ant poly is not very well i was down theire to night the rest is all well uncle James has got a felow on his finger Abram is here to night he says that he rote to you two weaks ago i rote you a long letter three weak ago and have had no ansir i have bin waiting for you to write and have got tired and so i thought that i would write to you no more Emeline has bin on the river three weaks and i dont now when she will be home i gess that she will haft to come before long father says that when she gets home i must go down and keep house for the old folks uncle Abram has moved out and they are a lone i dont want to go down theire and stay nor shant would you father talks of moving theire in about two months i dont think that i shall go thire to live i have said that i never should go theire to wait on them old folks for i cant i am a comeing to live with you before a great while for i wont stay here a great while longer i shall be theire in 8 or nine weaks i think if nothing hapens it dont seem to me that i can eaver wait that long to see you ant saly you write and tell me what to do write as soon as you can for i want to heare from you all the worst way if i was theire to night with you we would have a fine time i have seen will and was glad to see him to you had better belive give my love to all enquring friends if eny from Marg Cook to saly Cook

write as soon as you get this

with out fail and tell me

what to do good by ant saly

Dear uncle good eaving how do you do i am well at preasent and i hope that those few lines will find you the same uncle william i am homesick i wish that i had heard to you i wouldent be here now i want to see you the worst way i would give more to see you than all the rest of the folks in woodhull uncle william father is a going to live with the old folks but i for one haint a going i am a comeing back to live with you and when i do they may whisle if they get me back here very soon come out uncle will and i will go home with you i wont stay here eny longer than this winter eny way write to me uncle william and let me now when you will come out no more from

Margaret Cook to uncle will Cook

Dear cosin a few lines to you and then i will go to bed i wish that you was here to sleep with me i should like to see you dill you must wright to me and tell me all the newes dill we will have fine times when i see you you have uncle william let you come out with him if ant saly dont come and if she does come you come to you and uncle will come and i will go back with you dill give my love to wils and kiss him for me give my love to grand ma and an telll them that i would like to see dill write a long letter to me soon as you get this write with out fail Marg Cook to dill Cook good by get this write with out Albert how do you do you must write and tell me all about the boy kiss pa for me Albert on both cheeks telll him that Marg sent that to him with all her heart good by Albert and ring Egbert says that he wants to see ant saly and uncle will and dill and albert he says that he is a comeing out theire to see you all

Abram Strate to William and Sally Cook, 27 June 1859

Woodhull the 27 June 1859

Dear uncle and ant and cousens I now sit down to let lyou no that wee are all wel except mother she is not very wel but better than she was s last spring And i think that she will never be mutch beter The dockter sher that she never will git ruged as she was before

he ses that she ma(y)

live a long ta as

five [?] years yet

Mother ses that you must come out and se hear for she cant come out thare phylinda is to home and cant lieve very wel but she wants you all to come out hear as soon as you can gradmother is smart as a cricket Abram Strate

I head a first rate time a coming home Mother was so tickel to se me that she cride

Abram Strate

From Phylinda and Abram Strate to William and Sally Cook, 29 October 1859

(handwriting comparison shows first part from Phylinda Strate, the rest from Abram Strate)


Dear aunt and cousins and uncle i now sit down to write a few lines to let you know that i am well and I hope you are the same O how i would like to see you all i think of coming out there before long but dont look for me i willl write again before I come aunt sally i must tell you something about margret her health is not very good at present but I guess she will gain it after a while no more about that i am at home yet and i dont know but i alway shall ardilla i am coming out there and you must pick me out a man for my old beauses have all left me here i am forsaken i cant think of any at present it is meeting time i must go write soon goodby kiss albert for me

Woodhull Steuben Co. N.Y.

Dear uncle it is with pleacher that i sit down to let you no that we are al well and i hope that theas few lines will find you the same

Mother says that you must come out here and se(e) hear before we cill her she is most fat anuff to cill. She has not smoked _______ end sise (since) last Spring and says that she never will again so you can come out and get that pipe you gaive her.

October the 29, 1859

I have not bin on the Sinamahone yet but i am agoing a tuesday but i dont no whare i shall Stop when i do Stop i will rite d and i will let you no whare i am We dont hear enathing from nat but We look for a leter fore sone (sson). Uncle John is a going to live on the hill whare he was burnt out tha have got the house done a most

Abram Cook lives with the old folks tha are all well i have not heard from Levi in sum time tha ware well then

i cant think of mutch to rite phylind is to home

hear is list of maride since last Spring

David Wiley to Maries-trna


James hipelite to maryan

Charles hipelite raset [?] miles

John miles to feba admons

John alin to amelia bass

Abil rice to lida Stodarte

gilbert Crimer to lucinda finch

thease is all that can think of now ebin smeads thar got a boy

From Calvin Covell to William and Sally Cook, 10 November 1859

San Jose Cala Nov 10th 1859

Dear Brother and Sister having a few moment to spare I thought I would write a line to you so you would not forget me, nor me you. It is some time since I wrote to you, my last was July 5th. I want to know when you wrote your last letter to me. I have not received any from you since I left Mich. Write how Parvin and Esther and the children get along. Tell them to write how he made it thrashing, if he has good health and luck and tell them I will write to them when the sign comes right. I think I will write next mail. How do you like farming on the hill and if your crops turned out well and I suppose you run opposition to rinaldo I hear Eva [?] and Vint has first rate crops this season. Vint, I think is particular hell on a buckwheat crop. I suppose you will have the pleasure of seeing addison crops before you will get this. I can’t think with half of the surprise and joy C_pers folks will feel in seeing the one they did not suspect.

I suppose Add told you how we met in San Francisco and how I looked when just off from the plains. A journey of four months and sixteen days steady pulling for the golden land of California. Morgan has gone to the office. I hope he will get some letters for me, I will wait a little while before I send this. C.C. Wm [&] S Cook

Nov 11, 1859

Good, Morgan has got back and to my great surprise and joy he got letters for me. One from you and Ardilla written the 8 of August and one from James Covell written the 5 of August. Jim was well then. The other was from Miss ___________. The letters was sent to Shasta and there advertised and then forwarded to me at San Jose. I think it was good luck in getting them. Please direct to San Jose, California. No more to day, so good by. Write Soon. Wm. and Sally Cook

From Doc C.C.

From John O’Bryan to William Cook, 11 December 1859

Woodhull december the 11 1859 [?]

Dear friends I thot that i would write a few lins to let you know that i ame well and i hope that these few lins will find you the same tell albert that i want to see him and go hunting with him Mr Cook this is something something that i hate to say nothing abut if you can get that little matter between you and me and send it to me i will be much oblige to you the people hear is all well Phylindia has got her weddin dress and she is a going to get married when she can syntha and i have resolve and i dont no what to do if thare is a chance thare fore me write as soon as you git this and tell let me know pleas send the mony if you can derect your letter to oseolia my respect to you all this is from John obryan to William Cook J.O.B

From William H. Covell to Sally Covell Cook, 22 April 1860

Tioga Pa April 22th (1)860

Sister Sally it is Sunday & i am writing to you I am well & suppose you are the same & all the rest I wouldent written so soon but I expected a letter from Calvin & if the should a letter come their for me I want you to send it to me tell Ardilla that I wont write to her for when i come away she was so glad that she dident no what to do. Tell albert that he must go to school & be a good Jabez Dewey is agoing over their next week & i will get some cloth for some shirts & send over their and i want you to make them or get mother to help you Art inman & me started tuesday ABout noon i seen a man that wanted to hire me he oferd $12 a month i told him i wassant a 12 Dollar hand & so i left him art has gone to marys i went to jane fletchers with him they sayd wils started for home the day before I have hired out for half a month for 7 dollars I suppose william is farming i should like hear how mr eames gits along I suppose Miles has gone to Williamsport write where he is for I may go their when i get through here that is annother here that will give me $13 a month for for driving team and i guess 14 all summer if i should stay perhaps i shall send for my cloths if Albert Chase wants to drive he can get plenty of chances ware the water cry [?] Respectfully yours W H Covell

Sally Cook Direct Tioga, Tioga Co Pa

From William H. Covell to William and Sally Cook, 6 October 1861

San Jose Cala Oct 6 1861

Dear Brother & Sister a few lines to you I am well and so is Calvin I hope when this reaches you it will find you the same We still keep knocking away here Yet lumber is very dull now but it will be good sale for it in about a month It is so dry folks cant fence now When it begins again to rain it will be in good demand again But we are mostly done for now Calvin is going on his ranch when he gets through here It has been a good while since I have heard from you I begin to think you don’t calculate to write any more

It is very dry here now it hasn’t rained since the first of June So you see 4 months without any rain ought to make it some day You must write as often as you can Give my regards to all No more this time Yours W. H. Covell

To Wm. Cook, Sally Cook

From Emmeline Cook to Ardilla Cook, 12 January 1862

January the 12 1862

My dear Cousin

I now sit down to rite A few lines to you now that I am well and hope these few lines will find you the same i am to margret now I am a going to stay there this winter and in the spring i am a couming out there John and Charles is a going to stay with marg till father comes back we had a letor foram father last saturday he is well ardilla to day is sunday and it very loneson here how i wished i was i with you to night we would have a good time i tell you ardilla how dose dick and mary get along has old miss Cooper got over being mad yet tell her i a coming out there to marry her lyman abram and his woman lives with granmother and granfather and uncle nat give my love to ant sally and uncle bill ardilla i went to a dance last friday night we had a good time phylinda says she is a coming out there in the spring with me she says she wishes she could see ant sally well i must close by the benaction this is all i can think of now

rite as soon as you get this

so good by all

ardilla kiss albert for me

this is from Emmaline Cook to ardilla Cook

…don’t forget to rite

From Margaret Cook Hallock to Ardilla and Albert William Cook, 13 January 1862

Janu the 13 1862

dear ant a few moments shall be spent in writing to you i am well and hope these few lines will find you the same i should like to see you and all the rest of the folks out there that i was aquinted with when i was there but it haint now ways likely that i eaver shall see eny of you again i want you to Answer this letter when you get it you never have written a word to me since i was married i should think that you might rite to me how does elt get A long give my love to her how does wilson and his wife get a long tell Martha that she must Allways use wils well for my sake for she has got a good man if eaver they was one may god bless them both and me and all an saly rite to me soon no more this time from Margaret Hallick to Ant Saly Cook Ardilla how do you do i want you to rite to me give my love to uncle william and A(l)bert telll i should like to see him Adila rite to me when you get this Maty is a great big girl she can talk as plain as i can she is to years old and past no more this time from Marg Hallick to Ardilla Cook and Albert Cook no more this time

rite when you get


From Calvin Covell to Ardilla Cook, 3 February 1862

San Jose Cala

Febuary 3rd 1862

Dear Neice it is ten o clock & Henry has gone to bed we are well & hope you are the same for we have not had any letters from you since I can remember you think I had ought to write all the letters don’t you. I just had this little peace of paper & I thought I would send it to you to let you know what I am for the Stars & Stripes. I hurd your Pa had inlisted in the army that is good for I want him to kill some of the rebels for me that flag must wave oer the land of the free & the homes of the brave you must write if you have time I surprise you have so many beaus you cant write very often. Tell Jim if he is for the Stars & Stripes to write & if he don’t I will think he is a trator write me a long letter the receipt of this. tell Albert to take a gun & kill the first rebel he can find I would like to know if grand Pa has goined the army yet write how parvins family gets along it is time to for dock to go to bed

Yours Truly Calvin Covell

Miss Ardilla Cook

From Emmeline Cook to Ardilla Cook, 15 February 1862


Febuary th 15

Dear Cousin

i received your Letor last nite and was glad to heare from you i am well and hop[e] these few lines will find the same ardilla we go a letor from father to day he is well and he says he will be to home by the first of June Johnney and Charley wants me to tell you that father sent them a gold dollar O dilla how i wished i should see you to nite we would have a good time i gess [?] dill ardilla uncle[?] nat is sick he ben sick about 2 months he is so to be around ardil marge is sick she has got a new son and i am to work for her ardilla you wanted to now if i had had any sleighrides this winter well i have had lots of them i took a nice ride the other day after a yoke of steers they run over loges and and stumps every thing else the snow is about 9 [?] feet deep ant polly was up here to day. she says she thinks you mite as much as mentioned her name O dilla it is so lonesome here that i doint now what to do with my self i wished i was with you to nite we would rais[e] the devle and burn [?] up _____ ardilla i am a Coming out there in 7 or 8 weeks if nothin happens ardilla tell king that i have rote 5 or 6 letors to him and have had no answer ardilla give my love to Gerame O ardilla how i wished i could see you but as i Cant i am glad to have the pleasuer of writing to you once more Charley says kiss albert for him give my love to ant i cant think of much to write this lines for i dont feel much like writing to nite give my love to all my missing friends that is if i have got any rite as soon as you get dilla ardilla this paper and envelop father sent me Well i must Close by the Benediction

rite as soon as you git this so good by till i see you

from Emmaline Cook to Ardilla Inman

[clearly to Ardilla Cook, so don’t know what Inman is about]

A Civil War Hospital Pass, 12 March 1862

General Hospital No. 2.

Bardstown, Ky Mch 12 1862

Pass the Bearer H H Snyder a Sgt of

Co. 7 Regiment Pa Cav Volunteers to & from



Surgeon in Charge

From William H. Covell to Sally Covell Cook, 6 and 11 May 1862

May 6th, 1862 Princeton

Mariposa Co., Cala

Dear Sister

& Friends I have the Pleasure of answer a letter from you and Ardilla once more I began to think that I shouldent hear from you any more I havent had a letter from you since last faul but yesterday I got five letters one from you Dated Dec. 1, 1861, one from ardilla and albert Chase and one from Calvin and one from Miles Dewey Calvin Is well, he is at Lexington yet & will be A few weeks yet he has just been to morgans they are all well & so am I. I am to work here in a Quartz mill at Princeto(n) Six miles from Mariposa on the Fremont Grant I have been here almost a month I dont know how long I shall stay I may stay all summer & I may not stay more than a week or to longer however you had better direct your letters to Sacramento City & Calvin can send them to me where ever I am

the[ir] is great exitement here about the Cariboo & Salmon River mines I dont think I shall go this Summer the has some Men gone that I am acquainted with If I get good news from them I may go Next spring

May 11th 1862,

It is Sunday & I have time to answer your letters now I am enjoying the Comforts of a minors Life now I am in what is Called the Southern mines you can so by looking on the map where I am It is A different Climate here from what it was where I come from it is cold as the devil it has been snowing and raining for the last two days that is great wether for the 11th of May but I guess I shall come out all right. I havent heard from Rinaldo Chamberlin Since I have been in this Country. I have not heard from Dewey Since last fall Miles Dewey Is in half moon bay so says in his letter I haven’t seen him yet & I may not for some time to come. I Cant think of much to write this time you must write as often as possible and all the Particulars Give my best respects to Uncle Calve & our new Aunt and all the rest of the family also to Parvins folks Tell mother I will try and look out for myself for I havent any one else to look out for in this Country Tell Anna to write to me if she thinks enough of me to write I must some to ardilla or she will be mad

Give my love to the boys & girls and keep some for your self

No more at Present Respectfully

Yours, From your brother

W H Covell To Sally Cook,

P.S. I guess you may Direct my letters to Princeton, Mariposa Co, Cala.

W H Covell

From Miss Inman to Ardilla Cook, 9 June 1862

South Creek

June the 9 1862

friend Ardilla

having a note to send to you I thought I would scrable a few lines. I resieved it Saturday or I didnt see it till after I got home from durga [?] go front if from the creek I had a jolly time on durdga [?] the was bound I shouldent come home and I was bound I should Ardilla I got my pease out last night when I was there I told you I hadent but one yard moor to do and it was three times around the beem Mother has company all day and for my comfort I’ve bin washing this fournoon Mother halies and Mrs. Afers was here stade till three this after noon + Mrs Mason. I took my washing out in the wood house Stephen is huring me so I cant write eny moor I got a letter from Lyman Inman Saturday and one from Aunt Leona dont you believe Ardilla there was one other pease brout for me to weave tis twenty yards I’ll be glad when tis to warm to weave linnan tell Stephen how wellian (william?) is if you will for Ime ancious to know Ardilla, come up to the quortly meatting ant you let her come Sally tis week from next saturday and Sunday Adue fore the presont

from Miss Inman

to Ardilla Cook (here my


From William H. Covell to William and Sally Cook, 20 July 1862

Princeton Cala. July 20th 1862

Dear brother sister and friends it is with the greatest of pleasure that I take this present opportunity to inform you that I am still in good health & verry busy at work & I hope this will find you the same. I received a letter from you yesterday & was glad to hear that you were well & all the rest of the folks but you say william is sick in the hospital that is verry bad. I got a letter from Calvin yesterday he is well he says william had got home I am in hopes he will get well. Calvin sent your letter to me from San jose he is their yet I got a letter from Morgan the other day they are all well.

Joy [?] says it is very lonesome their well I suppose it is so I might say about it here where I am although I content myself verry well for I have plenty of work to do through the week & Sundays I have 1 or 2 letters to write so that fills up the time verry well. I ahve been here over three months & I think I shall stay some time I think it is the best place for men that wants to work for wages their & pay dure I am to work for the same man that I was when I first came here.

Sally you say Wils & Martha has got a great boy well bully for them tell them they must try again & see if they cant get a girl for it wont pay to rais all boys unless he wants to make soldiers of them. Calvin says Emmevann [?] Cooper is married to george miller – hurrah – for them that is well done. I think I am affraid the girls will all be married before I get ready to come back if they do all right. the bell has just rung & I have got to go to work to night so I will have to stop writing for this time.

monday July 21. I write again I am all right to day just got my days work done & so I will finish this I should like to sea you all verry well but I dont expect to verry soon I got a letter from M. Dewey a while ago he was well he is in half moon bay have you heard from D. Dewey & Chamberlan lately if so tell me where they are

You musent forget to write & I will do the same Give my respects to mother and Parvins folks. Tell grand Pa I am all right s____ up with care, & I remain your brother W.H. Covell

ardilla you musent get mad To W. & Sally Cook

because I havent wrote much to you this time I would like to be ther go to some of them dances you tell about with you. the was a man shot here yesterday the ball went in under his eye & came out the back of his neck he is not dead yet the is not any wedding of any impostor Write soon your &c, W H C to ardilla & Jabers

P.S. Direct to Man at Ophir Mariposa County Cala WHC

From William H. Covell to William and Sally Cook, 5 October 1862

Princeton Oct 5th, 1862

Dear brother & sister & friends I am happy to say this morning that I am well & I was very glad to hear that you was all well I am marking a way steady as a clock I cant tell you any thing about Calvin or morgan for I havent heard from them in about three months they was well then. you say the boys has had rather a bad time in the war well I am in hopes that the war will close in the corse of a year or two So when I get ready to go back to B. Creek I can go in pease. the rain has comenced again we had a littl last night the first we saw had to amount to anything since the first of june.

Sally you say you want to know how much money that I sent to you & you say wils gave you five Dollars if he did I think that is what I intended for you it has been so long that I have al most for got the reason that he wouldent let you see the letter was ther was business matters conserned it & I dident want him to let any body see it. Tell wils to write to me give them my regards. I havent much to write this time you must write often. Tell ardila that she must excuse me for not writing to her this time for I dont feel like writing to day perhaps I will write more next time ardilla you say albert Dewey wants to know if it have got any letters from him tell him no. I wrote to him about a year ago & I never got a letter from him since I been here tell him to write & I will do the same Give my respects to all & keep some for your self write soon I remain your brothe(r) & friend I think I shall stay in the mines this winter if nothing happens I got a letter from anna the other day I will write to her be ful (before) long give my respects to mother and the rest of the folks no more this time Good Day

W.H.Covell W. & S. Cook

Direct to Mount bullion,

Mariposa Co. Cala.

From Phylinda Strate to Ardilla Cook, undated

Ardilla i must send you something to and i will send these gloves they are to small for me but i guess you can weare them when you put them on I hold them over hot steam that will streach them some excuse this writeing for i am in a hurry write Ardilla

Phylinda Strate

From Albert Chase to Ardilla Cook, 30 October 1862

Oct 30 1862

Dear friend

i am ________ at pre[sent] and hope you are to ardilla i haint heard from you since the 13 of this month and have look for one from you or esther i think you and esther is mad or you wont wright rite if you dont want me to rite to you I wont rite you send me a letter and tell me all about it ardill the ______ ______ about now _____ to come in may [?] go out I wish i was hear to go to a anafule [?] cutt [?] evry week poor bill cuming is a going to war it is to bad i say it is a good on a gin

Ardilla i am in virginna now the reble wimman is thick as honey beese ardilla some one killed a pig last night an i had a pease of reble meat ardilla we expect a ba(ttle) evry day we _______ waded the river last night it was Cold as ise and had to wade a half of a mile and long legs cum in handy i tell you the water was 3 feet deep sum got wet all over ardilla you tel et (Esther) if she dont wanter rite she nede not rite so good by to all rite sun i got a letter from Albert Dewey to Day and was glad (Uncle) Sam hasint paid us yet so i cant send nothing in this I letter rite soon mi love to all tell your mother i would lik(e) a half of a pann of milk and a loaf of bread and spoon.

141 Reg. P.V.

Co. H capt Wright

Washington D.C.

From Albert Chase to Ardilla Cook, 1862

To mi A.C

to A.C

Ardilla you take care of that money if you have got enny and all I send you burn this paper up as soon as you read it so good by a.c.

most forgot to rite to you to send mi last newspaper it will cost you one cent Derect as you would a letter And you send me the first one of the new paper when they come Dont for get to have your ma or your self send for me a paper And when they come to you can read it and send it

excuse all Bad spelling and bad riting and a short letter rite


From Albert Chase to Ardilla Cook, 26 December 1862

December 26 1862

Miss Ardilla Cook

Bentley Creek

Brad Co

Pa good morning A C. how is All the foax i am well so i can eat six times in 24 hours and i hope you can too A.C. it Is as warm hear as sumer hear you write if it is cold in ridgeburry and if you have evry seson or not ardilla I haint got mi Box yet i ex pect it evry day and I will rite when

Ardilla I must tell you what I hafter pay for cheese hear and evry other little thing 5 cts A sticks for candy but I will make it up when i get in almira that wont be long neather butter 60 cts A pound Apples 8 cts a peace tea 2 dollars a pound sugar 25 cts a pound and if that haint it [?] steepe I dont know (w)hat is riting paper 5 sheetes for 25 cents envellopes 6 for 25 cts haint no posteage stamp hear hardly

Miss A. Cook

Please send me three Dollars in money for I am out and dont know for sertain whether i shall gette enny money the first of jan or not the paymaster sed he would be on hand the first of the month and if he does i shall send it back and sum more with it Send united states money for they wont take no other money so good by to all

send rite off

Rite soon to A few more lines A.C. uncle same oes me

Albert Chase for 4 months and a half time 50 or 55

Ardilla Cook Dollars or more and i willl have sum

money that will be a good one agin

so good

by to all

old shanghigh

(cartoon of soldier smoking a pipe)

From William H. Covell to Ardilla Cook, 1 January 1863

Lexington Jan 1 1863

Dear Niece

I wish you happy New Years I hope it is well with you I expect to go to a ball tonight I suppose you are in the same fix I would like to be there about now but I think I will have a good time

Ardilla you would laugh if you could see me tonight At about 7 o clock I will come into the hall with about 15 or 20 yards of calico on my arm and the prettiest girl inside of it as is in this town

I wish you could see what a swell we will make I guess that will do for this time If you have a better time than I do you must tell me about it Calvin is well he is going too We had a letter from Morgan yesterday They are all well

Ardilla you know the last time I wrote you I was in the mine I came down here about two months ago A few days after I quit work my partner that was working with me fell down the shaft and struck acrossed the bucket and killed him instantly The shaft was almost 300 feet deep I worked at it about 4 months but I quit just in time

I suppose you would like to know what I am doing now I will tell you I have hired out here as Clerk in a store I have worked 12 days I like it very well so far it is very easy work to what I have been used to doing

Ardilla I must tell you what I done the other day I was down to San Jose and there was a gold watch to be raffled off they asked me if I didn’t want a chance I told them yes so I took a chance It was put up for $60 there were 60 chances and as luck would have it I won the watch It keeps good time it is a nice little ladies watch but I don’t know whether any lady gets it or not

Well I believe I have told you all the news I have this time Give my respects to Sally and Parvin and mother and all the rest You must write as soon as you get this No more this time Very Respectfully Yours

W. H. Covell

Miss Ardilla Cook

P.S. Direct to Lexington Santa Clara Co Calif

From Phylinda Strate to Ardilla Cook, 10 February 1863

(year unclear on original, but John Cook was near Falmouth, VA with his regiment, placing this in 1863)

Woodhull Feb the 10 186(3)

cousin ardilla I now sit down to answer your letter which I recieved last sunday I am well to day and I hope these few lines will find you the same it is nice sleighing here have you had any sleigh ride yet I have had one and that was on a han sled dont you think I had a good time old miss allen has bin sick witht he tiphoyd fever she is geting better now uncle hank and aunt rhody is up here this week on a visit uncle hank has got his discharge ira has not come home yet we had a letter from uncle john last saterday he is well he was near camp falmath emmaline has gone away to work granmother is well and all the rest aunt sally i wish you was here this week we are haveing a protracted meeting and i it is a good one there is a good many come forward to serve the lord I will tell you who some of them are david wiley jim strate that is my father mr wells and old miss thomson that is ophelias mother i guess you can remember her and John macain I guess that is all that you know but there is a great many O it is a happy time they have not got me yet but I hope they will O what a shouting there was when dave wiley came out I dont believe there was a dry eye in the house I never herd a man talk so good in my life the preacher said last night that it would last 2 or 3 weeks longer well I wont say any more about the meeting this time there is no news to tell you today is friday uncle hank and aunt rhody is going a sunday I dont but I will go with them

here is room yet but I dont no what to write write as soon as you can

this is all for this time

good by

Phylinda Strate

to Ardila Cook

From Albert Chase to Ardilla Cook, 26 February 1863

Feb 26th 1863

Dear friend I though i would rite a few lines To let you know that I am well as com and hope this will find you the same all the Rest of the foax to Ardilla I expect to ben Home before this time but my papers was rong and so i am hear yet But i shall com next month on a furlow and I may come the next pay Day A.C. if this ring Dont soot you give it to Albert Cook ardilla it hase rained and snoed 15 Days in to weeks mud 4 fet Deep warm Dours [?] hear snow has ben 24 inches deep Ardilla I have just boat A pound of butter and i Paid 60 cts a pound and I am a gouing to have what i want and so can evry body to ardilla hear is two dollars. i cant send no more in this letter for i will want the rest when i come home Ardilla the paymaster Paid us $30 dollars out of six months work i had to buy one pare of shoes and a coat and i had 11 Dollars left so you may know i have sum money left yet ardill excuse Bad riting and bad spelling and so on i will send you more money in the next letter rite soon as yo(u) can and tell me know how you and all the rest of the foax get along to a good menny sick hear and good menny gon to their long home for ever and ever never to return last night of of compy h lost a man he was sick 3 days with the fever one man Died 4 Days a go on his post with his gun in his hand he was well anought when he was poop gaad [?] he had stood half of an hour so good buy one an all rite soon as you can yours truly A.C. to A.C.

From Albert Chase to Ardilla Cook, 19 March 1863

[this letter is especially sad because Albert didn’t know that Ardilla had died on 11 March]

March 19th 1863

Good morning miss red Dress

Good morning ardilla And all the rest of the foax ardilla i sent you sum money and a rinng i heard from you yeut i gess you are mad a bout sumthing if you don’t want me to rite to you i will holler good by Ardilla i am wel[l] as comon and hope you are to and i hope all the rest is to sum sick and sum well last night i went to a funeral six of us carred the corps A mile and covered him up i Dun tallked the sermon these was the words i sed. fellow solgers hear is our home our long home never to return again fared march it was 11 o clock at night the moon shone bright it was cold

i never heard foax well in the morning and Die the next Day i Don’t know when mi turn will will cum to kick the bucket Ardilla you must excuse bad spelling And bad riting rite as soon as you can Ardilla i have sent for a box of things i want you to send mi shirts calico shirts up to uncle parvin he is agoing to send the box i want 3 calico shirts

A few lines to Wm Cook i know what a soulders life is it is a darn hard one to [ ]y tell him s[o] A.C.

good by to all mi love to all

rite soon

Direct to

Al Chase

141 compt K P.V.

in care of capt merker Washington D.C.

rite if you have every good times or not that will be a good one a gin

From Albert Chase to Sally Covell Cook, March 1863


Vir. March

Good morning, Sally. I receied your letter March the 18/19 1863. And was glad to hear from you but was sorry to hear the bad news from that few lines you sent To hear the Death of of Ardilla i have been sick 3 doctor to see me At a time i am out Doers now i thought i had the fever and ague the doctor did not say what did Ale me Salley i hope you and all the rest ____ we Sally i left A good manny things their ardilla sum money to you sele [?] to that to i told ardilla if she wanted to your sum do so and I hope she did to i have sent for a box of things

Miss Cook i Cant half write i hafter think of you know

Sally i wish i could to your house and went to the funeral last week 4 men went to their long home no coffin Blanket round them no funeral it lo(o)k hard tell Al Dewey to send me sum postage stamps

It snows hear now left mud 2 feet Dep so good by, no more at present

Al Chase

141st Compy H.

P.V. capt. Mercur

If you move away off leve them things to J.F.C. if you pleas keep the money if ardilla left any i would liked to seen Ardilla when she was sick i wish i could ben to your house i doo

From William H. Covell to Albert William Cook, 20 April 1863

(on the back of a leaflet with the words of a song entitled "Right Or Wrong – The Union")

Mr Albert Cook

April 20th, 1863

Presented to Miss Ardilla Cook, by your true friend now in California March 12th, 1863

(stamped in several places with "W.H.Covell")

From Phylinda and James Gardner Strate to William and Sally Cook, 26 April 1863

Woodhull Ap th 26 1863

Dear uncle and aunt

I now sit down to answer your letter which I recieved last teuesday your letter found me well and alll the rest of the folk. but dear aunt I was sorry to heare that ardila was dead & had bin looking for a letter from her a long time but she will never write to me again but I hope that she has gone to that happy home that is prepared for all that die happy in the lord and I mean to try to live that I m(a)y meet her thare dear aunt I dont hardly know what to say to you to comfort you in your lonly hours but you must look to god he will heal all of our sorows his is our counseler and guide he hath power to give and to take away althoug it is seems hard for us to part with earthly friends. and dear uncle I will say to you mourn not for dear departed friends but prepare to meet them in that happy land where parting will be no more and whare we whall be forever blest. granmother sends her love to you say She would like to see you I all dear aunt I mean to try to come and see you this summer mother says she would like to have you come out here this summer and bring Albert for she would like to see you all I will now close my letter write as soon as you can

Phylinda Strate

Dear brother and sister

I feel to mourn with you and so does my familee but i am glad to hear that god saw fit to bless hur in this life but in the world Above he says suffer children to come and for bade them not for such is the Kingdom of heaven brother and Sister it is the will of god try to be reconcild to that willl for gods will must be done not ours when i was thare to see your familee i thought of the comefort that you mite take but a part of that comefort is gone i thank god that he has ben so mersiful as to save us that you and i can prepare to make our calling and election Shure remember thy crature brother and sister from J. G. Strate

From William H. Covell to William and Sally Cook, 13 August 1863

August 13th 1863 Washoe Nevada Territory

Dear brother and Sister

I am not able to work so I will write to you again I have been sick two or three days So I couldn’t work but I think I will be all right in a few days I received a letter from Calvin the 8th and yours was in it I was very glad to hear from you all I have been here about two months I don’t think it is as healthy a country as California but I think it is a better place to make money I am getting 60 dollars per month and board It is very hard times here as well as there I suppose you think the war don’t effect us here any but you are mistaken times is not half as good as they was before the war broke out You say you want me to come back I should like to see you all very much but I don’t think I shall go back till the war ends let it be sooner as later Although I don’t think I shall stay here more than two years more at the out side I wish you was here I think you would do well here but I wouldn’t advise any of my friends to come it is a miserable country for any one to take comfort in Well I guess you will get tired of reading this or not I don’t know whether I shall stay here this winter Calvin says the folks are all well there I cant think of anything more that will interest you So I shall have to close for this time Write all the news Give my regard to mother and the rest of the folks (I think Jake benson is a g[entleman?] of the first water

Direct to Washoe City Nev Terr

Write soon Yours W. H. Covell

To Wm & S Cook

From Phylinda Strate to William, Sally, & Albert William Cook, 1 September 1863

Woodhull Sept the 1 1863

Dear uncle and aunt and cousin

i thought i would spend a few moments in writeing to you to let you know that we are all well and I hope this will find you the same dear aunt you will excuse me for not write to you before i have bin to work to ira bulkly this summur mrs bulkley is well she told me when i wrote to you to send her love to you and tell you to write to her and she wuld write you a letter she felt bad when i told her that ardila was dead she talked about her every day Charles has got a fine woman dear aunt i told you that we was all well we are enjoying good health but i cant tell you that we are takeing comfort for we are not abram is drafted and has got to go tomorrow morning it is hard fror me to part with all the brother i have but dear aunt you know how to sympathise with me he had just got nicely to keeping house and now he must leve his wife and home his wife will be sick in a few days it wish he could stay till she was well again it would not seem so hard for him to start but we will all do as well as we can by her it is lonesome here to day i cant hardly think of anything to write

mother sends her love to all

she feels bad to day


but we must put

the best side out and

trust in god for

he is a true friend

write as soon as

you can

good by

Phylinda Strate

From Sophronia Strong Covell to Sally Covell Cook, 29 February 1864


Brady the 29 1864

My dear sister i take My pen in hand to let you now that i and the children is well at this present time i got to fathers 5 weaks a go yesterday i wrote write back the same night that i got here to James and i hant reseived no answer yet and i have sent to the ofice every day saints i wrote it is laero [?] day mail here new now i want to now whether he has gone to Washington or where he is if you now were he is i want you to write to me if he has gone from there so i wile no where to write to him Good by no More at present

From Miss Sophronia Covill to Miss Salley Cook Write as soon as you git this

Direct your leters to Mendon Saint Joseph Co Michigan

I send My best respects to you all i want to now wheather Esters baby got well or not now Mother if you see James tell him i would like to see him to write so the children wont forget him Emy and Ardily wishes they could see him

(envelope postmarked Mendon, Mich Mar 3rd, addressed to Miss Sally Cook Bently Creek Bradford Co Pennsylvania)

From Emmeline Cook to Sally Covell Cook, 7 August 1864


Au the 7

Dear ant

I thought I would improve my time riting to you i am well and hope these few lines will find you all the same you must exscuse me for not riting to you before for i have ben to work ever since I got back and have not had time untill now they has bin a half a dosen after me to work I am to work to addison now i am going to stay two weaks longer and then i shall bee at liberty once mour Ant Sally when you want me rite and let me now and I will come I got home that weak a thursday all safe and sound they havent anny of them looking for me untill fall I was up to uncle James strates two weaks ago they was all well but ant Polly she has bin very sick but is getting better now Margret and her folks is all well she says she would like to see ant sally but dont now as she ever will father is well he rite his time will be out the 5 of october if he lives till then Granfather is well and all the rest of the folks Egbert is sick they say they dont think will ever bee anny better but i am in hope he will get well Phylinda says she would like to come out thare but dont now as she ever can she could if she onely thought so ant sally rite all the newes my soldier has bin sick but is getting better now well i spose you have got your wols all spun and that new carpet down i dont want you to have it all wore out before i get thare to see it ant sally they dont want me to go out thare again but i tell them i shall go rite as soon as you get this i dont now as you can read this if you cant keepe it till i come and i will read it for you dont forget to rite

Emeline Cook

Sally Cook

From James Gardner Strate to William and Sally Cook, 11 May (before 1865)

Seems to refer to Calvin Henry Cook at the end, but that would place this in May 1865, after Polly Cook Strate died.

May the 11 Dear brother and sister and neace and nephue i received your letter and was glad to heare that you are all well and a doing well i must say to you that my wife has ben verry sick since i rote to you before she got better and then she was taken worse we thought she never would never get well the doctor said she was verri sick and for about three weaks phylinda and i had all that we cood do to take care of hur the doctor came every other day she is a little better she has got so that she can set up a little long enuff to have hur bed made your mother was here one week and was taken sick and had to go holme she is verry sick yet Sally Ann Wiley is gone to try the realites of an other world she died april the 24 it leaves a lonesom house

to Mr William Cook

and Sally Cook Write back

when conveneint

Well Ardilla you wanted to know whare margaret lives she lives in the house with hur granny Cook they have petishioned off a part of that big room John live thar yet ardilla your letter Stated that you wanted me to send you them verses i will send them in the next letter good after noon you must write

Well, Albert i under stand that you are a good boy and help pa and go to school if you are a good boy and mind your teacher you will soon get so that you can write me a letter and beat me then i shal have to go to school Abram Strate has gone to the sinnamehone to work this summer he started the first of may he said he mite be home on a vissit the first of September the people are generaly well here good after none Albert write as soon as you can this is from one that loves you

J. G. Strate


Cook you must try come out here this summer And sea the folks. If you can


PLEASE tell me in what book do you read


end so is my love to you my friends

A i sat a musing it was running in my mind how many things of nature compared with mankind i was thinking of a time peace when brout in to vue to set fourth the short life of man un to you

James.gardner.Strate. and

Polly Strate to

William Cook and

Sally Cook and

Ardilla Cook and

Albert Cook and

the other i don’t kno his name

From Russell Granger to William Cook, 28 November 1867

November 28th 1867

Mr W M Cook Esq

Dear Sir yours of Nov 26th is Received in answer to your Communication i can say that i don’t know At what time the Santiago will sail My intention was when i saw you too sail on the thirtyeth of december that is In case there was no alteration on the Day of sailing i will write to the agent In New york and ascertain at what time the Santiago will sail as i don’t wish to get Abord of their Miserable hulk, i will write to you as soon as i Receve a letter from New York so that you May know all of the facts, i will call and see you on My way to New york as i am very fond of Company

Respectfully yours

Russel Granger

From Parvin Covell to William and Sally Cook, January 1869 or 1870 probably


dear friends far a way tho you be you are not forgotten by none hear in old pa for go where I will they all ask for my sister Sally and want to no if you are home sick yet I no you are not verry home sick if you are in such a beautiful country as you all represint for hear it is cold most the year rond the snow is real deep now we are haveing a cold winter the friends is al well at present alas has ben real sick for the last week but doctor Strate is a doctering her She has the liver complant he ses he dont see how she has lived a long as she has Sally you wanted to no how pa and mother gets a long they get a long all rite they are all rite now but pa his leg is the worst it has ever ben he ses he geses there is some peases of bones coming out Sally we have ben and stade al nite with Sophia She is as fat as a pig they live in the same plase that they did when you went a way they had there winter provishion a head ad that that is good a nough for eny body they live in a warm house and he has bot a set of chares and a set of mise tea spoons and big spoons he got twenty yeards of calico to make to comfotables with they put a light rolls in each one they are real nise but she is the same Sophia she goes a roud the house talking to her self al the time She ses I shant rite a word to you a bout her She wants you all to come back that is al I can get her to say a bout any of you that is gon josey [?] ses his pa is real good to his ma but she lies at him and kicks him and strikes him but he acks the best I ever saw him Sally alis has marid Sim and lives with dads folks She thing all the world of them She is a poor weakly girl Sally there is no news to rite Maria has got an other girl to weeks old lib is looking out for Ation [?] every day She is as ugly as cow [?]

Dear brother and sister I take this time to let you no that I am alive yet and am glad to hear that you are all well and doing well we are having cold snowy winter we have good sleighing for a month the snow is about two feete and a half deepe it must seeme quite diferent to you while we are eating up what we rase you lcan be raisin more here is some timothy seeds no more at presant from

your brother P D Covell

From Reuben Cook Jr. to William Cook, 28 June 1869

Osceola, Tioga Co., PA

28th June 1869

My Dear Son,

I received your letter dated June 1st yesterday. I think it had laid several days in the Post Office. I was glad to hear you were all well and doing well. My health is about the same as usual. You ask about what I said about Nat. When I last heard from him he was in Bradford about where you left him. Heard from Nat. last in March. Lib Johnson lives with her mother on Dirgy Hill. Tom Johnson has gone West with another woman – married her it is said and is now in Ohio. Abram lives on the old Addison plank road this side of Woods Corners. He is in better health and doing about the same – I have not heard from Rhoda in over a year. She was then in Michigan in very poor health. John Cook is living with his wife again – lives at Philip Tubbs – works his farm this season – seems to be doing well – has good health. Levi Cortley and family are all well. Moses is married and lives near Lawrenceville. Do not know who he married.

Ira Bulkley is farming on a large scale. He has bought out the George Bulkley farm – has a great deal of grain in the ground which looks fine at this time. Corn looks about the poorest of any crop but has time yet to come out good. Sam Tubbs is entirely blind and sometimes seems to have lost his mind. He is very feeble in health and will not last a great while longer. Dr. Bosworth’s wife had a cancer cut out of her breast two weeks ago to-day – she seems to be doing well since and the sore is healing. You say you are doing your haying – no one has begun haying here except I’m a little in the clover – more will be at it next week – grass is good – Weather rather wet and lowry just now but warm.

I live around from place to place – have no steady home. It makes it very hard for me in my old age but I endure it as well as I can. I would like to see you all again but you are so far away that I never expect to. Your letters come a great deal quicker since the Rail Road is finished through to the Pacific. I have now written all I can think of about our family and folks in this country and must close. I am always very glad to hear from any of you and wish you would write often and I will always manage to send you an answer.

From your father Reuben Cook

From Reuben Cook Jr. to William Cook, 11 October 1869

Osceola Tioga Co PA

Monday, 11th Oct. 1869

My Dear son Wm

I received your letter under date of Sept. 19th, this morning only. It finds me in usual health and spirits which are tolerable good for a man of my advanced age. I have been spending a couple of weeks over in N. York state among the friends – You propose in your letter that I come and live with you in California. I should like to do so well enough. I could then have a steady home but the difficulty in the way is to obtain the money necessary to bring me there. I now know of no way by which I would be able to raise money enough for so long a journey. I was at Abe Cook’s about ten days ago. They were as well as usual. I think I did not mention in my last the death of Cornealius Beagle. Rant Williams died at John Hammond’s in July. About my ability to raise money to come to California I think you know about as well as I could tell you. Most of my family here you know have to work for their living and the support of their families. Of course they are not in a shape to help me raise the amount of money it would need for the journey. I have no steady home and stay wherever night overtakes me. For that reason I would be glad to come and live with you and have a home the remainder of my days. I do not see how I can get there unless you can help me to the means. Of that you can judge best whether you are able to do so. I was very glad to hear you were prospering and raising large crops of grain. I was glad to hear from you and wish you would write as soon as you receive this. All kinds of grain except Buckwheat are good here. Fruit is plenty – especially Apples – Never knew a more pleasant September – All kinds of grain had plenty of time to get ripe –

Have not heard from Rhoda in 12 months – She was then in Michigan and no better than usual.

Please write soon

From your Father

Reuben Cook


Tioga Co.


From Morgan Covell to Sally Covell Cook, 3 May 1884

Woodards Landing, Washington – May 3, 1884

Dear Sister and Family,

I read yours about 3 months ago. I waited about as long to answer it as you did to answer mine and now here goes. We are well and d(o)ing very well, I have got in a garden and lot of potatoes and turnips will cut hay ______________________________ I got a letter from Lina (?) about the same time I got yours will answer it now. Laura has about 200 strawberries set out some of them are in bloom. Some raspberries and blackberries also. She keeps good watch of them you bet. Tell Henry I want him to come over with his cattle and help me haul logs and fencing this fall & Get some wood, I have got of the wood cut away so I have to pack it too far now. I got the receipt (recipe) in time last winter. I was taken with the diphtheria and tried it on myself and it knocked it galey west in short muter (?) My hay is knee high. Our boys are building a sawmill and going into the timber business with Steve Chase. They have sold him one-third interest in their lumber for five thousand and three hundred dollars _________________ cents.

So you see they wont come up here very soon. We shall expect you and Bill up here when the Rail Road get through to Oregon you can come to Portland and take the steamer to Astoria then change boats for Oysterville then come to South Bend stop over night and come to Woodards Landing in the morning. Then you will be about 6 miles by land to my place on the South Fork of Wilapah. I suppose Annie dont like it because I dont write to her but I cant write so many letters. I hate to write and I havent got the time I should like to hear from her though you didnt mention anything about her or Albert’s folks, ask Lillie if she wears that big apron yet. And how is old Grimes the scamp I would like to see him. Do you hear anything from Jack Wall!! We like the country here first rate and intend to stay here. Laura says when she kills a bear she will send Henry a steak but I think he better come up here and eat it. I dont think of anything else to write so will close. Write soon. Yours truly Morgan Covell

A Mystery Letter

The following letter was in an envelope addressed to Mrs. Sally Cook, Bieber, Lassen Co., Cal., postmarked Berkeley, Cal Aug 20 1916. However, paper, ink, and handwriting style is definitely from a much earlier date. If the J.G. in the letter is J. G. Strate, the letter dates from 1867 at the latest (he died April 1868). I compared handwriting and spelling in this letter to known correspondents, and found no match, so that rules out the John Cook and J. G. Strate families, as well as Calvin, Morgan, Parvin, and William Covell.

May the 27

dear brother An sister I will rite a few lines to you which I had out to done a long time a go but I no you will forgive me you wold I no if you new the work I had to do for we have twenty caves and I do all the work Mate lives close by this after noon I have ben helping her sense I got your letter I have ben to hornelsville to see Jane her husband rote to me how bad she was and I went and stade four days with her she has canswer in the stomache he sed shee mite live to or three months

all of the friends is well but your unkle Calvin he has had a long run of the bilious feafor a great meny think he will never get well and Alace she is sick yet sufers a great deal no one thinks she will get well as for pa and Mother they are as well as eny one cold expect for old foax She is as poor as a crow pa is as fat as a hog but there health is vary bad but they have a good datter in law to do there work I get her to do my work onse a while when I go of on a law suit or to hornelsville the Children think all the world of aunt lib She has to little girls all the friends is well on the hill I ges I no by hearing I hante ben on the hill this winter I use to think I must go evry five or six weeks now I cant go onse in six or seven mont(h)s we talk of seling out this fall If we dont J G wont live another year he is sick most all the time I dont no what we wold do if it want for Matees man he is a smart man he ses he wants to fill the plase of the t(w)o that is gon(e) he eats breakfast with Mate and diner and super with us he is full of fife and we think evry thing of him. he ses if we come there he will where we stay he will stay he wanted to all live to gether but Mate that she wold like to keep house but she is home three or four days out of a week She has one cow sow (so) she has a little to do she wants you to rite dont be scartt when you see how old your brother is he has trouble a nough to make him old you will see I have all fel away to three hundred I have just got a letter from Sarah bingham She wanted your post ofice ad so she cold rite to you

(the following written in the margins)

we never take good to gether

we have just got a letter from your pa he ses he is a going to clime to heaven if the lord is willing you have got to look over the poor speling for it is ten oh Clock

also one from james I have had ten letters sense I rote my

A Valentine to Albert William Cook

Your Valentine

To Albert Cook

tis a gentle voice We here

Speaking softly at my ere

Jesus whisper from above

Little children walk in


Remember me where

Ere you be youre

lot rember hat thous

hast a friend O then

forget me not A

friend in home thou

may depend One Whome

Will defend prove faithful at the


This is the day I understand

For lovers to take a pen in hand

And to their sweet hearts drop a line

And schoose from them a Valentine


As this day is ner at hand

My thoughts hav wandered oer the land

To find some true heart was my design

Or who might be my Valentine


An Essay on Spring, by Ardilla Cook


Spring has come seet genial spring

The trees are all in bloom i like to sport under the shaeld of the tall trees and watch the birds as they dart through the dark foliage and join their mates in song they all seem to be happy and build their nests with a cheerful song and do not murmur because they have to work to accomplish it so children should go to their study with a smiling face and cheerful hearts for the sunny days of youth will not last always old age with his furrows of care will rest on your once smiling face and time the great decliner of our race will come with his sickle to reap his harvest and recks not wheather one are ready or not he will not wait so in youth we should make ourselves ready to meet him



The Exile of Italy, a poem copied by Phylinda Strate

The Exile of Italy

speed speed my fleet vesall the shores are in sight

the breaes are fair and we will anchor to night

and tomrrow morning at sunrise we will stand

on the sea beaten shore of my own native land


O why should dispondency weigh down on the heart

for the loss of a friend reluctant to part

I ahve come from an exile of twenty long years

to gase on my coutry with fast falling tears


I see the hills purple the bells of the heath

in my own native valley that nestles beneath

and the wild fragrant blosomes that spreads ore the thorn

that grew near the cotage in which I was born


my mothers own cotage the chamber she loved

she wan theare over looking the sports of my youth

how thoughfull she sat with her hand on her brow

a watching her darling but where is she now


I see the green path I remember it well

it was away to the church at the sound of the bell

where so oft in my child hood a truant I strayed

to yonder dark yew tree and slept in the shade


no father reclines on his clemency seat

no mother looks fourth from her shady retreat

no sister is there stealing slily away

with a half surprest thought of wheare she last lay

O was it for this to the basement I crept

to gase on the deep wheare I drempt I had slept

or to think of fond meeting to welcome a kiss

from a kind frind a parent O was it for this

thoug(h) oft in an exile when kind friends where there

I ahve slighted there kindness and sied to be there

I have returned from the dance with the dark girl of spain

to weep oer my contry again and again

speed speed my fleet the tempest may roar

there is come in my heart at the dash of the war

speed on my fleet ______ the siles (sails) are unfurled

O ask me wheare ever my home is in the west

Phylinda Strate

Tri-Counties Page 16166
The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933   histcent83@gmail.com
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Published On Tri-Counties Site On 08/11/2008 
By Joyce M. Tice
Email Joyce M. Tice

Transcribed and Submitted by Dan Cook 

Here are some photos of people in the letters:

Albert Chase and Ardilla Cook
Emmaline and Albert William Cook (Emmaline was daughter of John Cook, Albert son of John's brother William)
Morgan Covell's family
William Henry Covell and his wife Margaret Horan
William Albert Cook - Civil War uniform, from my research, appears to be Pennsylvania state issue.  Once in the field with 7th PA Cavalry, would have been uniformed and armed very differently.
John Cook - tentative identification based on uniform details that suggest New York state issue.