1817 - 1830 HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT ARCHIVE OF FIVE  LETTERS FROM THE NOTED FOUNDER OF GOODWIN MILLS
On offer is a super grouping of 5 handwritten stampless letters all from the Goodwin family of Biddeford Maine. The Goodwin family first settled in what is now Maine in the mid 17th century in Kittery, Saco, Biddeford and other areas in York County. Goodwins Mills was founded by Nathaniel Goodwin. Four of the letters are between Nathaniel and his son Amos during the time when Amos is attending the University at Cambridge. The last letter is to one brother James from A. G. Goodwin and Amos. They are dated 1817, 1818, 1821 , and 1830. They are all between 2-3 pages in length. While the archive covers a fair bit of local history, commerce and general family matters the letters between the father and son are really quite telling of both the era and ageless dialogue between fathers and sons through the millennia. In this case there seems to be tension between them about Amos and his college career. It seems Amos wants to quit school and his father thinks differently. There is really some great banter between the two. Here are snippets: "Nathaniel Goodwin Esq. Biddeford C. York Maine Cambridge Dec. 5th, 1817 Hon. Father, Again I will try to find what profit it may be to me in writing to one whose pleasure is not to return the compliment. Some time I most forget it is so long since I received a letter from one whom I call father and when I wrote in return and mentioned I wanted some money what do you think he wrote me back?…….We have had a royal thanksgiving, most of the scholars or students are gone on furlough for we all have liberty to be absent from Wednesday morning to Saturday night to see our friends but I having none, see none. I want some money to buy me coat, pantaloons, waist coat, cloak and hat which I shall expect soon for it is only three weeks more to stay and some to bear my expenses to me……Come, are you asleep in that eastern country. Rouse and express your facilities. George Thasher is not asleep for I was to church today and the minister mentioned his name as intending marriage and asking if any had objections. I thought of making objections but knew none……I remain your affectionate son, Amos Goodwin." "Amos G. Goodwin Student Cambridge Biddeford Feb. 22nd, 1818 Dear Son, Yours of the 14th instant was duly received and with great surprise have noticed the contents.Your letter, not contented and you are growing old loosing or throwing away the best of your days. Strange infatuation when just thought of it when I had so often told you I was not able to send you to college and that you was old. Had better not think of a college, your education was sufficient. Had better go to studying law. How often was that my advise and what was your answer, why just like father you did nor would not take his advise to college you would go. If it took you seven years to earn money you would then go to college and now after gratifying you and having been to considerable expense forsooth you have just thought of your father's former advise who would always according to his circumstances, wish to see his children pursue such a situation to be useful to themselves and community, a credit to themselves and connections and so give them his best advise and assist them in obtaining an education or placing them in a situation to obtain an honest livelihood and as they grow up to see them settled in some useful and honest calling. Leave college and keep school. Did you think of the disgrace and the fickleness of your mind, the disappointment and expectation of your parents and friends in so short a time after your mind and voluntarily quit the place you so earnestly wished (some mysterious). That you should not think taking a profession. To call college a jumping off place, which six months since you was so bent on. To be a merchant or farmer, what have you to set you up on or buy a farm with. Strange………I am your affectionate father, Nathe. Goodwin." "Nathaniel Goodwin Esquire Biddeford Maine Cambridge April 4th, 1821 Hon. Father, It appears there have been a long silence and now since it has been mutual let us mutually break it. For my part I must confess it was not through any disrespect or any harbored thoughts which I should be unwilling to be disclosed but has been altogether accidental; nor do I think the like motives to have actuated you but that through the multiplicity of your affairs and through your profundity to delay things which can be affected as well one day as another. You have thus neglected writing, perhaps waiting for me to write thinking it to be my duty. I truly feel it my duty if you esteem it such and no one would more ready to discharge every duty incumbent than myself, especially to one from whom I have received so much to whom I feel myself so much obligated and to whom I wish to make manifest that gratitude warms my heart…..I have received a letter from brother Daniel but a few days since he was well and was in expectation of being ordered on board the Constitution Frigate. I wrote him first of the week. We have now easy times but one lesson per day, but we have three lectures a day to attend so you perceive we have yet something to do……Do let me hear from you soon, Adieu, Amos G. Goodwin." "Amos G. Goodwin Student at the University Cambridge, Biddeford April 15th, 1821 Dear Son, Yours of the 4th instant came to hand in due season and was gladly received, to know that you was well and that you had not entirely forgotten me and home……(He goes on telling Amos that he's so close to being finished with college that now is not the time to quit and then)….You may wish to hear the news. James Pinkham is dead, 10 days since. Great fears are entertained that Capt. Jas Murch is dead. He and Geo. Amelia was left in Port Au prince the last of Feb or 1st of March very sick. Nothing from them since. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port-au-Prince Capt. Waldo Hill in the schooner Globe (Moody's) was ready to sail from Ireland Dec. 25th for Baltimore, not arrived or heard from since Joseph Goodwin and Isaac Clark was with Hill……..Your Affectionate Parent, Nathe Goodwin." Then this final letter seems to be three in one, meaning there are three parts. Two of the parts were written by two different people, Amos and T. J. G. and one is just a small notation about the small pox, as follows: "James M. Goodwin Exeter N. Hampshire By Mr. Pinkham Saco March 31st, 1830 Brothers, We received your letter by Mr. Tufts and were glad to here from you as mother was anxious for your safely since she learned that G. Briggs was with you. She was afraid that he might give you the small pox. No one has been sick except Mr. Bradbury who is dead & Almira-She has got well. They have smoked the house &c to perfection……Amos" There is more to the first part of this letter that Amos wrote. The second part from T. J. G. is mostly business related. Then there is a small portion on the third page of this letter that is a short note and in part says: "The small pox and the terror of it has totally subsided. Everybody walks bye. The house as of the small pox had never been in the neighborhood. They have had a total cleansing of every house……" As far as the condition of these letters, it's only fair and some poor. There is a good deal of foxing, some tears and might have been "tipped" into a journal of some kind.
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