Letter from John R. Boyle to Samuel B. Reed, March 17, 1862

In this letter from March 17, 1862, John R. Boyle writes to Samuel Reed discussing their shared opinion of the war as "unrational." Boyle states that he believes "we are decimating and depopulating the country" and expresses worry that there will not be enough work for all of the men once the war ends. He claims that agents from Australia and Canada are encouraging people to emigrate, and proposes that Reed work with him in a future venture.

Samuel B. Reed Esquire
Joliet Ill

Dear Sir

Your very kind and welcome letter of March 2nd has been duly received and am proud to learn you are all well.

We have been a little unwell this winter with colds, and diptheria. I have never seen as tight times as I have witnessed this winter; no such thing as getting hold of a dollar. Mr. Reed, I can readily agree with you in calling this an unrational war for so it is; friend against friend [or,] and when we will see the end I cannot tell, or guess at the end but one thing I do know we are decimating and depopulating the country. Still I want the Union's Constitution and the land maintained and supported, but would like to see the thing ended honorable [sic] if possible to the North and South.

See over

of the government concerning the enlargement of the [I'll Canat]. It would make a great deal of work and if this trouble is ended what will the government do with one million of men thrown on the country without anything to do. I don't think it would do. We must do something to keep the population in the country. There are agents from Australia and Canada now in our country encouraging emigration from the states to those countrys [sic] . I hope the bill will pass. We will try hard I assure you to get some of it I wonder if Mr. Farnam will not try for some of it. Were we not [trickery] in not putting any work in the South everything we would be able to raise would be in the work and ourselves along with it for I am inclined to think we would stand by our property and earnings until we would be hemmed in. If you can get engineering to do I could tend to the work and you help Mr. to get it. You should [?] you was on the work. Your counsil [sic] I could have, as well if you were engineer as on the work with Mr. And we could make something I think.

Mr. Ainsworth is not on the RRoad now, he has been removed two or three weeks ago. Mr. [Dys] takes his place again and Mr. Ainsworth is now on his farm built him a new house last fall and I think it was a good thing he did so he now has a home. Mrs. Boyle and myself may call on you this spring I have been fattening cattle this winter. They cost me 580 dollars and I have been offered 1080 dollars for them but I still hold on in hopes to realize more; don't know but I may take them to Chicago.

With kind regard from myself and Mrs. Boyle to you Mrs. Reed and Annie. Yours Respectfully
John R. Boyle

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from John R. Boyle to Samuel Reed
  • Extent: 3 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 28
  • Date: March 17, 1862