Letter from William Gilliland, Ellisburg, Pennsylvania, 1858

I recently obtained this 1858 letter written by a William Gilliland of Ellisburg, Pennsylvania. Although I'm aware there's been a Gilliland presence in the Ellisburg area for a long time, I know very little about this branch and am curious about the William Gilliland who penned this missive.

The following is my translation of the letter from William Gilliland, of Ellisburg, Pennsylvania to his friend Egbert Wheeler of Portville, Cattaraugus Co., New York. I have enclosed in brackets any portions of the letter I was unable to transcribe with certainty. Any comments/corrections would be welcome, as would any information about the author of this letter.

Submitted by Kate Maynard, 2008

Ellisburg Letter envelope

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Page 1

Allegany July 28th 1858

My Dearest Friend Egbert,
I am most
happy to inform you that I received
your very kind and generous
letter -- of the 20th = last Evening.
I had waited with Great impatience
for a number of Days -- in expectation
of an answer to my (Shades of Socrates
what shall I call it) but from my
not receiving one ( I being a profound
Logician) had infered that it did
not merit a reply... being convinced
however, that = whether it merited
an answer or not = you had the
kindness to write one and one
that gave me great pleasure
in reading. I have ventured
to encroach upon your patience
once more and monopolize

Page 2

your attention a sufficient time
to read this imposition
on Letter Writing. I was
very much Grieved Egbert to
learn you did not enjoy
good health and sincerely
hope that you will soon
recover your former state
of health. You are certainly
minus quite a quantity of
the Solids and Fluids which
constitute a boy of [XX] lbs 30 (ale or
beer measure) if Your present
weight is not more than you
stated. "Takel" I am weighed in
the balance and found wanting
ten pounds [XX] taking 118 lbs to
preserve the equilibrium of
the scales when I am aboard
My health is considerably
improved though I am
not a paragon
of strength.

Page 3

    Egbert I wish you would
tell Nelson to drum up
his youthfull recollections
and if among the associates
of his former Days there
looms up in his Memory an
individual of my description
not to mistake me but be assured
that memory still dwells on him
as a Friend and that I claim
the perogative of a friend. viz...
reciprocal LOVE. Egbert to Your
Kind invitation to visit you I
should be most happy to comply
and shall at the first convenient
opportunity. I cannot say positively
whether I shall attend another
term of School or not.. but pos-
itively assure you that my firmest
Friendship is ever yours.. Trusting that
this will give no offense I lay down my [pen]
resign my dignity and subscribe myself
William Gilliland