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Ninian Beall Hamilton, Jr.


Born: 14 Mar 1835
Died:  05 Feb 1869


"I do not consider that I have got too big to take advice."
Ninian Beall Hamilton, Jr.
January 24, 1858


"Whatever a boy is when he is fifteen, sixteen or seventeen, he is most certain to be the same all his life,"
Ninian Beall Hamilton, Jr.
November 14, 1858



Ninian Beall Hamilton, Jr. was born 14 Mar 1835.  He was the fifth child born to Ninian Beall Hamilton (b. 1789) and Mary Margaret Wilfong.


Ninian's siblings included:

Name Birth Date Death Date Spouse
Mary Susannah Hamilton 26 Jul 1825 10 Jun 1827  
Delilah "Dovey" Ann Hamilton 20 Nov 1828 30 Jan 1901 John Stephen Martin
Reuben Hamilton 06 Feb 1831 1838  
Rebecca Juliana Hamilton 13 Jan 1834 01 Feb 1834  
David Wilfong Hamilton 05 Oct 1838 26 Mar 1926 Achsa Ann Martin
Candace Shuford Hamilton 23 Jul 1841 26 Oct 1913 Isaac Hiestand Martin
George Washington Hamilton 28 Jan 1844 15 May 1862  

Ninian Jr. married Rebecca Lovina Cannady on 10 Oct 1857 in Bartholomew County, Indiana.  Lovina was the daughter of James and Elizabeth Cannady.  She was born on 02 Jun 1838.


Ninian Jr. and Lovina were living in Williamsburg, Indiana in 1857 at Mrs. Young's Boarding House.   Lovinia was teaching and Ninian was taking classes at a local college at the time while working, too.  By June of 1858, Ninian was working as a Clerk for a Mr. Mobley for $20 a month, hoping to go to school again next session.  By November 1858, Ninian was considering becoming a Doctor.  Ninian continued to take classes in Bookkeeping, Penmanship & Card Writing - teaching some classes at the same time.  By 1884, Ninian was working for the Equitable Fire Insurance Co. in Indianapolis.

From the letters, Ninian, Jr. and Lovinia, who he usually called Bine, had a very loving relationship.  She had several nicknames for him, including: Bell, Nin and Ninnie.
The 1860 Hartsville, Indiana, Census shows Ninian's age as 25 and Lovina's age as 22.  Hardie was 1-year-old, and the value of Ninian's personal estate was $50.  His occupation is listed as a school teacher.

1860 Census, Hartsville, Bartholomew County, Indiana

Name Age Sex Occupation Value of
Personal Estate
First Last
N. B. Hamilton 25 M School Teacher $50 Indiana
Lovina " 22 F     "
Hardie G. " 1 M     "


Ninian Jr. and Rebecca had 5 Children
Name Birth Date Death Date Spouse
George "Hardie" "Bub" Harding Hamilton 12 Jul 1858 06 Oct 1882, CA  
Melvin "Bennie" Leroy Hamilton

As an adult changed it to
Ninian Bennett Hamilton
11 Dec 1861 30 Apr 1935, CA Emma Victoria "Vic" Koster
Hattie Grace Hamilton 30 Nov 1864 14 Dec 1885, CA John Walker Dodson
Sarah Elizabeth Young/Hamilton
(Adopted daughter)
10 May 1855    
Edith "Eda" Lucina Hamilton 07 Aug 1866 06 Jun 1931, CA  

Letter # 1

Letter Dated: November 9, 1857
From: Lovina &Ninian Beall Hamilton, Jr. (age 22)
Living In: Williamsburg, Wayne Co., Indiana
To: Candace Shuford Hamilton (age 16) (Sister)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana
(Ninian Jr. and Lovina had been married for a month when this letter was written.  The first part of the letter was written by Lovina to Can Hamilton.  Ninian Jr. added the latter part to the letter. CDL)

Dear Hamilton, Can: (Candace Shuford Hamilton)

     I presume I would almost insult you were I to offer this scrawl as an answer to your last kind letter. Therefore, I will if all is willing--offer it as an introduction or beginning of a new correspondence. This evening we are comfortably situated in our little room at our new boarding house--Mrs. Youngs. We stopped with a Mr. Pearce when we first come until we could get us a place and this evening finds us both sitting on our bed not two feet apart--I writing to Can and him to Daddy. I do not like the town of Williamsburg very well--still I think I can stay very well till our school is out--and then there are some very clever folks here, I cant help but like them. There are some of the prettiest children out here you ever saw. The little fellows cut up all kinds of monkey shines in school and of course I laugh at them.

     I like school teaching so far very well--it is a little monotanous but you know any kind of female employment is such and they are or should be used to it--therefore I shall not complain on that score. I scarcely know what to write to you. You will find out from your father's letter all that is interesting about the school. “ Bell"
(Ninian B. Hamilton, jr.) is the very man who can tell you and that just right too. Now Can I think I have one of the best men I ever saw, and moreover he seems to enjoy himself as well in my company now as before we were married, and I am sure no persons company is half so agreeable to myself as his. I am not trying to flatter you in speaking so well of your brother for you must remember I am as much interested as you are. He is one of the most patient and good-natured men I ever saw. Now in this I am not boasting but merely giving you a faint idea of how I am suited with your brother for a partner, and only a faint idea it is too for I could not tell it as it is were I to write all night--I suppose I shall close soon I can think of no more to write at present. We both are in good health. We stayed last night at Mrs. Harris's about a mile in the country and walked this morning. Now Can I shall expect an answer from you before long and will be much disappointed if I do not get one--so just pitch in and write immediately. Give my love to the remainder of my new kindred and tell all to write to us when convenient--write soon- er-est.

     Yours in sisterly love--



[Lovina C. Hamilton]


Dear Sis:

     Let me tell you what's a fact. I've got such a dear good wife if you knew her as well as I do--you couldn't keep from loving her much better than you imagine- Dave -
(David Wilfong Hamilton) told me something about you making me a fine quilt. If you can and choose to do so pitch in. I shall be much obligated to you for it. Write soon Can and tell us all about it--all about it.


Ninian Belle  Hamilton


Letter # 2

Letter Dated: January 24, 1858
From: Ninian Beall Hamilton, Jr. (age 22)
Living In: Williamsburg, Indiana
To: Ninian Beall Hamilton (b. 1789 - age 69) (Father)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

Dear Father:

     This date finds us in good health which is quite a common expression in letter writing but no less important for parents and friends as I know. We received a letter from Can
(Candace Shuford Hamilton) a day or two ago which stated that she had been getting married lately, etc.

     I can not help but feel for you. It must be very lonesome at home now--all gone but George
(George Washington Hamilton)--yet I have all the reason to believe that you feel satisfied--yes almost thankful that all is as well as it is. I did think that Can was too young (16 years, 5 months) to marry but considering all things, it is well. She has got a worthy young man--one who will treat her well and provide well. I already have seen enough of the world to know that the above prerequisites are essential to happiness.

     There are so many liabilities to get deceived that it is far better to accept a good offer than to be too nice and run too far and do no good at last.

     Old Wayne
(Wayne County, IN) is all alive - right on the questions - genuine Republican - Williamsburg is a hard place and no mistake. We have before us a task to perform but day by day we can see that we accomplish a little. We have now 138 names on the roll with about 100 in attendance daily. This is considerable school and requires close application to keep all in proper order. The scholars have been permitted to do as they pleased in a great measure heretofore, but there is no school taught and any advancement made in study when there is no order. We have had a hard time of it but we have good order now from a large number of scholars. Some of them are learning very fast and some none at all as will always be the case. We have one who has gone through the Algebra and has taken up a higher work on Mathematics and doing very well. Our school will end in the first of March. Then we expect to return to Hartsville and make some preparations for housekeeping. I do not know exactly what business I shall follow there yet. I have been contemplating an enterprise which will if carried out pay very well - it is that of building a steam saw mill at Hartsville. I have made some calculations and I find that a mill can be put up there which will pay for itself in two years. There is an ordinary steam saw mill here which will pay for itself in one year. Where timber is very high the slats and sawdust run the engine.

     I am going to see about what I can do after I go back but hardly think I can succeed in getting all things arranged. I believe there were some articles of bedding which were intended for me. Ask Candace
(Candace Shuford Hamilton) about them and let me know about them. We did intend to pay you a visit when school was out but I cannot say whether we will be able to do so or not till I see further. We want to be as saving as possible. I want you to write immediately and tell us all about the times, the prospects, etc. I do not consider that I have got too big to take advice. Be sure and write soon. Tell me when Isaac (Isaac Martin) is going to settle, etc., etc.

     I received a letter from Elisha B. Hamilton yesterday. All in good health. He sent me the rattles of a rattle snake for a New Year's present. Excuse this bad writing as our ink is so thick that it will not flow well. Well, George
(George Washington Hamilton, age 14) I want you to be a good boy now and help Pap all you can. Give our respects to all our folks and friends. I remain your son.


N. B.  Hamilton


Letter # 3

Letter Dated: June 5, 1858
From: Ninian Beall Hamilton, Jr. (age 23)
Living In: Hartsville, Indiana
To: Ninian Beall Hamilton (b. 1789 - age 69) (Father)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

Dear Father:

     I received your letter this morning and haste to answer it. It gave me much pleasure to read a letter from my old father once more. I know full well how it is with you when it comes to writing and consequently I can readily forgive you when you delay in writing. I received 12 dollars before and one this time which is all right. I did not learn who got the saddle but supposed it was Amos as he wrote to me about the matter.

     We, with you, are under obligation to our Creator for his great mercies in preserving our lives and giving us such good health as we have enjoyed for so long. We are not keeping house now but are staying with the old people. I am clerking for Mr. Mobley and he wishes me to continue with him. The times have been so hard that I could not get much regular work so I hired to clerk for 20 dollars for the first month--after that I shall get better wages unless there should be a demand for mechanics; if there is perhaps I shall work again and I want to go to school next session again if I can make the necessary arrangements.

     We have a remarkable wet time--the farmers are discouraged--nearly scarcely any of them are done planting. The probability is that wheat crops will not be half what they should be and I am of the impression that if you have not sold your wheat yet you will do well to keep it for some parts may produce wheat well and our country and your country is the place for a wet season. If the season continues wet a while longer the crops here will not make any thing as a general thing--the best will not make more than half a crop. The farmers in Jackson County have given up the farms which they were to pay cash rent upon. Nevertheless, regardless we sell a great deal of goods and sell the most on time.

     Give my best respects to all the friends and answer soon. I'll answer Sam Baker's
(Samuel Lafayette Baker) letter before long.


N. B.  Hamilton


Letter # 4

Letter Dated: June 7, 1858
From: Lovina Cannady Hamilton (age 20)
Living In: Hartsville, Indiana
To: Ninian Beall Hamilton (b. 1789 - age 69) (Father-in-Law)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

Dear Father:

     For the first time I attempt to drop you a few lines. It is true I never had the pleasure of seeing or conversing with you, but I hope the relation which we sustain towards each other will be sufficient excuse for my familiarity. This pleasant evening finds me in moderate health and good spirits and very busy making carpet. We had contemplated visiting you this fall and perhaps will if nothing happens. I would be much pleased if you could spend a few days with us this summer--can you not make your arrangements such as to come out some time this summer and see us?

     It is now getting late and the letter must be closed--write soon.

     Yours affectionately,


L. C.  Hamilton


Letter # 5

Letter Dated: November 14, 1858
From: Ninian Beall Hamilton, Jr. (age 23)
Living In: Hartsville, Indiana
To: Ninian Beall Hamilton (b. 1789 - age 69) (Father)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

Dear Father:

     No doubt you have looked for some time for a letter from us. The reason we have delayed writing so long was to see what sort of employment I would follow this winter so that I might write and let you know. I have two chances--one is to clerk for Mobley and the other is to teach the Primary department. I have not yet determined which to do, but will know in a couple of days.

     Our trip was a successful trip, we got through in good time. Our box was near a week on the way, but it came at last in good order--the freight in all to get it here was $1.85. Our box of grapes turned out about five gallons. After giving away about a gallon of our chestnuts I sold the rest for $1.20 and could have sold all that barrel which Jake Bixler was to send me at the same rate as they had ever come.

     I spoke to Doctor Brozleton about the study of medicine. He speaks encouragingly and tells me if I want to study I can study in his office or I can have his books to study at home, and he will hear my recitations and give me instructions and wait with me till I am able to pay him. He also says that if I attend one course of lectures that will be all I will need as I can have in books all the lectures that have been given. Be sure and write and tell me plainly what you think of it--I still prefer the notion of going to school to all others and I sincerely wish I could carry out my wishes to the desired extent.

     Our health is good at present. Our boy grows fine--he is a greater case than ever. The school is fuller this season than ever it was. I expect if I teach, to have a writing school.

     Now a few words to George
(George Washington Hamilton)--I want you to watch close and mind what you learn and be sure to learn nothing that you will have to unlearn--or what you will be ashamed of when you become a man. Remember that whatever a boy is when he is fifteen, sixteen or seventeen he is most certain to be the same all his life. Then don't do one thing that is mean, for you have your character to form right now. Go to school and learn to write and write me a letter right off and when you are at school try to see how many good scrapes you can get in and how many bad ones you can keep out of. Think of these. I want to hear from you soon. Give our respects to all the friends, accept them yourselves.

     Tell Sam to write to me.

     That's all.


N. B.  Hamilton


Letter # 6

Letter Dated: November 14, 1858
From: Lovina Cannady Hamilton (age 20)
Living In: Hartsville, Indiana
To: Isaac & Candace Hamilton Martin  (Brother-in-Law & Sister-in-Law)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

[Nin (Ninian Jr.) and Bin (Lovina) had their first child, George "Bub"  "Hardie" Harding Hamilton,
who was born on 12 Jul 1858.  CDL ]


Dear Brother & Sister:

     I suppose you are saying by this time that Bine
(Lovina Cannady) and Nin (Ninian B. Hamilton jr.) are never going to write. Well now just hold on and you will find out before you go any farther that you are mistaken. We have not forgotten you neither do we wish too. We arrived safe home the next day after we left you at Greens. We staid at Wilcoxins that night--got on an old thumping-box of some kind at 5 o'clock next morning which pitched rolled and tumbled in to Jeffersonville, but as good luck interposed in our behalf we had no broken bones when we got there.

     To be plain about it--Well Bub
(George Harding Hamilton) cried and I had to take him up so I fixed him for bed but he won't sleep so I am writing with him in my lap (it's night mind you)--but I will go on with my bus story now as I've got Bub on the lounge. I never was thumped and bumped so in all my life. After we got on the cars we kited to Columbus in double-quick time, and there we found Grand-pa Chittenden waiting for us--so we got aboard and were landed safely home about three o'clock. Our box was not there nor did not come for two or three days after, but all came safely at last. We are getting along fine but Hardie (George Harding Hamilton) he has the cough yet about as bad as ever. But he has no whooping cough I guess. We took him to Dr. Brazelton today but he thinks his cough will result in nothing bad.

     Kate Muth has a fine son--she calls him William Franklin Hunter Muth--nearly name enough for truth, for the second, isn't it? Mrs. Applegate also has another boy--so much for increasing the population of Hartsville. I think it will be a city by and by.

     Our school is doing finely. This session it is thought there are upward of 100 here now and more coming. There are a good many girls. Mr. H. says tell you he is under many obligations to you for kindness and hopes some day to be circumstanced so as to return the compliment. He thinks he could send you the money now if you are in need of it. I hope you will write to us soon as you get this letter and give us the news in general.

     Now Isaac
(Isaac Martin) don't be afraid to write to us we won't laugh at you and if you can't do any more tell us about some ox or mule trade, you have made lately--Do you tie paper to Fremonts tail any more--Does - Can (Candace Shuford Hamilton) nurse her kittens so much yet? Do you get your heads bumped since I am gone? Etc., etc.

     Write soon--yours as ever.


Bine C. H.


Letter # 7

Letter Dated: March 27, 1859
From: Ninian Beall Hamilton, Jr. (age 24)
Living In: Hartsville, Indiana
To: Ninian Beall Hamilton (b. 1789 - age 70) (Father)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

Dear Father:

     We received your letter some time since and read it with much pleasure. We also received one from Can
(Candace Shuford Hamilton) and Isaac (Isaac Martin), and one from Aunt.

The reason I have written no sooner I will try to tell you. The session has just closed, we had four exhibitions. My school had one, the circle one, and the Institute one, and the Jeffersonian Society one. I have been kept as busy as I could be for some time in getting up my exhibition, which nearly all agree was the best in proportion to those engaged. We had fifty dialogues and declamations together. All were well pleased with my exhibition. The "Circle" had their exhibition on the night after mine. Bine
(Lovina Cannady) had a part in two or three dialogues. Also she wrote you one of the programmes of our exhibition. My essay was ten pages in length. I had intended to send you a copy of it but our cousin Haraing (Harding?) sneaked both our essays and took them home with him.  He will bring them back, at the commencement of next session. Then perhaps we can send them to you.

     Some time since I engaged to clerk for one of the storekeepers in town for thirty dollars a month and was to continue twelve months but owing to some cause or other he backed out after a fair bargain. So now school has closed and with it my employment. But I hope I shall not have any trouble to find employment--what that employment will be, yet I cannot say. The new college building is to be commenced now soon--perhaps I will get a site at that. I just a few minutes ago received a letter from John Martin and Dovey
(Delilah (Dovey) Ann Hamilton), John wants me to come out there and go with him to Kansas this coming fall. I suppose Davie (David Wilfong Hamilton, b.10/5/1838; RHR) will go after summer, this fall from the way he talks.

     Our health is very good and has been for some time . Hardie
(George Harding Hamilton) is very healthy and lively. He has two teeth and will soon have two more. He can call Pa and Ma, climb up and stand at a chair and "holler" and laugh as loud as any one of his age. He the greatest pet in town. I hope you will try and make it convenient to come and pay us a visit this fall--we would be very much pleased to have you come.

(George Washington Hamilton), I am glad to see that you are learning to write--keep on and learn fast as you can, and work all you can for that is the way to make it pay. We have got some of those grapes yet.

    Please write soon--we remain yours,


N. B.  Hamilton


[Lovina (Bine) included a letter to Ninian, Sr. (b. 1789) and George Washington Hamilton.  CDL]


Dear Father:

     Your kind and welcome letter came to hand some time since and afforded us much satisfaction--we also got one from Aunt not long since. We have moved from where we lived down farther in town into a dwelling over the brick store--it is the pleasantest situated place in town. The stairs are rather unhandy to bring wood and water up. We are hearty and doing well. I believe our boy is the finest anywhere found and as smart as you please.

     We are looking for you out next fall about conference time which is I think some time in October. Come over then and see us.

     No more at present--a word to George
(George Washington Hamilton).


L. C.  Hamilton


Dear Brother :

     We were glad to see you improving so much in your penmanship. I hope you will improve your time as well--as you can learn all you can and some time in the future come to Hartsville and go to school. Be very careful, George, about your company for a great deal depends upon your present association. You are now at the proper age
(15) to form your character for life and you should be sure to improve the talents God has given you so you may be a useful man in society--n honor to your friends and a good man in every sense of the word. All this you may be if you only pursue the right course which I hope you will do.

     You may learn much by heeding to the counsel of an aged and experienced father, I hope you will not be offended at me, George I mean nothing bad by what I have been saying--but to something else.

     One night Last week the 23rd after the Jeffs had closed their exhibition and we were all in bed asleep a hard thunder storm came up and the lightening struck the kitchen chimney of the house we were then living in and tore it to pieces, splitting the brick in fine pieces and scattered it over the yard--the lightening ran down the stove pipe melting it until it had several holes in it and down over the corner of the stove and down the foot of the stove leaving drops of melted iron by which to trace it's footsteps. The floor being damp it done no damage. If the house had been dry it would in all probability been torn up and set on fire.

     Our professor says if we had been there in bed we would in all probability have been killed not knowing what hurt us but we happened to stay at Ma's that night as it was only half way from the seminary house, and it was late and cool. To me it seems only providential we were saved. Such instances shows the necessity of always being prepared.

     I hope, George, among other things you will not neglect your Maker--you are old enough to be religious.

     Write soon.


Lovina C.  Hamilton


[Remarks: It is interesting how each one of a family would always write letters
to different members of their family in each letter. MS]


Letter # 8

Letter Dated: August 4, 1859
From: Ninian B. Hamilton, Jr. (age 24) [with inserts by Lovina (Bine)]
Living In: Hartsville, Indiana
To: Isaac & Candace Hamilton Martin  (Sister & Brother-in-Law)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

Dear Brother and Sister:

     We have given up all hope of hearing from you any ways soon, so I have concluded to write to you again and tell you when conference comes off, etc., etc. Conference commences the 15th of September - the 15 of September mind - and about that time we want you and Pap to drive to Hartsville. What say you?

     I don't know whether I have told you anything about my trip to Indianapolis or not. I was there 7 weeks in all. I took a full course including all classes of Bookkeeping, Plain and Ornamental Penmanship and Card Writing. I will get my sheepskin as soon as I can spare the money to pay for it ($3.00). I can teach all these branches successfully.

     My entire expenses were $70.00 - this at this hard time seems like too much money to spend in this way but I have accomplished what I have been wanting to for some time and I am now ready to fill the first call I may be favored with. Of course, I shall teach until I can do better. I could have completed the course in a week less time but I was too unwell to study. I should have got a class of about 40 in writing but while I was gone to the city one or two bores of writing teachers came here and bored the students till they are tired of writing, so that I have only 18 in writing.

Short insert by Lovina (Bine) -
     He might have more if he'd try, but he's too lazy - I got him in the garden now digging some potatoes for dinner, law me they are so nice and large - come over and eat some. He'll skin me alive when he comes in.

Ninian Continues -
     Bine has put in some of her clack - next time she may dig the potatoes herself and I'll do my own writing. But the potatoes are done so I'll go and eat a peck.

Another insert by Lovina (Bine) -
     He never eat a peck at all but he made it up drinking buttermilk. He's lying on the floor playing with Hardie
(George Harding Hamilton) and I must quit or he'll suspicion me.

Ninian Continues -
     No, I didn't eat a peck, but Bine did and that is no more than she commonly does. We have not had a letter from Dovie
(Delilah (Dovey) Ann Hamilton) for some time but the last account indicated that there soon will be another Martin in the family. He talks of coming to see us in the fall.

     I should be so glad to see all of the family at once. Hail Columbia! Couldn't we get down one of the biggest peach cobbler - Phew!

     Bine is still hearing her class in Physiology. I am hearing three Philosophy, Algebra, and Bookkeeping. I have one more taking lessons on Ornamental Penmanship. One just got through last Saturday. I get $5.00 per scholar for this. I think I can make it pay at the next session is I am here then. School is still progressing and doing well.

     I must close soon. Give our best respects to Aunt, Uncle, Sam Baker - tell him to write a long letter sometime. If Bine has any thing to add she will have to get another sheet of paper. You must write instantly - instantly and let us know if you are coming and what day to meet you at Columbus.

     Don't forget.


N. B.  Hamilton


Letter # 9

Letter Dated: February 4, 1860
From: Ninian B. Hamilton, Jr. (age 24)
Living In: Hartsville, Indiana
To: Isaac & Candace Hamilton Martin  (Sister & Brother-in-Law)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

Dear Brother and Sister:

     We received your letter long ago and commenced an answer but misplaced it and now we will write another, but it will be an awful short one this time for we are preparing for an exhibition with our nights and have no time to write to any one if we can help it. Our health has been good but we have been bored with the "itch" till we were almost outdone, but we have banished the "Hessian" and we now feel some better. We are glad to hear that you had plenty of "pig and hominy" - and if nothing happens we will be down to take some with you before a great while. I don't see why you couldn't come out to our exhibitions - we will have three.

(Lovina Cannady) is editor of the Excelsier, and I am editor of the Spectator, so you see we are all editors. But something about the land trade - I am anxious that we settle this matter soon, as I want to make a general settlement - wind up affairs and "scud" out to parts unknown. I am tired of all such lean pastures as this. Nothing less than a paying permanent business will suit me, and I have decided to seek such. To do so I shall have to go elsewhere. Of course I shall expect to trade on the same terms as you and David
(David Wilfong Hamilton), and so you can just consider it a trade and we will make the necessary arrangements, as soon as possible to complete the trade so that I can be prepared to go to Illinois or elsewhere early in the spring so that I can do a whole summers work. Be sure to write as soon as you get this and tell me all about the trade as I don't want to wait till I come down to know.


N. B.  H.


[Lovina (Bine) included a letter also. CDL]


Hartsville, Indiana

February 5, 1860


Dear Brother and Sister:

(Ninian B. Hamilton, jr.) says I must write some so I shall make a trial anyhow. I have been to church twice today and had myself almost roasted to death and I have the head-ache so badly that I shall not attempt to write very much now. Hardie (George Harding Hamilton) is asleep and ought to be till my head gets better. I expect Can (Candace Shuford Hamilton) that two or three or a half dozen of your acquaintances will be getting into the matrimonial noose. Jo and Mag and Flora will both be married in the spring. I expect also some talk of Lyman Chittendens Mollie getting married. I suppose you know Auntie Chittenden is married to Mr. Morgan the last preacher. George Huddlebaugh's wife is dead, Mrs. Crafton (the milliner), the baby is dead too.

     Now Can I am too sick to write so I shall quit. I have to write with and old steel pen - this time excuse imperfections and write soon to your affectionate sister -




Letter # 10

Letter Dated: April 29, 1860
From: Lovina C. Hamilton (Wife of Ninian, Jr.)
Living In: Hartsville, Indiana
To: George Washington Hamilton (Brother-in-Law) (age 16)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

Hartsville, Indiana

April 29, 1860


Dear Brother George:

     While Nin
(Ninian B. Hamilton, jr.) was gassing with the married folks, I thought with your permission I would converse with you awhile. We are all well and not quite starved yet as we found a sack of flour and some bacon yet when we came home, and "lots" of water in the well to "bile" it in.

     Today is the Sabbeth day it is a beautiful clear day warm and sunny. All the girls and boys in town are preparing for a May-party next Tuesday. Three or four ladies, some young and some old, are going to have addresses and one or two young men. A pretty black-eyed girl of sixteen is going to be May-Queen as she has the most verses committed (It is the W.B.S.S.). You ought to be here.

     I expect you'd fall in love with her. Poor Little Hardie
(George Harding Hamilton) often thinks of you or at any rate he talks of "Dorge". An old bald-headed man came into church the other day and sit down close to us when Hardie looked up and said, "there's Pa-Pa".

     We are going to try to economize sufficiently to get our house built this summer and I shall be glad for we have to move again this week for the fourth time since we have been housekeeping.

     Tell Aunt the Ice-vine roots she gave me is growing nicely. I'm afraid my white roses will die. Ask Can
(Candace Shuford Hamilton Martin) if she found one of Hardies red stockings (hand knit), my gloves, a pair of Nin's socks and a pair of mine, also, and a piece of muslin.

     Now George if you are not too mad at me for telling you to be a good boy in my other letters, write soon and I'll not assume so much responsibility soon again. Hadie says he "loves uncle Dorge".

     He says, "Belles gone". Tell Aunt I'll write to her soon. Give all the friends our best wishes and respect and reserve a share for your self.

     Write soon.




Letter # 11

Letter Dated: June 3, 1860
From: Ninian Beall Hamilton, Jr. (age 25)
Living In: Hartsville, Indiana
To: Ninian Beall Hamilton (b. 1789 - age 71) (Father)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

Hartsville, Indiana

June 3, 1860


Dear Father and Friends:

     This pleasant Sabbath afternoon I take up my old Gold pen to try it on a letter once more. Well it works smoothly enough at any rate. But to proceed - we are all in fair health now - Bine
(Lovina Cannady Hamilton) was sick last night but is much better now. Hardie (George Harding Hamilton - a few days short of being 2 years old) is very hearty since he got a dose of poison. Sometime since he was taken with a spell of severe vomiting which lasted for two or three hours. He was deathly sick for a while but soon got better. We supposed that he must have gotten hold of a Rat-Wafer. There was one about the house that we knew of and that was half gone.

     I am putting up a neat little cottage 16 by 28 feet - we have the frame up and are progressing finely. I work some on it too when I am not busy in the store. It will cost between 300 and 400 dollars. I have a nice lot and when I get it improved it will be attractive.

     The workmen are at work on the new seminary. It is to be put up - that is - the walls - by the first of August. You will see by this circular that we commence a commercial department the first of September. As far as I can learn the prospects are fair for a full attendance. We will have a much nicer time when we get a room fitted up in the new college building. I guess I shall have to improve my writing some before I commence business. I got a letter some time since from David
(David Wilfong Hamilton). He got there safe and at very light expense. He says he got his machine all right and that it operates first rate. Some others say the same thing while others on account of their lack of experience complain of the machine, I can sew with any of the machines because I learned how - so can they when they learn. How does yours operate? Can George (George Washington Hamilton) sew any with it?

     I want you to be sure and make you arrangements to come and see us this fall - Now be certain come - I know your excuse but you can get along - George can take you to Henryville - then I can meet you at Columbus so that you will not be on the cars but about two hours, and even if your are troubled while on the cars there is a room on each train where you can relieve yourself whenever you want to. I can't bear the idea of your not coming to see us at all. You must come if it won't give you too much trouble. I want to hear from you very soon. Tell George to write too if he ain't mad at us. Don't wait but write soon as you get this.

(Lovina Cannady Hamilton) joins me in sending our best regards for you all.


N. B. Hamilton


Letter # 12

Letter Dated: November 4, 1860
From: Ninian B. Hamilton, Jr. (age 25)
Living In: Hartsville, Bartholomew County, Indiana
To: Isaac & Candace Hamilton Martin  (Sister & Brother-in-Law)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

Hartsville, Bartholomew Co., Indiana

November 4, 1860


Dear Brother Isaac and Sister Can:

     For a long time we have looked for a letter from you and for a long time we have been looking for that dear old Pap of mine and to our great disappointment neither have come. I suppose of course Father will not come (if he comes at all) till after the election. We are afraid that he has declined coming this fall. I hope he has not as we want him to come so bad.

(Isaac), I must tell you the good luck I've had lately - What says you - another boy - no - a girl then - O no nothing of the kind and Hush your nonsense. Some fellow - some good Brother Mason like enough who knew my situation sent me by express, $83.00. Now I don't know who sent it as no letter came with it - no name about it but at any rate it came just in time for me to use it to a better advantage than at almost any other time. Now when you send me that $82.00 which you promised to by Christmas - I'll be helped out very much, I assure you. I suppose you have plenty of money and can do so without any trouble and will do it so I'll just send you a receipt for the $83.00 as will cost nearly a dollar to send that amount by express. In the meantime I must return my thanks to this other fellow who has favored me so much.
     Well, What next - well our health is pretty fair and prospects for the future encouraging. I suppose you don't want to hear another word about our new house - but "dog a rat' if it ain't nice and comfortable and then its our house - yet anyhow besides that fellow sent me money just in time to pay for a lot of nice fruit trees I subscribed for to set out in our lot - don't want you to put off coming to see us till they bear however.

     November 11th - Here it is a week later and now I shall try to finish this letter. I have no additional news only what you have already heard - that is - Old Abe
(Abraham Lincoln) is elected which is good enough for anybody - Republicans especially. Douglas Democrats are awfully bored here as well as elsewhere - to think they claimed that Douglas was the regular nominee of the National Democratic Convention and now to think that national Democrats are strong enough to carry but one state - gets them down. Did Sam Baker vote for Douglas? But I must close don't fail to write soon and give me all the news. Give my best respects to all - accept them yourself.

     If you see Pap tell him to write soon for I am afraid he has given out coming.


N. B. H.


[Lavina (Bine) enclosed a short letter, too]


Dear Brother and Sister:

     After remaining in a brown study for some time to find something to write about I have concluded to write what the spirit tells me. We are well for which I am very thankful. We had a letter from Dave
(David Wilfong Hamilton, b 10/5/1838; RHR) some time ago in which he stated that Lincoln was elected. They have a little girl! (Edith May Hamilton, b 9/25/1860; RHR) You must excuse Axie (Achsa Ann Martin, wife of David Wilfong Hamilton, sister of John S. Martin who married Delilah (Dovey) Ann Hamilton; RHR) if she was a little peevish sometimes. All right now I guess.

(George Harding Hamilton, b 7/12/1858; RHR) is a great big fat thing you would hardly believe how fat - he's a load. He talks everything. We are very much disappointed because Pa has not come. Did he not tell my Pa he would be here by the first of October? Pa understood it so.

Ma is quite unwell and I am doing her work a day or two.

     Our new seminary is completed to the brick work. They are preparing to put on the roof - it looks quite well so far. Can
(Candace Shuford Hamilton) when are you and Isaac (Isaac Martin) coming out? Come next summer. Give my love to Aunt Tommy's Aunt Rat's etc. Tell Pa and that little lazy George (George Washington Hamilton) to write. Write soon now Can do and make your man write too. Yours as ever.

P.S. Kiss Belle
(Lillie Belle Martin, b. 8/29/1859; RHR) for me.


Bine C. Hamilton


Letter # 13

Letter Dated: March 29, 1861
From: Ninian B. Hamilton, Jr. (age 26)
Living In: Hartsville, Bartholomew County, Indiana
To: Isaac & Candace Hamilton Martin  (Sister & Brother-in-Law)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

Hartsville, , Indiana

March 29, 1861


Dear Bro & Sis:

     I shall try to drop you a short letter and short it must be for my time is limited. It used to be a pleasure for me to write when I only had a few letters to write but now I have so many to write that it is not much fun.

(John S. Martin) and Dovey (Delilah (Dovey) Ann Hamilton Martin) staid a little more than a week and left for home where they arrived making a short and quick trip from here. It was a great pleasure for us to have them with us. Dovey is a dear and kind sister and to her I am much indebted for her good advice and the interest she took in my welfare after Mother left us. She was like a mother to me and I ever shall feel grateful for such a sister. John is very kind and clever. I was sorry when they left us, but if life permits and other circumstances are favorable I expect to pay them a visit before a great while. Bine (Lovina Cannady Hamilton) likes Dove so well.

     The weather is very windy - I got my plank fence finished around my lot all to staking and the wind came and turned it all over. It is a patent fence built upon the ground so I just set it up again and wind blew it down again. I have set it up 3 or 4 times and have not had time to brace it - when this is done it will stand the storms.

     I am getting along as well as can be expected. I am still in debt some and will have to borrow some money - about $200.00 - if I can not do this I will be in a pinch. I understood that you and father could have got money for me of Dandridge Overton but when he found out it was for me he would not let it go, and spoke in not so very complimentary terms of me. That I had lied and imposed upon his boy and took advantage of him, etc. Now all I have to say is this, that the whole thing is emphatically false from beginning to end. I suppose all grew out of one thing and I will just state it as it actually was and then you can judge for yourself - I was getting subscribers for Spencer's Penmanship and when I was ready to send for them he told me that he would wait till they came and see how he liked them. I told him that he could do as he pleased that I should send for 2 or 3 more than were subscribed for and when they came if he wanted one he could get it. A few days after the books came Overton came to me and said he would like to have one but feared that he would not have money enough to take him home if he spent anymore. I suppose he actually wanted the book, and I know he needed it so I told him if he wanted it to take it along with him and when he wanted to go home if he lacked the money and I had it, I would lend it to him. And so I should. Well just about the time the man I got my lumber from came to me and told me he could not get any money in town and proposed to me if I would advance the money he would settle my bill of fencing lumber for 10 cents less on the hundred than the customary price. So I turned out and after considerable effort I borrowed some and with what little I had made out $15.00 the amount the man wanted.

     Shortly after that Overton came to me and wanted enough money to take him home. I told him if I had it he should have it but I hadn't it and I knew it was almost or quite out the question to get it as I had hard work to get what little I did for Trisber
(lumber). Now this is the true story and whatever goes to the right or left from this departs from the truth.

     I wish you would see Pap and tell him that my word is out the 10th of April - if he can get me some money - $200.00 if possible it will save me from the pinch and give me a chance to secure my little pleasant home. So I hope you will do the best you can and don't fail to let me know as soon as possible what can be done. Now don't forget if you please. Show this letter to Pap. Hardie
(George Harding Hamilton) sings as well as Hugh (Hugh Martin, b 11/28/1856; RHR) in proportion to his age and is a perfect curiosity. Generally he has not been well since he had the measles. Bine is not right well. My health is good as usual.


N. B. Hamilton


Letter # 14

Letter Dated: September 8, 1861
From: Ninian Beall Hamilton, Jr. (age 26)
Living In: Hartsville, Indiana
To: Ninian Beall Hamilton (b. 1789 - age 72) (Father)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

The beginning of the Civil War


Hartsville, Indiana

September 8, 1861


Dear Father:

     Again I take up my pen to discharge a pleasant duty, for it ever has been a pleasure to me to drop you a line whether in answer to letters received or otherwise. My feelings today are of a peculiar sort. I feel to mourn and I feel to rejoice. I regret that my life has been no better - that I have not devoted more of my time to the acquisition of the knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus and in laying up treasures in Heaven where neither moth doth corrupt not thieves break through nor steal.

     How I regret that my advance in life has not been seasoned with more energy and zeal in the practice of every known Christian duty. My spiritual enjoyments might have been much more full and I might have realized more fully His will concerning me. While I much regret the past I can rejoice that it is as well with me as it is - that God has been so kind and merciful to me and that I have been enabled to enjoy many happy moments from childhood to manhood and I hope and pray that these may be increased as I advance in age.

     These are trying times to the Christian and to the Patriot alike. The distracted condition of our once happy people and prosperous land has cast a gloom over all. But I have an abiding confidence in the goodness of God that He will in His own way purge the land and free it of some of the cause of turmoil and strife and put a check upon corrupt and ambitious aspirants. Let rebellion be put down, peace restored and honest men fill our offices of trust and profit and then as a nation we will be sure to prosper.

     The work of sustaining the Government goes on bravely here. Our county has sent out and is sending a great many volunteers, and the work at present indicates that the demand for men and money however great will be promptly met. From a little town near here (Milford) fourteen men of families volunteered besides almost all the young men. Several married men have gone from here - some old men - and more talk of going and will go yet if needed. I have been much exercised in mind about this thing myself. It seems hard that traitors should be allowed to destroy a Government founded upon principles of Freedom, and Liberty by the fathers of the Revolution and the interposition of Divine Providence. To leave a good wife and darling boy would be a sacrifice, I would freely make however great and hard it would be, if other circumstances did not forbid. But as it is I cannot consistently do that which seems a great duty. I must content myself to do whatever else I can to aid those that do go. But if the worst comes and the question is to be decided whether traitors and tyrants shall rule with iron hand - or the boon of liberty be handed down to my posterity, and it is necessary that my service - aye my life - be required, I'll go.

     School has opened again but with less than one-third the usual number present and as commercial business is most paralyzed - except in some particular branches - of course my department cannot amount to much. I presume I shall not open at all as I am not able to conduct the business without something like a fair remuneration and that cannot be had now, but teachers for graded and district schools are in demand and it is fortunate that I have some reputation and can turn my attention that way. I expect then to spend the three or six months in school teaching. If the war continues it is my opinion that in another year farmer's produce will go up in price. Next spring there will be a demand for hands to work on the farms and they will get fair wages because thousands of farm hands have gone into the army. If nothing else will afford me a living I'll go to work on farm.

I can turn my attention from cutting flourishes with a pen to cutting grubs with a mattock - in fact if it comes to the pinch, I can sow - I can hoe, I can reap - I can mow.

     And I can make myself a tolerably handy farmer's boy. So if I am only qualified to take hold of whatever suits the times I'll get along if any one does. In the mean time I'll be on the lookout to see what will pay best as things turn up and always be ready to pitch in.

     I have been thinking strong of coming down to see you all and to eat peaches and melons.

     O, I should like to so well but it will cost something anyway I can take it and as I have paid my debts as long as I had money I am "strapped". Guess I'll not come now. My brothers-in-law here are going to Illinois in a few days and want me to go along which I shall do perhaps as it will cost me a mere trifle while I stand a pretty fair chance of getting employment in Danville
(Illinois) a few miles from where they are going. I would like to hear from you soon and how all come on. Who have volunteered? Who are compromise men? There are many changes there that would be of interest to me.   


Your son,

N. B. Hamilton


[Levina (Bine) included a short letter to Ninian, Sr.]


Dear Father:

insists upon me writing some notwithstanding I urged as an excuse that I had nothing to write of interest to you. Hardie (George Harding Hamilton) and myself have been complaining some. I have had a slight headache and Hardie is ailing with a summer complaint not bad however. There is two or three cases of fever in our town at present, but more War fever than any other kind. I think sometimes Nin (Ninian B. Hamilton, jr.) has some symptoms but I expect a few cold shot would cure him.

     I have peculiar feeling upon the subjects sometimes. Not that I would fear of suffering from want were he to go - Not that I feel indignant at people for turning out to put down this ungodly rebellion - Not that I feel less interested in our country welfare than I should feel - but to think of yielding the life of him that is dearest to more than all others on earth - to merciless traitors is trying to the extreme. Were every able-bodied man in the free Sates actually needed I know not what my decision would be - to have him go and go with him perhaps.

     My prayers is that God may relieve us of this dreadful calamity. Wipe out the sin from the nation that has caused it (namely slavery) and restore peace and prosperity in a twofold ratio and that this nation may yet be one of sincere piety and peace. Write soon.


Yours affectionately.



Letter # 15

Letter Dated: April 11, 1862
From: Ninian Beall Hamilton, Jr. (age 27)
Living In: Hartsville, Indiana
To: Ninian Beall Hamilton (b. 1789 - age 73) (Father)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

Hartsville, Indiana

April 11, 1862


Dear Father:

     I enclose six dollars to pay that interest. I could not send it earlier.

     Write and let me know if it came to hand all right. We are well. I shall perhaps work at the carpenter's trade, teach writing and geography or sell sewing machines.

     Be sure and let me hear from you as soon as you get this. It's too dark to see to write more.

     As ever your son,


N. B. Hamilton


Letter # 16

Letter Dated: May 22, 1862
From: Ninian Beall Hamilton, Jr. (age 27)
Living In: Hartsville, Indiana
To: Ninian Beall Hamilton (b. 1789 - age 73) (Father)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

Hartsville, Indiana

May 22, 1862


Dear Father: 

     Some time since we received your letter. You stated you wished me to send you word when ever I heard anything of George
(George Washington Hamilton, b. 1/28/1854, d. 5/15/1862; RHR).

     I have been watching the papers closely for the 53rd and in yesterdays I see G. W. Hamilton, Wm. Packwood, N. Ross (wonder if it ain't N. Boss) and others belonging to the 53rd are in the list of sick and wounded. They reached St. Louis last Saturday
(5/17/1862; RHR) by the Steamboat boat, Imperial. I suppose George is sick as he was not in the battle of Pittsburg Landing as I can learn of.

     I do not know how bad he is - there are many among them that are not dangerous at all and of course some are. I shall write to St. Louis today and see if I can get any word soon, and indeed I may telegraph there - if I do I shall not close this till I get word.

     We are all well - the babe
(Melvin Leroy Hamilton, b. 12/11/1861; RHR) grows fast and is such a good child. Hardie (George Harding Hamilton, b. 7/12/1858; RHR) is as lively as ever.

     How we would like to have George here and take care of him, while he is sick if I could I would go and bring him home. Do you hear from the boys any? George wrote me a letter and I answered it and was fixing to go to Indianapolis to see him when I got your letter stating that he was in Tenn.

     James L. Chittenden, brother of Lymans - died in Mo. of his wounds received in the battle of Pea Ridge. He was shot through the left lung and lived 10 weeks.

     I am preparing to commence the Commercial School again this fall. I shall teach writing schools till harvest and perhaps after that I will work at the trade till fall. Have you and Isaac
(Isaac Martin) much harvest? It would be rather far for me to go and harvest when there is much here.

     Write soon -

Your son -

N. B. Hamilton


Letter # 17

Letter Dated: August 23, 1862
From: Ninian Beall Hamilton, Jr. (age 27)
Living In: Hartsville, Indiana
To: Ninian Beall Hamilton (b. 1789 - age 73) (Father)
Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

Hartsville, Indiana

August 23, 1862


Dear Father:

     I have just got back from Madison having been down there in camp for a little while, a little more than a week. Another company of volunteers left for camp a few days ago from our township.

     I went down with the boys for the purpose of getting a clerk-ship in the 67th Regiment but I got word from home that our babe was sick and I did not stay till the Regiment was organized. Since I came home the Rgt. left for Louisville and I shall not make any further effort to follow it. We have furnished between 200 and 300 men from our township.

     Our babe is sick yet but much better - cutting teeth is the trouble. Ma and Henry got home safe. We were much gratified to hear that your health was so good and that you seemed in such good spirits. I have been laid up for 5 weeks so that I could not work - first with a catarrh
(inflammation of a mucous membrane especially of the nose and throat. ? RHR) on my hand and next a huge blood boil on my wrist and day before yesterday I had a severe attack of Cholera Morbus (any of several intestinal diseases), but I am about well now. Hardie (George Harding Hamilton) is quite well and a great pet of grandma's.

     School commences here next Monday and of course the number will be small but still we expect to have some school. My school will not open as I do not know of patronage enough to justify. I think if I am not drafted I will get some position that will pay this fall, either in the army or elsewhere. I do not know whether I will get to come and see you this fall or not. Hartsville is almost deserted - a great many gone to war - both old and young.

     You said something about Isaac
(Isaac Martin) wanting George's (George Washington Hamilton) share of the estate. Perhaps it will just come right for me to pay that $100.00 in that way if so I would like it done as soon as possible to stop the interest. Did George draw any of his pay? If it is not drawn yet - I will help you get it and as far as I am concerned I want you to keep that to pay your expenses going after George. The necessary blanks etc., to enable friends of deceased soldiers to get what is due them can be had by writing to the Second Auditor of the Treasury Department.

     Some of our townspeople start to Conference in the morning (To Martinsburg). Let us hear from you soon. Excuse this as it is the first I have written for 6 weeks on account of my hand.

     Your son-


N. B. Hamilton

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