Please to write soon and direct to John Goisline Columbia Herkimer Co. N Y

Columbia May 28th 1853

Dear Cousin,

A letter has just been forwarded to me from Fairfield Herkimer, Co. N,Y. which was sent by you, to Jeremiah Pratt son of Chalker Pratt.  Jeremiah Pratt, was my eldest Brother he died 8 years ago the 8th of September.  As soon as I saw the envelope I said it was the hand writing of a Pratt: I thought I recognized in it the hand writing of my honored Father and my dear departed brother Joel Pratt and many others of the family.  How can this be? when I had never before seen any of the productions of your pen.  The letter I hasten to answer and in the behalf of all the relatives would tender you my sincere thanks for the information it contained.  A knowledge which I had long wished to gain. And I will be happy to give you any information in my power.  My Father came from Saybrook C. T. about the commencement of the Revolutionary struggle with G. Britian <to N Canaan N. Y.> and there mar<r>ied Chloe Tolls (youngest daughter of Ebenezur Tolls and sister to your Fathers mother Gemima Tolls) my mother.  They her Parents were not willing she should go on to their farm at the then called west as they said to be killed by savages.  Father was so often called out to follow scouting parties of Indians that he concluded to enlist in the service of his country, in which he suffered many hardships that impaired his health from which he never fully recovered and from which he suffered much till old age.  He died at my residence Feb. 14th, 1828 being 78 years old on that day and seemed to possess at that advanced age great strength of intellect and a retentive memory.  A few hours before his death he sung in a soft clear tone the Ps. Commencing Lord in the morning thou shalt hear my voice ascending high after which, he made an able prayer; closing with oh Lord Jesus receive my spirit into thy Heavenly Mansion there to stay to all Eternity and fell asleep in Jesus without a struggle or a groan.  My Mother died Dec 5th, 1827 being 65 years old the 3d, day of the preceding March  her favorite hymn was My Soul come meditate the day and think how near it stands & c.

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This letter is not designed to answer the interrogations in your kind letter, but merely to acknowledge the receiption of it as I have not now got the Family records in my possession only of my own family – and should have to depend wholly on my memory but as soon as I can obtain them I will write <to> you again.  My eldest sister Rachel Pratt who married Zebulon Tolls her cousin is I think 73 years old her husband Died 3 years ago.  Henry the next <of Fathers children> Died when an infant.  Sarah the next married Luther Dewitt and raised eight children lost two, and died in the Town of Eaton 10 years ago.

Lovisa died 2 years ago her last husband’s name was Fraser She ahd 7 children Jeremiah the next had 4 children Stephen his only son enlisted in the Mexican Army was taken sick on his way from this county to Mexico and left on the way, has never been heard of since by his friends Louisa his eldest daughter married John Quin and moved to Illinois Abigail his 2d daughter lives in Newport Herkimer Co.  Wm Pratt Father’s 3d son died <one year ago> last may in Fairfiled he had lost all his children their names were Jackson Joel Caroline and Hariet – Brother Joel Pratt fathers 4th son Died march 6th 1823 being 26 years old was not married.  David Pratt Lives in the Town of Augusta Oneida County, N.Y. Asenath Pratt who is addressing you was born <April 15th> 1803.  Was married to John Gorsline <Oct 25th> 1826 has since that time resided in this place. John Gorsline my husband was born July 17th, 1800.  our eldest son John Joel was born tues July 24th 1827 Died Frid eve 10 oclock 1832 Kilbourn Gorsline was born thurs Dec 24th 1828 Died June 9th 1829  Gaylord Gorsline was born <Frid> June 18th 1830  Died Sept 14th Friday morning 6 oclock 1832 Wm D Gorsline was born April 9th 1832

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Mary Gorsline March 17th, 1834 was married to Levi C. Preston march 16th, 1853 and moved to Caroline Centre Tompkins Co NY

Adaline Gorsline was born thurs Jan 21st 1836. Fanny Gorsline was born thurs Jan 11th 1838. Alonzo Gorsline sat March 7th 1840 Emily Gorsline was born Sunday Feb 27th, 1842 Asenath Minverva Gorsline was born sat May 25th, 1844 Sally Brown Gorsline was born mon sept 21st, 1846 – so here you have a record of our Children; as you see 8 living and 3 dead

By writing to the My youngest sister Levinia Pratt was born may 1805- was married to Knapp Mcumber 1825 Died 1832 leaving two daughters Susan Asenath & Synthia Jane in the Town of Lorein Jefferson Co N.Y. – By writing to the Presbyterian Church in the Town of Johnstown a record of all the ages and infant baptisms of Chalker Pratt’s family I think can be obtained – Q Tolls has a number I believe all his children live in Stuben county their Post office address is Alfred Alegany county he has also many grand children in that section of country – Also James H. Dewill lives in sight of Alfred Depot on the N. y. and Dunkirk Railroad

He is son of Sarah Pratt, Dewitt, were she living I would need no other refference to know the exact number and ages of my Fathers descendants she delighted to trace genealogy I will write to her son Jas H Dewitt and try to get the reccords from that place – Two of Elijah Tolls sons reside at Dansivlle Alegany co or Stuben co

I will inquire after caleb Pratt and the others you mentioned and try to collect what information I can and will send it to you

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that is if you will take the trouble to answer my hasty letter with its interrogations the only apology that I will make is that I am an old lady with the care of a larger family devolving upon me as you see I am one of the wornout links that bind together the Pratt Family – Was Parley Pratt your brother? Are you a resident of the city of Washington? Or are you a member of the Congress? is your Father living Have you any children –

If your Father be living can be tell me whether C Pratt ever obtained his dues from Government I never knew anything about it only he said he had to take continental money, which was of little or no value I never knew of his receiving any land – I have a copy of his discharges in my possession he served as a private in the first N. Y. Regiment from May 1782 and is hereby discharged from the service of his country the United States but till the Definitive treaty he was considered as being on furlough, another Discharge certifying that he had served 3 years Dated Albany 1780 and signed by Peter Ganswort Colonel Commandent fort Schugler

The reason for making this enquiry is this, Brother David Pratt is has been a Preacher of the Gospel, he is growing old, is in needy circumstances and has two sons and two daughters his oldest son David is maried the second is young and has to work out to help support the family, and I thought were there any thing due it might benefit him he is the onely surviving son of his father Chalker Pratt who recd a pension for a short time, before his Death.

Your affectionate Friend Asenath Gorsline

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[Transcribed by Nora Fowers, Erin McAllister, and Becca Staker; Nov. 2010]

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