Across the Generations - Hale Family

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[Nathan Hale, Sr, to his father Enoch Hale in Westhampton, Mass. 1828]

Boston November 1, 1828

My Dear Father,
      I take this opportunity to write you a few words, though I have little to say, except that we are all well including the Dr1and wife, Otis & Washington. I have lately got my steam engine into operation, & work two presses by it on which I shall print five or six newspapers besides my own. I find it succeeds according to my expectations. I offer to do this work for almost a fifth less than the cost in the usual way, & this I expect will give me a sufficient profit to indemnify me for the cost, risks & trouble of the undertaking besides having my own work done in a more satisfactory manner than it could be done in any other way. Each press will print from 10 to 11 papers a minute, or over 600 on each per hour. I have not yet begun upon but one paper besides my own the second press being hardly but up yet, but I have engagements nearly completed which will give both presses nearly, if not quite full employ.
      I propose in the course of a few days to make a considerable change in my paper.2 Preparatory to it I have engaged an assistant editor who is to divide with me the labour of preparing the paper including both the drudgery & the literary part. I reserve to myself the responsibility for everything political, & in any way controversial, & between U.S. we shall endeavor to make it a little more attractive. To give room for more matter I shall make it about an eighth part larger. This is a change I have long been desirous of making--at least a change by which I could make more room for other matter for advertisements & by which I can procure a little more command of my own time. Time will show whether it will prove advantageous.
      We are still engaged in our railroad3 labours which occupy a gooddeal [sic] of time. I hope we shall be able to make a tolerably satisfactory report, though I suppose it will be impossible to satisfy our people, so averse are they to spending any money which will require the raising of taxes, & so tenacioU.S. of their local interests. What is most to be feared is that the proposing of any particular route which will of course be most beneficial to the parts of the state through which it runs, will excite the hostility of all other parts.
      We are upon the eve of our great election, which however does not cause any great bustle. The extreme stupidity of Mr. Adams-s4 late publication makes U.S. almost indifferent to his fate. I think there is very little chance for his election. I do not see any evidence that New York is likely to give a sufficient number of voters to make up the complement for him, if the other states vote as it has been hoped they would; and of those which have been relied on, several are quite uncertain. A few days will show.
      I have not heard from you, I think, since you were in Connecticut. I hope you had a pleasant journey & visit. Sally5 desires to be remembered to yourself mother & the family.

          Very truly yours,
           Nathan Hale

General note:   For the most part, transcripts retain the author-s original spelling, abbreviations, underlining, capitalization, and punctuation (or lack thereof).   Transcriber-s comments, changes or additions are in brackets.

1. Nathan-s brother Enoch, Jr.
2. Nathan was editor of the Boston Daily Advertiser, Boston-s first daily newspaper
3. Nathan Hale was the first president of the Boston & Worcester Rail Road Company
4. John Quincy Adams lost his bid for reelection to the Presidency in 1828
5. Nathan's wife Sarah Preston (Everett) Hale

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