Children of Timothy Spencer and Sarah Ann (Tenney) Bigelow:
12116.2A1+ Oscar Spencer, b 1844 Charlestown, MA; d 1872 Winona, MA; m 1868 Matilda Warner of Keyport, NJ.
12116.2A2+ Abbie, b 1845 Somerville, MA; d___ Chicago, IL; m l874 Charles B. Foote of Chicago.
The Bigelow Family Genealogy, Volume II, page 3-4; error: 12116.29.
Howe, Bigelow Family of America; page 279;
and letter,"Forge, Bigelow Society Quarterly;" May 1994, Vol. 23, No. 2, page 27.
May 1994 Forge has a letter, on page 27, (vol 23, No.2) from Sarah Ann (Tenny) Bigelow d/o Robert G. and Abigail Tenny. Sarah and Timothy died same year 1855 at Somerville, MA. 2 ch.--Sarah's letter is to her parents from on board Ship R. C. Winthrop, August 6, 1852. They married 8 Jun 1842, Nantucket, MA.
My dearest parents:
It is now Sunday morning and we re within six hundred miles of California. Now the mail will leave next Saturday and if we have a fair wind we shall probably arive in season to send this. I know how anxious you are to her how we are and what kind of a life we have led the lat 4 months. You are sensible that I must have thought much about you, my dear Father and Mother, and all our dear Friends at home. Sometimes I have felt lonely but as much as possible have looked on the bright side, thinking tht when we reached Martinez we should find letters saying you were all well. I hope you have not neglected to write, if you have I shall give up. We have all enjoyed excellent health since we left you. the first two or three days out we all three were seasick. Oscar suffered the most, I think, but after we crossed the gulf Stream we soon got over it. We had the roughest part of our passage there and I have had a much pleasanter voyag than I expected. We had some very warm weather before and after crossing the Line on the Atlantic side but we had a very pleasant time coming round Cape Horn. We had a fire in the cabin about 4 weeks and we have had cool and comfortable weather since then. And now I must say that I have been happily disappointed in this voyage; we have had no gales of wind, in fact the little Joes have been delighted to go on deck in the heaviest gales we have had and see the spray wash over the ship. We have had no trouble to keep in our berths or take our meals at the table. I can't say timothy has gained in flesh since we left but his health is good as usual. As for me I cannot say how much I weigh but this much I will say that I never was so fleshy in my life. My dresses are too tight and I have had to let out the sleeves and wrist-bands. Oscar has grown tall, has a good appetite and is happy as can be. sometimes he wishes that John Hanly and Leonard Burrows was here and he wants me to tell them to come. As for Sis, she is as fleshy and black as you can think. She often speaks of Grandpa and Grandma and when it comes night they both expect me to sit down and tell them what you are doing at home and if Grandmother has any little girl to live with her and wonders if Grandpa holds the pussy as he used to. She wants to see Lucy but is afraid she will be as large as Eliza when we see her again and then she won't hug and kiss her. The Capt., is a very pleasant man. He has indulged the children and in fact he has been very kind to us all. It was so pleasant when we were off Cape Horn that he proposed my making candy for the children and we made it as often as we wanted it while we had a fire in the cabin. We have a verty plesant company and the time has passed more pleasantly than I expected. Thimothy thinks I show my keeping and wait as patiently as he could expect, but the time seems long now we are so near port. I am tired of this indolent life though I have sewed a great deal and have had no small share of washing for the children. There is as much dirt here as on shore and the trouble is salt water won't start it. Timothy has done his washing all the voyage.
August 12. We are now within 150 miles of the Golden
City with light winds but hope to see land tomorrow night and if we
live I hope to hear that all our dear friends are well. I have left
this for an hour to
make pies. Now you shall have our bill of fare for one wek and
then you have the whole voyage. Sunday morn, fresh
salmon, noon, fresh
beef and vegetables soup; Monday, boiled tongue; Tuesday, baked
and corned beef; Wednesday, boiled ham; Thursday as Sunday;
Beans; Saturday, salt fish. Warm bread in the morning and
of some kind every day since we left home. I don't think much
cook or steward. they made the pies a few times but I
not eat them and I proposed to Mrs. Pinkham, a passenger from East
Boston, that we would make them, so the steward would fetch the things
to the pantry near my room and we have had apple and mince pies as
often as we wanted. We have had tea for dinner, I (and)
the ladies; coffee and chocolate for breakfast. As for the
outdoor sights we saw no land until we made Statten Land, off
Cape Horn. At the
distance we saw it, it appeared a solid ledge of rocks, about
feet above the level of the sea and the top was covered with
snow. We have seen land but once since and it looked more like
clouds than anythings else so you must know that a tree or even a blade
of grass will be beautiful to us. We have had two sharks and
cow fish and porpoises in abundance on deck. Twice we
have had fresh fish that has been caught from the ship but they
are not as niceas the fish at
home. We have seen a great many birds and have had 3 on
deck that Oscar caught but they are not fit to eat and he let
them go. We
have seen any quantity of whales, some very large. We
taken a pilot on board and it is time to close this letter.
don't think much of writing on board a ship but I think you can
make out to read it. We shall go to Martinez tomorrow and stop
at Capt. Coffin's till our things can come up from the ship, a
week or more. I will again by the 15 of next month.
Pray don't fail to write every month and
oftener if you can. Nan Henry got home abnd is Sarah Lindsay living. My love to my dear parents and to all the dear brothers and sisters, to Mr. and Mrs. Burrows and all that family. I shall never forget their kindness to me and my children. Timothy sends his love to all. the children stand teasing at my elbow to send kisses to Grandpa and Grandma and all the Uncles and Aunts. They often wish Eugene was here to play with them. Sis sends kisses
to the Hanly girls and wants them to come to California. I will write to each of the girls and Caroline when I get settled in my new home. I look forward with pleasure to the time when I shall hgave a quiet home with my dear husband. Give my love to all the neighbors, write all the news. How is William Alfred getting along? I have thought much about him. good night from your affectionate.........Daughter Sarah
(signed Sarah Tenney Bigelow)
Note written by Sarah's daughter, Abbie (Bigelow) Foote:
The "quiet home" was on a ranch, miles from Martinez, with the nearest neighbor 1/2 mile distant and the next 1 1/3 mile. It was not possible to get to them when wild cattle were in the valley. The stay there was short--not more than one year -- and they returned across the Isthmus of Panama. My parents stopped in MY City for medical treatment for my father, we children being sent home to Grandpa Tenney's. they soon joined us, however. My father did not live more than a year after that. the first letter which my mother received on reaching California bore tidings of the death of her mother.
Note by Mrs. Joseph (Martha) OTTO (great granddaughter of Sarah and Timothy Bigelow:------The ship on which her great grandparents sailed left the port of Boston.
Persons with information about Timothy and Sarah Bigelow are asked
Mrs Martha OTTO, 24 Lakewood Dr., Belleville, IL 62223--Contributed by: Paul B. Beach.