Letter written by William A. M. Sedwick (1790 - 1871)
Transcribed by Una A Bowman
Adamsville, Ohio Nov. 20th 1868.
Dear Sir--Your circular was received in due time and I send you a short and imperfect sketch of my life. Respectfully yours--Wm. Sedwick.
My mother's parents--Thomas Manning and Mary Ann Cook, were married by Rev. George Cook, July 18th, 1755, Calvert County, Maryland. My parents--Joshua Sedwick and Joshan Manning were married by Rev. Frances Lander, Feb. 10th 1774, same county and state. All of Scotch descent. I was born in Calvert county, Maryland February 7th. 1790. When I was about one year old, my Father removed, with his family--one daughter and four sons--to a farm, which he had previously bought in Frederick County, Maryland, near what is now Frederick City. There I was raised and received what education the common school could afford. I was raised in the P.E. Church, of which my stepfather was a vestry man. In June 1811 I was married to my wife, Ann B. White. We lived together 42 years when she died, had 11 children raised but 6 of them. Rev. G. C. Sedwick of Martins Ferry, Ohio, is my only son living.
In 1812 I united with the Regular Baptist Church, was baptized by Rev. Je-. Moor, of Virginia who was serving a church in Montgomery County, Maryland. In 1815 I commenced preaching, removed the next year to Dumfries, Virginia where I remained three years, then went to Washington City, D. C. and preached two years for the Navy Yard-or said Baptist Church. Here while teaching a large school I received instruction in Divinity etc. From B. Alison, D. D. who was chaplain to Congress. I attended many of the debates in Congress, heard J. Clay, J. Randolph, T. W. Benton, P.P. Barbas of Virginia and many others of the great statesmen of that day. This was in 1819 or 1820, soon after the war with England. The public building had been burned by the British. The Capital was being repaired, Congress were holding their sessions in a large brick building near the capitol. When a boy I saw the foundation for the south wing soon after it was dug out. The north wing was up, now I saw it repaired. During, or rather before this was commenced, I joined a volunteer company of Cavalry. Their duty was to watch the movement of the British fleet on the Potomac river and the Chesapeake Bay. After the battle at Bladensburg and the destruction at Washington, hundreds of the British soldiers deserted and remained in this country. They said they had for many years wished to get to America. During the late Rebellion my son and grandson were cut as officers in the army, under General Thomas, in Tennessee, and were present at their hard-fought battles. My son was first Captain, then quartermaster. I was too old to take the fight, was engaged in receiving stores at my house and forwarding them for the Christian Commission. I never had any doubt about the final success of the Union Army, though there were some dark days. "The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice."
In 1820 I came to this state with my little family--a wife and three children--two of these children died within a week after I reached Cambridge, Guernsey County. I again engaged in teaching and preaching in the town and country around. The country was new and ministers had rough times while traveling about and lodging in their cabins, men, women and children all lodging in same room, but we had plenty of wild game, deer, turkeys, lived well, etc., on corn at 15 and 20 cents a bushel, wheat flour 75 cents per 100 lb., pork $1.50 per hundred lbs. I remained in Cambridge about five years, and raised up a respectable church there, then removed to this county, Muskingum, served three churches at the same time, one at home, another twenty miles distant, the third twenty five miles. It was hard traveling through deep mud and cold snowstorms.
The rest of the letter is lost.