Chittenden Lyon to Hon. James Witherell 4/5/1828 Washington, D.C.
Your esteemed favor of the 17th ult. was received this morning, and letter contained therein
handed to Col. Watson.
It gives me great pleasure to receive this attention from the long and much valued friend of my
laamented father, and brings to my mind the scenes of my childhood. I well recollect you and
your family, and regret to learn that so many of them have, like my own connection, "gone the
way of all flesh."
You enquire after my mother. She is no more; she survived my father about 18 months, worn
down with grief and affliction for the misfortune and death of her husband and two children in
less than two years; but she found consolation and resignation in religion. She had been for the
last twelve years of her somewhat eventful life an exemplary member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, and died in full hope and faith of sleeping in the arms of her God.
My eldest half-brother, James Lyon, died in South Carolina about four years since, poor. My
eldest half-sister, Ann Messenger, and her family reside in Illinois, near Belleville. Her husband
is in comfortable circumstances, and very respectable. Sister Pamelia resides in the same State;
her husband, Dr. Geo. Cadwell, died some two years since, leaving seven unmarried daughters
and no son, (his only one having died some years before him), in moderate circumstances.
My half-brother, ELIJAH G. GALUSHA, resides in Kentucky, near me. He married the
daughter of Mr. Throop, and is a poor farmer.
My eldest own sister, Minerva, resides in Beavertown, Penn. Her husband, Dr. Catlett, late
surgeon in the U.S. Army, died a little more than three years ago, in moderate circumstances.
My sister, Aurelia, died about nine months before my father, leaving two orphan children. Her
husband, Dr. H. Skinner, died about two years before her, and left a pretty little estate for their
children. My brother, Matthew, lives within two miles of my residence, (EDDYVILLE, KY),
and is doing very well; in fact getting rich, for he minds the main chance and dabbles but little in
politics, but is a candidate for Elector on the Jackson ticket. My sister, Eliza Ann, born in
Kentucky, resides also in the State of Illinois. She married a worthy man, but poor, and moved
to that State about one year ago. My youngest brother, Giles, also born in Kentucky, and who
lived with my mother, died in the 20th year of his age, about five months before my mother.
Of those who went with or followed my father, besides our family, G. D. Cobb, who married
Modena Clark, resides at Eddyville; has a large and respectable family, but is reduced in his
circumstances in consequence of losing a valuable farm, which was taken by a prior claim after
a long law suit, which he had highly improved.
Capt. THROOP has been dead many years; he died as he lived, poor. His wife, second daughter,
and youngest son went to her brother, Samuel VAIL, at Baton Rouge, La., and are all dead. His
eldest son, John, resides at Eddyville, a vagabond. His daughter, Betsey is a widow.
Samuel C. Clark resides with G. D. Cobb, is poor, and has lost one leg, amputated close up to
the body; and last, old General Whitehouse, who you no doubt recollect followed my father to
Kentucky, and survived both my father and mother, and several of the younger branches of the
family, died about eighteen months since, having been a charge on my hands for many years.
In answering your enquiries I have necessarily been led into a long, and to you, somewhat
uninteresting letter, while a long speech was making upon the Tariff bill which is still under
consideration in the House of Representatives.
I have had a severe indisposition since my arrival here, which confined me near a month, but I
am now perfectly recovered. I have had the misfortune to lose my wife since I left home. She
died on the 4th of February, and has left me a family of five young children, the eldest 10 years,
the youngest 3 months and 4 days.
Please present my respects to your good lady.
Very respectfully your obedient servant.
Elijah G. Galusha married Lucy W. THROOP, a daughter of Capt. John Throop, which is why
she was not mentioned in the letter.
John Throop's wife was Elizabeth VAIL, sister of Samuel, as noted in the letter.
The Congressman was off by one month on the age of his baby daughter as his wife apparently
died as a consequence of the child's birth.
State Papers of Vermont, Vol. 2, pp. 19, 28,46, 73, 86, 194, 196, 201, 223, & 226 and
Hemenway's Gazateer of Vermont, Vol. 1, p.907; Vol. 2, pp. 390, 845, 1132; Vol. 3, pp. 672,
675, 681, 720, 721, 723; and Vol. 4, p. 1145.
Importance of this letter:
The family histories of the Chittenden, Meigs, and Throop families show the relationship of
Beulah Chittenden and Matthew Lyon, but completely omit the previous marriage of Beulah to
Elijah Galusha, the RW soldier, and their son Elijah G. Galusha, our ancestor. This letter, in
which Chittenden Lyon, a U. S. Congressman at this time, owns Elijah G. Galusha as his half-
brother, in a letter in which he is very precise about the relations of everyone, is sufficient to
settle any doubts anyone else may harbor as to this lineage!
Other articles and items about Congressman Matthew Lyon can be found in numerous places.
This letter found in Hemenway's Gazeteer and retyped, with notes, by John E. Bristol, 2/7/98