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       Composed in 1879, this original 2-page hand-written letter was from Consul Warner P. Sutton to his parents, Luther and Priscilla J. (Bancroft) Sutton. Warner was appointed Consul General at Matamoros in 1878,  was then Chief Clerk of the International Pan-American Congress in 1889. His letter foretells details of a 3000-mile wagon and horseback trip across the Rio Grande frontier and Northern Mexico.  Warner P. Sutton, born in Bangor Twp (and may have lived in Hartford) and only son of Luther Sutton, editor of the Hartford Day Spring 1877-1882.  Luther Sutton served in the Civil War.  

Consulate of the United States of America


September 3rd, 1879

My dear father mother and sister:

      Your last letters was/is mailed Aug 4 so that you are neglecting your duty a little I fear.  I have been trying to write every day this week it is very warm.  Warmest days of the summer and little breeze.  I am going to Borzois Santiago tomorrow for the sea both  and rest for a couple of days.  Lotie visits in Brownsville while I am away. I am very busy and have been made one of the main quarantine authorities on this coast. I have to do things every week which would scare any who feared yellow fever.  The fevers at Tam Pico is awful.  This morning a man came into my office who got scared and fled from that place  -  it is now 20 days since he left.  Huyors D. Monterrey he says. We are well except we feel that the heat worse now than before this season.  I am taking pills for biliousness Suiva has heat and summer complaint and we have been fretting her for a few days.  The change of a couple day will do us all good.  Me  -  that Brownsville Boszos de Santiago Matamoras __  __ are shut off by quarantine.  We have no fever but have violated quarantine at Boszos.  My quarantine at Bay dad still holds.

    I received the other day a flattering order from the State Dept. ordering me to make an inspection of the Consulates and Consuls offices along the Rio Grande frontier and Northern Mexico.  To do this I have to go to the confines of New Mexico and as far into the interior of Mexico as to near the battlefield of Buena Vista.  Owing to the peculiar notions or more correctly speaking the actual ideas of the inhabitants along this 3,000 mile route there may be occasional scrupulous autnesses.


Thinking you might want to see the information of this trip or as such things should be spoken of properly in this case I have made a little note below.  You must bear in mind first that a Consul holds a very high corporative rank (one of this important class particularly, second that the Department of State insist on that rank being recognized and on this consider enforcing if necessary their own rank).  As it will be better to speak Counsel Warner P Sutton, etc. as being about to undertake a journey from Matamoras up the Rio Grande the whole length of the frontier and up the New Mexico lie.  On his return he will visit the Northern half of Mexico and go as far as Castillo and Monterrey.  Anyone who studies the map carefully will see the great length of this route and the many dangers of the journey.  This action is another indication that the Government of the United Sates intends to thoroughly understand the conditions of this border country and is in accordance with the vigorous new just policy which has done so much to preserve law and order on the borders of late.  No one will be able to envy the Consul this trip.  The distance up the river is about 700 miles and is avoiding mountains deserts etc, this is increased by nearly 1,000 Thru the return, and into Mexico is considerably longer.  The journey must be __________ entirely by wagon or on horseback and for Pullman cars any tastes which a residence in the states has possibly formed in his mind must be banished as a nightmare.

            Please not be long in answering this as I shall start October 1st.  Lotie will stay in Brownville Texas at a friends house while I am absent.

In haste

Naus Iou & mother

Warner P. Sutton

Original front of envelope

Original back of envelope with red wax seal.  
Outside of envelope looks and feels like paper, 
however, the inside appears to be a gauze-type fabric.

         The above letter was submitted by Bill Dyer in October, 2002 and is in remarkably good shape.  It was transcribed for publication, as some words are hard to read.  The yellow highlighted words are uncertain.

Information for this web site was gathered from personal interviews, newspaper articles, scrapbooks, personal photo albums, and other documented materials - many available to the public at the Hartford Public Library or Van Buren County Historical Museum.  Please report any typographical errors, updated information, or incorrectly stated information to the webmaster for correction.  Reprinting for personal and instructional purposes is permitted, however, unauthorized commercial reprinting of this information or unauthorized linking to photos-pictures on this site is strictly prohibited without written permission from the webmaster. 

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A Pictorial History of Hartford, Michigan
Emma Thornburg Sefcik,
Competent Secretarial Service
Copyright 2000 - All rights reserved.

Revised: March 20, 2014