A recent donation to the Hatfield Historical Museum by W. Michael and Judy Ryan includes several early 19th century documents relating to Hatfield and Whately residents. One of these is a letter from Austin Smith of Hatfield to Mr. Beaman Wait of Whately, West Part.
In this letter, dated August 6, 1856, Austin is concerned that one of his cows may have injured herself trying to get over a wall. Since he has a trip planned to the Springs at Saratoga, he has sent his cow by boy, presumably from a summer pasture in Whately, to Mr. Wait’s farm. Austin asks that she be pastured with Mr. Wait’s steer and heifer and that he watch over the cow and do what is necessary for her.
Even though in Hatfield Austin was considered a parsimonious neighbor, he was a shrewd investor in stocks and bonds and, as this letter shows, clearly cared for the well-being of his cow.
(Click HERE to read the text of his letter, find out who "Beaman" Wait likely was, and who they were both likely descended from.)