Letters to Miss Nan Kinkead
These letters were written to Miss Nan Kinkead. Miss Nan was a devoted Rebel who lived in Hawkins County, TN, on Cave Hill Farm. A story of the life of Miss Nan during the Civil War has been written and titled, "Miss Nan, Beloved Rebel," by Margaret Lyons Smith. Mrs. Smith tells the story of Miss Nan from her school years at a girls college in Asheville, NC, to her marriage to George Etter a few years after the closing of the Civil War. These letters were written by some of those who loved her. The original letters are in possession of Maryanna Huff, Johnson City, Tennessee and transcribed by Jackie Robinson, Rogersville, Tennessee.
My Darling Cousin,
I have just finished a letter to sister and will receive your short note. We were very glad to here from you all as we havenít heard from Asheville but once since the war began. I have written three letters to cousin Mary, but have not received any word. I recking you hardly know the war is going on, you have never seen any Yanks and "Bushwhackers" and had them robbing and murdering your good ones. Nearly every home around us has been robbed and several was killed our mountains and even wheat fields are full of them, we have some soldiers, but not enough to stop the robbing our ___ was ordered of yesterday and I expect the robbers will let themselves loose again tonight. Cousin you may be thankful as you are a long spread from the hands of the enemy I am in hopes that N. C. will never meet the same fate that Tennessee and that her soil shall never be polluted by such a band of thieves and murderers, but we still (end of page cut off)
they didnít pester us any, only took some of our corn before the guards came.
Iíve had a N.C. to board with us he lives ten miles from Asheville and is by the name of Glen he is Chaplain of the third confederate cavalry he knows your father and is coming to see him and Sister. I told him to for I knew Nannie would like to see any person who had him at home.
Cousin you would liked to have seen our soldiers marching they looked so nice marching four deep they had a beautiful battle flag. I came through one brigaid for about a quarter of a mile. I was very much surprised. I didnít know that there was any soldiers over here untill I came up to them; I was very glad to see them; it is very loansome since they left, they gave me some very nice presents.
I would like to be with you where you ride hay much. I ride sometimes but have to ride by myself. I donít enjoy it so much as if I had company. Gill Carmack Sallie Hamm(?) and I had a nice ride. Friday morning they come up and staid all night with me and I have went there and spent the day the Yanks have taken all the nice horses from around here some donít have anything to ride but old broken down mules.
Cousin you must come over here if you want to see Yanks it is expected that they are coming again ___ ___ ___ you ever saw any but ___ ___ ___ ___ the site. ___ the ___ are well give my love to all.
all send their love to you and all to him. Wright soon to your Cousin F(?)
Dear Cousin Nannie,
I have been thinking for a long time I would say a few words to you when Father was writing, but-you know how many demands are made on a housekeeper, especially one at the head of a family of six children. I donít know how much Father has told you of me, so perhaps I would better give you a short history of myself. First of all I am one of those enviable creatures known as "old maids", whose good looks have long since been numbered with the things that were: and so I have neither fame nor fortune, the probabilities are that those who read the name on my tombstone, will find that it will read "Hattie Long" I am the only female representative in our family. I had one dear loving sister, but the Master had needs of her. I, being the youngest of the family always felt the need of advice from older heads, and now that they are all gone, although I am not at all youthful, I miss it. No one ever had a more devoted mother than we had. So very patient and with so little thought of self. Jíville is very dull at this time of year all the schools being closed and a great many away spending the summer at health resorts. Very little of interest going on now. We had quite a nice church picnic lately. Tents and swings and hammocks to arouse the children, besides we had a fine dinner and an abundance of lemonade ice cream etc. Next weeks we have our annual "Old Folks" picnic.
Every body goes and we have old time speeches. They all bring all the old relics of primitive times; such as reaping hooks bark half-bushels, flax wheels and so altogether it is quite interesting.
The next weeks following is the Soldiers Reunion. I was put on one of the soliciting committees. I told them it was a little strange that they should put me on when my brothers wore the gray, and they said that made no difference.
In one of your letters you spoke of your pretty flowers. How I would enjoy visiting you and having a look at them. My plants are much admired, but they do not look very wild to me. Not so much so as they did last year. We have a veranda on the south and west of our home, which is a very nice place for vines and flowers. The vines are "Inaderia" and "Lace". The former are very luxuriant. I have several baskets. In one are nasturtiums, in the others are geraniums and running plants. Then I have three large vases. One in the yard and two on the veranda beside some fine varieties of geraniums in pots and a large bed of the same in the front yard. We had some nice tropical plants in the yard but lost them having the cold winter.
But I see my sheet is full. My regards to your family. Would like to have your photos. I have none at present and would send you one of mine. I am looking for an early response.
Bro John says he has a picture he will send you.
Office of J A Long,
Consuelo Park Grove, Garden and Nursery
Floral City, Fla.
Janíy 22nd 1885
Your very interesting and welcome letter of the 26th was received in due time, and should have been answered sooner, but I have so much to do, and so many things to claim my time and attention, that it is next to an impossibility for me, to find time enough to write a readable or decent letter, but if you will pardon my seeming negligence, and promise to be content with the best I can do, under the circumstances, in the way of a letter, here it is---
In the first place, I am well; have enjoyed good health almost every day since I arrived here; in the next place, my affairs are moderately prosperous; - my grove is in good condition, and trees mostly growing every week.óNursery trees doing fairly well, though not altogether satisfactory. My vegetable garden is not yet all planted; I (sentence cut off of page) an acre in tomatoes; I also am to plant a half acre or more in beans, some squashes and some watermelons. The latter I do not expect to realize much profit from. But canít well keep from planting a few as they grow so fine and require so little attention. I will put out a few cabbages for variety though mine will not be forward enough to ship north. I hope to realize a handsome profit from my tomatoes and cucumbers. If I had been a little better prepared for the business, I would have had vegetables ready for market now-parties are now shipping from counties south of this and realizing fancy profitsó
I admire your manner, and style of writing, and feel that I am already acquainted with you though having never seen you. I can see you have the ring of the genuine metal, and like all of the family connection that I have ever known you are proud of our ancestry, and family in generalóI have often felt thankful, and justly proud that I have good blood in my veins; I tell you blood will tell, every timeóFather has been, for several years at odd spells, collecting what information he can gather, relative to our pedigree, and writing a kind of a family history record. You have doubtless been called on by him for such information as you could give; if at any time you get anything of importance he would be glad to have the benefit of it. I donít remember ever hearing before of our being related to Lord BaltimoreóI hear from father and all at home frequently he had recently had a bilious attack, but was up again;
My little fellows were all well; Harry the oldest going to school, and learning fast; he writes letters to me occasionally; he is a fine looking smart boy; my children are all smart, and good looking (not boasting at all.) I sent the children a little box of oranges by a man who was going to Illinois and they got them Christmas eve; Father wrote they were the sweetest oranges he ever ate.
You speak of flowers, and greenhouses; I certainly would enjoy having flowers, had I the time and means to handle them; I think you would like living in Fla., as you have so much taste for cultivation of flowers, and here you could dispense entirely with pits, or hot houses; South Fla. is one vast green house of itself and anyone, with a little means and a talent for the business could have any quantity of flowers blooming in open air the year round. This is the home of the rose of all sorts apparently and a few days ago I had the pleasure for the first time in life of plucking a rose in open air in the month of January.
Now about that rich widow: I am as sorry as you dare be that you have none in your vicinity that would suit. I would agree to leave off the rich part provided the lady was amiable and calculated to make a congenial companion and willing to assume the responsibilities and duties of stepmother this is what I need, and badly need. My three children and brother Johnís three are all together with sister Hattie and father, and it is a great burden to them to have so many children to take care of besides father is quite old and not likely to live many years, and at any rate, he ought to be able to spend his declining years in quiet and free from the noise and trouble of children. He often speaks of their noise being almost unendurable to him---I would be glad you could come and spend a winter in our genial climate. Iím sure you would enjoy it, but I suppose the summers are a little tedious here owing to their length. The holidays passed off very quietly here; very little in the way of amusement or pastime. The boys threw some turpentine balls, and fired anvils and shot. I believe comprised the whole of the program. It is my intention to visit the Exposition provided I have the time and money to spare. Father and Sister write that bro. John went to N. C. during holidays and spent a week; he reports that the Exposition is a grand thing indeed. I have been thinking I would go by steamer from Cedar Key or Tampa. As I never have been much on the brine, have thought that a trip of that sort would be enjoyable, as it would be change from my ordinary way of traveling. There are a number of young men talking of going from here.
I am tired tonight; have been plowing; I have a piece of new land which I am preparing for vegetables and it is quite a job to plow it, as it is so rooty. I board at the Hotel, we have a very nice family, from Tenn., running the house, and we have nice, clean beds, and good well cooked victuals, all at a cost of $4.00 per week; we have nice cabbage, turnips, lettuce, radishes, onions turnip salad & corn on the table daily, and I see on the center table in the parlor, a nice dish of flowers-tuberoses, geraniums etc. fresh from the yard.
I would thank you for any plants, or seeds of flowers you could send by mail: although I am not much in the flower business, I am trying to get what I can in the way of perennials, such as do not require much attention. I have recently sent to a florist at Louisville, KY. for a dollars worth of roses. I have planted or set out Oleander and pomegranate And am going to get some crape myrtle soon. I have some rose slips, which are going to live. I want to make my town lot look attractive. I have a neat little cottage on it and a well, and the ground set in orange and lemon trees-have some fig cuttings put out and want to set some trees soon. I have two nice beds of strawberries, some of which brought from Illinois with me. I have been studying what I could get to send you for your cabinet, but canít think of anything nice, unless I could get to the coast where I could find seashells. I hope to get off on a trip to the Gulf after a little and then look out for something. If you would not object to paying expressage on a box, I will send you a nice little box of oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, shaddocks etc. when I get a little more time. I occasionally write an article for publication, but have not as yet sent anything to Home and Farms, though I think of doing so soon. You may have seen an article I wrote in Connier Journal some time back. I wrote a letter to our Illinois paper which provided it escapes the waste basket, will be out soon: I may send you a copy but I must close as my letter has grown too lengthy. I (canít read the rest of sentence).
I hope you will excuse its untidy appearance, as well as itís ill construction and bad composition, and write me again at your earliest convience.
I remain, as ever, your cousin,
J A Long
Kindest regards to your husband and family, and any and all who are included in the circle of friendship. (last sentence cut off page)
Cousin have you any photographs or likenesses of any sort of yourself or of any of your family: I would like to share how I look, I have no pictures with me.
We have preaching three times a month: we reorganized our Sabbath school two weeks ago and I was honored by being chosen superintendent. Our house is very poor but there is talk of building a new one soon.
(These last three paragraphs were written at the top of three pages that had been turned up side down.)
Jacksonville Ill. March 5th 1885
Mrs. Nannie Etter & family
Yours of 16th of Dec. was recd the 22nd of Dec. I had been looking for it some time & was anxious lest your pictures had miscarried, but when it came the cause of delay was explained & I was well repaid for all suspense by your full and very interesting letter- I regard you as one of my most interesting correspondents, you have such a happy open straight forward way of expressing your thoughts, & your thoughts seem so congenial to my own I confess I esteem your letters very highly still I confess I have not been as prompt in replying as I might have been. I have a good many friends to write to & sometimes have not leisure to attend to all as promptly as I would like. I wrote to cousin Sue. I, not long since but have no response to it yet. I must write to cousin Henderson soon. We have had a long tedious cold snowy winter but March came in beautiful & pleasant, the snow which was about a foot deep has all gone only the drifts where it piled up against the fences it is still a foot deep in places, the cold was intense for an unusual length of time, mercury marked 25 below several times & close observers say it was 42 mornings down to or below zero we always have a month or two of mud in the spring, which I hate as bad as the cold-so I feel like leaving Ill. Before another winter & I know of no pleasanter country to go to than the south Tenn. or North Alabama due south of Nashville Tenn. take the climate, soil, water, timber, productions health & society all into consideration I judge that to be as desirable a country as any in this world, I know according to the course of nature my days are near the end & it may seem foolish for me to talk of imigrating for the short space I have to live, but I know my sufferings best, since I have got old I dread the approach of winter, I canít stand it we have the very best presbyterian society here, but its been so cold I cant go a great many times especially at night.
There is 4 presbyterian churches in this place I donít know how many methodist of various kinds, only 1 baptist 9white) negroes & portugues have several but I know little about them. Congregationalists & Episcpalians & Catholics are all represented here. The town is divide into 4 wards & each ward 1 large school of some 700 pupils & a branch to each besides 3 colleges or large seminaries of learning the Insane asylum & the Deaf & Dumb & also the Institution for the blind are centered here, all 3 large institutions, cost millions of dollars, yet the population is not large only about 12,000 last census during 3 summer months it is one of the prettiest places you ever saw winter & spring the ugliest, like all western cities this one is in debt about $250,000 this makes taxes high & property low, I have a beautiful house & lot 2 acres of ground 10 rooms in house & cellar under the entire building, good well & cistern & hydrant from city waterworks, barn 24x24-splendid garden, wood house 14X20 hog house hen house, porches on 2 sides of house bay window up & downstairs, the glass of which is 3 ft 4 inches by 18 inches 6 pains in each window windows & doors all high & painted off in the finest style we also have 2 pantries & a bath room bath large enough for a grown person to bathe in good brick walks, a few apple peach plumb & cherry trees, grapes strawberries, goose berries black & raspberries & currants all surrounded & subdivided by a nice railing fence-now what more could be desired-so far as house all conveniences is concerned it is good enough for anybody, but I have not recd any benefit from this fruit yet & besides this country has utterly failed in fruit for the last 8 or 10 years, so if we get any fruit we have to pay enormous prices, green apples $1.50 now, dried apples 10 cts pr lb. Peaches 20 to 35 cts a lb for evaporated Cal. All other fruits in that proportion such apples as used to lie & rot in my orchard by the 100 bu. we pay 50 or 75 cts--for in fact its too cold here for peach trees get killed often & I expect they are killed now -the land is rich and produces fine crops of grain & grass, then the long cold winters consumes it & the man that seeds it too, so in the end very little is gained struggling through these long winters only frost bitten limbs & disorders of the lungs & bronchial tubes, catarrh. My lungs are sound so far as I know, but my bronchial tubes are in a bad way & have been for 25 years I never can get my throat cleared. I used D. Inges Catarrh remedies & cured that in a measure but my throat continues bad & think a warmer clime would do more good than anything else. You speak of getting a letter from my son in Fla. and a desire to visit that country for Mr. Etters health. I have no doubts of that climate benefiting weak lungs, but I think it would be necessary to remain there some time 12 months at least. Mr. Seth Brown the man with whom we boarded while in Fla. Said his wifes people all died of consumption & she commenced coughing soon after they married, so he put right out to Fla. & she is the mother of 2 grown daughters & 3 sons all hearty & that was all that kept him in Fla. She couldnít live anywhere else. I got a letter from Joseph Sunday he is well & hearty & hard at work on his Orange grove which he says is growing finely though they had 3 big white frosts which injured their garden stuff considerably as to living in Fla. I should not like it only in winter, their is no water fit to drink without ice & milk & butter cant be kept without it is cool. As to fruit oranges brings lots of money, but I prefer a good apple to any orange for me to eat.
I think it possible I may stay with Joe in Fla. next winter but would not like to stay through the summer, but I would like to cultivate the orange & I think the Leconte Pear will rival the orange & comes into bearing much sooner. My daughter Hattie went with her old beau Wm. Cox to Ky to witness his marriage to her cousin Mattie Saunders which took place 4th of Feby he brought her home with him & they moved into their own residence yesterday. And I suppose Mr. Cleveland moved into the white house yesterday also as we really have a Democratic President once more in name at least I see it stated yesterday that he is opposed to continuing the silver coinage which is a democratic measure & thus associated himself with the gold bugs of wall street-but wait & see what course he will pursueówell we are all in pretty good health though there is considerable sickness in town we have an excellent preacher now but his is gone to New Orleans to see the sights-so your mother is 80 years old & was never sick-I will be 76 the 13th of May altho a tolerable hearty man Iíve been sick many a time-Dear Aunt I know you are triming your lamp & setting your house in order.
Love to all D. K. Long
Please write soon farewell
Jacksonville Ill. July 29th 1885
Mr. & Mrs. Etter and children & dear Ann
I address you all through cousin Nannie. I have just been looking over your letters & find the last one dated May 1st 1885. I am not certain whether I ever answered it but suspect not & as I am getting very hungry for another of your very interesting letters I will endeavor to give you a few items of matters present & past here I find my hand more unsteady than usual, so you will be troubled sometimes to make out what I want to tellóWell, we are all in good health except John, who is getting very corpulant fast and the weather is uncommonly hot for several weeks past & he has been subject to spells of heart trouble ever since he came out of the army, has to walk the floor all night sometimes in order to keep awake, as he canít breathe if he goes to sleep-is cousin Will K. afflicted that way? The last letter from Joseph in Fla. he had been sick, had a couple of Fla. chills but was better when he wrote, we are anxious he should come home I have never thought I should like to risk my health there during the heated season pleasant as I think it would be in winter. I regard Illinois as one of the foremost states of the Union as to farming & stock raising & money making but I do think we have the meanest climate in the --America - A good portion of the last winter in fact the last 2 or 3 winters was very cold, mercury played around zero sometimes far below it say 25 or 30 which if you ever breathed that sort of air, makes you long for a big hot stove now this month the same instrument that stayed 30 below zero last winter now stands about 100 above yes 104 yesterday & so continues all this month so we have a level flat rich soil excellent water, crops fine, i.e. corn, oats, grass, wheat about ¼ of each crop is needing rain badly, very little fruit in country for the last 6 or 7 years, not a peach in this central portion of the state in that time one old lady covered a peach tree last winter & I understand has a few peaches-except such cases there is no peaches in the state, and the trees are all killed or damaged so they will never do any good. Raspberries & strawberries were very abundant this year currents ditto where there was bushes. Grapes will be tolerable plenty. Wild B.berries good but the lack of uncultivated land make them scarce & sell readily at 10 cts per qt in your last you speak of a fine prospect for fruit of all kinds, wish I was with you during peach time we would have a feast of body & soul tooóI want to go south this winter somewhere & I think from what I can learn of South West Tennessee I should like that region as well as any, good climate good soil, good timber good water good health & good people, so writes a man in Chester Co. Tenn. There is a large scope of country in S.W. Tenn. & the adjoining part of Alabama that I judge is a pleasant country to live in, I donít suppose the land is rich as Illinois but the climate makes up for it in many ways, donít require half as much feed for stock nor fuel or clothing bedding & cutting down expenses greatly & adding greatly to comfort then they hardly fail to have plenty of fruit especially peaches-which I regard as one of the greatest blessings of this life. Perhaps you think why not go to Texas where we have lots of kinfolks? I answer Texas is subject to great & sudden extremes of wet & dry heat & cold which is very bad making crops uncertain-Still with all its drawbacks Texas will soon be a leading state. I thought last winter I should never winter here again, but my money is loaned out & I fear I shall not get it in time to go south this winter. John has a position in 3rd Ward school in J.Ville this year so he can teach & be with his children too something he has never enjoyed before, his daughters are nearly grown & Willie 11 last Sept. Lena is getting to play very well on the piano they all learn well. Harry Joeís oldest learns fast too for the time he has gone.
Now dear cousin I have given you a few items or guessing notes perhaps they may amuse you if nothing more oh how I wish you could have a good opportunity of schools so you could educate your children if they were here it would not cost you a cent till they enter college which they never need do unless you wish to make professors of them-graduates from J.Ville High school I consider sufficient for all common purposes in life, then the business College will qualify any one for the business desired, as to preaching we have it at all times on all occasions, but I canít tell what I want to with a pew, so I will quit & let Hattie tell you the rest I forgot to thank you for your mothers photo I want to hear from you as soon as convenient hope cousin George & all of you are in good health, it is near 4 oclk. Mercury up to 104 & no prospect of rain- I suppose the papers keep you posted on all political subjects Genl. Grants death etc. Accept our kindest regards for all our friends there.
*The twins have not gone to school any yet they are only 5 past.
Aug. 1st 1887
Your letter to father is just received, and since as it seems our correspondence has been unintentionally broken off, I will take the liberty to respond for him, especially since he is away from home and will not be back for some little time yet. Father and Hattie went to Ky. nearly two months ago. Hattie remained in Ky with relatives, and father went on a prospecting tour through middle Tenn. Ala. and a part of Miss. I expect father is in your State, somewhere, now. He had an idea he would like the country in Giles and other adjoining Counties. He took a look at the country about Pulaski as he went down, but did not see what he was looking for, exactly, so he wrote us that he thought of looking a little farther on his return trip. He visited Huntsville, Florence, Birmingham and several other places in Ala., and had a very pleasant visit with his cousin, Hon. B. M. Long, at Cordova, west from Birmingham, on or near the Black Warrior River.
After staying with his cousin a week or so, he left for Ocean Springs Miss., via Mobile. He was very much pleased with the general prospect of things at and about Ocean Springs. Besides being a great stock country, it is as fine a fruit growing section as is to be found in the U.S., not excepting California. He bought an eight acre place there, which is set in all kinds of fruits, such as apples, peaches, pears, plums, japan plums, grapes, strawberries, blue berries etc. Good farming and grain lands can be bought at from $2 to six and $8 per acre. Sheep raising is said to be a good business there, they require no attention, more than marking and shaving, and pay a profit of 75 per cent annually, which, you know is good enough. The country is conceded to be one of the healthiest in the world, there being no malaria at all.
Father says it is the easiest place to make a living he ever saw. I think it will be so nice for Hattie to go there this winter: Her health is improving rapidly in Ky., and I think spending the winter on the seashore will help her still more.
In your letter to father (which I took the liberty to open.) you ask about me and wonder why I do not write, etc. I have often wondered why you quit writing to me: I answered the last letter I received from you, and have often felt anxious to know what became of you or what had happened to cause you to stop writing entirely. It is quite evident that one of our letters has been miscarried. I still correspond with "Miss" Nellie: like her better than at first. I think she is a real nice, good girl. She sent me a new photograph, which shows her to be quite a good looking lady. I have had some new taken and am going to send her one. I believe I sent you a cabinet photo of myself, didnít I? I sometimes think Miss Nellie would make a good stepmother I hear often from Fla. Times are dull there yet, but they all expect a boom this winter. My grove is said to be doing well and I may have a chance to sell it next winter for a good price. I am corresponding with a man who has 1000 acres of fine timbered land in Jones Co. Miss., which he wishes to exchange for an orange grove. I should not like to trade without seeing his land.
I sympathize with you in your troubles and afflictions; those only who have passed through these firey ordeals are fully competent to sympathize with others similarly afflicted.
My boys are all well and growing like weeds: they are all smart children and learn rapidly at school and we have the best of schools here, but I would much prefer raising my boys in the country - they learn too much of things not found in books in cities and towns. We are suffering for rain here now and the weather is extremely hot often as high as 102 and 104 in the shade. The wheat and oat crops are fine, but the corn is being cut short by the draught. Grass is completely burned up and stockmen are having much trouble providing water for their stock.
I think it likely that father and Hattie and I and my boys will go south this fall and that bro. John and his family will remain here until next spring or until this property can be sold.
Write to us again when convenient and we will be able to tell you more definitely of our plans etc. after a month or so.
With kind regards to all enquiring friends I am still your cousin
J A Long
Direct to the house No. 1160 S. East Street as we have free delivery now.
J A L
Your letter has just been received and I am reminded in that I have been very remiss in my duty. I did not mean to be formal with you because I know how you are situated, but I am just naturally a poor correspondent and write very little. Mr. Etter and Grace wrote so that I hear from you through them. No one has sympathized with you more than I have, but when I sat down to write, words sound so inadequate to express my sympathy and with your heart so full of sorrow, I could say nothing consoling, so I just put up my paper, and admitted that I do not know what or how to write to you.
I know you have a lonely time without poor dear Mc. He was the life of the house when I was there. The ways of Providence are past understanding. We know it is right because Got did it but it is mighty hard under such circumstances to say "Thy will be done". It is said God loveth whom he chastenth. If this be so, then you have full assurance of your favor with Him.
We take the Rogersville paper and have the obituary. Joe had hopes that Mack would come out here and spend a year with him and go to school. He is at work this year, and became very much interested in the business. His papa is quite proud of him. He had grown very much and begins to look quite like a man. Is taller than Mr. Etter.
He is away so much day and night that I almost feel that I havenít any child. I hate to see him just drifting away from me. I tell him sometimes I would like to put him in dresses and take him on my lap as I used to do.
Mr. Etter still suffers from catarrh-- has not been at all well this winterósuffers from rheumatism this bad weather. He has something like a rising in his head this week. I have been feeling uneasy about him for some time. I want him to go to Hot Springs or somewhere to see if it will benefit him but I canít prevail on to do anything. Indeed I feel quite uneasy as to the result of his catarrh.
I have entirely recovered from my old disease and am feeling quite well. You spoke of having had a mild winter. I certainly would like to have been up there then, for it seems to me that we have had the coldest winter I ever experienced. I donít pretend(?) to keep any pot plants now during the winter. I have a few roses yet. The cold winters and dry summers discourage me.
I hope George under his new treatment will get stout and well and you will both make us a visit in Texas. With love to your self and George and a kiss for Willie.
I am very truly E. A. Etter.
R6 Box 70
I was surprised to have a letter from you. I had just heard you had hooping cough. I thought you and I were a little past that age. But you may be sick, as I have not heard from you since the news came. One of your letters I never answered, soon after receiving it I heard you was sick, by the time you got well I was on the sick list. Perhaps you wonder what I am doing to pass off time. I can easily answer, nothing of importance. I have pieced two quilts, knit several yds of lace, patched and darned. At this time I am out of a job. Sleep agrees with me better than anything, but when I sleep all day I canít rest at night, so I am out again. I have a cough that will stay with me as long as I live. Tincture(?) is all the medicine that do me any good, it keeps me up to what I am. I also keep "Bings New Discovery" by using a little of both. I hope to pass through the winter. I heard of your first corn shucking. Thought I would love to take supper with you. I like all old time ways. I wish I could have a quilting and have all my friends and neighbors together once more, kind of reunion. I always liked things of that kind.
Santa called-made me a few presents the girls ordered me a house jacket or something of the kind. I waited long and patiently for it, when it came it was a deep firey red, such as to frighten turkeys. A 78 year old girl would not look well in red. I have advanced considerably since you were here. I was then trying to be 76.
Bob left for Cali Jun 3rd. Carrie and children are with her mother. They will go later. I donít know why he was so dissatisfied. He made plenty of everything last summer. Built a good barn, repaired the house. I thought he did well. He did not like the climate.
You promise me a visit next summer if your permits. Will be glad for you to come. The girls say tell Mary Lena to come to see them. Write again I always answer your letters when I can
Your True Friend
S P Looney
Lake Villa, Ill. Mar. 31 í09
Your letter enclosing a clipping was received and thank you so much for the trouble you have taken. I am sure we appreciate it. Many of your Lake Villa friends have inquired for you. Mr. And Mrs. Sherwood, the old people, requested especially that I extend to you their sympathy.
About Mr. Hay, the address I send to is 2355 Prairie Ave. Evanston. He is pastor of the Central Street Methodist Church there. I think his wife has not been well for some time and they have been boarding, but they sent me no other address, and they have received all my letters.
I hope you will be able to keep Margaret with you or at least, near you, as it seems to me that it would be better for both of you. She is at the age where she needs her father, I think what a nice big girl she must be now. Our little girl would have been a little older than Margaret had she lived. Our boy is doing nicely, and is so much company.
Mr. Hamlin and his brothers are at Fox Lake yet, and have just begun work in the excavations for a $9200 house for Otto W. Lehman. They are also working on a large barn and other buildings for the Mayor of Chicago. They have fourteen other men at work for them, besides themselves.
We have had quite a pleasant March and we hope soon for ____ weather.
I shall write to Margaret soon. Hold up your courage for the sake of those little folks of yours. I wish that we might be able to see you. Do you expect to stay in Knoxville? May we hear from you sometimes?
We remain as ever,
Chas. And Cora Hamlin
Apr 2nd 1912
Mrs. I(?) Cormack.
Your favor dully received and I was pleased to hear for you all in old Tenn. Was sorry to hear of your aunt nanís sickness. Hope that this may find her much improved in health and that she may be spaired to her only daughter and motherless yeared(?) children for years to come as she would be such a source of comfort consolation to them even if she could not do but little labor. I hope that your mother and all the children are well and enjoying life after the swine drought. I suppose that Birds children are about grown by now. We had a letter from D yesterday stating that she was well and happy so this leaves us well as usually nothing more than aches pains that are inseparable to declining stages of life. I suppose if we live untill June that I will see Delphia again as school closes then untill Sept. I am expecting a lot of negro students by fall as are said to be such a large number of children making application for entrens that could not accomodated until the new dormitory for the boys were completed which likely done all can correll there children in school with negroes that wish to. I donít propose to do so. Well spring seeding of wheat oat barley gardening spraying for California scale on orchards cleaning dishes is the order of the day here now pruning having been done last month. I have found my goosberries trimmed my rasbery canes to make them bear heavier. I have only 3 hens sit as yet no young chick untill they hach. I just raise enough for the roosters to be plentiful to fry and keep pulets to lay. I have about 100 hens. I have sold and have ready to send off 226 ½ doz. eggs from Feb. 15th to Apr. 1 which bring me only $23,17 ½ cts as eggs are only 15 cts per doz now, lower than they have been since I have been here. I have never seen a chicken with the ?opes since I came. Raise nearly all you hach if the Magpies donít catch them. They are bad to hunt eggs also we have plenty of apples yet wonít taste well much longer weather will soon be to warm for apples to have a good taste. I have never been out of canned fruits since the first I put up after I came here this is a great fruit bery and vegetable county except sweet potatoes I donít think that this Boise valley is credited with more than 200 bs per acre of spuds on an average some on the river perhaps more as that is the best vegetable land bench lands for grain alfalfa fruits and berries can make 2 crops of strawberries a year last crop ripen in Nov. is claimed to be better than the first. We have a fine climate in the Boise and Payette valleys and Snake river plains West of Shoshone, which turned the south west valleys is hard to beat. Land is rich volcanic ash some places especially Snake river plains a mixture of volcanic ash and decomposed lava which is considered the finest soil on earth in one sense of the word is inexastible if I could see people there I could tell a great deal more than I can write. We have only 40 acres all told but the renter last year raised 680 bus of wheat off 20 some odd acres which considered just about half put in we only rent the grain land reserve house orchard garden pasture alfalfa land, have to furnish seed land pay taxes as water rights get half of the crop. One acre of irrigated land is estimated to be equal to 5 acres of rainfall land only a 5th to cultivate to get the same water rates will be high untill construction of diches are pay for. I understand that Mrs. Fide Roy is talking of visiting out here Tennie Corns came to her brother M(?) Loones stayed 30 days went to Mr. John Cantwells I did not see her while here M(?) lives in Boise City has a $20,000 home there. He visited us once he has a lovely home. Stone house. Still handling sheep I suppose made a fortune at it. He and his pardner sold one stock ranch up near Marsh since we came for $40,000.
Well I had a letter yesterday from cousin J A Long seems that the Baltimore business is rather languishing at present as he has not heard from Mrs. Busquise since she wrote that Charles Williams married Elizabeth Calvert and also stated that she had found that David Kinkead was desended from the Calvertís which was quite a time back and also stated that was more records to follow. Cousin G wrote if they had they sure did not reach him. That leave ground for susspision in my mind that perhaps they are fishing for success on the other side of the boat. Perhaps they might nibble at the bate a little quicker if it follows the usual course of such matters some body will get money enough to make a pleasure trip to go & work at the expense of the would be heirs to investing the money deposited in some bank to the credit of the estate is plenty of time to make the discovery of money in England yet as he was a British Lord and it gave prove you didnít by living witnesses. Then the money will fail to be executed and the hole thing will be off, except the trip at the expense of the heirs that will be a reality. The would be heirs always can console themselves that they contributed to the fund to give one fellow mortal the grander pleasure trip of his or her life and possibly may get their reward up yonder after the bail is recovered and we can see all things clearly.
Well this letter is intend for you and cousin nan also as I am like Marthy of old am cumbered with many cares as I donít turn at works roped at my age 57 years old on the 15th of last Sept, My hands are stiff the pen donít move fast is some times difficult to clear my mind sufficiently to write a legible letter my thought fail me rather muddled. I see from the day paper that Rob Talor is dead and other Senator is elect next legislature well I yet have 2 or 3 more letters to write. I hope that you may be able to read this and we all may be fortunate enough to receive our interest in the Baltimore estate I could use mine if I have any I might be able to make a trip back to old Tenn. And view the old hill and dales rippling streams and the graves of my departed dear ones once again on earth and meet some familiar faces there about.
With kind regards for all relatives any enquiring friends I remain as ever your affectionate cousin
Mary W Coope(?)
Sept. 14 1920
My dear Little friend,
Of cousin I remember your coming to me and saying you found yourself minus a car check. But I was interested in the story of the white carnation, which I did not know. I am sorry you did not let me hear it before. Be sure to come over and speak to me next Sunday. You know how change of hats etc. changes the appearance of girls, though I shall never forget just how you looked that morning when you needed a car check. It was nothing I did for you to feel so grateful for. I wish you would give me this opportunity to really be a friend to you. If there is anything I can do for you at any time I should be happy.
If at any time you need a friend will you come to me?
I am glad you are to be here this winter. I have often wondered what had become of you, and when your note came yesterday-I was gladóI hope to see you very soon. I would come out to see you, but do not know just when or where I could find you.
Most Sincerely yours
Edward Bryan Andrews
Locust Hill, Thursday evening Sep. 9, 1864
Dear Aunt Nan,
I received your letter yesterday it was eight days on the road. I was very glad to get it. You need not be afraid of me turning Lincolniste. I am a Rebble yet and am going to stay a Rebble. I don't think I will marry yet I am going to wate till you come home. I think sis will wait two. I know she will if Charly Cowherd don't come back or Bud Owens but she shant have Bud he is my sweetheart Aunt Nan you ort to see him he is so nice Sis may have Charlie or Will Conant she shant have Bud. Charlie is not ugly.
We have got some pealed peaches dryed you must come home and get them and some apple butter.
I am going to have me a saddle and ride my little colt where it gets biger Aunt Nan you must come home I want to see you so bad Charlie won't talk a bit yet I don't believe he ever will.
I would like to see my little cousins in Asheville. I stay with Granma some. The Yanks shant your calf if I can helpit. Grubby and I set the table and clean up the home every day Sis and I ride Michel sometimes. Aunt Nan you ort to have bin at home to see the Rebs you never saw such a many Rebs. you may have Col McMashelle. Aunt Nan make hast and come home.
Write Soon to May
Ooltewah, Tenn March 4th, 1866
We received your letter and perused its contents with care. We was pleased to hear you had arrived safe at your place of destination. I hope these lines will find you well and enjoying life on a high scale. Nannie I haven't been very well since you left. I taken some pills last night and while I was taking them I could not help laughing I thought of your pills we had so much fun about the doings. The best we can we enjoy ourselves very well Nat Smith came down last Thursday night you had better believe we had some fun. We tried our fortunes in curious ways we set the shrenb supper. I thought I would kill myself laughing Nannie we miss your company very much I haven't been up to your Aunt's since you left papa and Mother has gone there today, neither have I been to the theater. They have the Western fever very bad at the Continental Ragtown would be broke up if they was to leave, There has been one wedding in Ragtown since you left a Mr. Clayton I do not remember the girls name he married, I believe that is all the news I have from Ragtown. There is preaching at Ooltawah today Sis & Ellen has gone, Nannie we have had some gay looking candidates to see us lately There was only twenty five. I have not heard who was elected, You wrote you had some trouble with the Freedmans Bureau. We are not troubled with it here as you are aware of the fact that negroes are scarce down here. Our neighborhood is still peacable. Nannie since I commenced writing Billy Smith has came in he says they are all well and he had your fortune told the other day and the fortune teller said you was going to marry this next fall tell me if that is so you must not marry without telling us about it. John S. likes it over the mountain so well that we hardly ever see him over here. I often think of the happy hours that we have spent together, glad would I be to exchange pen and paper for a seat by your fireside today But fate has ordered otherwise and I thought I could not spend an hour more pleasantly than in holding converse with you by letter, I believe I have written all I can think of at present you must write to me and give me the news in general. These lines leaves us all well Uncle Billy's family is as well as common. Give my love to your Mother and sister. Write soon to your friend.
Sallie J. Cockreham
Cedar Flat, Va. February 17, 1867
Yours of 27th Jany. Came to hand last week giving the news of your country in general. We are very hapy to know that you were all well at that time, and sorry to learn some things that you tell is particularly in regard to Pap and Wiley but hope when Mary returns to hear that all is well again and that they eye cup has had the much desired effect. We are truly sorry to know that there is a people on this continent so degraded as to equalize themselves with the African races but such is the fact and that party in power too. We must suffer out their time which no doubt will be short. One consolation all honest Tennesseans have, they had nothing to do in putting in power such degraded scamps, two years or less will surely end this wild carear by that time we shall have gone low enough to make calculations on improvement and will certainly be in favor of choosing for our representatives, men of learning experience and high moral principles. I would like to see the letter of which you speak of doing full justice to the Legislature at Nashville. I know if it has done full justice to that body it is rich indeed, and full of essence. I have one of Brick Pomroy for defamation of characteer for $100 in afterwards proposes to draw suit if B.P. will stop his personal actions upon him as a man and officer to which Brick replies that he would not willingly his feelings or deprive him of his world wide character so well earned in the service of Brothers vs honesty patriotism and virtue. He says to Baler you are politely priviledgedd to let the law have its course or that the world will know more about the roberies, ambitions etc. but one only favor he asks to be permitted to plead his own cause in court after giving him time to put his spoons, silverware, watches & jewlery in some safe place outside the courthouse till the trial is over etc. etc. As things have turned as they have in your case I am glad that George did not freeze, no matter what turnss up there is always a consolation so that nobody need dispare. We are driving along in the usual stile, a full share of company last week. Darby & his lady was here a day and night Miss Jane Beaty Kitty and Bate was to see us staid all night and for dinner next day. We are by ourselves tonight. Newt has done fine since Mary left been at home all the time him and Mollie has not been spinning much yarn for a wile as they used to do. They have been laughing since I got your letter about the Lunitik Assilums being at your house they say when they are sent off they reckon they will be sent there and wonder if you will get Uncle Nelson & N?? soon. The few last days have been warm the people are beginning to plow and talk about a summer school and I wish to know if you will teach for us this summer so that we may make preparation and be ready by the first of April there was a man here today to see me in regard to a school for his son, I told him I would not say or do anything in regard to a school for his son or anyone else until I heard from you. Please inform me at your earliest convenience whether you will teach for us this summer or not, if you can or will leave home to teach we want you here. I think the prospect is such that we can make a good school some have already spoke for board if you teach. Let us know immediately that we may make arrangements about a house for I suppose we will have to build. Mollie says she will write to you if she lives. (soon) just for spite. Tell Jane her folks are well. Our respects to Aunt Polly Ann, Roe & Lue and accept for yourself a full share.
Richard M. Hamblen
Mooresburg May 22, 1867
I hasen to drop you a few lines before going to work I arrived home on the evening after I left you very wet as usual when I go to see you but I never regret my trips when I go to see you for I enjoy them so much. I stopped and consulted the family as I came by Papa's. They think it will suit for us to marry about the first or second week after court as any time the first week if we can get ready we will make our effort and you can get ready I will write to you again next mail. I can't write you any news now I will write you of our arrangements when I consult the family again. You must excuse me this time the boys are waiting to help them do a job work.
Geo W. Etter
Cave Hill August 15, 1866
The letter you sent by Jane came to hand yesterday. We had emulated that you was so well pleased with "Dixie" that you had forgotten that you left any fire in the "good old Union" Mamma said that she knew you was sick and would not write. She had been very mopey for the last week. Jane came down yesterday and spent the day. Lizzie Fain came up in the evening and staid a while; she came to bring some thread to Mary, Sallie is going to get married next Thursday two weeks and Mary is doing some sewing for her, she is making her an undershirt it is made of the finest quality of jackenot it has a broad hem and thirty five tucks five close together and then a space the tucks are very small, it has a ruffel a half an inch broad. Mary says that Sallie has got more fine sheaths than ever she saw she has nearly everybody serving for her, Mary is going down there next week to help her make some dresses she has sent for a lady from Morristown to help her, they want Marg to help then cook. They are not going to invite person but their kin except Sara and Bob Walker, Dr. Walker and Nippie Varl and Uncle George. Well I have told you all about the wedding and have not told you who she is going to marry. I expect you will be supprised or all sad I was, it is cousin Sam Fain from Mossy Creek. They are going to get married in the morning and start right off. Mr. Fain is going to take two of his nieces to Kentucky to school and she is going with him they are going to Atlanta, Shelbyville and I do not know where else. Mary has got her a new dress to make for to wear to the wedding, I am not going for I have no dress to wear, Mary got some of that thin purple piece at Whites I think it will make a nice dress. Fain Powell and Ann and Mr. George Powell are up Mr Powell has been up for two or three weeks he has Sisemore for a guard they have never molested him at all he is going to stay now till the last of Seppt. Well I forgot to tell you the other weddinng. Allie Cleams and Will Branner are going to get married the fourth of September and report say Bill Miller but I don't know how true it is. We are getting along very well now have plenty to eat and no end to the company we have not eat but two dinners by ourselves since you left. Mary and I take it week about cooking. The hogs have all died but mine every pig is dead and two of the fat hogs and three of them are gone we cannot find them, do not know whether they are dead or not. Mitchel has got well and is fater than ever you saw him. Frank rode him to Surgoinsville last Sunday to preaching and he was so gaily he was afraid of him Sue and I went with him there was a grate many people there We have had the wheat threshed it was badly stacked and a large portion of it spoiled we had thirtyone bushels The fever is sweepinng this county Joe King son is very low they have been looking for him to die for a week but sone think he is a little better now he has the typhoid fever. Mr. Bowman has the Intermitting fever has been sick for two weeks he is very low does not get any better Doctor Joe is tending on them. There has been but one death from the fever. ??? Rirsel she died about two weeks ago. M. Hutcherson hhas the fever Little May has been complaining but Dr. Joe gave her somee medicine and she is quite and now the Dr. comes ever other day he will be here today. John Campbell says he is not going to pay you anything for that watch for John Smith so as owing him and told him take up the watch untill he came up and he was not going to pay you one cent. Mrs Speck sent here for some wheat the other day she said that you was owing them a good deal and that you told her to send and get some wheat or some bacon mamma did not send her either for she did not have it to spare for the wheat was nearly all spoiled. Nannie we done a big days washing yesterday Harriet has raned her washing to 75 cense a day and mamma will not let her wash any more so we wash ourselves. Mamma has not settled with our overseer yet he sent her a note the other day saing that he had waited as long as he would wait. They are eating all the corn up mamma does not know what to do about it. Give my love to all, Mamma and Mary send this love to all We are glat tjhat you are so well pleased with your school Marg Lizzie and Nan are coming over today. Nice thing you had better come back to the wedding tomorrow two weeks I would like to go if I had a nice dress.
Write often to Row
I have just received a letter from John Smith His family is well.
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