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  Letters and Journel Written by Reuben Ellis McDaniel to his Wife.
Many thanks to Gina Watchous for sharing the biography and letters.

 
Reuben Ellis McDaniel

 
Delia Marie Richerson

 Reuben Ellis McDaniel  was born 9 March 1799 at Dumfries, Prince William, Virginia.
 He was the son of William McDaniel and Lucy Gravatt.  He died 6 April 1870 at Miami, Saline, Missouri.

Reuben was a merchant and farmer in both Virginia and Missouri and later in
life served as a circuit court judge in Saline county, Missouri.  The letters
below were written while on purchasing trips for the stores he owned.  He was
a staunch Baptist, donating the land for the Bethel Baptist Church and
cemetary in Miami, Saline, Missouri.  He was one of the 5 founders of William
Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri.  He was a slave owner and 2 of his sons
(John and Giles) fought with the Missouri State guard during the Civil War
for the south, serving under General Price.

The family resided at White Plains in Sparta, Caroline, Virginia until Sept.
1841 when the family moved first to Booneville, Cooper County, Missouri then
in 1844 to his final residencce at Miami, Saline, Missouri.

He married 3 times, 1st, 2 Sept. 1824 in Essex county, Va. to Delilah Mary
Priddy daughter of John Priddy and Elizabeth "Betsy" Noel.  They had 5
children, all born in Caroline county: Robert William b. 1825, Mary Noel
"Polly" b. 1827, Flora Elizabeth b. 1831, Lucy Frances "Fannie" b. 1832 and
Reuben Ellis Jr. b. 1834 and died in infancy.

2nd marriage 1 Jan. 1835 in Essex county, Va. to Delia Marie Richerson,
daughter of John Richerson and Eunice Noel.  They had 7 sons, the first 3
born in Caroline county, Virginia the last 4 in Missouri.  Reuben Ellis Jr.
b. 1836, John Henry b. 1838, Alfred b. 1840, Giles Richerson b. 1842, Edmond
Noel b. 1846, Alexander Summerville b. 1847 and Benjamin Franklin b. 1849.

3rd marriage 6 April 1852 to Jane Johns Richerson daughter of John Richerson
and Eunice Noel, they had no children together.

Note: Below are names of people mentioned in 43 letters written by Reuben and Delia McDaniel to each
other. Some of those mentioned are in passing, some are related or friends of the McDaniel family.
Locations are given when known. As with all written documents, names are not always spelled the
same. These are here to aid other researchers in locating ancestors. If you have a question about
an individual, email me and I will look up the reference and email it to you.
Email Gina.

Most of the following were in Caroline county, Virginia:
Mrs. Jas. Houston, Dr. Wright, James Wright, Mr. Wright, M. S., Miss Ann, Innocence, James
Andrews, Mr. Robert Andrews, Eliza, Job, Frances Noel, B. Green, Mr. & Mrs. Baylor, James,
Dr. Reynolds, Mrs. Leitch, Mr. Hinwell, Crocket, Dr. H., Sarah,
Mrs. William Garnett, Miss Sutton, Robert Beal, Payton, Scott,
Mr. & Mrs. Burwell, Mrs. Burrell, Dr. White, James White, Mrs. S.,
Mr. Tenant, Ataney (?) Priddy, Martha P., Mr. Cans / Cars, Mr. E.,
Mr. Leitch, Mr. Jones, Mr. Palmer, W. Clayton, Amanda,
Mr. Pat Motley, Mr. Hanna, Jim, I. G., Mr. Wm. H. Benneson,
Mr. Sam Anderson, John Gatewood, Mr. S. Beck,
Mr. Eustace, Mr. Christopher Boss, Mr. Southern Boss,
Mr. P. Woolfolk, Miss Ann Sale,
Elohs Gravatt <siblings> Sophia Gravatt,
Fitzhugh & Uncle Tim - {slaves}, Dick {slave?}
A. Broaddus, Mr. John Broaddus, James Broaddus,
J. Saunder(s), Miss Betsy Saunders,
Seth Saunders & William Duling {cousins of Reuben McDaniel},
John Puller {cousin of Reuben or Delia McDaniel}
Giles & John Richerson Jr. {brothers of Delia McDaniel},
Jane, Julia & Betsy Richerson {sisters of Delia McDaniel}
Mr. Woolfolk - travelling companion
[probably fron Caroline co. Va.]
Thornton Lowndry - Virginia (?)
Joseph Travino - Virginia
Mrs. C.L. Gatewood - Virginia (?)

A. S. B. - traveling in Baltimore, Md.
John Rouzie Jr. - in Baltimore, Md. in from New Orleans
H. B. Sthusby - in Baltimore, Md. - heading west
Mr. Can / Con - Minister in New York City
Mr. L. Beck - Philadelphia, Pa.

Presbyterian Minister Brown - Richmond, Ky.
M. Wiggington - nephew of Reuben McDaniel in Louisville, Ky.
Winifred Wiggington - sister of Reuben McDaniel in Louisville, Ky.
William McDaniel - brother of Reuben McDaniel in Scott co. Ky.
Behethlend Smock - sister of Reuben McDaniel in Scott co. Ky.

R.B. Fife / Life, Mr. Berry, Mr. Sale & J.R. Gatewood and Jn. Mopun - all in St. Louis, Mo.
Dr. Bankhead - Richmond, Mo.
Mr. Bell, Mr. Tomson, Mr. Boulwar, Mr. & Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Samuels, Mrs. Stuckes, Mr. Little, Mr.
Scott, Mr. Meyers, Sevris & Henper {slaves?} -all in Boone or Saline co. Mo.

Edmond Noel, E. F. Noel, Leland Noel, Mr. E. Fit, James Barwell, Mr. Palmer, Thomas M. Beatty,
John H. Broaddus - all in Holly Springs, Holmes co., Vicksburg, or Carroll co., Mississippi
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Another letter was written but mostly unreadable
"Dear Brother," (R. E. McDaniel)
and signed John Richerson Jr.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Delia McDaniel wrote several letters to family/friends in Caroline county, Va. from Boone Co. and
Saline Co. Missouri and listed the names and dates at the end of her journal. Unfortunately, there
are no letters.
In order of mention, with dates:
Fanny (Lucy) Noel 20 Oct. 1841, 7 May 1842, 18 Aug. 1842,
14 Nov. 1842 & 17 Aug. 1843
sister Lucy 24 Nov. 1841 & 29 March 1842
Mrs. Preston 8 Dec. 1841
Aunt Sally Sale 2 Jan. 1841 & 4 Jan. 1843
sister Catherine 8 Jan. 1842
Mrs. Young 2 Feb. 1842
J.W. Barwell 1 Aug. 1842
Mary Spindle 30 Dec. 1842
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
another separate entry reads:
"brother Giles wrote to Mr. B. 15 Aug."

Here are some of the letters:


Baltimore, 26 Sept. 1835
Dear
Delia,
    At the approach of Saturday night when the bustle of buisness is over
for the week and we stand on the threshhold of another day of rest, we can
but admire the wisdom of the goodness of God in giving that respite from toil
without which labor would be past endurance, but we should feel a much
livlier sense of gratitude when we contemplate that perfect and endless rest
of which that is only a faint type.  Saturday night by an association of
ideas also crowd our mind with many pleasing images of home, of our firesides
and those we love and who's society we are in the habit of enjoying, for
which enjoyment I would most cheerfully forgo this pleasure and gladly
exchange this pen for a little chat with my Delia; however, as a matter of
fact I esteem this quite a privelage and I feel confidence it will afford you
pleasure to recieve this communication, in addition to which we can both
enjoy the pleasure afforded by the anticipation of meeting with each other
again in a few days, if it should be the will of the Kind Disposer of all
events.
    Should nothing happen to prevent, I expect to be at home next Thursday
or Friday by ths stage.  Shall send my trunk by the boat.  Direct them to
take it home by the first load.
    A.S.B. soon followed me, we have been together one night-he seemed
friendly and said nothing about my leaving home suddenly.  Nothing would be a
greater relief to my feelings than to be clear of this warfare.
    You would have been giving me pleasure had you written to me last mail.  
I must close for my ideas are in such confusion in consequence of the noise
and multiplicity of matters pressing my mind that I fear this scrawl will be
found to be neither flesh, fish or good red herring.  
 I am yours affectionatly,
R.E. McDaniel

Baltimore, 19 March 1836
Dear Delia
,
    I assume with pleasure the task of a compliance with my promise, in
doing which I have to give you the welcome news of my determination not to
visit Texas at this time, at least it is almost certain I shall not.  I am
however of the opinion that there is a fine opportunity of speculating in
that country advantageously.  My present intention is to return as soon as
practicable and then move for Illinois.  I wish my friend Thornton Lowndry to
be informed that I have not left Verg. for the west yet and that I calculate
confidently on his accompanying me.
    I find groceries exceedingly high, I have not yet looked into the dry
goods market but shall today and as I have not a great many goods to buy
shall endeavor to get home by or before the next boat.
    I saw John Rougie/Rouzie Jr. here yesterday just from Orleans, who
informed me the small pox was pretty thick on the Ohio & Mississippi, in
consequence of which I have written to Dr. White and should you see him, lest
he should not have rec'd my letter, I wish you to request him to procure some
genuine vaccine and attend to every member of our family - those who have and
have not been vaccinated, as a precautionary measure.  Mr. Rougie/Rouzie said
he tried to find John Richerson in Orleans, but could find no one who knew
him.
    It is now Saturday night - the buisness of the day is over and I find
myself cheered not by the smiles of her who so willingly divides with me the
troubles of life, and doubles and heightens all its joys, so I am in my room
entirely solitary, compelled to substitute for present enjoyment the
anticipation of future and the society of a sweet wife and children for the
gratification afforded by attempting to transmit to her some of my thoughts
and feelings though a poor substitute yet a privelage I highly prize and a
source I confidently believe of pleasure to you.
    I feel no little regret that I cannot write more interestingly but my
head is so filled with land speculations, the importance of making a proper
selection of another home and the buying of goods that were you to take a
peep into my brain you would no doubt be greatly surprised to find that ideas
so varient should be so compressed together as to have the appearance of
being all a part and nearly amalgamated - the fact is they are so crowded you
could not see one for the other.
     I hope this may find you all enjoying the best of earthly blessings -
good health.  I am quite well.
    Now whether we shall go to Illinois or remain in Virga. make a fortune
or two & die in our present situation, I feel that we are greatly delinqueint
in the return of greatful feelings to Almighty God who has surrounded us with
so many blessings and especially as we hope that when these fleeting joys
shall have passed away we hope to exchange them for joys unmixed and endless,
and to the rendering thy matter certain, let us direct our attention
earnestly and unremittingly, continually praying that every event of life may
be directed by infinite wisdom and that all things may work together for good
in the end.  I must conclude in haste.  I fear I am too late for the mail.
    I am Dear Delia, Your affectionate husband, R.E. McDaniel


Cincinnatti, Ohio  27 Apr. 1836
Dear Delia,
 
   Since I left home this is the third time I have had the pleasure and
really regret that I have just time to inform you where I am, etc. I expect
however to reach Louisville, Ky. tommorrow to dinner and hope then and there
to have the opportunity to write you lengthily.  I have moved on rapidly and
so far as I have been able to judge should say this is in many respects a
fine country.  Mr. Saunders and myself keep well and in fine spirits.  
Cincinnatti is a splendid town.  I am now in the boat lying at this warm and
surrounded by the place New Port and Covington, Ky. in all of which there are
splended buildings and many things attractive to the eye of the beholder but
have no time now to say more.  I think much of you and the little children
home and tell the children their father is thinking of them, they must be
attentive to their studies and write me often and much.  Address to St.
Louis.  I regret I can hear nothing from you till I reach St. Louis.  I hope
to hear from you often.  Tell L.L. to get clear of the goods and to write to
me giving news and say nothing to anyone else about the goods.
    Tell Miss Ann I have as yet heard nothing yet from her father, but hope
to see him in St. Louis.  Well my dear Delia I hope you will keep up your
spirits and that your health may be good during my absence and tho a painful
one to both believing as we do we are in the discharge of our duty  We shall
be cheerful and happy meeting at White Plains which if the Lord will shall be
realized as soon as my buisness can be properly done.  I intend however to
take time.  I remain your aff. husband, R.E. McDaniel


Louisville, Ky.  28 April 1836
Dear Delia,

    I arrived at this place in the steam boat from Wheeling, Va about three
o'clock and have taken passage in another boat which leaves tommorrow at 1
o'clock for St. Louis and having a few hours to rest here I have determined
to spend the first part of that time in making a little communication to her
who is always first in my mind.
    My travel to this place has been rapid, having traveled by land and
water since I left home eight days and a half, near 1,100 miles and still
have 6oo more before I reach St. Louis, which palce I expect to be next
Tuesday evening if nothing happens to prevent on my arrival there, you shall
again hear from me and I hope shortly after I arrive to have the pleasure of
getting a few lines from you for really it seems a long time since I have
seen you but I shall try to think all is well and summoning up all my
fortitude shall endeavor to keep my eye steadily fixed on the object in view
when I left home and all that is near and dear to me.  When I think of the
many miles that seperate us I congratulate myself with the reflection that
her whose happiness I so much desire has the fortitude that is so necessary
and so rarely possessed and without which the privations to which we are
often subject and particularly at this time would render life if not a burden
hardly a blessing, but the exercise of truly Christian fortitude brings rare
good out of this present evil by teaching us the value of those rich
blessings with which we are surrounded and of which we are incapable of
forming a correct estimate until for a time at least we are deprived of them
and also teaches us to feel a deeper and more abiding sense of gratitude to
the kind giver of all our benefits.
    Since I left home I have seen a small portion of the following states
besides Virginia - Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Indianna and I
think I can say that I have nowhere seen a poorer country than the one I
left.  A large portion of the country I have travelled through is in many
respects a fine country, but has its disadvantages, however the rapid manner
in which I have passed through this countries precludes the possibilty of
forming any correct estimate of the country.  When I get to St. Louis I
expect to buy a horse and travell through Illinois in such a way as I may be
able to form a pretty correct judgement of what I see.  I stopped an hour
this morning at Madison, a flourishing little town in Indianna on the Ohio
{river}, where I got a newspaper published at that place and which I shall
send with this letter.  Tell Miss Ann there is room enough in this rich
Western country for her and Innocence.  I have found the people as far as I
have gone as polite, genteel and agreeable as they are in Va. and much more
so than they are in some parts of it.  
    I must conclude as I am going out when done to look for my nephews M.
Wiggington, also to satiate my curiousity to see this place.  I remain dear
Delia, Your affectionate husband, R.E. McDaniel.
I have omitted to say remember me affectionatly to every member of our family.

St. Louis, Mo. Tuesday, 3 May 1836
Dear Delia,

I arrived at this place last night about midnight in the Steamer Robt.
Morris, and before sunrise this morning made for the shore and have taken
quarters at the St.Louis hotel. Since I left home I have written before this
four letters, this making five, this last from Louisville Ky. all of which I
hope will be duly recived. After writing in Louisville Ky., I went out to
look for my relations in that place and soon found sister Wigggington &
family - they were much pleased to see me and insisted very much on me
settling there. It seems to be the neatest and most buisness place I have
seen since I left Baltimore. I cannot say the place has came up to my
expectation in appearance, but have as yet had no opportuunity of judging of
the buisness advantages of the place. I have since I have left home been in,
besides Va., the following states - Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky,
Indiana, Illinois & Missouri, but my passage through has been rapid. I have
seen a great deal of rich land, but many things perhaps not exactly as we
would have them, this however I expected when I left home. After getting my
breakfast this morning I took a walk out to look for R. B. Fife, whom I soon
found and with whom I spent but a few minutes, and returned to have this
pleasure, the best substitute I can have for the society of my better half.
I can easily anticipate and with pleasure would I relieve the great
solicitude you feel about this country, how I like it. My flight through the
country has been very rapid, and altogether by water, affording a poor
oppurtunity of judging correctly. I have seen a great deal of land as rich
as I wanted but believe here as elsewhere good and evil are mixed and that
there are many advantages and disadvantages. When I shall have finished this
letter and one that I intend to write Seth Saunders I shall then look for
Messrs. Berry and Sale. I understand they live about 12 miles form this place
but Mr. Fife has rec'd a letter informing him he will be here in a few days
Tell S. Saunders to get clear of the goods from that place. I am
determined to move, believing I cannot well be worsted and to push the
collection of every Fe & bond which does not interfere with our present
bussiness. The reason I write this in your letters is that I mean to write
to him such a letter as he may read to everybody and think it is prudent not
to read this.
I regret that I shall not hear from you I fear for at least a week,
perhaps longer. Do write often and after this is rec'd address your letters
to this place sending a duplicate to Louisville, Ky. so that if I should
leave for home before any letter reaches this place I may find it, copy in
Louisville, as I expect to return that way.
As to when I shall settle, when I shall start home &c, I can form no idea
only be assured my Dear Delia I can stay no longer then the bussiness
undertaken compells me, for I can say truely if I know anything of earthly
happiness, and I am sure I do , I enjoy it only at home in the bosom of my
family.
I am to far off to give directions about farming or anything else, I
feel confident S. Saunders will do anything for you that may be nessasary.
Should you be confined before my return, provide for yourself a
Physician in time with any other aid you wish- think nothing I beseech you,
of a little expense.
Tell John Puller he and James Andrews must hold themselves in readiness
and if Providence shall favor me with a safe return I shall give them a
faithful account of the country. Whenever I enquire about Illinois, the
people say it will not do, but I am resolved on seeing for myself
S. Saunders is well and I think is better pleased with St. Louis then I
am. I shall do myself the pleasure of writing again in a few days. Remember
me affectionatley to all the family, especially our dear little children.
I remain, Dear Delia, yours affectionately, R.E.McDaniel


Baltimore, 21 April 1836

Dear Delia,
    I have just time to write two or three lines.  I arrived here today
about 12 and shall leave here 1/2 past 6 in the morning for Wheeling which
place I expect to reach next Monday night.
    Inform Seth Saunders I have sent a bible for Mrs. Jas. Houston for which
I paid $2.75 - .25cts over her limit.  Tell him to charge nothing for
expenses and nothing for what I paid.  I paid it out of my own private purse.
 Show him the letter & call his attention to the memo below of price of
bridle bits which ask him to make a bill and give me credits for the amounts.
    Write me a great deal.  Address your letters to St. Louis, Missouri.  I
shall write to you from Wheeling.  I remain your affectionate husband, R.E.
McDaniel


Steam Boat Freemont - near Wheeling, Va.
Monday night, 24 April 1836

    I arrived in Baltimore the day after I left home at 12 o'clock from
which place I wrote to you and hope it has been red'd.  I left the next day
for Wheeling and after 4 days of the hardest travelling I ever did in my
life, arrived in Wheeling about 8 o'clock, just as the boat was about to get
under way and immediatly shipped aboard.  Am going down the Ohio.  I expect
this letter will be mailed at Marietta.  I fear you will not be able to read
the letter the voat shakes & makes a noise beyond anything of which you can
conceive and neither can you imagine the crowds on these boats.  Saunders and
I are both well.  We fell in with a gentleman and a gentleman's lady from
Lancaster County, all going direct to St. Louis, so we are five strong and
were you to travel here on the National road you would think everybody was
going west.
    I regret that I am so situated that I can give you no account of my
travel.  Suffice it to say I have travelled over the mountains and have got
over since I left 550 miles.  I wish you to write often.  Anything from you &
particularly about our family will be interesting to me.  Address your letter
to St. Louis, Mo., I passed Joseph Trawnios cabin yesterday.  I regretted
very much having to leave you so long, particularly on account of your
present situation, but you know better could not well be done.  I have there
fore endeavored to leave you all in the care of Him who alone is able to take
care of you and I shall endeavor whenever I think of home to feel that all
will be well and take time to accomplish that for which I left home before I
return.  I shall write again shortly.  
    Remember me affectionately to all the girls, at home I mean, & my dear
little children.  
    Yours afftly, R.E. McDaniel   



Cincinnatti, Ohio  27 Apr. 1836
Dear Delia,
    Since I left home this is the third time I have had the pleasure and
really regret that I have just time to inform you where I am, etc. I expect
however to reach Louisville, Ky. tommorrow to dinner and hope then and there
to have the opportunity to write you lengthily.  I have moved on rapidly and
so far as I have been able to judge should say this is in many respects a
fine country.  Mr. Saunders and myself keep well and in fine spirits.  
Cincinnatti is a splendid town.  I am now in the boat lying at this warm and
surrounded by the place New Port and Covington, Ky. in all of which there are
splended buildings and many things attractive to the eye of the beholder but
have no time now to say more.  I think much of you and the little children
home and tell the children their father is thinking of them, they must be
attentive to their studies and write me often and much.  Address to St.
Louis.  I regret I can hear nothing from you till I reach St. Louis.  I hope
to hear from you often.  Tell L.L. to get clear of the goods and to write to
me giving news and say nothing to anyone else about the goods.
    Tell Miss Ann I have as yet heard nothing yet from her father, but hope
to see him in St. Louis.  Well my dear Delia I hope you will keep up your
spirits and that your health may be good during my absence and tho a painful
one to both believing as we do we are in the discharge of our duty  We shall
be cheerful and happy meeting at White Plains which if the Lord will shall be
realized as soon as my buisness can be properly done.  I intend however to
take time.  I remain your aff. husband, R.E. McDaniel


Journal of a trip made in April & May 1836
from Caroline County, Virginia to St. Louis,  Missouri
written by Reuben Ellis McDaniel to his wife, Delia N. McDaniel: 1799-1870

Friday,  April 22, 1836

Left Batton half past 6 in the morning in watroad cart.  Traveled 13 and 1/2
miles to Endicott's - got breakfast, thence to Harpers Ferry (West) Virginia
dined - thence to Charlston (West) Virginia -  thence to Winchester, (West)
Virginia.  Lodged the county through which I passed - very generally broken,
much of it good soil.  The scenery generally handsome.


Saturday,  April 23, 1836

Left Winchester (Virginia) half past 3 in the morning - passed through
Pughton, crossed Cacapon River - Springfield, (West) Virginia - Frankfort and
lodged at Cumberland, Maryland.  This is a mountainous country all the way
and road very bad.  This was the hardest days travel I ever did.


Sunday, April 24, 1836

Left Cumberland on the national road - passed Frostberg (Maryland) -
Tomlinson, Somerfield to Uniontown, Pennsylvania - lodged.


Monday, April 25, 1836

Left Uniontown, Pa. - passed Brownsville, (Pennsylvania)  Belleville,
Hillsboro, Washington, Claysville (Pa.) Co. Alexandre, Triadelphia to
Wheeling, (West) Virginia - arrived about 8 o'clock at night.  Shipped
immediately on board the Fremont Capt. where we had to lay on board without a
particle of covering.  Hillsborough in Pa. is a beautiful village -
Washington County in which it is situated seems to be the most desirable part
of the county through which I have passed.  This night I have written to D.
McD. - expect the letter to be mailed at Marietta, Ohio.


Tuesday, April 26, 1836

Passed Marietta, (Ohio) a good looking village on the side of the Ohio
(River) half past 7 in the morning.  About half past 8 passed Blana's Island,
a considerable island as to size, apparently very fertile, then passed
Belleville, Va.  Letart Rapid and Point Pleasant.


Wednesday April 27, 1836
This day we passed Gallipolis, Ohio -  Guandotte, Virginia, -  Burlington,
Ohio, - Greensburg, Kentucky -  Concord, Ohio -  Portsmouth, (Ohio)  Alex. -
Vanceburg, Kentucky -  Manchester, Ohio.   On each side of the river the
country looks well - the banks generally high, the quanity of the flat lands
very sandy or worn.  The country generally has the appearance of being
fertile as far as the eye can reach.  Also passed Maysville, Kentucky -
Aberdeen, Ohio -  Charleston, Kentucky - Ripley, Ohio - Augusta, Kentucky -
Neville, Ohio - Mentor Point Pleasant - New Richmond, - Columbia, -
Cincinatti, Ohio - Covington and Newport, Kentucky.  Here we stopped and went
into the town - put my second letter written on the Ohio (River) to D. McD.   
The view from the upper deck of the boat at this place was truly imposing and
grand.  Surrounded by three towns, in which was many splendid buildings.  The
country round about generally a little undulating - some beautiful hills
decorated with buildings and other improvements which afforded quite a
pleasing and beautiful prospect.  On the evening left Cincinatti half after 5
- passed that night Northbend, Ohio - Lawrenceberg, Indianna - Fredricks -
Vevay, Indianna, - Ghent, Kentucky - Port William.


Thursday, April 28, 1836
Passed Madison (Ohio) early in the morning -  went ashore - this quite a
smart little town.  Apparently thriving here.  They had just built a handsome
little banking house - we were politely invited to walk in to see the inside,
which we accepted, then went to the printing offices - purchased the morning
paper.  After reading sent it from Louisville to D. McD. with the third
letter, then passed New London - Bethlehem - Westport, Kentucky -
Transylvania to Louisville, Kentucky. Then we stopped at Mr. Fishers - the
home I consider badly kept.  The town has still the appearance of a buisness
place, much more so than any place I have seen since I left.  I wrote my
fourth letter to D. McD. and after placing it in the office and wishing a
speedy conveyance, I looked for my sister Wiggington and family, who all
appeared delighted to see me here.  Remained till 3 o'clock.  Again resumed
our trip - neat evening.


Friday, April 29, 1836

At 3 o'clock in the evening the Robt. Morry, in which we had taken passage,
left the wharf.  Very shortly after I fell asleep and thereby lost the
gratification of seeing the boat go down the rapid, which I regretted -
passed Clarksville, Ohio - Portland, Kentucky, -  New Albany, Indianna - the
mouth of the Salt River, Kentucky and during the night passed Northampton, M.
- Gravenworth, Fredonie, Stephensport, Kentucky and Rome, Indianna - Troy,
Rockport, Owensborough, Kentucky.  The river on both sides washing a rich,
beautiful country, decorated by the most splendid buildings and flowers most
tastefully arranged and the farms in the highest state of immprovement and
cultivation.  This is by far the most lovely portion of the west that I have
ever seen.


Saturday, April 30, 1836
Past Evansville, Indianna - Henderson, Kentucky - Mount Vernon, Indianna -
Carthage, Kentucky - mouth Wabash River, Raleigh, Kentucky - Shawnee Town,
Illinois - here I went ashore placed my foot for the first time on Illinois
soil.  The land about the place appears to be as rich as land can be, but has
the appearance of being sickly, Shawnee Town is quite a dirty looking place -
the houses generally indifferent, the town wears more the appearance of
dilapidation and decay than that of thrift and prosperity - 11 miles took in
wood at Battery Rock.  This rock forms nearly semi-circle within the
concavity of of rock meet the river, about one fourth of acre of land of the
richest alluvial soil sufficiently high obove the bed of the river to be
entirely clear of water and first rate soil upon which I found garden peas
about 4 to 6 inches, corn, beans and other vegetables looking well and more
forward than any I had before seen - the rock as well as the land within it
curve was handsomely decorated with flowers and various kinds and upon the
whole presented a novel and pleasing aspect.  Left the rock a little before
dark, consequently had to pass rock in cave 10 miles below in the night, then
passed Kirkville, Golsanda, Illinois, Smithland, mouth of Cumberland,
Kentucky - Paducah, Kentucky,  mouth of (Tennessee) River - Bellgrad, Amenca
and Trinity was also passed before I was up.


Sunday, May 1, 1836
About half past 7 in the morning passed the mouth of Ohio (River), entered
the Mississippi River - passed Elk Island, an island perhaps one mile in
length - it seems to have experienced a most tremendous hurricane, having
been very heavily timbered the growth principally Cottonwood - the whole
island is literally covered with broken boughs and shattered limbs of trees
of every length and size, the island as well as a great deal of the shore.  
Threre has recently been a great freshet in the river, which has deposited on
the ground a covering of dark sand 6 to 12 inches deep - just above the
island on the shore were several cabins which seem to have been inhabited
till the freshet, but abandoned on that account - the water having reached
far above where they were situated - then passed Dogtooth Island and Cape
Girardeau, Missouri - Bainbridge and Hamgurg, Illinois - Saconny Island -
Mary's Creek, the mouth Kaskaskia in the night.  The river from the mouth is
very wide, the country on each side generally flat and very rich, the growth
principally Cottonwood, generally large, with small growth of Pawpaw -
Buckeye and some Walnut - the country not improved on the banks of the river.

Monday, May 2, 1836

Passed St. Geneva, Missouri - Fort Charles, Illinois - Ruch Island, (?) -
Herculaneum, Missouri - Harrisage (?) Merrimack River, Missouri -  Garondolet
to St. Louis  about midnight - remained all night on the boat.

Tuesday, May 3, 1836

Got up early - went to the Missouri Hotel, got breakfast and for the first
time saw white women waiting on the table in a hotel, then went out and found
R.B. Life, Jno. Mopun and took a look at the town.


Louisville, Ky.  28 Thursday 1836

Dear Delia,
    I arrived at this place in the steam boat from Wheeling, Va about three
o'clock and have taken passage in another boat which leaves tommorrow at 1
o'clock for St. Louis and having a few hours to rest here I have determined
to spend the first part of that time in making a little communication to her
who is always first in my mind.
    My travel to this place has been rapid, having traveled by land and
water since I left home eight days and a half, near 1,100 miles and still
have 6oo more before I reach St. Louis, which palce I expect to be next
Tuesday evening if nothing happens to prevent on my arrival there, you shall
again hear from me and I hope shortly after I arrive to have the pleasure of
getting a few lines from you for really it seems a long time since I have
seen you but I shall try to think all is well and summoning up all my
fortitude shall endeavor to keep my eye steadily fixed on the object in view
when I left home and all that is near and dear to me.  When I think of the
many miles that seperate us I congratulate myself with the reflection that
her whose happiness I so much desire has the fortitude that is so necessary
and so rarely possessed and without which the privations to which we are
often subject and particularly at this time would render life if not a burden
hardly a blessing, but the exercise of truly Christian fortitude brings rare
good out of this present evil by teaching us the value of those rich
blessings with which we are surrounded and of which we are incapable of
forming a correct estimate until for a time at least we are deprived of them
and also teaches us to feel a deeper and more abiding sense of gratitude to
the kind giver of all our benefits.
    Since I left home I have seen a small portion of the following states
besides Virginia - Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Indianna and I
think I can say that I have nowhere seen a poorer country than the one I
left.  A large portion of the country I have travelled through is in many
respects a fine country, but has its disadvantages, however the rapid manner
in which I have passed through this countries precludes the possibilty of
forming any correct estimate of the country.  When I get to St. Louis I
expect to buy a horse and travell through Illinois in such a way as I may be
able to form a pretty correct judgement of what I see.  I stopped an hour
this morning at Madison, a flourishing little town in Indianna on the Ohio
{river}, where I got a newspaper published at that place and which I shall
send with this letter.  Tell Miss Ann there is room enough in this rich
Western country for her and Innocence.  I have found the people as far as I
have gone as polite, genteel and agreeable as they are in Va. and much more
so than they are in some parts of it.  
    I must conclude as I am going out when done to look for my nephews M.
Wiggington
, also to satiate my curiousity to see this place.
 I remain dear
Delia, Your affectionate husband, R.E. McDaniel.
I have omitted to say remember me affectionatly to every member of our family.


Baltimore, 10 Sept. 1836
Dear Delia,

Since I left home I have been laboring hard in the market seeking cheap
goods and though I have not found them as cheap as I wish I think the great
care we are taking in buying will enable us to vie with any other store. Mr.
Woolfolk
and myself are both well at least as near so as when we left home.
We leave in the morning for Phila. and New York and will not be able to get
home short of three weeks from the time we left and perhaps not then. Tell
the boys to send as I directed to Port Royal on Monday next; however that
time will come before this reaches you and it will be innecessary to send
after goods till Monday fortnight, by which time I will be home with the
goods. I shall however write again. Tell the boys to open the upper part
marked in my name and mark it at a small profit. The Russet cost $25
perdozen & the blk with it cost $24 - the small bundle of blk cost $18 and
ought to averaage $2. I shall send some cotton yarn and perhaps some other
articles which I shall either mark or give a memo at the bottom of the letter
of the price at which it is to be sold.
You must try your hand at farming while I am gone. Do not let my fodder
be spoiled. Write or rather tell Betsy to write Frances Noel and tell her
not to supply herself till she and Eliza come up and that I will show a stock
of goods as Sparta has never seen.
Kiss the little children for me and when I see you I will repay this;
take care of my man. Tell him his father has brought him a blanket. I hope
I shall see a line from you when Seth comes.
I remain your afft. husband, R.E. McDaniel

Memo
Cotton yarn No. 5 & 6 $1.75
Ditto 8 $1.80
" 10 $1.87 1/2
The flannels, check & bombgette I have marked.


New York, 17 Sept. 1836
Dear Delia,

I rec'd your favour under date 12th inst. by M.S., which afforded me
much pleasure bringing as it did the intelligence that you and the children
were well; I am sorry to hear Jane has sprained her ankle - tell her not to
try everything that is recommended. Cold water 3 or 4 times a day is as good
as anything she can do - if that fails try vinegar and nothing else. Mr.
Saunders
informed me Fitzhugh has eloped. I should not be surprised if he
gets off to the north, should he not be taken before this - someone ought to
be on the look-out for him. Tell the negros to tell him to go home
immediately if he attempts to leave the neighborhood. I will sell him if I
ever get my hands on him. If it is necessary spare no expense to get him -
that is, if he is going off --
Tell James Wright not to bring more than 8 carts to Port Royal Monday
week, as I fear a good many of my goods will not be there. Since I left home
my health has been better than since I left Virginia for Maryland.
I may be expected with the goods. I have been engaged constantly and
have not time to write more than to scratch these lines in such a hurry. I
fear you will not be able to read them. The breakfast signal stops me, I
must conclude. Give love to the children and I will keep some for you.
I am
yours affectionately, R.E.McDaniel


Baltimore, 5 April 1837
Dear Delia,

It is after nine o'clock at night and I have just time to write a word
or two - I expect to start for N. York at 7 o'clock in the morning. From
whence I shall write you again. I have just parted with H.B. Sthusbly, who
is on his way to the west. Tell James to sell the coffee he will recieve by
the boat at 1/ per pound - the bacon at 15.5 and if a hundred weight is taken
to sell C 14 P. the linen & bed cord at the old price - the domestic C 90 per
yard or 12 c by the piece.
Tell James to tell the people not to supply themselves till I get back -
that money is so badly wanted in N.Y. I have taken the little I have there
to buy on the best terms & they will find it to their interest not to be in a
hurry. I have bought all the children a book and must get the man a toy.
Kiss the youth and I will repay thee. Yours affectionately, R.E. McDaniel


Philadelphia, 14 April 1837
Dear Delia,

I arrived here this day from New York, where I think I have purchased
cheap goods and expect to leave in the morning for Baltimore, where I shall
remain perhaps till Wednesday and hope on Thursday to have the pleasure of
seeing you all again. The goods purchased in New York left on board the
Shamrock this morning and I hope will arrive nearly or quite as shipped
tommorrow. We have had very variable weather & that together with the coal
fire has given me a very bad cold. Since I left home I have not had the
pleasure of a line or a word from home. I calculate however confidently I
have not been neglected & that pleasure will be reached when I get to
Baltimore. I shall be cheered with the intelligence that my Delia & little
ones are in good health. Tell the little boy his father hasn't forgotten his
rattle and means to procure it for him in Baltimore.
I expect without accident to reach home before any more goods arrive
from Baltimore, therefore it is unnecessary to send any cart till I arrive.
Tell Job to have the store in good order & to say to the people if they would
do themselves justice not to be in a hurry.
Send my horse and jig to B. Green Wednesday morning with directions to
leave him at Tanner stable till I com which I think will not be sooner than
Thursday. I remain Yours affectionately, R.E. McDaniel

3 Apr. 1838
Dear Delia,

I arrived here about 9 o'clock this morning and expect to leave for
Phila. & N. York Monday or Tuesday and shall get back as soon as I can do my
buisness, not sooner however, I expect than Sunday fortnight, and very
possibly later. My health is good and when I left home I hope to hear from
you shortly. I would write more, but my head has been in a kind of a whirl
all day. I will therefor close with subscribing myself your affectionate
husband,
R.E. McDaniel


New York 15 Apr. 1838
Dear Delia,

Since I left home I have only written a few lines to you, once from
Baltimore to inform you of my safe arrival there and have not heard nor do I
expect to hear from you till I return to Baltimore where I hope to have that
pleasure. At present I have no greater pleasure than to adopt this poor
substitute for the society of yourself and my dear little children, for
really since I left I have had a rather lonely and cheerless time scarcely
meeting with a solitary aquaintance - add to this the depression of spirits,
always the consequence of the disease of which I am still labouring; however
I anticipate if the Lord will in a short time to be at home - to me always
the place of enjoyment - and that I shall then not feel so forcibly as I now
do that I am in a great measure in the condition of Milton from the loss of
his sight - "From all the ways of cheerful men cut off". I have reason to be
thankful, I have not lost my sight, but can see only strangely and though my
health is no worse than when I left home, it is poor and I enjoy nothing as I
otherwise, and find buying goods more irksome than usual. If Robert has not
returned before this reaches you, tell him to be a good boy and I will pay
him a visit shortly after my arrival home. Kiss the children for me,
especially little Reuben. I am very affectionately yours,
R.E. McDaniel
P.S. I do not calculate on getting home as I appointed when I left and
cannot say when. You need not send for me. R.E. McD.


New York City, 7 Oct. 1838
Dear Delia,

I have just returned from Mr. Can's church, but from being misinformed,
got in to late to hear the sermon but, had the pleasure of seeing him baptise
4 very genteel persons - 2 ladies and 2 gentlemen. Before Baptism he made
some remarks as appropraite and impressive as I ever heard. The church,
which is the larger by a great deal than any you ever saw, was filled to
overflowing. The whole congregation seemed to look on with most intense
interest as if they felt indeed the importance of the subject which seemed to
say emphatically - there is still in the Baptist Church the piety for which I
felt greatful and most earnestly wish there was more in my own heart and the
hearts of all who name the name of Christ. When absent from you nothing
gives me more pleasure than to impart to you anything in relation to my
feelings or anything that can interest you, which would be greatly increased
at the time had I had a few lines before me to reply to, but have not since I
left home heard one word in any way but hope about one o'clock (the Post
Office being open on Sundays at that hour) to get a letter from you, as I
feel confident you have not neglected to write. I feel very anxious to hear
from home and the place at all times most dear to me.
Since I left home my health has been as good as usual, and I have been
busily engaged almost every moment of the time. I shall without accident get
home next Sunday. Send for the carriage early. I shall have a fine stock of
goods and I feel confident on as good terms as any other merchant.
Tell the little children Papa wants to see them. Most affectionately
yours, R.E. McDaniel

 
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