Friday, August 6, 2010

Dr. Traylor Letter #3

Date: 14 Jan 1858

Today's letter from Dr. John Randolph Traylor, Sr. to John Hill begins with mostly business matters. Past the midpoint, John recounts the accidental shooting of a man at his home, a slave as best I can tell. He also talks a bit about several of his children.

The letter ends abruptly with no farewell or signature. It's conclusion could be the undated partial letter included in the set which will be the next letter posted to the blog.


Col. John Hill                  Marion Union Pa La 
Waverly Walker Co. Texas        Jany 14 1858

Dear Sir,
     Your favour inclosing power of attourney [sic] & etc. come duley [sic] to hand. I have settled with the Mr. Tatums & sent there [sic] draft to Frillsen & Stevenson & Co. to be plased [sic] to your credit. The draft amounts to $1052.91, inclosed [sic] you will find a copy of our settlement & perceive that, I have added to the amount due you fifty dollars on a/c of Bassett & $91.89 dollars on a/c of Traylor & White.
     Mr. Isaac Cole arrived here sometime since with some of his negroes. On the day appointed for passing titles I went to his house but found that, on hearing that unless he started the day before he would be likely not to get a boat for a week, he had left, leaving his overseer to transact the business for him (who by the way appears to be a verry [sic] steady & clever man, with a large family children some grown & maried [sic].) He left three notes for $2000.00 each written after the fashion of Ala, not mentioning interest but instructing his overseer, if they were not satisfactory to make them so. They were all payable 1st Jany, 1st (?) & 1st this month & so on his not being prepared to make the 1st payment he accountd [sic] for in this way. A short time before he left Ala. he saw some negroes selling cheep [sic] at sherif's [sic] sale & bought them beleaving [sic] that, he could get the money in Mobile to Answer his purpouses [sic] here, but the preasure [sic] coming on & his cotton not being sold was unable to so.  He instructed his overseer to write to him immediately & let him know the address of your merchant, in order that, he might send the money to them, which I had instructed him to do. I took his notes made him titles & preserved (?) & mortgage. The mortgage I presume is, not of much force as his man had only a verbal agency. But I have so much confidence in the man, I may say the men that, I fear no dificulty [sic ] about it. The overseer says that Cole has about the same number of hands in Ala, that, he brought with him which is about 16 or 18. He further says that, it is Cole's intention to pay the two last notes next winter.
     The detached quarter section of which you spoke was not included in the 1966 Ares [sic] sold, though he wants it, & would have purchaised if he had known it. I told his man that he could have it at the same price & that I would reserve it until we hered [sic] from him. I think he will also purchaise [sic] the north portion of that, tract he has intimated his intention to do so. You would do well to fix the price upon it at all events.
     The sail [sic] of the other tract has not been consumated [sic] two of the parties have flown the track on account of the fall of cotton I have not heared [sic] from Robinson.
     If it is not sold this winter I would advise that you rase [sic] the price, as land is becoming more valuable every day. I have made no collections for you except, the little note of John Crow & Tatum as above. There has been very little cotton shiped [sic] or sold from this neighbourhood. We have at last got our gin in operation, but we shall be late in Gining [sic] we have gathered the rise (?) of 80,000 tt cotton John will make about 120,000 tt he is nearly done picking.
     Trave can not get done for a month even if the weather should prove favourable, though the storm that, we had a fiew [sic] days since he says has helped him wonderfully. The very depresed [sic] state of our cotton amount (?) I fear will through [sic] to the winds, my cherished hopes of freedom. A verry unfortunate accident occured [sic] at my house a fiew [sic] sundays ago, In the absence of all the white persons Jim & Andrew came into the house & were sporting with the guns. Jim had the Rifle that Mr. Brice had with him in Texas & was standing in the door with it When one of Traves Boys & Absent's (?) Henry came along. Traves Boy & Jim were talking. Jim presented the gun at him as he had been doing at others. Just at this time Henry came up the gun fired the [sic]. The ball pased [sic] almost directly through his head killing him instantly. He has had his trial & been clared [sic]. There having been no evidence of his intention to do mischief. Some of the smart ones say I will have to pay for the boy kiled [sic]. I do not know how it is, I think it likely.
     Simpson is maried [sic] to Miss White of Camden. You perhaps know something of her. He is a brave if not a prudent boy to look poverty thus full in the face. She appears to be a sensible & industrious girl & will I have no doubt do her part quite as well as he will. They will stay with me this year at least. Marion is attending Medical lectures in N. O. I Rec'd a letter from him last night, He & W. P. were well. I do not see how I could send Kate so far from me. It would probably be to her advantage, though I think she has improved a great deal faster at home than se [sic] ever did at school.
     We have no school, nor shall we have this year. I am not much concerned about it, for I think it quite as necessary for some people to learn to work as to learn any thing else.
     Tell the Boys I am going to travel Randy for his health. I expect he will go to every point of the campus as his guide will be the Plow.

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