Date: 26 Sep 1860
Dr. John Randolph Traylor, Sr. prefaces today's letter to John Hill with a comment on the death of (presumably) a family acquaintance. (This is not fully visible in the image but is documented in the original transcriptions I received.) He begins the letter commenting about his sister's bad health (this is John Hill's wife). He also comments on Mrs. White's family having more sickness of late. Mrs. White is the father-in-law of Dr. Traylor's daughter Mary Louise. He mentions a little John having been sick. This is presumably his grandson John Traylor White, son of his daughter Mary, who was born 21 Jan 1860 just 8 months before this letter was written.
Much of the remainder of the letter comments on the harvest and deals with business transactions and disputes being handled by Dr. Traylor for John Hill. At the very end, John does express quite a bit of unhappiness with living in Louisiana and his desire to move if he ever can.
Sept 28th Tell Katie that G. N. Benson died this evening of consumption.
Col. John Hill Marion La Sept 26th 1860
Waverly, Walker Co. Texas
Your favour of the 11th reached me by the last mail. I am sorry to hear of Sister Sarah's continued bad health. I hope yet that she may recover it again before long. The health of our country is unusually good. Swamp & all. There is almost no sickness except in a fiew [sic] families. Mrs. White's is one for the last two or three years they have had more sickness than formerly. Little John was quite sick a fiew [sic] days since, but was better yesterday. I have had some sickness in my family, which you know is unusual. Barn (?) has had two spells, the 1st was tedious. I have had no other sickness worth mentioning. I perceive your crop is coming fully up to your calculation. A great portion of this country is doing no better.
This immediate neighborhood has made corn enough for its consumption, a fiew [sic] will have to buy, others can sell. The cotton crop will be a full average. I think I have made com enough to do me & will make 4 or 500 Ibs of cotton to the acre. Others are doing much better than this, say from 6 to 800 lbs.
I fear that I am going to have some trouble with Cole. When he came to look at your land I gave him the map told him the no. of acres in the tract, & the price. I also pointed out the detached 1/4 section & told him that you would sell that with or without the other & advised him to look at it telling him that you said it was the best land you had. When I and Dr. White went down to make the titles he had left for Ala. leaving his overseer to take the deed & give the notes. He remarked that, there was more than 1960 acres. I told him that I had never made the adition [sic] but that you had, & that you was [sic] so generally correct, that I expected he was mistaken. When I came to look at it, I found that he had included the detached 1/4. I asked him if Cole wanted that 1/4 & that I knew with that quarter there was more than 1960 acres. I told him as Mr. Cole had left his notes for only $6000 dollars that I would reserve the land until we could hear from him. In reply he said that he had written those notes & signed them himself. So that but for Dr. White I should have given him a deed for the whole & made new notes including the amt, for the 1/4. Dr. White thought it would be an irregular way of transacting business & advised to postpone until we heared [sic] from Cole. It went on so until March 10th/59 when he wrights [sic] to me claiming the whole tract, as belonging to the trade, and proposed to arbitrate. I thought it so preposterous that I paid no attention to it. He pretends that the original deed is lost, & sent his son in law up to get another. When I went to give it to him he puled [sic] out the mortgage & said that Mr. Cole said that contained the true no.s of the land purchaised [sic] by him.
On examination I found that in copying the no.s from the power of Attorney I had included inadvertently the disputed 1/4. I told him I would give him a deed for the land I sold to Cole & no more, He said Cole did not want the deed unless the disputed 1/4 was included. I expect suit is already ordered.
When I received the instruction concerning the note of Philips & Lupo, I wrote to Lupo requesting him to go over & try to secure the debt of Edwards & informing him what my instructions were. In reply he requested that, I would wate [sis] until he could go over & see what he could do with Edwards, stating further that, he did not know that his sister was in necesitous [sic] circumstances, that he had but recently sent her money & that so soon as he could purchais [sic] a check he would send her $200.00 more.
Some time after this he writes me that he has seen Edwards & the Lawyer & that Edwards promised to make the note good. He is now perfectly [sic] steady & sober Clerking for Will (?) of Ouachita Cty.
I will have the note presented it costs nothing & can do no harm.
I received a note the other day from a Mr. L. L.H. Maclin offering $3 per acre for your lock tract of land 1/3 1st Jany the balance in 1 & 2 years. I wrote to him that if he would close the trade immediately he could have it at the price he offered 1/3 cash the balance on one and two years with interest from date. That I had several times been disappointed, by persons contracting for it & unless he closed the trade soon I should sell to the first person who came or rise in the price if I saw fit. This was 3 or 4 days since. I have not heared [sic] from him. He addressed me from Hilsborough. Randolph got a letter from one of your Virginia boy [sic] the other day they were well & well pleased. I hope Katie will make good use of her opertunities [sic]. Should she need any thing I must beg you to furnish it. At the same time, I hope she will restrict her expenses as near to her actual necessities as posible [sic].
I sometimes wish that I could get away from this miserable poor country. There are fiewer [sic] inducements now than ever to remain, our Landing is in the hands of vilons [sic] that I beleave [sic] burned my cotton last year. I shall have to hawl [sic] to Ouachita Cty. And then again when I reflect how well others are doing I think it is my fault that I do not succeed better. On this much however I am determined, If ever I am able I will try some other place. My love to all.
Respectfully yours & c. John Traylor