Date: 21 Jan 1861
Today's letter from Dr. John Randolph Traylor, Sr. to John Hill is missing the last page. We are fortunate to have Kyle Traylor's transcription which does continue to the end of the letter.
Along with the usual business matters, we see Dr. Traylor discussing the problems with their harvest which seem to be common. We also see the first mention of issues leading to the Civil War as Dr. Traylor laments Louisiana's stance on staying in the Union.
Marion, Jany 21st / 61
Col. John Hill
Your favour of the 4th decr. is before me, inclosing sundries from I. Cole. I believe in a former communication I wrote to you all the particulars in relation to that matter. What I wrote was in evry [sic] particular true. I once thought him conciencious [sic] in his claim & felt sorrow for his mistake. I now believe he knows he is claming [sic] what does not belong to him. I see that he wrights [sic] to you that Brazile will testify that it, the disputed 1/4 was in the former deed. He writes to me from Alabama March 12th / 59 that Brazile informes him that, it was not included in the deed. He certainly will be a valuable witness, testifying both ways. He has no wright (sic) to the land, & I will sell it the 1st oportunity [sic] if not otherwise instructed by you.
Your Lock Land was sold in Nov. of which I informed you in Katie's letter soon after wards. It was sold to a Dr. Macklin for three dollars per acre 1/3 on 15th day of feby next the balance in one & two years, with interest from date on all the notes,
A short time before last count Cuth & wife accidentally stayed all night with us. They were just from Mayo's & in the cours [sic] of conversation he mentioned, that Mayo was speaking of what he owed you & said that he was to pay 12 1/2 percent interest which he would & should be able to do this winter stating further that he had $10,000 dollars in mortgage notes that, he was sure to get.
I was about to commense [sic] suit but thought that if I did so the unlawfull (sic) interest would be lost & that, it was worth another trial, so I did not commense [sic] suit.
I sent the note of Phelps & Lupo over to be presented to the administrator of H. Phelps. The young man that owed the other debt gave to the attourney [sic] near (?) $1200. dollars in notes & a/c. The most of which they say is good. He proposed further to sell two old Negroes belonging to his wife to pay the balance, This of cours (sic) did not suit, but it showed a willingness on his part to pay. I hope Mrs. I- will loos [sic] nothing in that debt,
I made about 100,000 tt cotton but as cotton is turning out badly from the seed I do not expect to get more than 50 bags, I have gined [sic] but a fiew [sic] days. We are using the old fashioned cotton Trasher & Duster that was used 25 or 30 years ago in Alabama. It improves the sample of our cotton very much. Dr. White is not done picking cotton yet, I am helping him if the weather remains good a fiew [sic] days longer, we will get it done. He did not make so large a crop
[the letter stops here, but Kyle Traylor's transcription continues, so a page is missing]
but from sickness & other causes he is late picking.
You think that Texas will go out of the Union & that she will be hard to satisfy. This state I fear will be out first. Our glorious union & country I fear is gon [sic] And its destruction will in all probability, be baptized in rivers of blood, with all the accompanying evils & crueltys of civil war. May God defend us from it.
I think more moderate councils would with concert of action obtained for us all that we could ask. We have many friends at the north, our course I fear will put them all on the other side.
And, Griffin & W.C. (Cork?) are our members to the convention both conservative. Quachita P-sh (Parish) sends Garrett (conservative).
This leaves us all in usual health. I write to Katie of this date.
Give my love to all
Yours truly, John Traylor