January the 10, 1859
Dear Father and Mother
I Once more take my pin in Hand to let you no that we are all well at presant and I am in hopes these fieu lines will find you all enjoying the same Blessing. Times are Dull here at presant. Their is Still a great many in the notion on of going to Pikes Peak. I am not Sertin where I will go too yet but I think I will go to Salt Lake. Margaret wants to go with me but I cant se any chance of it. She wants to come to California but that is to fur from home. I have not got a letter from Thomas(1) for some time. I cant tell how he is doing, I am afraid not much. Nothing more at present but remain your son untill Dath.
Febuary the 12/59
Dear Father and Mother
It is with mutch pleasure that I write you a few lines to let you know that we are all well at this time. We received a letter from you last week which I received with mutch pleasure. I often wonder if the time appears a long between letters to you as it apears to me when I dont receive them regular. Our neighbors is all enjoying good health at this time. We have had a very disagreable winter, so fare not so mutch cold weather but rain and more mud than I ever saw. We could not get any ice to put up untill within the last few days, we filled our ice house yesterday. Their is still fursing going on in the teritory, not so mutch in the territory as in the Sothern countes Bates and Vernon, but I supose you hear the most that is going on hear if you get your paper regular.
George Roland staid nights with me last week, his family was all well. He wanted me to tell you all to write to him as he had wrote several letters and got no answers. I received a letter from William Dickerson(2) a few days ago before I received your last letter. They were all well and wished to know your post office. Mother if Father cant write, you write to them, it would do them so mutch good. Cleat Bunes(3) eyes(4) is still very bad, he thinks that he will loose his eyesight entirely. Sometimes they are a little better and sometimes a worse. They have been sore for six years. Mrs Franklin(5) is entirely blind. Sister Mathy(6) has a son, Jane Young(7) has one also. Sidney Bartleson(8) Dide a few weeks ago with consumption(9). Albus Shelton(10) Dide some two weeks ago, Margaret McElwane(11) is also dead. I have not saw Aunt Peggy since Uncle Dunham(12) death. Aunt Mary(13) and Cousin Mary Am Kurt or Mitchel(14) as her name was before married. Uncle Jemmy(15) is at Jefferson City(16), Upton got a letter from him last week. I wrote to you about Aunt Amelia Berrys(17) Death, Uncle Bobs wife, his babe is also dead.
I have been to church today, their is a big protracted meeting(18) going on at Westport, their have been a great many profesions(19). Father, John has been stouter this winter than he has been since he was two years old. He talks a great deal about you and wonders why you and Grandma dont come two see us. Betty has taken Old Aunt Feby Hays(20) to be her grandma, that is Wades mother. I cant make her believe any thing else, she says she looks like her grandmas likesness(21). I call the Babe Elfleda, she looks a great deal like John, black eyes and hair and the fatest thing you ever saw. I must come to a close, you must all write as often as you can. So Farewell Dear Father and Mother, my Love to my Brothers from your ever loving Daughter
Margaret Jane Hays
John S. Watts E. E. Watts
March the 28,1859
Dear Father and Mother
I Once more tak my pin in hand to Let you no that we are all well at present and I am in hopes these fieu lines will find you all InJoying the Same blessing. It has been some Time since we herd from you or Frank Thomas Either. I Cant tell what is the matter with some of you for I have writin several Letters to you all. The Last we got from Thomas he said that Carlile promest to pay a Cordin(22) to Contract, but he thought it a Little doubtful though the Cattle all look well. I look for a letter Ever Day from you all. I have nothing of Importance to write you. Their is a Great many Going to Pikes Peak their is some started all ready thought their is no Grass yet. They Expect to feed On Corn(23) to the Grove(24) and then get Grass, But I think not. I Don’t think I will frait this year. I Cant Get frait to the Lake(25) and One trip to Mexico(26) will not pay. I think it very heard to stay at home this summer if I have it to Do. I am Dun Soing Oats And all ready to Break up Corn ground. I Will now Leave this with Margaret to finish. Give my love to all Inquirin friends And Receive a large portion to your Selves.
Dear Father and Mother as Upton has done writing I will write you a few lines. The health of the people is generaly good in this neighborhood. Uncle Jemmy has returned from Jefferson city(27), he was down their over three months. George Roland staid hear two nights last week, Letty and the children were all well. He is building a new house, a frame house. Uncle Dick(28) is going to Pikes Peak, John and Jemmy(29) is going with him. Cousin Dick(30) staid all night with me a week or two ago, he is braking fast, he is still as wild as ever. I have not heard from Aunt Peggy(31) for some time. I would have went up their last if it had not have been so mudy. I expect to go sometime this week. The Roads has been almost impassible all winter but little snow, but more rain and mud than you ever saw in this country through the winter.
John has almost out grown his phthisic(32), Betty is fleshyest child you ever saw. Elfleda has never been the least bit sick in her life. She favors Johny a great deal. She is setin alone, beginning to crawl some. I will have her likeness taken and send for you to see how she looks the first chance I have. Father I often wish for you to have Johny with you, he would be so mutch company for you. Mr Hays often says that he knows that he is the best child in the world. He is one of the most affectionate children I ever saw. Tell Brother Jackson that I think that he might write to me once if no oftener. I have almost gave up the hope of ever receiving a line from any of my Brothers. It may be that they wish for me to forget them, but if that is what they are after they had jest as well write for I never can forget to love them. I often think that it would be the greatest hapinest in the world to have my Brothers with me but that is to mutch for me. I have never had that happiness since I was large enough to appreciate the love of a Brother. I should not have thought that Brother John would have forgoten me. I must come to a close so fare well Dear Father, Mother and Brothers.
Margaret J. Hays
John S. Watts
E. E. Watt
ps since I closed this letter I received one from Sister. I will enclose it & mine and sends it. Excuse my bad writing and spelling.
Westport Jackson Co. Mo. May the 20/59
Dear Father & Mother
Once more I am permited to write you a few lines. I received a most welcom letter from you a short time ago. I have been longer answering the letter than I should have been but I was wating to see wether Mr Hays going across the plains or not. He has not got any frait yet. We are all well at this time, times are very Dull hear. It has been rainy hear for a week nearly every day. We have got our corn all planted and it has come up very nicely, there is some few that has not planted yet. Stock of all kinds is very cheep hear, oxen is from sixty to sixty five and but little sale at that. Horses and mules is very lowe, it is owing to the emigrents bringing their out fits with them. It was expected that their would be a great many going to Pikes Peak, so their was stock brought from all the countes round and after they got hear their was no sale for it so their can be stock bought at almost any price.
Today I expected to have gone to Leavensworth(33) but it is raining so hard that we cant go. Aunt Peggy(34) was well the last time I heard from, that is she was going about. She is never well, she works to hard. She has a large family of Boys and lives on the road where their is people stoping to get something to eat or stay all night all the time. She has no healp as they cant keep negros up their and it is imposible to get white girls to work out in the country. All that hires wants to hire in town. Cousin Sam Kimberlin(35) staid with me some two or three weeks since I got your last letter. He is now living at the Blue Springs(36). Jay stayd with me last Saturday night. Cousin Sam oldest son Billy Watts is out hear, that is out Bills youngest son, his first wifes Children has all left him(37). He has another son out hear, Tom Watts(38), he is up in Platt(39). We got a letter from Frank(40) a few days before we got your last, he was then with the cattle and expected to stay with them untill he got his money. Mr Hays will not be Dew untill July, his is 8,000. Mr Hays has no idea of getting it.
Johns health has been better than it has been since he was two years old. If his health still keeps good I shal send him to school this summer. Betty and him talks a great deal about grandpa and grandMa. Fleda cralls ever where she pleases, she climbs by anything and trys very hard to walk. I took her to Westport last week to have her minature(41) taken for you to look at but did not get a good one so I would not send it. I will have it taken over again soon. Give my love to my Brothers and all enquiring friends, write often as you can for it is so mutch pleasure to hear from the kindest and dearly beloved Father and Mother. So nothing more at present but remains your ever loving Daughter
Margaret J. Hays
to J.S. Watts E. E. Watts
ps Upton sends his love to you all.
Westport Jackson Co. Mo. June the 30/59
Dear Father & Mother
It is with pleasure I seat myself this morning to write you a few lines to let you know that we are all well at this time. It has been some time since I heard from any of you. I am very anioxs to hear from you. I feel in hopes that I will get a letter this eavening as I am going to town. Oh, what a pleasure it is to hear from those dear absent ones. Father, Mother would you believe it instead of getting weaned from you all I get more anxious to see you every day. It may be because I study so much about you all and think about you bouth being so old. I feell more than ever that it is my duty to be with or near you to Comfort and healp you, but fate has decreed other wise. Oh, Father if we never more meet in this world let us be prepared to meet in the next.
Mr Hays will start to Salt Lake in a few days, he has gone today to buy his oxen. Himself and Amberson(42) has sixteen wagons. Linvel(43) has gone to Salt Lake for Majors and Russell(44), he started last week. Stock of all kinds is very low, you can get good oxen for 50 to 58, their is but little sale for horses or mules. Corn crops look good well, wheet is only tolerable good.
The health of the people is generaly good. I have been up to Leavenworth to see Aunt Peggy(45) since I wrote last. Her health is better than it has been for two years or longer. Her boys is all with her excepting her oldest, he dont live far from their. Mr Roland(46) staid all night with us last week. He is building him a new home. He has had several lawsuits which has cost him a great deal. Mary(47) is married to her Cousin Jeames Hamilton. Cleats(48) family is all well, Travis(49) is near about as large as Mr Hays, not quite so tall. Cleat is in St Louis, Dr for his eyes. Jemmy Berry(50) is on the plains somewhere I do not know wether he went to Mexico(51) or Salt Lake.
We have not heard from Frank for some time. The last account we had he made a trade with Carlile, he got four hundred head of oxen, thirteen head of horses and mules, two wagons. He thinks that he will make money out of them. Uncle Jemmy and Aunt Mary is well. Uncle Jemmy was here yesterday. I must bring my letter to a close, excuse my bad writing for I have been writing in a hurry. Give my love to my Brothers and all enquiring friends, so fare well Dear Father and Mother from afectionate Daughter untill Death
Margaret J. Hays
ps Johny says tell grampa and grandMa that he goes to school every day. He is learning very fast. Betty talkes a great deal about you both. Fleda cralls ever where, she is the greatest child to climb I ever saw. She will push chairs up near my bead and climb up on it, goes up stairs and every where else where their is mischeif to get in to. She has always been called a very homely child untill the last two or three months. She is now the prettyest child we have.
J. S. Watts E. E. Watts
July the 23 1859
Dear Sir (51a)
it is with plasure that I take my pin in hand to Let you no that we are all well at Presant and I am inhopes these fieu lines will find you InJoying the Same Blessing. I Received a few Lines from you the Other day Making the first I Ever got from any of you Boys. I had thaught that their was Something Rong But I Recon not, at Least I am Inhopes no. The healthe of Our country is very good at Presant. Times is Dull as I Ever Saw in My Life. We have not had any Rain For a bout One Month. We have had a fine time to make Hay and Oats and Wheat But if We Dont Have Some Rain Soon We will Rase No Corn. I Was Sorry to Here that Beef was So Lo in that Country for Dr F. Thomas had to take the Cattle to Calif after a Good Many being Gon. He Rote that he had about Four hundred and fifty head and had to Make twenty Seven Thousand Five hundred and Seventy five Dollars to get Our Money. They aught to Average about 100 Pounds if fat. I Rote him a few days ago to Sell Out if he Can and Not Make much of a sacrafice. He is in Tehama County(51b). Nothing more at presant but untill Dath Remain your friend
Dear Brother(52) it
is with mutch pleasure that I answer a kind letter I received yesterday.
Words fail to express the Joy
I felt in
reading it for I had almost come to the conclusion that I had received the
last letter from my Brothers that I would ever receive from any of them.
I received one from mother about a week ago and also one from her to Sister
Eliza(53). I heard from George yesterday,
they were all well. Mr Roland staid all night with us a few weeks ago. He
is building a house about a quarter
of a mile from his old house. I have not saw Jemmy or Johy(54) for
a long time. Jemmy is on the plains somewhere. Uncle Bill Watts(55) youngest
son William(56) is out near Pleasant
Hill(57). He has been out hear all summer
but have not been to see me yet. I have not seen any of Cousin Sam Kimberlins(58) family
for some time, they live at the Blue Springs(59).
Upton will stay at home this summer. When I wrote to Father and Mother last he was expecting to start to Salt Lake, he got disapointed about getting his frait. He has done bought some of his oxen to take across, he still has them on hands. Linvil Hays has gone to Salt Lake. Brother I have nothing of importance to write, so give my love to my Brothers when you see tell them that I cannot give them the least Idea how bad I want to see them. Give my love to my Dear old parents. Oh, Brother be kind and good to them, comfort them all you can for I know they are lonesome, be with them as mutch as you can. Brother their is only one thing that I wish to ask for but I fear it is to mutch for I have asked several times before but I feel that it would be so mutch pleasure to have all my brothers minatures. I want to know whether their has mutch change in your looks or not. So fare well Dear Brother from your ever loving sister
Margaret J. Hays
John S. Watts(60)
Westport Jackson Co. Mo. August the 12/59
Dear Father and Mother
Once more I am permitted to write you a few lines. We are all well at this time with the exception of bad colds. I received some papers(61) a few days ago, on one of them I found that you were all well. The health of the people is all good at this time in this neighborhood. Corn looks fine, their was about a month that we had no rain, people began to think that they would not raise anything but since we have had plenty of rain. We have as fine corn as ever I saw. I was over at Dr Penaltons(62) last Sundy, I went over Saturday morning to go to church and came home Monday. The Old Dr and his wife sent their love to you all. Father, the old lady says that she had rather see you than anyone else in the world. She often tells me how mutch fun you and her uste to have. She says she uste to think so mutch of you and Mother that it makes me apear like some near relation to her(63). I saw a great many of my old acquaintenced at church. Thomas Yocum(64) was their, he is as large as Upton if not taller. He is a very fine loking man. He resembles Jesse(65) some little but not so mutch now as he did when he was a child. He is a very inteligent yong man, he inquired a great deal about you all.
Jane(66) staid several days with me week before last. Yong(67) has gone to Ky. Her babe is a very fine looking child. William(68)grows very fast, he is large enough to plough. He made a hand ploughing this last summer. Jane does not visit her father(69). I gave her one of those collars that you had sent last summer, she was very proud of it because you had sent it to her. Sister Martha(70) has been very lo but was better a few days ago. I have not heard from Sister Letty(71) for some time. I had set next week to go out their, but their is a protracted meeting to bee in the neighborhood and I cant go untill it is over. Cousin Mary Curts dide last Fridy, was a week ago. Mary Am Mitchel(72) was her maiden name, she live close by Cousin Dicks(73). Uncle Bob Berry(74) and John Berry(75), one of Uncle Edwards(76) sons, got up hear today. I have not saw them yet. Upton saw them, they left the friends all well down below(77).
Dick Yager(78) has got home from Santefee(79). his health was very bad on the plains but since he came home he is getting some stouter. Mary Cunningham has got home from St. Joseph. Father I will send you the St Josephs paper, it is a very good paper. I am very well acquainted with the editors of the papers, one of their wives came home with Mary Cunningham and staid near a week with me.
The last letter I received from you their was one in it for Sister(80). I was writing a letter to her when I received yours. I enclosed hers within the one I was writing to her and sent it. I received one from my brother John some two weeks ago and answered it. Oh, you have no idea how mutch pleasure it gave me to receive the one from Brother as I had given up the Idea of ever getting a line from any of them again. The children grows very fast, John has been going to school this summer, his health is very good now. Fleda has began to talk a little, she is mighty big stout child but I fear she will be phthisic(81) like John. Write often my love to all and a large portion to yourselves so Fare well to you all from your ever loving Daughter
Margaret Jane Hays
John S. Watts
E. E. Watts
Sep the 12th, 1859
Dear grand Mother(82) it is with the utmost pleasure as well as bounded duty to write you a letter to let you no something about my situation. I am enjoying the best of health. But not withstanding Ther is a great deal of Sicness here. I seen aunt Mag(83) at the Camp Meeting on the fifth day of this month. She said she was well. I have nothing strange to write. The Country is improving and wealth is fast increaseing. Land is worth from 20 to 25 dollars pre acre, all produce is very high. The Country looks diferent from what it did when you were here. Times is very hard - money is scarce and taxes is about to eat us up. I am living at grand fathers when at home. I am going to school when away from home. Grand Father and Mother(84) are still alive and in good health. I am near nineteen years old and you never wrote me a letter yet that I received. I would be glad to hear from you at any time. I think that I will have to offer you a few apologies for my negligence of duty as I did not no where to write to. But I have learned where to address my letters and I think I will be more punctual in the future. I seen your Brother Robbert(85) and some of his nephews from Calaway County at the camp meeting, they were all well, I believe, except Chills(86). I want you to write as soon as you receive this letter and will try to keep up a corespondence between us. I want you to excuse my bad writing and will try to write better the next time. I leave you under the Benedictions of a kind Mediator. I will bring my letter to a close by telling you write soon. Yours very affectionately
Thomas A. Yocum(87)
address your letters to
Big Cedar Jackson Co. Mo.
and please send your Miniter(88) and will send mine.
October the 10 1859
Dear Father & Mother
I am premited once more to adress you to let you know how we are geting along. The last time I wrote you I was in very bad health, it has improved very mutch. I feel stouter than I have felt this summer. I was at the Doctors one day last week. He thought by taking my medicens regular I would soon be in good health. I cannot say the health of the country is good at present tho this neighborhood is healthyer than it has ben this summer tho their is a great deal of sickness other places. Cousin Lusinda Datson(89), Jack Pitmons(90) sister dide some two weeks ago with her old complaint. I know of no other Deaths of our acguaintences lately. Cousin Pap Hays(91) received a letter from Caleway not long ago from her mother. She stated in her letter that Uncle Edward Berry(92) has lost one eye entirely and the Dr thinks he will loose the other with sore eyes(93). Uncle Calup(94) has been entirely blind for five weeks. They are now some better. Uncle Dick(95) Berry has a fine boy, they talk of calling him Hue Richerd(96).
I was at the High Blue Camp meeting, the meeting put me in mind of old times. They had a good many professions up their. Old Mr Duncans(97) farm was to be sold last Munday at Sherif sail. Dr Browning(98) went out to stop the sail and pay the Debt as it was but fifty or a hundred dolars. I have not heard whether he suceeded or not. Mrs Duncan wrode down hear to Uncle James to borrow money, it fatayegues so that night she was taken very bad with the fever and was very loe the last time I heard from her.
The wether is very cool and has been from the first beginning of faul. We have had several very hard frosts hear but the crops all turn out beter than expected. Mrs Penalton(99) sends her love to you both, she said when she left Ky she thought she would get to live a neighbor to you but was sadly disapointed. They talk of buying Uncle Dicks(100) farm. If they do they will be about my nearest neighbor. I expect to go out to see Letty(101) this week if I dont start to Caleway. Mr Hays talks of starting next Sunday. Aunt Mary(102) is going with us. I have nothing of much interest to wrigh. Mr Hays sends his love to you all. Tell Jack(103) I want him to wright to me and I will answer his letters. Tell Brother John I wrote to him a short time ago. Tell Brother D.(104) and Teny(105) that I have not forgoten them, if they have me I entend to wright to them anyhow. Tell them all to wright if they pleas, and you Father & Mother I want you to. I have ben looking for a letter from one of you for a long time. Give my love to all enquiring friends if their be any. You must all wright so no more at present but remains your affectionate Daughter untill Death. So Farewell, Fare well.
Margaret J. W. Hays
John S. Watts
Elizabeth E. Watts
stamp first issued 1859
1849 -Jan 1861 Section:
Letters 16- 24: 1859
read this section's footnotes,