April the 27/56
Dear Father & Mother(1)
It is with mutch pleasure that I now attempt to answer your kind which received a few days ago. I was very glad to hear that you are all in good health. We are all well at present, the health of the people is generly good I beleive, I know of no sickness in our neighborhood excepting Mrs [illegible]te, she is still very low with the consumption(2). Father I received those fine presents that you & mother sent me, that is your likenesses. There was nothing that you could have ever sent that I would have valued half so mutch. Oh, Father, their is no words in which I can express thanks enough to you both for those mutch valued presents and Oh if you could have seen Johny when I told him that it was his Grandpa & grandma he says Oh Ma let me kiss them, I will have a Grandpa as well as Van(3). It has been all of his talk ever since we received them. He will come every day and want to look at them and kiss them. I have sent lettys(4) to her. Cleat(5) and sister Marthy(6) have been down, they were all well, the Children has grown a great deal, I sent letty by them. They expect to move this faul to Baites wheather they sell or not so I hear. I have not been to see them since last summer as the winter has been so bad. We have a very backward spring, we have our oats sowed and corn ground broke up but have not commenced planting yet. Mr Hays(7) keeps his two wagons going all the time. He makes from twelve to $15 per day. He is now gone to the Potewatemys(8).
Mother, Aunt Feby Hays(9), Wade Hays(10) mother was to see me one day last week, she has moved up hear and alls Dick Hays(11) and his family. Aunt Feby hays not heard from the boys since some two or three weeks after Wade12 was married. Uncle Jemmes(13) family is all well, he expects to start to Santeffe next Monday, it is Aunt Marys(14) calculation to go but I shal not believe that she will go untill I see her start and then hardely believe it untill I hear she passes the grove(15).
Mother I suppose you have heard of Uncle Johnson(16) Death, as he dide last faul, he was not sick mutch over an hour. I have wrote to you about Mrs Majors(17) Death and about Aunt Elizys(18) Death and also of Marys Death. The black Girl, Morris(19), was to see her every day during her sickness excepting about a week of the time and then he thought she was out of danger and she had a backset. Dr Carr(20) was to see her some two or three times. My letters has been so uncertain about goin I hardely know what to write. Upton(21) sent the Westport(22) paper in Febuary, write and let me know whether you got it or not. Tell Jack(23) that I have not forgoten him, that I want to see him very bad. Johny(24) very often talks about his Uncle Jack, he knows all his Uncles names and very often wants to know why they dont come to see him. Give my love to all of my Brothers and recieve a large portion to yourselves. You must all write as often as you can, so Farewell to you all from your afectionate Daughter
Margaret J. Hays
to John S. Watts
E. E. Watts
[Summer 1856 (25)]
[First part of letter missing] Collins(26) has an attacht of colery(27), he staid here [letter torn] to ride horse back he went up home. Our corn looks fine, the clearest of weeds of any corn I know of, they have plowed it over five times and want to get over it once more before the oats is ready to cut. I think harvest hands is going to be very Scarce. Lin(28) started last tuesday. Amberson(29) and Pap(30) staid all night with me. Am said that every one was down on Ambers Felernay(31) for leaving the way he did. He said that he was not a bit sick, that he had got a little homesick. He said that he was satisfied before he started out but thought he would go a little peace with you and if he did not like any better he would leave. Molly is still with me. John has not forgoten you yet, he calls you every day. Give my love to Frank(32) and Herb D & receive a large potion to your self. Write every chance you have, so no more at present but remain your affectikonate wife untill Death.
Margaret J. Hays to Upton Hays if you cannot read this bring it home and I will read it for you.
I'll think of thee when evening closes
On a landscape bright and clear
I'll think of thee when hope repres
To Calm a grief that none can share.
When sleep upon every eyelid hovers
When every heart but mine is at ease
When darkness heart and ocean covers
Oh then I love to think of thee.
M. J. Hays
Oct the 29/56
Dear Father and Mother
Once more I am permited to answer a kind letter I received a few days since. Your letter found us all enjoying good health and hoping these few lines will find you enjoying the same blessing. Mr Hays has gone to Texas to look at the country, he expects to be gone some three months. I wrote to you the week before he started. We have peaceable times in the territory at this time but dont know how long it will last. The health of the people is good at present, I know of no sickness in our neighborhood at present excepting Polly Hays, she was right sick this last week but is now better. I saw George Bryant(33) last week. He said that John Ferrels(34) wife Ann Bryant(35) as uste to be, was very low, they were looking for her to die every moment then. The rest of the acquaintences was all well. Cleat(36) has built out between Nutens old Place and Mr Rolands(37). He expects to move this week. Mrs Vawn(38) staid with me one night since Mr Hays has been gone. They both sent their love to you all. They lost their youngest child some three or four weeks ago, it was only a year old.
Aunt Mary(39) was over to see me last week, they were all well. Aunt Mary has not got entirely over her beating the negro gave her face is all scared all over. Rachel(40) has gone to Chaple Hill(41) to school. I heard from Caliway42 a few weeks ago, they were all well down there. Calup Berrys(43) wife dide a short time ago, he had been married about a year. Calup was a son of Uncle John(44).
I have not been out to see Letty(45) yet as Mr Hays sent for me a carriage a few days before he started. It has been longer acoming than I expected it would be, it just landed today. He paid $125 for it, it is a very nice one. I shall go out there soon if it dont turn to Cold. Mother, Larrenda(46) told me to tell you that you had a mighty pretty namesake(47). I did not mutch like to tell you that she was pretty for fear you would think I was trying to brag on her but every one that has every saw her thinks or at least speeking of her being sutch a pretty Child. She is one of the best Children that I ever saw. She has black hair, fair skin Blue eyes, round face. John(48) is not stout like he uste to be, he has the phthisic(49) very bad all the time, still he is very fleshy. He has a spell every two or three weeks of Croup, the last spell the Dr was to see him twice in one day. He will take sometimes in a half hour turn so bad that you would think every Breath would be the last. I asked John what I must tell Grandpa and Grandma, he said tell them that he was going to see them when he gets big enoug. He calls himself the little Border Rufian(50). Mother you may be sure that Betty and Johny is great pets with us all. Mother, Cousin Becky(51) has a son four weeks older than Betty, Cousin Polly(52) a Daughter 4 weeks yonger, Becky Poteets(53) third son, the same age of Betsy.
Give my love to all of my brothers and tell them that I have not forgoten them. I would write to them if I did not know that when I write to one that you are all near enough to hear all that I write. I dont want any of you to think that I dont think enough of you to write for their is no Sister ever thaught more of their Brothers than I think of mine. Mother I was mighty glad to hear that Jemmy Lobb(54) has got in. He promised me that he would go to see you and take you the likeness that I sent. Tell Jemmy that Johny has not forgot him yet, he will very often talk of Cousin Jemmy bringing him candy.
Mother you wished to know how the negros(55) comes on. Uncle Jemmy has bought Reason(56), Wilson is hired to a widow womman across Blue, Ned Noland(57) bought Ben(58), Henery is grunting about all the time, he dont do anything much but quart and grumble. Sometimes he will lay up all week untill Saturday then he will feel well enough to go to Westport. Nancy, she has been stouter this summer than she has been in the last three years. She is very anxious to be set free. Hannah is as tall as I am and a great deal heaverer. She would be a very good negro if it wasnt for her dady and mamy, they make her with all the rest beleive that they aught not to mind me as I was not their Mistress. I hired Hannah out about the time Mr Hays started, for a cuple of months at $8 per month. Harrison(59) the youngest Child can not walk yet. Liz is my nurse, Andy(60) is almost large enough to Plow.
I must come to a close as it is getting late. I have no one with me but the two Children and a yong man61 we have hired. I am very lonesome. Give all my love to all enquiring friends, you must all write me often as you can. So fare well to you all.
Margaret Jane Hays
John S. Watts
E. E. Watts
Dear Father and Mother
It is with mutch pleasure that I attempt to write you a few lines to let you know that we are well at this time. I wrote to you about three weeks ago, Mr Hays has not got home yet. I received a letter from him last Saturday, he has not seen any part of Texas that he liked. I look for him home about Chrismas. I just returned from Cass County Friday. They were all well at Mr Rolands. I did not stay out there as long as I expected to as it was getting very Cold and I did not mutch like to be caught out their on that big perraria(63). Bunnion and Mary(64) is going to school. Bunn is almost grown, Mary is almost the same size she was when you left. Hear, Letty has began to look old, her hair is getting gray very fast. I was at Cleats, they were all well. Travis(65) is almost grown. Berry(66) has also grown a great deal. Cleat(67) has improved a place on the big Peria(68) between his old place and Rolands. He has a very large nice house. He lives on the Westpoint Road. Old Dr Lea(69) lives on his old place. You would not know that country up their, was evry acher of that peraia(70) is entered between Nutens old place & Bolands. Their is a little house put up about every half mile. Old Uncle Billy Bryant(71) has built him a fine house near our old grave yard. Chap(72) has built at the campground. I was at Mr Duncans(73), they were all well. Mariah Browning(74) is staying with them this winter. They were all well at Cousin Dicks(75), they still have Cousin Mandys children.
December the 4. I commenced this letter some 7 or 8 days ago since I have received a letter from you. I was very glad to hear that you were all well. I received those Dolar pieces that was sent to the children. I had a chance to send them in a cupple of days after I received them. Mr Hays has got home sooner than he expected. They sold their wagons and packed in. He was very mutch pleased with some parts of Texas. If he can sell his place for a good price he will move their next faul. Lin also liked very mutch. Sam has not got home yet, he expects to buy him a farm before he comes home. I know you would like to know whether I am willing to go to Texas or not. I can not say that I want to go but I never could feel satisfied to live hear as I do not think that Uptons life will ever be safe hear, in fact I know it. He is known by a great many persons out in the teritory and his life has been threatened and their is so much meannest carried on hear to you hear of stealing and murdering going on every few days. The furs is sorter stoped in the territory(76) now but there is more stealing going on in the states than was some time ago.
Father, Uncle Bill Watts(77) is maried to a yong Widow. John and Betty is both well, Betty is beginning to set alone, she is now sitting in her little Chair a Sleep. John talks about you all every day. Uncle Jemmy and Aunt Mary is well, they were here one day last week. Aunt Marys face is still scared up. We are going their tonight. Mr Hays sends his love to you all, also give my love to all enguiring friends, to my Brothers in perticular and receive a large portion to yourselves. So fare well to you all
Margaret J. Hays
John S. Watts
E. E. Watts
Febuary the 23/57
Dear Father & Mother
Once more I am permited to write a few lines to let you know we are all well at present. I have been laid up with the pneuralgia for some two or three weeks. Last week I concluded that it was from a decayed tooth that I had. I went to the Dr and had it drawed. I have been better ever since, so mutch better that I have been visiting ever since. I got home yesterday from Vaughns(78), Bowlars(79), and Dr Penaltons(80). We was visiting around up their three or 4 days. They were all well and wished to be remembered by you all. Jane(81) is coming down next week to stay a while. Willy(82) is a large likely boy, he dont look like he every had a days sickness. They say Tommy(83) is taller than Mr Hays but very slender. I have not saw him for several years. I have not saw any of Mr Rolands family since I was out their in the faul. I heard from them last week, they were all well.
Not finishing my letter when I commenced it I will now continue it. Yesterday I had a house full of company. Yesterday their was some twenty five or thirty eat Dinner with me. Mrs Ewing(84) and several of Mr Majors(85) family was hear. Aunt Betsy Shull(86) from Caliway and some of Mr Hays kin from Indipendence. Cousin Pap(87) is agoing to start to Caliway in a few weeks. Jemmy Berry(88) has taken a notion to go to California in the spring and wants Cousin Pap to go with him to see his mother(89) about going. We have had a very disagreeable winter, not mutch snow but a great deal of cold weather and rain. I have heard a great many say that the ground has been frozen deeper this winter than it has been sence 48. Mr Hays has not sold out yet, he gives himself untill next faul to sell out. If he dont sell by then he will Build hear. I am anxious for him to sell for I dont think he will ever be safe hear. It is the opinon of ever person I have heard speak of it that their will be a greater furse in the teritory in the spring than has ever been. The Yankes(90) is layin up enough of privisions to last them several years.
Mother I received your nice preasats that you sent to me and sister. I sent Lettys cloak out a few days ago by George Bryant. Mother you have now idea how mutch I value those preasants. I cannot send you enough of thanks for them. I intend the first opertunity I have to have your name engraven upon the ring you sent me and keep it for my little Betty. I intend to have her likeness taken and send to you in the Spring. Father I have sent you two papers, one from Westport and one from Indipendence, the one from Independence in the faul, the other a cuple of weeks ago. I am in hopes you will get them regelur for they can give you more news than I can write. Mother you wished to know wheather I ever received those dolar peaces. I did and sent them out to the children. Father your little Johny talks about you every day. He wants to know what is the reason I dont let him go and live with Grandpa. He does not have his sick spells as often as he did last summer. Father, if you and Mother and my Brothers was hear I would be as happy as any one could be for I have as good a husband as and woman ever had. Their is nothing that I want but what I get. I have the nice carriage and mules so that I can go when and where I please and more than that I have two as smart Children as any one have. Father I want you to write to me. Mr Hays sends his love to you all. Give my love to all of my Brothers and receive a large portion to yourselves, so fare well to you all
M. J. Hays
J. S. Watts
E. E. Watts
Father did you get your Masonic diplomy.
March the 21, 1857
Dear father & Mother
I Once more take this Opportunity Of writing you a fieu Lines to let you no that we ar all well at presant and I am inhops these fieu lines will find you all enJoying the Same blessing. We received your letter dated febuary the 1, we was glad to Here you was all well. We got Some presants for the children, John was pleased to Sea his and talkes about you and grandpaw. Bettyes bracelets was to Small, we will Have to Heave them fixed, you had better not Send Margaret Anymore fine prsents Or She will bea for Seting Out again. I havant Sene George Or Letty Since i came back from texas, we meant to go Soon and Sea them. I will write to you again and lete you no what they think about texas. I think that we will all go to Ellis Co. though we have no Certeain place picked out. I havent Sold Out here yet though I think i Can Sel aganste fall. Land is very High here, ther was four hundred Achors(91) Sold the Other Day for forty two Dollars per achor though I Onley Ask thirty for mine. Everbody thinkes that mine is Cheap At that. There is a great many new Cummers here. Ever thing is mighty high here. I under Stud that Corn out in Cass Co.(92) is five Dollars per barrel. We Sint you two papers, the Independence and the Westport. We paid for the Independence paper Laste fall. I doant no that they started it or not, you never Say any thing about it. At that time we had no paper at Westport. John Hatcher and James Hamelton(93) is a goin to fetch to that Country One thousand Head of two year Old Heffers(94). We would like to Sea you all first Strait. So Nothing more at present.
Upton(95) and Margret Hays
March the 25
Dear Father and Mother
as Mr Hays has finished his letter I will write you a few lines to let you know that we received your letter and also some presents you sent to the Children. Bettys bracelets was most too Small tho she wore them last sundy to Church. Father, Cousin Sam Kimberlin(96) has staid with me two or three nights here lately. He Bought land out in Johnson County(97). Since he moved out their has has got very much dissatisfied, he has been trying to rent a farm in hear somewhere. He thinks Aunt Nancy(98) will move out hear. He wished me to give his love to you all.
Mother you wishe to know whether Travis(99), Berry(100) apeared smart. I never saw any smarter Apearently to their age than what they are. I think that Cleat(101) takes as mutch pains sending them to School and learning them to work as he could with his own. Berry is a great pet with them all. I have not seen Jimmy and Johney(102) lately. Uncle Dick(103) has a store and is making money very fast, so I hear. It will be two years in the summer since I saw Uncle Dick. Aunt Mary(104) was hear one day last week, she expects to start down to see Aunt Nancy(105) soon. Aunt Peggy(106) is going also. Mother you wished to know what had become of old aunt Eidy Moore(107). She is living on the old farm, John(108) lives with her. Sally Grinter(109) has but two children, Susan Bryant(110) has none, her health is very bad. America Burney(111) has one child, Mary Oldom(112) one. Marriah Browning(113) has two living. She lost a little girl about a year old. Darcas Selecman(114) has three. I have not seen her in a long time. Mrs Duncan(115) has not heard from Elen(116) for near a year without she has heard in the last two or three weeks. Rebecky Poteat(117) has three boys, the oldest one three months older than John.
Tell brother Jack that I want him to write to me and to write to Dick Yager(118). He has writen two or three letters and never got any answer to them. He thought rite hard about it to so brother I want you to be sure and write to him, it will please Uncle Jemmy and Aunt Mary so mutch. Give my love to my Brothers, I will write to them soon and see if Brother John has forgot how to write for I know he can write well. I must bring my letter to a close so fare well to you all.
M. J. Hays
excuse my bad writing for Johny has spoiled my pen so that I cant write.
J. S. Watts
E. E. Watts
stamp first issued 1857
1849 -Jan 1861 Section:
Letters 4 - 9: 1856 - 1857
read this section's footnotes,