Westport Mo. January the 10,1870
Again I have the privalige of answering another letter from you. I assure you it was a welcom visator for it had been a long time since I had heard from any of you. We are all enjoying good health at this time. I was almost sick with Cold last week but able to do a big days washing today. I am all alone tonight with exception of Jenup, have not saw nor heard from the Girls for over two weeks, they come home once a month. John goes to school from home. Friends all well as far as I can learn, but little sickness in the neighborhood. I heard from High Blue(1) a few days ago, friends all well. If weather is good will go up their soon. That country is improoving very fast, land is valued at 110 Dolars per achor. The Rail Road from Pleasant Hill to Larrence(2) runs within a half mile of Cousin Lis Berrys(3) , Willy Yocum(4) has gone with some fraiters to Arkensaw, Berry(5) is at McGee Colage(6) going to school, have not saw John, Jemmy(7) for a long time.
Well Mother you wished me to wright the particulars of Linvells(8) Hurt he received last Spring. I thought I had wrighten all about it soon after it happened. Last March Sam(9) and the Administrator was trying to Settle this suit by compromising it. Linville and one of Sams Lawers was present. Sam said he would not pay any rent for the farm as he had kept the fencing up. Linvell remarked that he had taken more rails off of it than he had ever put on it(witch was so). Sam ordered him to hush, he had no wright to Speek. Lin told him he thought he had a right to speek, he had been Swinated long enough by him. Sam was sitting near and Iron poker that wayed five puonds over. Sam got hold of the poker, Lin had nothing to defend him Self with nor had no Idea of Sam Striking him untill he aimed a lick at his head. Lin threw a chair up to catch the lick, it mashed the Chair, one end of the poker struck him on the head. The lick stuned him some, he aimed to get out of the door. Sam gave another lick whitch brought him to the floor, after he was down and all thought him Killed, he Struck him twice. The Lawer then got hold of Sam and pulled him away. Their was strong talk of mobbing him (Sam). He left town next morning. He went to Lin in tears and begged his forgiveness which was granted. He was very attentive, waighting on him untill he saw he did not Die. Lin lay some time with but little hope of life. He can never get over the hurt, not been able to work any since. I suppose this thing or Lawsuit will be settled some way in March. Sam still has the use of the farm. Sam Family is friendly with me, spent Chrismas Day with me. Sam is very friendly, it is to his advantage to be so.
I had and old Friend to visit me a few days ago, we
had not met for over ten years, Nath Simpson(10) ,
Duke Simpson(11) oldest son. We had all ways
very intimate friends. It was a very pleasant and Still Sad meeting.
He Said I had not changed one bit in my looks, could not see that I looked
but I can feel that I am getting old. I have a few gray hairs in my head,
but I must bring my letter to a close. I will wright soon again, wright
as often as you can, my love to all, a large share for yourself so fare
from your Daughter
Mag J. Hays
This is Jennups Birthday, 8 years old today was 8 months old at her pas Death.
Comenced as finished September the 9
Mariposa August 30 1870 Cal
Dear Dauter & grand Children i am permited to write you a few lines to let you no that we are on the land of the living & in troble about you not geting my letters, i have had a very bad Cough & my hand trimble so i could not write & a girl in town ofered to write for me, i did not send hur the invelup to hur & She has been directing her leters wrong, left out the Westport and the leters have come back. She was a good scribe & i would sind them to her to direct, she thought it was like Mariposa post ofice, i will send one back.
we have just returned from Campmeting about fore miles from our home, it commenced on friday and holds over two Sabaths, it was Methodith, o Marga how i wished you could have been thare but o i feare it will never bee my hapy lot to see you for it apears every thing is working against it, first my leters was returned & in the spring i thought we could send you three or fore hundred dollars September to help you out but providence works against us, our land is in market & we want to enter Six hundred acors of land, the most of it is enclosed in our farm, we are in town today entering two quarters by preemption & then we have the write to enter two quarters by homesed, if you come you shal have a home in trust in it & stock two, we have horses, cattle & hogs & you shal have & intrust in all & if you could bee heare to help me dry fruit, apples & peaches & greaps, we have plenty of evry thing, we dont live in a pirty cuntry but a very healthy one.
i commenced writing before I received your kind leter & my Grandson likenefs. you dont know how proud i was to get it, he is so fine a looking a man, i must say i always said a boy but he is a man so soon & i hope he is good as he looks to bee. i have waited to get some money some time that was due me to send you but get Disappointed & Jackson(12) is hard run to get money to enter his land, he sold five horses for money & had to take them back & paid him for the use of them in propity, he did not loose eney thing on them but the disapointement in geting money, i will send my likenefs, Jackson would have sent his only he had a hurt on his face & could not have it taken, we are all well as comon, i must to a close for i have wrote more than you can read, tell the girls i would bee very glad to get more letters from them, tha must not that i could not read there letters, i could read them & was very proud of them & want to get some more from them. i quilted one of the quilts that i maid for one of them and sold it for fifteen Dollars & will send them the money, i could not see the man that bought it, i will send it soon, all write, my love to all farewell from ever loving mother
E. E. Watts
April the 7/71
With pleasure I answer a kind letter received from you some two or three weeks ago, had sent you a letter a few days before I received yours with the Childrens photographs in it. I thought I would wait and see how my buissness was settled before I wrote again, it is partly settled. Sam acknowledged the Judgement and turned the land over to the Administrator. It was partly crompromised, he is to give account of all personal property and leave it to men that shall be appointed to say what he shall pay. He had sold 80 achors over five years ago, that will stand as he sold it and he will pay 10 percent interest since sold. I am to have my 80 achors(13) . I do not expect I will get anything else as their is so many Security Debts came against the estate. At the commencement of the war Mr Hays told me he was Security for as mutch as he was worth and the Debts has now come against the estate or a great portion of the Debts. The administrator thinks he can get some money for me but I do not think so but he will do all he can for me. He thinks he can get it all settled in four months.
Two weeks ago their was a Confederate burrying in the neighborhood. Their has been a piece of land deeded to the Confederate dead for a hurrying ground(14) . All the Confeds is to (that is in this country) be taken up and removed to this Burrying ground. Their was 69 Burried in one day, some three or four hundred people attended. The people is going to have Uptons remains(15) , Dick Yagers(16) here by the 20 of May. Upton is to be placed in the center under the monument. The monument will be raised the day that Upton is Burried. Their is a company appointed to have the graves attended to, to always keep them in good order.
Well Mother, the girls received their presents from you and I received mine also and I assure you they are prized highly and send you many thanks for them. Uncle Jemmy and Aunt Mary was to see me about two weeks ago, they are all well. I was down last week as Uncle Jemmy loaned me a horse to plow a week, mine is sick. Aunt Mary will start to Colorado in about two weeks to see Louisa(17) . Rach(18) is getting well, all friends well as far as known. My health is better than has been for several years. Give my love to my Brothers, tell them I have not given the idea of going their yet. I want to see things settled hear first. If I could meet with several families going out their we could rent a car(19) . It would not cost me mutch to go so do not think that I have given all Idea of going, so fare well from your ever loving daughter
Mag J. Hays to
Mother if you know anything of Alferd Hornbuckle(20) or can learn from any friends their let me know it, his brother is so anxious to hear from him. He will go out their if he can get any news from him, he has been their 20 years or more.
June the 7/71
I shall try to write a few lines to you as it has been some time since I wrote to you. We are all well at this time, my health has not been so good this spring as was during the winter. All Friends well as far as known. Rachel Harper has got so she can hobble around which is more than anyone ever expected her to do. I do not think Cousin Becky Hays(21) can last mutch longer, she keeps to her bed the most of the time. She has consumption(22) . Aunt Mary is in Colorado visiting Lou.
Well Mother I have been putting off writing untill I could send you some papers giving account of my Uptons Second Burrial(23) and speeking as I do not take the papers have failed so far in getting them but have the promis of some. We have a Confederate Burrying ground in our neighborhood at our Schoolhouse, 75 now Burried at it. On the 4 day of May two of out neighborhood boys started for the remains of Mr Hays, they found the grave without any troubble. His coffin was perfectly sound, for a few moments before the air struck him, his features (they said) was natural, but as soon as the air got to him, his clothing, features all dissappeared, all went to dust, leaving nothing but his bones and hair which had changed but little. He was brought in to Linvills untill they got a nice coffin and then was brought home, was Burried the 20 of May, as cloudy unlikely looking day as it was. Their was two thousand people or over their, the Masons Burried him, some four or five other men Burried the same day. The people through the country paid all expenses. They have a nice iron fence placed around the graves, they will place a monument over the graves costing one thousand Dollars.
Mother their was many nice bocays placed on Uptons grave, the first one placed on it was placed their by a federal Cournel. He was invited to speek but refused, he said if he gave my Upton Justice he would have to speek against the cause he fought for (that is the federal cause). Oh Mother this has been a sad tryal for me, it Brought all my past troubbles fresh to mind again, and yet a pleasure to see and know that my Upton is not forgoten and to know how mutch he is beloved by almost every one.
Mother have you ever received the Childrens photographs. I sent them in March, have had but one letter since last Oct. John is farming, has near 90 achors of corn in. We lost our wheet, their was a fly(24) that taken the wheet last faul, but little wheet raised. Those that have wheet is now cutting it. I have about 8 or 10 achors of oats, looking well. Corn looks well. I am getting along as well as could be expected concidering the hard times we are having hear now. Give love to my Brothers and family, a share for yourself, so good night Mother from your ever loving Daughter
Mag J. Hays
Children sends love to you all and uncles, wright soon, i am anxious to hear from you all.
May the 10/72(25)
I shall try to write you a few lines, the family is all well at present excepting myself, have not been well for the last week. I should have wrote to you last week but thought that Berry Yocum would be with you and could tell you how we are getting along. It has been raining for the last four days, still raining. John has his corn all in, about eight achors, look very fine, is plenty large to plow, he has 18 achors in, the rest of my land, some 15 achors I rented out. My wheet was no count, no wheet in this neighborhood, all failed, this is the second year I have made a failure raising wheet. Their is not any farmers done planting corn, many has not commenced planting yet, it is a very backwards spring, still a good prospect for fruit. Friends all well as far as known excepting Cousin Beck, for the last two weeks she has been getting worse. Sister Mary Huse(26) dide about a month ago with consumption (Uptons youngest sister). Laurinda Hays health has been very bad for the last few months, confined to her bed for the most of the time. She was able to come over to see me last week and spend a day and night. Linville is out southwest fraiting, has been gone a month. The girls is going to school, at home today on account of the rain. I have been looking very anxiously for a letter for the last few weeks. Will send John to the office this eavening feeling inhopes that I shall get a letter. Mother write soon if you know anything about Brother DeWitt(27) , will Brother Jack come home with Berry. Mother I cannot tell you what I am going to do as yet, as they have not got our buissness settled up. So farewell, the children all send their love, my love to you all so fare well from your loving daughter as ever
Mag J. Hays
[Written on the back of the letter]
Mary J. McBendre
Providence City Cal
Cary over ader Siskeyou Co. Cal
Mariposa June the 15 1872 Cal
Dear Dauter & Children I wonce more set down to try to write to you a few lines, i feare you cant reed it but i will bee ablige to try so you may see how fast i fail, i am getting old very fast. if Bery(28) gets home he can tell you how he had to help me Churn & wanted to help me do meney other things, i think he thought i look to old to worke but I have very good health for common, i am treble with a cough at times but never Doctor much. i think Berry(29) Coming kep me from having a doctor bill to pay for i was almost shure i had the Consumption coming on me but i am geting over it guite well. i think i was the proudest purson you ever saw when he told me his name, for i never had eney thought of seeing one of them grand children. I have always had a hope of seeing you and your Children but i was always teling Berry that he would put her out of the notion, he just stayed heare all the time & had come out of School & he thought it was the lonsomest place he ever saw. It is all the time of the yeare that tha have to work that is haying season, Jackson was ablige to tend to it close, he cut a fine chance but tha came a rain & ingered it smartly, he thinks he would have had over fifty tunn if the rain had not ingered it eney.
Margaret your Brother sent you some money about a Hundred Dollars, you must have your teeth fixed, we would like to have sent you more but we wanted to pay for our land this summer. Berry will go & see you & give you the money. i have done all of my work except washing, Jackson tried to get a woman to help me but could not get eney, i ofered one fifteen dollars for one month but she was going to town & was to get 20 dollars but she Smoked & the woman would not have hur & now she wanst to come to me, Jackson has gone to town today, i dont know wither he will bring hur back or not for he was not in very good humer, for the most of the work was done & i dont care for i have not for wimmen dont milk cows & tha think because tha have to wash & cook it is awfull, tha will Set up & make tallen & cross from one end of the to the other, i will Stop for i no you cant read one half all write & dont think hard of me not writing So farewell from your ever loving Mother untill Deth
E. E. Watts
Margaret J. Hays & Children
forgive me the worst pen & ink eney one ever did try to write with.
I received your letter several days ago which found us all well. I had almost concluded you was not going to write. Well this is Friday night, all have gone to the debate but Aunt Rinda(31) , Jimie(32) & I. Tomorrow Miss Mag Davis(33) & I are going over to Mr Ragans(34) & Coff Rice(35) expecting a fine time. Mr John More(36) & Sally Bryant(37) were married one week ago, had a nice wedding & grand reception, we were invited but I was a little to spunky to go. Jimie was there, there were some twenty young ladies & young men. Bob Hays(38) & Harison were two of the number, a gallant set you know. Ben More was at home one night this week on his way to Texas. Uncle Lin is not home yet but expect him in two or three weeks. Aunt Laurinda & I spent the day with Aunt Becca(39) this week, she looks very bad but is up most of the time. She thinks if her stomache was strong enough to bear her cough medicine it would be a great help to her. My bitters have cured me almost entirely, you would scarcely know me I am so fat & fell so well. I will never cease to be thankful or regret giving a kiss to the old Indian. Eliza(40) is using bitters of Aunt Rindas receit & thinks they are helping her, what has yours done for you.
We have heard from the Dr once since you left, Mr Stout(41) saw him at his brothers acrost the river, he was doctering on several over there, they thought him a great Dr, he was acting about as when here. He offered Mr Stout a farm, said he had bought Uncle Ams(42) house, paid him the money down & uncle was going to the nation with him, said he would be at Uncle Sams(43) in one week, it has now been four or five weeks & he has not come. Well tuesday was election, had considerable excitement at Westport, some of the boys got into a row in the evening. George Asberry(44) was arrested but only for a little while, no one hurt much. I have been over to see Matt West(45) , every thing is very nice but the old place looks lonsome. She is complaining of the neighbors not visiting her, there has only bin thre to see her.
I will now tell you something about the exposition which was a grand thing, much nicer than last year, the hall was larger & as full & then they had an extra hall for pictures paintings music & all such things. Old Jenison(46) was there, I saw him but could scarcely bear to look at him, I never felt as much like killing any one in my life, he had some stock, one fine race horse but got beet, his wife & daughter drove & got beat. I will now tell you how I got there, on tuesday evening Mr John Ragan(47) , Frank Tate(48) , Dr Hurst of Lone Jack called on us. On Thursday Tempie(49) & I went to Westport, friday morning went down to the fair in the street Carr, that evening Mr N. Green(50) brought Miss T to Westpost in a buggy, Dr Hurst brought Miss Me, next morning both gentlemen came with the buggies, took the ladies to the fair & out home that evening, the Dr staid all night, Mr Green until eight, since that I have not saw the darling little creature but hear that he still survives.
You will be surprised that I am alive when I tell you Mr Young (51)is married, he married Miss White of Kansas City two weeks ago, I never saw her before they were married. They went & bought there carpets so Mr Withers told me, he says she is very nice but not very good looking, what a jolly couple dont I wish it were I (no) not while Harison is on hand & the old lady says come & stay two or three days. Napoleon(52) is having that old house where Rollins lived fixed up & is going to live there this winter. The old lady will not be friendly with them yet. Tell Fleda(53) that Johny Fry(54) staid here last Saturday night, had a ring on both little fingers. Matts babie has been sick. Aunt Rinda went yesterday to see them in the evening, she started home walking expecting to met someone coming for her but did not until she got to the cotton wood tree & Jimie walked all the way. It is now getting late. Tell Bettie(55) that I want to look my best before Johny(56) , try to capture him as she is gone.
Today Edgar(57) run off & come all the way over here, went to the gate & called Wily(58) . Tempy took him home as quick as she could, found them scared nearly to death & runn down. Matt said Alfred, he ought to have a good whipping but I am to glad to see him to give it to him, went to feeding him, said he must be hungry.
How did your provisions hold out. I have not heard from Mrs Cunningham(59) since she left, she hated to go, said she was coming back Christmas.
[The rest of the letter is missing]
"Washington 3 Cents"
1870 - 1885
Letters 79- 85
read this section's footnotes,