Letters From Forgotten Ancestors

The Hunt, King, Taylor,
Fawks, Lancaster, Mitchell
and Harris Connection.

Madison Mississippi

Mumps on the Mississippi
Small Pox in Jackson
~ 1843 ~
Copyright © 2003, Frederick Smoot. All Rights Reserved.

Stampless folded letter sheet:
Manuscript postmark: Midway Mi January 31st
and rate: 25
Mr. Thomas Hunt
Sumner Cty

Letter’s author: N. M. Taylor

Madison Missi Jan 30th 1843

Dear Uncle
     When I reached home on the 9th of this month I expected to write you in a few days, but I have had so many persons to see, so much to say and so much to do I have neglected it until now. I expect before this reach’s you, you will have heard (by Cousin E Boddie who left here day before yesterday week) that we arrived safe and without much difficulty. As we have but little news, I must confine myself principally to our trip down &c. We took passage Sunday morning at Nashville, on board the Steam Boat Cumberland. Reached Clarksville about 9 aclock that night. Soon after there I went out to look [for] Isham Wynne. I soon found [him] on shore near the Boat. We went on board and had a long talk. After which I agreed to go out th next morning to Uncle Sion’s and return in the evening of the next day. During the night I reflected a good deal upon our trip down the River as well as out to Uncle Sions. Finally I concluded I could I could not go out to see Uncle and thought I had best get home as soon as I could. We had for company on Board the Cumberland Mr and Mrs Wm. Hardiman of this county and our neighbors. My business at home was suffering for want of my attention. And beside the trouble of unshipping and shipping our baggage. Our expenses (already heavy) would have been increased about $25. I was very anxious to visit Uncle Sion, but when I thought over the Matter and the Short time I had to remain with him I concluded I would write him and State my reasons which I did, and which I hope he received as sufficient apology. I have been thus particular in explaining to you, because I know you expected me to visit my Uncle. The day I left Clarksville I was taken with severe pain in My left cheak bone. I soon come to the conclusion that I had the Mumps. The next day (I think) the pain settled in my under jaw on the same side when all my teeth Commenced aching. My gums were very much Swolen. for a few days the pain was so severe as to throw me into fever. Which brought about the necessity of my taking medicine. In all I was (I think) confined six days, during which time I suffered greatly and eat but little of any thing from Clarksville to Vicksburg. My health has improved since I reached home but I cannot Chew any thing upon My jaw yet. During my illness, Mr and Mrs Hardiman paid me all the attention they Could have paid a brother. In fact I seemed to have the simpathy of all the passengers. Sarah was a little Sick as we came down but is well now. I think she and Mary have both improved in health since we reached home. Maria has kept hardy and in good spirits all the time. Myself and her have had several conversations about writing you. When I mention any of your family She generally takes a holy Cry. Yet she was not willing to go to Tennessee with Cousin Elijah. before leaving Ten I had prepared three little presents for her to give to Cousin Betsy, Margaret and Mary but when we met at Mr Douglass’s My feelings were in pretty much a flutter. And the driver hurrying Me so much I did not think of it. I hope I shall see you all again sometime. There are several Female schools not very far distant from this. I have rather concluded that we will send Maria to Sharon in this County, about 20 miles above us. An old schoolmate of mine has a little daughter going to it. he informs Me we can get her schooled there upon good terms. it is quite a healthy place, And said to be fine society.
     The Small Pox broke out in Jackson a few days before we reached there. When I heard the report I was inclined not to believe it. So we went into Jackson and staid all night without my making any inquiry about it. As soon as we reached home I ascertained beyond a doubt that the Small Pox was in town. And that a young lady of my acquaintance was the first that took it. She suffered much and was near dying. She is now Recovering. Since that time several others have taken it. The last report of the board of health says in all there have been eight Cases of Small Pox three of which died. A forth is doubtful, for others are recovering. There have been (as I understand the report) been eight cases taken after vaccination which have all been very light. None of then thought dangerous. No new case has occurred for the last seven days. The board thinks the disease is stoped. I have been vaccinated, still I am a little afraid of it. Tho, I have been in town twice since it broke out.
     Our little Cedar trees are all dead or nearly so. The apple trees (I am glad to say) I think are doing well. They had fine Roots, and Seemed to be quite live when we set them out. The Girls have set out the Shrubbery in the Rose line. I have not noticed them, as they are of small value -- I suppose they will live.
     Since getting home I have been not much about. I have seen some of my neighbors and made inquiry in Relation to the sale of young apple trees. They all say they are in much demand but at so high a Rate as I told you I thought they would. Mr N. Hatch at Vicksburg is engaged in Gardening. I am told he keeps fruit shrubs for sale. Our neighbor Captain Montgomery told Me he called upon him and that he (Hatch) said he was about the first applicant for fruit trees he had seen. The Capt says he thinks trees are selling at about 20 Cents each. I am satisfied more could be had now, but it is hard telling what they would be worth by the time they Could be raised. Apple trees are few ______ other fruit trees particularly Peaches are abundant.
     You shall hear from Me Again upon this subject. I have not been deer hunting since I got home. I have shot a few birds. I use them up badly. Myself and Mr Allen met the other day. We had six dogs in the field, they behaved pretty well. We were out a short time and brought in only 18 birds. All join Me in love to yourself and family. Write and tell Cousin Sion to write.
     Yours as usual          N. M. Taylor

From the Collection of Frederick Smoot
Provenance: eBay Online Auction, 1999

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