“This is the best part of Kentucky”
~ 1840 ~
Clark County Kentucky
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Stampless folded letter sheet.
Manuscript postmark:
       Colbyville Ky }
       Decr 11th }
Manuscript rate:
       Samuel Barnett Esqr.
       Washington county


Clark county Ky. Decr 10th ‘40

   I received your letter on last Saturday forwarded from Nicholasville. I was glad to hear that you are all well. I am now in Clark county about twelve miles from Lexington, twenty from Nicholasville, seven from Winchester, and about four from the pike between the latter place and Lexington. It is about a month since I left Nicholasville. I have here as pleasant a situation as I could desire. This is the best part of Kentucky. I have agreed to teach a school of fifteen scholars for $150. and boarding, per session of five months. I am boarding in the family of Mr. Stonestreet one of the most respectable men in the neighborhood. He is clerk of the state senate and is absent at Frankfort now. He is a man of more than ordinary piety; and the rest of the family are very friendly and agreeable. In my boarding are included a room, food, light washing, and a horse to ride when I please. I have reason to be thankful that I am so well provided for: and I pray that I may not in the enjoyment of the gift, forget the giver. I am still trying to serve the Lord; and I am still encouraged. I think that it should be the main endeavour of every one to glorify God and to grow in grace. This I trust is my desire. Though I have deferred for the present, yet I have not entirely abandoned the idea of becoming a missionary. But I desire to look to God for his guidance, and to await the leadings of providence. If these should intimate that it is my duty to become a missionary, I trust that I will be willing to go. If it is God’s will. I may prepare for the ministry: but not until I am more satisfied of its being my duty than I am at present.
   As regards your design of being married, I confess that I was surprised when I read of it, because I did not expect. But I have no objections; nor would it matter if I had. If you think that you can live more happily in a married state, get married: only be sure to get a good wife. I am inclined to think that when I consider your circumstances, that you could be more happily with a wife. I hope that she whom you think of getting, is one that fears God.
   I hope that you do not suffer the world to estrange your affections from God. I hope that you love him supremely to enter in at the strait gate.* O! it requires striving. Let us not neglect this great salvation; let us make it our meat and drink to do the will of our father in heaven. Let us neglect every thing else rather than this. Let us remember that the hour is coming when we shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ; and let us daily prepare for this. My dear parent I pray that the cares of this world may not take my heart or yours from the service of God. Let us see to it that we are honest before God; that we love him supremely; that we work out our souls’ with fear and trembling.
   I think that Martha might write to me. If it would do nothing more it would teach her to write. Tell her that I would be glad to hear from her. Give my love to Nathaniel. If I were settled I would be glad to take him and educate him. Give my love also to John. Tell him to write to me.
   I wrote Uncle Thomas not long since. I suppose that Grandmother Barnett is well as usual, as you said nothing about her in your last letter. Give my love to her and to aunt Martha when you see them. Give my respects to Mr. and Mrs. Hollands. I have never received a letter from them. Give my respects to Squire Bentley, to Mrs. Bently, and to all my friends. I will expect to hear from you soon. Direct your letter to Colbyville Clark county. Ky. (I am in the same neighborhood you see, in which Mr Laird was.)
   I enclose to you the $10 that I borrowed. I received the Examiner from Oct. 26th 1839 until June 6th 1840; when from sone unknown cause it stopped. I enclose $5, and wish you to pay this bill out of it and keep the rest. I hav e besides this money, $11 on hands and $28 uncollected from last year’s salary. $14 of this I expect to lose entirely. I owe brother John $10. Tell him that I will surely pay him when I get able.
   I remain still your affectionate son
Wm. G. Barnett

Saml Barnett Esq.

* Matthew 7, (King James Version)

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

1. thereat = that place
2. The expression “keeping to the straight and narrow” probably evolved from Matthew 7:14.
Transcription: © Rhett Hightower 2005

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