Sparta, Tenn July 16th 1854

Dear Brother

I received you letter a few days ago.I was glad to hear you had sold your cattle for a profit. I was fearful it would be
troublesome trip to you.  I know it was a dangerous one.  I was sorry to hear of you having such a misfortune in the
Indian nation.  You should be on your guard trust no one to far but I hope you have done nothing that will cause
you unhappiness or remorse of conscience.  This leaves us all well except Mother.  She has been sick for the last
week or two but she is about again.  Woody has been down here a week or two he sayes he is going to stay with
us two months.  He is hardy as any boy grows fast he hasn’t went to school any he will commence going the first of
Sep.  Mr. Turney he thought it best for him to take plenty of exercise and not be confined in a school room that is the
cause of him not going Times are very hard here money as scare as ever it is very dry here the corn is burning up
Mother and Rufus has the blues pretty bad on account of it mother talks of traveling about some next year she says
she has to work harder now than she ever did and will as long as she stayes here.  Rufus has never got any money
yet he was written a letter or two to Thomas Mitchell but has got not answers he has been looking for money some
time I think it has been due some time.  Dr. Renshain Dr. Brockett and John Greene and I don’t know how many
other leaves here the first of Sep for Texas  every person wants to move they think times are harder here than
anywhere else the hog cholera is very bad through this county at this time Mother hasn’t lost any yet.  I had
forgotten to name the marriage of cousin Susan Mitchell she was married a few weeks ago to IA Coon and old
widower and very pretty at that I was glad to hear you was going to spend the winter with us.  I will have plenty
of cordial and wine for you to drink and the ginger bread thawed in so don’t fail to come.
Write soon farewell for awhile

		Maria Lowrey

Letter addressed to Mrs Nancy White
Sparta Tenn

Lancaster Dallas Cty  July 20 1855
Dear Mother

I am ashamed of my conduct…………….(cannot read…..) To an affectionate Mother who has experienced
hopes and felt the sting of death of the most dearest and nearest of the family, Mother I often think of you and
as I have spent the hours of my life in your midst in case of sickness I could call for Mother and she was present
but O how is I now separated far apart with too little children and another child upon a bed of sickness.  Lucinda
has been confined to her bed for the last six weeks and is reduced almost to a skeleton.  She can’t set up any
Our physician says she is in the final states of consuption.  I fear his further advanced than that but I have some
hope of her recovery but she cant stand it much longer if there is not a change soon she still continues to run
off at her bowels and the worst cough I have every heard a person to have. Mother it makes  the tears drop
freely in having to communicate this sad intelligence to you  I have done everything in my power. What more
can I do when I think of my children and their Mother laying at the point of death. Oh how can I survive under
such pressure of grief.   I would give anything I … could her parents be with her it mortifies me to think they
are so far that ere they could reach here there will be a change I may be too easy discouraged I hope such will
burn out to be so but I have been at her bedside for much all the night……….ink washed away…………since
and is in fine health  the country generally is fine health. Mother I hope to hear I change here that Lucinda healthy
would improve was partly the cause of me leaving my friends to come to this country all my happiness of for this
life I fear is blasted.   I am resolved to try to prepare myself for the place where there is not parting of friends  no
more of … disease to prey upon the body  My neighbors is kind an visit in often.  Frank and family is well and
perfectly satisfied everything goes easy with him he promised to write you  I don’t know whether he has or not
tell Rufus to write to me and all chose who have respect for me  I hope the time will arrive I can write you a letter
of happiness or deranged I hardly know what I am writing. The drought injured the crops at least half

You Son
W. L. White

Sparta Tenn  June 12th 1856

Dear brother

It is with an aching heart and streaming eyes that I attempt too write too you but I feel that you can sympathize with
me more than any person on earth but you trail is nothing to compare with mine.  William I don’t feel like I ever
could stand it if Vance had been tanken off with any disease I feel like I could have give him up almost with out
sheding a tear but he was taken off in good health and was and was doing so well trouble was a stanger too me
he was always kind and good too mee but any pleasures was of taken the lives of his cruel murderers and treat
them in the way they treat him it would be some consolation but they have the pleasure of living if it was not for
my child I would have their lives inspite of the world.  For it is too much for mortals too stand.  This world is nothing
too me  I would not give one cent for all the peasures of this world let my life be long or short.  Tom Murray is at
a very active part volunteered his service for them blood thirsty wrecks last week was court he tried too bail them
out of jail but the judge would not allow them bail  they have broke jail once since they have been in there but they
did not but one of them get away.  The whole town armed themselves and went in pursuit of him it was nearly a
week before they caught him they put off their trial until next court.  Mr. Turney sayes they are sure too hang  Tom
Murry has sued the maintainance of their wifes  he sayes Vance was an enmy of his and this is the first opportunity
he has ever had and he is going too spread himself it don’t make much difference what he sayes for everybody
hows he never told truth in his life I would like for you come this summer or fall if you can.  There will be no sale
until fall I would like for you to be here if you can oh if I could see you and tell you all about it but I am deprive of
the privealege you have had your troubles I rather see you as any person on earth.  Jim Carrick wrote here that
Wadron was sick  I was truly sorry but I hope he is now better.  I wish he was here where I could wait on him my
health is bad but how can it be any other way for I am the most miserable creature on earth. I am stay with Mother
and part of my time at old Mr. Lowrey’s  Charles is admin he is the only person I would trust he is anxious for you
too come he has no shollar he sayes you would understand it better than him.  I will quit writing for I don’t expect
you can read what I have wrote.  Mother is doing well  Rufus is working very hard corn is small for the time of year
Tell Frank would be glad he would write too me  I hope he was bring his wife and little children too before long.

Write soon your sister writes
Maria Lowrey

Sparta Tenn  June 3th 1860

Dear brother
I seat myself this lonesome Sabbath day to write you a few lines  Mother received your letter a few weeks ago
we were glad to hear of your marriage. But sorry you have give out the notion of coming to see us this fall.  I
attended Mr. Stephens quarterly meeting last Sunday he preached a fine sermon  Sophronia said she was glad
to hear you was married and hoped you would bring your wife to see them this fall  she looks to be in fine health
I think she will have to give up the circuit for a while.  Bob downey landed back a few days ago it looks like this
country has a great attraction to some people.  Mr. Frank Williams was married a few days ago to Meiss Smith.
Old Mr. Leftwick has sold out to Dr. Barnes from Woodbury with the intention of moving to Texas I guess you
have seen Goprge Dibrell and Woman Clark before this time  Dibbrell has had bad luck at home since he left he
has lost a fine horse he give 6 hundred for this spring some of his mules have died on the mountain we have had a
fine chance of rain in the last few weeks  Rufus is very busy at work his looks well but no wheat.  Sister Martha is
getting along slowly one of her Negro girls is sick not able to work going like the rest.  Shade will be up in a few
weeks I don’t think he is making much money where he is I don’t know whether he is going to Texas or not.  I
think you could make your arrangements so as to bring your wife to see us this fall Mother is anxious for you to
come we will have plenty of cider and apples.  You need not come unless you bring Lou  I am more anxious to
see her than you give her my best love Mother sends love also to you both.  Write often.  I am your sister.

Maria Lowrey

Sparta Tenn   Nov7th 1860

Dear brother
This is to inform you that your friends here are well. Mother’s health is good as usual although she had a severe
attack of fever this fall  The health of the country is very good at this time.  Times are very hard here the farmers
are in a close place they could not sell their stock this fall.  They will have them to winter corn crops are very light.
Mr. Turney family are well  Sophronia Stephens has a fine daughter calls it Caroline Petter has sold his farm to
Dudley Hunter for thirty five hundred.  Uncle Tabz Mitchell was to see us the other day.  I think he has an idea of
moveing back to Sparta.  Ed Austen has landed back in old White. There has been several deaths this fall  Sally
Scott died a few weeks ago also one of Mr. Morgan’s daughters.  Sharp R. Whitley died a few weeks ago  very
suddenly was found dead in the bed. Our fair came off the first of September  we had a fine time I wish Sister Lou
had a been here to have seen the work of the ladies of White.  I hope the time is not far distant when we will have
the pleasure of seeing her.  Mother is putting up some nice apples she sayes for you and Lou and you must not
disappoint her come this winter.  I want you to send me a hundred dollars against Christmas if you please I like to
pay as I go.  Flora says tell Woody howdy for her give my best love to sister Lou and all the friends.

Write soon.
Maria Lowrey

No date

Dear brother as Rufus has written to you and has not raid a word about Woody  I thought I would write you a few line
to let you know how he is coming on  I haven’t seen him in some two or three weeks he has had one or two shills.
That place on his neck is not as large as it was  it has become soft  he has not been here but once but I have seen
him several times  I have been to see him three or four times  Mrs. Turney sayes when he get through taking his
bitters he can come and stay awhile with us old Mother Lowrey departed this life some three weeks ago.  We
received a paper from Mary with the death of two of her children  I will send you the slip of paper.

Write soon.
Maria Lowrey

Sparta Tenn April 8 1861

Dear Brother
I received your letter some time ago and ought to have answer it before now but you know I am very careless about
writing therefore you must excuse me.  Rufus wrote to you some time ago about your law suit and Greenes  I was
very sorry that he got such heavy damage but I would have been better pleased if they had sent Young to Texas for
his money  Mr. Turney tried very hard to keep them from coming on me but the Jury decided that I should pay
Young and then look to you for the money.  Me and Charles Lowrey give our note to Young for about 4 hundred
dollars they valued the land at $75 per acre  I recon it was the interest on the money that made it amount to four
hundred  Greene had to pay the cost of the suit which amounts to about two hundred  the old rascal will not make
much at last.  I am to hear from you on the subject.  This leaves us all well the health of this country is very good
times are still hard money scarce no prospect of getting any better it looks like the whole country is in an uproar
what will be the result we can not tell.  Mr. Turneys are well except Fettese (?) wife she is very low but it is thought
she will recover  she has a young babe two weeks old her oldest is a 11 months old  Mrs. Turney and her don’t
visit any Sophronia is still living at her fathers she looks to be in fine health.  She inquires about you every time I
see her  she is very anxious for you and Lou to visit Tenn.  I am in hopes you will come this summer I still flatter
myself with idea of visiting  Texas the first opportunity I think it would be an advantage to my health and Flora’s.
I guess Ad will be here in the fall on particular business.  Mr Young’s health is better than it was some months
past  he looks very bad but I think as the weather gets warm.  He will improve.  I suppose you have heard about
Lou Murry going home with Mary she is well pleased with Illinois  Byrd Greene has been to Mr. Coollidges to see
her  Mr. Coolidge is much of a Yankee as ever  Louisa Greene talks of visiting this summer she write times are
very good there.  Woman Clarks house was burned down a few weeks ago the wind was blowing very hard they
thought it caught from the kitchen they saved nearly every thing in the house  Mother sayes she was you to and bring
Lou with you as soon as you can  she is very feeble and on the decline she is always grieving about you and Frank
but I tell her there is no use of borrowing trouble that it wilsl come soon enough.  The money you sent me answered
every purpose  I have paid my store account and have a little left for pocket change tell woody Flora sayes he must
not forget her give my love to Lou I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing her this summer.

Write soon.
Maria Lowrey

Sparta Tenn Nov 15th 1861

Dear Brother
I seat myself today to write you a few lines this leaves us well times are very hard here everything is cash except
mules and Negroes  coffee is one dollar per pound  I fear there is harder times ahead.  War is all our talk nearly
all the young men are gone and several married men  Mr. Stephens is chaplin in Stanton’s Regiment Combs is
farming a Regiment near Sparta  we are a ruined people it grieves Mother to think of her children in the north
we know not whether they are living or dead  we haven’t heard from these since may and will not hear until the
war ceases.  Lish Meridith landed back in old White last Tuesday all sick  they was taken sick below Nashville
and wrote for some person to go to their assistance.  It was thought they would both die but they are now
improving.  I was to see them the other day they say nothing against Texas.  I cant see what they can promise
theirselves here.  William I received a letter from you some time ago  I though from the way you wrote your
feelings was hurt at me if I wrote any thing that wounded your feelings I did not intend to do so.  As to being
uneasy about the money loaned you I never thought of such a thing.  I have no use for it all I ask of you is mony
enough to support me  I have taxes to pay doctor bills and sotre accounts if you can send me a check of hundred
dollars I would be glad  I wish I was with you and Frank  it looks like Rufus has much as he can stand up under
sister Martha had never not her money from John Murrey  you know her condition Flora is growing very fast I think
she will get to be healthy  I hope so at least.  Mother received a letter from Woody sometime ago  she says if she
could she would write him a long letter  she sayes he must write again soon give my love to Lou  Frank and  Jarvis
Flora sayes tell woody howdy for her Mother sends her respects sayes she would be glad to see you all but she is
deprived of that pleasure we have put up a fine chance of apples but few of us to eat them.  Rufus is father corn
works as hard as ever.

Write soon Your sister
Maria Lowrey

Sparta Tenn Dec 28th 1861

Dear Brother

I received your letter yesterday and hasten to answer it.  I received the moneney you sent me  I was very glad to see
it  I can pay all I owe and have some money left  I don’t like to be without money but I don’t wish to be extravagant.
You write that you intend to pay the whole debt. I would be glad you would keep it I would rather some of my borthers
had my money if they can use them to an advantage if you wish too you can pay me 6 percent that is all I will get here
and if not, all will be right with me.  All I ask is one hundred a hear  I don’t wish to be any expense to my friends here.
I know I am dependentful so any way.  William  you are mistaken about a certain person writing here about you  never
was a word wrote here concerning you  he is innocent of that charge.  I never was uneasy about the money loaned you
I was afraid Young would put me to some trouble I don’t want you to think hard of me I am sorry and grieve about the
letter that caused you too think I was uneasy.  Do as you think best if you have no need of the money and don’t want it
I will not insist upon you to keep it but I would like for you to do so.  I will drop this subject.  Rufus wrote to Frank a
few days ago he has joined the Vol  Mother and me kept him from joining as long as we could as I don’t know how
we will do when he leaves our Negroes are saucy enough now.  Mother is grieved nearly to death but tell her there is
no use in grieveing trouble will come soon enough.  There is four companies forming in this county under the last call it
makes my heart ache to think about the poor soldiers now in the field and others preparing that are near and dear to us
some of the boys are in South Carolina some Vir and a large number in Kentucy  the Yankies may kill them but they can
not conquer them  many a good man will fall and they could not die in a better cause This is Christmas week but it is a
dull time sure everyone seems to have sad countening(?)  I think everything will come right yet.  Mother sayes to tell you
if ou was here she would give your nose a good twist because you make so light of her doing without coffee said she was
sure you would pitty her she sends her love to Lou and Martha would be glad to see you all I want you to be sure and
come to see us next fall give my love to all tell Woody Flora says Christmas gift I sent Lou a sample of my secession
dress of my own manufacture  we are all very industrious there is not a yar od calico in Sparta for sale they pretty will
sold all their goods. Nor more your sister

Write soon
Maria Lowrey

Transcribed by Mary Sykes