Preston, Wharton Co, Tex=s
Dear brother, Your letter was gladly received by us. Indeed we had given out over hearing from you again unless it would be in an indirect way. We had supposed that ifyou were alive you must be in Colorado. When the people were starting from our neighborhood for the gold region he (Mr. Petty) told several of them to enquire for you. He gave mr. mackay a letter to you. We had never heard of you since you left Cammargo until Mr. Tilley received a letter from Mr. Mackey. His news of you gave us a great deal of pleasure for he said you were in good health and doing well, You must have done very well to save so much money as you did. But oh! How unfortunate to lose so mush of your hard savings in such a way. I was very sorry when I read it, for I thought of all you had endured since I first saw you, but brother, I hope you will not be discouraged. Though you certainly have been very unfortunate, yet I sincerely hope your present lot will be the end of your misfortunesand the last of your troubles.
Dear brother you must not think of going back to Colo, afer visting your relations you must come to us, we would be glad to see you and have you live with us again. The times are so much easier
now than they were when you were here. Money is plenty, everything is plenty. I think if you would come home now you would be better pleased with the country and be satisfied to live in it. Just come and see for yourself, I feel almost confident if you will come to see us that you will abandon the idea of going back to Colo. And consent to remain with us.
(Page 2) – letter from Preston
You asked me for the particulars of my neighborhood since you left. There has been about a dozen families moved in, they are from Mo., Ga., and La. Mr Campbell and oldest daughter and his two sons are three of the families from la. Mrs. Campbell is still alive and is well at this time. Her two grand daughters are grown now and are receiving attentions from the beaus. They are v very pretty girls. Isham Thompsom is in bad health. His wife has good health. They have four children. I have heard her speak of the evening you and Mrs. Tilley spent down at Mrs. C. as being very delightful. She used to (ask) me right often of you. Thompson is getting rich fast. Mr. Eagan is living in Wharton. His health is very good. He is kept busy all the time. He is County Clerk, Postmaster, and Justice of the Peace. He often speaks of you. Mr. Lillie is in Matagorda keeping a produce and liquor store. He is doing well. John Huff and family moved to Port Lavaca this summer after you left. Ben Cage had the misfortune to lose his wife in Jan 1850. She left three Baker children and two by Cage. He keeps them all. He made a good crop last year. He went up to Tennessee last fall to purchase negroes. He is getting rich. Poor old Mrs. Williams had to sell her place and follow Montgomery. He commited a cold blooded murder and had to run away I expect have heard all the particulars of the surrender from Mackey, ahe sold to James Cage. You heard the fate of John and James Cage, also expect through Mackey. Mrs. John cage is living on the place bought of Mrs. W., she is doing very well. She has but one child. Do you recollect her, brother, she is a very pretty woman. E.L. Ford and his wife are both dead. Henry and Thad Cayce are both getting rich. Shad’s first wife died three years past and he is married again. Jerome Graves is dead. He died about a month ago. Cornet is married. He married
-3- letter from Preston
Miss Elym. He is doing very well. Old mr. Hendrick and his wife are both dead, you know they were the best we had in Texas. Their deaths grieved me very much. We had a great deal of sickness in our family. Last year my dear little Annexation was taken from my fond heart and was embraced by the cold arms of death. Oh that was a sore trial for me to see my little darling boy so cold so inanimate and to knowhe would soon be consigned to the grave and it is almost more than I can bear yet. He was my best child, my love for him was unbound, his death has wrought a great change in my feelings in every way. Rufus has been sick a long time. He dut a part of his ankle bone off by carefully jumping off of a work bench on a sharp ax. His cutting his ankle was the beginning of his bad health. It did not injure his ankle w e were fearful some stiffness in the joint. He seems to be very proud of your mentioning his name in your letter. He always speaks of you with a great deal of affection. He says he would be so glad to see you once more. He is going to school now. Philleman will go to school this year in Matagorda. He went down last Saturday. He commenced a letter to you before he left home but something caused him not to finish it. He has great affection for you and is anxious to see you. He grows very fast but I do not think Rufus grows much. We have had one girl child born since you left us. Her name is Maria Harvey. Mrs. Hendrick named her. She is four years old. We have only three children living. We are improving our place slowly. We have got the house that was half-finished.______you were here near enough. . completed to occupy it which we have been doing for four
years and are now building an addition to it of three more rooms. It will soon be finished. Have started a gin in (you know we had a gin house) and built a ______and design building several dabbins this spring. Some at the prairie and some on Caney. We made a good crop last year, got a good price for what cotton he has sold and has paid all he owes that was due here in Texas. I am so sorry brother that you did not stay with us. You know Iwas so anxious for you to stay. I think you would have done much better here. It is true you made nothing that year but that was owing to the disaster of your cotton crops. There has never been such a failure as that in this neighborhood since. I feel confident you could do well here now if you would come back here for you have a great many friends here. At all events you must not go back to Cal. Without coming by to bid us goodbye. We want to see you. Once more we are so much better off now and more able to do something for you than when you were with us before. I know that Mr. Pettey will do anything to assist or forward your views if you will come. He is very sorry for your misfortunes. Brother oh much obliged I am to you for your kind remembrance (to) me but I do not think I deserve it all for I cannot believe I have done my duty towards you as a sister. Tose few lines you addressed to me my tears to flow and make me very sorrowful but I hope you will change your mind and come to see us for nothing would give me more pleasure than to see you once more for if you have a friend in this world and one that you will it is your affectionate sister,
(To I. H. Pettey)