Volume 7, Number 8, Summer 1981
Copy of letter written by NANCY SIMS and B.F. GEARHART to their mother, SARAH ROBERTS GEARHART in Celina, Tennessee. Written from Arkansas on the White River about 70 miles from Forsyth, Missouri.
I this evening take the opportunity of writing to you a few lines to let you know where we are, as near as I can, and how we are getting on. Wm. is very sick and has been for over two weeks. He is some better. He can sit up a few minutes at a time now. The rest of them all left us a week tomorrow for Uncle Abes except Tom and Ben. John D. took a load of our plunder and went with them. We are looking for some of them back. The people tell us it is seventy miles, yet. We are in Arkansas on White River. We have had an awful time of it, I tell you, and went through troubles and trials and are in a great deal yet, though we have met with the good luck of getting into a house with William. I have not seen any place that I could live yet, and I am very fearful that I will not. Billy Burruss has been very sick, but he went with the rest.
Mamma, I want you to keep my things and not sell them until I see how I like Missouri. It has to look a great deal (better) than Arkansas if I live in it long. Ben is in good spirits, he says, if William was only well. As to myself I have held up my head most as long, it seems, as is possible. My children all have a bad cold, though no more than could be expected-laying on deck part of the time and in the cabin part on the floor and everywhere else. The last bedstead they lay on was at your house.
Meat is 15 cents-corn 250 cents a barrel. I must come to a close.
(This concludes the portion of the letter written by NANCY GEARHART SIMS. The remainder of the letter written by Nancys brother BENJAMIN FRANKLIN GEARHART is as follows:)
I take my pen in my hand to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope when these lines come to hand they will find you enjoying the same blessings. I want you to write to me how Sib is getting along with his crops and whether Jeff has moved or not. So I will close, I remain as ever, your son
Copy of a letter written by BENJAMIN FRANKLIN GEARHART to his Mother, SARAH ROBERTS GEARHART, in Celina, Tennessee.
April 30th, 1869
I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you (know) I am well and hope when these lines come to hand they will find you enjoying the same good health. I received a letter from Martha a short time back. She said you was all well at home and the molitia was gone. This is a very ruff (country). You would not like to live here but you could come and see your connection. Bill and Nancy are verry well satisfied. Nancy wants you to come in the fall. She has wrote to Mary and told her to come. I am very well satisfied in this country as long as I stay. I will have me about seven acres. That is all I have to tend. Hugh and James live about two miles below here. I go down there about two nights in a week. They are very kind to me. Margret and Kit also. Margret does my washing for me. Nancy lives about four miles below here. I go down there about every week. She is as proud to see me as if I had been gone six months. Aunt Nancy is as good a woman as ever lived and Uncle Abe as good a man. He fishes with me and Sib. He is as jovel as a boy. He says enquire of you if you and Ruth has got his photograph. He sent it to you from the Mississippi. Billie Burruss is making a crop near Hughs and Jims he stays there. I heard that Sib and Jeff was done planting corn but it was snowing verry hard afterwards and I am afraid they will have to plant it again. If it dont rain I will get done tomorrow. Uncle Abe and Sib is done now. George is, too. Hugh and Jim are behind in their work. Those who have money to buy hogs to feed their corn to, will make some money, but as it will take all I have got to keep me in clothes and shoes, I will not be able to buy any hogs.
I have got me one sow and two pigs. Tell Ruth and Jeff and Sib to write to me, and you do the same. So I will close. I remain as ever, your son.
Copy of letter to RUTH HUDSPETH in Celina, Tennessee from NANCY SIMS, her sister.
Forsyth, Taney County, Missouri
June 2nd, 1869
Dear Sister, I received your letter yesterday which gave me great satisfaction to hear that you are all well and doing well. This leaves us all in good health. The health of all the people here is good as a general thing. All of your acquaintence are well. I was at Uncle Abes a few days ago. They were all well and doing well. Ruth, I have nothing strange or interesting to write at this time. We have a nice crop of corn and our wheats is tolerable good. It will be (ready) to cut next week and I expect to have fine potatoes, but my peas and beans will hardly do, though I plenty of little ones. Ruth, you all ought to be here in a week or two to eat cherries. Ruth, tell mama to sell my things for James or Piney, if she can, but for feathers it would be too much trouble to bring unless she culd sell them in the store for cloth. Tell her not to be particular much anyway, for I am doing about as well in my little hut as any body here, and it may be that I shall need them there in a day to come. The people all tell me here that after a person begins to move that they are never satisfied without moving again, and so, if ever I move anymore it will be to Tennessee or Kentucky close to my old country, though this is much the best country for stock and fruit of all kinds and Wm. says that he can make more lying flat on his back than he can there and work all the time. Now, Ruth, tell mamma that I will need the cloth this fall if she can bring it, and sell my things for it. I would be much oblige to her but I can do without feathers finally for when Wm. gets done plowing, he says he will kill enough turkeys to make a bed. Tell Sib howdy for me and that I am looking for him this fall to help kill turkeys and deer. Sis says tell Sib that she saw an old one (deer) and her young one near the house a few days ago. Give all my relation and friends my best respect. Tell Mrs. Gren (Green?) that I will write to her before long. I would like to be at meeting there the 2nd Sunday in May, but we have meeting nearly every Sunday. Uncle Abe will preach close to us next Sunday. Ruth, if you was here, we could have a fine time gathering strawberries in 4 or 5 miles of us.
They (are) plowing them up. The old fields are thick set as wheat. Ruth, if I was like you and Jeff I would visit this country. You have no children and you would never regret time nor expense, and besides that you will never see much if you stay there all your lives. Ruth, write to Marry for me and find out whether she has ever got any of mine or Bens letters or not. We have written 4 times and never received a line. I dont know whether she ever got them or not. Tell her I say to write to us. Now, Ruth, I will try to tell how it is here about neighbors. They are (The rest of this letter was missing)
Copy of letter to SARAH GEARHART, Celina, Tennessee from Benjamin Franklin Gearhart.
Taney County, Mo.
July 25th, 1869
Dear Mother, I this sabath morning take my seat for the purpose of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope when these lines come to hand they will find you all enjoying the same blessing. This leaves all of your acquaintences well. Hugh got a letter from Aunt Susan the other day. They was all well when she wrote. We have not got a letter from Mary in about 2 or 3 weeks. They was well the last account. Mama, Mary said she had a pig in a pen for you to help her eat; I suppose you are still in the notion of coming out here and going to Texas. Sib & myself have been talking of going to Aunt Susan, I dont know whether we will go or not. I have not got a letter from you in some time. I am looking for one now. I rec. a letter from Tom Davis a good while ago and wrote to him but have not got an answer yet. I got a letter from Ruth about a week ago. You said that Martha was still going to school at Martinsburg.
Bill Sims got out his wheat last week. I hope him yesterday and the day before. He wants Ausbone to bring his mule. Mama, I want you to write to me, and let me know what horses you are going to work and who is going to drive your wagon for you, and when you are going to start & also how long you aim to be from home, and who is going to tend to your stock while you are gone. Billie Burrus is teaching school now. He has been teaching two
weeks. The weather is very dry now, corn is needing rain badly. Bill & Nancy are here now. I and Sib ate dinner at Uncle Abes today. They are all well there. Aunt Nancy has got her a new stove. Kit said tell you to bring her saddle if you could and bring three horses, and ride one of them. Hugh says to tell you to bring his vest that Fay Brown had. Well as I can not think of any thing else to write I will close by saying to give my love to all of my relation and tell them to write to me. Tell Martha I will write to her the next time. So no more I remain as ever.
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