The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

The writer’s wife, Mrs. Mary M. Turnbo has an old letter that she preserves as a sovenir which was written at Bellville Indiana on the l9th of February, 1845. The author of the letter is Vincent Hamblin, a brother of her mothers. The letter was written partly to her mother and the rest of it was written to her uncle Jim Jones and Aunt Franky Jones. It is a nice hand write, perfectly legible and nearly every word is spelled correct. We will reproduce part of the letter written to his sister, my wife’s mother, before she was married. Her name was Elizabeth Hamblin. The letter reads in part thus: "Dear Sister, I gladly embrace this opportunity to write a few lines in return and must acknowledge that I have not written sooner but I hope the past will be forgotten, and I must inform, you that we are enjoying reasonable health at this time, for which we feel to thank God for his mercies and we hope that these few lines may find. you all enjoying the same blessing. We had a fine daughter born on the 10 of September (1844) and we call her name Susan Emily and we have a little son that will be three years old next June the 10th day, and I suppose you have heard that we lost our first little son which would have been five years old the 7th of July next. But we hope by the help of the good Lord to meet him in that world of bliss where we shall part no more. I would say to you, my dear sister, that this world is a place of disappointment and troubles, but I trust that you will take the last will of our Savior for the man of your council for I know he is able to give you better advice than I can give you. I would be glad to see you and so would Eliza Jane and we both would be glad you would come back to this country and live with us. I would pay your expenses back here if you would come. John Handcock brought me the present of that pair of socks (wool) you sent me and I intend to keep them to remember you while I live and when I leave this world I want them put on my feet and buried with them. Those little beads you sent comes in play very well, for we shall keep them until our little daughter gets old enough to wear them and to know that her aunt sent them to her. I believe I forgot to tell you what my little sons name was-his name is George Washington and our little son that died was named Thomas Jefferson." The letter was folded together and sealed with an old fashioned sealing wafer and addressed In the following words.

Mr. James D. Jones
Missouri, Decatur County
Rock Bridge Post Office

It is evident that Ozark County was known then as Decatur County. The letter was not enclosed in an envelope. The postage on the letter is marked 25 cts.

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