PERSONAL LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS OF THE

STEWART AND BARNES FAMILIES
1813 1931


Barnes Family Letters
1890


Paint Rock, Texas
Sept 16, 1890

My Very Dear Sister:

          If you knew the difficulty I encounter in an effort to write you a long letter you would never feel that I am indifferent. You can easily write me a long letter as I know nearly everybody back there and am glad to read any happenings that may take place, but as you are acquainted with no one here you could not read with active interest the marriages, death, removals, etc that occur here. This letter leaves us all well. Anna will be confined early in October. My two boys are spelling. Van can pronounce common words.

          I never craved riches as I do now, because I am not willing to send my children to school. A long experience with children in the school room has convinced me that the permanent colorings of moral character are absorbed in early childhood, and as so few parents teach their children that rigid morality that could be made a safeguard for life. I regret having to subject my boys to the uncared for offspring of the rabble as associates during the tenderest and most impressible period of their young lives. If I were able I'd have a governess and Van and Dan should never keep bad company. I shall not send them to school as long as home teaching can be prosecuted with any reasonable success. Whilst I am a democrat in politics, a democracy as a social theory is nothing short of dynamite to moral nature.

          America needs a caste as it prevails under monarchies. Social democracy has long been a polluting snare to American character. It is an outrage for refined and moral families to be compelled to permit their children to be herded in the same schools with children whose hearthstone is but a nursery of purely animal instincts. This is a (fatally, I fear) crippling theory and practice poisoning social, moral, intellectural, and industrial life. The gradation of the human race cannot be wisely ignored. I have vast prospects here, but you know how caprecious prospects are. If I succeed in an undertaking I am quitely but vigorously pushing, I will be able before long to aid you in your struggles to make a living. This is the healthist locality I ever saw. The people too are generous and easily got along with, but to tell the truth, I don't like it here and yet I can't tell my reasons. I was too many years a denizen of the forest to like the nakedness of this section.

          Tell Lou to push her studies - an education is a solace, it gives comfort in profounder directions than merely assisting us to feed and clothe ourselves.

          The reason I write to you instead of Barbara is because I don't know whether she is at you house or Williamsburg. Give my love to all the children and write soon to your devoted brother

John





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