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ATKINSON HARRIS LETTER

This letter was contributed by Marilyn Dunnahoo McLeod . It was written in 1850 by Samuel Washington Atkinson and his wife Nancy Jordan Atkinson of Pontotoc County to Mr. & Mrs. Sidon Harris of Ripley, Lauderdale County, Tennessee . It has been transcribed just as it was written. It opens a window, so to speak, on life in 1850 and also mentions several surnames that people may be researching. The Rufe or Rufus in the letter is Rufus P. Dunnahoo, Marilyn's great grandfather who married Jane Catherine Atkinson in 1843 in Pontotoc.


New Albany, Mississippi
Pontotoc County
January 13, 1850 A.D.

Dear Children:

I received yours of 26th December 1849, late yesterday evening and was glad to hear from you and to hear that you had went on so well. You requested me to write you and to write how things are going on etc. Well, in the first place our health is tolerable good and things in general are going on very much like they were when you left.

Porter has moved to the widow Blackwell's to oversee for her this year for the promise of $200.00. He has shipped four bags of cotton and has about three bags now in the patch, whether it will ever be picked out or not is uncertain. Rufus has moved here and occupies the House Porter lived in last year and expects to tend my clear land. Your wheat that you saved did not come up well. There is not more than 1/4 of a good stand on the ground, and Snider says Dam it all.

The widow over the creek and her girls are going to the Devil--if reports be true of it--about like the Devil wants them to do. Thompson Metton and Sally Bardin got married. Charles Cornelius Samuel Carson is our Circuit Preacher. Laton Myers sold his land to John Reed for two horse wagon and eighty dollar mare and a note for thirty-five dollars and moved on it.

The four hogs you sold to Porter weighed over eleven hundred, the black one was the largest; them Rufus bought weighed 241 lbs. meat, the other 12 hogs only averaged about 135 each--I have swapped off Cricket and gave a hog to boot and got a Bully horse from Bill Tickle. The Reeds and Culwells stood up to the rock like men and went to Pontotoc and arranged the land matter satisfactory. Barton and Allen Jones has not paid Rufus yet. I have paid some of my debts and some are still unpaid. The corn you left, after studying the thing over, I concluded that the $2.00 you paid to Mrs. Baker benefited her as much as the cow benefited you and that I would sell the corn and send you the money when I could consequently Rufus sold his corn and took what you left which he will pay you for when convenient. Your cay and bridle you left will be taken care of till we meet in Texas or are ordered to dispose of them for your benefit.

I have received a letter recently from cousin Thomas J. King which informed me that his brother married old George Patton's daughter Mary while him and his brother was on a visit to Georgia. I have also recently received a letter from my nephew Eli Barfield informing me of the death of Sister Martha Barfield. Harper sent and got the Spinning wheel and a few days ago Rufus saw him and he would not allow but $2.00 for said wheel. Dr. Willson bought Bardius Tom for $1010.00. Mr. Stacks from Alabama has been here and looked at my land, liked well and would have given me my price if he had been prepared but I would not sell for nothing but cash, he said he would be out here next summer and buy it unless I sold before he came and if I sell I am bound for Texas or the good world or both together.

Tell Washington and Henry Clay and Sis and Tom that Uncle Rufus has made a little wagon for John to haul chips and he has fine fun with it. Nancy Jane Dunnahoo says she don't want to see Uncle Harris any more till we all got to Heaven because he carried away Aunt Amanda and the children. You wished to Know what pork could be sold and the demand for it. Pork never has been as plenty since I have been here and every one that wanted to buy has it shoved at them from three and a half down to two and one half cash, credit or any way they liked. I have not heard from John since you left. Write to us soon and don't forget to hold out and hold on all hands.

 S. W. and Nancy Atkinson January 18th 1850 A.D.

Submitted by: Marilyn Dunnahoo McLeod


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