McMinn County Tennessee

Dear Mother's Property and Little "Ways and Means"
or Death in Kingston, Death in Athens ~ 1844
Copyright © 1997, Frederick Smoot. All Rights Reserved.

McMinn 1,
Orange circular postmark: Athens Te and manuscript date: July 7, and manuscript rate: 25

Addressee: Jacob R. Moore Esq., Danville, Hendricks Co., Indiana

Athens Tenne. 5 July 1844

Dear Jacob

I was not angry or offended dear bother on the reception of your letter, I was very much rejoiced, but that I was some what surprised I must acknowledge. It seems we both were waiting, and consider the other in arrears one or two letters. I was strongly impressed that I had written you twice at least without Receiving any answer, and like yourself had gone to the post office so often only to leave disappointed that I truly began to dispare of ever obtaining again another letter from you. As to the temper evinced in my two last letters, I am sorry to find that you have been so much mistaken, I hope nor wish ever to see that day when I shall be capable of indulging a spirit of anger or harboring One bad feeling toward a brother.
The property belonging to Mother in her life time, I had sold at public sale on a credit of twelve months. It brought about one hundred and forty five dollars and of that amt, I have not yet collected more than 25$ or 30$. I am doubtful none will be collected. All the expense incurred from the time of Mothers removal to this place till her death was paid out of my own money and taking all the circumstances of the removal into consideration, her sickness, visit to the spring, Physicians bills, etc, etc, you are aware necessity causes the outlay of no inconsiderable sum. Docs. Parshall & taylors bills were nearly fifty dolls. Not taking into account then the ordinary expenses of the family I have but little idea that what I will obtain by the sale of the property will reimburse me for the money I have paid out.
I do not wish you Jacob to understand me now as complaining of what I have done or that I do so boastingly. I regret I was not able to do greatly more than I did, though I know not that more could have been done than was. I grudge nothing which I have done, not a dollar that I have expended on account of dear Mother. But you wish to know as it certainly was your privilege. And I have been particular in order to give you the full history concerning the disposition of the property.
I forgot wether I have informed you of the payment of the following notes by me, held against you by individuals in Kingston, viz, a note payable to Doc. Jordan but assigned to Welcker for 35$, one to McEwen & Gillispie $27.73 . . . Nov 9 1839, one of the same date to Geo L. Gillespie for 17.46. One to Major Parris for $20 but having a credit of $5 Amounting in all principal & int. to $105.99 at the time I settled with them which was some time ago.
I have paid out so much money though the amt. be small - I have but little left. You complain of Thomas, he is a careless boy, he scarcely even writes to me and when he does his letters are generally made up of apologies for his neglect, and promises to do better in the future. I have written to him repeatedly concerning the property in Kingston, but what has been done with the rents I am not able to say. The fact is the house has never been rented, I expect, to any person from whom the money could be made And I think it quite probable he has never received a dollar on account of the rent. Maj. McEwen was here a few weeks since he says the best property in Kingston cannot be rented for $50 per Annum.
The times are still very hard in this country and I know not when they are going to amend. We thought in the spring business would commence to revive and it did apparently but it was of momentary duration. Times are now as hard or harder & business more dull than I ever know before. The prospect at present of this being an excellent season for all kinds of crops is very flattering, the present season too is from 2 to 4 weeks earlier than usual. Some have been using roasting ears for two weeks. Notwithstanding the great abundance of produce, there is no market for it. Wheat is worth 25 @ 37½ per bu. Corn (old) delivered 16½. The new crop if as good as prospects now indicate 00 pr bu. Bacon 4 @ 5 pr lb.
Politics are generally quite warm through Tenness. The Whigs apprehend that the greatest battle in this contest is to be fought in this state. Democra__ using its strongest exertions, making its appeals to state pride ____ it wont do. Tennessee will vote for Clay notwithstanding little Ways and Means (J. K. P.) is a Citizen of our state. We didnt want him for governor neither do we want him for President, but we want him to stay at home & attend his practice. There is to be a great Mass meeting 1st of Next Month at Knoxville of the Whigs. I intend if I can to go.
The disease that prevails in Kingston which took off Maj. Parris & M. Patton besides many others in the neighborhood was Scarlet Fever. Kingston lost in the death of those men, two of her best Citizens. It has been more than a year since I was in Kingston. I hear from there this week Thos & Jno are both well. I fear it is going to be sickley here this Summer. Two Children have died in town this week, one of Scarlet fever, the other of hoopingcough. Uncle Bogarts two youngest children have hoopingcough. I think they are not dangerous. The rest of the family are well.
I almost forgot the most painful thing that I have to inform you since the sad event which made it painful duty to give you the intellegence of our Mothers death. It is the death of Gran Father Moore. He died sometime in last April. He had been sick about six months, his disease I suppose from what Uncle Thos wrote was rhumatic affection. I was in Blount in Aprl. Grand M. was very well. Grand F. health is feeble.
I would like much to see you all, also the those young & relations I have never had the pleasure of seeing. Try to come to Tene. & bring your family next fall. I want to see sister Eliza & not little Lewis now but big Lewis. I expect he is almost a man. Tell Sam to write to me. Did Eliza rec. my letter enclosing 5$? Write to me soon. I will send you newspapers occasionally. Give my love & regards to all. And believe me ever your affectionate brother.

Signed: W. A. Moore

It is said that Dr. Patton is courting a Miss Barrett who lives in the neighborhood -- he has been to see her several times - Miss Barrett is a sister of Jas Robinson Wife.

From the Collection of Frederick Smoot

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