Cholera in Memphis Tennessee
Shelby County Tennessee
~ 1849 ~

© 1997, Frederick Smoot. All Rights Reserved.

Manuscript postmark:
       Morning Sun Te
Manuscript date:
       June 2nd 1849
Manuscript rate:
       Saml Allen, Esq.
       Diana Mills P. O.
       Buckingham Cty, Va
Mt Pleasant, Shelby Cty Ten Jun 29th, 49
Dear Cousin
       I am again seated pen in hand for the purpose of writing you a few lines, as it has been some time since I have written to you, notwithstanding it appears that I have written to you since the receipt of yours, so I will only say that yours for only one has come to hand. - In the first place we are all well at preasant notwithstanding most of us have been unwell. Cousin Jemmy has just come in from visits some of the neighbors -
       Uncle Robt is at work upon a rat trap, Aunt Kittie is making a Blackberry Pie, Little Jonney is playing upon the floor, Jemmey has gone to school and you humble servant seated as above ---
       You thus have the outlines of our several occupations, but perhaps you dont know who Little Jonney is. He is Uncle Suttons youngest child - the one Aunt Coth has taken. I will here state that we have had nothing directly from Uncle Sutton since his arrival in California but have heard from him several times indirectly - The last accounts were that he had arrived at the diggins, and that the First week he and two other Gentlemen from New Orleans realized $6,000 being $2,000 each. This report is well authenticated and there is but little or no doubt about the accuracy of the report, he wrote to his agent in New Orleans. His Negroes were brought up to Memphis at the same time of his Child and in less than ten days three died. I have not heard from there now for several days - at the last account the Cholera was raging to a fearful extent, upwards of Nine Thousand have left and died together. Uncle Jack was in the neighborhood a few days ago trying to get a location near the Nashoba Springs for himself and a number of other families during the Epidemic - We were to have heard from him the next day but not a word has reached us since. I fear he or a portion of his family have been taken off by that fearful disease. I had a letter yesterday, he stands his ground, while kindreds are dying around him, he could tell nothing concerning Uncle Jacks family. Such times were never seen. None are exempt. Young Men and Ladies in the very bloom of health perhapse in on hour are no more. Business is almost entirely suspended. Nor can you see a face that looks bright, nor an Eye looks drye - As yet we have had no case of true Cholera in the Country only those who contract it in Memphis or some where on the river --- to the reverse - there is but little sickness just at this time for two days I have not had a call --- But enough of the Cholera &c.
       Cousin Jemmey Says he just wishes you could [see] his corn, it is higher than his head when on his horse, he dont mean just a small patch, but all his crop. The Cotton Crop is likewise very promising and is blooming out very prettily. Aunt Kitty says She is smaller than you ever saw her. She desires to be remembered by all the family, so says Uncle Robt. And Cos. Jemmey __ You wishes you to know if there was any thing in the way of instruction I might want to give you to write to you. I am satisfied with any thing you will do, only adding that you will please take in an order which I gave Charles Sanders upon the Father for some $10.00 or $20. Dollars as it appears he cannot get his money - write me word if there is any probability of setting the Est. of my Uncles, and whether there will be any thing more comeing to me, what has become of his Negroes?
       Tell Cousin John to come out one of these mornings and we will take a fox hunt, they are very plentiful - you may see them most any time when you have no gun --- --- write to me soon giving my love to all the family and relations --- tell Cousin Sallie W that her namesake has given me Thunder if you call No B any thing. Cousin Jack Winfess family were well at last accounts, which do not date very far back. I have not seen Calvin for several days - he is well --- Again write
Yours affectionately
W H Chambers

From the Collection of Frederick Smoot

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