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Title:[Letter] 1842 Aug. 6 [to] Mrs. William R. Caswell, Elizabethton, Tenn. / William R. Caswell : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Caswell, William R.

This work is the property of the McClung Historical Collection, Knox County Public Library, Knoxville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Manager of the McClung Historical Collection, 500 West Church Avenue, Knoxville, TN, 37902-2505. (865) 215-8801.

Date: August 6, 1842
Extent: 4p
Summary:This document is a letter dated August 8, 1842 from William R. Caswell to his wife. Caswell writes about his travels through East Tennessee and about their financial woes.
Collection:William R. Caswell Papers
Box:MS-18, b1

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Elizabethton 6th August 1842
My Dear Wife

It is the best kind of Philosophy to derive consolation from every thing [everything] we can— I draw this consolation from your letter which only received last night, that your health is no worse, but perhaps some better, inasmuch as your Ma, has left you, and from the fact that you do not say one word about it— the very thing which I looked for in the letter with most anxiety, for having left you as I did in such feeble health I have felt the greatest solicitude on that account, and in my lonely rides, I often remember how hearty and what rosy health you had in our 'bridal days', and days of our courtship, for many of the scenes I've past since I left home, were scenens which in those days we've looked upon togather [together] and that health has faded in my arms— You have shared my troubles and cares— as well as my hopes [added: & my] of anticipated joys— And believe my dear wife, you are dearer to me to-day than ever you have been in brightest days of glowing health & promising prosperity—

Your letter has caused me much anxiety about the debt to Wallace for which I am security, I am very glad you wrote exactly such a letter as you did to Mr. McCulloch —he owes me the money, and now is the time for him to pay it, and I think from your letter to him, he will try and do so. If he does not, I cannot but believe that Wallace will wait until the meeting of the November Court (I mean the Bankrupt Court) by which time I think I shall have made & received money enough to pay the balance of the debt— I think I cannot be mistaken in the calculation that I shall make $1000.— by November— and the profits of my office will not stop there for I have heard of a good many others who are filing their petitions, and the times I believe will not improve & if not, they must make a great many Bankrupts.

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I am now very much in the notion of quitting the tavern keeping if we could do so— But there are two great difficulties in the way of our doing so— Humes & co [company] would not let us off, & it would be a hard matter to find any body who would take it off our hands; besides what better business could we engage in? I might possibly do well at the law, but it would be uncertain; altho' [although] my friends all advise me to resume the practise [practice] of the law and I have it in contemplation to do so.

But I must give you a little of my history lately— I went from Greeneville to Allen Gillespie's —was very kindly treated— the old man is very low with Diabetis [Diabetes], and it is generally believed he can never recover— but he seemed to think he would be well in a month or two. he did not swear any whilst I was there, and it appears very strange for to hear him talk and not to swear— his Patsy, has married a very clever man I am told— He has a daughter just grown Sarah who is tolerable pretty, she had a beau when I was there, a brother of Brownlows' — I stoped [stopped] at Chesters' tavern & was shewn [shown] into my old room, and well attended to—spent the greater part of one day in attending to the Bankrupts in Jonesboro —had a long talk with Brownlow, & was very much entertained by him— met Mary Taylor, who is going to the Academy there—the academy is in a very prosperous— condition — The night I left Jonesboro' I stayed all night with Dr. Humphrey who used to be in partnership with Landon Carter — He has applied to become a Bankrupt and was very polite— indeed the Bankrupts are all polite— the next night at Hodges on Watauga, & the next day after travelling over a very mountainous region, I reachd [reached] your Aunt Mary's late in the Afternoon, found her and Nat at home she has got the dining room & kitchen part of her old house finished, & very well done too— she occupies the dining room as her bedroom & [added: has] beds in the kitchen for company her kitchen at present is in the Cellar— she seems to be very comfortable

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Next day— by Alfred Taylors to L. Swingle's —thence by O'Briens — to Berry's yesterday I started to Johnson County by daylight, & went 7 miles to see Murphy (father of Mrs. Atkin's son-in-law.) & back to Berry's for breakfast—when I had finished breakfast and was ready to ride— Genl. [General] Carter and George up, on their way to Roans creek & I had their company nearly to town, where I turned off the road to see some Bankrupts,— got to Landons just as they were eating supper— his family are all well— his wife looks as well fully as ever she did, and has three very fine children— all look so well & comfortable you would never think of that horn, or of their being Bankrupts— I have made Landon & Carrick Nelson , both very liberal allowance's, I fear more than I ought— Tom Nelson & his wife are at Carricks, she is very much like she used to look, is fatter than she ever was— but I forgot to say I came from Landons by C. Nelsons to Mr. Brewers , where I found they had all gone to a temperance meeting— I went immediately to the post office, where I got your letter, & that has put me to studying ever since about our money matters— And your Uncle Wm. [william] has put me in some hopes that I may get thro [through] with my difficulties, by telling me that he has paid twenty one thousand dollars as security— He has been in Johnson County working like a negro at his furnace, & says that this winter & next spring he will if he has good luck, get thro' [through] his difficulties— Elizabeth I think he drinks to hard. — Uncle George seems very much like the same old fellow you saw him last, qui[added: e]t, good clever fellow— To-morrow I shall go into Sullivan, and unless I have more difficulty & delay there than I expect, I shall get to the Polk barbecue next thursday and to your Ma's on friday 12th. A letter by next Thursday (11th.) mail will reach me at Russelvill [Russelville] — where I hope to hear from you— if you cannot write till saturday 13th. direct to Rutledge—Kiss the children, & I want to see them very much as well as you my dear wife


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Elizabethton Ten [Tennessee] August 8th Mrs. Wm. R. [William Richard] Caswell
Knoxville Ten [Tennessee]
[added: 12 1/2][added: My Dear wife it seems to be a relief to me to unburthen [unburden] & unbosom my troubles to you, & I feel as if you took them half off my [my] mind— and share them with me— And I have no pleasure that I do not wish you to partake of— It is getting dark— & I must bid you farewell for the present ]Your affectionate husband
Wm R [William Richard]Caswell
[added: I think it would be best to give Wallace the check which Mr. McCullock sent, & let Mr. Hill endorse my name upon it— but [added: do] whatever brozier or Humes or Capt [Captain]Williams advise— tho' [though] I cannot see the advantage of holding up the check—they may however see more than I can at present — Tell Bob Hill to collect from those who owe me there, whenever he needs money—][added: Mary Taylor —daughter of Mrs. Mary C. Taylor was struck by lightning and killed last night at the camp meeting 7 miles above Jonesboro — A young man named Miller was also killed at the same time— they were in a][added: tent, with several others, who were more or less hurt, but it is believed the others will recover 8th August 1842]
Wm R. [William Richard]Caswell
[added: WRC [William Richard Caswell] to ECC [Elizabeth C. Caswell]]

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