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Hamilton

(1575 - 1618)

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Drury Hamilton

 
 

Born: 1802, Lincoln/Catawba County, NC
Died:  02 Mar 1889, Catawba County, NC

 

"Learning is the rich man's ornament and the poor man's riches", Drury Hamilton, May 3, 1853

 

                                     
 

Drury Hamilton was born about 1802 in Catawba County, NC.  He was the son of Reuben Hamilton and Sarah "Sally" Collier.

 
 

 

Children of Reuben Hamilton and Sarah "Sally" Collier
Name Birth Date Death Date Spouse
Drury Hamilton 1802 02 Mar 1889 1) Elizabeth Bridges
2) Mary "Polly" Little
Thomas Jefferson Hamilton 1805 Bef. Oct 1883 Delphia R. Blakely
Margaret Hamilton      
Ninian Hamilton      
Sarah "Sally" Hamilton   15 Oct 1817  
Elizabeth "Betsy" Hamilton 17 Aug 1815 Bef. 25 Sep 1860 Andrew Yount
Reuben Hamilton, Jr. 1819 Bef. 01 Feb 1877  
Rebecca Hamilton 1820 13 Sep 1846 James Perkins
James W. Hamilton 16 Apr 1821 28 Nov 1853 Lavina L. Law
Nancy Hamilton 22 Aug 1823 Aft. Mar 1849 (Never Married)
 
 

Drury married Elizabeth Bridges on 14 May 1825 in Lincoln County, NC.  His father, Reuben, was his bondsman.  Drury was a school teacher for a period of time, all the while maintaining his farm.  Their marriage produced one child.  Elizabeth died 11 Nov 1827.

 
 
Children of Drury Hamilton & Elizabeth Bridges
Name Birth Date Death Date Spouse
Jane "Jincy" Elizabeth Hamilton Abt. 1827   Lawson H. Bynum
 
 
 
After Elizabeth's death in 1827, Drury married Mary "Polly" Little on 29 Jul 1829 in Lincoln/Catawba County.  Lewis Little was their bondsman.  Their marriage produced four children.
 
 
Children of Drury Hamilton & Mary "Polly" Little
Name Birth Date Death Date Spouse
Sidney Lewis Hamilton 15 Jul 1830 1912 Rosanna (Unknown)
Cynthia Almena Keener
Catherine C. Hamilton 1832 08 Jun 1876 James Pinckney Setzer
Sarah Julina Hamilton 1833   Calvin Patterson
Miles R. Hamilton 25 Apr 1834 02 Jul 1863 (Killed at Gettysburg)
 
 
 

The 1830 Catawba County Census shows that four people living on the Drury Hamilton family home.  Those living in the Hamilton home would have been, Drury, his 2nd wife, Mary, Drury's daughter by his 1st wife Elizabeth Bridges, "Jincy", and Drury and Mary's son, Sidney.  A nearby neighbor was widower Thomas Loftin, age 32, with his two young children.

 

1830 Catawba County Census

 
Name Males Females
Under 5 20 - 29 30 - 39 Under 5 6 - 9 20 - 29
Drury Hamilton 1 1     1 1
Thomas Hamilton 1   1 1    
 
 
 

The 1840 Catawba County Census shows six living on the Hamilton farm: Drury, Mary, Sidney, Catherine, Julina and Miles.

 

1840 Catawba County Census

 
Name Males Females
5 - 9 10 - 14 30 - 39 5 - 9 30 - 39
Drury Hamilton 1 1 1 2 1
 
 
 
 

The 1850 Catawba Census lists Drury's age as 47 and Mary as 50.  Their three youngest children, Catherine, Julia and Miles, were still living at home.  There was no Real Estate Value listed for Drury, but the Census list Miles, age 16, as owning $500 worth of Real Estate.  This could have been correct, but more than likely the $500 was the estimated value of Drury's Real Estate.

 

1850 Catawba County Census

 
Name Age Sex Occupation Real Estate
Value
Birth School
this Year
Drury Hamilton 47 M Farmer   Catawba  
Mary Hamilton 50 F     Rowan  
Catharine  " 18 F     Catawba  
Miles   " 16 M Farmer $500 "  
Julia Ann 17 F     "  
 
 
 
 

By 1860, the Catawba County Census lists Drury's Real Estate Value as $1500 and shows him with a Personal Estate Value of $500.  Sidney's wife, Rosanna, had died, so he and his two sons, Lewis (age 7) and John (age 5) had moved in with his ageing parents for a short period of time.

 

1860 Catawba County Census

 
Name Age Sex Occupation Real Estate
Value
Personal Estate
Value
Birth
First Last
Drury Hamilton 57 M Farmer $1500 $600 NC
Mary  " 60 F       "
Sidney  " 30 M Farm Laborer     "
Catherine " 28 F       "
Julia  " 27 F       "
Lewis  " 7 M       "
John " 5 M       "
 
 
 

In addition to his own children, Drury raised his two oldest grandsons, John Washington Hamilton and Lewis William Hamilton.  After the death of their mother, Rosanna, their father, Sidney Hamilton, remarried, Cynthia Alamena Keener, and took the family to Missouri.  John and Lewis went with them but returned to live with Drury.

 
  John Washington Hamilton married Mary Jane Patterson.  She was the daughter of Calvin Patterson.   
     
 

Children of John Washington Hamilton and Mary Jane Patterson

Name Birth Date Death Date Spouse
Bessie Hamilton     Charles K. Edwards
Junis S. Hamilton     Alfred Monroe Luta
Georgia Hamilton     Henry Forney Jones)
Marvin Luther Hamilton     1st, Mary Mae Arndt
2nd, Nancy Woodie
John Garland Hamilton     Ada Johnson
Ernest Hamilton     Annie Mae Harwell
Connie Hamilton     Walter Sigmon
 James Reuben Hamilton   28 Mar 1911
Coast Guard
 
Huston Hamilton   Died at Age 2  
 
     
  Lewis William Hamilton married Mary Elizabeth Fish.   
     
 

Children of Lewis William Hamilton and Mary Elizabeth Fish

Name Birth Date Death Date Spouse
Sarah Minnie Hamilton      
Addie Hamilton      
Mark Hamilton      
Pink O. Hamilton      
Carolyn Hamilton      
William Preston Hamilton      
 Bryson Edgar Hamilton      
Thomas Hamilton      
       
 
 
 
Drury owned property in Catawba County (previously Lincoln County) and was hired by the State of North Caroling to divide the county.  For two years, he surveyed and made maps. 
 
On 07 Aug 1869, Drury was sworn in as the First County Commissioner of Catawba County.  He was also involved in the origins of the Balls Creek Campground.
 
 
 

Mary died around 1869.  Julina married Calvin Patterson on 20 Dec 1876 and they were living with Drury on the family farm.  Grandson John Hamilton and his family were living on the nearest farm.

 

1880 Catawba County Census

 
Name Race Sex Age Relation S/M/W Relation Maimed/
Crippled
Birth
Last First
Hamilton Drury W M 79 Head W Farmer   NC
Patterson Calvin W M 58 Son-In-Law M Farming   NC
Patterson Julina W F 47 Daughter M Keeping House X NC
                  NC
Hamilton John W W M 25 Head M Farmer   NC
------- Jennie W F 27 Wife M At Home   NC
------- Bessie P. W F 2 Daughter S     NC
------- Julia S. W F 6/12 Daughter S     NC
 
 
 
Drury died on 02 March 1889 in Catawba County and was buried in the Providence Memorial Cemetery.
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

The following is a series of letters transcribed by Mildred Skelly and Margaret Gaston in the 1960's and 1970's and added to by Richard Roberts in the 1990's and 2000's as additional letters became available. No changes were made to the spelling or grammar, but paragraphing was added to make reading easier.

 

Letter # 1

 
Letter Dated: January 4, 1828
From: Drury Hamilton  (age 26)
Living In: Willow Grove, NC
To: Archibald Hamilton II (Uncle) (age 43)
Living In: State of Indiana, Washington County, Salem Post Office
 

Dearly beloved and highly esteemed friends, one and all -

     By the blessings of a kind providence I am now taking my pen in hand to inform you that we are all in reasonable health at present, for which we ought to be truly thankful to the giver of good - hoping these lines may find you all in the same like condition of health.

     It is with feelings which my tongue cannot describe that I have in the first place to inform you of the disolution (dissolution) of my Dear wife who departed this life on Wednesday, the 14th day of November last, after a painful illness of near three months.  She was never about no more after you left this country.  I applied to Doctor Thomas the day that you left this country - he attended on her once or twice a week as long as she lived, but then was her appointed time by the Load in which case no human aid will avail, for the Lord has said dust we are and to dust we shall return again.

     I am left to lead a lonesome life deprived of my nearest and dearest friend, which is a loss that none but heaven can repair.  My dear friends, although I am deprived of the enjoyment of my wife's company, and many more of my friends whom I constantly bear in remembrance, yet I hope by the blessing of God we all shall meet above where parting will be no more - where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.  God grant that it may be the happy lot of each of us to meet at Thy right hand where sorrow shall flee away and parting be no more.

     Dear friends, I will now try to inform you something about the times in this country although my mind is so much confused that I can hardly recollect anything at this time.  I will in the first place inform you of my own circumstances. I have moved back to my fathers again and am keeping school at this time.  I expect to keep until spring and then I intend to tend my plantation next summer if nothing happens.  My mother has my little child - it is well and hearty - we call its name Jiney
(Jincy) Elizabeth. It is small of its age, tho (though) very pert and lively.

     My friend I will now inform you of our winter in this country - it has been the warmest that I ever saw. There has been no cold weather worth mentioning. Wheat at this time looks better than it did last spring in April.

     I will now in the last place inform you that Uncle Ninian Hamilton received a letter from on the 10th day of December last - we were all truly glad to hear of your safe arrival at home, but sorry to hear of the accident that your little son met with.

    My very Dear friends one and all, I have nothing more particular to write to you at present.

     I request you write to me immediately and let me know how you are all coming on. Be pleased to direct your letter to the Willow Grove post office, so no more at present, but remaining your most affectionate and loving friend until death.

 
 

DruryHamilton
 

 
 
 

Letter # 2

 
Letter Dated: February 26, 1832
From: Drury Hamilton (age 30)
Living In: Willow Grove, NC
To: Archibald Hamilton II (Uncle) (age 47)
Living In: State of Indiana, Washington County, Salem Post Office
 

Dear friends and relations -

     With great respect to you all, I now gladly embrace the offered opportunity of writing a few lines to you informing you that we are all on the land amongst the living, and in common health for which we ought to render thanks to the giver of all good.

     I will inform you, in the first place, that your friends are all enjoying good health at this time as far as I know - also your old mother-in-law and all your wife's kinfolks are in good health as far as comes within my knowledge.

     I will inform you that Mr. John Bridges returned home on New Year's night in company with his son-in-law, Abram Stine and family - they were all in good health but looked very much weatherbeaten.  They are now living on a small place formerly owned by Lindsey Mueller near George Nuels.  There is only 4 or 5 acres of cleared land - what occupation he will follow I am not able to say.  I am not able to comment much on the practice of moving to that country one fall and back to this the next. I will only remark that I believe it is a very sure way to fix a man without house or home.

     Much beloved friends I will now inform you that Brother Jefferson has been working at the tanner trade for nearly four years.  He served two years as a printice
(apprentice) and has been working journey work since he went to Salem (Winston Selen, NC) in Stokes County last September, and is working there now. We expect him home this spring to set up a tanyard of his own. He has wrote two letters to us since he went there by which we learn that old Horatio Hamilton is alive, and well - his wife died about 6 years ago, and Elizabeth Campbell, his wife's niece, has been keeping house for him since. Jefferson wrote that he was at the old man's corn shucking and said he had raised 40 wagon loads.  His three daughters are all living - one married to Mr. John Holland and is living in Salem - one married to a Mr. Fisher, and the other to a Mr. Petticoat - she is left a widow.  He wrote they are all making out very well.  He also wrote that Samuel Hamilton's oldest daughter was married since he went there. He was at the wedding. She lives with John Holland - her father and mother being dead several years ago.

     I will now inform you that James Bridges son John is gone to the state of Alabama with a Mr. Brumby.  He hired himself to go and work for 12 months for which he is to receive ninety dollars. He has wrote a letter back and appears to be much dissatisfied with his useage.

     I will now give you some account of our seasons - our last summer was very wet - the fall was very pleasant untill the 20th of November, then we had a snow and hail storm and set in very cold.  The 7th day of December we had a snow 4 inches deep which lasted till New Years and was covered by another. And on the 29th of January we had a snow 7 inches deep and we have had but few warm days since. The ground is covered with hail and the trees with ice and is raining very hard.

     In short it has been the hardest winter that I have ever seen.

     I have nothing more to write at this time - only wish to be remembered to Uncle Ninian and Aunt Margaret Hamilton to whom I send my best compliments in company with my warmest love.

     I must now come to a close, therefore let me solicit a letter from you and if you have heard anything from Uncle Thomas Hamilton please to write it - we have heard nothing from him for nearly two years. I now bid you adieu with the warmest affection.

 
 

DruryHamilton
 

 
 
 

Letter # 3

 
Letter Dated: September 28, 1834
From: Drury Hamilton (age 32)
Living In: Willow Grove, NC
To: Archibald Hamilton II (Uncle) (age 49)
Living In: State of Indiana, Washington County, Salem Post Office

 

Beloved friends -

     It is a source of great joy to me to inform you that we are all enjoying a reasonable portion of health at this time which is the greatest blessing bestowed upon the human family, for which we ought to render thanks to that almighty being from which we derive all good.

     I will inform you that all of your friends is well at this time as far as comes within my knowledge. I have a great many things that I would wish to tell you at this time but I cannot communicate all to you through the medium of a letter, therefore you must be satisfied with only a part this time. I will commence with saying something about the seasons. Our last winter was the severest winter that I ever remember seeing.  The spring was wet and cold, we had frost as late as the 17th day of May that killed our bean vines and potato tops.  Our summer has been the hottest that ever was seen in North Carolina since my remembrance and was very wet until the 20th of July - it was then dry until the last day of August, but the drouth
(drought) was not a general one. Some parts of our country was very seasonable.  Our fall this far has been very wet and still continues so as it is raining most tremendously at this time and has been ever since last evening.

     Our crops is better this year than they were last - our upland corn that was planted early is very good - late corn is light. Our wheat drops was only middling on account of the wet before harvest. Also, after wheat was out it was injured by wet. Most respected uncle, I will inform you that there was hard times and a plenty of them in this country last spring. Corn sold at from one dollar to one dollar and fifty cents per bushel and was hard to come at that price. I was lucky enough to make plenty to do me. I sold between 35 & 40 dollars worth of bacon at 12-1/2 cents per pound. We hope for better times another year as think then will be a great deal more corn made this year than last, and we have every good appearance of mast at this time, but I assure you that hogs is scarce.

    There was more hogs died in this country last winter than was ever known in one winter since I can remember.

     I will now write something about your friends - in the first place I will inform you that John Bridges, Jr. returned home the first part of June after being gone two years and eight months. He says he stayed in the state of Alabama about one year and then went to the state of Mississippi, where he stayed until he returned home. He says that the Mississippi is the most sickly place he ever saw. He was sick about one-third of his time while there.

     I will in the next place inform you that James Bridges has sold his land to his brothers Elisha and Alfred for the sum of five hundred dollars. He expects to start westwardly in about three weeks, but I am not certain where - he sometimes talks of going to the Arkansas and sometimes to the Missouri, but I am of the opinion that he will go to the Missouri as his wife wants to go where her daughter Lydia lives. I will inform you that James Bridges had a letter from Jesse Lollar and Lydia a short time ago stating that the friends in that country was all well. He also writes that he is doing very well in the world - he states that he raised eight hundred bushels of corn last season, and killed three thousand pounds of pork, and that he has built a very large fine new house with two stone chimneys and a porch on each side. I think this is very good news if it should be the truth, but it is a long lane that has no turn in it, but I will assure you that his conduct while in this country did not appear to indicate to his friends that he was a man of such high speed as all that. But, there is not many of us without room to mend, therefore, I add no more on the subject.

     Most affectionate Uncle and Aunt, I must now come to the most solemn part of my story - your old mother is no more - she departed this life on the 6th day of this present month. She still was about until a week before her departure when she got a fall and never was up any more. She had been very feeble both in body and mind, but whether the fall was the cause of her death or not I cannot tell.

     Dear Uncle, my paper is getting very scarce. I must shortly come to a close, therefore let me remind you of the promise you made to me nearly two years ago in a letter you wrote to Elisha Bridges that you would write your next letter to me. I have looked ever since for one but have seen none yet. I hope you will remember me as soon as possible. Your affectionate friend.

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 

 

 
 

Letter # 4

 
Letter Dated: February 4, 1837
From: Drury Hamilton (age 35)
Living In: Willow Grove, NC
To: Archibald Hamilton II (Uncle) (age 52)
Living In: State of Indiana, Washington County, Salem Post Office

 

Dear friends and relatives -

     I have taken my seat one time more in order to write a few lines to you to inform you that we are all in good health at present - hoping these few lines will find you all enjoying the same blessing. I will inform you that your friends is all well at present a far as comes within my knowledge.

     I will now give some account of our seasons - last summer was very wet, last fall was wet and cold and the winter this far has been almost the coldest that I ever saw. Wheat crops was only middling - corn crops in upland was good but the bottom lands was light. Produce of every kind is high - cotton is selling from 15 to 18 dollars per hundred - wheat has sold as high as one dollar and fifty cents per bushel - flour at market from 12 to 14 dollars per barrel - corn 50 cents per bushelpork from 6 to 8 dollars per hundred and as for negros there is no bounds. I have known some negro fellows to sell as high as fifteen hundred dollars cash up and no grumbling. The people are running hundreds of them off to the states of Alabama and Mississippi and if they were all gone, I should be glad.

     Dear Uncle, I have given you some account of the friends at large, I will now say something more of them individually. Your sister Rachel Sherrill was in good health about a week ago and doing well. Mason Sherrill and family is well, also Alfred Sherrill and family is in good health and doing very well. I can also inform you that Henry Lollar has sold all his negros or rather his wife's negros and the plantation that he formerly lived on, and has bought Washington Thomas's land at Thomas Ferry - for which he gave three thousand dollars. I will now say something of your friends on the other side - John Bridges and family is in good health at this time - the old man appears to take the world fair and easy. Two of his boys, Elisha and Nicholas are married to two of the widow Jones daughters - George Jones daughters. Elisha and Alfred Bridges and families are all well - they appear to be getting along in the world very well. They have bought 190 acres of land of Mr. Fry - it lies joining them - they gave five hundred dollars. James Bridges was to have been in this country last September, but he did not come and has not been heard from since. His friends are very uneasy about him for fear something has happened to him or his family.

     Dear friends I have wrote something about the most of the friends - I suppose you would not think it amiss if I should write something about myself. I would in the first place say that I have nothing to boast of but I am getting along tolerable well. I have cleared about 40 acres of land since I was married the last time. I have four very thriving children. We had a boy November 1835, but it only lived three days.

     I have three nags and cattle and hogs a plenty to do me very well. I raised a very good crop of oats last year - a tolerable good crop of wheat and a very good crop of corn, and I expect to sell 4 or 5 hundred pounds of bacon this spring. Also, I bought a surveyer's compass two years ago for 26 dollars and I have made about 70 dollars by surveying land some. I will now tell you, as I am getting scarce of paper that I received a letter from you about two years ago and was very glad to hear from you. I will say to you that this is the third letter I have wrote to you since, but have received no answer as yet. If you have not wrote I hope you will as soon as you read this letter, so I will add no more at present, but remember your affectionate friend -

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

 

Letter # 5

 

Letter Dated: June 16, 1837

From: Drury Hamilton (age 35)

Living In: Lincolnton, NC

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 48)

Living In: State of Indiana, Washington County, Salem Post Office

 

My much Esteemed friend:

     By divine providence I have been once more permitted to write a few lines to you informing you that we are all on the land amongst the living, and enjoying a reasonable portion of health at present - hoping these lines will find you all in the same state of health.

     Your friends is all well on both sides as far as I know. Our winter has been very hard - our spring late and cold, and at this time dry. Our wheat is generally thin on the ground, but appears to be well headed. Oats is short - corn small for this season of the year. I will inform you that there is a very great change taken place in the aspect of things since I wrote to Uncle Archibald last winter.

     Cotton took a very sudden fall in the market this spring and that has reduced the price of almost everything - even money is becoming a cash item - horses is down one third, and negros that was selling for double their value can scarcely be given away, but bread and meat is not down yet. Corn is selling from seventy-five cents to one dollar per bushel - bacon twelve and fifteen cents per pound.

     Flour at home four and five dollars per hundred. I sold some at market this spring at twelve dollars per barrel - cakes comes high. We have very little fruit this year - it was mostly killed with the late frost.

     I will now give you some account of our political affairs in this country - they have been verymuch changed since you left here. Our state constitution has been altered and amended - we send members to the Legislature according to the number of population. Lincoln County sends four in the commons and one in the senate. The people has the electing of the Governor, the sherriffs, the clerks of the courts, and the constables. Our Legislature is to meet once in two years - we are becoming a republican people. Our old friend, Henry W. Conner, is still going to Congress - he has no opposition this year.

Well I will now write a few lines to Aunt Margaret informing her that her friends are all well so far as I know. Your stepmother is well as common. William Bandy and family is in good health. Your sister, Elizabeth Bandy, had a fine son last fall, the only one that she has had since you left here - also two of their daughters is married. Myra was married about a year ago to Mr. Joseph Sherrill, son of Camy Sherrill, aged 17 years. Elvira was married last fall to Franklin Kirksy. You in no doubt wish to know what sort of men they are - on this part I will say but little, but I think if they were put in the balance with smart men they would be found wanting.

     You will in the next place inquire if any of your friends have died. There is but one that I know of. That is Daniel Wilfong, son of Peter Wilfong. He died last summer with the fever. I have nothing more to write to you at present, but wish to remain your friend. My wife sends her best love and good wishes to you.

     Well, my old uncle, a few more lines to you. I will inform you that I received a letter from you on the third day of June - it was dated March 10th - it must have had a long journey, but made a safe arrival. I was truly glad to hear from you all one time more and that you was all well and doing well. You wrote that you would take a newspaper from Lincolnton, called the newspaper, Lincoln Transcript. I will inform you that there is another paper called the newspaper, Lincoln Republican, printed there - it has lately been established. You can have your choice, but as you are not here to choose for yourself, I will choose for you. I will send you the Republican as I like it best. I expect to start to Lincolnton tomorrow morning to forward it to you.

     I expect you would be glad to hear about all your old neighbors and acquaintances. I would willingly write something about them all if the limit of my letter would permit, but it will not. There has a great many things happened in the neighborhood since you left here that I could tell you if I was with you, but I cannot with them all. I will record one which you can depend on being correctly true, that is concerning Ephraim Kale. He has been in a practice of going to see Sally Butler for the last three or four years, and their conduct has caused a final separation between her and her sister, Elizabeth. They have divided their land and other property. Elizabeth is living in the house where the family lived, and Sally is living in a little house that Lewis Powers built on their land. How Kale and his wife gets along I am not able to say as to my own knowledge, but the neighbors say that he has to use the rod once and a while to keep things as cool as possible at home. What I have wrote is a certain truth.

     I will now say to you that your old neighbor, John Shin, died about a year ago. The family is all dead but Prudy. She is living in Rowan. I could tell you many things more but paper and time is both growing scarce, so I must shortly close. Give my best respects to Uncle Archibald and family.

     I have been looking for a letter from him but have seen none yet. Write to me as soon as possible and let me know how you all are and if you get your newspaper. I add no more but remain you loving friend till Death. Excuse much haste and bad writing.
 

     Yours,                      

 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 
 

Letter # 6

 
Letter Dated: August 18, 1838
From: Drury Hamilton (age 36)
Living In: Lowrances Mills, NC
To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 49)
 with P.S. to Archibald Hamilton II (Uncle) (age 53)
Living In: State of Indiana, Washington County, Salem Post Office
 

Dear friends and relations

    I now embrace the present opportunity of writing a few lines to you to inform you that we are all on the land amongst the living and all in common health but my wife. She has been unwell a few days past, but is now on the mend.

     I will inform you that we have had a very severe drouth in this country, but it has not been a general one - some parts of the county and some of the adjoining counties has been tolerable seasonable, but our neighborhood has suffered very much and is still dry and no appearance of rain.

     Our upland corn is very light - we had very good wheat crops - oats tolerable, but we look for very light corn crops, and I do not expect we shall be much mistaken in our calculations.

     I will inform you that I received your letter of the 23rd of June and was more than glad to hear from you all and that you was all well which is the greatest blessing we can enjoy on this earth.

    My old friend, you wrote in your letter that you wanted to know whether I was of the old or new school - well sir, I will inform you that I belong to the old school and I will inform you that you belong to the new school. You say the government has changed - I say so too; you say you are not for pulling down one Institution and building up another - I say so too; you say the government was planned by a majority of good old Republicans - well sir, so says I; but sir, I assure you that them good old Republicans that you speak of never established any national bank nor would there ever have been such an Institution formed had the government always been ruled by such men as formed it - this you may well know if you will read the proceedings of the Convention that formed the Constitution. You will see that every state but two voted against the emission of paper money of any kind.

     I will now state to you the opinions of some of them good republicans you was pleased to refer to - I have their opinions in print now before me. General Washington says, "I hope I shall never hear any more mention of paper money in the United States, he says, I do verily believe that the greatest of foes we have in the world could not devise a more effective plan of ruining the country". Thomas Jefferson was of the same opinion and says that his hostility to banking was strengthened by every year's reflection and experience. Benjamin Franklin was equally as much opposed to the banking system as any of them - he says the most effectual plan for cheating the laborious class of mankind and fertilizing the speculators field by the sweat of the poor mans brow is the banking system. These are the opinions of them good old republicans that helped to form our system of government, but you say the government has changed - I agree with you in that it has changed it's original purity for a base plan of speculation by banking; you say your mind cannot change, you was always in favor of a national bank - well sir, all the Federalists in this country is of the same opinion and to prove the fact that they are Federalists, I will name some of them to you.

     There is Robert Burton, Lawson Henderson, Maxwell Wilson, Jacob Shuford, Isaac Lowrance, tanner, and Enos Sherrill.  These you know was some of our bluest Federalists when you lived in this county, and they still are, so they are all great bank men.  They now modestly assume the name of Whigs, but their principles is must what you might expect - that is no change at all in them.  Now my old friend I must inform you that if you say you belong to the old school that of republican, that you are one time barking up the wrong tree.  The school you belong to was formed in the year of 1816 when the United States bank was chartered by a majority of Federalists in Congress to aid the speculators.

     Well my old friend, I must quit this banking and come to a close as I wish to write a few lines to Uncle Archibald.  I will therefore say to you that I have six bee hives that I think is good for 15 gallons of honey.  If you will come over some of these evening and bring your wife and children, the way that we will kill bees and eat honey, and talk politics, will be just no bodys business but our own, and if you cannot come write us soon as possible and let me know if your faith is strong as ever.  I must now conclude by giving you my best respect and well wishes. I remain your affectionate friend until death.

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
P.S. to Archibald Hamilton II
 

Dear friends and relations:

     I write a few lines to you to let you know that your friends is all well at this time and nothing particular stirring among them.  I received a paper that you sent me - I also read a few lines from you in Uncle Ninian's letter by which I understood you wished to have a paper sent you from this county.

     I was very well pleased with the paper you sent me, but as I am taking two papers at this time it would not suit me to exchange, but I will have the paper you want sent on in a short time. You wrote to me that your mind had not changed as to politics, but you did not write what your opinion was.

     I wish you to write as possible and let me know which faith you are in the old or new - that is whether you are on the same side with Uncle Ninian or not.  I must now come to a close for the want of paper, therefore, I must conclude by giving my best love and good will - I remain your affectionate friend till death.

 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 7

 
Letter Dated: December 16, 1839
From: Drury Hamilton (age 37)
Living In: Lowrances Mills, NC
Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 50)
Living In: State of Indiana, Washington County, Salem Post Office
 

Respected Uncle and Aunt:

     It is with great pleasure that I now embrace the offered opportunity of writing a few lines to you informing you that we are all on the land among the living, and enjoying reasonable health, for which we ought to render thank to the Giver of all good, hoping at the same time that these few lines will find you and your family enjoying the same blessing.

     I will give you in the first place some account of our seasons - they was dry in general, but we had a few rains in the right time which made our corn crops very bountiful.  Wheat crops was the best ever seen in this country.  The fall was the dryest ever seen in this country.  There was not rain enough to wet the ground one inch deep from about the 20th of August until the 14th of November.

     Since then we have had rain plenty - the water courses was the lowest ever seen in this country, and more springs dried up than ever known before. The winter this far has been moderate until a few days past which has been very cold.

     I suppose you would be glad to know something of all the times and things that is going on in your native country, but this cannot be expected in one letter, therefore, you must be contented with only a part. We have plenty of everything to live on, but produce is low at market - and money scarce. I will say to you that I commenced teaching school the 18th of November for the term of four months. I have 25 scholars at $2 and fifty cents per scholar.

     I will inform you that Uncle Hamilton, Thomas Hamilton is now with us. He arrived at fathers
(Reuben Hamilton) the 23rd of November - in good health and spirits.  Uncle Thomas informs us that he left home on the 3rd of November and landed in Salem on the 16th, where he found all his relatives in good health.  Old uncle Horatio Hamilton is still alive and in good health.  Uncle Thomas talks of staying until next spring but whether he will or not I think is uncertain.  I will now inform you that Brother Ninian is gone to the State of Mississippi with Maxwell Wilson.  They started on the 15th of October - we have not heard from him since he left.  Brother Reuben is in South Carolina and has been for the last 18 months working at the house carpenter trade.  He is at this time working in Chester District.  Sister Margaret is living with Uncle Drury Collier and has been for several years past.  You will perceive that father's family is much smaller that when you left this country - he has no help but Brother James, and the old man (63) is very much broke in constitution since you saw him last.  I will inform you that Mason Sherrill's second daughter was married in October last to Mr. Sandy Tanner, son of Samuel Tanner in Iredell County. None of the rest of your relations has been married lately that I recollect of at this time. Old Aunt Rachel Sherrill is living with Henry Lollar and is in good health.  Aunt Ruanna Kale and family is all well. Brother Jefferson and wife had a son, born in March last. They now have three sons and one daughter. They talk of going to the Missouri next fall. Andrew Yount that married Sister Betsy has bought John Webbs land, for which he gave $600.00 - Webb says he is going to the Missouri. You will perhaps be at a loss to know where the land lies. I will inform you that Webb and his two sister-in-laws has their land and Webb got all the land on the side of the creek where he was living when you left this country. There is 116 acres in the tract. I will now say to Aunt Margaret that I saw William Bandy two weeks ago. He informed me that his family together with all the rest of your friends was well.

     Respected old friend, I have been looking for a letter from you for the last twelve months, but have seen none. I hope you will not delay in writing any longer. We have heard nothing from that country since last spring - Sir, write without delay and let us know what is the best and worst times among you. Give my best respects to Uncle Archibald and family, and accept for yourself and family the same. Your friend until Death.

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 

a real democratic republican

 

 

 

Letter # 8

 

Letter Dated: October 18, 1841

From: Drury Hamilton (age 39)

Living In: Lowrances Mills, NC

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 52)

Living In: State of Indiana, Washington County, Salem Post Office

 

Dear Uncle and Aunt:

     I now write a few lines to you to let you know that we are all on the land amongst the living and in tolerable health at this time.  My wife had a long spell of sickness but is well again.  She was taken the 20th of January last and was not able to do anything for five or six months - her sickness was caused by getting wet and taking a sudden cold.  But in the midst of life we are in death - this awful truth has been verified in a number of instances in our neighborhood this summer.  Many of our acquaintances has gone to their long homes since I addressed you last, I will name some - Old James Clark of Iredell County, Sally Brown, sister to Joseph Brown, Elizabeth Bridges, wife of Elisha Bridges, Jr., John Litten, son of Michael Litten, and several others - and some of our neighbors is very low at this time with the fever.  There has been more sickness in our county this season than for many years past and more deaths according to the number of cases than I ever knew.

     My old and respected friend I read a few lines that you wrote to me in the letter you sent father.  I was very glad to get a line from you because I had come to the conclusion that you had got offended with me on account of politics, but the lines removed all doubts.  It appears that you was of the same opinion about me, but I assure you it is far otherwise.  I am too much of a republican to fall out with any of my friends for opinions sake.  I wish every man to defend his own cause and I also claim the same privilege, therefore you may rest assured that my friendship to you is as strong as it ever was.

     I have nothing very particular to write at this time as father has written most of the particulars.  I have plenty of everything to live on and some to spare - that is the most I can brag about.  Respected friend, you wrote something about coming to this country and sitting toe to toe with me to eat honey - I will assure you that nothing would give me more pleasure than for my old friend to do so.  I have plenty of the article and that of the best quality - I think I have ten gallons at least - do come over and we will have a big mess.  Bring your slate and pencil with you and when we are done eating honey we will cypher a while about things in general - we will set to and add up all the promises the Whigs made before the presidential election, and this being done we will then sum up all their performances since they have come into power, and then put them in the balances and see which will be found wanting. This being done we will then take another real bait of honey and part the best of friends.

    I have no more room at this time. Write to me as soon as possible, so I now add no more - only remain your most affectionate friend until death.

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 9

 

Letter Dated: November 10, 1846

From: Drury Hamilton (age 44)

Living In: Mountain Creek, NC

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 57)

Living In: State of Indiana, Washington County, Salem Post Office

 

Dear Uncle, Aunt, and cousins:

     I once more take my pen in hand to write a few lines to you and could I write such things to you that would cause cheerfulness for you, then writing would be a cheerful task to me, but alas it is always to the reverse.  It has fallen to my lot for the two or three years past to inform you of the death of some of my friends every time I wrote, and by the will of providence it so happens again.

     Sister Rebecca
(Hamilton) Perkins (age 26) departed this life on the 13th of September last - her complaint was the fever - she was only sick a few days.  She left four children - two sons and two daughters, her oldest daughter was not permitted to stay long behind her.  She was sick when her mother died and lived nine days afterwards.  She was near eight years old and was handsome and very intelligent for a child of her hears.  James Perkins was also very sick with the fever and chills, he was not able to go to see his wife and daughter buried, but he recovered.  His mother is living with him, we have the youngest child with us ever since sister Rebecca died.  It is a girl (Nancy Perkins) - ten months old when it's mother died.  I will also inform you that one of my wife's sisters died the 10th of October last with the fever - she was sick nine days - thus you will remember that in the space of two years I have lost a brother, three sisters, a niece and a sister-in-law.  Well might the good old man Job exclaim that man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.

     I have said to you in two or three of the last letters that I wrote to you that it was the sickliest season that I had ever seen and I will have to repeat the same over again. The fever and chills has by far exceeded anything this season that has ever been seen in our country in our neighborhood. It was not so bad in some other places on Mountain Creek, and Lyles Creek there was hardly any person escaped.

     Although the number of cases of fever and chills was so great the number of deaths was few and chiefly all those that did die had the fever alone and no chills, but the people is getting better.

     I will say to you that myself and family has had the good fortune to escape we have enjoyed good health ever since I wrote to you last, and are well at this time, except I have a pain in my back which has rendered me unable to work any for several days past but is a little on the mend.

     Father and family is well.  Ephraim Kales family has all been sick except himself and his daughter Nancy and one negro. He has 15 in his family white and black, and only three escaped - several were very low but they are now on the mend.  Aunt Ruanna
(Hamilton) was very near dying but she is now in a fair way to get well again.  The friends are generally well. Aunt Rachel (Hamilton) Sherrill has moved to Alfred Sherrills.  Henry E. Lollar was married the last day of last March to Miss Eliza Nule.  I will also inform you that my daughter (Jane Elizabeth Hamilton) that I had by my first wife was married the 10th of September, 1845, to Lawson Bynum, son of John Bynum - they have a daughter.

     I will say something of our seasons.  Last winter was a very bad one we had a great deal of rain, hail, snow and ice - the spring was moderate- the forepart of the summer was uncommonly wet - the latter part seasonable - the fall very dry. The dust was not laid with rain from the 18th of August until the 12th of October. Since we have had rain plenty and the weather very calm and warm.

     The times in our country is improving a little in money matters, produce is bringing a better price at market - grain was high last spring on account of the scarcity - corn sold for 75 cents per bushel - wheat, one dollar per bushel. And bacon 10 cents per pound. It was thought last fall some people would suffer for want of bread but there was corn plenty in our country at the above rates.

     Our wheat crops this year was about half - the wet weather set in the last week in May and lasted until harvest which ruined the grain. It was also very much blown down with the wind - oats crops was the first rate and corn crops generally good unless some bottom land that was drounded out the fore part of the season. Corn is selling at 25 cents per bushel.

     My very worthy uncle, I will now offer you an apology for not writing sooner, and as everyone is willing to clear himself of blame, I will charge the most part of it to my father
(Reuben Hamilton, age 70).  Him and me has generally wrote together and I wanted to do so again, but the old man put me off from time to time, saying he was not quite ready until I began to think he would never get ready, but if you will be kind enough to forgive me for this, I will promise you to do better for the time to come. I have a great many things that I would write of if I had room but I have not.

     My father wrote something about having preaching at his house and of a good many of his neighbors joining the Church of Christ.  If I had paper enough I would give you some account of their proceedings, but I must reserve that for the next letter.  All that I can say now is Tekal Tekal, thou are weighed in the balance and found wanting.  Our neighborhood has been turned topsy-turvy for the last twelve months.  I think I might say that there is few neighborhoods on this side of Texas that can equal ourn
(ours), particular among our old friends, the Bridges. The characters of the most of them have gone to the wall.

     Write to me as soon as you receive this letter and let me know how you all are - and when I receive your letter I will give you a full history of events that has occured in our country, so I add no more, but remain your unalterable friend until death.

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 10

 

Letter Dated: April 17, 1847

From: Drury Hamilton (age 45)

Living In: Lowrances Mills, NC

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 58)

Living In: State of Indiana, Washington County, Salem Post Office

 

Dear Friends and Relations:

     Through the mercies of a kind Providence I now take my pen in hand to write a few lines to you, informing you that we are all well at this time, hoping these lines will find you all enjoying the same blessing.

     Before I proceed to give you an account of anything in particular I will say to you that I wrote to you last fall, I think about the middle of November, in which I give you a sketch of passing events in our country, also with a request that you would write to me immediately - but I have received no letter from you since, a circumstance that has led me to think that my letter got mislaid and did not reach you, or that you have wrote to me and your letter has not reached me. Under these considerations I have taken up my pen to write to you again, therefore, I will have to write nearly the same news that I wrote then.

     In the first place, I will say to you that last summer and fall was the most sickly season that I have ever seen with the fever and chills - there was several people died with fever, among them was sister Rebecca
(Hamilton) Perkins. She departed this life the 13th of September last. Also, her oldest daughter died 9 days after her. James Perkins was sick a long time, but is well again. Sister Rebecca left three children , two boys and a girl, the youngest was ten months old when she died. James is still keeping house - his mother is living with him. I had a sister-in-law to die the 14th of October, also my mother-in-law died the 9th of January last. These are all of the kinsfolks that have died since I wrote to you. There has been several of them very sick, among which was Ephraim Kales family - ten of his family had the fever and chills and some of them very severe, particular Aunt Ruanna (Hamilton). She was sick a long time but they are all well again. But here is still some people in the country that has had the chill ever since last summer and is not well yet. My family has escaped them so far.

     I will now say something of our seasons - last summer was very wet, particular the fore part - the fall was very dry - the winter and spring this far has been very changeable - a few days cold and then a few days warm - a few days clear, then rain a few days, but we had little snow and not much very hard weather.

     Our crops of wheat was not good - they were injured with the wet. Oats was first rate and corn crops very good. I have not heard of a man buying a bushel of corn this spring, therefore, I cannot give you the price. Wheat is worth 75 cents per bushel - oats 15 cents per bushel - bacon is worth 7 and 8 cents per pound. Cotton at market is worth ten dollars per hundred - that is higher than it has been for several years past. Money is some plentyer than it has been and times better - and every thing seems more prosperous than it has for several years past except religion, that appears to be at a very low ebb at this time.

     The last time that my father
(Reuben Hamilton) wrote to you he told you about having preaching at his house and about a goodly number joining the church, etc. There was between fifteen and twenty joined. Nearly all of them of the Bridges connection. They got a preacher by the name of William Ballard to come and preach to them. He moved in the house where Elisha Bridges, Jr., had lived just on the other side of the creek from where John Bridges lived - and where his widow now lives. He had a wife and four children, and was called a respectable man. When he came into the neighborhood he was a tolerable good preacher, but he had not been there long till the neighbors begun to suspect some of his conduct not to be of the kind that it should be to become the character of a good preacher. It was not long untill a talk got out that him and the widow Bridges daughters was too thick, not only her daughter - but her daughters three - the widow, Emaline (Bridges) Stine, Mary Bridges, and Margaret Bridges.

     When the news came to their ears, what the neighbors thought, they made the loudest fuss that ever was heard on Ball's Creek. I cannot give you a minute account of everything in one letter for I think it would take at least ten quires
(a quire is 24 sheets) to write one fourth part that has past, therefore, I will only say that Mary Bridges swore a child to him last summer - it was born the 1st day of November last - a daughter. The widow Stine and .Elisha Bridges, junior, and their sister Margaret, moved to the state of Alabama last fall and Margaret Bridges had a child last winter by this same Preacher Ballard, and some more of the connection that is still in this country is not in much better credit than the two that had their children.

     My dear old Uncle, I have a great many things that I should like to write if I had room, but I must come to a close. I wish you to write to me if you have not written, and if you have, write again. We have not heard from you since fall a year ago. I have went and sent to the post office every week for several months past, but all in vain. Give my best respects to all my relations in that country, and accept the same for yourself and Aunt Margaret
(Mary Margaret Wilfong Hamilton) and all my dear little cousins - all adieu. Yours respectfully.

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 11

 

Letter Dated: March 3, 1849

From: Drury Hamilton (age 47)

Living In: Lowrances Mills, NC

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 60)

Living In: Salem P. O., Indiana

 

Dear Uncle and Aunt:

     I take my pen in hand to write a few lines to you to let that I am still on the land among the living, and in good health for which I feel very grateful to Him who gives all good things, and hope these lines find you enjoying the same blessings. I received your letter this morning and read it with great satisfaction to hear from you all another time and also to hear the good tidings of peace and plenty and good health among you. You say that I must make some good excuse for not writing sooner - I hardly think you have much room for complaint unless you had been more punctual to write yourself, but be that as it may, I will say no more about it at this time, but will render you my excuse as it is. I wrote you two letters some six months ago - the first one I got no answer to date - the last one I wrote, if I mistake not, in the spring of 1847. I received a letter from you in December
(1847) following, which had been wrote in June but not mailed until the 17th of November, in which you informed me that you had been to Tennessee* and found it a very good country, from which I drew the inference that you intended to move there immediately - that is the reason that I did not write. I knew if I directed it to Salem, Indiana, and you should be gone that you would not get it and if you were gone to Tennessee I did not know where to direct a letter.

     Upon them terms I concluded to wait until I heard from you again as I knew you was one letter in my debt, but as to anything wrong between us, I will assure you my old Uncle there is nothing on my part, far from it. I would be so thankful to see the members of your family. I can think of nothing better and hope to have the pleasure of seeing you one more time. I hope you will receive my excuse and pardon my omission for not writing sooner.

     I will now give you some account of the times in our country - we have peace and plenty - crops last year was generally good. I raised a good crop of oats - a tolerable good crop of wheat and a very good crop of corn - so that we have nothing to complain of in the way of eatables. Corn is selling from 25 to 33 1/3 cents per bushel - wheat 75 cents per bushel - pork 3 and 4 cents per pound - and other things in proportion, but we buy our salt, sugar, and coffee equally as low as we sell ourproduce.

     I will give some account of our season - last fall was dry and warm and very pleasant until November - this month was very cold, but December was warm for the season until Christmas - since then we have had some very cold weather. There was considerable snow in January, and February has been very cold, dry and windy. We had two warm days this week but is cold and cloudy at this time, the wind blowing from the east and looks very much like rain.

     You wish me to write all the particulars concerning father
(Reuben Hamilton, age 73) - this would be rather delicate task, but I will give you some of them. The old man is getting along in the world as well as could be expected - he had a negro boy with him four or five years that brother Reuben bought in South Carolina, but he took him away about twelve months ago - he has Lawson Bynum, my son-in-law living with him and my youngest sister Nancy is with him. He makes plenty of everything to live on and generally some to spare, but the old man's mind is failing him - he never wrote Uncle Thomas (Thomas Cleophas Hamilton) a line since he was in this country (January 1840 ? letter). Old Aunt Rachel (Hamilton) Sherrill is living with her grandson, Franklin Sherrill. She is well and getting along very well - all the rest of the friends is well as far as I know.

     My old and affectionate friend I have wrote as much to you as I can spare paper for , so as I wish to write a line to the children, therefore I must come to a close but before I conclude I must request you to write to me as soon as convenient, as I am always very glad to get a line from you, so I add no more, but remain your affectionate friend until death.

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 

*Marquis de Lafayette Hamilton and James Bridges Hamilton, sons of Archibald Hamilton III and grand nephews of Ninian were born in Obion County, TN on March 31, 1848 and September 20, 1850, so it appears that several of the Indiana Hamiltons lived in TN about this time. RHR

 

Dear Cousin Dovey (Delilah Ann Hamilton, age 20):

I was very much please this morning on opening my old uncle's letter to find that you and Cousin Ninian
(Ninian B. Hamilton, jr. age 14) had wrote a few lines to me in which you gave me some account of your progress in learning which I think is fine. I very well remember dandling you on my knee the night before you left North Carolina in the fall of 1830. I should be very glad to see you now since you are grown and if I had the time and space I would write you several things, but you must be content with a few lines this time. Write to me as soon as possible and then I will give you a letter of three pages. Your Uncle William Bandys (wife - Elizabeth Wilfong, sister of Mary Margaret Wilfong Hamilton, Dovey's mother) is all well. I add no more, but remain your loving cousin.

 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 12

 

Letter Dated: May 31, 1851

From: Drury Hamilton (age 49)

Living In: Lowrances Mills, NC

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 62)

Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

 

Dear Uncle:

     I now take my pen in hand to write a few lines to you to let you know that we are all on the land among the living, and in common health, hoping these few lines will find you all enjoying the same blessings. I received you letter of the 14th of April on Wednesday last, the 28th instant - it appears it must have been delayed on the road some place by it's being so long in getting here. I received it in two hours after it came to the office. I was very glad to hear from you all as it respects your money - it is ready - I went yesterday to see Joshua Willson. He told me he had collected it and would pay it over to my father when ever he called for it. If you send for it you must send some authority with the man you send by to my father for he says that he will pay it to no man who is not legally authorized to receive it.

     I will inform you that William Bandy has entered a suit in the Court of Equity against Joseph Bost for money which has arisen from the proceeds of your father's
(father-in-law Wilfong) plantation. The old lady, you know, was to have the use of the plantation for her lifetime. A few years after you left here she became somewhat insane and would not stay there and Joseph Bost entered in guardian for her and rented the plantation, and also employed someone to take care of her, and it appears that the rent of the place overpaid the old lady's board and expenses, so that Bost has in his hands some twelve or thirteen hundred dollars over and above her maintenance and the other expenses, which he says belongs to the old woman's heirs according to the old man's will, but Mr. Bandy thinks it should go to the old man's heirs, and has brought suit in the way above named. He has made you a party in the suit. It is believed by the best Judges among our lawyers that Mr. Bandy will lose the suit, therefore, I would advise you not to consent to pay any part of the cost of said suit, until you have heard how it ended. I heard the bill read yesterday which was the first that I knew of it, and I have given you the facts just as they are, and will now leave you to pursue your own course, but would advise you, should William Bandy write you, not to place any confidence in anything that he may say to you concerning the matter. You may think this strong language from me to use towards your brother (in-law) Bandy and indeed it is strong, and just as true as holy writ. I leave this part of the subject.

     I will now give you some account of the times in our country - we have peace and plenty - generally our spring has been very cold and wet until the first of this month - since then it has been dry and hot until three days ago we had two very good rains Today is cool and cloudy. Wheat crops looks well and should it not take the rust as it did last year, there will be good crops - early oats is some hurt by dry weather - corn generally looks well for this time of the year - corn is selling at 50 cents per bushel - bacon 10 cents per pound and other things in proportion. Money tolerable plenty.

     The health of the people generally good, so I think we have very little to complain of on the part of providence, but a great deal to be thankful for. Your friends and relations are all well on both sides. My old father is well as usual - he stayed with me night before last - he walked down to my house and back home again, but he is not able to do much work. Old Aunt Rachel
(Hamilton) is as well as common - she seems to hold up remarkable well for a woman of her age - nearly 78 years old. Aunt Ruanna (Hamilton) Kales is tolerable well and family all well except her daughter Sally (Kale) - she had a son the 25th of April last and was like to die for some time, but is now in a fair way of getting well again. She has swore it to Alexander Row, a son of Jacob Rows, but a great many of the neighbors thinks she did not tell the truth - they think, and not without good reason, that it belongs to a married man by the name of Archibald Ray. My old friend, I have wrote all that I think is of much importance to you at this time. I must now come to a close - I will be pleased for you to write me very soon. I am always glad to hear from you and postage is become so low that it costs almost nothing, and as for the time it takes to write a letter, any person who wishes to hear from their friends can spare that much and never miss it.

I add no more at present - only remain you ever affectionate nephew -

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 

Dear Cousins: ( Ninian B. Hamilton, Jr. & Dovey Ann Hamilton)

I write a few lines to let you know that I have not forgotten you. I intended to write you a letter before now but first one thing then another come in the way so that I did not get it accomplished, but forgive me for the past and I will promise to do better for the time to come.

Cousin Ninian B.
( Ninian B. Hamilton jr.) you sent me some lines in one of your papa's letters - I was much pleased with them - I was also much pleased to see what a good hand you could write. I think there is few of your age can write as well as you in this country - hold on my young friend and try to be a first scholar.

Cousin Dovey Ann
( Delilah (Dovey) Ann Hamilton), I learn that you have been teaching school - that is a very honorable employment and sometimes very troublesome - you must exercise a great deal of patience, as well as prudence in teaching. I must close for want of space - be please to write to me very soon, both of you.

 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 13

 

Letter Dated: September 5, 1851

From: Drury Hamilton (age 49)

Living In: Newton, NC

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 62)

Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

 

Dear Uncle:

     I now take my pen in hand to write a few lines to you informing you that we are all well at present, hoping these few lines will find you and your family all enjoying the same blessing. I received your letter of the 7th of August and was glad to hear that you was all well. Your letter came to hand the 30th of August.

     I will inform you that your neighbor, Richard Wilson, came to my fathers on the 28th of August and brought a letter from you and an order to father for the money that was coming to you from the sale of your father-in-law's land. My father and myself went to Joshua Wilson and got the money and paid it to Richard Wilson on the 29th of August, just one day before I received your letter. The amount in Joshua Wilson's hands of the sale of the land, after he got his five per cent and paying some other expenses, was $2,067.67 - two thousand sixty-seven dollars and 67 cents, which gave to each of the heirs $295.38 - two hundred and ninety- five dollars and 38 cents, which amount he paid father
(Reuben Hamilton) and he gave him a receipt for the same. Father paid me $2.50 that you owed me, and retained nearly three dollars for his trouble, and paid Richard Wilson $290.00 - two hundred ninety dollars for you and took his receipt for the same. My father is old and feeble and not able to work any of consequence or I suppose that he would not have charged you anything.

     I will now say something to you about the times in this country - we had a very dry summer - upland corn is very light - bottom corn good. Wheat crops good - oats crops light. I have a tolerable crop of corn - the greater part of my crop being creek bottom. We had some peaches but no apples of any consequence. We think that grain of every kind will be high next spring Your friends and relations are all well at this time as far as comes within my knowledge. Our country is generally healthy - we have no prevailing diseases among us at this time. I have very little to write at this time, and being in a hurry I have wrote these lines so badly that I fear that you cannot read them - if so just step over and I will read them for you. My old friend, don't forget to write to me again as soon as convenient. I shall expect you to write next time. I add no more at present - only remain your friend untill Death.

 

Yours truly, 

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 

N. B. - Joshua Wilson told me to inform you that there was some money in Joseph Bost's hands going to the heirs of George Wilfong, but he did not know exactly how much but he thought about thirty dollars. He expects to get it in his hands after next Court and will pay it over as soon as called for. Also, he says there is a few acres of ground of you father-in-law's in dispute with John Frey - how that is to be settled he does not know.

 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 14

 

Letter Dated: May 3, 1853

From: Drury Hamilton (age 51)

Living In: Newton, NC

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 64)

Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

 

Dear Uncle:

     It is with feelings of profound gratitude to the giver of all good thing that I am now permitted to write a few lines to you to let you know that we are all in good health at this time, hoping these few lines will find you all enjoying the same blessing. I received a letter from you and your two sons yesterday afternoon. It was dated the 18th and 21st of February last and mailed at Pekin P.O. the 21st of March - from it I learned that you was all well except Aunt Margaret
( Mary Margaret Wilfong Hamilton). I am truly sorry to hear of her affliction, but providence knows what is best and does all things right, therefore, we ought to submit to His will as cheerfully as we could. I received a letter from you in April, 1852. I wrote you a letter about three weeks after I received yourn, but it appears by the way you wrote in your last letter that you did not receive mine - it might have miscarried some way and never reached you, but that was not my fault - I wrote it and sent it to the office the next day after writing it.

     I will inform you that we had good crops last year - wheat, oats, and corn was all good - our season was very favorable with the exception of a fresh that we had on the 27th of August. It was the greatest fresh
(freshet) ever known in this country since my remembrance. Father
(Reuben Hamilton) says that Ball Creek was two feet higher than he ever saw it before. It washed down a great deal of corn in the bottoms but it did not spoil very much unless where the mud and trash was left on it, but it spoiled thousands of bushels along the river where the water stayed over it some time. We have every thing plenty this year. Last summer every thing was very scarce - the year before was a very bad crop year. Our winter was warm and wet, our spring has been cold and wet until lately - it is now warm and dry.

     Your friends in this country are all well as far as I know, except Ephriam Kale - he is in a lingering condition with some inward complaint. he is sometimes better and then worse. It is not expected that he will live very long. My father's health is as good as it has been for several years past - he seems very lively, but is not able to work much. He has a man to crop with him - he has plenty of everything to live upon and is getting along very well. Cousin Mason Sherrill died the 23rd of March last with an apoplectic
(epileptic) fit caused by drinking liquor - he has been a drunken sot for several years past. He left very little property - such is the fruits of dissipation all the world over.

     My old friend, I must come to a close as I want to write a few lines to my cousins - be pleased to write me a few lines as soon as you receive this and let me know how times is with you. I shall think the time long to hear from Aunt Margaret
(Mary Margaret Wilfong Hamilton) - write immediately. So, no more - only remain your friend and kinsman - affectionately adieu.

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 

Remarks: The Aunt Margaret referred to in the above letter was Mary Margaret Wilfong Hamilton, wife of Ninian B., Sr. Some time during the winter of 1852-53 she fell on the ice and injured her head so badly that she never regained her mind. She died May 15, 1853, just twelve days after the above letter was written. Following is the letter that he wrote to his cousins mentioned in the above letter. MS

 

Dear Cousins: (Ninian B., Jr. & David W. Hamilton)

     I write a few lines to you to let you know that I am well, hoping these few lines will find you both well. I learn by your letter that you both have been going to school and I see by your handwriting that you have been making good use of your time. I would say to you on that point be not weary in well doing. I believe in a good Education - learning is the rich man's ornament and the poor man's riches. I would be very glad to see you all and have been wanting to come and see you for several years past, but my wife is very much opposed to my coming to that country so I cannot tell whether I shall ever get there or not. Give my best respects to your sisters and accept for yourselves the same. Write to me soon. You see I have room to write no more.

     
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 15

 

Letter Dated: May 2, 1854

From: Drury Hamilton (age 52)

Living In: Newton, NC

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 65)

Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

 

Dear Uncle and cousins:

     Twelve months ago I wrote a letter to you. I then expected to hear from you in a short time, but I have not heard a word from you since. I will now write a few lines to you to inform you that we are all well, except my oldest son, Sidney
( Sidney Lewis Hamilton). He has had a spell of typhoid fever, but is about again - but some of our friends has gone to the spirit land since I wrote to you last.

     Ephraim Kale died the 22nd of June last. Brother James
(W.) Hamilton died the 28th of November last - his complaint was pneumonia - he was sick twelve days. He left a wife and four children, one of whom has followed him since - a lovely little boy of ten years of age - he died the 7th of March last. Several old people have died in the circle of my acquaintances last year. Old gunsmith James Jones, the widow Polly Turner, Alexander McCorkle and others. My father (Reuben Hamilton) is well as common - old Aunt Rachel (Hamilton) Sherrill is well as usual and stout for her age. She was to see us some time back. Aunt Ruanna (Hamilton) Kale and family is well and the neighbors generally are in good health. We have had no particular sickness in our country the past year.

     I will now give you some account of the seasons and things pertaining to our country in general - Our season last year was dry - wheat crops was good - oats crops very light - corn crops tolerable - we had no rain in our neighborhood from the first of May untill the first of July, but the drouth was not a general one. Some places was seasonable enough. While we have not much to brag about we have not much to complain of.

     Our market is much nearer than when you left this country. We have a railroad running from Charlestown in South Carolina to Charlotte in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina - 37 miles from me - we can now go to market and back in 3 or 4 days. Our winter has been cold - we had more snow this winter than we have had for many years, and a great deal of cold rains, and a very high fresh (freshet) the 25th of February last. It done much damage to the bottoms by washing it away and tearing it to pieces. Our spring has been a spell of warm weather and then a spell of cold weather all the time. On the 17th and 18th days of April there fell snow enough, if it had not melted as it fell, to have been at least 4 inches deep and was followed by a severe frost - we then had a few warm days. It is now cold enough to snow and looks very much like it would before night.

     Log fires and overcoats are very essential articles at present - vegitation of every description looks bad.

     I will now say something about the cause of Temperance in North Carolina. It is making rapid strides at this time among us. There will be a very strong effort made in our Legislature next fall to pass a prohibitary law in our state, but whether it will succeed or not remains yet to be seen.

     I have not drunk any spirits for the last twenty years - joined the sons of Temperance as soon as there was a division organized near enough for me to attend and have been doing all that I can for the cause ever since. I am opposed by my father and brothers and brother-in-law, but that makes no difference with me. I believe the cause to be a good one and I intend to stand firm untill I am convinced otherwise. I wish to hear from you on that subject, my friends, I must come to a close for the want of space - let me entreat you to write to me immediately on the receipt of these few lines should they reach you. Write to me if you have heard anything from Uncle Thomas
(Cleophas) Hamilton and where he lives and what postoffice to direct a letter to him. I have not heard from him in four years. I hope you will not neglect to write soon. I also request my cousins to write to me a fewlines.

     I must now close my letter with my best love and warmest affection for you all. Adieu.

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 16

 

Letter Dated: August 15, 1855

From: Drury Hamilton (age 53)

Living In: Newton, NC

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 66)

Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

 

Dear Uncle: 

     I avail myself of the present opportunity of writing a few lines to you to inform you that we are all on the land amongst the living, for which we ought to be truly thankful to the all wise creator of heaven and earth - we are all well at this time, hoping these lines will find you all in good health.

     I will give you some account of the times in our country since I wrote you last. Last summer was very dry, and the hottest summer that was ever seen in North Carolina. Corn crops was light - wheat and oats was good - the fall was dry and warm - the winter was dry and cold - last spring was very cold and dry until June - since then we have had rain plenty and three weeks past we have been entirely too wet. It has rained almost every day for that period of time. Wheat crops was first rate - oats very light - corn is excellent, although the wet is injuring the low lands some. Grain was scarce the past season and high, but from present prospects it will be very plenty this year.

     I will give you some accounts of the internal improvements in our state - we have had a railroad in operation three years from Columbia in South Carolina to Charlotte in Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, which is our market place. It is 37 miles from me. We have another railroad from Charlotte by Salisbury to Raleigh and thence to the Atlantic ocean. This road is not all complete yet, but will be in a few months. The Legislature last winter granted charters for two more roads - one to commence at Wilmington, N. C. and from there to Charlotte and through Lincolnton to Rutherford - the other to commence at Salisbury and run by Statesville in Iredell County to Morganton in Burk County that will pass through our county. They are to commence the survey of this road shortly - some think it will cross Catawba River at the Buffalo Shoal ford and some think at or near the Island ford, but let it cross where it may, it will pass through a portion of our county.

     The price of land is going up the prospect of having market near home is infusing a spirit of enterprise among our citizens. They begin to think that farming will be the best trade in our country.

     My very much esteemed old friend, I must beg your forgiveness for not writing sooner. I commenced a letter last May and wrote two sides and laid it by to finish in a day or two, but before I had the opportunity to do so my youngest son was taken sick with the typhoid fever and was confined six weeks but has got well again. Your friends is all well in this country - my old father
(Reuben Hamilton, age 79. RHR) is well and hearty. There has been considerable sickness in this country this summer - mostly flux - a great many children have died and some grown people, but it has nearly subsided. There has been several cases of fever but I do not hear of any at present. Our country seems to have regained it's former healthfulness.

     Dear old Uncle, it appears to me from reading some of the newspapers, that the legislature of your state has passed a prohibitary law respecting the sale of ardent spirits. You gave me your opinion in a former letter what you thought the result of such a law would be. I want you to let me know if your expectations have been disappointed or realized. I want you to give me the particulars of the law and it's operations. The Temperance party in our state petitioned the legislature last winter for such a law here, but it was not granted - but we think the time is not far ahead for such a law in our state.

     A few words now about writing to each other and I will close. We have both been a little neglectful about writing but what is the cause I know not. As far as my own part it is not because my friendship has gown cool towards you by any means - there is not a man on earth that I have any warmer affections for than you, therefore, I have come to determination that I will write much oftener than I have been doing for the last few years, and I hope that you will do so too. Postage is very cheap and friendship is very dear. The next letter I write I intend to write to my cousins exclusively, which they may look for some time this fall. You will be pleased to write to me immediately and let me know how you all are - and when you hear from Uncle Thomas
(Cleophas) Hamilton write me. I must now close with my best respects for you and your family.

     Adieu.

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 

(Remarks: This brief letter seems to be an enclosure. It was perhaps included in a letter to the cousins that he mentions in his letter dated August 15, 1855.)

August 17, 1855

 

Uncle Ninian:

     I write a few lines on this slip of paper - in the first place to correct the date of my letter - it should be the 15th instead of the 22nd I did not think of the mistake untill I had sealed it.


     I will inform you that we have built a church at my father's at the graveyard - it is called Providence. It is lately finished - It is a Baptist church - there is about 40 members in it. They held a protracted meeting there which begun last Friday and lasted five days - several joined and among them was my old father (Reuben Hamilton; RHR). He was baptized yesterday. I have nothing more particular to write at this time - only we have had a very heavy rain today, with some hail.

 Write to me as soon as you receive this letter - the last letter you wrote me was three monthson the road before it reached me. In the future you will be pleased to direct your letters to Long Island post-office, Catawba County, N. C.

 
 

Yours truly

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 17

 

Letter Dated: January 15, 1858

From: Drury Hamilton (age 56)

Living In: Newton, NC

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 69)

Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

 

Dear Uncle, Aunt, and cousins:

     It is with much pleasure that I embrace the offered opportunity of writing a few lines to you informing you that we are all well at this time, hoping these few lines will find you all enjoying the same blessing.

     But while I am writing of the good health of the friends, I have also the painful duty to perform of writing of the death of your beloved sister, old Aunt Rachel Sherrill
(Rachel Hamilton, age 83, b.1774 - d.1/1/1858; RHR) She departed this life the first day of this instant. She was as well as usual for some time previous and on the night before she died seemed more lively than common, and on New Year's morning got up and eat a hearty breakfast and started into the other house and got as far as the door and dropped down and was carried into the house and put to bed. She told them that she was going to die and in one hour she was speechless and at 10 o'clock at night died. She made a profession of religion and was to be baptized at an association that was held at my father's in October last, but was somewhat unwell at the time and it was put off, so she died without the rite being performed.

     My old father
(Reuben Hamilton, age 81. b.1776/7 - d.9/20/1858; RHR) is in better health than when I wrote to you last summer - but he is not able to get about to see to anything. All the rest of the friends are in good health at this time.

     Our crops the past year was good - both wheat and corn. Provisions is very plenty and everything cheap at this time - money is scarce, and has been for some time, but money matters is improving slowly. The times generally in this country, taking everything in consideration, is tolerable good.

     I received a letter from my Cousin David W.
(Wilfong) Hamilton last August and was truly glad to hear from you all. He wrote that my old uncle Ninian (Ninian B. Hamilton) was going to write me a letter sometime after he wrote to me, but I have received none yet, but I still live in hopes of receiving one yet - and not at no distant period of time. I have nothing more of importance to write to you at present. I hope when you receive this letter that you will spare time enough from work to write at least one or two pages of common letter paper to me - it will be gladly received.

     I add no more at present - only remain your affectionate friend -

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 

Dear Cousins:

     I write you a few lines to inform you that I am in good health at this time, hoping these few lines will find you well. I received a letter from my Cousin David W. Hamilton last summer but I heard nothing from my Cousin Ninian B.
(Ninian B. Hamilton, jr.) I should be very glad to receive a letter of about four pages from you, but if I cannot get four let me have at least two. I wish to hear from you - how you are getting along with your education - whether you have got it completed yet or not. If you have not, my advise to you would be to hold on until you do. A good education if properly applied will certainly make a man a shining ornament to society. I want you to both to write to me soon and write everything of importance - also when you heard from Cousin Dovey (Delilah (Dovey) Ann Hamilton) and how she is getting along, also if you have heard anything from Uncle  Thomas (Cleophas) Hamilton. Be pleased to write soon so I add no more at present - but remain your affectionate cousin.

     Yours truly,

 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 18

 

Letter Dated: January 4, 1859

From: Drury Hamilton (age 57)

Living In: North Carolina

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 70)

Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

 

Dear Uncle, Aunt and Cousins:

     I once more embrace the opportunity of writing a few lines to you to inform you that I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you all in the same like condition. My old uncle, I will inform you that I wrote you a letter about three months ago, but I have received no answer, from which circumstance I have come to the conclusion that it has got mislaid and has never reached you.

     I will in the first place inform you of the death of my dear old Father
(Reuben Hamilton, b.1776/7 - d.9/20/1858; RHR) - he departed this life the 20th day of September last. I think that I informed you in a former letter that he had been in bad health since the last of April, 1957.

     Sometimes he was able to be about and at other times he was confined, for several months previous to his death he was able to be up and about - he came down to see me about six weeks before he died and stayed several days. We saw no alteration in him until one week before his departure. There was a four days meeting at the church at his house - he went out to preaching on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, but on Tuesday he said that he felt unwell and did not go out that night. He was taken sick and on Monday following died.

     We charitably hope that from the life that he lived for several years past and the profession he made that he is now where the wicked cease to trouble, and the weary are at rest. He was a 72 member of the Baptist church several years. He is gone and cannot come to us, but we can go to him.

     The friends and connection are all well at this time.

     I will now say something of things in general - our wheat crops was not good- the oats crop was almost an entire failure, owing to the rust which killed it before it was ripe. Corn crops was tolerable - the season was good until the 20th of July. It was then very dry for three months - we have but little cold weather yet - we have had large quantities of rain for two months past. The times has been very hard in money matters for a year or two past, but there seems to be some improvement of late - money is somewhat more in circulation and the people generally are not so much pressed as they have been - we hope for better times now soon.

     Where is my two cousins Ninian B. and David W.? I have not received a line from them in a long time. I would be very glad to read a letter from them again. Please write to me soon and let me know all the particulars.

     I add no more at present, only remain your affectionate friend.

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Living in opposing parts of the country,
there was no Correspondence during the Civil War

 
 

Letter # 19

 

Letter Dated: June 30, 1866

From: Drury Hamilton (age 64)

Living In: Catawba Station, North Carolina

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 77)

Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

 

Dear Old Uncle:

     I avail myself of the present opportunity of writing to you a few lines to tell you that I am still in the land among the living and enjoying a reasonable portion of health, for which I am truly thankful to the God who rules in heaven above and in the earth below. My family is all well and all the friends as far as I know, and I hope these few lines will find you and all the rest of the friends enjoying the same blessing.

     Well, my old friend, it has been a long time since we have had any correspondence by letter.

     I need not tell you the cause of it for you know that yourself - we could not send letters during the war, but now that peace is restored again there is nothing to prevent us from writing to each other as often as we think proper. I hope that the controversy between north and south has nothing to do with the friendship that has always existed between you and me. You feel as near to me as you did before the war and I hope that you will receive my letter and with it my best wishes as though nothing had ever happened. My love to you and the rest of my friends in that country has not abated one iotem on account of the difference between the two sections of the country.

     I will give you some account of the times in old North Carolina - everything is quiet here and everybody seems willing to submit to the laws of the United States, and well they may be - I think the south has been taught a lesson that they will not forget soon. The times is hard here with respect to our living conditions - we have had two bad crop years together and grain is scarce. Wheat last year was an entire failure, and corn crops only tolerable. Our wheat cops this year is tolerable but not first rate - oats is very good - corn only looks middling. The spring was wet and cold - the summer as been wet and cool up to the present time. I have plenty of everything to live upon and am getting along tolerable well considering all things.

     I have had but little help for several years - my boys both left me at eighteen years of age and went to the carpenter's trade. I have both my daughters with me yet and I have Sidney's
(Sidney Lewis Hamilton) two little boys (probably Lewis Hamilton b. about 1853 and John W. Hamilton b. 10/29/1854; RHR) with me that he had by his first wife - one is 13 years old and the other 11 years - they begin to help me a great deal.

     Sidney and family are all well - they have a fine son
(James Hamilton, b. 6/8/1866; RHR) born the 8th day of June. Old Aunt Ruanna (Hamilton; RHR) Kale is still living and in tolerable heath, but her situation is not what it was before her husband died. He left her the plantation and plenty of everything to go upon, but her children is worthless and good for nothing. She has actually come to poverty and want, a thing you may think strange, but it is certainly a solemn truth.

     Henry Lollar and family are all well. Alfred
(M.) Sherrill I have not seen for several years - he lives some distance from me and I have paid him no visits for some time, but I heard from him a few months back- him and family was well.

     My very much respected friend, I hope to see you one time more in this world if we should both be spared a few years longer. I had intended to come to see you before this time if the war had not been waged between the north and south. I think that if my health continues good and I am not hindered providentially, that I will come to see you yet, but how soon I cannot state. I must now come to a close. I hope you will write me a letter as soon as you receive this. My wife sends you her best respects.

     I add no more - only remain your affectionate nephew -

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 20

 

Letter Dated: June 18, 1875

From: Drury Hamilton (age 73)

Living In: Catawba Station, North Carolina

To: . Candace Shuford Hamilton Martin (Cousin - age 33)
(Daughter of Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789))

Living In: (Missouri)

 

Dear Cousin:

     It is much pleasure that I seat myself this pleasant afternoon to write you a few lines. By the blessing of a kind Providence I am in good health at this time - my family is all well except my Daughter Julina - her health has not been very good for the last two years. But she still keeps up and doing, but is at times very weakly. I hope these few lines will reach you in due time and find you and family well.

     Dear Cousin, I have not much of interest to write at this time. We are all getting along tolerable well - the health of the country is good at this time - our winter was moderate - the spring wet and cold and very late. Our wheat crops is good - oats is only middling and corn is small for this season of the year. The month of May was dry from the first to the last, but we have had good rains lately, and crops appear to be in a flourishing condition. There is no scarcity of provisions in this country and prices is moderate - money is scarce at this time. All kind of store goods are cheap and summing up the whole if we have not much to brag about, we have not much to complain of and happy are they who can be contented with the condition that they are placed in.

     Dear Cousin, I am under many very great obligations to you for your kindness in writing to me, although I have not received a letter from you in a long time. I wrote you a letter this spring but have got no answer yet - maybe it did not reach you. I hope if you receive these lines you will write immediately. I want to hear from you all soon. I hear that the grasshoppers is eating up portions of the State of Missouri. I want to hear if they have got in your country. I must come to a close, hoping to hear from you soon. Your cousin - very affectionately

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 21

 

Letter Dated: June 30, 1866

From: Drury Hamilton (age 73)

Living In: Catawba Station, North Carolina

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 86)

Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

 

Dear Uncle:

     It is with gratitude to the giver of all good and perfect blessings that we enjoy that I am permitted to address you one time more from the land of your nativity. I know that the thoughts of your friends and old home are still fresh in your memory, although it has been a long time since you left your old home and relations in this country. I am well at present hoping these lines will find you likewise. Our country is very healthy at this time, but there has been several deaths since last fall - among the old people in this county - among whom was Mason Sherrill's widow
(Margaret Bridges Sherrill; RHR) - she died the 6th day of November last - aged 81 years.

     There has been a great change taken place in this country in almost everything since you left here. The country has been cleared and new houses built in so many places that you would hardly recognize the places that you was well acquainted with while living here. There is a great change in the manners and behavior of the young people in this country since you was here, and even among the ministers of the gospel. We used to have good plain preachers that would preach to benefit the people - it is quite different now - the most of them try to benefit themselves more than anybody else.

     They must go to college and learn to preach and when they go to church they must be dressed very fine and wear the highest crowned hat that they can find - and then pay must be in proportion to their hats.

     My old Uncle, I have not space to write much more at present. I will write again if nothing happens to prevent it in a short time. Will you write to me soon and let me know how your health is and how you are getting along. I must now come to a close by asking you to accept of my best wishes and love.

Yours most affectionately -

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 22

 

Letter Dated: December 25, 1875

From: Drury Hamilton (age 73)

Living In: Catawba Station, North Carolina

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 86)

Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

 

Dear Uncle:

     It is with pleasure that I embrace the present opportunity of writing you a few lines - myself and family are all well and I hope these lines will reach you in due time and find you in the enjoyment of good health, which is the great blessing that the good Lord can bestow on man. Your kinfolks in this country are all well as far as I know - old Aunt Ruanna
(Hamilton) Kale (82) is still living and in good health. She still lives at the old place with the youngest daughter (Margaret Susan Kale; RHR) who is married to a man by the name of Turbyfield (William Turbyfield; RHR). She is well taken care of and seems lively and cheerful. She is nearly 82 years old - Henry Lollar (79) is in better health than he has been for sometime. He had a stroke of palsy three years ago and was confined to the house nearly two years - he is now well enough to go about among his neighbors. He was 79 years old last September.

     My brother, T. J. Hamilton
(Thomas Jefferson Hamilton) and family is well - his family and mine are alike - both small - each of us has one daughter living with us. I have two grandsons with me, and he has one granddaughter.

     Dear Uncle, I would be very glad to see you one time more in this world if it is the will of providence, but whether I will have the opportunity of coming to see you or not - I cannot at this time tell, but if we should not have the pleasure of meeting in this world, I hope that we will meet where parting will be no more. I must come to a close. I hope to hear from you soon - I must bid you adieu for the present.

     Accept of my best love and affection.

     Yours truly -

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 23

 

Letter Dated: December 25, 1875

From: Drury Hamilton (age 73)

Living In: Catawba Station, North Carolina

To: . Candace Shuford Hamilton Martin (Cousin - age 34)
(Daughter of Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789))

Living In: (Missouri)

 

     Through the permission of a kind providence, I am permitted to write you a few lines. I am in good health at this time and all the friends and kinfolks are well, as far as I know. I have not much of interest to write at this time - our summer was wet in some localities, but corn crops was good - wheat crops was fine - the country is blest with plenty of everything to live upon. Our fall was very pleasant and warm - our winter thus has been very changeable. Ten days ago the weather was freezing cold - today is very warm and raining.

     I received a letter from you in June last - I was very glad to hear from you all - that you was all well and doing well. I have been a little neglectful in writing to you but I hope that you will not be displeased with me and I will promise to do better for the future.

     I will inform you that your Aunt Elizabeth Bandy
(Elizabeth Wilfong Bandy) died the 11th day of August last. She lived in Hawkins County, Tennessee. There is several of her children living there. I saw one of her daughters a few days ago - she is living 8 miles from me - she is a widow living with her son. Your Uncle David Wilfong is still living and is well except the rheumatic pains.

    They are about all of your kinfolks on you mother's side that I know of in this country.

     Dear Cousin, I hope to hear from you soon - give my best wishes to Mr. Martin
(Isaac Martin), and all the children. In conclusion, I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

     Hoping to receive a letter from you soon - your cousin affectionately -

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 24

 

Letter Dated: March 24, 1876

From: Drury Hamilton (age 74)

Living In: Catawba Station, North Carolina

To: . Candace Shuford Hamilton Martin (Cousin - age 35)
(Daughter of Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789))

Living In: (Missouri)

 

Dear Cousin; and friends all:

     I write you a few lines to let you know that we are all well at this time - hoping that these lines will reach you in due time and find all well. I have nothing very interesting to write this time.

     I received a letter from you dated the 23rd of January. I was very glad to hear from you all - you wrote that you would like for me to send you my county paper - we have no newspaper in our county seat - there is one printed at a little town called Hickory on the railroad 20 miles west from where I live. I will send you one and if you think it is worth the time it takes to read it I will have it sent to you. You will please let me know soon.

     I will give you some account of our winter - it has been warm all the time with the exception of a few days, until the 17th of this month - it blew up very cold and windy and last Monday snow fell to the depth of 7 inches - it is still on the ground and is very cold. The peach trees, plum trees and cherry trees was all in bloom.

     Give my best love and respect to my beloved old Uncle - tell him that his sister Ruanna
(Hamilton) Kale is well and hearty, and also all of the kinfolks in this country. Write as soon as you receive this - I have nothing more of interest at this time - accept of my best love and respect for yourself and family.

     Adieu for the present -

     Yours -

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 25

 

Letter Dated: December 27, 1876

From: Drury Hamilton (age 74)

Living In: Catawba Station, North Carolina

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle) (age 87)

Living In: Pekin P. O., Washington Co., Indiana

 

Dearly beloved old uncle:

     I write a few lines to let you know that I have not forgotten you.  Myself and family are all well and I hope these lines will find you likewise.

     Times in this country is hard as far as money matters is concerned - in other respects we have no great cause of complaint. Our wheat crops last summer was not good owing to the wet weather - a great many people could not save their wheat - it rained all the time of harvesting, and on the 17th day of June the waters were the highest they have been for many years. The Catawba river was the highest it has been in fifty years - it done a large amount of damage to land and crops. The creeks did likewise to the land and crops - the consequence was that the corn crop was not as good as usual, but plenty made for support. Corn is selling at 40 and 50 cents per bushel. We have plenty for everything to live upon.

     Our fall was dry and cool - our winter this far has been uncommonly cold for this country.

     The Catawba river has been frozen over for several weeks with ice, 3 or 4 inches thick. The snow on the ground is now 13 inches deep with a good prospect of more falling soon. I will inform you that my youngest daughter Julina
(Sarah Julina Hamilton Patterson) was married last Wednesday to a Mr. Patterson (Calvin Patterson), a good man I suppose. She will still live with me as I have no other housekeeper. My wife has been dead nearly eight years. I have not married since she died.

     Sidney
(Lewis) Hamilton's two boys is living with me - that is all my family.

     Dear Uncle, I must soon come to a close - let me ask you to write to me - I want to hear from you. It has been upwards of 44 years since I have seen you and I may never see you any more. The only way we can converse together is by writing to each other. I must come to a close - we are both getting old and if we never meet again on the crumbling shores of time, I hope we will meet where parting will be no more.

     Accept of my best love and respects - farewell for the present.

     Yours -

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 
 

Letter # 26

 

Letter Dated: December 27, 1876

From: Drury Hamilton (age 74)

Living In: Catawba Station, North Carolina

To: . Candace Shuford Hamilton Martin (Cousin - age 35)
(Daughter of Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789))

Living In: (Missouri)

 

Dear Cousin:

     I avail myself of the present opportunity of writing a few lines to you to let you know that by the blessing of a kind providence I am in good health at present, hoping that these few lines will reach you in due time and find you well. My dear cousin, I have not received a letter from you in a long time - I wrote you a letter last spring and folded it up in a newspaper and directed it to you. I received no answer - if you have written to me since I did not get your letter. I would have written sooner, but my brother T. J. Hamilton
(Thomas Jefferson Hamilton) told me that he wrote you a letter in July last. I suppose he wrote all the news then.

     I will inform you that some of our friends have paid the debt that we all have to pay since I addressed you last. My oldest daughter, Catherine
(Catherine C. Hamilton), departed this life the 8th of June last - she was afflicted with a disease the doctor's called Scrofula (Tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands. RHR). She was confined to her bed two years - she was married to a man by the name of Setzer (James Pickney Setzer) in July 1866. She left three children, two girls and one boy - the oldest girl was 9 years old, the second one 7, the boy was 4 years old. She died in the triumph of faith - she seemed to long for the time of her departure to come. She had made a profession of religion several years before her death. She is gone from me but I have the consolation of believing that she is where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at rest.

     I will inform you that old Aunt Ruanna
(Hamilton) Kale died the 2nd day of July last - she was in her 83rd year. Henry Lollar died the 9th day of September last - he was 80 years old. He had a stroke of paralysis some four years ago, from which he never fully recovered and it finally terminated his life.

    Dear cousin, I must close - write to me soon if you please. Accept my best love and respects to you and your husband and all the children.

     Adieu for the present.  Excuse bad writing.

 
 

Drury Hamilton

 
 

Remarks: This is the last of the letters of Drury Hamilton, son of Reuben Hamilton. MS

 
 
                                       
                                       
SOURCES
                                       

Thanks to Richard Roberts for the additional information on the Hamilton Family
 as well as the Hamilton Letters
rob95536@yahoo.com

 

"The Hamilton Family", by Norah H. Duncan, CATAWBA COUNTY HERITAGE, Vol. 1

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you have photos or additional information about the Hamilton family, please contact me.