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Rachel Hamilton


Born: Abt. 1774
Died:  01 Jan 1858, Iredell County, NC



Rachel Hamilton was born about 1774.  She was the daughter of Archibald Hamilton and Mary "Polly" Hawkins.

Archibald and Mary Hawkins Hamilton had at least eleven children. According to current information, Rachel was the oldest.
Children of Archibald Hamilton and Mary "Polly" Hawkins
Name Birth Date Death Date Spouse
Rachel Hamilton Abt. 1774   David Sherrill
Mary Hamilton     John McCarver
Elizabeth Hamilton      
Margaret Hamilton Aft. 1775 27 Mar 1849 Jacob Lollar
Rueben Hamilton 1776 20 Sep 1858 Sarah Collier
Thomas Cleophas Hamilton 01 Feb 1784 23 Feb 1872 Mary Ann Taylor
Archibald Hamilton II 19 Dec 1785 04 Apr 1860 Susannah Bridges
Ninian Bealle Hamilton 19 Feb 1789 31 Jan 1882 (1) Mary Margaret Wilfong
(2) Priscilla Newton
Ruanna Hamilton 06 Feb 1793 02 Jul 1876 Ephraim Kale
(Unknown) Hamilton      
(Unknown) Hamilton      
Rachel married David Sherrill, son of Uriah Sherrill and Judith Lewis, before 1796. David was born 02 Oct 1764 in Burke County, NC.


Children of Rachel Hamilton and David Sherrill
Name Birth Date Death Date Spouse
Mason W. Sherrill Abt. 1796
23 Mar 1853
Catawba Co, NC
Margaret Bridges
m. 27 Jul 1814
Alfred M. Sherrill Abt. 1798
Abt. 1870
Alexander Co, NC
Elizabeth "Eliza" Moore
m. Bef. 1925
Enos Sherrill Abt. 1800
Before 1820
[Died young]
Margaret "Pega" Sherrill Abt. 1800
Abt. 1840
Cumberland KY
Henry E. Lollar
m. 13 Nov 1817
About 1920, David bought land in Iredell County from Squire McKee and moved his family there.
David Sherrill died 17 Jul 1827 in  Iredell County, NC, at the age of 62.
By 16 Dec 1839, Rachel Hamilton Sherrill, was living with her son-in-law Henry Lollar.
Rachel's name is found in the 1840 Iredell County Census.  It lists her age as being between 60 and 70 - she would have been about 66 years old.  All of Rachel's children were married and away from home.

1840 Iredell County Census

Names Females
of Heads of Families 60 and under 70
Rachel Sherrill /
By 10 Nov 1846, Rachel had moved in with her son Alfred Sherrill.
By 03 Mar 1849, Rachel was living with her grandson Franklin Sherrill and his wife Elvira Goble.
The 1850 Census shows Rachel still living in Iredell County, NC.  She was 76 years old.  Franklin Sherrill (age 29, b.1821) and Elvira Goble (age 20, b. 1830) were living with Rachel. Franklin was Rachel Sherrill's grandson. It's possible that this same "Elvira Goble" was Fannie Elvira Goble, b. 1835, living in Iredell county, daughter of Andrew Robinson Goble and Mattie Deal.

1850 Iredell County Census

Name Age Sex Real
Occupation Can't
First Last
R. (Rachel) Sherrill 76 F      
Franklin " 29 M 400 Farmer  
Elvira Goble 20 F     X
Rachel Hamilton Sherrill died 01 Jan 1858 in Iredell County, NC, at the age of 83.



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 from Mason & Margaret Bridges Sherrill to Archibald Hamilton II;
Mason was the son of David & Rachel Hamilton Sherrill

Letter Dated: July 18, 1821
From: Mason W. Sherrill & Margaret Bridges Sherrill
Living In: Lincolnton, Lincoln County, NC
To: Archibald Hamilton II (Brother-in-law & Uncle)
Living In: State of Indiana, Washington County, Salem Post Office

Dear Brother & Sister: 

     I have taken this present opportunity to write to you to let you know that we are in a tolerable state of health at the present and I hope these few lines will find you in the same state of health.

     I can inform you that we had a daughter born last January 28th and we call her name, Sarah  Mariah, and I want to see you all very bad dear sister.

     I heard your letter with joy that you was prepared for death, but I am quite unprepared yet, and I want you all to pray for me for we are all a great distance apart and I want to see you all again if the Lord be willing, but if we never no more meet in this world I want to meet with you all in heaven where we shall part no more.

     So no more at present but remain your loving brother and sister until death.


Mason Sherrill & Margaret Sherrill


(Mason Sherrill, the son of Rachel Hamilton Sherrill married Margaret Bridges, the sister of Susannah Bridges,
wife of Archibald Hamilton II.  Archibald II was Rachel's brother, and thus Archibald's nephew.)


Letter from Ninian Beall Hamilton to Archibald Hamilton II
(Section in letter about David Sherrill, husband of Rachel Hamilton)

Letter Dated: Spring 1821
From: Ninian Beall Hamilton
Living In: Lincolnton, Lincoln County, NC
To: Archibald Hamilton II (Brother)
Living In: Indiana State Washington, Salem post office

Dear Brother,

     I am well at this time, thanks to God for his mercys
(mercies), and all our friends is well. I received your letter and read with much satisfaction to hear that the Lord had opened your eyes to see your daingers (dangerous) state and likewise to hear your resolutions to meet us all in heaven. May He grant it may be all our happy lots to meet there.

     Dear Brother by the grace of God never stop short of a saveing
(saving) in trust in the blood of Christ till you know for yourself and not for another that your redeemer liveith (liveth) for I can say with one of old that I knew for myself that my redeemer liveith (liveth) for your
[cannot read line because of fold] tell you something of my first start on religion. I was struck with the power of God that my body shook and my countance (countenance) was changed and I found no peace to my troubled breast for better than three months tell (till) I was born of the sperit (Spirit) and then the sperit (Spirit) did bear witness that I was born of God the time and I exspect (expect) I never shall forget my soul was in [word on fold not legible] to God for his redeeming grace and [illegible word] love and I yet have a hope that reaches beyond that grave a hope that [last line illegible].

     Dear Brother, I can inform you that we received a letter from brother
(Thomas Cleophas Hamilton).  He states that he got home the 26th of February and all was well. Further I can inform you that everything wis (was) plenty but money and that is scarce. There is hundreds of bushels of corn to sell at this time at fifty cents per bushel and bacon plenty.

  David Sherrill has bot
(bought) land in Iredell County of old Squire McKee.  You mentioned in your letter about that other quarter of land; I can inform that I think that I cannot do anything towards buying it this fall, money is hard to get. I have spoke to Isaac Litten about what money you wanted me to pay him and I will pay him and the balance I will pay you as soon as I can. I cannot tell you I shall come to see you this fall or not. I am living with John Stine. Has his son two years to work with me. I have nothing more to write. The Bridges is all well far as I know.


Ninian Hamilton


Letter from Rachel's brother, Reuben, to another brother, Ninian Beall
(Section in letter about Rachel Hamilton Sherrill)

Letter Dated: February 1, 1831
From: Reuben Hamilton
Living In: Hokesville, NC
To: Ninian Beall Hamilton (Brother)
Living In:  Lincoln County, NC

Dear Brothers & Sisters & Friends:

     I have just sot
(sat) down to inform you that we all are in common health at present, for which we thank God for - hoping that these lines may find you and your family in the same state of health. I was very unwell this fall, but I have got better - I was about six weeks that I done nothing of any account.

     Corn is likely to be mighty scarce in our country - it is selling at 62-1/2 cents about here, and up in the mountains it selling for 50 cents. There is a good many of the neighbors gone up after corn.

     Enos Sherrill has fetched three or four loads, and Eli Sherrill has fetched one load and the Bridges has fetched two or three loads.  I cribed my corn about the 20th of November.  I had nine loads of shucked corn - I had one load over my big crib full.  I want to make out on it if I can.  Our winter is very hard - we have had two snows this month - deep - and three sleets.  I have meat plenty, I think, but I think the times will be hard with a number of people in our country this year.

Our sister, Rachel is in bad fix for corn and meat.  Your friends is all well as far as I know at this time.  I can inform you that James Walker is fairly broke.  He undertook to move Larkin B. Mays in the night in his old trucks and got ketched (caught) at it and they took him before John Shuford - and he sold his place to Thomas Ward for 150 dollars, and Tom sold it to Isaac Douglas for 181 dollars and he sold it to Jacob Gilland for 27 dollars, but James is out of land and corn and I think not much coming for his place.

     I can inform you that Prudent Shin come home the Monday before Christmas, a widow, and is on her father's hands again and I think they are getting a hand full of meal where they can.  Old Uncle Benny has been petitioning for the neighbors to throw in corn to them - being a couple of good old folks, but I have not said that I would throw in to them till the hickorys gives out.  William Cline that worked for Mack Wilson got drunk and froze to death.  Elitha Sherrill is married to William Hooper.

     I received your lines on Christmas and was glad to hear that you had made your journey safe.

     I saw Yount and told him that I had the notes for him, but he won't deduct any of account out of the price of the wagon. He said if it was not according to bargain you ourt
(ought) not took it - he said he would come by someday and get them, but he has not come yet.  I have not seen Peter Drum yet, but he has got all his tools burnt in his shop.  I sold your barrow to Drury for three dollars and the sow I could not sell for more that 16 pounds of iron, and I took her myself and she is a dear bargain.

     Charles Edwards has got nothing out of Melger.  I have not received one cent yet to pay any of your little debts.  I have one more thing to inform you of.  There is a very bad report been raised about you - Sally was over at old uncle Joseph Sherrill's and old Jane told her that you had carried off two loads of Peter Pope's property for Isaac Robinson, and Lansen was seen carrying off them to your house - and she said there was some person there and saw women's clothes packed up that was not Peggy's, and she would not tell how she saw it done.  She said it would be very well if you had not his debts to pay, and she said there was no doubt but what he went out with you to that country and was there now among you.  We found out that the news started at William Shins - you remember Polly was at your house when your clothes was put up. Lansen stated in his letter to his people that he never heard of Peter after he passed Ashville.

     I want you to state to me whether you ever saw him or not and what you heard from him, and likewise, I want Archibald to write whether he knowd
(knowed) of any such a man as Peter Pope coming to your country.  I want both of you to write together and I want it to complain for.  I want to talk some after awhile and there was many other things to say too tedious to mention here.

     Lyda Lollar sent a letter back to her friends. She stated they got out in five weeks and three day and found the friends all well, and doing well.  She stated the hogs was bigger and fatter there in the woods than she ever saw here in pens.  Them and Rozzal parted in Illinois, but for what cause I cannot tell. John Lee is out of fellowship yet.  I want you to write to me immediately.  I shall conclude with my best love to all and good wishes until death.


Reuben Hamilton
February 1, 1831


Letter from Rachel's nephew, Drury, to her brother, Ninian Beall
(Section in letter about Rachel Hamilton Sherrill)

Letter Dated: December 16, 1839
From: Drury Hamilton
Living In: Lowrances Mills, NC
Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle)
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 (age 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 from Rachel's nephew, Drury, to her brother, Ninian Beall
(Section in letter about Rachel Hamilton Sherrill)


Letter Dated: November 10, 1846

From: Drury Hamilton

Living In: Mountain Creek, NC

To: Ninian Hamilton (b. 1789 - Uncle)

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 from Rachel's nephew, Drury, to her brother, Ninian Beall
(Section in letter about Rachel Hamilton Sherrill)


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 our produce.

     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


Letter from Rachel's nephew, Drury, to her brother, Ninian Beall
(Section in letter about Rachel Hamilton Sherrill)


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


Letter from Rachel's nephew, Drury, to her brother, Ninian Beall
(Section in letter about Rachel's son, Mason Sherrill)


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


Letter from Rachel's nephew, Drury, to her brother, Ninian Beall
(Section in letter about Rachel Hamilton Sherrill)


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 few lines.

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


Drury Hamilton


Letter from Rachel's nephew, Drury, to her brother, Ninian Beall
(Section in letter about Rachel Hamilton Sherrill)


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


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

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