Nesbitt Memorial Library
Columbus, Texas

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Letters and Documents of
Charles William Tait, 1844-1864

 

1. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, April 15, 1848  

Columbus, Colorado County, Texas

April 15th 1848

Dear Father,

I write you this by Howard, he finished working on the 5th of this month, having worked regularly every day except sundays & christmas day. Howard can give you all the news, as to how we are &c. I send you the dimensions of the wagon-body: 12 feet 8 inches long, 2 ft. 6 in. deep, 4 ft wide I send you also the dimensions of a Texan ox-yoke 4 feet 10 inches long 28 inches between the inside bow-holes Timber to make yoke must be 9 inches wide & 5 in thick. Give my love to all. Your affectionate son

C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait Esqr
Blacks Bluff
Wilcox county
Ala.

2. Charles William Tait to Felix Tait, April 20, 1848

Columbus April 20th 1848

Dear brother,

Your letter of March 12th was received on the 7th of this month, & as I wrote to Ma last week, I concluded not to answer yours until this. I also yesterday received a letter from Rob of the 18th March, which I will answer some other time. I sent Howard on his way home on Sunday last, when he arrives you can learn all the minutia of proceedings here better than I can write. I have been all this week attending court, as a juror for the first time in my life. The first night I staid in Columbus, but the flies were so bad that I have been coming home every night since. I hope you will not fail to come out this spring, & bring Ma with you, a journey might be of great service to her. When you determine on coming, if you will let me know about what time you will be in Houston I will try & meet you there. I don't think of anything else just now to write about. We are all well. Give my love to all. Your affectionate brother

C Wm Tait

Felix Tait Esqr
Blacks Bluff Ala.

3. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, June 30, 1848

Columbus June 30th 1848

Dear Father

Your letter of May 11th was duly recd alas your letter of the 2nd inst was received by the last mail. Your last letter was written the day Ma left. I heard from Ma & Co, as far as Galveston but have not heard from them since. We are all well, thank God, & doing tolerable well; my crop of corn is excellent & cotton promising. You mention, in your May letter, having seen Capt. Duncan, & recommend planting corn on the 15th of February. All those about here who planted early will make poor corn crops the same was the case last year. I planted last year on the 29th March & this on the 20th & have hit the seasons. We were very much in want of rain here in the spring, it commenced raining here on the 6th of June, since which time I have had plenty. My crop being late hit the seasons, tho' I should have planted early if I had been proposed to do so. After a wet winter I think we should always plant early but after a dry one I do not think it so wise

I hope Ma & Co [obscured] got home safe & well Give my love to all. Louisa sends her love. Your affectionate son C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait Esqr
Black's Bluff

4. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, August 11, 1848

At Home Near Columbus Texas
August 11th 1848

Dear Father

Your letter of the 7th July, was received by the last mail. It found us all doing as well as usual, & in good health. We have been remarkably healthy in this country so far this season; less sickness than I think I ever knew. We have had some hard rains in the last two or three weeks, which has produced a supply of mosquitoes, which we were free from before the rains commenced.

My corn crop has turned out very well, & my cotton promises to make as much as I can pick out. The rain set in here on the 6th June, in time to save my corn, as I planted late.

As the Mexican war is ended I hope we will have more speedy mail communication hereafter. Your letter was mailed on the 7th July & received on the 8th August. Passengers come the same distance in ten days.

Louisa joins me in love to you all. Your affectionate son C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait Esqr
Black's Bluff
Wilcox County Ala.

5. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, September 22, 1848

At Home near Columbus, Texas
Sept 22nd 1848

Dear Father

Your letter of the 28th August was received by the last mail; by which we were glad to hear from you all. It had been so long since we heard from you, before the receipt of your letter, that we were getting rather uneasy.

The neighborhood still continues remarkably healthy. We have had several cool days this month & it is now quite cool & blustery with the wind from the North. We have had only one case of sickness among our folks this year, & that was Jackson who laid up a few days with a kind of Rheumatic fever.

We are now picking cotton as fast as we can, & make more probably than we will be able to gather by Christmas. The cotton from the seed Ma sent me is (a good portion of it) lying on the ground from the weight of the bolls, which however are not so numerous as on the other cotton, but much larger. I have not yet housed my corn, but think there is enough to last us until next crop. The mast this year is fine, particularly the pecans the gathering of which for the market would be more profitable than cotton. By the by tell Robert that the bears will be very fat this fall & to come out early; that Strahan & myself have a fine pack of dogs. Our chimney is not finished yet, but is up to the roof & probably will be in a few days. The masons have worked at it very irregularly.

We have had a good deal of rain this fall, which has somewhat injured the cotton; the catterpillar is said to have injured the cotton in some parts of Texas, but we have had none in this neighborhood. We had so much jobbing to do that we did not get to picking until September. I do not think however that we will lose any thing by it as the weather was so excessively warm & the cotton so tall & thick, that we should probably have had some sickness from it. I now feel the want of a gin, the toll I will have to pay out of the present crop would go far towards paying for it. I think it will be best for me to get the cast iron cogs or segments. I have been told that the best are made in Talladega county Ala. If you would make some enquiries about it, price quality &c I would be glad. Whose make of Ginstands are the best?

I want to plant an acre or two of sugar cane this fall, which will hinder me still more in picking cotton.

I do not think of any thing more just now that would interest you. Louisa joins me in love to you all.

Your affectionate son C Wm Tait

Jas A. Tait Esqr
Blacks Bluff
Ala.

6. Charles William Tait to Felix Tait, May 24, 1849

At the Ranch May 24th 1849

Dear Brother,

Your letter of the 16th of April was received on the 13th of May, but as I wrote home about that time I concluded not to answer your letter at that time. We are all well at present. Louisa had a fever the other day, which I think was caused by her breast which is not entirely well yet. She is now however as well as usual.

We have had no Cholera here yet, but it has been more fatal in San Antonio than in any place of the same population in the U S. I suppose you have learned from the N. papers before this that Genl. Worth died of it at that place. Our county continues very healthy, tho' I fear we shall have some sickness, as it has turned very dry, after such quantities of rain in the winter & spring.

My crop is promising, we are working over the corn now for the last time, the dry weather has given us an opportunity of getting one crop clean, which got very foul during the spring rains. We are now very much in want of rain. We have nothing very new or interesting on and now; Strahan still talks of the medicinal virtues of his roots, & the great medical skill possessed by his father; Kelch is alive yet without any change; both of them have good crops. I tried to convince Strahan to day that it was bad farming to keep a crop too clean, I am afraid I have rather brought him to that conclusion, as I beat him so far always at gathering time, when his crop was kept always clean, & mine quite the reverse. The frost had rather a singular effect here in some cases; sometimes the cotton was killed on one side of a dividing fence, & not injured on the other, when both appeared to be situated equally favorable. My cotton next the ferry was killed, while some I had planted in the upper end of the field was not injured. My colt Daniel that came into the world under such unfavorable circumstances is the best plough-horse I have. Jackdaw I swapped off for a fine mare.

We would be glad if you could come out this summer, but I fear that when the Cholera abates the vomits will commence, & you will be prevented altogether. Louisa joins me in love to you all. Your affectionate brother

C Wm Tait

Mr Felix Tait
Black's Bluff

7. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, September 21, 1849

Columbus, September 21st 1849

Dear Father

Your letter of the 24th August was received on the 14th inst. We were glad to hear from you all, but sorry to learn that Felix was sick, we hope he has recovered long before this, when your letter was received we were both well, but Louisa & myself have had an attack of fever since, tho' I am up again now, & I expect Louisa will be out tomorrow We have had a great many attacks of fever amongst the negroes this summer, tho' they are generally out again in two or three days. I discovered this morning that I have the regular Cotton Catterpillar in my cotton. I am afraid that with the rains in the spring the drouth in the summer & the catterpillars in the fall, together with the sickness among the negroes, that my chance for cotton will be slim. I have made but slow progress with my Gin house, not having finished getting boards yet. I would be glad (if you can convieniently) if you would get me a ginstand you know who makes the best in Ala. & it would probably be of some service to the maker to send a good specimen to Texas. You know what kind of a gin would suit me better than I do.

I will write to Scranton about the pecans. I can't imagine what has become of them.

We would be very glad if you would come out to see us this fall, tho' we will be glad enough to see any of the family.

Capts Duncan & Rugely of old Caney, went up as high as La Grange not long since to attend the meeting of the raft commissioners, & what is a little remarkable neither of them had ever been as high up the river before. There has been some effort made towards clearing out the raft in this river, & it has been very successful. The men who have made the effort think that with 18 hands, & other appliances, without the aid of steamboats, it can be cleared out by next March. My Delta still comes regularly & I intend to continue to take it as long as I like it as well as I do now.

Louisa joins me in love to you all.

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait Esqr
Blacks Bluff

8. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, September 24, 1849

Sept 24th 1849

As I missed the mail rider on friday, whom I expected would mail this letter at Egypt, I conclude to add a P S and take it with me to Columbus today. Louisa & myself have continued to improve. I have got my Blacksmith's shop in operation & an excellent Blacksmith living with me, a German raised in Pennsylvania, he agrees to do all my work for his board & the use of my tools; Moses who strikes for him he says will make a smith. I consider this lucky as Mr Cooper, the smith is a good hand at making the irons for gin-gear, as well as plows &c

C Wm T

9. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, December 25, 1849

Columbus Texas Decr 25th 1849

Dear Father

Your letter of Novr 19th by Felix, was received on the 15th inst. I believe every thing sent by Fe came safe. I thank you for the negroes & gin &c. The bible & hymn book were received in good order, but not the bible I expected. When you are done with it, if I should survive you, I shall expect to fall heir to the old family bible. I knew the one you sent was not the old bible as soon as I saw it. We are very glad at receiving your daguerreotype likeness, & wish you to send us a lock of your hair, when you write again, to accompany it.

Tell Ma & the girls that Louisa & I thank them for the beautiful presents sent us.

Felix can give you all the items better than I can write. Louisa joins me in love to you all. Your affectionate son

C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait, Esqr
Blacks Bluff
Ala

10. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, March 6, 1850

Columbus Texas
March 6th 1850

Dear Father

Your letter of Jany 11th ult was received by the last mail. We were glad to hear that you were all well, & of Felix' safe arrival. I am sorry Fe did not stay longer with us as he was detained so long in Galveston. We have not commenced planting yet but probably shall in a few days; the trees are putting out their leaves & admonish us it is time. We are endeavoring to put thirty or forty acres more in cultivation than we had last year. The gin-house I concluded to postpone until we got the crop planted.

I have not seen Pinchback since Felix left & do not know how he would sell his land & negroes. He has employed an excellent overseer & probably does not wish to sell now. I do not know how much sugar Mr Mercer made last crop, when I saw him last he had not finished grinding his cane.

A great many persons have immigrated to Texas the past winter & consequently land has risen in price a good deal & is still rising. If we should get the raft cleared out of the river, land will probably double in price in six months or less. If cotton should continue at the present prices I do not think I shall go into the cultivation of sugar-cane as a crop. The people in my neighborhood generally seem disposed to continue the cultivation of cotton. We all will be glad to see you this spring. If you come this year you can come again some other time. If you keep putting it off you cannot come so often. I think you will be better pleased with Texas to see it in the spring or summer, than at any other time.

Louisa joins me in love to you all. We are all well.

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A. Tait Esqr
Black's Bluff
Ala

11. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, August 12, 1850

Columbus, Texas Aug 12th 1850

Dear Father

Your letter of the 3rd July was received on the first of this month. I should have answered it sooner but Louisa wrote to Ma about the time I received it. We were glad to hear that you were all well.

We have had some little fever among the negroes, but Louisa & myself have continued to enjoy excellent health, thank God. There has been some sickness in the neighborhood, but the dry weather has continued so long, that I believe it has almost entirely subsided. After the exceeding wet weather of the spring, we have had very dry weather, my young corn, & potatoes are suffering for want of rain. The Prairie-grass is so dry that it would burn easily if fire should get to it. My cotton looks very promising that that was planted in June has even exceeded my expectations, it is blooming finely now.

I have recommenced work on my gin-house & intend to continue until it is completed It is much more difficult to build a house here, than in Ala. There perhaps it is good economy to use forty-saw gins & two mules, to a gin house; & build more houses if necessary Here where building materials are so hard to come at, I take it to be the better plan to use larger gins & more mules. As I have been so long about it I shall endeavor to build a good house any how; & one suited to a large or small gin.

Jane has got well of her disease, but not of her rascality; There are now however four cases on the place from her inoculations. I shall sell her the first opportunity.

If you have not bought the negroes of R D. James, do not do so, if you can secure yourself as well in any other way. The old man I should like to have, but the woman & children shall not stay on my place longer than I can properly get rid of them. If you have bought them I think I could exchange them for some of this land adjoining me. If you have not & do not buy them, I have James' Power of Attorney to sell them. Eunice will be delivered, in the course of a month or so, & as I judge from her conduct, of a mulatto.

Louisa joins me in love to you all

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait, Esqr
Black's Bluff
Ala.

12. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, October 2, 1850

Columbus, Texas October 2nd 1850

Dear Father

Your letter of Septr 5th was recd yesterday, by which we were glad to hear from you all & that you were well. We are all well, thank God, not a single sick one on the place. Louisa was safely delivered of a daughter on the 28th Septr ult, mother & daughter both doing well. I hope this grand child will be some inducement for you to come out this fall. We wish you or Ma to send a name for it.

If all your children are lucky in raising their offspring I think, you will be like the patriarchs of old, the father of nations.

I had the "Texas Monument" sent to you, & will stop it at the end of the year as you desire. I received & answered long since, your letter containing the contract you make with your overseers. I received a letter from R D. James yesterday, desiring me to sell his negroes here. He appeared from the tone of his letter to be miffed that you did not buy them. I will sell them the first opportunity.

Mary had a boy child on the 28th August, & white as I expected. I have not yet sold Jane. We finished gathering the corn on monday last, (all but a little late new-ground corn), about 1100 bushels. Our cotton is very much opened, & materially lessened by the severe drought, We have not had a good rain here since June.

Louisa joins me in love to you all.

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait Esqr
Blacks Bluff

13. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, January 7, 1851

Columbus Texas
Jany 7th 1851

Dear Father,

Your letter of Novr 21st ult was received on the 17th of Decr, but as Louisa wrote to Ma about that time I concluded not to answer it then. I received one also at the same time from Felix. Fe appears to be highly delighted with his matrimonial connections. I am sorry he did not marry sooner. We are all enjoying good health, thank God, not one on the place who can not eat his or her allowance. I have not yet finished my gin house, there is so much to hinder that we get along very slowly with it.

I do not know how many hogsheads of sugar Mr Mercer has made, altho' I have seen the old man & one of his sons, since they quit grinding. I heard him say however that he would leave twelve acres (spoiled by the freeze) untouched. We have had the coldest weather this winter that has ever been experienced in Texas, even by the "oldest inhabitant." A good many of the planters by Caney have lost a large portion of their cane by the severity of the cold.

I think from the start that has been made that this year will see the raft cleared out of the Colorado River. The immigrants are flocking to Texas, like Pigeons to their roosts, both from the states & Europe. The immigration has not been so great to my immediate neighborhood, but very great from about Lagrange & upward on this river, & to other parts of the country. I have been told that there is but one old settler left in Rabb's Prairie. The price of land is increasing in proportion to the demand, it has doubled in the upper country within the last year. When the river is made navigable. I have no doubt that the price of Land will double or treble all along this river & near it.

We were very much in hopes of seeing Robert here this winter, but presume the cholera has prevented his coming. I should dislike very much for him to take the cholera by exposing himself in coming We hope you will come to see us in the spring you have never yet seen my wife or your granddaughter We havve not had her baptized yet, but intend to do so Louisa joins me in love to you all

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A. Tait Esqr.
Black's Bluff

14. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, August 23, 1852

Columbus, Colorado County, Texas
August 23rd 1852

Dear Father

Your letter of July 30th ult. was recd on the 21st inst, by which we were glad to hear from you all. We have anxiously looked for some of you out this summer, in fact I felt like you would come which feeling I expressed to Louisa at the time. I hope, however you will come some time or other, we have one grand-child of yours, you have never seen, & are looking for another very soon.

We are all now in good health (thank God) not one on the place unable to eat his or her rations. My corn crop, considering the bad stand and lateness of planting, is very good. My cotton is much better than I ever expected it would be in the spring, & would be still much better but for the almost daily rains that we have had for the last two months. The weed is very large, & the forms are falling off very much, if we have a late season however & if the catterpillars do not interfere I think we will have as much as we can save in good season. We have not yet commenced picking, tho' some of my neighbors have. We will probably begin about the 10th of Septr.

As soon as the fall courts are over I shall commence negotiating about this quarter league of land adjoining me, all the lawing about it, it is thought will be ended then. I will keep you informed of the negotiation as it progresses.

I wrote to Scranton to send you one of the latest maps of Texas some time ago, & did not know certainly that he had not sent it, I send you one now however of the latest & best. I dotted with a pencil on the map where our house stands.

I hope some of you will come out to see us soon, could you not let brother James come this winter or fall?

Louisa joins me in love to you all.

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait
Black's Bluff
Ala

15. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, January 11, 1853

Columbus, Colorado County, Texas
January 11th 1853

Dear Father

Your letters of Decr 7th & 21st were duly recd. We were glad to hear from you all & to learn that you were all well. I should have answered your letters sooner but I wrote to Ma the day I recd your first letter. As I do not go to Columbus very regularly of late, sometimes the letters remain in the office some days before I get them. I have been very busy lately attending to the trapping of my hogs; the mash has been so abundant this season, that most of my hogs have gone wild, & it is a necessity to make pens about in the woods & bait them regularly to catch the hogs. I have killed 28 already & have 25 more fit to kill (if I can catch them).

If you will write to me two or three weeks before you start to Texas, at what time you will be in Houston I will meet you there, at the Old Capitol, with a carriage.

If I can get this land adjoining me I will promise the first payment on the first of May next, to suit your arrival. I have not seen the owner yet, intending to see him when I send off my cotton.

Louisa joins me in love to you all. Your affect son

C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait Black's Bluff

16. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, June 23, 1853

Columbus, Texas June 23rd 1853

Dear Father

Your letter mailed on the 8th of June & Ma's dated the 4th were both received by the last mail. We were very glad to hear of your safe arrival at home; & to hear from you all. I was very sorry to hear of the death of nephew Charles. Tell Robert I condole with him.

The day after you left Houston, I started home, & while nooning at Braes Bayou there came along a large old gentleman, who after scraping up acquaintance, announced himself as Doctr Gibbs, & stated that he was at your wedding. He is now living at Atlanta in Georgia. The same night I reached Richmond, & after telling the landlord my name, he made some enquiries of me in relation to my pedigree & said his name was Joe Nelson Maney & that his grandmother was Lucy Tait a sister of Grand Pa's.

My crop I believe is more promising than usual at this season of the year.

Jno Goode has had an attack of chill & fever. The rest of us are about as well as usual. Both the boxes you sent have arrived safely. Louisa joins me in love to you all. Your affectionate son C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait
Blacks Bluff

17. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, July 20, 1853

Columbus, Texas, July 20th 1853

Dear Father

Your letter of the 2nd inst. was recd by the last mail. The half of the hundred dollar bill was safely received.

Louisa & myself have enjoyed good health thus far. Caroline has had a bad bowel complaint, but it is now better. There has been some sickness amongst the negroes but nothing serious. As soon as Caroline is well enough we expect to leave home. The weather is very warm, the thermometer at 97° Fahrenheit in the shade. My crop looks very promising, tho' the corn & potatoes would be benefitted by rain, as it is very dry now. No cotton open yet on my place & nobody picking in the country, tho' it is usual to commence picking early cotton by the middle of July.

I saw Mr. R. M. Forbes of Port Lavaca the owner of the land adjoining mine, he says he will take six dollars an acre for his land, in three payments, payable in New Orleans. The Law-suit about the land will probably be decided next January, when he can give possession. He promised to give me the refusal & expects the first payment when he gives possession. I will make the necessary investigation in regard to the land on the Sandies this summer.

Let my brother James come out as soon as you think it safe for him to do so.

Louisa joins me in love to all.

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait Esqr.
Blacks Bluff

18. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, August 24, 1853

Columbus, Texas Augt 24th 1853

Dear Father

Your letter of the 2nd inst was yesterday received. We were glad to hear that you were all well. Louisa & myself have had good health this summer with the exception of an attack of influenza or cold with fever. Caroline has suffered a good deal with bowel complaint, but is now in good health. The negroes have been in better health this summer than usual, tho' we have lost two little ones, one burnt to death, & the other died of the influenza. We commenced picking cotton on the 15th of this month. My cotton is more open now than ever before at this season of the year.

The first half of the hundred dollar-bill, you sent, was duly received. I had intended to move my cowpen, by another season, across the hollow in a North east direction from the house. How would it do to move my residence three quarters of a mile up my spring branch, near a spring there is there? I recd the history of Ala. & the map you sent. I have read the history & am much pleased with it, tho' I should like it better if he had treated some portions of it more fully. Louisa joins me in love to you & all

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A. Tait Esqr
Black's Bluff

19. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, September 8, 1853

Columbus Texas Septr 8th 1853

Dear Father

Your letter mailed on the 17th of August, was received on the 29th of the same We were glad to hear that you were all well. The last half of the hundred dollar bill was received, it is so late in the season now that we will perhaps not want to use it this year, but will use it next year

We are all in good health now, our daughter is in better health than she has been since you were here. There is not one sick on the place now. We are busy picking cotton now, we commenced on the 15th of August this year. My crop has been shortened by the late very dry weather, & I do not think I shall make as much as I thought I should six weeks ago. The cotton is very much opened what there is of it. The weather is more like fall this morning than usual. Did you receive the letter I wrote you on my return from Houston, when you left? In it I mentioned about finding a second cousin of yours in Richmond.

Louisa joins me in love to you all.

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

J A Tait Blacks Bluff Ala

20. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, October 16, 1853

Columbus, Texas October 16th 1853

Dear Father

Your letter of the 27th Septr was recd on the 14th inst, by which we were glad to hear from you all, but sorry to learn that you were unwell. Since I last wrote you I have myself been unwell from an attack of cold & bowel complaint, but am now entirely recovered. Caroline had quite a severe attack of fever last week which continued several days, she is now much better. Louisa's health is good. The negroes are all well. Nicey I think is without any change in her character or conduct, We do not keep her about the house now. Frank does not come up to his recommendation but I think is doing better lately than he did some time ago. His character for honesty is not very good He has not been picking cotton this season. We shall be done picking cotton about the 1st of Novr if the weather continues favorable We have had a very favorable season for cotton picking this fall, until a few days ago, when it commenced raining.

Jno Goode is here yet. I think now it will be better to wait awhile longer before buying the Cow-ranch. I have not yet selected you the league of timbered land on the Sandies creek, but will do so in good time. As soon as the Law-suit is decided I shall get a bond for title to the land adjoining me, the title to be perfected at the last payment, or get a title at the start with a mortgage on the land, or whichever is best.

I expect to start to Austin about the 1st of Novr. I think however you had better continue to direct your letters here, & let my wife forward them to me. How about my brother James' coming out? After he has looked at my place a week or so I wish him to come up to Austin to see me. My neighbor Mr Wright died not long since, also Mr Fraser the old Scotchman who was building the Court House

Louisa joins me in love to you all

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait Esqr
Black's Bluff
Ala.

21. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, November 19, 1853

Austin City. Texas. Novr 19th 1853.

Dear Father

Your letter of Octr 16th was received this day. I was glad to hear from you all. Brother James' letter of the 22nd of October was also recd. I am sorry that the yellow fever will keep James from coming out so long. I was very much in hopes that he would come out before I left home. I shall be sorry if he starts before all danger of the fever is past. When he comes out & stays at my house a short time I wish him to come up to Austin to see me. I am afraid we will have a long session; it commenced on the first monday in November, there is a great deal of business before the Legislature; it meets only once in two years. There are two members of the Legislature with whom you are well acquainted; Mr Wm. F. Daniel, who represents Freestone County: & Mr H. P. C. Dulany from Panola. I shewed your letter to W Daniel, he appeared to appreciate the advice to me contained in it.

I saw Judge Lipscomb to day he is in good health, but looking a good deal older thatn when I saw him last. We have the supreme court of the state (one of the judges of which Judge Lipscomb is,); the U. S. district court; & the Legislature; all in session here at the same time. I am boarding with Dr S. G. Haynie & have very comfortable quarters for the winter. My friend Col: Turner who represents the counties of Lavaca & Dewitt, is also boarding at the same place. We are holding our sessions in the old capitol, a very uncomfortable place. We expect however to get into the new Capitol next week altho' it is not entirely finished. It is a splendid building; built of Texas marble at a cost of one hundred & fifty thousand dollars. I recd a letter, from Louisa, of the 11th inst, all were well at home. She informs me that she has not heard from Frank (the negro you gave us when you were out), who ranaway on the 22nd of October last. Give my love to all, & direct your letters to this place until Christmas.

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A. Tait
Black's Bluff

22. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, December 8, 1853

Columbus Texas Decr 8th 1853

Dear Father

Your letter of Novr 22nd ult, was this day recd by which we were glad to hear from you all, & to learn that you were getting better so fast. We are all well with the exception of colds, Caroline is somewhat feverish to night, but she has been in fine health lately. I have been in Austin from the 1st of Novr until the 3rd of this month, when I took French-leave & started for home. I expect to start back tomorrow-morning. The Legislature will probably not adjourn before February. My wife expects to go up the 1st of January & remain until the Legislature adjourns. Mr Kelch will come at Christmas to oversee for me, when Jno Goode will leave. We have made 62 light bales of cotton & finished packing day before yesterday.

You can put as many hands as you like on the tract of land we contemplate buying, & if we can not get it, there is room enough for them on my land. The idea of the cow-ranch I have abandoned for the present. Louisa joins me in love to you & all. Your affectionate son.

C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait
Blacks Bluff
Ala.

23. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, February 20, 1854

Columbus Texas. Feby 20th 1854

Dear Father

Your letter & Ma's of the 23rd of January, were received in Austin on the 11th inst, where brother James arrived at that time. The Legislature adjourned on the 13th & we started home the same day, & arrived here on the 18th all well. I expect to go to Columbus tomorrow where I will make arrangements to close the trade with Forbes for the land adjoining me. I shall probably have to go to Port Labaca, where Forbes resides; if we agree on terms. I will write to Boykin immediately & request him to pay the 1st instalment to Forbes' merchant in New Orleans. The Law-suit, I am informed, has been decided in Forbes' favor.

Scranton wrote me some time since, that he had got possession of Frank & sold him for $1150., for which he charges me $25. I will either send or go for the proceeds in a few days.

I am very glad to have my brother James here, I will give him the best advise & instruction that I can. He has grown so much since I last saw him, that I am constantly calling him Rob. Caroline is in fine health. Louisa also, she will be confined sometime in April. James & Louisa join me in love to you all.

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait
Black's Bluff
Ala

24. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, March 3, 1854

Texana, Jackson County, Texas
March 3rd 1854

Dear Father

I left Port Lavaca, the residence of R M. Forbes, the owner of the land adjoining me, this morning. The Law-suit in regard to the land has been decided in his favor, & he now wants $7000.00 cash for it. There are more than 1165 acres in the tract, which makes about $6.00 per acre. The difference between this & his former proposition is that he now wants all cash. He gives me until 15th of April to close the trade; should you think it best to buy the land it will be necessary to act promptly as the time is short. He is willing to take drafts on New Orleans or Mobile. I wrote to Boykin of this date on the same subject, & requested him to inform you as soon as possible, knowing that letters were a long time reaching Bs Bluff. Lands are rising in price every day.

I left home the last day of February, all were well. I will leave this place tomorrow on my return home.

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait Esqr
Black's Bluff
Ala.

25. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, April 20, 1854

Port Lavaca Calhoun County Texas
April 20th 1854

Dear Father

Mr Forbes has this day made me a deed to the land adjoining me & I have given him drafts, on Messrs Boykin McRae & Foster, in the aggregate amounting to seven thousand dollars.

I left home on the 17th inst having that day recd Messrs Boykin &c letter, all were well.

We had a son born on the 13th of April, & wish you to send a name for him

Col: Turner will probably start the last of this month to Ala. to put his daughter to school at Camden. I will give the Col: a letter of introduction to you

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait Esqr
Black's Bluff
Ala.

26. Charles William Tait to Robert Tait, May 14, 1854

Columbus Texas, May 14th 1854

Dear Brother

I recd a letter from you not long since, the exact date I do not recollect, as I have mislaid the letter. I believe too it is the second letter I have recd from you without answering.

We are all well at present (gracias a Dios). We had a son born on the 13th of April, & learn from a letter to James that Felix had a daughter born on the 18th of the same month. We are expecting to hear by the next letter that you have an heir also Advise Pa & Ma to get a large book to register the names of their grand-children in, as they will soon be too numerous to remember I have written to Pa to send a name for my son, I had such bad luck with my first son, that I conclude not to give any more of my fancy names. My daughter Caroline is growing very fast, and is very talkative (which is nothing remarkable for a female) She loves her uncle James very much, as he takes a good deal of notice of her. He in playing with her makes me think of you & sister Caroline when she was small. I think sometimes my Caroline looks very much like her Aunt did at her age.

When my brother James first came out I frequently called him Rob, without thinking, he reminded me so much of you; tho' I think in feature he resembles Fe more than he does you. James is beginning to talk of returning to Ala., he has been sufficiently amused cow-driving, has seen a good many mustangs, & is now only waiting for us to build a pen to catch some. He thinks of taking back one of the Paint poneys I got for him. He has killed one deer since he has been in Texas, & probably seen a thousand.

I have not killed a deer this year, neither did I kill a bear last winter. I have had but poor success raising horses. I had but four foaled last spring & but one of them is alive now. Faunita has but one left, of two, & that looks very puny at present. The colts died of the distemper. There are a great many fine horses brought to Texas, & my chances of improving my stock are nearly as good as yours. I have two fine mules foaled this spring. I intend to purchase a Jack the first good opportunity. As to dogs, I have nearly run out of stock. Old Rogue is dead, & the only hounds on the place are two grand pups of his, about four months old. The bears are so scarce now that I do not have much use for hounds. I am getting some curs however to manage my cattle with, & would be glad if I could get some of the stock of the Cuba Blood-hound. writing of dogs reminds that I have yet hand two bear-skins one for you & one for Felix, which I will send first chance. Thinking of bear-skins reminds me of Strahan, he is about as near out of dogs as I am; he hunts very little now, & is inclined of late to making money Kelchs wife died last year, which caused him to break up house-keeping, & he is overseeing for me this year.

My crop is only tolerable, the spring was very cold & dry. I have some corn in the tassel; some of my cotton was only planted yesterday. Louisa & James join me in love to you & Mary Jane. Your affectionate brother.

Charles

Mr Robt Tait. Camden Ala.

27. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, June 1, 1854

Columbus Colorado County Texas
June 1st 1854

Dear Father

Your letter of May 6th was duly received, by which we were glad to hear that you were all well, & of course your health restored. Ma wrote rather despondingly about your health, which made us uneasy about you, I hope however that your health will be completely restored; & would suggest travelling as a good remedy particularly Texas ward. Brother James is here yet, & talking about starting back soon. I think the bottom portion of the Forbes tract would suit him very well. I am ready to make a title to it to him, or to any body you say. My crop is only tolerably good, The seasons have been very unfavorable with us. We had all enjoyed excellent health until within a few days past. Louisa in cleaning up our house overheated herself & got sick, which of course effected our son Gilmer to some extent. He however is looking very well & is growing fast. Caroline has been in better health lately than she ever was before.

I wrote a letter to you on the 25th of May, but the river has been so high that the mails did not cross, & I concluded as they could now travel I had better write again, & give you the latest news. We are all well now except Louisa, who is doing well.

James & Louisa join me in love to you all.

Your affectionate
son C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait Esqr
Black's Bluff
Ala

28. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, July 9, 1854

Columbus Texas July 9th 1854

Dear Father

Yours & Ma's letters of the 13th June by Col: Turner; also yours of May 26th were duly recd. Your letter of May 26th I did not answer as brother James was about starting home when I received it. Col: Turner sent the letters in, I have not seen him yet. I saw brother James & his poney on board the N. O. Steamer, on the 24th of June, which day the steamer sailed. I hope he has arrived safe at home before this. He can answer a good many of the queries contained in your letter of the 26th of May.

As relates to the Rabb league I do not know the result of the trade, but rather think it fell thro'. A good deal of cotton went down the Colorado this spring, going thro' the canal around the raft. If the canal is kept open for a few years the prospect is that it will remain permanently open. Instead of more sugar plantations being opened, some sugar planters between here & the bay are plowing up their cane, & planting cotton.

We have had a great deal of rain this summer, more than we have had any summer since '46. The probability is, if the rains do not cease soon, that we shall have the catterpillar in our cotton, & if we do our chances for a crop are very slim. The corn crops in this section of the state are generally very good.

Our white family has had very good health so far, except Gilmer who has been somewhat sick lately. Louisa joins me in love to you & all the family.

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait Esqr
Black's Bluff
Ala.

29. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, August 24, 1854

Columbus Texas Aug 24th 1854

Dear Father

Your letter of July 30th was received on the 21st inst, by which we were glad to hear from you all. We were much pleased at the idea of James' coming out to live. I expect I shall have plenty of corn for him. I think he ought to buy a small piece of land of Pinchback for a building site. By looking at the plot I gave him you will see that by buying a wedged-shape piece of Pinchback & a similar piece of Haley; he would have a very good building site convenient to the rich land, & then together we should own the whole prairie in front of us, & could not be crowded by bad neighbors. I have found it impossible so far to get a suitable woman for a wife for King, if you have one that would suit I would be glad if you would give her to James, as we shall be so close together that an arrangement of that sort would do very well. James ought not to start later than October to come by land; we are apt to have dry weather in Septr October & part of Novr. When Mr Williams moved out, he started the last of Septr, coming by Jackson on the Bigby [Tombigbee] Rodney on the Mississippi, & Natchitoches on Red River, & made the trip in five weeks & had but one rain on him the whole way. The biggest freshet we have had on the Colorado since '43 was in '52 when the water was about 4 feet deep along the road we travelled to the ferry. The old log cabin at the ferry was not moved by the freshet.

If James gets out time enough to let his women pick cotton for me, I can put my men to building for him.

We are all in good health now & have had so far better health this year than usual. Louisa joins me in love to you all

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait Esqr
Blacksbluff
Ala.

30. Charles William Tait to James Asbury Tait, September 13, 1854

Columbus Texas Sep 13th 1854

Dear Father

Your letter of Aug. 24th was recd on the 11th inst; by which we were glad to hear from you all. I wrote to James by last mail, explaining to him what I thought would be necessary. I think that all he will need to have sent from New Orleans will be about ten barrels of pickled Pork, which ought to be sent to the care of Coen & Co. Saluria & Clark L. Owen & Co Texana. His plow gear will come on his mules, & probably for the first year he will only need scooter & shovel plow as most of his land will be new If he needs other plows they can be easily obtained. He can buy his axes in Texana, & in fact any thing else he may need; which can be easily hauled up, as my wagon will be returning empty after hauling down my cotton.

I saw to day the overseer of the man who rented the cleared land, on the Forbes tract he thinks it made fourteen hundred bushels of corn this year, on about thirty acres.

I think at first it will be best for James to put his negroes in the bottom near the river on the Forbes tract, he can make his prairie settlement at any time after I would be very glad if he could get the two wedge-shaped pieces of land of Pinchback & Haley, which would give us the entire control of the prairie near the house, & he would get some excellent land besides. The whole of the Haley land is for sale now, which could for cash be bought at a price that would do even to speculate on.

The bottom land belonging to the estate of Judge Miller was appraised by Mr Wright & others at twenty dollars per acre, under oath.

The catterpillars are in my cotton, but it is so late I do not apprehend much mischief. We have all enjoyed better health this year than usual. I expect to hire a ditcher who will commence operations in October, which I think will still further improve the health of the place.

Our son is five months old to day, & has cut one tooth, which is a month earlier than our other children. Caroline grows very fast, & occasionally gets the shells you gave her, & has a long talk about you & them.

Louisa joins me in love to you & all

Your affectionate son
C Wm Tait

Jas A Tait Esqr
Black's Bluff Ala.

31. Charles William Tait to James G. Tait, June 17, 1857

Columbus Colorado County, Texas
June 17th 1857

Dear brother James

Your letter with an addition by Tine was duly received. In the confusion of moving to Columbus, your letter has been mislaid, & the date forgotten. We moved into our old Shanty on the 3rd of June inst. We are all well, except the children who have slight fever from vaccination.

Our crops have suffered a great deal from the drouth, We had a shower yesterday, which I hope will be repeated, of which we have some prospect this morning. So far as fevers are concerned, the country has been unusually healthy this year, two dry for malaria. Since your left two of our citizens have died viz: Doctr Wilson; & W R. Turner commonly known as big Turner. My prospect for a crop is very bad indeed, late frosts & long drouths have done the mischief.

The pony stock are doing well. Jenny Lind has had a colt since you left, a black pacing Quebec. I expect three more soon, from Ton, Beck, & September. I have partly bargained for a pony for Sarah, I do not know yet how he will suit. Now would be a fine time to buy ponies west of this, as I understand that prairie grass is actually failing for want of rain. I wish you to come out early in the fall. Ask Fe to send me a copy of the charter of the Mobile Bank in which the State is interested. The Bank question is all the rage here now.

Tell Tine that Lou has only recd one letter from her since she left, & that was written in New Orleans. Tell her to write to me some, & that I like her stile of writing rather better than yours.

Old Mr Lack was over to see us last Sunday; he does not have the chills now, but looks leaner than he did last year. Tell Ma I will try & have a room fixed for her & Tine by cold weather.

Louisa & Caroline join me in love to you & all

Your affectionate brother
C Wm Tait

Mr Jas. G. Tait
Camden
Ala.

32. Charles William Tait to Louisa M. Tait, January 2, 1864

Sabine Pass, Jany 2nd 1864

My dear wife

As Mr Bradshaw leaves for Houston, & perhaps for La Grange, I again have an opportunity of writing to you. I am still in good health. Niel is well. George is well. If Mr Bradshaw will call however he can give you all the news. We are now having intensely cold weather; ice strong enough to bear the weight of a man & horse. Have had heavy rains. We are ordered to march to Sandy Point, Brazoria County, as soon as we are relieved by Col: Daly's mounted Battalion; which I hope will be soon. Mr Bradshaw has some leather which he probably would sell, or exchange for something you have, such as lard or something of that sort. You need a quantity of sole leather, & also some harness leather, & upper leather. Have you had shoes made for the negroes yet? You can read the last militia law & guess when I can get home. I hope your brother got home safe. Write me all the news by Mr Draub, Mr Holman, or Mr Bradshaw, or any one coming to join the Battalion. Give my love to all our folks.

Your affectionate husband
C Wm Tait

Mrs L M Tait
Columbus

33. Charles William Tait to Louisa M. Tait, January 5, 1864

Sabine Pass. Jany 5th 1864.

My dear wife

I wrote you the other day by Mr Bradshaw, but as he did not leave at the time, he sent my letter by the mail. As he expects to start again to night I will write you a few more lines. I am still in good health. It is still very cold, freezing. We are ordered to march to Sandy Point, Brazoria County, as soon as we are relieved by Col Dalys command. Please send me by Mr Draub, the number of the State Gazette containing the late law for reorganization of the militia.

Give my love to all our folks

Your affectionate husband
C Wm Tait

Mrs L M Tait
Columbus

34. William P. Jewett to James Asbury and Caroline Elizabeth (Goode) Tait, September 26, 1844

Judson Institute, Sept. 26, 1844

My dear Mr & Mrs Tait,

Being at Livingston, last week, I heard a rumor of the deep affliction into which your family has been so unexpectedly plunged, and returning to Marion, I find the reports too surely confirmed.

Permit me, on this most melancholy occasion, to offer to you the humble tribute of my most tender sympathy. My heart is overwhelmed with grief, and for a few days past, I have felt almost unable to eat, drink, or sleep, on account of this matter. It has been my privilege to enjoy an intimacy with yourselves & your most amiable family, which gives me a right to feel keen distress at any affliction with which you may be visited. And oh! the poor boy by whose inconsiderate, (though I will trust in the sight of God, innocent) hand, the calamity has been brought upon you. Never was there a more noble nature than Charles'. If he has erred, it must have been from a desire to protect the honor & preserve the happiness of a beloved sister, and through the deepest reverence for the feelings of parents which he saw to be disregarded. Never have I seen a purer, brighter example of filial piety, than he uniformly manifested, never have I known a more admirable pattern of affectionate regard for younger brothers and sisters. Alas! the anguish that must now rend his affectionate, his noble heart. He can hardly know whom most to weep for, him self or his beloved sister.

It is perfectly evident to my mind that Charles must have been in possession of information relative to Rives' moral principles & liabels, which he did not think it necessary to divulge, but which, in his judgment, ought to have interposed an insurmountable barrier to the marriage. He certainly is not a rash, revengeful young man, rushing headlong into crime, urged on by infuriated passions. Unless I am wholly deceived in him, such is not at all his character. Nothing but the direst necessity, nothing but the perpetual wretchedness of a beloved sister in prospect, could have suggested to his mind a possible resort to violence. I must & will believe, that his view of the case will go far, both in the eye of God & in the minds of men, to extenuate his guilt. May a merciful Providence watch over him, make him truly penitent for any sinful passions he may have indulged, and soothe & comfort his wounded spirit!

Be so kind as to offer my most affectionate sympathy to all your children. I write to Sarah, by this mail.

Poor, poor girl! She suffers a double anguish, and if I can give any word of consolation, it is my duty, as it is my pleasure to attempt it. I should be glad to hear from you.

Mrs Jewett joins me in subscribing myself

With the highest respect
Your obliged & devoted friend
Wm. P. Jewett

Under present circumstances, I suppose Miss Rebecca may feel more than ever reluctant to leave home for the Judson. If Miss Martha could come up, a few weeks, with her, her objections might be removed.

35. Statement of W. W. Rives, 1844

On my arrival at Capt Taits' I was accosted by Dr. Tait, who shook me by the hand in a friendly manner, & requested me to take a walk with him—whilst walking on, he inquired of me about my trip to Quebec & Canada, and after getting some distance from the house, under the hill, he remarked—We have gone far enough, Esq. I have recently ascertained that you have pursued the most libertine course at my fathers' house & that you resorted there for that purpose, & that you have said I was equally guilty with yourself, and now you are going to marry my Sister, and reduce her to a level with your own degradation, — I told him it was a damned lie, he replied you are a damned liar, I repeated it, & he struck me with his stick, & continued to follow me up for fifty yards, I warding off the blows with my arms, & looking for a stick or lightwood knot, not finding any, I felt for my knife, he said damn you draw your knife, as I could not find my knife, I thought it was too cowardly to retreat farther, rushed upon him, & took his stick from him, he put his left hand in his pocket and drew a pistol, I struck him on the wrist to keep him from shooting me,— he shifted the pistol to the right hand and immediately fired on me—

This declaration was made in presence F. C. Beck & myself on the day the wound was inflicted

J. F. Dortel

36. Tait Plantation Slave Rules, Version 1, from Charles William Tait Papers, The Center for American History, University of Texas, Austin

Plantation Rules.

General Rules

1st Never punish a negro when in a passion. No one is capable of properly regulating the punishment for an offense when angry.

2nd Never require of a negro what is unreasonable. But when you give an order be sure to enforce it with firmness, yet mildly

3rd Always attempt to govern by reason in the first instance, and resort to force only when reason fails, and then use no more force than is absolutely necessary to procure obedience.

4th In giving orders always do it in a mild tone, and try to leave the impression on the mind of the negro that what you say is the result of reflection.

5th In giving orders be sure that you are understood, and let the negro know that he can always ask for an explanation if he does not understand you.

6th When you are under the necessity of punishing a negro, be sure to let him know for what offence he is punished.

7th Never act in such a way as to leave the impression on the mind of the negro that you take pleasure in his punishment, your manner should indicate that his punishment is painful

8th A regular and systematic plan of operation is greatly promotive of easy government. Have all mattters therefore, as far as possible reduced to a system.

9th Negroes lack the motive of self-interest to make them careful & diligent, hence the necessity of great patience in the management of them. Do not therefore notice too many small omissions of duty.

10th The maxim of making haste slow in plantation operations, is equally applicable as in ordinary vocations of life. The meaning of which is not by attempting to do too much, to over-work and consequently injure your hands. Recollect that the journey of life is a long and at best a tedious one. The traveller who wishes to make a long and safe trip, always travels in regular and moderate stages. Do not kill the goose to obtain the golden egg."

Particular rules.

1st Always require the negroes to eat their breakfasts before they go to work.

2nd From the 1st of October to the 1st of April they must be ready to go to work at daylight, stopping at 12 .M. long enough to eat their dinners, or as long as one hour according to circumstances

3rd From the 1st of April to the 1st of October, they must be ready to go to work by sunrise, stopping at 12 .M. and resting from one to two hours & a half according to circumstances.

4. Never require field-work of a woman, until the expiration of four weeks after confinement, & then permit her to come home to her child, between breakfast & dinner, at dinner, & between dinner & night, until the child is seven months old after that once a day, until the child is a year old or weaned.

5th Serve out to every working hand once a week from two & a half to three and a half pounds of bacon according to circumstances. If milk & butter is plenty then less meat, if molasses is served out then one quart in place of one pound of meat. Of dried-beef five or six pounds is the weekly allowance, also one peck of meal. When potatoes are served then less meal. Lying-in women to be allowed one quart of coffee and two quarts of sugar, & fed from the overseers kitchen 2 weeks.

6th The negroes are to be allowed to commence using the potatoes and sugar-cane on the 1st of October.

7th In clearing land, always cut and belt the timber, within one foot of the ground; and cut down as much timber as can be got rid of.

8th In making rails get them ten feet long, and never heart a tree that is less than a foot in diameter, Always pile the rails on the stump of the tree before leaving.

9th In making fences, lay the worm four feet and a half wide, make it five feet high, & then stake with Post-Oak or Mulberry rails will set in, with a heavy rider.

10th Pork-hogs to be penned in September, and fed on corn previously shelled, and soaked in water two or three days.—Pumpkins-sugar-cane &c.

11th In planting corn, mix pumpkin seeds with the corn for every fourth row.

12th Potatoes when dug to be housed or banked the same day.

13th The women to commence in Novr spinning thread at night to make plow-lines.

14th The corn to be gathered as soon as it is dry enough

15th No profane or obscene language to be allowed among the negroes.

16th Every negro-cabin to be inspected every sunday morning, to see that it is kept clean. Every negro to appear in the field on Monday morning in clean clothes.

17th The negroes are never to be allowed to leave the premises, unless by special permission, and a written pass stating where they are permitted to go.

18th No strange negro to be allowed to visit the plantation, unless by permission of the overseer, & a written pass from his master.

19 Every overseer on taking charge of the plantation to take an inventory of the effects &c on the place & to do the same before leaving.

37. Tait Plantation Slave Rules, Version 2, from Tait Family Papers (Ms. 32), Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus

Plantation Rules.

General Rules

1st Never punish a negro when in a passion. No one is capable of properly regulating the punishment for an offense when angry.

2nd Never require of a negro what is unreasonable. But when you give an order be sure to enforce it with firmness yet mildly

3rd Always attempt to govern by reason in the first instance, and resort to force only when reason fails, and then use no more force than is absolutely necessary to procure obedience.

4th In giving orders always do it in a mild tone, and try to leave the impression on the mind of the negro that what you say is the result of reflection.

5th In giving orders be sure that you are understood, and let the negro know that he can always ask for an explanation if he does not understand you.

6th When you are under the necessity of punishing a negro, be sure to let him know for what offence he is punished.

7th Never act in such a way as to leave the impression on the mind of the negro that you take pleasure in his punishment, your manner should indicate that his punishment is painful.

8th A regular & systematic plan of operation on the plantation is greatly promotive of easy government. Have all mattters, therefore, as far as possible reduced to a system.

9th Negroes lack the motive of self interest to make them careful & diligent, hence the necessity of great patience in the management of them. Do not therefore notice too many small omissions of duty.

10th The maxim of making haste slow in plantation operations, is equally applicable as in ordinary vocations of life. The meaning of which is not by attempting to do too much, to over-work and consequently injure your hands. Recollect that the journey of life is a long, & at best, a tedious one. The traveller who wishes to make a long & safe trip, always travels in regular & moderate stages. Do not kill the goose to obtain the golden egg.

Particular rules

1. Always require the negroes to eat their breakfasts before they go to work.

2 From the 1st of October to the 1st of April they must be ready to go to work at daylight, stopping at 12 .M. long enough to eat their dinners, or as long as one hour according to circumstances.

3. From the 1st of April to the 1st of October, they must be ready to go to work by sunrise, stopping at 12 .M. & resting from one to two hours & a half according to circumstances.

4. Never require field work of a woman, until the expiration of four weeks after confinement, & then permit her to come home to her child, between breakfast & dinner, at dinner & between dinner & night until the child is seven months old after that until weaning once a day.

5. Serve out to every working hand once a week from three to four pounds of bacon according to circumstances. If milk & butter is plenty then less meat; if molasses is served then 1 quart in lieu of 1 lb of meat. Of dried beef five or six pounds is the weekly allowance; Also 1 peck of meal. When potatoes are served then less meal.

6. In clearing land always cut & belt the timbers within one foot of the ground, & cut down as much timber as can be got rid of.

7. In making rails get them ten feet long, & never heart a tree that is less than a foot in diameter. Let the worm of the fence be four & a half feet wide & stake & rider with Post oak or mulberry. Always pile the rails on the stump of the tree before leaving.

8 King is to feed the hogs every night & to have assistance when necessary.

9 Moses has charge of the horses, with assistance.

10. Coffee & Tom have charge of the oxen.

11. The women to commence in November spinning at night thread to make plow lines.

12. Every negro cabin to be inspected every sunday, to see that it is kept clean. Every negro to appear in the field on monday morning in clean clothes.

13. Hogs to be put up to fatten in September.

14. The negroes to be allowed to commence using the potatoes & sugar-cane on the 1st of October.

15. The corn to be gathered as soon as it is dry enough.

16. The negroes are never to be allowed to leave the premises unless by special permission, & written pass stating where they are permitted to go.