yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee


ROUGEMONT, NC (1826-1828)

Xerox copies of transcriptions provided by Sue Carrington Stewart

A letter written by William Davis CARRINGT0N to his father, Nathaniel CARRINGTON, Rougemont, N.C. on August 7 1826. The copy was made by Mary Ethel Tilley, Rougemont, N.C. and sent to Evelyn M. Carrington, Denton, Texas.

Henderson county

The 7th of August 1826

Most Worthy, Dear and ever to be remembered Father and Mother:

We once more take the liberty of writing a few lines to inform you that we a few days ago rec'd yours dated the 8th of April informing us that you were all up and about, but that some or another of your family had been sick for nearly 6 months. This letter we were overjoyed to recieve and to hear from our dear and tender and affectionate parents but oh! when I come to read the contents therein, my heart sunk, and eyes melted into tears to hear of the affecting hand of God. We ought to be thankful that we are still this side of Eternity. Myself and family are all enjoying a reasonable portion of that inestimable health that liberally flows from our kind benefactor. Thanks be to his name for his kindness toward us! We are hoping and trusting that these lines when they come to your hands may find you all enjoying your perfect health.

Aged Father and Mother, we have nothing strange to inform you of. Crops in this country are remarkably good. Corn I have no doubt, may be bought this Fall from 50 to 75 cents per barrell. Wheat is 62½ cents per bushel; Flour from $4.50 to $5.00 per barrel; bacon, from 6 to 8 cents per pound; I have a wonderful crop of corn and cotton this year. I think I shall make 150 barrel of corn, more than will support my family. My cotton looks remarkably well. I have bought John M Philpotts possesions on Sandy River, which is near 900 acres of land with improvements with a good dwelling house and all other necessary houses, a first rate new double brested Trianza cotton gin in complete operation, a good distillery with first rate new stills and all the apporatises now in nice operation and a grist mill, thought to be the best that is now in Western district. It grinds more and gets more custom than sh can possibly do. I am to give him $5,200.00 for it, clear of any interest. I I have 5 payments. I am to pay him 1/5 first day of May 1828, and 1/5 first day of May 1829, and 1/5 first day of May 1830, and 1/5 first day of May 1831, and 1/5 first day of May 1832.

This I know is a large venture though I shall get through if I have good luck. My stills are good for 2000 gallons of whisky a year and pay the distillers. My gin is good $400.00 a year and my mill will more than support my family by the toll. I have 260 acres of land cleared; and land rents for $2.00 per acre. If I could rent the whole out I could get $1000.00 a year for it, though I think I can make nearly the double of that sum. I have been offered $1000.00 for my bargain and make the payments one year sooner than I have to pay it i__ but I would not take it. I know that after I pay for it that it will be a fortune for my children. I lack nothing but force enough. I shall expect to have to rent out a good deal of my land. I intend to try to tend 100 acres in corn and cotton next year, if we should live.

You wrote to me that William Blalock held a note against me for some amount which I gave him my note when he was going to start from this country, $12.05 I think. He also, I think, has an open account for $ 2.37½ which I wrote by him requesting of you to pay it to him as I expected that you could out of my effects that I left in your hands. John J. Carrington wrote to me the 26th of last October for me to undertake to do his business here and when I collected money to pay myself the bond that he owes me. I have collected $128.00 which he holds my receipt for, given to Mr. Terry for that amount. I want you to go see J. J. C. and both of you be present and credit his bond for one hundred and twenty-eight dollars, and take up my receipt, that he has, that I gave to Terry for him, and send it to me by Roland Gooch.

Dear Father and Mother, we have a longing desire to see you once more, when we contemplate and think of the pleasure that we have had in being at your house, in conversing with tender and affectionate Father and Mother and being in your company, and now to think of it, I am here by myself--neither father, mother, brothers, nor sisters, oh! my heart it seems like my poor heart must break. To think all my brothers and sisters, daddy and mamma are all together embracing the sweet company of each other! I am here like one in a waste howling wilderness. I dream of father and mother in my sleep. Daddy, I view you often. Mamma, I cannot express my feeling toward you both, but I must give up to God and beg of you to remember me. God bless you! I think of you constantly, (oh!) that it was in my power once more to enjoy the pleasure of your company. I must stop for I am getting so full that I must curtail religious flourshises very fast.

In this section we have a great deal of fine preaching close to us. Myself and family stand as high in estimation of the people as any people could. I must draw to a close and bid farewell ,Daddy, and farewell Mamma, and farewell brothers and sisters. Perhaps never to see none of you again, but if we should not see each other's face here again, let us try to be prepared to meet around the happy throne of God, where parting will be no more. We wish you to write us without fail, and give us a statement of all the particulars of your neighborhood. We wish you to give our best love and compliments to brothers and sisters all, and relations and inquiring friends Nothing more, only we remain your ever loving and affectionate son and daughter until death

Williams D. Carrington and Fanny Carrington

N.b. Fanny wishes particular to be remembered to you both, and to Sisters Holly and Ruthy, Brother Meekins and his wife and to all relations and says that she wants to see you very bad. Daddy, I want you to come and see us and our country.

Williams D. Carrington

A letter written August 3,1827, By William Davis CARRINGTON to his mother and father, Nathaniel CARRINGTON and Anna (DAVIS) CARRINGTON of Rougemont, N.C. The original letter is in possession of Luther Macon CARRINGTON of Burkaville, Virginia.

August 3rd, 1827

Pleasant Exchange, Tennessee
Henderson County

Very Dear and ever to be remembered Father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters.

After a long absence from you all, we once more attempt to write you a few lines, for the third time since we recieved a line from you. And, Father, I cannot see the reason of your not writing to us. I am anxious to hear from you at all times. Father and Mother, I hope you will write to us oftener, every month, and direct your letters to Pleasant Exchange, Tenn., Henderson County.

Aged Father and Mother, we through the assistance of Almighty God are on this land and among the living, and enjoying of our health, very copiously. Thank God for his kind mercy toward us! Hoping that these few lines may find you all enjoying the same state of health. We people and our relations are all well as far as we know at this time.

Crops are tolerable good. Corn crops are very promising. Cotton crops are not so good as we have had heretofore, owing to the wet spring and the grass growing so immensely that it has injured our cotton very much. Wheat crops ware injured very much with the rust. Oat crops were very good. David lives with me as a kind of an overseer and I think if nothing happens and continues that I shall make 500 barrells of corn, or upwards and I have 180 barrels owing to me for Land. I have 20 acres in cotton though it is not very good. Our crop was so hearty that we could not manage it as I would of wished. I have a very crop of corn.

 Bacon is worth 7 cents per lb. I have upwards of 200 pounds to kill now. Flour is from 4 to 5 dollars per barrel, cotton from 7 to 9 cents per pound. Coffee is worth 16 cents per pound in Orleans. I sent on to Orleans for 2 sacks of coffee, and they cost me 16 cents per pound, and I sold it at 33 1/3 cents per pound. I had 2 barrels of sugar brought on from Orleans and it cost me 9 cents per pound, and I sold it out at 17 cents per pound in less than 2 weeks. Money is scarce, though I get hold of some.

I am living on the road and keep a house of entertainment -- whiskey to sell, and I get a part of that moneys are in circulation. I have got my name up among the people to be the friendly man, and they all come to me far and near to get anything they want that I have to sell. The man that stilled for me last season, made me 2½ gallons of whiskey to the bushel throughout the season, and I am selling it at $1.00 per gallon cash and $1.50 on credit. I do think that I shall have whiskey to last until I shall start my stills this fall again. I should have kept on stilling all the summer, but when Sister Dicey got here, and I saw her situation I curtailed my stilling for her to have bread, for she had nothing to buy with and I could not think of seeing her suffer.

Ned (Edward) is now here and does not do anything to advantage the family any. I sent on to Orleans and bought Simpson a full set of tools for him to work with. If he will be attentive, he could do well, but I am fearful, he appears to be a little negligent, and I am sorry for it. It appears as though Ned, nor any of them have any forethought how they are to live only Dicey, and she is not able to support the whole of the family.

Aged Father and Mother, I have a long desire to see you but (oh) the distance that we are apart: And I feel old age fast approaching, my head is turning quite gray. You could not suppose how grey I am, and, Fanny has nearly worked herself to death, though you well know it is her nature to work hard. We have bought 4 Negroes since we have been here, and paid for them. It is remarked by the people that we are not satisfied except we are hard at work.

The children grow very fast. Ann will soon be grown. Leonidas and Duncan are good stout boys. Hubbard is going to school and grows very fast.

Aged parents, I flatter myself that I shall have the pleasure of seeing you again if we should live but I cannot say when it will be. If you could think of coming to see us as often as I do to see you, I think you would come, for you could leave home better than we could.

Dear Father and Mother, the Lord bless you and be your guide, and safeguard and prosper you in your old age and stand by you. The prayer of your poor unworthy son, for Christ's sake, is that God may bless and keep you as the apple of his own eye--that when He comes to make up His jewels that you may be found numbered among His ransome of the first born.

dear and tender parents, write to us oftener and do not neglect to bear each other in mind as you have heretofore. I wish you to know of Emphriam what he has done with my potatoes. If he had them dug or what became of them I should be glad to know. Did my deer old mother ever get the two chairs that I directed for her to have and whatever was done with the other 3 chairs that were left? And what became of my bells, if you had them sold or not? As Ephriam moved there the next day or directly after, he certainly knows how those things went. Remember that I am here a long distance from any of you and you are all there together. I beg of you to let me hear from you more often.

I must close my letter after wishing you to give my best love and compliments to inquiring friends. Fanny wishes to be remembered to you in particular and to all her relations. Give my best love to sisters Holly and Ruthy, and tell them that I have not forgotten them. I love

A letter written, on February 10, 1828, to Nathaniel Carrington and Anna Davis of Rougemont, North Carolina, by William Davis Carrington and Frances Cozart Carrington of Henderson County, Tennessee. The original letter is in possession of Luther Macon Carrington of Burkeville, Virginia.

The 10th of Febry, 1828

State of Tennessee
Henderson County

Honoured Father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters,

After a long abseance from you, we once again attempt to intrude on your patience to address you with a few lines inquiring of you. Through the kind Providence of a kind and benevolent God myself and family are still on the land and among the living and are enjoying of a resonable portion of that inestimable health that literally flows from our kind benefactor. I hope that these few lines may reach your hands safe and find you all enjoying of your health extremely well.

Aged parents, it Looks very strange and mysterious, that we cannot hear from you more oftener. I have wrote again and again, & it is but seldom that we ever have the pleasure of hearing from you, but I have now taken this opportunity of writing & sending it to you by hand hoping that for the future that we will not be so neglectful in communicating of our minds to each other. It is of much consolation to me to hear from you and to hear of your welfare.

Dear parents, I have nothing very strange to inform you of. Times in this section of country are very dull, money scarce, and produce low. We raised wonderful fine crops of corn last year, & tolerable crops of cotton. I am ginning of all the cotton that I can. I have about 100,00 lbs. of cotton in my gin at this time, besides what I have ginned. I shall have the rise of twenty-five bales of cotton to ship to Orleans that will average 400 lbs. each or upwards. I have very bad luck with my horses. I have one that has the stiff complaint & my lead horse has the sweaney very bad. I lost a colt that was a year old. It died this day with the distemper. Though I have four others yet that is fit for service. Old Nelly is yet alive and is fat as a bear, and as mischievous as ever.

Dear Father, you wrote to me by Jas. Cozart that, John J. Carrington had bursted, which I was very sorry to hear, though I hope not so bade but he will come out again. Dear Father and Mother, I made a very large venture when I bought my possessions though I think if I have good luck and use economy that I shall come out with flying colours, and after get through I am then done striving for time & things of this world.

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you all --again, oh, that I could have the pleasure of seeing your faces once more. Nothing more. We still remain your poor unworthy son and daughter until death.

William D. Carrington
Fanny Carrington

To N. Carrington and
Anna Carrington

N.B. Riann and Leondias and the children all wish to be remembered to you all. David and Sister Dicey and all of us here have written to you all, also.

N.B. The baby grows very fast and can sit alone. We call her name Isabelle Frances. She is six months old this day.

A Letter written to Nathaniel Carrington, Rougemont, North Carolina by his son William Davis Carrington on March 9,1828, requiring mark of twenty-five cent postage. The original letter is in possession of Luther Macon Carrington of Burkeville, Virginia.

Sunday Night
9th of March 1828

Pleasant Exchange, Tennessee
Henderson County

Father & Mother,

After my best respects to you, this to inform you that we are in tolerable health at present. I want you, Father, if you ever intend to do me a favor, to send me a full statement of my business in that country, and what you have done with my oats and all my other things in that country & if you have collected all the debts that are due me in that country. I want you to send me the bond that John J. Carrington owes me, back by Noland Hampton, if he comes, & if he does not come enclose it in a letter and send it by mail to me. Do not start them from Red Mountain by mail, but start them from Hillsboro. Buck Homer is here and says that J.J.C. does not owe me anything and is trying to get all he can out of me. I think it not just & I intend to see him and Jack both out if life lasts or spend a good Negro. You send me that bond he owes me and I will show them both how to feel with me in the way they are wanting to do. The little amount that Wm. Blalock had there ag___ me Buck has got here and I never intend to pay it over, as the law of this State will allow me to retain it & I must have my bond here--I do not consider what Buck and Jack are about to do what I call the Just thing, & as such, I want my papers here & I will see if I am to be wronged by what I call villany. Nothing more. I remain yours.


Dear Father,

You must excuse me for my short writing for I am mad and in a hurry and late in the night. Give my best love to my dear old mother and tel her that I hardly ever expect to see her again in this life, for if I were to come there I might do what I might be sorry for. I hope these lines will find you all well and a doing well. Keep this to yourself. I do not want this to be made public. Nothing more. I remain yours,


Letter to Nathaniel Carrington, Rougemont, North Carolina, by his son-in-law, David Cozart and his daughter, Mary Carrington Cozart (Polly) of Carroll County, Tennessee, on May 7, 1829. Original letter owned by Charles Bolen, Wildersville, Tennessee.

1989 note: I have copied this letter written as the original hand writing of David Cozart the best I can. A few letters were not very clear, but I am sure that MOST of it is written, words spelled just as he did. Pauline Miller P.O.Box 622 Earle, Ark. 72331

State of Tenesse
Carrolle County
7th day of May 1829

Dear farther we take our pin in hand to try to write you a few lines to inform you that we are all well at present & have enjoyed our health very well ever since we have been in this country, we hope when theas unworthy lines reach your hands that they may find you and your family all well and all our Brothers and there families in that country. People are generally healthy in this country so far as we know at this time, times is hard money is scarce in this country at this time, corn is from 3 to 4 dollars per Barrel at this time and a great many people had their corn bit down. We have beautiful weather now at this time, every thing looks flourishing with us about this time. Dear farther you wanted to know how I was a making out in this country. I do not now what to tell you. I make out to keep a plenty to eat on as yet but I do not know how long it will be so but if I keep my health I ant afraid of Suffering much as yet. I have bought me a piece of land in Carrolle County from Rowland Gooch ?64 acres I gave him 205$ for it I have paid him 105$ I owe him 100$ now, 50 to be paid next Christmas and $50 Christmas come year I have better than 30 acres of cleared land on it. I think if I keep my health I can make out to pay for it. I have about 9 acres in cotton and the balance in corn William Petigree lives with me this year I gave him the fourth of what we make we have as good a chance for a crop this year as we need to ask for I am as well Satisfied as I ever was in all my life time and Polly says that she is two, all the children grow very fast green will make a Sampson if he keeps on growing as fast as he has. Polly sends her love to you, Holly and Ruthy and all the rest of her Brothers and Sisters in that country and all the Black people, Dicy Harris and her family is all well that has got with her Simpson & Hattz? [Hatty? Hattg?] is gon to Kentucky and is at work there at their trade we do not know where Ned is he is gon off from about here we expect he is gon back there, no thing more at present entry.

Still remain your Son
and daughter until death

David Cozart
Polly Cozart

Nathaniel Carrington

See Jonathan K. T. Smith's commentary on these letters in his "The Red Mound Area in Henderson County, Tennessee"

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