Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Reading Somebody's Personal Mail

Here is a letter written by my great great grandmother Nancy Sumner Ray's sister Cinthia Sumner (bef 1815-1885):  This is like being invisible, nosing in on someone's private life:

1-Cinthia Sumner [4944], daughter of Samuel Sumner [86], was born before 1815 in , Buncombe Co, NC, died after 24 Nov 1885, and was buried in Williams Cemetery, Bat Cave, NC.

General Notes: The following is a letter Cynthia wrote to her sister.
                                        Henderson County, N.C.
                                        November 24, 1885
Mrs. Margaret Williams
My dear and only sister,

Your kind and more than welcome letter came to hand  in due time and found all as we11 as usual.  As for myself; I am never well.  I do not know what it is to feel well  one  day I am troubled with heart disease  all  the  time  and  seldom clear of headaches.  I can neither knit nor sew.  It gives me a such a headache.  I have not cooked a meal of  victuals  in over five years.  I seldom go out of the house unless  it  is very Pleasant weather.  I have my meals carried to me in cold weather/ and you are able to do your own work.  What a difference.  If I was that stout; I  would  visit  you  right away.  As it is; I can't visit my children.  I have not  been to see Martha in over a year.  She lives in Rutherford.   The rest all live near enough to visit them occasionally.  I have not walked a mile in over five years.  The children  are  all tolerably stout but Martha.  She is weak but hardly  able  to do her work and has six children.  And the oldest one is down now with his leg broken.  Lou. has but one child.. and  she  is grown.  Mark is living with me.  He has  five  children..  the rudest ever was.  Two of the first  wife  and  three  of  the last.   We  are  getting  along  tolerably  well  considering everything.  His wife lost her right hand four years ago.. but she can do a good deal of work yet.  She can do most anything but sew by hand.  Can sew on the machine.  Mark  is  gone  to Asheville with a load of tobacco.  This is the first  tobacco farming that has been done in this vicinity.  There  will  be more  raised  another  year.   There  has  been  considerable improvement since you. left here. The country is becoming very thickly settled.  There is a small town at  the  bridge;  two stores and  a  Post  office/  a  merchant  mill  and a  carding factory.  Bill R. Conner is  badly  deranged.   He  wants  to Preach all the time and  says  the  People  won't  hear  him. Brother Jesse and Uncle Dempsey have  been  dead  some  time. Perhaps you heard it.  Mat Ledbetter's oldest daughter  Sarah Ann also Katy Lyda's daughter Rachel Ann.. They were taken  to be confined and died.  They both left little children.   Katy lives with her son-in-law and takes  care  of  the  children, Mat comes over  occasionally  to  see  us.   He  is  quite  a different man to what he use  to  be.  He  is  a  very  moral fellow.  Joshua Whitaker is in  very  Poor  health.   He  has almost come to Poverty.
John Casey is dead and Peggy is  married  again.   Jesse Nilliams married David Halker^s widow of Rutherford..  a  very respectable old lady.  I seldom see Lizzie.  I suppose she is getting along very  well.   She  is  married  and  has  three children.
A similar circumstance recently occured in this country. A girl by the name of Bradley was taken to  be  confined  and went to the woods and laid her  baby  between  two  logs  and broke a few weeds and laid over it and left it there to  die. Next day it was found dead.  She is now  in  Asheville Jail. She is a grand-daughter of Michael Sumner.
We get letters from Mary Annn sometimes.  Why is  it  she always writes so sad?  Hoping you are well.  I will close for the Present. Write soon and let me hear from you all.
Your affectionate sister until death;
Cynthia Williams
P.S. Please excuse my left hand writing.

Cinthia married David Williams [4945] [MRIN: 1783], son of John Williams [4946] and Mary/Polly Ashworth [4947]. David was born on 11 May 1807, died about 1880 about age 73, and was buried in Williams Cemetery, Bat Cave, NC.


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