Family selling some of their slaves



Date Written

Nov. 3, 1858

George Washington Gordon was 50 years old when this was written.
George Washington Gordon died 3 years, 9 months, 16 days after writing it.
It was written 164 years, 10 months, 20 days ago.
It was a Wednesday.

November 3, 1858

My Dear Son,

I wrote to your sister Mary yesterday. I also wrote to Jack last week. Your sister seemed a good deal concerned about my letting your Uncle Ed have Betsy. I am obliged to raise some money & therefore must dispose of some property. Your uncle proposed to buy Betsy & Molly and I agreed to let him have them--But if Jack has not gone, and your sisters would prefer to sell Sarah and her children & can find a purchaser right off, I will try & get off from the trade or will buy Betsy back again. I disliked to let her go very much but I knew it would be a good place for her, for your uncle is a good master. Or if your sisters can & will spare anyone else better, why, do so. But some of them will have to be parted with--And very soon.

I hope you all duly appreciate the importance of the necessity of our being industrious & energetic & curtailing all unnecessary expenses and being economical. If we will all do this--we can yet do well.

I hope, my son, that none of my children will indulge in any of the fashionable vices or dissipations with which you are surrounded. Remember there is but one road to honor and greatness and that is the road of virtue--and nothing can make you happy either in this life or the life to come, but a virtuous course of conduct based upon that wisdom which cometh from above. The pearl of great price is the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ. First seek the Kingdom of Heaven and all things necessary for your happiness will be added unto you. Wealth, my dear son, without an interest in a crucified Savior is but a poor semblance of happiness--Look at the boys & young men of wealth around you, see what lives many of them are leading & see to what ends they come and what misery they incase on themselves & their families. For instance, look at the McGuire boys--their father strove hard to make a fortune & did so, died & left his sons rich & every one of them became drunkards and all will probably fill drunkards’ graves. What an awful thought! Ponder well these things and determine to pursue the only wise & safe course, “To touch not, taste not, handle not.”

I wish if you have pluck enough to weather, board only a part of the house & if can be done soon that it could be attended to. I will come as soon as I can.
We have had some sickness here & I have also been waiting to see some money that was owing me, but I have not collected it yet. I want to carry your Mother & children when I go there for it is that I would like at all events to have one room weather boarded. Tell your Uncle Tom if he has no way of grinding his cane to feed it to the hogs & some seed from the sweetest stalks. Tell him also to make the pork hogs as fat as they can be made. I can’t send you the money you wish until I collect & it may be I will bring it. Write me immediately & give all the news. Your Mother joins me in love to all. Grandma Chicky, etc.

Yours truly,
G. W. Gordon

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