Kentucky woman asks her father for slaves
May 4, 1844
Charlotte Walker Rowlett McKinney was 42 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Matthew Jouet Rowlett, was 75 when it was received.
Charlotte Walker Rowlett McKinney died 29 years, 5 months, 6 days after writing this.
It was written 175 years, 4 months, 15 days ago.
It was a Saturday.
Trigg Cty Ky May 24, 1844
I have been for some time wishing to write you a few lines, but I am so little in the habit of writing that I hardly know how to begin, this leaves us all in tolerable helth. The children are well but I can't say that Mr. Mckinney or myself are well. We are both a little complaining at this time but are about, all of our boys are going to school. We have but one daughter and she is about thirteen months old and I think as fine looking child as I ever saw.
My dear father I am going to make a request of you and hardly know what to say, when we broke up in Christian we did reserve five negroes which we thought was enough to support and wait on us. Charles is one, and one of the others died, and the one that we kept for our cook has turnde (turned) out so bad that we could not live in any sattisfaction with hir so we was compeld to sell hir about too weaks ago, you have know idea how mutch trouble and perplexity she causde us to see, and one of the others Mr. MK swapt for Charles' wife. She has too children, both boys, and is know hour (now our) cook and the other one is nurse for hour little child and that includes the five.
Mr. MKy bought a boy a few days ago and these we find is not sufficient for us and I find I am not able to doe my bisness that I have toe do my self, and know (now)I am going to ask you for some thing that I don't think I ever did before and that is to send me a negro girl that will be able to tak some of my drudgery off my hands, and I think that you have so many thare to fead and clothe that they are all most in your way, I had this in contemplation before Mr. Boyd left here, but I had not deturmind to make the request and I thought that Mr. McKinney might be able to buy but it seems that it is all most imposable as the whole country is full of negro byers (buyers)and there is scarcly (scarcely)a good ones in this country to be had, and the laws of Ky forbids us buying any where else, tho they may be brought in as a gift, but I want you to understand me further if it will embaras you in any way don't do it, or if it will inconvenience you or distres you in any way as to give you any uneasiness I don't want you to doe it, Mr. McKinney has money enough if he cold (could) collect it to cary on his buisness merchandise and buy sutch negroes as we want but it seems to be imposable to collect any, Mr. Boyd will be at your house and if you send me a girl or a boy which ever may suit you he will bring it to me with pleasure.
You must enquire of him all about us as I know he can tell you more than I can write as Mr. McK tells him of all of his schemes, Mr. Bacon was here about too weaks ago. They was all well, I have not seen the children for upwards of a year, it is sutch a hard mater from me to go from home that I have not been to see him since Susan's funeral was preacht, I must tell you something about how I feel when I think of you and sister Betsey, and how I want to see you, but I have all most disparde (despaired)of ever seeing either of you again, but if we never meat in this world les try and live in that way that we may meat in a better, whare fighting will be know (no)more, I am trying to live so..you must try too, I feel some times like all of my friends is gon to thare long saught home and it will not be long till I shall be cold too, let us all try to be prepared for that great day, little Sarah my baby is fretting and I can't hardly write so that you can understand it, but I must ask you something about my old friends.
Let me heare if Mrs Mane and Mrs Watson are living and whare they are, you must give my best love to sister Polley and Mrs and Mr. Britton and all of my old acquaintances and except the same your self this from your daughter
Charlotte W McKinney
Sister Betsey I now present you and Mr. Bucanan and all of your children my best love and say that you must write to me and tell me all about how all of you are getting along and wheather you have given out all idear of the west. I must say farewell my sister. Tell Wiliam and Sarah to write to Mat and Charles.
Mr. McKinney is not at home but I know he wishes me to remember him to you all. Tell Christian and all of the black people howdy for me.
*Some punctuation added and some of the misspellings corrected using parentheses to assist reading.