Letter to future brother-in-law about slave matters and love life


Date Written

Dec. 13, 1855

Member of Series

Andrew Carson Cowles was 22 years old when this was written.
Andrew Carson Cowles died 25 years, 23 days after writing it.
It was written 167 years, 9 months, 20 days ago.
It was a Thursday.

Hamptonville, N. C.
Dec. 13/55

My Dear Billy,

Your short letter of 7th inst. Came to hand and I am glad to hear or___to know that you are now basking in the smiles of the _____”Boket” or in words Miss Sallie Pharesin has my complements and tell her as the girl told the stage driver. “Oh, Mr. Taylor I heard you was going to get married and it almost broke my heart.” Miles will be at home about the 21st. Billy is hear, and is making havoc with the squirrels and rabbits. Sister Mary Jo will about the 2nd of January things are ready now but the house will need some repairs and it is rather near Christmas. I will miss sister Mary and the baby very much; in fact, she seems nearer to me than my brothers and sisters that I have never been intimate with. I really can not say “for certain” whether I will come down to Statesville or not. I hardly think I will, tho, if I can persuade Miles off I will do it.

I am going into business for myself in the spring and shall, I guess, sell goods here in ____with Pa. It will suit Pa better than for me to go to Yadkinville as Ike you know belongs to me and he is now a first rate______, and besides, it will give Pa an opty to____his business up in a more tangible form.

We are going to hire________and send our hands up to a farm that Pa expects to get possession of about the 1st of January tho he may not succeed in getting the place but I do not think there is any doubt about it. We are obliged to adopt some such plan in self defense for our stock of negroes is increasing rather fast and it is so expensive to work as poor land as we have to cultivate. It does not seem hardly true to look them but nonetheless it is so. We have 29 negroes, not including Ike and Jo, and you know that we have been buying pork and corn to feed them for the last 4 years and I have at last convinced Pa that it will not pay.

Well I will let business matters slip for the present. I have not seen the delectable Miss____ since I saw her in Philadelphia, but I hope to have the pleasure during Christmas week. Ma has given me her consent to get married as soon as I please and to whom I please so that I have an age to respectability in making my selection. In fact the old lady is somewhat alarmed. She thinks that I am going to make another one of those desirable old bachelors that have characterized the Carson family for the 1/2 century. What do you think? I can’t for my life make up my mind. In fact, I don’t think I have even loved hard enough. 25 is going enough sister Mary says but I fear that so long a period of celibacy will not agree with my amativeness The sin you know not in stealing but getting caught in it.

Well I shall be very careful with myself and as Pat said when he emptied the decanter the____my honey

I have _______ 2 other times so I will close,
Very affectionately
A C Cowles

Come up as soon as you can, I can’t promise anything better than a good article of old P_.

Scans of Letter