Letters to Westley ARRASMITH from his uncle, Nathaniel MORGAN
"Fountain County, Indiana, September the 27th, 1863" Dear Nephew, after so long a time I take my pen to answer your kind letter of the 10th of August which I received toward the last of that month. I will first inform you that we are all enjoying a reasonable degree of health at this time throu the mercies of a kind providence and do hope these lines may find you all enjoying the same like blessing next I will say that the health of this country is as good at this time as usual crops of wheat was good but thin on the ground in our neighborhood owing to its being sowed too late last fall early wheat was very good corn crops in this state is very light as far as I have heared from just in our neighborhood the corn was tolerable good but late and the frosts in the last of August and the first of September has killed all the blades on it so that they are entirely dry at this time and it is so as far south as I have heared from we have had frost every month this year. Corn will be very scarce here this season it is now selling at from 40 to 50 cts per bushel wheat is worth from 80 to 90 cts per busl hogs can not be sold at 1 1/2 cts per lb, beef is selling at six and seven cents per lb. and what pork wil bring when fetched I can not tell but it must be high. I will next give you some account of my troubles and difficulties that I have had this summer in the first of July. James Dudly was arrested by a company of soldiers for obstructing the enroller and taken to Indianapolis and the night after it there was three hundred dollars stolen out of my house the money belonged to Morgan Butcher. I have made up sixy dollars to Morg and Henry Roach has made up a part to Morgan but we have not found who took the money nor got any of it yet the next day I got Henry Roach to go with me to indianapolis after Duley and we succeeded after three or four days trouble and expense in getting him released by entering into a bond of a thousand dollars for his appearance at court in this month the week after last we attended court at Indianapolis and had to stay all the week on expences on friday we got his case before the court and he was fined twenty dollars and costs all this was done on account of a trifling dirty fellow who had deserted from the army and come here and got in to be enroller who never spoke to Dudley when he came into the field to enroll him but go scared when he saw a gun in the field and turned around and said he would not rush (?) on a man with a gun and went off and reported him for obstructing the enrollment which has cost us over a hundred dollars besids our time and trouble but the enroller has since been arrested and put into the service where he ought to be this is my reason for not writing sooner which I hope you will consider sufficient. I will next inform you that I have received no word from brother James yet nor any one from Kentucky and do not know whether James or any of his children are living there or not at this time you wanted me to find out how much was coming to your mother from your grandfather's estate. i have no means of correctly ascertainin the exact amount but I have the amount that William Butcher's heirs received and suppose your mothers was the same which is as follws special legacy $150.1 balance of the proceeds $427.231 making in all $577.231 but how much your mother has received I do not know. You wanted me also to let you know the county and post office address of James the county iw Owen and post office is Montery it is on the Kentucky river about twenty-five miles below Frankfort on the East side of the river. Jermiah Moreland married Nancy Morgan, James's youngest daughter and they was living with him the last word that I had from them . Nathaniel and Rice was both living in Owing County that last that I heared from there. I was greatly surprised at your writing that you had not receive any letter from me for so long a time and that you had wrote several letters to me and had received no answer form me. I do not recollect of ever receiving a letter from any of you that I did not answer and I am always glad to have word from any of you and I want you all to write to me whenever you can find time and opportunty and i hope that I shall never be so ungrateful as not to answer your letters when you write to me but I am getting old and forgetful and do not recollect as I use to do but if I do forget dont you forget to remember of it you may think that I ought to have nothing to trouble me but I have had more trouble since this war commenced than I ever had in the same length of time I add no more at present but remain your affectionate uncle as ever until death. To Westley Arrasmith from Nathaniel Morgan & family "Fountain County Indiana November the 27th - (note: year is 1864, though not written on letter) Dear nephew I again take my pen in hands to inform you we are still permitted to continue in time and enjoy the great blessing of health through the mercies of a kind providence and do hope these lines may find you all enjoying the same blessing in the first place I will inform you that our relations here are all well at this time as far as I know but many of our neighbors are sick with the typhoid fever and more have died than I have ever known in one fall since I have lived here. i was at a burying the week before last where two of Andrew Grimes' family and one of John Myers was buryed at the same time. Three of Andrew Grimes children have died this fall and one sick yet and two of John Myers and three sick yet and one of Jacob Fines and one sick yet old John Fine is lying sick not expected to live and Matthias Sowers is very sick at this time and many others have died and is sick in this township and thirty one have been draged from this township this summer into this ungodly war to linger and die in camp or be slaughtered in battle. It does appear to me that this war is kept up for some very wicked design in the next place. I will inform you that Stephen Kierris (?) and Leannah left here early in September with the intention of coming out to where you live and then go on to Kansas. They promised certain to write to me as soon as they got out to you and I have not heard from them since if they are out there I want you to tell them to write to me and if they are not there I want you to write and let me know whether you have heared anything of them or not -- turn over -- I will next inform you something about our crops and the prices of produce we had an uncommon dry summer but our wheat crops was as good as I have ever seen corn in August looked like we would not make anything but we had some rains in the later part of the season which helped the corn and so that we have enough to supply the wants of the country but very little surplus. Corn is worth from 60 to 70 cents per bushel wheat $1.50 per bus pork is from $10.00 to $11.00 per hundred but everything we have(to) buy is higher in proportion coffee 50 cts per lb. shirting from 75 5o $1.00 per __ boots from $6.00 to $10.00 per pr and many things still higher in proportion and our taxes enormous high and nothing but a little wheat to sell so that we will have a hard time to keep even but we would not mind all that if we could only have peace and live like Christian people ought to live, but when we look back at the times eight or ten years ago and compare them with the present we think the time is shurely come when none shall be allowed to by or sell without the mark of the beast (?) upon him. I want you tow rite to me as often as you think proper and give me all the news think you necessary for it is a pleasure to me to hear from my relations though we may differ on politicks let us not fall out on that account and try to murder and destry each other as some have done here my house has been searched and my children arrested and draged off to prison and fined for no other reason that I know of only we differed in politcs this should not be so but lets (sic) us reason together like sensible men and each one try to do the best we can for our country and lay aside our petty (part of line is gone) reasonbly for me true principals of a free government and not try by force of arms to make others do as we believe but I shall not be here many years longer to see the troubles of this world but it is painful to me to see the best government that man ever lived under destroyed in order to elevate a degraded race of people whose condition it is beyond our power to better if we set them free their condition is only made worse but it is no use for me to write on that subject the evidence is to numerous and plain for any to mistake who will use their own reason. (note from Nathaniel Morgan's great, great granddaughter, Karen Bazzani Zach -- this is odd for him to say, since his father, William Morgan set his slaves free many years before -- perhaps they did not do so well on their own and that is why he noted this???) It is now December the 5th and I have heard nothing from Harris(? -- they are mentioned in his first letter to his nephew, Westley Arrasmith and it was very hard to read in that letter also -- still can't make out or figure out who Harris? and Leannah are) and Leannah and John Fine and Matthias Sowers are both very low and not expect to live and two more have taken sick in the neighborhood since and both of them very bad off at this time. I hear of not sickeness (sic) in this country of any consequence only in this township. We remain your affectionat uncle and Aunt as ever untill death. Fare you well wright soon and remember us to all your brothers and sisters out there.
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