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Letter 20 Charles Fenton Mercer Dancy to Mary Mason Dancy Moody

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Decatur, Alabamamap
Surnames/tags: Mason Moody
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Decatur, Ala Sept 2nd 1835
Mrs Polly Moody
Dear Aunt
This day will close the twenty first year of my life. It has been and still is a custom with me, to set apart this day--my birth day--& spend it differently from most other dayes. I have therefore fixed upon this day & intend consecrating it by devoting my thoughts to one whom I sincerely & most highly esteem. None, Dear Aunt, do I regard esteem or value more than you. Though hundreds of miles rolls between us, yet in imagination I often fancy my self admidst the halcion scenes of my childhood in the land of my nativety, or conversing with those that are near and dear to me.
Memorable ever memorable is the day of my birth. A thousand recollections tender sad and agreeable crowd upon my my mind. The past--the presant--& the future successfully rise to my view. The past freighted with eventes gone never, no never, to return.--the preasant musing on what I am--& the future with her dark impenetrable vail shrouding each & evry destiny
Since your last visit amogst us, the country has ungone a considerable change. The Rail Road is completed, Locomotives ply daily between Decatur & Tuscumbia & Steam Boats in high water constanly from here to Knoxville.
Some of your acquaintances have passed off the theatre of action--one in particular who was near & dear to you. Others have taken it into their heads to get married. Brother John Dancy married cousin Evalina Rhodes on the 27 of August. Cous Simon Sykes Solemnized the rights of He can give you all the detail. David Rhodes is to be married to cousin Louisa Sykes on the 10 of this month. I am left as a solitary tree in the desert--alone. Of course my time next. When I shall? or wheather I ever shall get married are questions I can not answer. At least I do not anticipate it during my fathers life. I expect to live with or near him until time, with him, shall be no more. To give him all the assistance in his declining years tha a kind & affectionate son can bestow.
Dear Aunt, in conclusion let preset you with my miniature (carried by cousin Sarah Sykes) as a memento of my regard, and an undying monument of my esteem. Except of this memorial as an a living emblem that though in a far distant land, your memory is still cherished, that though absent still you are still not forgotten by your affectionate cousin
Charles Fenton Mercer Dancy
N.B. Remember & tender my respects to your husband husband.
C. F. M. Dancy

PS I expect [? torn] to attend the Medical College at Cincinnatti. Had I gone to Philidelphia this next winter I would have called to have seen you; but I shall not go before next winter twelve months, then I will wait upon you with pleasure
C. F. M. Dancy

Addressed: Mrs Mary Moody
North Carolina
Politeness of the Rev. S Sykes
VLR (Virginia Leigh Refo)
Some one, most probably Mary E. (Leigh) Hays, has written on the letter in pencil "Evidently the son of Elizabeth Mason and Frank Dancy". That is not correct. Charles Fenton Mercer Dancy (Sept 7, 1814- Sept 9, 1875) was the youngest son of William Dancy, son of Francis Dancy, Sr and Sally (Parham) Turner Dancy. Francis Dancy, Sr. married secondly Mary Winfield (Mason) Mason, widow of Henry Mason. Francis and Mary had 4 children, among them Mary Mason (Dancy) Moody who married Capt. William Moody, parents of John Mason Moody. In Francis Dancy's Will he appointed Daniel Mason, his step-son, (see letters #7, #17) executor of his estate with William Dancy, Francis Dancy Jr, and David Dancy and Hannah (Peters) Dancy, Francis' third wife. Francis Dancy named Daniel Mason guardian of his younger children. Children of Francis Dancy, Sr were: David, William, Francis, Jr., Mary Mason, John W., Sarah Winfield, Martha Mason.
While complex, we do have information on Mary Mason (Dancy) Moody's heritage. Not so for her husband, Capt William Moody. He is a genealogical puzzle. His parentage is unknown in spite of persistent efforts on my part. I have recently found that he had a sister, Mary Moody, who married 1st James Mitchell and 2nd John Garner.
This is a letter written by Charles Fenton Mercer Dancy, the grandson of Mary (Mason) Dancy and Francis Dancy, Sr to his aunt, Mary Mason (Dancy) Moody--she was the first wife of Capt. William Moody. Charles is the brother of John Winfield Dancy, who marries Evalina Rhodes, David M. Dancy and Albert G. Dancy (see letter #22), . The Sykes and Rhodes are closely connected to the Dancys. Mary (Dancy) Moody's sister, Martha Dancy married Henry Rhodes and her other sister, Sarah Dancy married James Turner Sykes. Those two families went to Alabama and owned much of the land which was to become Decatur, AL, also the ferry across the Tennessee River at that point. With or because of the development of Decatur came the railroad, the Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur, and a canal around the shoals of the river, which after a short time failed. Both railroad and canal are mentioned in this letter. By the 1840s most all of the Rhodes and Sykes families had moved on to the Chickasaw lands in Mississippi or beyond. (Again see letter # 22.)
Also mentioned are Rev. Simon B. Sykes (see letter # 17), son of William Sykes and Burchette Lundy (Turner) Sykes, and his new wife Sarah Blount (Turner) Lundy Sykes.
David Rhodes, is probably Henry David Rhodes, son of Dr. Henry W. Rhodes and Martha (Dancy) Rhodes. My notes show he married on as his first wife on 9-10-1835 Maria Sarah F. D. Sykes, his first cousin, daughter of Sarah Winfield (Dancy) Sykes and James Turner Sykes. Perhaps she was called "Louisa", or my information is misinformation from a secondary source. Sarah Evalina Rhodes was daughter of Henry and Martha Rhodes. She married John Winfield Dancy, son of William Dancy and Priscilla (Turner) Dancy, and died in 1836. The Sykes and many extended families moved about 1820 to the Decatur, AL area and later on to Lowndes and Monroe Counties in Mississippi and farther west.
The death in the 4th paragraph refers to the death of Mrs. Moody's sister, Sarah Winfield (Dancy) Sykes who died 1-29-1835.


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