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Letter 23 Wm. B. Williamson to John M. Moody

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 8 Jul 1837 [unknown]
Location: Clinton, Mississippimap
Surnames/tags: Mason Moody Wright
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Clinton Mississippi July 8th 1837.
My Worthy Friend
Perhaps you have attributed my long silence to the want of a disposition to correspond with you but I assure you this is not the case for I never can forget the intimacy that formerly existed between us and it will give me a pleasure at any time to hear from you. Whenever I have any thing which I think will either amuse or interest you shall certainly know it.
You mentioned in your letter that your Father was to be married to Miss Mary Parham or rather that was the report but you did not believe it because he had denied to you his having any such intention since I received your letter I have heard that it was a true bill I have no doubt but that it would have been extremely mortifying to you for your Father to have married any woman but to marry one of Miss Parham,s age must have been doubly so. I hope however you will not suffer it to have such an effect on you as to induce you to leave Virginia hastily. I was gratified to hear that John Squire was to be united in happy wedlock to the Damsel of his choice.
You said that you had a daughter who was said to be pretty. I hope I shall have it in my power to judge of her beauty for myself in the course of twelve months.
I will tell you some news which probably you have not yet heard the people of this place have had me courting two ladies one of whom I never visited at all but had merely met her at two or three parties the other is a young lady recently from Alabama whom I have gone to see several times she is the daughter of the gentleman who owns the tavern at which I board I have scarcely ever seen her except in company with another Gentleman but nevertheless a report was circulated through town that we would certainly be married. On Monday last she was taken ill with the bilious fever I was called to see her this confirmed the belief of many that we were certainly to appear together before the parson as there were so many married physicians in town who had been residing much longer than myself the old lady I know would be much gratified for such a thing to occur & the young one has given me every inducement to court her, in fact if this were leap year I should consider that she had courted me however I kept them in doubt until this evening when I thought things had gone sufficiently far & the girl had so far recovered from her illness as to be able to leave her room I told both the mother & daughter that I had never yet seen but one lady whom I would bewilling to marry & she lived in Virginia. I have never made any advances to this or any other lady nor do I expect to do so while I entertain a hope of seeing Miss Julia single on my return to Virginia. this is about the time for her to be at your house and I should like very much to be there also. I have had my miniature taken which I will send to her by Capt Peete. Tell her that if she dont appreciate the present and the spirit in which it is made to cast it into the river.
We had celebration here on the fourth & what was called a Bran Dance which was sawdust spread on the ground under an arbour as there was no room in twon half large enough to contain the persons who wished to dance. To have any idea of such a scene you will have to witness it. Now just imagine a day almost hot enough to make the mercury boil out of a thermometer a large concourse of people dancing on sawdust under a few bushes and hear a lady say gosh how I sweats, when the perspiration is running down to her toes and when another is asked by a gentleman if she will take a glazz of Soda she says What is Dat as night comes on they repair to a ball room which is so much crowded that when a man goes to dance to his partner he can see nothing of her but a grease spot & you may think you have some idea of the way in which these things are done in Mississippi (all this it is said did actually occur).
It is now half after two oclock in the morning and I must begin to wind up. The people here tell me that I am doing very will but I am anxious to get where I can make the most money in the shortest time as I came here for that & that alone and I think it probable that I shall go up on the Mississippi River about 150 miles above Vicksburg in the neighborhood of Stephen M. Jackson) when you write to me however direct your letters to this place as I am not yet certain whether I shall leave here.
I hope this letter may find you all well & prospering. the corn crop is excellent here but the cotton has been injured by the late heavy rains.
Give my best respects to Mrs. Moody, Tim and the Daughter also to all enquiring friends.
Tell Miss Julia that I hope I shall again have the honour of presenting myself before her in propria persona when I will tender my compliments and not send them through the lips of another.
I hope you will receive the best wishes of a friend for your own good health and happiness.
Wm.. B. Williamson
P.S. Excuse mistakes for I am so sleepy that I can scarcely sit by the table to write.

Note by M. L. Hays.
The Julia referred to in this letter was Julia Patterson who never married. Dr. William was related to Mildred Williamson who married Robert Crump, probably. Mrs. John Mason Moody, my grandmother, her son William William who married Sippi Tabb – nicknamed Tim, and Mary Elizabeth –the oldest daughter were the persons referred to.

VLR (Virginia Leigh Refo)
As indicated in the note this letter was originally transcribed by Mary Eulah (Leigh) Hays. Julia Patterson was the author of letters #19 and # 35.
This letter was written by Dr. William B. Williamson to his friend, John Mason Moody. Mrs. Hays indicates William is a relation to Mildred Turner (Williamson) Crump Eldridge. (See letter # 30 from her husband.) I believe, with the advice of Lyn Hart, that he is the son of James Williamson (1772-1842) of Greensville Co. and Mary E. (Turner) Williamson. They married in 1808. This would make him a contemporary of John Mason Moody and first cousin once removed to Mildred (Williamson) Crump Eldridge. A deed registered Northampton Co. NC 1835 from John Mason Moody to William B. Williamson describes William as "of Greensville Co. VA".
Mary Parham whom Capt. William Moody married, is I believe related to Dorothy "Dolly"(Parham) Crump, Dr. James Robert Crump's first wife (see Letters # 19, & #30). (Mildred was his second). Dolly Parham was the daughter of James and Elizabeth (Greenway) Parham and brother of John Greenway Parham. There is yet another Parham connection with the Moodys. Francis Dancy, Sr., father of Mary Mason (Dancy) Moody, William Moody's first wife, married as his (Francis') first wife Sarah (Parham) Turner Dancy (see Letter # 7).
After William Moody's death Mary married within a year Lawrence Pierce of Halifax County, NC. I assume Lawrence Pierce to be a relation of Caroline Pierce who married Richard William Dancy Crump, oldest son of James Robert and Mildred (Williamson) Crump.
Capt. Peete may have been one of the 4 sons of Benjamin Peete and Ann (Blunt) Peete, most of whom settled in the South. John Squire is unknown to me, but the Squire family was prominent in western Northampton County, and had many connections with the Moody family, in property transactions, will witnessing, and marriage to cousins.
John Mason Moody's daughter, Mary Elizabeth Moody, is not yet 2 when this letter is written, but apparently John is a proud father. Mrs. Moody is Martha William (Wright) Moody.
Letter #24 is also from Dr. Williamson.

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