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Letter 37 John Mason Moody to Martha William Wright Moody

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 5 Jan 1847 [unknown]
Location: Columbus, Mississippimap
Surnames/tags: Wright Moody Mason
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Columbus Miss. January 5th 1847. -----
My Dear Patt
I take my pen to write you but a few lines - as it is growing late-- I have been here just one week to day and have not yet finished hiring out-- but did not commence in several days after my arrival-- I have been quite indisposed to day; but feel pretty well to night and trust that I shall continue to feel so-- I rec'd a letter from your dear self this morning over which I wept not for sorrow but joy-- You have no idea how much good it does me to hear from my Dear Patt or you would have had two or three here in this time-- I have disposed of all my negroes, but Jim Crutch, Arena and Matt--the latter is in reched bad health & I have been trying to sell him to a Doct Logue the new system practitioner-- he offered me $400 for him and when I got in the notion to take it -- he backed out-- When I shall have Jim & Arena, my hiring will amt to six thousand and eighty dollars, which is a great eal more than I ever got before-- I have not rented out my lot yet and I fear that there will be some difficulty in doing so-- Patty Lea[?] is still in Town & requested me to give her love to you & all-- She is very much admired here-- I was to have gone to your Cousin Dicks to night; but feel better with John R Mason-- who stuies with me every night-- I wrote to you by the Rev'd. G. Claiborne who left here a few days since, & would have given one thousand dollars to have gone with him--
I have been trying to sell your Cousin Dick my man Joe in part pay his lot-- I asked him one thousand dollars for him - & he offered me $900-- Mason advises me not to take it-- & I believe that I will not as I can get $200-- for him this year-- and the probability is that negroes will be much higher another winter-- and if I can make out until then it will be better to sell them-- If I had my Dear Patt with me, I should feel satisfied; but without her I am unhappy--
Why does my Dear Patt scold her poor Jno? does she think that the intervening space gives her a license, & that it may be done with impunity-- If she does, she thinks right, for any thing is gladly rec'd from her, even scoldes-- & I trust that they will always be rec'd as they a ment-- kindly; & as they are she is prompted from the best of motives-- that is my will for here & hereafter--
You make mention of your many dreams, would to the Lord that they were of a more pleasant nature-- but rest assured that your poor Jno will never again do things to give you so much pain & uneasiness willingly-- I love you - my first and last- and shall continue so to do as long as this poor heart shall continue to throb.-- How are dear little ones? Do they wish to see me?-- I wish that, I had of persuaded my dear Boy off with me-- then possibly I should not have felt so lonely-- I feel as one alone-- uncared for by the balance of the world.
I wrote you in my last that, I understood Mr W Lee was highly delighted-- his crop will pay off the first payment for his land & he will have a large surplus left-- he bought some negroes at No.ampton-- which he payed to William Peters for his part of the claim going to his mothers estate -- & made a negroe boy by the operation I have no doubt but he will do well here -- I have not seen him yet-- but shall go to his house in a few days-- Patty sayes that she would like very much to go with me back-- She has a cry every day or two-- When I sat down I did not expect to write my Dear Patt more than a half dozen lines-- and here I am writing nonsense--
Say to Presly that his negroes [torn] and from wh[torn] Bevy Matthews told me a few d[torn] was caused from bad treatment [torn] the overseer of the man who hired him [torn] Negro fellows are selling here for $850-- women from $650 to $675.
I do not know at what time I'll be able to get off but just as soon, as I can-- but you shall be advised of my movements and do write to your poor lonely one and believe me your affectionate husband.
Jno M Moody
Give my love to all.
N.B. Take care of your dear self-- do not be uneasy about me. for I wish too much to see home again to be guilty of imprudence-- Kiss all for me, & I'll repay you when we meet--
Addressed to: Mrs. Martha W. Moody
Northampton County
Postmarked: COLUMBUS MI. JAN 7
Postage: 10
VLR (Virginia Leigh Refo)
A letter from John Mason Moody to his wife, Martha William (Wright) Moody, whom he always called Patt. Cousin Dick was Richard Sykes from whom John bought a house in Columbus that year (deed dated 8 Jan 1847, entered 19 Jan 1847) and tried to use"my man Joe" as part payment. John R Mason is certainly a Mason relative, close or distant--the exact relationship unknown. I have no knowledge of William Peters. However, the Peters family is a large one in both Greensville Co., Va and Northampton Co., NC. Hannah Peters was the 3rd wife of Francis Dancy, Sr.
Presly refers to Dr. Presley K. Garner, John’s former ward, and a Northampton neighbor (see letter # 33). Bevy Matthews is an abbreviation for Beverly Matthews. His daughter, Mary Beverly Matthews married Frank Melancthon Leigh, the youngest son of Martha's aunt, Mary Jane (Crump) Leigh, widow of Rev. H. Gilbert Leigh. Mary Jane is often referred in other letters as "Aunt Mary". Information on Mary Jane Leigh and her family is found in letters # 34, # 36, # 42, # 44, # 46, # 48, and # 54. John M. Moody and Martha W. Moody sold the Columbus property he bought from Richard Sykes to Mary Jane Leigh in 1860. His dear Boy is oldest son, William Scott Moody. W. Lee is a neighbor in Northampton, and possibly in Mississippi.
"Patty" in the 5th paragraph may be Richard Syke's (above mentioned) wife, Martha Ann (Sykes) Sykes, eighth child of William Sykes and Burchette Lundy (Turner) Sykes. I have read stories that she was unhappy in the house in Columbus. The same stories have said she was a Yankee, which was definitely not the case. Another possibility for homesick Patty is Martha (Lanier) Sykes, wife of Richard's brother James William Sykes. The Lanier family was from Brunswick Co. Va. (next door to Greensville, and above Northampton). Is this Patty the same as Patty Lea? I don't think so.


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