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Letter 60 John Mason Moody, Jr to Martha Alice Moody Leigh

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Date: 17 Dec 1872 [unknown]
Location: Columbus, Mississippimap
Surnames/tags: Moody Leigh
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Columbus Miss
Dec 17th 1872
Dear Sister.
You say you can't see my objection to write you. I have none earthly--unless it be my hereditary antipathy to writing at all In proof however that I have no objection writing to you at this time, I have only to say, that I received your letter this morning and am answering it tonight. Had I known that you had not heard what I deemed the best disposition to make of your interest here e're this, I should have written you some time ago. Thirty one B/c [bales of cotton] has been ginned packed and sold. 24 @17 3/4 --7 @ 17. There are now between 25 & 30 to be ginned. The large crop made with the small force together with the epig?otic has delayed my operations very considerably. But for the above interferences I should be able to give you, if not a satisfactory still a correct statement of our liabilities. So much for the crop-- Now for the disposition of the place. The land as yet has'nt been divided-- I believe Joe Leigh expects it will be in Feb. or March. I have leased 500 acres for three years at $3.00 per acre each year, every additional acre taken are additional $3.00 to be paid. I reserve 150 acres that I propose cultivating, and 50 acres for a freedman that has been renting for several years for which he pays $200-- The party renting is reliable is a good farmer, and has means. I could have rented for much more in parcels, to unreliable parties, but deemed it best to rent for less and make as it were a sure thing of it. I also believe that at the end of the lease the party will propose to buy, an end Nat and Gib. are both anxious to consummate. The mules I sold at good prices 1/2 cash the remainder in twelve months, with note bearing 10 pr ct. from date which is considered cash. The corn, fodder wagons, plunder &c according to the extent of their finances, though I shall insist on the cash. I have now written you as fully I believe as I can at this time. I was in hopes I should finish time enough to send this by to nights train but it has rolled up and I've a little more yet to add.
I was in Columbus yesterday. It was raining nearly all day & from a foot wetting I'm suffering a little with sore throat, though feeling quite well with that exception; but enough about myself. I saw Sippie & the baby. The baby is moderately good looking, I suppose, but they all look alike to me, with slate colored eyes. Sippie says they are turning black. Brother was here to day trying to sell the remainder of his old plunder. He leaves for Little Rock about the 1st of January. I shall try to make my arrangements to go out there after awhile, provided he can find something profitable for me to engage in.
I shall go to town Thursday When I will attend to your request & hope it may reach you in time. I wish it was so you could come out this Winter, as I've but little doubt it would be of benefit. You should be very careful with yourself, for you have certainly as good and interesting a little family as I ever saw. Do not expose yourself & do not lead too sedentary a life. Read less & walk about the room more, conquer your fear of storms & look to the bright side of everything. I thank you for your care of my two little darlings Willie and Annie. Two angels will bless you for it. Tell them to be good children and they meet the approving smile of their earthly and reap their reward from their heavenly Father. Kiss them & all the children for me. I fear from what you say that Pa is not as prudent with himself as he ought to be. Why do'nt you all make him more so. Impress upon his mind the necssity of it. Do not let him go to the country, for it is impossible for him to surround himself with the comforts that he has in Petersburg. Give my love to him & Ma & say to Ma she too must take care of herself. Love also to Harriet.
I will now close, by wishing you all a happy & Merry Xmas And that reminds me to add that I intended e'er this to have sent some money to you to buy the children some Xmas presents. Will send $50.00--with amount remitted to you. Include all the children in your purchases.
Good bye
As ever
Your aff Bro
VLR (Virginia Leigh Refo)
Letter from John Mason Moody, Jr. in Columbus, Ms to his sister, Martha "Alice (Moody) Leigh in Petersburg, VA. Evidently she is asking for an accounting of what and how he is managing her portion of the Moody property in Mississippi. John lives on and manages that property on the "prairie" at Cobbs Switch (now Bent Oak) in Lowndes Co. MS. Joe Leigh is Joseph E. Leigh, a lawyer involved in real estate, in Columbus and Alice's husband's younger brother. It sounds as if John is having to rent out property with intent to sell--most probably a result of his father's bankruptcy and need to liquidate assets or his own inability to sustain large amounts of land without the slave force for labor.
"Sippie" is John's and Alice's sister-in-law, Virginia Tabb Moody, married to Dr. William Scott Moody, mentioned later as "Brother". He is going out to Arkansas, perhaps to see and seek assistance from his mother's Wright relatives---(see letter #39 from Weldon E. Wright) . Dr. Moody's wife's nickname was "Mississippi", shortened to "Sippie". The child is one of their earlier children who died as infants. Three of them--Willie, Gordon, and Nellie-- are buried in Blandford Cemetery in Petersburg. The only children to survive were Virginia Allena Moody, called "Lena", born about 1876, and Charles Bolling Tabb Moody, "Charlie", born about 1879.
"Willie" is John's son, William Robert Moody, being raised by John's mother after the death of his wife, Laura Tabb Moody--Sippie's sister. John's mother is Martha William (Wright) Moody. After the death of Dr. William Scott Moody in 1882, Alice and her husband, Dr. H. G. Leigh "Gib", raised Lena, and Nathaniel Gregory "Nat" and Laura (Moody) Gregory, raised Charlie--this despite the fact that Sippi was still alive.
Annie is Annie Gray Lockhart, the daughter of Mary Elizabeth (Moody) Lockhart and her husband Joseph Gray Lockhart. Mary or "Mollie", who died in 1871, was the older sister of Alice, John and Laura. Her mother, Martha Moody, also raised Annie after Mary's death. In this letter it sounds like Willie and Annie were both John's children; that was not the case. Perhaps he was Annie's godfather.
Harriet appears in several letters (letters # 46, # 62 and # 63). I believe she was Harriet Stoddert, a Mason relative, granddaughter of Daniel Mason of the Western District (see letter # 46).


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