Location: Bradley County, Arkansas
Letter from Jeremiah C. Heath of Bradley County, Arkansas to his paternal uncle Jeremiah Heath of Craven County, NC. The original letter is in the possession of descendent John R. Heath, Goldsboro, NC and was transcription by Lonne Heath of Goldsboro , NC.
July 9th / 50 (1850)"
Dear and affectionate Uncle
Yours of the 5th June came to hand yesterday and was kindly received animating my spirits considerably to think that a correspondence was likely to be commenced betwixt us and for its encouragement. I sit down this P.M. answering the same. This I hope is a subsequent letter will be answered by your or some of my strange cousins. Myself & family are in tolerable health. I have not heard from Grandmother (in Randolph County, Ga) this year although I have written to cousin Needham Jones with whom Grandmother is living....(bottom half of this page is missing)...''
It is about 175 miles from here there. Although I have consented to move there yet I fear I shall not find it a better section of country than this. The land is good here making from 24 to 40 bushels corn for acre and ? too I may say to 1200 lbs cotton. Health of the county by some thought not good but my opinion is that it is as healthy as any cotton clime Although there have recently been six deaths and several at the point of death seemingly in this vicinity. But the disease was not attributed to locality but thought to have been brought here from New Orleans. It was somewhat similar to spasmodic Cholera though it was not.....(bottom half of page missing)...
But the mere name is nothing if the vital principle have not been formed in the soul the hope of glory to wit Christ Jesus. I might branch out here and give you some of my ideas but perhaps it would be useless to commence on this small sheet. I will give you a list of my Fathers children in their order being born unto him 6 boys and 6 girls. Viz Angelina (dead), Jeremiah, Powell, Wm Levert, Jesse, Rebecca (dead), Mary, Joseph, Martha, Catherine, Benjamin Alonzo and Nancy Melinda. Jeremiah, Wm L and Mary married and all in Texas except myself. I must say something about my oldest daughter being 6 yrs old can read any where in English can write a legible hand and can do a number of sums on her slate. My least one is 3 yrs old and a promising daughter. We have no prospect for the 3d. I weigh from 110 to 125 lbs. My wife from 100 to 106 lbs. I have one brother who weighs 150 lbs another 140 and Powell being next to me about my weight. I am now engaged in reading Materica Medica a Botanical work to practice medicine but every man should get all the information within the compass of his reason in the treatment of disease as it falls to our lot to be afflicted. In all probability if the Lord will I shall practice medicine although I have taught school until I have become almost naturalized to it and cam pass if same sweetly when I have a promising school. I have not been long engaged in reading medicine but a man of good judgement can soon manage the Botanical system so far as the practice of medicine is concerned. The year that I lived in Randolph County, GA in the 4th July I was attacked with symptoms of fever and went to a medical man who gave me 4 pills stating their innocence. True they were innocent enough to remain inert for 2 days when by the direction of my Physician I tasted a sour apple which produced the desired affect i.e. proved to him I was salivated. He then commenced with the blue mass for the liver complaint I followed his prescription until I saw I must land into an untimely grave and commenced with the Botanic systems which has been the means of preserving my life unto this day. Now finding not only from the virtues it has proved to me in my preservation but to others that there is a temporal and spiritual Balm in Gilead. I am therefore anxious and willing to administer the same to my fellow man. I arrested a most sever attach of fever last Sunday produced an equilibrium sufficient in 10 minutes to produce fine perspiration with the Lobelia Inflata.
My wife wished her respects received by you and my dear relations and I do the same.
Affectionately yours To my Uncle Jeremiah Heath