Note: no spelling or gramatical corrections have been made here - transcribed
All letter scans courtesy of Patty Thomas (email@example.com).
Original letters in the possession of Gayle White, granddaughter of Julie Ette (Pippin) Atchley
Dear Mother and Brother;
I now embrace the opportunity of addressing you by letter. I had come to the conclusion that you had forgotten me or that you had all died on the road to Missouri.
I received a letter the other day from Hill and Sister Morning that relieved my fears very much and gave me a great deal of pleasure to learn your were all alive and well and had got to your journys end and without any misfortune.
We are all in good health at the present time and have been in tolerable since I seen you last. I wrote to Uncle Nixon Ballard in January but never have received the scrape of a pen from him yet. I want you to write to me all about the country. How well you are pleased, how you stood your trip and let us know something about Brother William. Dick wrote to us that he stopped at the Iron Banks in Kentucky. I want to know if he intends to stay there or go on to Missouri.
I would like to see you and still live in the hopes that I will yet before we cease to live, but that is a matter that we will leave with the Great Preserver of the lives of all mankind if we should not be blest with the privilege to meet here no more, let us meet be content as much as possible and try to meet in a region far more preferable than Missouri or Texas or any other part of the world.
When you write to me, write something about father, if you know where he is. I have not seen Sister Sally since you left but have heard from her frequently. She was well and family the last time I heard from her. Samuel says for you to give Betty and Susan a kiss for him and take one to yourself. Give my best love and respect to Uncle Nixon and family and reserve a large portion to yourself.
Your most affectionate daughter until death,
Well, Brother Levi:
I hardly know what to write to you, you slipped off so easy and let me know nothing about it, but I reckon that will all come with some time. I was right much vexed at first, but have become more calm.
Now the 15th day of this month was this day on a week ago and we had a fine snow that continued more than half the day, then cleared off in the evening, had a large frost and freeze followed that night which killed wheat, corn and vegetables of most every kind, even the leaves on the trees and it has been cool ever since with frost until last night and we've had dry weather about 4 weeks.
Uncle Bassle Smith is married cetrain and I think to the girl that you was courting there. I am sorry that you disappointed my namesake here so bad as she complains about it. Levi, you must not do so my brother.
There was an old lady told Lina's fortune a few days ago and said that you had sent her a letter by the mail and that you had a mighty notion to come and bring it yourself, but that you would be here soon. So, Levi I am not uneasy about seeing you if you live and keep your health.
I had forgotten to tell Mother that Caroline is just recovering from a long spell of the sickness. She's been confined to her room for near three months with liver complaint. She is now able to get about.
P.S. Don't forget to write immediately.
Salado Texas July the 5th1874
Dear Sister I received your letter yesterday I was glad to git a line from you. I was thinking that you never would write to me. We are all well at this time hopeing this will find you all well and in good spirits. I was sorry to hear that you had much [..unclear..] among you as you speak of in your letter. I never have [..unclear..] any of them that I know of. What are they and how do they work on the crops?
This country has produced [..unclear..] of crops of corn this season. Wheat in Bell county was not in good as common. Though the grain was larger and full and makes a fine quality flower. Oats was good and a good prospect for a cotton crop. We have a good [..unclear..] and hogs will get very fat I think. There never a better time to come to Texas than the present. S[..unclear..] an everything bound to be cheap, that is prov[..unclear..]. The best quality of calico is [..unclear..] in our little town at 10 cents per yard and all the other dry goods in perportion. Coffee 4lbs. To the dollar though it varies from 6 lbs. to 9lbs. Molasses from 75cts to $1.00 bacon by the bulk 10 to six cts Per pound. So you can to come to Texas even if you have to make some sacrafics to get here and then bee a great deal better off when you get here than you are there for several reasons first the land here is of a better quality and can be got a great deal cheaper. I have bin in Texas almost 20 years and have seen some of the land here in constant cultivation ever since and it is just productive today as it ever was second the winter is very short and very mild and you have no need to feed anything but work horses. As a general thing hogs git fat on the [..unclear..]. You can kill a fat beef in January as you can at any other season of the year and if you will away from the large [..unclear..] you will have the best of health. I expect to settle myself somewhere in the country on a farm before long as I don't like to live in town. I live this place very well we have a fine colage here and good buildings but I have no trade to work at to make a living, therefore I think it best for me to get a farm and some stock and live and board at the same place. I was at the Lampasas Springs a few days ago and saw sister there she was [..unclear..] she is well as common she looks vary bad I can't see any difference in her since I saw last year she seems to be natural at times she is not. She asked all about you all and I told her that I get letters regular from there and I was looking for mother's picture and perhaps yours and she made me promise to take them up there for her to see as soon as I get them which I will do as soon as I can. Landy is down near [..unclear..] where I was living before I moved here he has four children one girl and three boys he moved here when I did but he [..unclear..] down there the best and moved back. He is almost through with every thing he took the notion to sell off his stock about 4 years ago and got $1000 for his horses and cattle and if he had of kept them until now he could have of got ten times the amount he did get for them but I could not prevent him from selling. Though he sees now how easy it is to get rid of money and will see how hard it is to make it. I intend to give Landy a piece of land some day but will wait until he can appreciate it. My sheet is getting full and I must begin to wind up. Tel all my relation to write to me. I think R. Beasly might afford a line or two at any rate where is Samuel Hill tell him to come to Texas, give my love to all tell mother I am looking for her picture with great anxiety say to her that I am well working to git ready too come to see her and when I do start I will be there in 3 or 4 days may the Lord bless you all and prosper you in this world goods and at last a home in heaven. Yours truly, John Henshaw
To Wm. C. P. Dear nephew I very glad to hear from you. I hope you will have a good season and make abundant crops that a good chance my present its self for you and the others that wants to do so to sel out and come to Texas may find the opportunity to do so. I think that I see a grate advantage in doing so. Texas is destined to be one greatest stats in the union she has the advantage of any other state hav large bodeyes of rich land have Never failing pasturage for all kinds of livestock, hav fine water power to run all kinds of machinery. Hav has level surfase makes it easy to build railroads and in fact every thing is in prosperous condition. I see now in Texas what I never did before and I feel an ansiety that you with you large family of boys should shear some of its wealth. You know I have never have given you any encouragement to break up and come here until now. I feel certin that it is the best thing you and any other man in that country cold do. Give my love to all your children and wife tel them I hope to see them some day my sheet is about full and I will have to close for the present write son good by for this time.
Note that the above letters identify Betsy Hinshaw Pippin, Levi Hinshaw, John A. Hinshaw and Angeline Elizabeth "Morning" Hinshaw as siblings.
The letters also imply possible additional siblings named William, Sally (Sarah) and maybe a Polly (Mary).
The letters do not directly identify who their parents were.
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