David Lunceford Family Letters
† Itawamba County,
David & Sarah Lunceford
The following letters were in the possession of Sondra Bookout Pettit, 3rd Great Granddaughter of
David Lunceford & Sarah Justice of
Sondra Bookout Pettit died December 18, 2002.†
These letters were contributed by Sondraís dear friend, Marilyn Dickson.†
The family of David Lunceford, Sr. and
his wife, Emily, were listed on the 1850 census of
On the 1860 census of
Although I have found no direct connection between this Lunceford family and my own Lunsford family, the letters are posted in hopes of helping others who may be researching this line.
These letters were originally
transcribed and posted on the
US GenWeb Project by Bobbe Duval, former coordinator.
†Bobbe Duval is now deceased.†
Dear brother and friends
I take the present opportunity of writing you a few lines informing you that I am well at present and hope these few lines may find you enjoying the same blessing. Brother we have had one of the finest revivals you ever heard of it lasted 12 weeks and there was fifth three or four converts there was twenty eight baptised last sunday. I do not kno how many more will joined the Baptist church. I have not joined any church yet. I do not no when I shall. I have not determined which church I shall join yet. I rather think I shall join at the ? dist but I can't say for surtain yett. Dear brother I wish you could have bin here in the time the glorious work was going on ... state here that was Troy Sanders ck it was a glorious time you knew Thom ? well enough he professed and was baptised last sunday. Brother Cross are very sorry in this county. The people are done getting foder they will make short crops of every thing pappy made 44 stacks of foder papy and family are all well at present. There has bin some sickness here this fall. There has bin some five? Deaths about here late by. Thomas Bagby died last Sunday morning.
We shall have to elect another clerk. there is several candidates and among them all there is William S. Balinger and H. H. Hobbs. I do not no who will get Elected but some of them will get Elected I am Surtain of that much. I am clerking for office David C. Carrington at this time. Brother I have nothing more to wright you at† present. Give my love to Sister Elizabeth and tell her to wright to me you and Sister must Come this fall. Give my love and respect to all inquiring friends tell them all to wright to me and ? must be surtain to wright to me. tell Brother N. B. to wright to me tell him I want to see him very bad. You must excuse bad wrigint and spelling for I am ? your kind and affectionate
Brother until death fare well Brother
R. D. Lunceford
I have this morning seated myself for the purpose of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am yet in the land of the living provided you get the letter after I direct it. I saw a letter you wrote to pappy a few dayes ago. You stated in that letter that you had written me two letters since you had received one from me. I am unable to account for the reason why you do not get any letters for I know I have alwayes bin punctual in answering your letter. Your last one to me I am sure I answered it about three days after I received it. My health is as good as ? better than it ever was. I hope this may find you and your family all well. My wife is in better health at this time than she has bin for some time past.
I would like
very much to take her out to see you and your wife and pretty children, but I
am so pore I am not able to do so yet ?. I would also be more than pleased to
see you Sister, ? and the children at my house. but the question here arise in
my mind can it ever be that we shall all ever meat together under one roof. Yes
it is possible and I ? that meating may take place before a great while. Pappy
is sick but not dangerous. Emily has bin sick for about two months? ? ? better
as ofett? ? is a great deal of sickness in this part of the country at this
time. Times are hard money ? ? savy ? & Provisions very hye, new corn is
worth four dolars per barel at the ?
I remain as ever your true friend & brother, farewell
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† R. D. Lunceford
Dear Brother David,
I have this evening seated my self for the purpose of writing you a few lines in answer to your kind letter which came to hand a few dayes ago and hapy was I to receave it and to find that you were all yet spared by the mercy of god and were enjoying peace and health in this world brother David. I enjoy tolerable good health in this world but peace is an entire stranger about my fathers house Brother you know how it was when you were here but it is worse now than it was then. There is† scarses ____ one dayes and to another when I come about the house I am provoked by that tormenting† month that has bin at work here so long you know† whoo I mean she never bothers me or has any thing to say to me but it greavs me to think that my pore old father who is nearly ready to dye has got to spend his last dayes in this kind of a mes she never speake to him good. Sister Manerva has not spoke to her in three months and she sayes she never will again if she can help it there is one consolation to me I shal get out of it in the fall if I live until then. Brother there is not mutch nuse of improtence at the present people are generaly healthy in this part of the cuntry but they are generaly backward with there crops the most of them are a bout half done planting we are not done planting yet we comoneoed weading corn yesterday what of our crop that is come up lookes tolerable well give my love to Sister Elizabeth and the baby tell her I am not maried yet tell her to right to me soon. Brother it would be _____ to see very ____† ____ you and your family once more but I do not kno that I ever shal but if we never see each other again in this world let us try to meet in heaven where there is no more parting and where troubles trials pain and afflictions are entire strangers.† Brother you must wright again soon theres nothing more at present give my and receive a large portion for your self and family I remaine your kind and affectionate Brother until death fare well but I trust not forever----
R D Lunceford to his brother David Lunceford.
††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††R D Lunceford
Dear Brother David
I have this morning seated my self in order to write you a few lines in answer to your kind letter which came to hand a few days ago. Brother it afforded one great pleasure to hear from you and your sweet family once more and to hear that you were well and engaging your lives as well as you are. brother you stated in your letter that you hadnt had any rain in eight weeks and you though there was a chance for starving next year. brother we had no reign for six or eight weeks and our crops looked very sory but for the last two or three weeks we have bin flooded with rain. There has bin one of the largest freshets in swift middle and Black creeks that ever was known. It has killed all the corn that was on them creeks. There has bin a fresh in nuse? River but not a very large one as yett. We lost corn enough to ov made about 25 barels. Brother hour crop looks very prosperous at this time but I cant tell how it will turn out but I hope we shal all make a plenty to live on. Brother I am not married yet and I cant tell when I shal be but I want to get of to house keeping between this time and the winter if I can my house is not finished yet but it will be before long. Brother father and family are well at this time they all sent there love to you and your family. Brother we are not done hiling corn yet and it has rained so mutch that I dont reckon we shal finish this year. Brother you must excuse me for so short and uninteresting a leter and wright to me the sooner for it. Brother I want to see you all very mutch but I cant tell when I shal get the chance to come to see you again. Give my love to Sister Elisabeth and the baby and tell them to wright to me. give my best wishes to all inquiring friends if there be any. receive my love and best wishes for your self and family. Nothing more at present. Your affectionate brother until death.
Farewell brother David.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †R. D. Lunceford
Dear brother David.
††††††† R D Lunceford† I received your letter which was mailed the 15th of Dec It aforded me great pleasure to here from you once more and I was very happy to learn that you were all well .† I was highly pleased to hear of your fine boy you have named him after two very sory chaps I reckon but if he ever gets large enough to ware britches he shal have one fine suit of clothes if I live and luck well, Brother you say that you intend leaving that country if you do I want you to move back to the good old N C , the state for it is the happyest cuntry in the world I reckon. Trew it is pore but a man can make a living and when he has made it he can enjoy it, I have bin thinking where you could buy a tract of land near me, I reckon you could buye the Yelvington Tract of land that is up not fare from where James Youngblood moved from . I am not certain about that but I know you can buy a tract of William G Balinger it lies on the other side of the river from me. it is called the Gum spring tract of the land , you know where the gum spring is well enough over not far from John Davises on bufalo where the old campground used to be it is true it is all piny woods and none of it cleared but you could make a very handsome living on it and there is a splendid range for stock out on old bucklebury. Brother I expect you could buy this land cheap if you wish to know about it and will write me in answer to this letter I will go and examin the land and find out what is can be bought for and send you word in my next. Piople are generaly healthy in this country at this time I have enjoyed better health than I did before. I am not married and I do not expect to be soon I am living a bachelor just as happy as a king, I make a plenty to eat and thank God that I have got health to ear it, I fatened twenty head of shoats they made over two thousand pounds of poark. pork is worth 7 cts here,† corn is worth 4.00 per barel, papy and family are well, pap has killed about half of his pork he killed a fine lot the other day he killed 24 head that wayed 3775 lbs , brother tel sister Elixabeth and the sweet little babs houdy for me give them my love, Oh I should be so happy to see you all once more in this, would† if we all live and mothying hapens I will come to see you after a while give my love to brother Joel and family tel them to write to me give my love to all inquiring friends if ther be any and espechaly to the girles ask them is some one of them would not like to come to the good old North state to live, Brother I should be so happy to be with you and your dear family. we could spend these long evenings together., in love you must wright again soon I must now come to a close may happiness and prosperity attend you forever is my prayer.
I remain you affectionate Friend and Brother untill death,
†† R D Lunceford
My Dear Boy,
I have seated myself for the purpose of ansering your leter recived some time sence. I am hapy to hear that you and your family ware well and duing well and also to hear from joel and family. We are all well as could be expected you just exuse me my dear child for note writing to you offened as I am old and worne out . We have a fines fall so far but it is raining† now and looks gusty .Your sister Mynerva will start to the west in a few days If nothing hapins they talk of going to arkansas is it may be that they may come by your house but I cant tel you that you know my dear Boy this is murder to you pore old Farther, But David I never have seen a pasel of children as ar thankful as you all ware and a few more days well close this troublesome seams with me and all the friend you ever had is gone exept your dear wife Cleave to har and love hear . Our crops is purty fare hear and property frabley hot. They hogs grease and baken worth 18cts . all of your family hear is well at this time. Mr Ellis has been rite sick this fall but is mearly well now. David I advise you to stay whar you are for I learned you have good land and a healthy plase. we all must dy and you can never call back gone by days and whene a man is dewing well enuff let well a nuff a lone. Write me soon and excuse my short letter give my love to all your farther and friend,††††††
David Lunceford senior.
Smithfield Johnston Co NoCa
by the direction
of my father I am wrighting you this letter as he is unable to wright he has
requested me to wright to you & explain his situation & condition
&† he has bin confined to his bed for
three weeks & the greater part of the time has been purfectly helpless he
is a little better to day I think but I must say to you that I do not think
that he can live long he may posibly be several months dwinling a way bug I do
not think he can ever enjoy any health again the rest of the family are well I
am well except the fatigue from sitting up. My family are well he has given me
one hundred dolars, which I shall enclose in this letter to you to bare the
expences of them children out here he says he wants you to manage the way you
think best & the was to get them to him on the cheapest plan that you can.
He says if you will have them a box of provisions fixed and put on the cars
when they get on that they can get along better, and cheaper. he told me to ask
you to wright to me all the particulars about Joels estate & whether or not
there was any thing comeing to the children, that is if you knew any thing
about Jels business. & B he also Said but does not want you to say any
thing about it that if he lives he intends to get all the negroes that he gave
to Joel & brother Nepolion back again for the benifit of you and some of
the rest of his children, that is if he can asertain where they are for he says
they had no wright to themfrom him he has obtained legal authority & they say
that he can take them where ever he finds them by proving them. Brother say
nothing about this to nobody but write me if you know where the negroes are
& who has got them. I suppose you will send the children by Mr. O'Neal if
he has not left for home when you get this letter wright as soon as you get
this so that I may know whether the money reached you safe or not. There is
just one bill on the bank of Capefear Noc 1776 dated
your friend & brother
R. D. Lunceford
One half of the bil I send by this mail and the other by the next.
Smithfield Johnston Co No Ca
Dear brother David,
††††††††† I seat myself this morning for the purpose of wrighting you a few lines in answer to a letter which I received from you some days past. I have neglected to answer your letter for the simple reason that there was no nuse to write that would hav bin of interest to you. I hav no good nuse to wright at present ,times in this state are harder thatn they ever have bin corn is worth six dolars per barel whear crops are comeing in mutch soryer than people expected, flour is worth eight to nine dolars pr barel fodder is worth from one and a half to two dolars pr hundred, bacon is worth from 15 to 20 cts pr pound the prospects fo the present crops are more gloomy than they ever have bin in this country. before corn is about as large now as it generaly is at may court and since the whear srops has bin gathered the chinch bugs are flocking in countles numbers upon the corn crop and if they do not stop in one month more they will have over half the corn in Johnston county lying dead on the ground a great many persons are trying to destroy them by taking larg torches and burning them together with the corn which they are on there is some sickness in this part of the country but† not a great deal as yett, papy and family are well I am feeling very badly today, Cornelia is also un well with these exceptions my family are well, Cornelia sends her love and best respects to you all if I live and can get off I expect to move to your state this fall or winter if I go to Mississippi I expect to settle about 75 miles south of where you live. I would be glad to come and live neighbor to you but the land is two pore up where you live. I have written you all the nuse that I have so I will close let me hear from you soon. Give my love to Sister Elizabeth and the children and receive a large portion for your self tell sister Elisabeth to wright to me.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††
†I remain as ever your trew friend and brother,
R D Lunceford
David Lunceford, Jnr.
††††† Fulton Miss
My dear boy it is a grate pleasere to me that I am able to sit at my table and write a few lines in ansere to your of and your last in asking of whitch I find you and your family well and truly glad to hear that Elinder Clifton is marraid But I wish you would have said to me who she did mary and what you thought of the chance but David its sest for hir any how and I glad to hear that you and your Farther inlaw will take the two boys as I am not able to sea to any thing my self and if nothing happens at my death I will have something for them children. Iwant you David to divide the hundred dollars I sent you fore parts and give the girles twenty five dollars a peace as they can take care of it them selves and give Henry Clifton Twenty five dollars for the benifet of the boy he takes and keep the other for the benifet of the boy you keep your self I thought of comming to your house this fall† before know and my wife and myself was both takin sick and she is sick yet. and I am not well enuff to leave my home I intedned coming and getting these neagorws Joel and Neapolion should as give a way in that county as they had no rite to the miagrowes Joel wanted to sell Iham hear and I would not let him. and Jain I sent them for a nuf for your sister as you know David I thought of send you a rite to Isham and Jain and let you get them your self and if keep how many children Mary had after she got there I would give her and hir children to Mynerva I want you David to find that out and have the law of Misippa is in the case of Niagrows. I want you David to search among Joels papers and find a bundle of letters from Charles G Edwards to me and take good care of them for I think they are worth a good Farthing to me at any time. when any body will go to Dallas County Alabama in Chala Haba and search the supiorer court offic and see what Edwards dun with the money he collected tor me as my agent in a suit at law a going the Adminesitrators of Norah W Nicholes to the use of David Lunceford you can find out anything a bout law by inquiring of Henry or John Clifton as they know all these laws respecting niagrows the law hear is that a man can prove his property and take it where ever he finds it and I can prove by you David these niagrowes is myne and if these boy had and rite to them I neaver give it to them If I could git them I would get them Niagrowes in my possesion and they might sue me. If they chuse to due so you write to me all a bout it keep it a seacreat as would run them miagrows if they thought I would come for them tell your wife not find fault of me. for not writting to hir where I remember hir in every letter I write,
your Farther and Friend,
Smithfield Johnston Co NoCa
I have bin wraiting for some months for an answer to
my last letter to you and it has not come yet. So I have concluded this morning
to write to you again. I have no nuse of any improtaence to write you at
present. we are all well except our little girl she has bin sich sor several
weeks but I think she is better today. There is a great deal of sickneps about
heare there has bin a great many deaths in this section from typhoid feaver
this season. We are all preparing to go to the war old
I remain your trew friend and brother,
R D Lunceford.
Mr. David Lunceford
I received your letter some time since I have been waiting to try to come to some definite conclusion that is whether I would answer it or not or whether I would treat it with silent contempt as you did several for me. If you are in your right mind and you mean what you say in your letter it deserves to be treated with contempt by me but I will leave that with you and your own conscience to deside & I will try and answer it. I will state in the outset that I am nearly thirty six years old & I have had dealings with all sorts of people but my honesty has never been impeached before. It seames from the tone of your letter that I am to be held responsible for the war and all it's horrible consequences specialy on money & negroes. Now I will come to the point in question and if I don't track the truth so far as I understand it, I am willing to be counted a liar and a thief too. In the first place you authorized me to buy you some negroes from Mr. Mitchiner and bring them to you together with the one you had left you ? your father. I made the trade & brought the negroes to you which trade amounted to fourteen hundred Dollars & when I took a bill of sale from Mitchiner for the negroes I gave him my note with the understanding that what you liked paying for the negroes when I got them to you he was to wait for the balance until Papie's estate was settled. Mr. Mitchiner was not fool enough to let me take his negroes off to another state and wait ? years for the money without any note or any claim for pay of any kind. Now you say I did rong in giving my note for the negroes. How the Devil did you expect me to make a trade for negroes or any other property without a note or money one. You no better than any such stuff as that all though your letter is full of it.
You did not say I had done rong when I brought the negroes to you & told you what I had† done, but what did you say I recollect as well as if it was yesterday, and so do you. You said to me when you paid me the eight hundred Dollars if I never get a read cent from the estate you shant loose anything. You state in your letter that I told you when you were paying me the money that you were paying me to much. So you were if the estate could have bin settled according to the accounts of sale, but I did not tell you at the same time that we were going to have a civil war of four years & all the negroes to be set free and the estate not be settled in six or seven years and then probably? Be insolvent.
You say now that you understood the trade that Mitchiner was to take what was coming to you from the estate as part pay for the negroes so I did but you did not understand if you did not get anything from the estate that Mr. Mitchiner was not to be paid for the negroes. That is the way your letter reads but you new better when you were writing it. You talk about my disposition to quible look at this farely & squarely and I think if I understand the word quible and there has bin any disposition to quible it is on the part of some one else not me. You said in your letter all that you wanted in this world was your just rights . Them you shall have so far as I am concerned & you nead not give yourself any further† uneasiness on that point but in the meantime I do not want to be accused with acting unfarely because I can't make every body pay there debts & make honest men out of Dam Raskals. You said in your letter that you did not expect to live long & when you died you wanted to go with a clear conscience. That is my fix exactly honest fare dealing & cursing the Dam Yankees is any only hope for happiness hereafter. The truth of the whole matter that has caused you so much dissatisfaction? is that you authorized me to make a fourteen hundred dollar trade with Mr. Mitchiner for you and when I delivered you the property you gave me eight hundred dollars to pay the bill expense and all & now you claim that I owe you four or five hundred dollars in Gold or it's equivalent in greenbacks. In your letter before the last you claimed only one hundred & in your last no definite sum but four or five hundred dollars. Now the truth of the matter is I don't owe you a read cent & I hope never shal but I am in hopes when ...... is all settled there will be
money in my hands coming to you which
you shal have just as quick as a train will
turnes out better share I expect .... suffered to collect the hole amount of that ..... & you refuse to pay it I shall loose six or seven hundr4ed dollars by the operations. These are the facts in .... you can see it if you will look at it right .... your letter that you cant collect any old debts out there it is the same case hear there has not bin a dollar collected here† legally since the surrender. None pay except those that want to and very few choose to want to.† And still you blame me because I dont make Mr. Ellis collect up & pay over & forward to you. Mr. Ellis brought suit on some claims due the estate and the military had them thrown out of court and made him pay the cost on them out of what he had collected so you see there is no ? to do anything under the present state of affairs. We have filed a bill in equity for a settlement with Mr. Ellis when he answers the bill which will be soon I will send you a correct statement of the hole matter. If they repudiate all of the old debts there will be between two and three hundred dollars in my hands coming to you.
your gold you make so much fuss about when I got home from your house I went to
Mr. Mitchiner and told him I had some Gold for him if he would allow a premium
on it. He said he would not do it for he said he had as can have bank† bills. I tried around among our merchants and
they told me the same thing so rather than go to the expense of going to a
brokers office I paid the money over to Mitchiner rather than keep it and pay
tax on it, all except one hundred dollars of it I ? Damed Yankey have it for
one hundred and ten Dollars in bank bills and he would not have given that if
it had not bin that he wanted to get away to Yankey Dom. Old Twitchel was ????
I hope this will satisfy tyou? on the old question at least it will show you
that I have not put your money to my own use. I should regret very much ? ?? as
long a letter as this on a subject that I new as much about as you did. Simply
a like of confidence you have got it into your head that I had saved that Gold
and was putting it to my own use but you are sadly mistaken. I† have never used any of your money yett &
God forbid I ever should until you have more confidence in me than you have at
present ? much rather sit down & written you a long letter about how I was
getting a long with my farm and about my children and things that would think
be of more interest. Tell Rufus I have put his name in the Bill for a
Settlement with Mr. Ellis. He will no all about it when Mr. Ellis answers the
Bill ? will write to him some time soon. Tell him to write to me & I
Give my love to all the family. Cornelia & the children send there love to you all this leaves us all well. I don't want you to think that I am mad when you at this I only feel mortified at your loss of confidence in me without a cause. I write this in self response? & to try to bring you to your sences. I will close it one hear from you again.
I remain your friend & brother.
R. D. Lunceford
Mr. David Lunceford
youfs of the 25th inst to hand to day and contents noticed. In answer I would
say I have not seen any† awyer yett. I
will find out if an affidavit from you will answer as well as the bill of sale
if so I will write again as soon as I see him. Any object in the suit is to try
to defend my self & if I recover anything out of old Mitchiner I expect to
pay it over to you. If you could produce the bill of sale or if your affidavit
will answer I donít think there would be any doubt in my getting about two
hundred dollars out of him.† I have got
one of the best lawyers in the state to defend the case. I have paid him $50.00
dolars but the Youngblood and Ellis are all working against me & for
Mitchiner in the matter. So far as Ellis writing to you that he paid me for you
$200.00 dollars he wrote a lie knowingly. I tried to get him to pay all the
money over to me as fast as it was collected but he would not do it he never
did pay me but $160.00 dollars and I paid every cent of that to your Attorney
Mr. Abell. Ellis & everybody else that now anything about the matter know
that he & his lawyer who is his Brother in law3 & a notable Scoundrel
Stole at least 2/3 of my fatherís Estate and no body could help it. Now I will
tell you what I no to be true about the estate. In the first place pappy was
not in debt what was sold at his sale brought over three thousand dollars
besides several hundred dollars worth of good notes that were on hand. I do not
no the exact amount but at least another thousand more. All this went into
Ellisís hands and after keeping it ten or twelve years he comes out & tells
me if the heirs will take eitht† .. he
would settle if not he would not pay anything for he was lawless? & they
could not get anything out of him only what he was a mind to pay and his Lawyer
Brother in Law had the impudence to tell me that Ellis had made a good thing
out of the Estate. What I have written is every word true & no one could
help it for the Law did not require him to give a bond & he done just as he
pleased with it all. Just as soon as the estate was out of his hands he bought
a tract of land for one of his sons & built a fine house on it with four
rooms to it all plastered & fixed off. & he also fixed up his own house
& three of his sons are now merchandizeing in
What I have written you here I would sware to If I were dying & I hope you will believe it. If you do not I canít help it. I will try & write you again soon. I hope this will find you all well. This leaves my family all well. They all Send their Love to you. Write again soon.
R. D. Lunceford
Dear Brother & Sister
I seat myself to
right to answer your kind and loveing letter that came to hand the other day.
As ever your Brother until death.
Egbert D. Lunceford
Dear Alice and Dave
I will try to
write you a few lines this evening to let you know that I ? you. I feel very
lonesome to day. It is very cold. O have to stay verry close to the fire when
the weather is bad. I do not stir around much.
Sarah E. Lunceford
July the 30 1890?
Dear Brother Dave
i again seat myself to write you a few lines in answer to your kind letter that reached me on the ? of this month. w was so glad to here from you all. Our letter was a good while on the road. i am well at this time ? hope this will find you all the same. i was sorry to here that you had never ? able to work. i and pa has been pulling fodder today. we are not more than half done yet. brother Dave cotton has turned out to be very sorry here. it has sheded every thing off v ery ? but the ?† it has been very dry for some time ? this week you said you was very fat ?that your weight was 110 lbs ? you are taking like a man now then so i will have to close for this time i reckon i want you to write again so good by.
E. L. Lunceford to D. ? Pearce
I again seat
myself to answer your ? letter you donít know how glad we was to here that you
was all as well as what you are Alice i have that you was disappointed because
we did not come. i was afraid for Roberta to undertake to go that far horse
back an had no other way to come. Brother Jim told Roberta to not under take
the trip and he would take her before long, but i donít believe he will. iím a
going to come to see you before the funeral if nothing happens. it will be the
? sunday in September. you must be sure an come i want us all to be together on
that day. i will try come before then if Ruby canít come. kiss Cliffe an Dow
for me an tell them i think of them often.
E. L. Lunceford
© Deborah Lunsford Yates, 2000 Ė 2008
Last Updated Monday, April 28, 2008
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