Early Va./Ky. Meachams -- 1844 letters

1844 letters of Lucy Meacham

[Dec. 1, 2000]

Copies of these letters were very kindly provided by John Meacham Jr of Batesville, Mississippi, who was given them by his aunt Elnora Meacham Nees. The writer was Lucy Brewer Meacham (b.1769, d. after 1850), widow of John Meacham (1766-1823). One may speculate that the letters were probably handed down from Lucy's son John Joseph Meacham, to the family of his son William H., to his son Daniel O., to his daughter Elnora, and finally to John. While they don't shed any new light on genealogical matters, they are poignant in several respects. Especially interesting to me was the reference to Henry Clay, a prominent politician from Kentucky who in 1844 was making his third (final) unsuccessful bid for the presidency as a Whig, and who was desparately trying to achieve a compromise on the slavery issue, to hold the Union together.

I have transcribed each letter "as is" without adding punctuation; illegible parts are marked xxxx; footnotes or comments are in brackets [].

Letter 1:

[First 1844 letter]

November 3, 1844, Christian county Ky.
Dear brothers and sisters Nephews and
Nieces. I take my pen in hand again
to send you a few lines to inform you
that we are all well at this time, hopeing
these lines may reach you all enjoying
the same health.

I have nothing strange to write at
present we have fine Crops of corn here
wheat was spilte with the rust nearly
I have just got my corn in and shucked
I did intend Comeing out there this
fall and see you all but I dont expect
I can owing to sicknefs I have got behind
with my work and I have got on the
Bachelors list you no they have croo
cked woxxxxx check of them xxxxx
dont get xxxxx you needent to xxx for
me now until you see me so if you
dont come you can write as I have
and send us word how times is there we
still have hard times here that is money
is scarce and politicks is high here
at this time but if we can elect Henry
Clay politics will be done and money
plenty so I must Close I will inform
you of the deaths of our neighbours here

Letter 2:

[Second 1844 letter]

Christian county State of Ky November 3 1844
Dear sons and Daughters I again send you
a few lines to let you no how we are at
this time we have had a great deal of
sicknefs here this season and a good
many deaths but none of the connection
I have had a long spel of sicknefs the
Chills and fever but I have got abut
again I want you all to write to me so as
I can hear from you all and no how you
are all getting along Meritt my son [1] you rote
a letter to me that gave me great
satisfaction and I want you to send me
another you stated that you was doubt
ing your hope heare after if you was
to say that you did not doubt I should
not think so much of it I want to say
something about religion it is not so
thriving heare as it has been still it is
going on all of A Lindseys [2] Children
has joined the Church and susan Vaughns [3]
have joind the Church except the 3 sma[lls?]
I could tell you a great deal more if I was with
you but its so fur I cant my son, John [4] I
want you to write to me so no more at prit[?]
But remains your ever loving mother
until death        Lucy Meacham

Notes on Letter 2:

1. Merritt Meacham (1800-1877).
2. Probably Archibald Lindsey, first husband of Lucy's daughter Jane Meacham (1787-1862).
3. Probably Lucy's daugher Susannah (1790 - bef. 1859) whose first husband was a Vaughan.
4. John Joseph Meacham (1799-1865).

Return to Contents Proceed to next article