January 22 1854 – Martha Haun to James Haun

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Martha Haun discusses the local news, and difficult financial times in Georgetown.

January the 22nd 18541

My Dear Sweet Husband,

I have determined to write you every week in hopes you will get some of my letters, for I perceive you do not get near all of my letters. I know I get all that you and John write. I can tell by the way you write. It is the same case with Mary Lared and Mrs Shorme: they say their husbands does not get all their letters but they get theirs.

We have had a very pleasant winter so far, not very cold weather. This is, I think, the coldest day we have had, but yesterday we sat all day without a fire–it was like an April day. I do not think I ever saw more rain fall in the same length of time than fell last night, yesterday and night before last, with a great deal of lighting and thunder– but it cleared off very cold.

When I write so often I have very little news to write you. Ben Bradley got home from the south last night. He has been there setting up his wife’s business. They talk of going to St Lewis in the spring to settle. Mrs Saunders is pleased with Missouri and has brought a farm within 12 miles of Bob Keene. Green Tucker gets married in a week or two to a Miss Morrison who lives at Squire Kemp’s and is some kin to the Kemps. She is a poor but a very nice, pretty girl of about 22 years of age. He told me himself about his going to get married and said he would start immediately after his message to Missouri to settle there. In fact there is very little change in the place in any way since you left.

Some have sold out. I have written to you all the charges in that way. The talk is now that Alvin Duvall is very much involved and will have to sell his property. I know not how it is, whether there is any truth in it or no. One thing I do know: his wife is as extravagant as if she was worth thousands.

The Georgetown Hotel has the run of customs all summer; it has been crowded, while Pratt has not more than eight or ten regular boarders at no time. Pratt has acted the gentleman towards me from first to last since you left and now he seems anxious to accommodate me in any way he can, but every one despises his wife and respects him highly. I wrote you that Hugh Sullivan had bought Mrs Reed’s property at a thousand dollars. I have written you everything as it transpired that would interest you in the least. I have got in Dr Meets and his wife, the kindest friends. They seem to think a great deal of me. In fact I have no reason to complain for everyone is kind to me. I have every reason to love the people of Georgetown, and I do feel more attached to it than I ever did before in my life. The way I am living is as pleasant, and I think more so, than any other I know of in your absence. It would  seem to be a lonesome way to anyone to think of it, but I do not feel as lonesome as I did when I had to mix with a people I cared nothing about.

Bets Holtzclaw, Ethan Finnell and Laura Miller has all been to  Frankfort and spent two weeks playing around there to catch beaus, but I do not think they succeeded. Bet is going back again in a few days to try it over again. Her mother spent the day with me today. A.E. West got a letter today from Henry, her son. He is in Arkansas surveying. He gets eight hundred a year and found everything. Billy Johnson and Johnny are at Hickman’s where Jack Winter lives. Jack says they will make seventeen hundred dollars a year there, probably more.

This is Tuesday night the 24th. I commenced this on Saturday night the 21st. Sunday night I had one of my old spells of sick headaches. I was taken directly after diner on Sunday and was very sick all night, but as usual got up well or nearly so the next morning. Yesterday and last night was very near as cold as the cold spell we had last Winter a year ago, but today it is cloudy and looks like snow, and my feet had like to have frozen last night. I got up three times and warmed my petticoat and wrapped them up. Liz is of no account on a cold fright to keep my feet warm. Oh, how I missed you and wished you were laying by me. My dear, if ever I get  your sweet form by me again you never shall leave me, if only for one night, and I know I would not go and leave you a night for nothing on earth. This separation will make me foolish about you as long as I live, for I have found out that I love your letters more than all the world besides, except my child. My husband, you little dream how devotedly I love. I did not know myself the strength of my love for you. But, oh, if God will only permit me to see you again I will stick closer to you the balance of my life than woman did to man on earth. May God speed the happy day when I will again hear that sweet familiar would and sit and gaze on that lovely face and feel again those dear arms pressing me to your bosom. I never was as anxious to live in my life as I am now. I cannot bear the thought of dying without you. I do not believe I could die and you away permanently.

Tom Othwell has gone to Missouri to locate George Algiar. They had a sale of his household effects on Thursday last. He intends to board. You know I wrote you he had sold his property. I also wrote you that Tom Barclay had bought Frost’s house at six thousand dollars. Runions has got to keeping store here again and Stanfords have sold out his goods at auction and are going to Louisville. Will White has got in as clerk again in this place and is boarding his family at the Georgetown Hotel. Hazel Offutt and wife are boarding there this winter also. They were too lonesome to stay in the country this winter. I wrote you all about old Uncle Solomon’s death. You have said nothing about getting the letter. I also told you about John Hurst being ill, and I told you in a long letter of three sheets of paper about my keeping house and all about my dealings and about the Negroes and everything about my self and my feelings every way. I hope you will get all of my letters, or I know it would interest you to hear everything from here, be it ever so simple. Sam Thompson still talks of going to Missouri in the spring. I wrote about his moving to town and living in the old Caplinger house. He is in partnership in a distillery on Eagle with one of the Thompsons, his kin. Some think he will fool away his money and not go to Missouri at all. I am told he gambles a great deal. John West has has been in Savannah all winter. He has not got home yet. He is on a gambling tour. Louis West, Clint, Tom White, Bat Thompson and all those men are just doing as they were when you left.

Mary Stevenson gets married tomorrow to Mr Bud–our Mary to Bud, the fellow that Clark used to plague her about. The Stevensons still live in Lexington.

Metadata: Sender’s location: Georgetown, KY | Recipient’s location: Nelson Creek, CA
  1. James Haun recorded the receipt of this letter on March 28 1854.