undated – Martha Haun to John J Haun

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In this partial letter Martha Haun asks her son to return home to take over the family farm in Quincy, CA and updating him on the local news.

…to say to you to get money from your Uncle W.G. and come home. He wants to see you and we will pay it to him again. He says come and see us anyhow, and if you do not want to stay you can go back in a year or less time. He says tell Sam and Betty to get along the best they can until you come back, but your pa thinks it is folly to think of the Negroes ever doing us anymore good. He says our interest is all here now ad we have got a plenty and are doing well, and we ought to take care of it and employ it, and if you are here all would be right and we would know what to do. As things are we are at a great loss, for it is for you and your enjoyment that we are working. You are young and if you do not want to stay here after coming out you can very easily go back, but we want to see you so much. You can come without making any sacrifice but we cannot go without making a great sacrifice.

Your pa asks why you don’t write what you want to do? He cannot tell from the way you write what you want to do. He says come out and tell him plainly what you want to do. Sometimes we think you want to marry, and then again you have us in the dark about that. So make up your partiality and let us know. If you can get along respectably there and want to stay a while longer and can enjoy yourself let us know what your wish is. We cannot nor ought we to sacrifice our property here, for I feel certain that we are doing much better here than most of people are doing there.

So, if you have a girl in view, make your arrangements with her to bring her along or wait until you can come home and go back again for her. We want you to follow your own pleasure—but let us know what it is and we will be gratified. So I hope you will be plain with us.

There is an opposition line running now. Faulkner went home from here a few weeks since and got second cabin passage for forty dollars. You asked how many children Jack left: there are three them in all, twins and a boy. I do not know what broke him—recklessness, I suppose. He drank very hard. Derick was entirely broke when he left here. None of us ever hear from them. We heard for a while after they left but they have quit writing to James. Bill Raines is living in town yet. He works hard and would soon get well off if he would quit spreeing. He is not half so bad as he was before he married. Dave is still here. He was a candidate on the Democratic ticket for district attorney but got beaten. He seems to be at a loss to know what to get at. I think it is high time he was doing something for himself.

If you come bring my silks, with you and I would like to have the things in that box if I could get them. There is a lot of new sheeting and towels pillow cases and quilts, the last quilt your grandma ever pieced is there. If you can bring them I would be glad. Go and tell your Aunt Sally to send me a pair or two of the old homemade blankets to look at for old time’s sake and a coverlet. If you cannot bring them take them out to your Aunt Liz or Aunt Sally for safekeeping. If you come try and get Sam and Betty in as good a fix as you can until we go back and tell them you will write to them while you are gone. Your Pa says he would not, if he was you rent a place there unless you…

Metadata: Sender’s location: Quincy, CA | Recipient’s location: Georgetown, KY