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An unusual letter from a Texas Confederate - Texas - 1862. [1276058]
Texas, 1862. 6" x 7.5". "Two page letter, heavily scripted on both sides, 6"" x 7.5"". Expected folds with small pinhole loss to paper. Age toned with one small burn mark.A superb letter evoking numerous dichotomies of the period. The letter was written by Allen Cameron, who at the time of the letter was in the 18th Texas Infantry as a confederate soldier. As he served in the Texas infantry for only two years (in 1862 and 1863) this allows for the dating of the letter. In his letter, he was reaching out to his farm back home, his family, and the ""negros"" who worked the farm. A curious letter, because at the same time Cameron was fighting in the civil war to maintain the institution of slavery, he was writing home with the wishes noted in his postscript that the letter be read to the ""negros"" on his farm, and addressed them in less than the expected draconian communication one usually sees between Master and Slave. The letter comes across as grateful for their efforts, and champions them with the resolution to make a good crop, ""I know you can make a good crop for it will grow if you will plant it + work it."" The letter also speaks of gratitude that they would choose freely to ""moving (back) home … and set out with a resolution to make a crop."" The letter certainly leaves the reader with questions about the nature of the relationship between Cameron as a confederate soldier and the ""negros"" who worked on his farm, and perhaps he was one of the few share croppers of that period, a conjecture which can be supported by his comments, including his final note ""I am so glad you are all at home and set out with a resolution to make a crop. I just know you can do it at that place and not work hard."" His letter also describes the difficult life of a soldier, perhaps attempting to elicit compassion from his family and workers, and his expressed desire for everyone in the home to work together towards a unified goal. The letter in part:To Nelson, Emelina, Tylor + Perry""You must not think I have forgotten you all. I think of you all and home everyday … I had much rather be there at work everyday … then to be walking all day in the mud and sleeping on the cold ground every night. It know here any time it (illegible) up almost and is very cold. I travel all day from day light until evening and eat cold bread + meat that I carry in my sack … and have not slept in a house but few times since I left home. This is a hard life but perhaps it will be better times after a while I won't (illegible) home sometime this year and eat some pears, + beans + turkies and some fat pigs and Irish potatoes …If a cow gets unruly help Emeline - watch and wherever you see anything getting out of (illegible) stop and fix it at once … Keep the well cleaned out … keep the ditch cleaned out through the new ground so it will carry the water. Always consult your Miss Ann when there is any thing of importance to do and I know you can make a good crop for it will grow if you will plant it + work it.Emeline it (illegible) upon you to take care of the kitchen furniture … assist you miss Ann in everything that she wishes, always consult her about everything that is to be done - and above all you + Nelson, I want you to be kind and obedient to your Miss Ann - and always consult her about all work to be done and work together and you will get along so much better at home any where else I was afraid when your Miss talked of moving home that you would not be willing. But I am so glad you are all at home and set out with a resolution to make a crop. I just know you can do it at that place and not work hard. I expect to live mighty well when I come home I want some butter milk + beans.Allen A. CameronI wrote the above to (illegible) the negros you can read it to them""A most unusual and thought provoking letter of the period."
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Last Found On: 2016-11-28           Check availability:      ABAA    

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