From Pathway: A Family History
A Pleasant Places Project from biographiks

The first letter written by Rev. Edmund and Polly McGinnis to their son David Allen McGinnis in West Virginia after moving to Texas in 1856.
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Preface     1: Rulers of Ireland   2: Publicans to Preachers    3: Gone to Texas    4: West Virginia Home    5: The Swedish Connection    6: Next Stop: Katy, Texas    7: Ruth and Rex    8: Sinners in Salem   9: Yankees Go South    10: Wandering Irish   11: Among the Cajuns   12: Pennsylvania Scotch   13: End of Plantations   14: From Dukes to Doctors    15: Lutherans on the Farm   16: Elva Meets Alpheus

Fayette County Texas August the 30, 1856

Dear David and Sarah, We received your kind letter daited June the 21 It found us well though some of the family sick. We was no littel glad to hear you was well and doing well and that you had namd your second daughter We arrived here May the 19 and have had one littel sprinkle of rain since so we have raised nothing. Fletcher has kild 15 deer Since we came so we have plenty of venison to eate and this I like well we have our bread and coffee to buy and littel money to buy with yet we trust the Lord will provide. The neighbours has bin verry good to Melville yet thay do not like Texas the climent I like and some things I like some I do not like but thay are of the fewest number Thare is a grate many peaches raised here and some wheat and is said to be a good country for wheat the weavil is bad in the corn yet we have some good corn bread four miles to mill and four to church a tolerable good meeting house and good preaching and good clafs father, Elizabeth and my selfe have joind the Clafs and are trying to make our way to heaven pray for us that we faint not by the way. we live at Olivers it is quite a retired and good place and good neighbours. no loaths a bout. but are we settle for life is uncertain for we are as the rowling stone that gathers littel moss yet we hope in the end to reape and faint not. I think that people may live easier here than in Virginia and I think this country would a gree with you yet I know not how to advise you to do but hope to be in time -- my heath has bin better since I left Virgnnia than before I enjoyed travling by water well and I think it was some help to me. but the thought ov leaving you all behind how painful to tell but hope to meet again in life or in blest eternity where parting is no more -- we received a letter last evening from the Behring stateing thay was well and that Mary Johnstone had a nother daughter and was doing well. David and Sarah write soon.

My Dear littel Parmenas I must write a few lines to you hoping you have not forgoten your Dear old gran Mother I often think of you and your littel Brother and sisters how dose Mother get a long with so many babes are they well and good you mus be good and mind her and help her to worke learn your book and be wise and may god blefs you all

Polly McGinnis

Parmenas McGinnis

Sarah I have just thought of one thing that is verry pleasant here we have verry few flies no musketoes and a pleasant breese most all the time. David give your Selfe no uneasiness a bout what you owe us but be contented and work not to hard lay up treasure in heaven farewell my dear Children Polly Mc

Fayette County Texas 30 Aug 1856

David dear son

I ought to have wrote to you Long before this and still would not at this time only your Mother has not fild up her Letter and urges me to write some with her and al though I have consented I have not time to enter in to particulars as I could wish But I will give you a short sketch you will see from your Mothers Letter we got hear 19 May We left Virginia on 29 April 1856 which made our trip 20 days our but 8 of them were Laid by so you see that the trip was made in 12 days our expense was about 40$ Each making $120 we came by water by (via) New Orleans & thinse acrofs the Gulf to Galveston on Board of a ship from there we took a steamer up the Buffalow Bayou to Harris Burgh there took the steam car for Richmond a distance of 30 miles then stage 60 miles which brought us in 6 miles of Olivers

1 Sept 1856

I firs bought Olivers home plas 300 Acres at $7. per acre makeing #2100. Then thinking that arrangment mite not suit Oliver I let him have one half back and took a tract of 700 Acres farther North at $1 pr A which makes me 800 A amting to $1750, we have hous Room enough for both when we get an other kitcheon we have a good well of water about 20 Acres fensed and the most of it Broke some peach treas planted and Building &ce as to health. as to my self my heath has imp proved since I left Va and I think your mothers has also neather of us has bin any sick. John had a little brush partly from his own fault But all are well at this time the land I have here is Rich & good enough for me the 700 A tract I have not seen as yet.

I am a bout as well pleased as I expected to be with this part of Texas but am not as well prepared to advise you as to cuming as I expected to be I think there is a better portion of Texas North west of this Land cheaper & better for stock wheat & Apples and Lefs weavel I intend to take a look at it. E Mc

Sept 2, 1856 I come back here to finish my letter I stated I had 4 sabaths appointments 2 in a town and 2 in the Country. I can go from home to any one of them & return the same day my camp meting is to embrase the first sabath in Oct we have among the pretyest camps grounds up on the Globe in the senter and before the stand a frame shed in which 1500 people could be seated I am try ing to serve god in good earnest and find I have lost mutch the Last 2 or 3 years of my stay in Virginia here I have many friends and no enemies save the devel & the pilage of my own heart My love to Sarah and the littele ones pray for us write soon

E McGinnis

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Narratives are taken from Pathway: A Family History, and may be freely distributed for non-commercial purposes.
© 1996-2004, Michael McGinnis, Bryan, TX