From Pathway: A Family History

A Pleasant Places Project from biographiks

Oliver McGinnis's first letter from Texas, written in 1854 to his parents Rev. Edmund and Polly McGinnis in Cabell County, WV, who later joined him.

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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

Long Point July 24th /54

Father & Mother,

This day 12 months ago I mooved to this place,, We have lived the past year in perfect peace and harmony with all of our neighbours,, We have enjoyed good health and perhaps as much of that good thing called contentment as we would have enjoyed at any other place within my knowledge,, and we might live here our days perhaps as peaceable and quiet and enjoy as much of life as at any other place in Texas, as we are now quite well fixed,, having made an addition 22 x 17 feet to our house,, got a good (...) calf (...),, and a good Horse and Buggy to go to church in we feel such like living yet not withstanding all this,, we are poor and I have came off to a new country to enjoy its advantages and to try and make a competency for my old age,, So I shall sell out here and put all the money I can raise into the best land I can find up in the North part of Texas and move on there and stay there untill they make me rich by their enhanced valew. Lands in this County which I could have purchased for 1 1/2$ pr A last fall are now selling for 10$ pr A. The Emigration to Texas is so great that any thing keeps up to (...) in prices,, Corn 150 cs pr Bushel, wheat 130 cs (... ....) are soon worth 15 & 20$ and the advantages of Farming in this Country are so great that the lands increased very rapidley in valew. I shall start up the Country soon to locate some lands, about 1800 A for myself and 1280 for William Johnston,,

So soon as I make my selections I will then write to you and tell you how to come to Texas,, But I may not be enabled to move before next Spring,, If not then I should prefer for Melville to come out early in the fall and let Elizabeth stay with Helen while Melville goes with me to locate lands and then we could moove up the Country together in the spring,,

I do really think that you had better sell out in Virginia and come immediately to Texas, this is the most pleasant and Healthy country in the Union and good Home can be had for lefs money than in any other state of the union, if you come soon I have made a neat calculation and I find that I have made 1600$ since I started to Texas notwithstanding I have had so much bad luck and spent so much traveling about,, I could soon sell out and pay all my Debts and have Sixteen Hundred dollars more than I left Virginia with. But the next five years if no bad luck befalls me I think I can count that many thousands,, but if I could make no more here than in Virginia still,, I would prefer to live here as the Climate is so much more pleasant,,

Walter is quite hearty and a busy smart knowing little fellow,, he cralled up to my writing desk to day and wrote over all the paper he could get his hands on,,

Helen enjoys good health and is as kind and pleasant a companion as I could ask for and we live as agreeable as we did they day we first married,, and I think we always shall,, We hope to some day see you both and request all the family (...) near us in Texas, this surley is the Country you should come to,, I would not advise you to come unlefs I thought it for your good,, Try and get David to come along also, all those who have seen the country I know will return to it,,

Kifs all the little fellows for me, and tell Fletcher I received his present,, Quite a treat,, Sell out wind up and come along immediately this very fall or next Spring,,

Your son Oliver

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Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 4 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 14 ;Chapter 15  Chapter 16

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