From James Hutcheson Martin to his mother, Elizabeth Allen Martin 24 February
Territory of Missouri, County of Hempstead
Dear and Honorable Mother,
I now take the present opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know a little of the way my time has Past off since the 3rd of last November. I have been in vary good health ever since I sene you. Thanks be to God for his mercies hoping this letter will find you and all my relations and frinds well.
Brother John and family is in good health. Brother Allnen came to see us on the 18th of January and returned to his busnes on the 19th. I have heard from him every few weeks, he is in good health. I expect he will come to see us shortly again. He is at work in about 25 miles of this.
I got holt of your letter dated December 9th directed to brother John. It ajitates me vary much to hear the way my enemies was treating of you but when I came to the latter end where you said sum account of my James Hutcism would yield me the greatest satisfaction of anything in this world it brought me to my tears.
Mother make you self as easy as possible about me for I am a doing well and has not seen any hard times sines I crossed the currents, but until I crossed the currents I seen a little of the hardest times I ever did see in my life, but it never hurt me any.
It would take several pages to write down a full account from the fourth of November until about the 15th of December, but I will not pretend to write anythin perticulars of the Journal of my Naratives as I expect brother John to start to the cape in about three weeks and he can give you a full account of my trials.
Mother before I left the cape when my enemies was hunting me in every direction I was vary firm in the determination of dieing before I would be taken. Fear has never entered my bosom from the time I shot my friend. But from the push I found was making after me I did not know how soon I should have to trie the interiers of another world. I thought it nothing but wisdome to trie and be a little prepared for the Scene. I petitioned my maker for to lend a fostering hand and and I shall ever believe my petition was granted for fortune shined in my favor far greater than I had any expectation. I found the vary best of friends and a great many of them. I found a great many of the vary best friends that never seen me in the world before. I will name one set of friends. The man I want my friends to remember that is the name of Thermon but it would be___?__for it not to be known by any except my friends for it might prove injurious to me or them in a futer day as the infamous coward had undertaken to vent his mallice on you by lawing of you.
Don't suffer your self to be cowed in spirit one single bit for I discover a __?___ Spirrit is the greatest thing in the world to carry a person out. Mother rest asurred you shal not suffer as long as I Have one sent of property or it lies in my power to rinder you any assistance. As for my own part he shal never have one dollar off of me by any other way than by gaining sumthing off of you. If I had a had Paul and your hands her(e) the first of January I could a made money a nough in this year if I had a had good luck to paid all that he would gain off of you and Andrew by law, but so it is. I have non(e) but myself and Jacob. I intend putting in 10 acres of the river land in cotton which will, unless I have vary bad luck make a good lump of money.
The people of this country appears to all be my friends and commends me highly for shooting of Mcarty. It has bin said by sum that 50 men could not take me back to cape girardeau. Mother I am I believe as well pleased with this country as I expected to be. It is in my opinion far superier to Cape Giradeau though I have had to live midlin hard as for provisions sinse I have bin her but that don't discourage me in the least mother.
I got holt of a let (ter) dated January the 2nd from brother Jarid directed to brother Allen. It was the first leter we got from any of you and a dismal account it gave too. the death of my sweet little John Allen Dunn I can not discribe to you how it hurt me but God bless his little soul. I hope it is at rest.
Mother I do not want to tier you with too long a letter for if I was to write all that I want to write I should write four times as much as I do. You can in my letter to brother Andrew and to Samuel Dunn se(e) sum little more than I have writ in yours. I wish my best respects given to all my true friends. I believe I shal conclude and say no more. But ascribe myself your true and loving sone ... James H. Martin
_____I wish you to write evry opertunity for I scarsely ever get any news
in this part of the world.
Mrs. Elizabeth Martin
Territory of Missouri
County of Ccape Giradeau
one mile west of Jackson
Bore by the politeness of Mr. Mann
Submitted by Meredith Gibson (1924-2002) whose 2ndggf was Jared C Martin, brother to James H. Martin.
NOTE: little punctuation was done in letters of early days and to make it more understandable I have put in periods and commas where seemed proper. I tried not vary spelling as it was written.
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