LETTER #9, April 4, 1884, KNOXVILLE, ARK.

Dear brother,

I have received your letter some time ago but have not had time to answer it until now. I have been at work harder than I ever worked in my life trying to make a living but have failed again.

Yesterday the boss came to me and told me that I was working as hard as any one and he knew I was doing as well as I could, but that I could not make a hand [farm hand] on account of not knowing anything about farming and that he could not keep me any longer. So now I am out of a job here again and it is so late in the season every one has got their hands for the summer and I see no prospect of another place here and I think the only chance for me is for me to leave, but where to go and how to go is the question. I now have just money enough to square up accounts here and have about a dollar and a half left, and I will owe more than that for board before I hear from you again. So you see I have no money to leave on.

Then I donít know where to go if I do leave here to better myself. There is a young man here who wants me to go to Texas with him He is a nice fellow and a deacon in our church here and is worth more perhaps than any young man of his age about here. But that is not any thing extra. He is going to the western part of Texas in the stock raising country. Then cousin Tom Kirkpatrick is going to Nebraska next week and wants me to go with him, but I canít go anywhere without money. If I had the money to go and to live on a while I would go up into the northern part of this state and see if I could not get some land where there is good springs and running water all the year like it is in Tenn.

But I expect Texas would be the best place to get work and if a fellow ever did get a start for himself there in the cattle business, There is Big money in that. I want you to write me at once and tell me what you think and whether you can let me have any money or not. If you buy J>B.B.ís lot I want you to save out about $25.00 for me which he owes me.

I believe I would rather risk the northern part of this state for I want to get settled some time where I can live, And I donít want to live always in a cotton county where there is nothing to eat but bacon and corn bread and no good water at all If you could give me a start on any kind of terms at all I would agree to them just so I can get a home to stay at and to take a little Arkansaw girl to, in two or three years as soon as she gets old enough to leave her mother.

If you could give me a start and to get land and take a half interest in it, it might pay you better than buying houses to rent back there. Please write at once. Donít wait a week or two for I am now on expenses.

I must leave here for I have been here 7 or 8 months and you know I have made nothing. It is time I am doing something and I hate to give money to the railroads. There are no railroads to the part of Ark. I want to go to, but I can get there afoot.

Write soon, W.H. Brown

Transcribed and submitted by Betsy Smith

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Copyright 2008 by Delaine Edwards and the submitter.
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