A Letter Written by Union County Pioneer, E. W. Quinn

Submitted by a descendant, Melissa Brown <ann31039 at yahoo.com>
(spelling, capitalization and punctuation uncorrected)

The State of Arkansas,
Union County
April 6, 1850

Dear Uncle, Aunt, Sister and cousins

I set down this Saturday night by a lamp to write a few lines to let you know that we are all well hoping these few lines may find you all enjoying the like blessing. It has been a long time since I heard any thing from any of you, but thousands of times have thought of you. I am farming this year I had to quit teaching school to open a farm. I have cleared 13 acres of land and rented 10 acres to put in cotton I expect to teach a 3 or 4 months school in the summer. Corn is 75 cents, bacon from 8 to 10 cents per lb., coffee 20 cents per lb., sugar from 7 to 8 cts., flour 7 to 7 _ pr Bbl. Horses & cattle very high, hogs cheap. Mills very plenty now. People healthy at this time. Religion very much down in the mouth. Crops very bad the last two years. Rained most all the time. Money very scarce and somebody wanting what little is afloat. We had a pretty heavy snow to fall the 26 of March at night.

Oh, oh, lamentable to tell my dear father died that very day and was intered the 27th while the snow was on the ground. The particulars I will now try to give. Father had been confined to the house and bed every since August last with a cough or consumption followed by diarrhea. I went to see him every chance I could and helped him up and down the best I could. So last Wednesday night two weeks ago they sent for me to go down that night they thought he would not live till morning. I went and staid until late Sunday evening, I went home that night and next day I and Lucinda went down, and then the next morning (which was Tuesday) about Sun up he departed like going to sleep. It had been his prayer that when he died that he could go easy. Thanks be to a prayer hearing God for he answered his prayer. It was all that father dreaded was the last pains.

Father gave us on Sunday his dieng exhoration he told us he was going to Heaven that his way was clear that he had no doubts and that he wanted his children to meet him in that happy land, that a part of them were trying to get there a part he hoped were there and another part, and one of that now appear to grieve him very much that we had no hope for ourselves; he told us that if we went to hell we would go without an excuse. Father held his right mind to the last. He called Jasper and myself to him a few hours before he died and told us that his time had come and he feared not. Father sent a request to the Church on Saturday before he died that they would pray for him that he would see his way clear. I have no doubts if a Christian may ask the prayers of the righteous. May not I (a great Sinner) ask my friends to pray for me. Oh, pray for me that I may meet my dear father in Heaven. Oh, I ask again will you all pray for me and my family.

Nancy, Father set his blessing to you & said your parting was only for a short while; that he was going where there is no return but that you could come to him. Sister you must guess at the rest for I cannot remember all. Father called on me to send his last blessing to Cager for Cager has not been at home in about 16 months, he is in LA., Jackson Parish. One thing will gratify you I know to hear that all of Father's neighbors treated him so friendly___ __ __ __neighbors pay more respect than ks(?) did; Elisha Nelson and his old lady were there when he died, they had staid all night and Simpson Nelson was there. The fact is old man Nelson, his wife, his son and sons in law and their wives, except Robert Dollar and wife, were just as good neighbors as could be. Old Mr. Nelson sent his carriage to carry the corpse to the grave. Father was interred at Spring Hill church just across the LA. line where his membership was. I must close now for I have Plowed hard today and I am powerful cold and a bad light and my pen too bad. If you should have a notion to write to me direct yours to Champagnalle.
So good night to all of you

E. W. Quinn

I took a letter out of the office for Father and read it to him from Uncle Lott Quinn, date of Jan 27. Mary he lives 8 miles from Nashville one mile from the mill once attended by John Bell. He has lost several of his family with the cholera, Uncle John Bell has lost 5 of his family with the cholera.

I have to go to court Monday week and I am afraid I shall have to be there two weeks. I am a witness in a case of slander. I had two weeks last fall in the same case. Uncle and Michael, I think this a pretty fine country, suppose you come out and look at it perhaps you would like it well enough to mover here if not you would get to see us and perhaps something else you have never seen.

(this is on back)
Champagnalle, Ark.
April 10


Shelby County