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Catalog Number 2016.02.0064
Object Name Letter
Date 1823
Title 1823 Sept 24 Mason Brown to Samuel Brown
Scope & Content Letter from Mason Brown (Maysville, KY) to Samuel Brown (Philadelphia, PA). Mason expresses his gratitude to Samuel and James Brown for assiting him financially. He also speaks about his current job as a circuit-riding lawyer and the disease he has witnessed in the state. Mason also writes about the duel between James D. Breckinridge and Charles Wickliffe.


Maysville Septr 24 1823

My Dear Uncle,

Why have you not written to me? I have sent you two letters but have received none in return. Since you have observed such strict silence yourself you cannot chide your nephew, and I shall tender no excuse for not having written more frequently. You left Maysville when I was absent on my circuit, and since then I have rode and laboured in the same as faithfully as even poor Methodist priest did in his district. I have made some fees a little reputation gained some additional knowledge of the world, and when the labours of the year close in November I will leave Maysville free of debt with a good stock of Winter cloathing and a little pocket money- Thanks to my kind Uncles who have so cheerfully and liberally assisted in giving me a capital which will I am sure afford me a comfortable support during life; and which will I hope make dividends that will be honorable to myself & family. Nothing has given me more pleasure than being repeatedly told by those who knew Uncle James during the time he practiced Law in their section of the State, that they recognize his manner in every effort I make at the bar. I will (oh horrible impertinence!) strive to surpass it!
This state has at present but little to boast of on the score of health. Various districts are visited by a fatal disease which appears to concentrate all its powers in the little spots when it acts and wherever it does fall it is truly alarming. The neighbourhood of Frankfort has been and still is very much affected, although the town is comparatively free from disease.
We are hourly expecting to hear the termination of a duel in which Chs Wickliffe and James D Breckenridge are parties. They are to fight with rifles and as the contest is to glut vengeance & not merely to satisfy a point of honor one of them will probably fall. The cause of the duel is that in a fist fight Wickliffe bit off one of Breckenridge's ears.
I can give you no information about the prospects of your medical class this winter, as there are but few young men studying medicine in this section of the state. The law class will be larger than that of the past year.
When you see Uncle James & Aunt remember me affectionately to them. I will write to Uncle during the ensuing week for the purpose of letting him know that although I am negligent in writing he is a letter in my debt. My Love to James. Kiss Susan for me and believe me Dear Uncle

Your Affectionate Nephew
Mason Brown

Samuel Brown Esq

P.S. I have not heard from Frankfort for one or two weeks, but when I last heard they were all well.

M Brown

[Return Address Block]
Maysville Ky
25 Sept-

[Address Block]
Samuel Brown M.D.

People Mason Brown
Samuel Brown
James Brown
James D. Breckinridge
Charles Wickliffe
Search Terms Duels