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Catalog Number 2016.02.0050
Object Name Letter
Date 1830
Title 1830 December 20 John Brown to Elizabeth Watts Brown
Scope & Content Letter from John Brown (Frankfort, KY) to his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Watts Brown (Flat Creek, New London, VA). Brown discusses Orlando and Mary Watts Brown's visit to Philadelphia and Balitmore. Brown reports on Elizabeth's children, Henrietta, Louisa, and John Preston. Brown has sent John Preston to school at Oxford College in Ohio (now called Miami University). Brown discusses a farm, the corn crops, slaves and other business.

[Transcription]

Frankfort 20th December 1830

Dear Sister,

Your very acceptable letter in reply to one from me came safe to hand & afforded me much pleasure by the assurances it contained of your safe arrival at Flat Creek & continued good health. By letters from this place I expect you have been informed that Orlando & Mary returned to this place in safety & good health. They appear to have been much delighted with their Journey & often speak with much apparent satisfaction of what they saw & heard, & if the kind reception given them by their friends in Balt.o & Phil.a They will I expect remain with me this Winter but as to their future plans & arrangements I have no information, nor do I know what to advise.
Henrietta enjoyed fine health & chiefly lives with her Aunt H. She sometimes speaks of visiting Louisa after our Legislature adjourns.
John during his residence with me never once complained of indisposition. He grows very fast and conducted himself perfectly well in all respects, except a little inclined to indolence, but attended school regularly until his Teacher Mr Patterson at the expiration of his term set out on a visit to his father who lives in Pennsylvania. As his return is somewhat uncertain & no other good school convenient I concluded to send John to Oxford College in Ohio over which Mr. Bishop formerly of Lexington presides, & which in my opinion affords greater advantages than any literary institution in this State. The situation of Oxford 35 miles beyond Cincinnati is very healthy, its population not great, but remarkable for morality. The College contains about 120 Students, the Professors men of great merit, & the necessary expenses very moderate, say in the whole not exceeding $100 per annum. Before making this arrangement for John I was very anxious to have your advice & concurrence in the measure, but distance & time did not admit of a consultation with you on the subject as it was necessary for him to go without delay to enter one of the regular classes. I therefore determined to act as I should have done had he been my own son. I had him clothed in all respects comfortably & decently, & furnished with money sufficient to defray all necessary expenses for six months. In addition to several letters of introduction I gave him one to my friend President Bishop strongly recommending him to his care & protection, more especially to aid him in making his establishment in College & to advise him as to a proper selection of associates and friends. Six days ago he in good spirits took passage in Steam Boat Sylph for Cincinnati, thence he will go to Hamilton in a Canal Packet & from thence in the Stage to Oxford. I expect to hear daily of his arrival as he promised to write often & the mail from Oxford reaches this place in three days. At Oxford no Student is permitted to remain who does not give proper attention to his Studies & John will from necessity learn to wait upon himself, & without that knowledge he can never be truely independent. In making this arrangement I trust you will believe me to have acted from the best motives & I cannot doubt but the results will be such as fully to Justify the measure. ----
Sometime ago I sent John down to the farm to see how matters were going on at that place. His report was favorable, of which I presume he has already advised you. The [illegible] made a good crop of Corn and have plenty. I suppose all matters must remain as they are untill you return. The Negros in this place have made out to support themselves in food & clothing, & no more Simon untill within ten days by his work gives them Wood & Meal & has partly clothed himself. Finding he was relapsing into habits of intemperance I have brought him home & shall keep him till your return, & shall furnish Maria &c with meal & firewood out of his hire & keep him in clothes. John has left his Horse & Jim with me as no reasonable disposition of them could be effected at this season.
I have not had a line from Worthington since he returned home. I heard incidentally that the Cotton crop was good & that the price would be good if not better than last year... I feel very great solicitude to obtain more satisfactory information respecting matters & things [torn page] [illegible word] House & splendid establishment at Island No. 88 & of late have [torn page] thoughts of paying a hasty visit to that place with [torn page] ways & means of rendering it more productive to you & [torn page] I wish you were here to go along with us as my Sister [torn page] on a visit to John. I rather believe we shall go, but shall [torn page] few days. I have had no remittance from Mr [torn page] much wanted at present to pay taxes also for the store [torn page] - I saw J M Bradford he says he owes you $150 [torn page] of your Watch & will pay it to your order at [illegible] Sara. If I go down I will try to collect it ---
We are all well & all unite in love & affectionate regards to you wish Dear Sister.

Yours in haste
J. Brown

[Address Block]
Mrs Elizabeth Brown
Flat Creek
New London, Virginia

[Postmark]
Frankfort
Dec 20
People John Brown
Elizabeth Watts Brown
John Preston Brown
Samuel Worthington
Search Terms Miami University
Steamboats
Slavery