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Catalog Number 2016.02.0052
Object Name Letter
Date 1834
Title 1834 June 21 John Brown to Elizabeth Watts Brown
Scope & Content Letter from John Brown (Frankfort, KY) to his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Watts Brown (Nashville, TN). Brown discusses the birth and progress of his grandson, John Preston Brown (1834-1835), the son of Orlando Brown and Mary Watts Brown. Orlando and Mary are living at Liberty Hall in a downstairs bedroom. (Their home, the Orlando Brown House was not built until 1835). Brown discusses Euphemia, Orlando and Mary's daughter, as having "improved in appearance and intelligence," and as being "a great talker" although he notes that her speech is odd. Brown reports on a drought, bad crops, and the health of Elizabeth's slaves. Brown asks about Elizabeth's son John Preston Watts Brown and his prospects in completing his education at Oxford College.


Frankfort 21st June 1834

My Dear Sister

Since the date of my letter to you announcing the birth of our Grandson very little has occurred in this quarter worthy of your attention. Mary has for sometime been down stairs & again looks very well, but not having as yet received the congratulations of yourself & her Sisters upon this Joyful event, she appears to be much mortified and hurt y the seeming neglect. John Preston improves rapidly & is already a very promising interesting Boy. He exhibited flattering marks of intelligence sleeps soundly - feeds plentifully & what more can be said in favor of any one at his age. Euphemia has improved very much since you saw her both in appearance & intelligence. She is now a great talker but in Cherokee or some dialect peculiarly her own. Robert Scott dined with us the other day & said that Elizabeth & Preston enjoy good health, but his black family have been, & still are very sickly, & some of them helpless. Like all others in this country he has to complain of the total loss of fruit & miserable appearance of Crops in consequences of the frost, & the unusually severe drought which has prevailed since April. I have never seen a more unfavorable prospect at this season of the year Corn meal this morning sold in Market at from 75. to 87 ½ Cents the bushel. No Vegetables & but very little Butter to be had. Your Blacks in Frankfort are well & appear to be contented & happy, except Simons wife who he says has been unwell for some time. I have not seen her. She lives with H. Mordicau's & Dr. Major has prescribed for her. The little boys eyes are nearly restored. Our town continues healthy. The only deaths of late are Clara Niess of decline & Mr. Reynolds of intemperance.
The last letter I have had the pleasure to receive from you was under date of the 7th of May. In that you informed that John had returned to Oxford to ascertain his prospects in that quarter. He has not written 6 mos since & I feel great anxiety to learn the result of his interview with Dr. Bishop, also what are his determinations & plans for completing his education. If you can give me any information on this subject I pray you to communicate it with as little delay as possible & can with much truth assure that I feel deep interest in his wealfare. If John had come this way, I would have gone in with hi to Oxford in the believe that my influence would have some weight with Dr. Bishop & the Family & that I could in some degree be instrumental in removing difficulties & in restoring him to that standing in College to which I still hope he has a fair claim. But when your letter came to my hand he must have reached Oxford, & it was too late for me to interpose on his behalf even by letter. Do let me know how he succeeded & what are his prospects.
We are all very anxious to know when we may expect your return to Frankfort. Report has said that you will visit Knoxville & Flat Creek before you return, but the latest statement is that you will return with Mr. Edgar when the Convention adjourns.
I have had no letter from Mr. Worthington since you descended the river nor has he made any remittance to me on account of the proceeds of the last crop. Mr. Scott & Mary need money & express a desire to obtain their proportion. I can only say to them that no part of it has reached me, but cannot account to them for the delay nor can I say when they may expect it will.
My family continues to enjoy good health & each member unites with me in love & afft regards to you & to each & all our dear Relations in Nashville.
I am very affectionately
J. Brown

Mrs. Elizabeth Brown


People John Brown
Elizabeth Watts Brown
Euphemia Helen Brown II
Robert Wilmot Scott
Elizabeth W. Scott
Preston Brown Scott
Samuel Worthington
John T. Edgar
Search Terms Slavery
Miami University