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Catalog Number 2016.02.0053
Object Name Letter
Date 1834
Title 1834 August 3 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 reports on his meeting with Samuel Worthington about business dealings concerning the sale of cotton and land. Brown discusses Worthington's upcoming marriage to Amanda Dougherty and its possible effect on their partnership with him. He also mentions Reverend Edgar who preached in their church and who will deliver the letter to Elizabeth.


Frankfort 3d August 1834

My dear Sister

I wrote to you a few days ago by Mail but as Mr. Edgar intends to set out in the morning for Nashville I have taken up my pen to send you a few hasty lines by him. Mr. Worthington has been here two days ago & has made his annual report by exhibiting his Book as on former simular occasions. From it I find that the sales of Cotton & other credits for the last year amount to $16.132.59 Cents, & that the expenditures & charges amount to $3420.89. leaving a clear profit of $12.711.70 Cents, which when divided will give to the Estate $6355.35 being about $320 to each hand which is certainly a great turn out. He gave me an order for $6355.85 upon Coleman & Ward in Louisville which I must go for unless a safe opportunity of sending for it shall offer in a day or two. Your third part of that sum after deducting $60 paid you by W. is $2056.60 & the remainder divided by five will give to each of the Children $859.5. I shall pay to Mary & Elizabeth their shares, when the money comes to hand, & shall hold the ballance subject to the order of yourself, & of those concern'd. Anderson has commenced business in this place, & has frequently applied for the amt of your Note; & the Merchants are going in shortly, & want their accounts paid - shall I pay then in whole or in part, or bid them wait 'till your return? -

Mr. W. is engaged to be married on 23d Sept. next to Miss Dougherty of Danville whose father was at one time Clerk of the H of R. of Congress. She is about twenty eight years of age, a member of the Presbyterian Church & represented by those who know her as being agreeable, very accomplished & in all respects an excellent match - Apprehension that this measure if affected may have an important influence upon the existing partnership, I have endeavored to ascertain his wishes & views in case of that event. He has as heretofore conversed with me very fully, & unreservedly, upon the subject & avows his firm determination to be, to act justly, & liberaly in the business. His wish is that all the land acquired or which may be acquired, shall be equally divided according to quantity, & quality; that each moiety may by subsequent improvements be rendered equally convenient & valuable. This I think desireable & the sooner the division can be made, & conveyances executed the better as it may prevent difficulties in the future. Although he wishes an immediate partition of the land he would not propose at present a division of the personal property, but would agree to it if more agreeable to the family. He told me that a regard to the interests of the family, & still more to the comfort of the slaves who have been for ten years under his direction, would induce him to enter into a new Contract to continue for a given number of years the control, & management, of the entire establishment on Joint account as heretofore; provided a satisfactory arrangement can be made relative to family expenses etc. I do nor believe that taking into consideration his long experience, & knowledge of every thing connected with the establishment, it could be confided to safer hands, or to any who would conduct it ore advantageously. I promise to submit this matter to your consideration & hope you will not only reflect upon it yourself but that you will also consult with Mr. Rucks & Judge Reese, & be prepared to come to some determination on the subject before Mr. W returns home in October. As there is no one here qualified to superintend the making up of the Negro clothing. Mr. W. has concluded to have it made up at Lexington under the direction of Mr. Todd. ---

Mr. Edgar preached to day in our Church to a very crowded Congregation, delighted to see & hear him once more. I see very little alteration in him either in or out of the Pulpit. - I must refer you to him for particular reference to mattes & things in this place ---

I am very affectionately
J. Brown

[Address Block]
Mrs. Elizabeth Brown
Care of
Revd Mr. Edgar
People John Brown
Elizabeth Watts Brown
Samuel Worthington
Amanda Dougherty Worthington
Mary Watts Brown
Elizabeth W. Scott
James Rucks
William Reese
John T. Edgar
Search Terms Slavery
Presbyterian Church