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Catalog Number 2016.02.0024
Object Name Letter
Date 1826
Title 1826 November 19 Margaretta Mason Brown to Orlando Brown
Scope & Content Letter from Margaretta Mason Brown (Louisville, KY) to Orlando Brown (Tuscumbia, AL). Margaretta (and John) are assisting Elizabeth Watts Brown after the murder of her husband Preston Brown in Louisville. Mary Watts Brown, the daughter of Preston and Elizabeth, is also in Louisville, but still sick from a bout with bilious fever. Margaretta is eager to get back to Frankfort and she writes of her "black family suffering for clothing" in her absence.

She writes about missing family and friends in Frankfort and Lexington and that since they have been gone for nearly eight weeks, they were not present for Betsy Humphreys' wedding [to Robert Todd]. The wedding occurred Nov. 1, 1826.

[Transcription]

Louisville 19th Novr 1826

My dear Orlando,

Your letter of the 3rd [illegible] found me still in this place, where I have been detained by various causes but principally by a desire to assist your Aunt in her numerous arrangements, and to nurse Mary in the plummeting state of her health- She has relapsed twice since I last wrote, but is again convalescent with greater appearance of permanent health than of any former period since her first attack. I had hoped that she would have been able to have gone to Frankfort before this time, but her mother had business to arrange which would not admit of her leaving this place, and Mary would not leave her alone--. I hope however, that they will both be members of our family, before the expiration of this week, as they have consented to remain with us during the winter-- Should your Aunt determine positively to go off to Frankfort any day this week, I will postpone my return to accompany her-but if her departure is still uncertain, I must return in the Stage Tomorrow - my black family are suffering for clothing, and it is time that I resume the business of a housekeeper-the only character I sincerely believe is which I am of any consequence to the world-My absence has prevented Henry from recovering his travelling equipments, or he would now be on his way to Florence-- Your Father will remain here for some time, as his presence will be necessary during Smith's Trial, but the wretch has not yet arrived, though it is said he is in custody - His other victim (Christopher) died two days ago - After suffering amputation-The bullet was found in the end of his thigh bone. I am almost as ignorant respecting Mrs Love's family, and many of our other friends of Frankfort - as you are- having been absent nearly eight weeks, and never seeing a newspaper from that place--Judith Ann and Gratz are at Lexington, to which place they have been summoned to attend the nuptials of Miss Sarah Bledsoe-She is to be married on Tuesday next to Harry Bodley-Your Father & myself were invited to the marriage, but engaged in more solemn duties, we could not attend-I was not even present when Betsey H. was married- I shall probably find my friend Maria Crittenden, our neighbour, when I return--I trust it is unnecessary for me to assure you, my dear Orlando, that your presence under favorable circumstances would give me the greatest delight- As you are situated, you know my opinion as expressed in a former letter- I have nothing to add on that subject-Your Aunt requests me to tell you that you shall hear from the family as soon as possible - but begs you not to expect any letters yet - in the mean time she wishes to hear from you-When you write to Mary, let your style be as composed as possible - every thing like excited feelings is injurious to her and I feel persuaded that in two instances her sickness has been occasioned by the exhibition of her Mother's grief-for she cannot be prevailed upon to suppress her feelings however necessary to Mary's welfare as she says she always suffers more herself from the reaction afterwards-
I hope much from the journey to Frankfort and a subsequent trip to Virginia in the Spring. Housekeeping will not be renewed before next autumn-whether in this place or Frankfort is not yet determined-Though I know of no inducements to return to a place where every one of the family have been sickly; and where that servants are still suffering- Henrietta continues to mend under the care of her Aunt Humphreys - Louisa will I believe remain in Tennessee this winter-
Adieu my dear Orlando - Believe me affectionately
Your Mother-
MBrown

[Address Block]
Orlando Brown Esq
Tuscumbia
Alabama

[Postmark]
Louisville
Nov 20

[Note on envelope]
Received December 2nd 1826
People Margaretta Mason Brown
Orlando Brown
Preston W. Brown
Elizabeth Watts Brown
Mary Watts Brown
Betsey Humphreys Todd
Judith Ann Bledsoe Brown
Benjamin Gratz Brown
Sarah Bledsoe
Harry Bodley
Search Terms Murder of Preston Watts Brown
Slavery
Weddings
Louisville, KY
Frankfort, KY