More 19th Century Letters from Family

Additional Letters

Submitted by Dennis O'Neal to the

O'Neall Discussion Group

Looking for new family letters for this website,

maintained by Ron O'Neal

"Marshal McGraw papers, Manuscripts Division, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208. Permission in writing required for duplication, citation, or publication." This website has been granted written permission to publish these papers on the World Wide Web. These letters are intended for personal research only, no commercial use of these letters is allowed.

From J.J. BOYD to Rev. Marshal McGraw

Oct. 20th, 1869

Arkansas, Franklin County Austin Post Office,

Dear Uncle,
It is with pleasure that I'am blessed with the opportunity of dropping you a few lines once more, though it has been some time since we have corresponded. I should have written to you before now but I did not know how to direct until Thomas wrote to me that he had seen you and said you wanted me to write to you (cant read) what of us is living well though Death has taken some (of) our family.
Since I last wrote to you, William and George fell in the Army. They were good soldiers and Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord. They died at (cant read) . My dear old Mother died on the 17th day of August last after a long time of painful suffering. Her disease was cancer of the womb. She was confined to her bed for two weeks at the last. She felt preparied to meet her God in peace. It is hard for us to give up our friends, but it is not like those that have no hope, for I believe I shall see her again.
Martha has had 14 children and we only have 7 of them with us. Three sons and 4 daughters. Thomas and Jessee is married, and 3 died in infancy, and William and George in the army, but I recond Thomas has told you more about us than I can write here. I got a letter from Jessee a short time back stating the death of his wife. He is still in Smith Cty, Miss., But will soon come here, Now I think he has a child 2 years old. Joel is still with us. He is grown.
We have 3 grown daughters. Our youngest child is 7 years old. The old woman is right young looking, yet I'am getting pretty gray. I served about 2 years in the army that broke me very fast.
I moved from Miss about 2 years ago and stopped here. I'am very Pleased with this country. It is good farm country and a man can make as much cotton on an average as he can in Miss. I want you to write to me what has become of Jemima and Sarah, if they are still in Hempstead of not. I heard that John B. McGraw was killed about Mobill about the close of the war. If you know anything to the contrary let me know it. I believe I have wrote all that I can think of. Martha joins me in sending her love to you all and to Uncle Abram.
Be sure and write soon and I will write more in my next. Direct to Austin PO, Ark, No more I remain as ever, yours as ever
J.J. Boyd to M. McGraw


( This letter confirms the first letter about the death of Mary) Dennis O'Neal's notation.

Oct the 5 1877

My Dear Uncle,

I take my pen in hand to answer your letter which was received a few weeks ago, and I am glad to say that this leaves us all quite well except Sister Mary . She has been quite ill with diphtheria but she is getting better. We was all very sorry to hear that Aunt Betsy was sick but I hope she is now better. Aunt Cirolines family is all well. Alice and Lizzie intended to come down but was sadly disappointed by the death of cousin Barbrias Roberts little baby, and also old Aunt Mary Boyd and Mr. Johnathan Mathews departed this life a few weeks ago.

Uncle Marcial, it seams as if we are not going to get down to see you all, but hope you will not fail to send us your's and Aunt Betsy's pictures. We had a nice picnic last Saturday was a week ago, we enjoy our selves splended. Uncle Marcial, the weather is now getting cool, Pa says he will look for you in December. As I have no interesting news to write, I will close by saying the family joins me in love to you all.

I Remain yours truly

Nannie Le Crawford


This letter is written from Sarah Mcgraw O'Neal Jackson. After the death of Chelsey O'Neal she remarried A.S. Jackson. and moved from SC. to AR. Chesley and Sarah had 4 children one died in infancy the others were 2 sons and one daughter. Sarah and A.S. had 5 children 3 daughters and 2 sons. Notes from Dennis O'Neal.

Nov. 15, 18??

Dear Father,

(cant read) seat my self to write you a few lines. I have waited for an answer to my last letter till I have given out getting a letter. This leaves us all well and getting along fine. We have made about 700 bushels corn this year and will make 10 or 11 bales of cotton. Franklin is still living with us and Mary is here too. She has staid last year and this and saves all she makes and we feed her.

Her and Fricks(?) will never live together again. Henry and his family is well. They live this year 2 miles from us. Tell uncle Abram I would love to see him sparking in his old days though I think he is to old to marry any more. Tell mother I would like to see a few lines from her though if she is like me she don't know much to write, but I have one thing that interest me that I am better satisfied that I have been since we have been in the state. I want you to write all you know about our old neighbors and the O'Neals if you know anything.

They are building a railroad from Little Rock to Ft. Smith. If you should live till they get it done I would be glad you would come and see us. I would to see you. So farewell my father and mother.

S.A. Jackson

You need not think strange that Sylvanis don't write. He has not wrote to his mother but once this year. He is gone from home a great deal and when at home he is always at work.

(To Marshal McGraw, Camden SC. from Sarah Jackson , Franklin Co., Ark.)

This letter is from my gr. grandfather Henry Mcgraw O'Neal. Telling about his and his sister's marriage and news of the country. Notes from Dennis O'Neal.

December 26th, 1868

Dear Grandfather,

It is with felling of the most profound gratitude I seat myself to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well at present, hoping when these few lines come to hand they will find you all well. I have no news to write to you only that me and Mary is married. My self married a girl by the name of Powell, and Mary married a man by the name of Frix. He is (cant read) in this country and the rest of the family started about two weeks ago the North part of the state and I have not heard form them since they started, so there is none of us here but me and Mary. Well the health of this country is good as far as I know about. Times is hard in this country, though, the people has plenty to eat. Corn is worth .10 cents per pound, flour is worth $10.00 per bbl in market, coffee is worth from 28 to 30 cents per pound, sugar is worth 11 cents per pound. Well that is all that I can tell you about that.

I will try to tell you something about the condition of this country There are 13 counties of this state under martial law, but it ain't in this county, but we are surrounded with them and I am in before that (cant read) Well I have no more country news to write. I want you to write to me as soon as you get this and let me know the news in the country, for times is so unsettled here that I want to here that hear from that country. Now I have nothing more that would interest you, so I will close for this time.

Write soon.

Henry O'Neal and Elen O'Neal

(To Marshall McGraw, Camden SC. From His grandson, Henry O'Neal, Hempstead Co., Ark.)

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