1833: George deBert Reid to William Moultrie Reid

Rev. Reid

Wm. Moultrie Reid

This letter was written by George deBert Reid (1793-1846), the son of George Reid (1757-1810) and Ann Hardy (1767-1836). George was married to Elizabeth (“Eliza”) Smith Ramsay (1802-1863).

George wrote the letter to his younger brother, William Moultrie Reid (1798-1884). “Moultrie” — as he was called — graduated in 1833 from the Columbia Theological Seminary and soon after supplied the Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church in Sumter, South Carolina. He remained their pastor until 1872. Moultrie was married to Margaret Goulding, the daughter of Rev. Thomas Goulding (1786-1848) who became the President of the Seminary College that same year (1833).

Stampless Letter

Stampless Letter

Addressed to Mr. Wm. M. Reid at the Theological Seminary, Columbia, S.C.

Charleston [South Carolina]
5th November 1833

Dear Moultrie,

Image 42Your letter of the 30th October has come safe to hand. I have been round to all the chair making establishments and can find nothing of the Dearbar ¹ or Wagon kind with harness under $90 or $100 — some as high as $110 & 120 — but I do not see the necessity of your going to all this expense at present. I see nothing to prevent you from coming to town in the Stage which will cost you about $10 each. If the vehicle is brought here, how is it to be carried to Columbia, and what is to be done with the horse here? You will have to place him in the Livery Stables, which will exceed your expenses on the road by Stage &c. I therefore advise you by all means to come down in the Stage and then we can make further arrangements. Your last dividend will more than pay your expenses down and which I can remit to you whenever you say so. Your Mother’s house will be certainly the most proper place to carry your wife on your arrival here. They are making preparations to receive and expect you to go there. Eliza and myself expect you will spend part of your time with us provided you come down early in December. She is invited to spend Christmas at John’s Island with Cousin Martha Walpole ² and has accepted the invitation as she cannot go into the Country in the Spring, being what the Frenchman calls, “Enciente.” ³

Image 44Ann seems a little disappointed at not being able to make the contemplated trip to Columbia, but bears it with Christian fortitude and coincides in your opinion that it would not be worthwhile under the present arrangements. Your friend Mr. Yates has been very ill with Country fever since his arrival here, but I understand this morning is much better. Your request respecting Mr. Witson and family shall be attended to as soon as I find they are in town.

Yours in haste, — George

Gravestone of George and Eliza Reid in Charleston, SC

Gravestone of George and Eliza Reid in Charleston, SC

¹ I believe George is referring to a Dearborn wagon — a light, four-wheeled vehicle with a top and sometimes side curtains, usually pulled by one horse. Long-standing tradition, dating back to 1821, attributes its design to General Henry Dearborn. It usually had one seat but sometimes as many as two or three, and they often rested on wooden springs.

² “Cousin Maria Walpole” was probably Martha Wilkinson Legare (1791-1856), the wife of Horace Walpole (1790-1860) who had a plantation on St. John’s Island in South Carolina.

³ “Enciente” is the French word for pregnant.


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