1852: Catharine Jeanette (Smiley) Robinson to Robert Patterson Smiley

How Catharine Robinson might have looked in 1852

How Catharine Robinson might have looked in 1852

This letter was written by Catharine Jeanette (Smiley) Robinson (1820-1874), the daughter of Nathaniel Smiley (1784-1839) and Margaret Smith (1785-1825). She was married to Moses Robinson (1810-1857) in October 1837 in Liberty, Amite County, Mississippi. In the 1850 Census, the Robinson’s are enumerated in Rush Island, Caddo County, Louisiana.

Catharine wrote the letter to her brother, Robert Patterson Smiley (1815-1877). She also mentions another brother — James Malcolm Smiley (1812-1879) — with whom she is obviously vexed for having failed to visit her when he passed by her home earlier in the year.

Stampless Letter

Stampless Letter

Addressed to Robert P. Smiley, Esqr., Centreville, Amite County, Mississippi

Red River [Louisiana]
August 24, 1852

Dear Brother,

It has been a long time since I got a letter from you. I thought I would wait until you would write but it appears as if it will never be. I got a letter a few weeks ago from old Aunt Betsy Jenkins. She says you write every month to me but I do not get more than one a year. It is very strange that I can get the letters that others write and cannot get years. There are a great many Robinsons in this Parish and maybe there is another C. J. besides myself. There is a Moses Robinson living somewhere in this country. Mr. Robinson has had five letters sent to him from Shreveport and had to send them back.

We have all been sick but are all well now but Margaret. She is always grunting. She has had sore fingers for a year and they are not well yet and looks like never will be. I have been sick off and on ever since the first of June. Margaret’s youngest child died in July of cholera infantum. It was sick six weeks and I could have cured it but she would tuff it on everything it wanted.

We have had a freat deal of wet weather this summer. It is still very wet. It has injured the crops very much. The worms have not come yet but are expected every day.

Mr. Robinson is going to sell his place. He can get two thousand dollars more for it than he gave. He talks of going above the raft ¹ to get a place. He wants me to write to James and know where he is going to move to. I tell him he will have to write himself. James would not write to me if I were to write to him. I wrote to him last winter and asked him to come after me and he never answered my letter and then passed my door twice and would not as much as wave his hand at me. I thought he was afraid I would want to go home with him if he called. If he knew how he hurt my feelings by slighting me so he would be sorry he done so. I cannot think of it yet without shedding tears. If he had left a few lines in the [post] office or thrown me a letter making any excuse whatever I would have looked over it. Bill Crawford did not do his sister that a way. He left his company and called to see how she was getting along. I will quit this subject for I could talk about it all day.

The children are at home. They did not like to stay at their Uncle Dick’s at all. All send howday. Give my love to all. Farewell. Your sister, — Catharine


¹ The “raft” refers to the immense logjam that blocked the Red River upstream of the rapids near Alexandria, Louisiana. Starting around Boyce, it stretched for nearly 150 miles upstream. It is not certain when the raft formed, but it may have been around 1100-1200 A.D. It probably was the result of floods causing the bank to collapse and dumping trees into the river, which then became snagged on sandbars. Or it might have been created by a massive Mississippi River flood that caused the Red River to reverse course and become blocked by debris.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

"Though distant lands between us be"

Civil War Letters of Monroe McCollister, Co. B, 6th OVC

"Tell her to keep good heart"

Civil War Letters of Nelson Statler, 211th PA

"May Heaven Protect You"

14th Connecticut drummer boy's war-time correspondence with his mother

Moreau Forrest

Lt. Commander in the US Navy during the Civil War

Diary of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry

Fighting with the Irish Brigade during the Peninsula Campaign

"Till this unholy rebellion is crushed"

Letters of Dory & Morty Longwood, 7th Indiana

"I Go With Good Courage"

The Civil War Letters of Henry Clay Long, 11th Maine Infantry

"This is a dreadful war"

The Civil War Letters of Jacob Bauer, 16th Connecticut, & his wife Emily

Spared & Shared 16

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Lloyd Willis Manning Letters

3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Co. I

The Yankee Volunteer

A Virtual Archive of Civil War Likenesses collected by Dave Morin

William Henry Jordan

Co. K, 7th Rhode Island Infantry

No Cause to Blush

The Bancroft Collection of Civil War Letters

William A. Bartlett Civil War Letters

Company D, 37th Massachusetts Infantry

The John Hughes Collection

A Virtual Archive of his Letters, 1858-1869

The Civil War Letters of Rufus P. Staniels

Co. H, 13th New Hampshire Volunteers

This is Indeed A Singular War

The Civil War Letters of Henry Scott Murray, 8th New York Light Artillery

The Letters of James A. Durrett

Co. E, 18th Alabama Infantry

Spared & Shared 15

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The Civil War Letters of George Messer

Company F, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Jeff's Prayers are as Effective as Abe's

The Civil War Letters of George S. Youngs, 126th New York Vols

Soldiering is a Very Uncertain Game

The Civil War Letters of Lemuel Glidden, Co. K, 145th Indiana Infantry

Tough as a Pitch Pine Knot

Letters of John Whitcomb Piper, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

An Honorable Peace

The Civil War Letters of Frank B. Knause, 6th Michigan Infantry & Heavy Artillery

%d bloggers like this: