1853: Edmund James Taylor to Shelton Oliver

How Edmund J. Taylor might have looked in 1852

How Edmund J. Taylor might have looked in 1852

This letter was written by Edmund James Taylor (1814-1890), the son of Charles Byne Taylor (1774-1850) and Mary Turner (1782-1838). He wrote the letter to his brother-in-law, Oliver Shelton (1801-1870), who had a plantation called Woodlawn in Oglethorpe County, Georgia. Edmund was married to Mary Lucinda Oliver (1825-1897). Edmund mentions two brothers of Oliver’s in the letter: Simeon and Alfred.

Edmund and Lucinda (“Loo”) were married in February 1850 in Desoto County, Mississippi. In the 1860 Census, they were enumerated in Memphis, Tennessee. By 1880, they had relocated to Jackson County, Arkansas.

The letter was written from Spring Ridge, Hinds County, Mississippi, where Dr. Henry J. Holmes (18xx-1875) resided and had a clinic specializing in the treatment of ladies ailments. Lucinda’s health problems are unspecified.

Stampless Letter

Stampless Letter

Addressed to Mr. Shelton Oliver, Lexington, Oglethorpe County, Georgia

Spring Ridge [Mississippi]
June 27, 1853

Mr. Shelton Oliver
Dear Sir,

Your favor of the 13th inst. reached me by last mail. I was truly glad to hear you were all well. I received a communication a few days since from your brother Simeon in which he acknowledges the safe arrival of the remittance from you for me. I feel much obliged to you and Mr. Calloway for your trouble and attention in the matter. It will be two or three months before I will reach home. My business is such that I ought to be there now, but Lucinda will not consent for me to go or leave. I have suffered a good deal for the last year in my mind. Lucinda’s sickness together with my neglect to business have disturbed me very much. I have no doubt I will loose a good deal, but one thing that keeps me up is that I owe nothing of consequence, but I will loose that that was already made. I hope and I feel confident that “Loo” will have her health restored under the treatment of Doctor [Henry J.] Holmes. She is getting on very well at this time under the drawbacks she has had — first losing our child and second losing Mary. She died a few days after my letter to you. I send you a pamphlet by this mail got up by Doctor Holmes giving you a description of the manner in which he treats the particular diseases of the ladies. He has been so successful that every patient he has feel confident of being restored to health. I think he has in his infirmary ten cases. Part of his treatment is quite severe but his patients bear with it astonishingly.

I hope Alfred will meet with success in his new enterprise, if the object in pursuit be worthy and of such quality as may suit him — good, amiable, pretty &c. He has not written to me since I left. I have written to him time and again but he won’t answer me. Tell him if he will not write to come and see us. When “Loo” gets well and we get home again, I hope you and your lady will visit us. I would like it very much. “Loo” says if she lives to another summer, she will come and see you and spend a part of the summer with you.

The health of this Section is very good — only a case now and then of the flux. But I hear from all directions a good deal of the disease raging. Your brother Simeon writes of several deaths in his neighborhood. It makes me feel the more anxiety about home. I hope all will get along well there.

The crops are moderate in this section. They had a rain here yesterday which will ___ things considerably. This is a very poor region but the planters tell me everybody that works, makes money. I hope you will write to us often. Your letter when received and read by “Loo” revived her very much and I think had a good effect upon her. She held it in her hand and read it over and again, and was so much pleased. I hope you will continue often to favor us with a letter. Excuse this hasty scroll and remember us to all.

Yours respectfully, — Edmund J. Taylor


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