This letter was written by James Sanders Guignard Richardson (1815-1879), a leading member of the Sumter bar and State Reporter during Reconstruction. His father was William Guignard Richardson (1773-1849) of Bloom Hill Plantation, Sumter District, South Carolina. His mother was Emma Corbett Buford (1789-1843).
Richardson wrote the letter to Maj. Albertus Chambers Spain (1821-1881), an 1841 graduate of the South Carolina College who practiced law in Columbia and then Sumter, South Carolina. With the outbreak of the war with Mexico he volunteered, and was assigned as a 1st Lieutenant to a company from Sumter with the Palmetto Regiment. After the war Major Spain represented the Sumter District in the Legislature for several terms. He was a delegate to the Convention of 1860 in Charleston and a signer of the Ordinance of Secession. At the direction of the Convention Major Spain traveled to Arkansas to confer with representatives of that state regarding secession. In 1861 Major Spain moved to Darlington where he lived out the rest of his life.
Addressed to Maj. A. C. Spain, Sumter, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
May 17th 1858
In [Anthony] White & [John F.] Haynsworth ads Bank new trial granted with leave to amend. In Josey’s case new trial granted on the ground of enormous outrages and excessive damages. That was what was meant by crippled negroes. They put it on this ground to let Glover off. I think the opinion will give us a good chance to be a little serene upon the Court before the next jury and it may turn out that they will gain nothing by a new trial. Not a word was said in Walter vs. Richardson but I give up Moses & Burkett for I overheard O’Neall ask Munna if he was ready with his opinion. If he is to deliver the opinion, it will be against the motion. He would never deliver an opinion against Moses. Besides, I understood him to intimate that the contract was not assignable under the Act; but I may be mistaken.
Mesberry & [John F.] Frierson was argued today. We go on with the rest tomorrow and I must beat home by Saturday. I think we can add something more in Brown’s case. I hope the testimony is sufficient to move the loss and we must struggle to get in the Register’s Book.
Very truly yours, — J. S. G. Richardson