This letter was written by Joseph Woodruff Bozeman (1833-1895), the son of Jefferson Richardson Bozeman (1802-1881) and Ann Mahala Woodruff (1815-1871) of Lowndes, Alabama. He spent his boyhood years from six years old in Winston county, Mississippi, at Coopwood — his father’s homestead, 12 miles southeast of Louisville. He grew up there upon the farm in a remote rural district, where he had but limited opportunities for getting an education. He did regularly the labor of a farmer’s son until the year 1854, when in his twenty-first year, he began a course of education that continued several years in schools and colleges. Col. David Wood Bozeman — his older cousin, and to whom this letter is addressed — furnished him the means of getting an education as though he were his son. In October 1858 he entered the University of Virginia, where he was a student for three years in the literary departments. On March 5 1862, he married Mary Ella Snead, of Richmond, Virginia, and returned at once to Goodman, Mississippi. On April 24 1864, he was ordained a Baptist preacher. In March 1865, he became pastor of the Baptist church in Lexington Mississippi, where he remained nearly six years. October 1 1870 he took the pastorate of the Baptist church in Aberdeen, Mississippi, where he served until December 1 1879. His first wife passed August 25 1872 leaving behind four children. On August 19 1875 he married his second wife Julia A. Evans of Aberdeen Mississippi, and together had two more children. On December 1 1879 he became Pastor of the First Baptist church in Meridian Mississippi where he served until the time of his death.
Col. David Wood Bozeman (1814-1887) was the son of Nathan Bozeman (1785-1848) and Harriet Knotts (1788-1874). Col. Bozeman married Ann English Browning, of Lowndes County, Alabama, April 12,1832. He lived near Benton, and afterwards in Coosa county, for many years, 12 miles north-east of Weturapka. In 1860, he was a delegate from Alabama to the Baltimore Democratic Convention that nominated John C. Breckenridge for President of the United States. During the years 1856-’57 he located large tracts of land in Texas, to some of which he moved after the Civil War.
Addressed to Col. D. W. Bozeman, Central Institute, Alabama
April 18, 1859
Mr. D. W. Bozeman
Today I received yours if the 14th. Enclosed I found $100.00 in check in New York. In this letter you will find a receipt to that amount. I am enjoying very fine health now. The general health at the University is good. We have every prospect for health.
For several days past it has been right cold. Yesterday morning we had snow. I understand that all the peaches in this section are killed. Other fruit is injured. The prospect for a wheat crop is very good so I am informed. The lands in these parts are called good. It is of prairie nature & as red as a brick. Such a thing as cotton is hardly known to the farmers of Albemarle. My room mate says he never saw any.
I find that the people here are more hostile to abolition than those of the states farther south. I think they are altogether too southern in their feelings and doings. The present gubernatorial contest is a warm one between Hon. John Letcher, Democrat, & Hon. William L. Goggin, Whig. Letcher will be elected by a large majority for you know this state is largely Democratic.
The students hold their election this evening. This is merely to have the voice of the young men of the University. They are not allowed votes legally. It is a vast injury to any student — or set of students — to become enlisted in politics.
Remember me to Dr. Bozeman when you see him. I am getting on tolerably well. [Dr. Gessner Harrison,] our Professor of Latin has resigned. I have no idea who will succeed him. His chair can’t be filled. Write.
Respectfully, — Joseph W. Bozeman
Results of our Election
Many did not vote.