Item #List2320 Member of Stephen Austin’s Colony Letter Regarding the Estate of Moses Cummins, 1841, Including Mention of Three Enslaved Individuals.
Letter Regarding the Estate of Moses Cummins, Member of Stephen Austin’s Colony, Including Mention of Three Enslaved Individuals, 1841.

Owensboro: 1841. Handwritten letter from an unknown author, with envelope addressed to Henry E. Cummins Esq. of Scott County, Missouri. Some fading and brittleness, some tears at folds, good. Good. Item #List2320

A letter concerning the estate of Moses Cummins, one of the early settlers of Stephen Austin’s colony, written to his son seemingly by an attorney who was settling his estate. The letter gives a detailed account of his property, which the author states as “three negroes.” Cummins was born in Kentucky and emigrated to Texas in 1829. According to the Texas State Historical Association, “He married Ruth Ann Griffith on October 23, 1805; she died in 1825. He arrived in Texas from Kentucky in February 1829, and was listed in the 1830 census in Washington County as forty-four years old, a widower with one son, three daughters, and three "dependents," presumably slaves. That census gives his profession as schoolteacher, but it is known that he also worked as a surveyor. He got married again, sometime between 1830 and 1838, to Susanah G. Clampitt, who had immigrated to Texas in 1825 or 1826. Cummins probably served in the Texas volunteer army from October 8 to December 22, 1835.”
The letter gives a detailed account of Cummins’ estate and death, and provides confirmation of the TSHA account of Cummins as an enslaver, and is of research value for those interested in Texas during the period.

Full text follows:

Owensboro, August the 21, 1841

Dear Henry,

I would have written to you by the gentleman who delivered my message to you, but that I had been very unwell ever since I left Texas, and was unable, and am yet, for I have been confined to my bed for some time. Your Father died the last of April at Mary's. He was on his way to Ky. At least he did not intend to return home and we intended to stop at your house as we were on our way up to Ky. His health had been on the decline for several months. His disease was not known. He did not suffer one moment, either with pain or sickness and was entirely reconciled to die and was in his senses until the last moment. He left me in his will power to settle his business, to act as I deemed best. He made a little [..?..] in his children, leaving Mary & Amelia one eighth each more of his property in Texas than he did you & Sally. But I am willing, after all is finally settled, if you or Sally require it, to make an equal division, taking in count what each have got. Or as he wished, you & her can have your choice. My intention is to settle up the business as soon as possible. But I wish you to say what you wish about it. It can, what there is, be sold for more on a credit but the rest and I supposed you had rather have the money, if less, than wait too long.

Amt. of property in Texas, three negroes. Amt. of debts not ascertained when I left. Amt. of land, one quarter of league, if W. R. Griffith permits a contract to stand made by your Father in exchange of land sold G. for some on Trinity. Otherwise 500 acres is all in his possession, though he may have some other claims, but I have not examined his papers when I left. His claim in Jefferson is 75 acres. It will sell for about $30 pr acre. But strange as it may seem, they were in debt about $2000. That amt. deducted from the estate, besides office fees, will lessen the amt. very much as the heirs are all or have been at [..?..] but I think I have got it settled. Wm. & G. McCoy said for one thousand dollars for improvements done on the place where they live and it is defended by the other heirs. I have just returned from Louisville, but have not sold, and cannot sell until the debts are paid. And when it will be done is more than I can say, as all the heirs are quarrelling, and all that can be done, is done through me and some of them wishes me away, thinking it will give them time so as to buy up the land themselves. It is worth ten times the value of it to settle with them, and I wish I had let it go to Jericho rather than have anything to do with it. I sent for you believing at the time that there was at least ten thousand dollars to our part. My information was from Henry McCoy who was raised on the place, and ought to have known the amt., but it appears he had no knowledge whatever as to the amt. I will write to you before I leave, and say what I have done. And after I get home you shall hear immediately of all & every thing relating to the business & when it will settle. You shall have your part so soon as it is possible for me to pay it over. Mary was well when I left home & was living on a farm 7 miles from Washington. She has one child. He is 3 years old. His name is Felix Jerome, has had the finest practice that any young man ever had. He stands very high in his profession and is now a candidate for congress

Amelia was well when I left, but I have not heard from home since I left. We have four children. Write to me immediately. Direct your letter to Newburgh, Jefferson County. Kiss your wife & children for me. Farewell.
W. Ho[..?..].

Price: $375.00