1826 Hopkinsville, Ky Stampless Slave Rebellion, Gun Duel To Mississippi Wow For SalePostal History WOW - GREAT Southern Content in this 3 page stampless folded letter written in 1826 in HOPKINSVILLE, Kentucky and sent down river to Natchez, Mississippi.Talks of a slave rebellion, whipping slaves and fighting a (gun) duel! FULL TRANSCRIPT and some research notes below.Postmark is a scarce Hopkinsville, Ky manuscript with a "Single" notation (for the single rate) and a light but readable 25 cent rate mark. Also a manuscript "Mail" notation on the lower left of the address panel, which normally signified steamboat travel.Letter fully intact and in good shape.We have placed a reserve offer on this one.
This letter was written by Malcolm McNeill (1796-1875) who was born in Person County, North Carolina but moved to Christian Co., Kentucky, one mile south of the Sinking Fork bridge on the road from Hopkinsville to Princeton, in 1817. He took the oath of citizenship there on 28 Feb 1817.24,25 He began accumulating property at an early age, first near his home in Kentucky, but later he bought thousands of acres in Mississippi and within the city of Natchez, which greatly increased in value.26,27,28 He made his first investments in Chicago in 1842, at a time when travel there required carriages or horseback. He became a man of great wealth, described in an 1884 history of Christian and Trigg counties as "perhaps the richest man in the county, with a large estate and many negroes both there and in Mississippi."
Malcom and Catherine Boddie (his fifth wife) appeared on the 1850 Federal Census of Christian Co., Kentucky, enumerated 7 Aug 1850, reporting real estate valued at $60,500 and 57 slaves. Their son Malcolm was listed as living with them, as was Malcolm Carothers. He reported an additional 72 slaves on his plantation in Coahoma Co. Alabama.
Malcom and Catherine appeared on the 1860 Federal Census of Hopkinsville, Christian Co., Kentucky, enumerated 9 Apr 1860, reporting real estate valued at $240,000, and personal estate of $36,000, including 46 slaves houses in 10 slave houses. Malcom Caruthers, age 12, whose relationship is not known, is listed as living with them.
Malcom and Catherine appeared on the 1870 Federal Census of Hopkinsville, Christian Co., Kentucky, enumerated 30 Aug 1870, reporting real estate valued at $29,700 and personal estate of $5,000. His widowed daughter Martha, by his third wife, and her children Elizabeth, Lucy, George, Malcolm, John, Willie and Nicholas were listed as living with them. Also listed were Benjamin, Rivers and William, three of the younger sons of his late son Thomas, and Lula Musgrove, age 20, a school teacher.
Malcolm wrote the letter to his nephew, Lemuel S. McNeill of Natchez, Mississippi. It is not known which of Malcolm's numerous brothers was the father of Lemuel.
Addressed to Lemuel S. McNeill, Esquire, Natchez, Mississippi
Christian County, Kentucky
April 14th 1826
I received your kind favor of the 22 ulto. post marked 24th and am truly pleased that the Executors are reconciled to the steps taken by me. I say pleased because on every view I can take of the subject, I can view it in no other light than justice. I can see no injury resulting from it, either to them or to any of the legatees.
This will no doubt enable us to act as were a speaking of a coming from Natchez. Should Montgomery & McNeill dissolve, I cannot believe that Alex. would be pleased to form a co-partnership with those two young men. Too long indulgence should not be promised, as all young men need something to stimulate them. They should expect to refund it earlier than was intended for it to be exacted. You have omitted as yet to say the amount that probably would be needed. we should certainly try and put them into business believing that they would use economy and industry in business.
I am truly sorry to hear that you have been sick. Would advise your leaving Springfield earlier than the 1st of May on account of your health.
Nothing has transpired worthy of notice since I wrote you last. Only your Aunt Martha's health, I think, is improving. She is able to set up several hours in the day and with assistance to walk across the house.
If in my former letters I have omitted to say, I now inform you that Mr. McDalton and Moses hang on -- as he the old man calls it -- to the black colt and got him home. He is very poor.
I have offered to take Angus Grant and send him to school this summer or even until he receives a good english education. He has not yet come but I am informed that he will so soon as he helps his Father to plant his corn. I know nothing of H. M. Grant further than I hear that he dresses very fine and does nothing and tells his acquaintances that he had to leave Natchez on account of his fighting a duel. What will become of him, the Lord above knows. I feel anxious yet to help him and see him do better but can't do it until I see a change. It has given me no little uneasiness and pain to act towards him as I have -- forofferding him to visit me or see me until a visible change. It is painful, although I think I have done right. I have not seen him yet. I have heard of nothing he has said against us down there that would be worthy of notice. Perhaps he has been more particular or liberal than we expected.
I received a letter of some importance to my Father's Estate the other day from Mr. N. Norf____ expecting you shortly. Will show it to you on your arrival as it is a private letter. Shall not show it to any person until you arrive. Have not been able yet to see the administrators of this estate. Understand the sales will take place in May. Will have time enough given so that you can get here.
Please add to my Bill of groceries one barrel of sugar and send it up, for all which I can pay on demand.
Try, if you please, to get Henry Burk's money as well as Mr. Cooper's. Do not bring it in Mississippi money as it will not answer here.
I wrote [brother] Alexander a few days ago. Will write [brother] Hector by this mail.
My overseer here appears to do very well. My negroes had done very badly while I was gone. They had rebelled against hi, declared they were not to be shipped, and he says they all expected their freedom. As my poor mother used to say, I have turned over a new leaf. Of course they think I have not that good religion that they expected and I doubt it myself. So we are even.
I amm dear Lemuel, your affectionate uncle, -- Malcom McNeill
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