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Choctaw Indian Territory

Item CON-5728
September 19, 1851 Sophia Nye
Price: $175.00


8 page letter written in period ink by Sophia Nye from the Choctaw Indian Territory, dated September 19, 1851.


September 19th 1851

My Dear Brother,

Please purchase for me the following articles for Mrs. Lathrop:

2 pairs of maroon walking shoes, number 5 ½
1 pair fold, fathomer India rubbers

For myself:

1 pair gaiters, number 6
1 pair for Lucy, number 5
T2o sets of the best tea knives and forks
A carving knife and fork, the best
A pair of polished steel snuffers and tray
A pair of silver butter knives
One dozen teaspoons marked L.M.B.
Two dessert spoons marked as above

The silver things will be given away when needed. I wish them paid for with my money. The other articles are for our own use. Mr. B. can pay for them if he is not short of money. Perhaps you had best pay for all and then I can call them mine, for I have but little about me that bears that name. Mr. Byington can bring them home in his trunk. I would be glad if a few more things but the above fills will do for the present.

It has been some time since we have heard from your family. I hope you are all well. I have heard that the dysentery was prevailing in Marietta. I hope your dear children will escape such painful disease.

I suppose Mr. B. (Byington) occasionally. It has been three weeks since I had a letter from him. They have probably been kept back by the low waters. He has written me every week (9 times) since he left Marietta. He speaks of his general health as being much better, improved but his throat will not bear much speaking. He doesn’t tell us when he will turn his face homeward. It seems like an age since he went away. It is indeed lonely here in the wilderness without him and Cyrus. We have been pretty well since they left. Lucy was a little sick for a few days this summer. She has not been very well during all our hot weather. I never experienced such a summer before. A great deal of the time the thermometer has been up to a hundred and no rain for weeks and weeks. Everything has been seared up. We have hardly been able to get water enough to use. This week we have had a good rain and hope our hot weather has passed. We have raised but little corn and hardly any potatoes. Many of the poor Choctaws have no corn now. I don’t know what they will subsist on this winter.

I wish you would give Mr. B. some information about the Hydraulic Cement for cisterns. I do want one very much. Our well always fails in the late summer. We have been getting our drinking water nearly a half a mile from home for two months. If we had a good cistern we could drink the water from that.

Lucy has been from home more than two weeks. She went home with Mr. Reed, the superintendent of Spencer Academy, intending to make a short visit there and then to go and then to go to the meeting of the Presbytery in the Boggy. But Mr. and Mrs. R. were soon taken sick and she has been staying there to nurse them. I had a letter from her this week. She says I have been on my feet most of the time for a week and up two nights all night. Mr. R. is quite an interesting man and quite a favorite in our family. He was not willing to have anyone around him but Lucy and Miss Colter until he began to get better. Mrs. R. is a lovely woman but we all fear she will soon go to her grave. Consumption seems to be fastening upon her. I don’t know when Lucy will get home. It is indeed lonely without husband or child. We are truly a scattered family and a broken one too.

Cyrus written to me often. He has an excellent home and seems well contented. His autn has written to me and says he is doing very well. This is a great comfort to me.

I have living with me a Christian girl. She is pretty good help. My family is not large but we have a great deal of company. This has been a hard summer for me. I have had more cares than usual. Some of the time I have had no help and the weather being so hot, it has been just as much as I could do to keep up. The cool weather will brace me I hope. Give much love to Sister Rebecca. I reckon she and my “old man” had some good talks together. I hope he can make a longer visit when he returns. He was greatly interested in your children, especially in Benny. Dear children, one and all. How I should like to see them. I can’t forget them. Perhaps you will think best to send by some of the merchants, that are going east, for the little valuables that I have sent for.

A kind remembrance to all my “kin” and dear old friends. Accept the love of your affectionate sister,