"Mother I Don't Frollick Now ...
Edited by TWILA M. W. SMITH
THE WORRIES OF A MOTHER WITH A SON WHO IS A LONG WAY FROM
home may not have changed as much as one would expect during
the passing of a century. For example, in 186o a settler in Texas by
the name of J. T. Bostick wrote his parents in Georgia and assured
his mother that he did not "frollick" now as he had when he was
at home. Admittedly, such gentlemanly conduct may not have been
of his own choosing, as unattached ladies were scarce on the Texas
frontier during that period. Nevertheless, the writer's concern for
and awareness of his mother's feelings on the subject of his relation-
ship with "the Ladies" was reflected in the closing portion of a
letter discovered several years ago at the old Evans homestead located
in the Villanow area near Dalton, Whitfield County, Georgia. The
original letter is now in possession of Washington Robert Evans of
Dalton. He is the great-great-nephew of James Bostick to whom the
letter was addressed.
The message was written, at least partially, on Christmas Day,
186o, but no mention was made of any type of Christmas observance,
nor was there a mention of greetings or best wishes for the New Year.
A handmarked "x" served as the cancellation for the three-cent
stamped envelope, and the address read: Mr. James Bostick, Villa-
now PO, Whitfield Co., Ga. The return was: Comanche Peak Tx,
Jan 12/61. According to Thomas Ewell, a nineteenth-century his-
torian of Hood County, what is now known as Acton was previously
known as the Comanche Peak Post Office. Ewell also explained that
Hood County was created in 1866 from parts of Johnson and other
nearby counties. He commented further that Comanche Peak Post
Office served "a considerable scope of country west of the Brazos"'
and later noted that ". .. there was no regular mail carrier coming
to this [Comanche Peak] office, and the citizens volunteered" each
week "to go to Buchanan and bring back the mail pouch." This
could explain the lapse of time between the writing of the letter
*Twila M. W. Smith is professor of education at Southwest Baptist College, Bolivar,
xThomas T. Ewell, History of Hood County (reprint; Granbury, Texas, 1956), 21, 34--85,
83. Quote is from page 2a.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101201/. Accessed August 1, 2015.