The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 300
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
prospects of gain. I left home with the determination not to come
to Texas but when I arrived at Grenada the prospect seemed so fair
and finding all prospects at an end respecting the ill fated bacon
that I determined to embrace it and we should have done well had
it not been for the Cherokee Indians27 who broke out just before
we reached Texas. I cannot determine to stay in this country because
I do not like it or at least no part I have yet seen. I do not think
the climate adapted to my constitution entirely although I have
enjoyed better health the greater part of the time since my residence
here than for several years before. The water agrees well with me and
I have no doubt but the country further north would be more agree-
able to one accustomed to a climate so far north as I have been raised
but the settlements do not extend far enough north yet nor will for
a [num]ber of years and I have no predilection for a frontier life.
Teachers are much in quest here and can generally obtain a fair
price for their labours and I think I can make something at the
business; certainly more than in Tenn. My debtors have no right
to complain. You say you do not know what I would go [at] to
make money there and therefore I think they should not think
hard of my being away for they must know that my object was not
to evade my debts. I would scorn such a thing though I am aware
of what reports may be in circulation in that country and also
perfectly aware of the pain it must cost you but I hope to be able
to overcome all these difficulties before a great while and if nothing
else would take me back that would be a sufficient reason why I
should return at as short a period as possible. Thos. Bell was well
when I heard from him.
This country taken generally is better adapted to farming than
you suppose. The lands commonly in this part of the country as
far as I have seen, that is western Texas as the part west of the
Brassos [sic] is commonly denominated, consists of three kinds of
soil. viz, the black stiff prairie or as it is called here hog wallow
prairie so called because it is filled with little holes or hollows caused
by the soil cracking in the summer and crumbling in the winter
or rainy season. It is sometimes in regular ridges which gives it
the appearance of having been cultivated. This land is not esteemed
because it is difficult to bring into a state of cultivation and because
it is not easily cultivated at any time but it resists the effects of
drought better than milder lands and is sometimes preferred on
that account. The second general class is the sandy prairie. This
constitutes a large proportion of the prairie lands and is highly
esteemed for its fertility and easy cultivation. The third class is
the post oak lands which [is] commonly sandy though it is some-
times stiff. These constitute the general features of the soil of Texas
27The Cherokee War took place in the Henderson and Van Zandt county area
in July, 1839.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/376/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.