The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968 Page: 426
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The text of Sarah Thompson's letter from Texas follows below.3
Washington County, Texas January 25, 186o
Dear Mrs. Bell'
I received a letter from Mrs. Fort" written at your request a few
days ago. I was much pleased to hear from you. I should have written
before this but I have been very unfortunate since my arrival at my
Texas home. I was attending to some Pork Mr. Thompson had pur-
chased, made a misstep and severyly [sic] sprained my ankle. I had a
physician look at [it] and he pronounced the bone shattered. It is five
weeks ago and I can now hop about a little. I suffered excruciatingly
with it and to make a bad matter worse, as the saying is, about the
second week after I hurt my ankle, I was taken very sick and for
three or four days I did not think I should ever get up again, but I
am now improving and able to sit up all day. The rest of the family
are all up. I must tell you something about our traveling. It almost
makes me weary to think of it. We were thirty-two days on the road.
We were fortunate as any travellers ever were in getting on. We met with
but few accidents, one or two wagon wheels were broken which caused
little delay, and had but little sickness. That terrible hurrying on from
day to day without a comfort. I never want to see a Tent stretched
for me again. Mr. Thompson would have us up two and three hours
before day, the stars shining as [sic] bright, and all of us so sleepy we
could scarcely hold our eyes open.
We found water very scarce in some portions of the country we
passed through. We drank from Mineral to Hog wallow. Some of it
so stagnant we were forced to hold our breath until we quenched our
thirst. The first week the dust was intolerable; you can't conceive of
anything like it. Mr. Thompson found we were rather heavily loaded
and he left our Bales to be shipped at Canton, Miss. We travelled
through some beautiful country. The Mississippi Valley was as level as
a floor and such rich lands with Splendid Residences scattered here and
there. I was delighted with some portions of the country. The last day
of our travel we suffered with cold. It sleeted, snowed and hailed all
day. We arrived about night at our home, a cheerless looking place
everything covered with snow. We soon had fires and tried to make
in Mississippi and Texas. Birth, death, and marriage dates are taken from the Thompson
family Bible unless otherwise noted. The collection is in the possession of the author.
3This letter was given by Mrs. Keith Hudson of Columbus, Mississippi, granddaughter
of the original recipient, to Mrs. Robert Schaer of Chappell Hill, Texas, great-grand-
daughter of James Henry Thompso . Minor corrections have been made in punctuation.
'Mrs. Bell was Elizabeth Burt Bell, wife of Thomas Bell. On August io, 1846, J. H.
Thompson purchased a tract of land in Lowndes County, Mississippi, from Thomas Bell.
Deed Records of Lowndes County, Mississippi (County Clerk's Office, Columbus), Book
22, p. 343. The two families lived as neighbors until 1859. Mrs. Keith Hudson to N. W.,
January 12, 19, 1967.
'Mrs. Fort was Annie Cobb Fort, niece of Thomas Bell; she was very fond of Mrs.
Bell and visited them often. Ibid.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968, periodical, 1968; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/m1/476/: accessed May 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.