Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 6, Number 3, September, 1996 Page: 152
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
Holt. Also the marriage of my parents, James
Holt & Elizabeth Williams. The death of my
father in my uncle's hand, the death of my
mother recorded by myself in 1855, and also the
death of my eldest sister Mary Francis, whose
death occured many years before I was born.
I was only about a year old when my father
died. In a short time after his death, my mother's
only full brother, Elijah Williams took charge
of my mother's business matters, whether at the
request of my father before his death or at the
instance of my mother I know not, but from all
that I can learn from friend and foe, he was very
devoted to his sister and to her fatherless chil-
dren; and, from my personal knowledge of my
uncle, I believe he is among the saints today in
My father's estate consisted (so far as my
information extends) of some 15 or 20 negro
slaves, all of which, with my mother and her
children my uncle moved to Houston County
Ga. A small frame house was secured for my
mother and children, and the slaves were "hired
out." The "small house" I should have men-
tioned was located within an hundred or so
yards of my mother's fathers residence.
Of course I remember nothing of my father,
of Baker county, of our journey from Baker to
Houston and nothing of our arrival there. But
tradition has repeatedly informed me that at
about this period of my existence I was quite an
unhealthy child, had a superabundance of stom-
ach, skin was sallow, and that I had the appear-
ance of eating dirt. I cried a great deal and gave
my mother all the trouble in my power. My old
grandpa it is said frequently remarked to my
mother when I was in a crying mood, "Betsy, it
is a pitty that child dont die. " Perhaps I was not
much worse than the average child. Sickness
perhaps was the chief cause of my ill nature.
One thing is certin I must have had quite a
severe spell of sickness about that time, as I find
no less than a dozen distinct marks on my left
side, placed there by "cupping." These scars
were there as far back as I can remember, they
have remained with me all along the journey of
life and will go with this body back to its original
My mother remained a widow about five
years, when she married a farmer, John Tooke,
a rather handsome man, against the judgement
and wishes of all her relations. As well as I can
remember my mother was quite a pretty woman,
posessed a smooth temper, kind heart and was
very domestic, and having some property she
was much sought after by marriageable men.
While my mother was a widow she made a pair
of pants for a gentleman by the name of Ready.
Soon after the pants were finished, Ready
visited my mother in the capacity of a Beau,
there being other visitors at the same time I gave
Mr Ready no little trouble by constantly re-
minding him and the crowd, that "my mother
made them pants. " After the visitors retired of
course I got a "scolding" for my naughtiness.
Another incident that occured about this time
was about as follows: Aunt Martha Drew had a
son, Wiley, who was some months younger
than myself, but was physically my superior,
and this Wiley took great delight in tantalizing
me and occasionally thrashing me. One day
while he and I were engaged in a pugilistic
affray, I caught Wiley by the shoulder with my
teeth and held him fast until he yelled like a cur,
until we were seperated by our friends and
which put a quietus to all of Wiley's bravadoes.
I mention these incidents merely to show
that I can remember events that occurred when
I was but five years old.
As I have before said my mother married
John Tooke against the wishes of her father,
brothers, sisters and her own children. She had
the right to marry him, and I do not censure that
angel mother for the step she took. We are all
prone to err. The error she committed in mar-
rying John Tooke was the greatest error of her
life. It terminated, as I truly believe her happi-
ness on this earth. She received to her arms not
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 6, Number 3, September, 1996, periodical, September 1996; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151398/m1/40/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.