Page 11 Benjamin Layette Smith’s letters, etc.
         
         
                Sherman was at Uncle John Styles’ last week and they were all well, I believe,
                except aunt Selety was a little puny, and has been all year. We are all well
                at this time except two or three negroes. When you write again, direct your 
               letters to Tolands Depot Lowndes Cty, Miss.[this later became known as Artesia]
 
                                             From your affectionate cousin—
                                             Lafayette Smith
                                   ------------------------------------------
         
                                                     Lowndes Cty., Miss., August 1st 1857
                My dear cousin - (Mack Warren)
                               I received your letter yesterday evening commenced on the 1st
                  of May and finished on the 27th of June, and I do not know where you are, from
                  it. I wrote to you about the last of June and thinking that you were at Charles-
                  ton, I directed my letter there.
                  I think you are going to get as bad about writing as cousin Martha is. I answered
                  her letter on the 4th of last April and I have never received an answer to it
                  yet. When you see her tell her that I think she ought to be ashamed of her-
                  self for not writing to me, when she knows how glad I am to receive a letter
                  from her. She will have some excuse or other when she writes for not writing,
                  but tell her not to put it in there for I know it will not be much of a one.
                  Pa says that he has answered your letter long ago, and Ma says that she thinks
                  it is getting time that you have answered hers as it has been about 3 months
                  since she, wrote to you.
                  
                 We have had one of the worst springs that I ever saw. It started to be a pret-
                  ty one commencing the 16th of Feb., until). the 4th of Apr., and the 5th the
                  ground was frozen in the morning. It has been bad ever since untill about the
                  6th of July. It has been hot ever since and nOw we are going to have some
                  more bad weather. I have heard it said that if it rained on the 1st dog-day
                  that it would rain all the rest and it has rained every dog—day yet.
                  Pa planted his cotton pretty late and it laid in the ground five weeks. He
                  was very much afraid that it would not come up at all, but it has come up and
                  he has nearly laid it by, and it is about as good as it was this time last
                  year. If it would stop raining now, it would do a great deal better. Pa will
                  make a good crop of corn any how.
                  It was nearly cool enough the 3rd of July for frost, and was all the week.
                  You said that you had heard that the small pox was in Columbus. There were 4
                  or 5 cases of it there in the spring, and has never been since. I liked to
                  have caught it myself. I went in the same house with a young man that had it.
                  You said that you would come to see us. Well there is not any there, and you
                  must not forget your promise.
                  Tell cousin (Bob) I think he ought to move away from that poor sandy country
                  and come down here, for it is not a bit of count. We have been eating roast-
                  ing ears for the last month, and I know he has not seen any yet. And we have
                  a plenty of watermelons and the peaches are getting ripe too. We had an exam-
                  ination the 3rd of last July and we had a dinner that day too. There were a
                  pretty good crowd there that day.
                  Mr. Turnipseed is not going to teach any more. He has moved near Tuscaloosa
                  and is going to farm there. I did not want him to leave because I thought be
                  was a very good teacher.
                  The trustees have employed another one by the name of Olmstrong, who I hope
                  will make us a good teacher. We will start to him monday morning. Do you
                  ever write to uncle Frank? If you do not you ought to, because I know he
                  would be glad to receive a letter from you at any time. He has had bad luck
                  this year. All of his negroes have been sick and two of them died- one of his
                  best men and one old woman. He and aunt have been sick too. The doctors gave
                  her up, but she got well enough to write a long letter to Ma. We are all well
                  at this time except Penn is a little sick.
 
                  Yours in truth, friendship and love. Lafayette Smith