Page 12 Benjamin Lafayette Smith’s letters, etc.
                                                     Lowndes Co., Miss., Sep the 7th 1857
            Dear Cousin (Bettie Seay)
                       I received your letter yesterday and was very glad to receive it in-
            deed. You said in it that I had failed to answer a great many of your letters,
            I have answered everyone, with the exception of one  And I intended to have
            answered it, but you hardly gave me time to do it. But still I ought to have
            answered it sooner, and would have done it, but, I was pulling fodder for 
            cows during week before last, and last week I went down near Macon to see my
            uncles; and therefore I hope you will excuse me this time as it is the first,
            will you not?
            Pa is done pulling fodder and has about 30 stacks. His cotton is not doing
            very well now; he has about 220 acres planted, and says that he would be very
            glad to know that he would make a 100 bales. His corn is very good. A pro-
            tracted meeting has been going on somehwere in this neighbourhood for 2 months.
            And a campmeeting is going to commence at Prairie Hill on the Friday before the
            4th Sunday in this month.
            Tell cousin Sarah that Mrs. Castilla & Mr. Heartsel were married about two or
            three weeks ago.
            Martha & Eliza Toland are at home now. They have been going to schoo1 all the
            year In Macon, and I expect they are going back again before long.
            I believe I have told you before that we were going to start to a teacher by
            the name of Armstrong, be commenced about the first of Aug. and quit about the
            16th of Aug. He quit because he did not have any [students] at all, and was not 
            any more
            fit to teach than anybody that had never looked inside of a book.
            We started to a teacher this morning that I think will make us a very good
            teacher, at least I hope so. His name is Felix Woods, one of my old school. (Mates?)
            We have had a great many fruit this year, and a heap of them were very good, but
            they are nearly all gone now. I have neither heard from nor seen Uncle Hutchy
            in two or three months. But I have seen Samy two or three times lately and
            they were all well at Grandma’s then. The last time that I have heard from
            uncle John Styles’ they were all well except aunt Selety, and she has been com-
            plaining a little all the year.
            Ma says tell aunt Ann that she will write to her as soon as the baby gets well.
            It has been sick about six weeks. From your affectionate cousin-
                                                      Lowndes co., Miss.,
                                                      Oct the 23rd 1857
             My dear cousin— (Bettie Seay)
                         It has been a good while since I received your letter. I reck-
             on you begin to think that I am going to quit writing to you altogether, but
             I am not. You must excuse me this time for I have been busy attending to Pa‘s
             business for the last week or two.
             Pa has had 3 overseers, this one commenced about the first of March and quit
             about the last of June • And the 2nd commenced on the 1st of August and quit on
             the 1st of Oct., and the 3rd commenced about 3 weeks ago and quit last week.
             And now the second one has commenced again. It happened so about the time
             each one quit I was not going to school, and I had to attend to the bands.
             Now I am not doing anything, I will try and write to you.
                   We are not going to school now, but Mr. Woods will start again next
             Monday. He stopped because the measles was in the section and he was afraid
             that he would catch them if he did not stop.