Page 13 Benjamin Lafayette Smith’s letters, etc.
         
         
                 Cousin Bettie, I believe you are trying to play a trick on me, you fixed up a
                 sort of valentine and put it in your letter and said that it was from MisS May.
                 But you are the Miss May that wrote it. Cousin tell your Pa that Pa bought 260
                 acres of very good land for $6,500. TeU him that Pa has made one of the best
                 corn crops that he has made in three or four years. He has made nearly twice
                 as much to the acre as he made last year. And I think he will make a tolerable
                 good crop of cotton. Has your Pa got any sugar cane? Pa had some sent to him
                 in the spring by one of our congress members • I think that it is one of the
                 best things that we have at this time. Pa planted five rows about 100 yards
                 long and he had so little that it was not fit to grind. He 1s going to save
                 enough seed to plant 3 acres next year and he is going to try to make enough
                 molasses to do us.
                 Pa has 8 of the little mule colts out now, he is just weaning them. He has
                 100 head of cattle to winter this year, and 50 head of horses.
                 Today is a very bad day and I do not feel like writing much. Give my love to
                 uncle, aunt and cousins.
                 From your affectionate cousin
                                            Lafayette Smith
                              ------------------------------------------------
         
         
                                                    Lovndes Co., Miss., Oct., 25th/1857
         
                 My dear cousin (Mack Warren)
                              I start tonight (Sunday night as it is) to give you a good
                 scolding about not writing to me; but the last time I wrote to you, I gave you
                 a pretty good scolding about not writing, and I expect that is the reason you
                 do not write to me now. If I have said anything too rough to you in any of my
                 letters, I did it unintentionally, and you must excuse me. I have been pretty
                 busy for the last month, or else I would have written to you sooner. Pa has
                 had three overseers this year ..... [he repeated what he told Bettie Seay about
                 the overseers here]
                 Cousin Mack have you any Chinese sugar cane up in your part of the country? Pa
                 had some sent to him by one of our congress members in the spring, and I think
                 it is one of the best things of the stalk kind that we have. Pa planted
                 about about a half of a teacup full, and it made five rows about 100 yds long.
                 He thought that there was so little of it that he would not grind it this year.
                 But he is going to save enough see to plant two or three acres next year. It
                 is very good to chew and suck the juice out of it. We and the negroes have eat
                 nearly all of it up.
                 Pa has bought 260 acres of very good land for 25 $ an acre for it.
                 He has made the best crop of corn this year that he has made in three or four
                 years. And I think he is going to make a pretty good crop of cotton too accord-
                 ing to the sort of year that we have had. Pa has got 8 of the prettiest little
                 mule colts now out, at least he thinks so.
                 He has dug all of his [potatoes?] and he has made the meanest crop that he
                 has made in three or four years. He has always made about 600 bushels, and this
                 year be made about 200. Cousin we will have a splendid country here after a
                 while. The cars [he means railroad cars] are in two miles and half of us, 
                and we have got a plenty of mud here: if we did not have a wright smart of it, 
                our horses would run away a heap oftener than they do: they are so much finer
                than your horses up that way.
         
                 Now after I have told you pretty near all the news that I know I will tell you
                 about the election down this way, if you have not already heard of it. Pa ran
                 for the legislature against a young man of Columbus by the name of Carington.
                 Carington beat him thirty six votes and was elected, but Pa has a little con—
                 colation about it. He beat Carington at all the country boxes except one, but
                 he made up for that in Columbus.