†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Page 17Benjamin Lafayette Smith's letters, etc.
†††††††††††††††††Pa has sold 52 bales of his cotton. One half for 8 cts, and the other half for
†††††††††††††††† 10.44 cts. And he has 18 more to sell yet. He bought 180 acres of land not long
†††††††††††††††† since for $25 an acre. He rented out about 250 this year. Fifty for $4 an acre
†††††††††††††††† and 200 for $3.25 an acre.
†††††††††††††††† Ma says that you must come to see uS. If you will that she will have something
†††††††††††††††† good for you when you come, if you ever do come. Sherman says that he will have
†††††††††††††††† a sweetheart for you.I suppose he told you who my sweethearts were. Well, if
†††††††† ††††††††be told you Miss Mollie & Miss Eliza he told you exactly wright. They are
†††††††††††††††† two of the prettiest girls in Mississippi. Maybe you will get to see them when
†††††††††††††††† you come to see us if you stay long. 
†††††††††††††††††We call the baby Buster sometimes & Curtis sometimes. He can walk all about now
†††††††††††††††† Ma says that you may have him, if you will come after him; but you must come after
†††††††††††††††† him before be gets as old as Charlie is, for she has to whip him nearly every day,
†††††††††††††††† he is so bad. They have finished the railroad up to West Point, about 13 miles
†††††††††††††††† above Tolandís Depot [later known as Artesia], and have come back and are working 
†††††††††††††† on the Columbus branch.
†††††††††††††† ††The cars went after some cross-ties the other day, and as they were coming back,
†††††††††††††††† the engineer stopped of a sudden, just before he got to the places, and three
†††††††††††††††† of the cars broke loose and knocked them all to pieces. Oh, I liked to have for-
†††††††††††††††† gotten to tell you that I got a valentine the other day. It was from a young
†††††††††††††††† lady in Crawfordsville by the name of Miss Carrie Howorth. Cousin Martha can
†††††††††††††††† tell you how I like her. I do not know whether to answer it or not. It looks
†††††††††††††††† wright hard for a young lady to write and not get an answer to it. Does it not?
†††††††††††††††† I believe that I have told you all of the news that I can think of just now.
†††††††††††††††† From you affectionate cousin
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Benj. L. Smith
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ---------------------------------------------
†††††††††††††††††Dear Cousin (Martha Warren King)
†††††††††††††††††††††††††† As I have a little room left in my letter, I will write to you a
†††††††††††††††† few lines. As you are so busy drying up lard, making soap and all such things
†††††††††††††††† as that, I reckon you do not know how long it has been since you wrote to me.
†††††††††††††††† It has been nearly a year. Cousin Mack said in her letter that you did not have
†††††††††††††††† time to write. Well, I do wonder if you have not had time enough to write to
†††††††† ††††††††me since last April.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††† I reckon you and Cousin Bob intend to come with cousin Mack. Do
†††††††††††††††† you not? If you do not, come anyhow.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††† It has been a warm winter to what last winter was: but it has rained
†††††††††††††††† enough to make up for it. The Tombigbee has been out of its banks very near all
†††††††††††††††† of the winter. Ma has sown her cabbage seed.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††† I believe we are all well at this time and hope that you are enjoying
†††††††††††††††† the same health. From your affectionate cousin,
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Lafayette
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††April the 4th 1858
†††††††††††††††††My dear Cousin (Mc Warren)
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Your letter was received by me a few days since, and I was very
††††††††††††††† glad to receive to indeed. Sherman, Penn and I are going to school at the 16th
†††††††††††††††† section to a young man by the name of Thompson. He is one of the best scholars
†††††††††††††††† I have been to, I believe, and I think he will make us a very good teacher also.
†††††††††††††††† Pa has just finished planting corn, and has commenced planting cotton. He has
†††††††††††††††† planted nearly all of his potatoes too.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Somebody tried to burn down our school-house, but I believe they
†††††††††††††††† have given up the idea now, as there has been no signs of it lately.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† You said that I must answer the valentine and write an April fool
†††††††††††††††† also. Well, I am sorry to acknowledge that I do not know how to write either.
†††††††††††††††† I have seen a great many of those old maids that you talked about in your letter.