Page 6  Benjamin Lafayette Smith's Letters, etc.
         
                I do not reckon you noticed the date of my last letter. Pa carried it in his
                pocketóbook about 2 weeks. He forgot to put it in the office.
                Cousin Mack, did you ever get the envelops that I sent you in my letter last
                smumer. By you not saying anything about them I reckon you did not?
                I asked you to tell me your sweet hearts name and you did not do it.. Oh, Cousin
                you do not ksow how glad I will be to see you next winter. Cousin Priss says
                that she reckons that she & Cousin Bob will come with you to see us.
                If I do not have some pets for you, I will have a nice present for you. Penn
                & Sherman were catching snow birds all the morning after it snowed and caught
                enogh to make us a tolerable good bird pye. I have been a sort of overseer
                for Pa ever since I quit school, and I attended to 15 pigs for a choice one.
                He had about ten very poor calves, he gave Sherman & Penn one apiece to, fatten
                them. Pa answered yours and Cousins letters last week. I reckon I will answer
                hers next week; if I do not have a great many bard lessons to get at night.
                I, Pa, Sherman, Penn and some negroes killed 197 rats last Thursday.
                I have got one of the prettyest sweet hearts you ever saw.
                Write soon to your affectionate Cousin,
                                                  Benjamin Lafayette Smith
 
                         -----------------------------------
                                                            February 8th 1857
                Dear Cousin Martha (Warren)
                            I received your letter on the 20th of Jan. I was very glad to
                receive it indeed. This leaves us all in tolerable good health and hope it
                will find you enjoying the same. Sherman & Penn both say if you will write
                to them first they will write to you, but I expect it will be a ion time be-
                fore you will do that, because you are so slow writing to every body else.
                Charley & Sissy both are as fat as they can be. They have a big fight some
                tines. He can most whip her.
                We will start to school tomorrow to Mr. Turnipseed. I reckon he was to com-
                mence last Monday, but he did not, We went to school to him 8 months last
                year.
                I received a letter from Cousin Mack at the same time I received yours.
                It has been very pretty weather all the week except yesterday it was raining
                all the evening. There was a sale a week before Christmas at Mrs. Beltons.
                I went to it and bought 2 cows & calves and gave $10 for them, Pa bought 9
                and gave about $25 for them & bought 11 from Mr. Johnson and gave $45 for them.
                Mr. Belton, Mr. Paterson (our sherif for a part of last year) and a few others
                died on account of drunkness.
                Miss Emily Toland & Jim Nance have been married since you left. Miss Lawrence
                & Francis Megee have been married & she has got a little boy three weeks old.
                Ma has got a little boy five weeks old. I named him Buster for a nick, When
                you write again you must tell me a good name for him. Mr. King has sold his
                land to George Whitfield for $25 an acre. Pa bought 320 acres for $23.l5 an
                acre and has got half of it fenced & beded up and the other nearly fenced in
                for a pasture.
                Sherman & Penn bad a wright smart of fun Christmas night patting for the negroes.
                They had off their coats just going it. There has been a great many wild geese
                and pigeons here this winter. I killed three pigeons at a shoot once & a goose
                at another.
                Sherman hunts some times. He hardly ever shoots at anything less than three
                times. Yours in truth, friendship and love,
                                                       Lafayette