Page 8 Benjamin Lafayette Smith’s letters, etc.
 
                                                                April the 4th 1857
         
                 My Dear Cousin Mc (Warren)
                              Your letter was received by me on the 26th of last month. It was
                 received with great pleasure indeed.
                 If it had not have been cloudy last night I believe we would have had some frost.
                 Ma says that she has 58 little chickens and Sherman has an old hen called Sallie
                 that has 12, and he has two or three more besides her that he likes very much.
                 Mr. Turnipseed has about 30 scholars and three or four more will come in next
                 week. He has one that has not but one arm. A mule threw him last fall and broke
                 it. He was sick about six weeks before it was cut off.
                 Oh, Cousin I am very sorry to tell you that one of our neighbors died last Wed-
                 nesday morning and was buried Thursday. I went to the burying. Ma went to see
                 Mrs. Shular twice whilst she was sick. She was sick about three weeks before
                 she died. She left a little baby 4 months old.
 
                 Hugh Belton is married and has a little boy 2 years old.
                 Mr. Turnipseed has got in to the way of making boys stay in after he turns out
                 school in the evening, when they miss their lessons, which I do not like a bit,
                 especially when I have to walk three miles. Last session he made us study that
                 part of arithmetic which we were obliged to study before we could start Algebra
                 and skip the rest. He heard that some of the boys said the reason he skipped
                 that was because he did not know how to do the sums. And this session he started
                 us at decimal fractions and made us go clear through it before he stopped and
                 gave us such hard lessons that we could not get them, and made us stay in after
                 school when we did not know them. I missed about 3 times going through. Be-
                 cause a boy said that he could not do them, which I reckon if he did say so Was
                 out of fun, he punished all for it.
                 We have not named the baby. Cousin suggested that “Hubert Clifford’ was a good
                 name for him. Nov you must decide which is the best for him, but, I reckon we
                 will have to name it a part of the name that you sent and a part that Cousin
                 sent and then we will not have any dispute about it, will there? There has not
                 been a single party in the neighborhood since Christmas and there was not any
                 hardly then. I answered Cousin Martha’s letter at the same time I answered
                 yours, and received an answer at the same time I received yours. I have never
                 written to Uncle Frank since he moved to Texas. Pa has written to him several
                 times. Penn wrote to Iinmy once last week. I wrote to Aunt Jane once last
                 year. Cousin we will have a great many peaches this year if we do not have any
                 more frost. Mr. Captain White is the conqueror of general green anyhow. Ma
                 puts up a barrel of brandy peaches every year. Give my love to all of the girls
                 in Charleston. Yours in friendship and truth and love
                                                              Lafayette Smith
                                  -----------------------------
         
                                                                 April the 4th 1857
                My Dear Cousin  (Martha King)
                          (The first two paragraphs of this letter are duplicates of the above
                           letter)
                       Mrs. McMicle (or McMich) (Note: This is Mrs. McMichael) of Columbus 
               died about two weeks ago. She was the mother of Eliza Ward.
                 You had better have said that you would give your pony and all of your Shang-
                 hai roosters and poulets for mine, for she is of a pretty color, made well, can
                 run fast and the best of all she can throw anybody the best. She has thrown
                 me once. She would not have got me off then, but the girt broke. We have not
                 named the baby yet. Cousin Mack said that “Curtis Arthor" would be a good name
                 for him, but I reckon we will have to name him a part of yours and a part of
                 hers, and then there will not be any dispute about it will there? Cousin if
                 you lived near and offered Sherman the chance of raising chickens with you, he
                 would take it and would name everyone of the chickens.