Letter written by John Mclaughlin Smith to his wife Emily McGee Smith
               (The letter was perhaps sent by messenger, because the stationery was
                    folded and then addressed to Mrs. Emily Smith
                                                 At Mr. Ridleys
                                                      Miss )
                                                        March 24th 1848
               Dear Emily;
                         I can not come tomorrow, my filly is yet too lame to ride. Frank
               will come and bring you this first letter, I believe, from me.
                        We are all pretty well, the children lively and not very bad, and
               myself somewhat lonesome. I was caught by the rain Tuesday night at Herrins,
               stayed there all night and came home next morning; the children were the glad-
               dest little fellows you ever saw and enquired, Where is Mother? is Mother well
               said Lafayette and the rest repeated the same.
                         Lafayette now shows great anxiety to know how I can communicate
               anything by this letter. And says I must tell you he found two turkey—eggs
               today and you must bring him something for it — he says you must come home
                         Write something so that I may read it to Lafayette, he mani-
               fests great curiosity about this letter writing.
                         Little Sherm shows his scattered teeth and says I must tell you
               the sorrell filly has a mighty pretty little colt named Lucky. Tilda reeled
               her thread last night and bad six cuts in all. Anaka got the cloth out this
               eavening — Gilbert is a little sick.
                         Penn has just come in from being washed, and to my question--
               What do you want to tell Mother? he answered away up younder — Lafayette now
               has more to tell than I can write — and says Holbert got some eggs and must
               have something for it too, and says I must tell you the big colt knocked a
               rail against my shins this eavening and skin them badly.
                         Sarah, Lucinda & Rachel have spun a day in all and got two braaches
               and a piece each.
                         Mrs. King sprained her ankle badly yesterday.
                         We have just finished our milk & mush and the children are getting
               in bed. Penn says “dont you yet yat dog bite me”, and Fayette says "tell
               Mother all I told you; and says “he is coming in with Frank to tell you him-
                         If you have ascertained, let me know when to come after you and
               how you are getting along.
                         How are Mr. & Mrs. Ridly and Miss Mary who has been to see you -
               and so on and soforth.
                         The children are all still in sleep already — and my leg hurts me
               mightily where the colt bruised it.
                         Your Mother called here yesterday — Stiles has caught his negro.
                         My filly, the big colt which Abram plowed and the sorrell filly
                         with the young colt are all lame in their left legs—
                         Our Irish potatoes are pretty — some of the cabbage seed I sowed
               are coming up, but the garden looks barren and neglected as to other things.
               I dont remember anything else — but remain you loving husband,
                                                       Jno. McL. Smith
               Mrs. Emily Smith