Go to Page | Index | Cont. | 21     | Notes | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

heavily that the labor of clearing their land is very great.  It is a rich country, and will settle rapidly; he says it is the center of the cotton region, and his mills must be immensely profitable.  He has made some improvements in the oil mill.

We went to several plantations on the Lake Washington, John A. Miller's, David Knox's, where we dined.  Family agreeable.  Mrs. Shelby, a widow planter, and sister of Mrs. Knox, present.  Went on to Ward's.  He lives in Louisville.  Overseer sick.  Crossed the lake to Dunbar's.  Dunbar sick.  Was recognized by an old Negro, who told me his name was Peyton, and that he had belonged to General Minor's estate, in Fredericksburg.  He is well pleased with his situation.  Has lost his wife and two children.  Went on to Fred Turnbull's.  The best improved place I have seen.  House neat but plain, furniture good, supper elegant.  Mr. Turnbull out electioneering.  Mrs. Turnbull, a fine woman, sensible, spirited, handsome, a good manager, a nullifier;[ 3]  has two sweet little daughters, Mary, about three years old, and Laura, under one year.  Their first got drowned as they were coming to settle at this place; the second died here afterwards.  Mrs. Turnbull generally stays here all summer.  Went up to Kentucky this summer, but returned home on 15th of August.  Has had no sickness in the white family, and only lost one black, and that an infant.  The plantations around here have been very sickly this summer.  Most of them have lost some slaves.  Turnbull and Johnson have lost none, and that may be fairly ascribed to difference of treatment.  Good houses and good nursing.  One planter in this county is said to have lost fifty slaves.  Major Miller lost a blacksmith worth $3,000, and several of his white mechanics are now laid up sick.  The crop of cotton is backward, and will be short, in consequence of a rainy season from June to August, which lasted forty-three days.  This is also said to have caused the unusual sickness.  Lake Washington is a beautiful sheet of water, fifteen miles long, one-half to one mile wide; believed to have been once the bed of the Mississippi.  Only discovered about ten or twelve years ago.  Thickly settled.  Land on the lake valued at $100 per acre.  That has been refused.  A railroad will be built from the lake to Princeton, five miles, and connected with a bank at Princeton; proposed capital, $500,000.  If that is granted, Princeton will become a flourishing and distinguished place.  The neighborhood will be wealthy, intelligent and refined, every way desirable.  Lodged at Turnbull's.  A Mr. Howell, a relation of the family, present.  Saw for the first time a Bowie Knife.  Five or six rose bushes in full bloom.  Saw the Pecan Tree for the first time; ate pecans; saw numerous flocks of paraquets.  The lake abounds in fish and wild fowl.  Much pleased with Mrs. Turnbull and all I see here.  Major T. says she is all woman.  Her maiden name Fitzpatrick; not one of your fainting ladies.  Children named Mary and Laura.  Saw an evergreen in the yard, which she called Laura Mundi; a good deal like myrtle, but much larger.  Setts, 25 cents.


Go to Page | Index | Cont. | 21     | Notes | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

The Diary of William Fairfax Gray, from Virginia to Texas, 1835-1837
Copyright 1997 William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas