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I left here for Clinton, which was the 11th, so the letter was on the road twenty-two days.

Neglected yesterday to note my singular luck, in finding a $10 note lying in the road a few miles from Clinton.  It is of the "Grand Gulf Rail Road & Banking Company," Let. A, No. 827, May 21, 1835.  J. C. Callender, Cashier; B. Hughes, President.

On the road from Clinton fell in with a Mr. Peebles, who lives in Attacapas; a sugar planter, just taking out a young wife.  Says the sugar crops have been bad for last five years.  Plenty of fine prairie lands yet to be entered, not taken owing to the scarcity of timber.


Just below Norconna lies Horn Lake, which connects with it by a slough, and there is a series of lakes -- a most beautiful country.

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 1835

It rained all night last night, but having cleared up today, we continued our preparations, and started from Vicksburg about 3 o'clock.  Still cloudy and threatening rain.  Overtaken by dark, and our guide mistaking his way, we got into the plantation of a Dr. Geo. Smith, formerly of Greenville County, Virginia.  The Doctor not at home.  Politely received by his wife, who was a Miss Avery.  In a little time the Doctor returned from Vicksburg, and with him a Mr. Davis,[ 1]  a planter and neighbor.  Our reception, hospitable and kind.  House plain and small, fare and lodging excellent.

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 1835

It rained hard all night, and continued to rain at intervals all day, and at the Doctor's pressing instance we remained all day.  The Doctor gave over the practice of medicine when he became a planter.  Occupies a very hilly plantation.  Makes about 150 bags cotton.  This year will not make more than 75.  Has a fine vegetable garden, and has the best fare that I have seen in Mississippi, except at F. Turnbull's, on Lake Washington, where the living was much the same.  Here I ate the first salt herring that I have seen in Mississippi.  The Doctor says he has a plenty of fine fish in a lake near to him, which connects with the Yazoo.

Thursday, Nov. 19, 1835

This morning the rain has ceased, but the weather still uncertain.  The Doctor pressed us to stay and take a hunt with him; we, however, thought we had imposed long enough on his kindness, and being anxious to get on, prepared to depart.  After breakfast, Mr. Davis rode up and said a deer had just crossed the road before him.  The Doctor, like a keen sportsman, called his dogs,

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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