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in our day's journey.  Stopt at a Mr. Stamply's for the night.  Found here Mr. Steptoe Picket, formerly of F----- City, Va., now living in Alabama, near Huntsville.  He is on his return home, accompanied by a young gent named Geo. Wilkinson, of Huntsville.  Informed me that Dr. Clarkson and Arthur Payne had purchased on the road that we were travelling, and that we should pass by the Doctor's door.  Here we had a pretty good supper and breakfast, but bad lodging.  The house was crowded, and Hudgins and myself slept on the floor, very cold and comfortless.  Poor house, open and shabby; fare $1.25 for supper, lodging, horse and breakfast, which is a meal for self and horse better than at the rich Widow Chambers'.

Saturday, Nov. 21, 1835

Left Stamply's after an early breakfast.  The wind, which had for many days blown from the south and produced warm rains, last evening chopped around to north, and now threatened a steady north or northeast storm, cold, damp and cheerless.   Drew on an india rubber suit, and determined to reach Manchester tonight.  Passed several emigrating parties.  Some of them from this state, having sold out their farms here and going to Red River and to Texas.  One with whom I conversed, whose name was McKane,[ 2]  had a wife and five children along.  He was originally from Tennessee; had gone to Texas last winter; spent three months there; purchased land in Robertson's Colony on the Brazos; returned, sold his land in Tennessee at $9 per acre, and was now on his way out; would cross the Mississippi at Rodney and the Red River at Alexandria.  He says the cost of land in Texas is about $95 per square league from the Empresarios, and a fee to some one to find out a good location brings the whole cost to about $100 per league.  He was in high spirits, and spoke in glowing terms of the richness, salubrity and beauty of the country.

A little further on, came to Dr. Clarkson's settlement; found him hard at work putting up buildings for his Negroes.  He is much pleased with his purchase; has been lucky; has 1,200 acres, which he purchased of several persons at an average of $9; some cost him $20.  Arthur Payne has bought about two or three miles from him, on the south, at $12 per acre.  Stopping to talk with McKane and with Clarkson, I fell behind, and had to ride briskly to overtake Hudgins and our guide, who I found waiting for me at Cullen's, a public house six miles from Manchester.  It was now half past 3 o'clock, raining, with every prospect of a bad evening.  The accommodations in Manchester said to be bad, and we determined to rest here for the night.  Good accommodations, in a plain, coarse way.  Joined after dark by a Mr. John Speed, from Copia County, who has recently sold a farm that he had improved, for $15 per acre, and is come

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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