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here to look out for another place.  Says lands here are all too high, and repents having sold; says if he had it back he would not sell for $45.  Is acquainted with T. B. Adams and all his family; speaks highly of Adams.  (T. B. Adams bought his place for a Dr. Shepherd, of Richmond, Va.)

Sunday, Nov. 22, 1835

It rained all day, and we determined not to go on.  In the course of the day Dr. Clarkson and Arthur Payne called.  Cullen is a native of Snow Hill, in Maryland, and his wife of Louisa County, Virginia.  He first moved to Alabama and began planting.  Sold out to Steptoe Picket, and came to this place about five years ago.  Since then he says the whole settlement has changed owners except one other and himself.  The place that Dr. Clarkson has bought has been bought and sold four times in five years, the Doctor being the fourth.  He has refused $25 per acre for the place where he lives.  It was offered by A. Payne.

Monday, Nov. 23, 1835

Left Cullen's after breakfast, and we stopt in Manchester, at a tavern kept by a Frenchman, named Parisat, who, a few years ago riding in the stage to Clinton, the horses ran down a hill pretty fast, and he fancied they were running away and leaped out, hurt his ankle, and the Doctor who was called to him cut off his foot.  He goes on crutches, and keeps a very poor tavern; charges $3 per day for man and horse.  The roads are horribly bad from the recent rains, and everybody warns us against the swamps; they say they are impassable; that all the land hunters have come out.  This is discouraging, and we forebore making the attempt today.  Like my usual bad luck, left my bunch of keys at Cullen's; had to ride back for them, and stayed there all night; fare $1.25.

Tuesday, Nov. 24, 1835

Returned to Manchester after breakfast.  Cullen came with me; also Mr. Speed, who is on a negotiation for a plantation and Negroes with Dr. Dorsey and a Mr. Hughes, of Manchester, 640 acres, fourteen Negroes; offered for $30,000, one-third cash; balance in two equal annual payments.  I think Speed seems disposed to purchase, but wishes some modification of the payments.

The weather being fair and cold, and a likelihood of some days of fair weather, determined to attempt to cross the swamps and reach our land.  There is no ferry over the Yazoo at this place, but learning that a settler in the swamp had, a few days before, passed over some Negroes by means of a flat boat, kept at a saw mill a short distance above town, we applied for the same, and by a little coaxing succeeded in being put across, about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, for

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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