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County, charged with shooting his assistant.  There seems to be no magistrate in Washington County before whom they could take him, and no jail in the county.  They took him before Chief Justice Sharkey, who committed him for trial.  Said to have been an unprovoked and atrocious murder.

Monday, Dec. 21, 1835

The weather being clear and cool, I started for Clinton; slept at Bridgeport, on the Big Black.  A Mr. -----, from Maryland, a lawyer, who has just come to the State and purchased a farm, was my bed-fellow.  Slept badly, much noise, children sick and crying, and house comfortless.  Bridgeport is a wretched and sickly place.

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 1835

Arrived at Clinton in forenoon.  Land sales going on; selling low; best lands said to be floated.  Rode with an old fellow who lived fourteen years on Deer Creek, who says the situations on the creek in the Bottom are more healthy than the Yazoo hills; his name is Armstrong.  He wants to buy a quarter section on the Yazoo.  A most praiseworthy moderation for a Mississippian.

Found here J. P. Corbin and Dr. W. N. Wellford.  Corbin has made an arrangement with a Mr. Davenport for the farm that Morson rented last year.  Morson has bought a few miles further from Clinton.  I fear Corbin has made a bad arrangement, but he seems much pleased.  Poor Dr. Wellford is in distress.  He has not purchased, and is in doubt what to do.  His Negroes are still in camp.  He has an unusual responsibility on his shoulders, and has no one at hand capable of advising.  I felt much sympathy for him, and endeavored to console and cheer him, while my own feelings almost choked my utterance.  We spoke of our prospects, and of our families, and mingled our tears together.  We have never been intimate; there is twenty years difference in our ages.  I have known him from a child.  He now seems to have thrown himself upon me as an old friend, and opened up all his heart.  I feel much drawn towards him, and will aid him if I can.  Paid twelve and a half cents for a glass of milk at supper.

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 1835

Fine, cold weather.  Ice is seen in puddles.  Attended the land sales.  Land went very low, from $1.25 to near $5; average, perhaps $2.  Three townships only sold.  A. G. McNutt the heaviest purchaser.

Met here Mr. Widgery, who had lived in Fredericksburg some years ago.  He now resides in Jackson, is a lawyer and justice of the peace; is well dressed and extremely handsome.  Dr. Thornton is also here; has hired out his hands, and not purchased.

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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