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Madison County, Virginia, now sheriff of Nachitoches Parish; living here seven years; married.  Said he remembered buying books of me when he was a boy.

Monday, January 25, 1836

Purchased a horse of Ramie Poipot, a French overseer, who could not read nor write, for $100.  Had to get him shod, which, with the procuring of equipments, kept me too late to reach Fort Jessup today, and as Mr. Thompson is going there tomorrow, waited for him.

Introduced to ----- Carter, of Albermarle, Va., who settled a plantation in Madison County, Mississippi, a few years ago, and sold out last spring.  He is just returned from an exploring trip above the Raft.  Says there are some fine lands in Claiborne Parish, which have just been surveyed, and some that have not been surveyed.  They are in small parcels, on high land, equal to the best Mississippi upland.  They are not thought of by speculators.

Carter is going back to Virginia, there to remain.

Tuesday, January 26, 1836

Left Natchitoches at 12 o'clock, in company with Lieutenant Blanchard, of the army, and his brother-in-law, Mr. Thompson.  Road very bad.  Passed in the route the Rio Hondo, somewhat famous in the history of this country as having once been considered the boundary line between the United States and Spain.  It is a narrow, insignificant stream.  Settlements on the road few, and paltry.  Reached Fort Jessup at 7 o'clock.  Found Larkin Smith well, who got me a good supper, one of the items of which was milk and homony, a feast that I had not enjoyed since leaving Virginia.  Visited by Capt. Walker, Capt. Thos. J. Harrison, Lt. McLeod, Lt. Eaton, Lt. Macrae.

Wednesday, January 27, 1836

Remained all day at the garrison, a very pleasant place.  It is situated on the highest land between the Red River and Sabine.  Soil sandy and dry; growth pine, with hickory, oak, etc.  Very healthy.  Everything appears to be conducted in good order in and about the place.  The gardens are very fine, abundance of fine vegetables, flowers now in bloom, peach trees in bloom; the vine grows well; fig trees very large, mulberries, etc.; each company has a garden.  Force consists of six companies, not now full; eight or ten of the officers are married.  Dined with Major Nelson, a son of Roger Nelson of Maryland; married a Widow Dexter, of Pennsylvania; has a step-daughter, Miss Dexter, very pretty, but has lost an eye.  Company: Mrs. Irving, the sister of Mrs. Nelson; Mr. and Mrs. Vail of Nachitoches; Lt. Smith and self.  Miss Vail, a niece of Mr. Vail, is sick in the house.  Paid a visit to Capt. Walker and Lt. Macrae.  In the evening went to a

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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