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a habitation in a healthier and more desirable region, San Antonio, for instance, and leave this plantation in charge of an overseer.

Thursday, April 6, 1837

At Waller's. -- Mr. Waller had to go to Brazoria on business.  I remained to write some letters.

Wrote about loan to Geo. Hancock, Thos. D. Carneal, James F. Irwin, Lewis Whiteman, Paul Anderson, Jas. N. Morrison, James S. Brainder, recommending to them to send powers of attorney to represent them at the approaching session of Congress.

Had some interesting conversation with Mrs. Waller; she was a Miss Deshields, daughter of Captain Deshields of Northumberland, Virginia; married against her father's wishes.  Is estranged from her father and sister, Mrs. Boysie; has been six years in Texas; neither wrote to nor received a letter from father nor sister in all that time.  That is bad but I could not but sympathise with her.  Children's names -- Hiram, Edwin, Wm. Whoharton [sic], and Juliet.  They have had much trouble since they have been in the country.  She is now reconciled to it, but wants to go back to Virginia to see her connections once more.

Waller returned before night.  He says he once bought this place for 50 cents per acre; sold it for $1.25, and bought it back for $6; would not now take $25; works seventeen field hands, eleven of them able men.  Has 1,000 acres, 275 cleared in corn and cotton; calculates on 200 bales of cotton this year.  The soil is a stiff, chocolate colored alluvium.  Growth live oak, Spanish, etc., and cane.  Oyster Creek runs through it, a deep ravine, that looks as if it might once have been the bed of the Brazos, with now only a sluggish, unhealthy looking little bayou in it, the residence of alligators, etc.

The morning had indicated rain, wind from the south, cloudy and warm, a few slight showers.  In the course of the day the wind veered round to west, northwest and north, and before bedtime blew hard and cold; apprehensions of frost, which would kill all the young cotton.

Friday, April 7, 1837

At Waller's. -- The norther is up in earnest.  It is excessively cold, and the wind blowing a hurricane.  My fingers and toes ached excessively before I could get dressed.  Oh, these open houses!  What a people to live in such barns!  The log huts of the poor Negroes are more open than the log stables in Virginia, and some of them have no chimneys.  No wonder they sicken and die; the wonder is that any of them live.

Remained until after dinner, the wind blowing a hurricane all day.  At 3 o'clock

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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