Archive for November 4th, 2011

February 27, 1881 – Letter from Andrew Jackson Rhea to son William F. “Dock” Rhea

November 4, 2011

Here’s the second, and last letter, that I have from A. J. Rhea to his son William F. “Dock” Rhea.  The letter is written from A. J.’s home in Ellejoy, Blount Count, Tennessee, to Arkansas.  When I first received these letters, I thought that they were written by the mother, Rebecca Johnson Rhea.  I was surprised to see that they were written by the father A. J. Rhea, because they seemed so full of melancholy and affection, and I did not attribute those emotions to him, although I know nothing of him except these letters and what I have found on

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The transcription of the letter follows the images.

Ellejoy, E. Tenn.

February 27, 1881

Dear Son and Dauter, it is with plasure that I seat my Self to ancer your kind letter that came to han safe and was gladly reseved  I was vere glad to here that you was all well this leves us all in moderate helth  accept Ma, her helth is not good  Well Dock I have nothing of much intrust to write you  Wee air not dooing vere much towards fairming Me and Jack has soaed 1200 casks of oats and wee air goind to Sow Clover one thee same our wheat looks fine  I am going to sow a fue more oats next Weak  I have got all fo that peace of groun between the barn and the lane cleared ok and I going to pit it in corn this yeare I cleared it my Self and it is fine  Wee have not mad ene garden yet.  Well Dock the recurnt A arued Jonc Sone of Willoum Johonson is marred to Jane Davis Crafes dautter  they air living at oll biler’s home  harmon is debt Sherf Magis Ben Cuningham is County Court Clerk  Well I would like very well to bee over there to helpe you and van (Dock’s son) kill them deere and turkey  I dont think that I would lose my cap (next word off the page) that is just as good a prufe as I want that you had the buck eager  Jack sais fo me to ask you if you new when you pulled the triger and if you air serten that you had the gun towords the deer  he wonts to no is you did not shake Jack wants you to know that Hettie had a Nother boy.

Mr. Jo Gambell Mats father has bin verer sick but is better  the relation on both sides is Well as far as I now  Huse Pickens is not well yet  Well Dock I have got frank yet holt has ofered me 115 dolers for his but he nor no othere man gets him for les than 125

Well Dock I ont you to Write mo and tell me how you air getting along and What kind of a boy you have got and What kind of Stock you have  pleas give me all the news that you can for it is A hepe of plasure for me to here from you  I got a letter from Jo he is Still working with Clark  he was well and semed to bee do verer well  his ofese is McKinney Colens Co Tex  Ma sas kiss thim childeren for her and me and dont let them forget us  Ma has a bout 20 henes and the have not laed nerey egg this winter  Wee have 18 hed of shepe and 35 lams  Wee have not mad ene garden yet  Wee have not brok a furo for corn yet  Jack sas write to him and he will kill you a bird  John Bolen tal Jo that you were offoing him 20 cts and he payed it and Jack sais that it was for them suspenders that he made you a presents of  Well I mus close for this tim  ples write some an dont delay  Your father and Mother / A. J. Rhea an Rebeca Rhea to W. F. Rhea an Mattie


Martha “Mattie” Gamble Rhea’s father was Josias Gamble, the sick person referred to as “Mr. Jo Gambell”.  He was my g-g-g-grandfather, and he died not long after this letter was written.

Jack is Andrew Jackson Rhea’s next-youngest son, Jackson B. Rhea.  The youngest son was Joseph W. Rhea, so I’ll have to do some research on him in Texas.

Now y’all go call your mother.