Houston, Sam (1793-1863) Autograph Letter Signed, 8 January 1850. Eight page letter inscribed over four wove leaves (two bifolia) to Houston's cousin, Miss Narcissa B. Hamilton, old folds, some spots, 9 3/4 x 8 in.
"My Dear Cousin, I know that you suppose your letter has not reached me, or that I am a scamp, and do not intend to answer it. In both circumstances you would be wrong, for I assure you my dear Cousin, your letter afforded me the highest & surest gratification. Being, as you know, pertains it to our blood, purely clannish, it delights me to know, that others, as well as myself, feel all the kind emotions of regard and kindness. You will perceive from my hand writing, that the wound in my shoulder has affected my nerves. I thank kind Heaven it is not the effect of age, for in your recollection, you have not seen me in so fine health at this time. My habits being of the Father and Mother order for years past, have restored me all that, less care, and less prudence at one time had deprived me of. Since my union with my Dear Margaret my disposition, as well as my habits have changed, and new cares, with new pleasures, have included all that was useless and I am proud to say some things which were esteemed vicious. You would like your cousin, for she is intelligent, amiable, affectionate, and pious. You will as well of course suppose that she must love and the "weans" & myself a great deal! In the next place, you will desire to know how many there are? We have Master Sam, a lad in his seventh year, and his Mother says, "he is all just such as she would wish him to be." From this, you will suppose he resembles me. I think he does, in mind & person! Well then we have Nancy, in her fourth year, pretty much Houston only, that she is esteemed beautiful! Next comes Margaret Lea, now in her second year, said to be pretty, but resembles Sam, very much! In short we are greatly blessed in our children! I wish you could see them. You could see them, as [?] wish, as young Highlanders!
You see my dear cousin, I have given you the particulars, as far as we can count, and I can only say, that my dear wife wrote to me a long paragraph, in her last letter, on the subject of family names! How would you like this, or this, and this, or so, and so, are certain contingincies? If you are any part Yankee, you can "guess" the rest-- and if not, you are a Virginian, and I am sure, you understand "reckoning." Now my Dear Cousin, the presents were duly received, and announced to my wife, and by return mail, your letter will go to her, and tho she will be pleased greatly with the presents, she will be charmed, with your letter. I was in hopes that I could so arrange matters, as you to see you at Richmond, with the Bairnes, and indeed all the family. I will send to our wee Nannie the beautiful presents which you conferred to me. She will be delighted with the conceit, that a cousin has sent her a present that never saw her. But this will not always be the case. Cannot you, Cousin, extend your travels to Texas? We will all be rejoiced to see you there, and render you welcome to our rude, or rustic hospitality. I was rendered gloomy by your allusion to declining health, and your anticipation of no returning spring on earth. I hope it is no more than mere depression of spirits, which at times comes over us all. I pray, that [you] may long live, and be happy and that you may reap a rich reward of past and future usefulness. I know we cannot elude destiny, but must submit to its stern mandate. I nevertheless hope that your anticipations are not evidences that the decree has gone forth.
Could I have seen you, my Dear Cousin, when here last, I would have been gratified, and would have rejoiced, again in your society. I have seen ardent friends of yours here, and they sympathise in my regret.
You will not loose much by joining in the gayieties of the city this season, as I suppose tho I am not a competent judge, for I do not go to Theatres or Balls. I have attended a few Levees, and have found them extremely crowded. Indeed, they are more crowded than I have seen them, since the days of General Jackson! The demeanor of Mr. Fillmore & his family is very becoming, and makes the Levees agreeable. I see (as the saying is in Texas,) "the Ladies dress to Kill." It does seem to me that they dress badly to live! Mrs. Houston don't wear corsetts!!!
Cousin present my affectionate regards to all our dear relations,
Thy affection cousin, Sam Houston"
(Published in The Personal Correspondence of Sam Houston: 1848-1852, volume III.)
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