Sunday, May 25, 2008

North Carolina Letter from James Fordham 1898

Cadiz, Lenoir County, North Carolina
Sept. 30, 1898
J.D. Fordham

Dear Cousin:

Yours of September 20th to hand and contents noted. You did not say whether you were a son or daughter of Benjamin Fordham so I am at a loss to know how to address you. I am glad, however, to hear from one of Uncle Bill's family. This is the first letter I have ever read from any of his folks. I had a letter from Joel Fordham last spring and one from Cousin Benjamin Fordham. He is 80 years of age and son of old Uncle Benjamin. I appreciated his letter very much, indeed, and hope to hear from him again. I am a son of John Fordham. I have two brothers and three sisters living out of thirteen. We five constitute all except children and grandchildren which are right numerous. The Fordhams are very prolific stock as you are no doubt aware. My father married three times. His first wife had thirteen children, his next none, the third, my mother, had thirteen. I have thirteen living children myself and one of my living brothers C. C. Fordham, has had in all nineteen, several are dead. I have my third wife. My oldest brother has no children. He has his second wife.

Old Uncle Ben and Uncle Bill went to Georgia eighty or ninety years ago and a half brother Elias Fordham. He did not live long. He left two sons, Stephen and John. Stephen is yet living, John is dead. You no doubt know more about that than I do.

Excuse digression. Crops are poor in North Carolina, expecially cotton and the price shameful. Tobacco seems to be the coming crop, but it may be like cotton, boom a short time only.

My health is very poor, indeed. I am very nervous at times. I am sixty-seven years of age and can't live a great while at best. Hope to hear from you again at an early date. Tell me all about Old Uncle Bill's family and all others of the Fordham family that you know of. Accept my kindest regards to you and all the family or families.

Yours kindly,
A. J. Fordham, M.D.

This letter was written by Andrew Jackson Fordham (b. Jan 27, 1832 in Jones Co., NC d. May 19, 1906 in NC). The letter is obviously to his cousin, though I'm not sure what J.D. stands for. "Uncle Bill" I presume to be William Fordham (b. Apr 20,
1791). The Benjamin Fordham he refers to as being 80 years old would be Benjamin A. Fordham (b. Feb. 22, 1818 in Toomsboro, GA). There were at least six generations of sons named Benjamin Fordham. Andrew Jackson's brother C.C. that he refers to is Christopher Columbus Fordham. A.J. Fordham, as he said, was married three times. The first marriage was to Harriett Matilda Hammond, of which five kids resulted: Oscar, John Minnie, Frank, and Harriett. The second marriage was to Frances
Elizabeth Miller and resulted in 10 children: Walter, Albert, Montgomery, Ralph, Samuel, Beulah, Iola, Florence, Annie, and Hugh. The final marriage was to Carrie Pough and no children resulted.

Submitter: Jason McDaniel

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