Friday, January 01, 2010

Lonoke, Arkansas 1874


Interesting 4 pp. letter dated Lonoke, Arkansas, Jun 29 1874, from E. K. Purdy, who was with his relatives, to "Addie," his wife.

Lonoke AR, Jul 1 postmark, to Mrs. E. K. Purdy, Schoolcraft, Michigan. The letter reads, in part, as follows: "Ed & his mother are broke out in patches as large as peas all over & water is a stranger to their hides. They say it is chigger bites, but it is filthy skin (chiggers is a small insect about the size of these dots [has drawn a circle of dots]), but one has not troubled me yet ... Jul 1 ... Yesterday was Election Day and I was crowded with darkies, White & Black all day ... I did not enjoy the barbecue. I did not go near the grove that day. The day before I went to see the trenches & see how they barbecued the meat ... I saw two trenches dug in the row 4 feet wide [by] 100 feet long each & 40 or 50 darkies filling them with wood & burning to coals. Then there was laid on boards, meat, pork, mutton & some goat or kid meat, ready for laying on the coals in the trenches. N-----s [crude racial slur for African-American people] all around dressing sheep & young N----s running off with all the insides, that should be eaten by dogs. Yesterday Edgar came near being crippled for life. He was repairing a pistol that was loaded & carelessly fired it off, shooting of 2 barrels, blowing his eyes and face full of powder caps & today he cannot hardly see. I was at work near him, but fortunately for me, the balls went through the side of the house instead of my head. The editor [of the local paper] asked him what his initials was, as he was going to put him in his paper in regard to the shooting yesterday. I told England [the editor] his name was simply Edgar Purdy & not publish me as the one hurt, as it might cause trouble to my friends and others & cause me trouble & him the loss of one subscriber. So that ended. Just before that I went into a store & bought a file & was asked politely if I could settle my account. I said I have no account. Being being your name is E. K. Purdy, is it not? Yes that is my name, but I don't owe you anything. Well it is on the books [as] E. K. Purdy. I said Edgar Purdy is the person. So ended that ... [complains of lack of privacy] some of your last letters I have preserved by hiding them in my bed ... Edgar's eyes look bad ... [signed] 'E'."

This letter is for sale on ebay Item number: 260529457056

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