Landon Duncan (1786-1867)
Papers, 1814-37, n.d., Ms97-023
December 16, 1814. Letter from Landon Duncan to
"Respected Uncle Relations."
Giles County, Va
Respected Uncle & Relations
Having another opportunity of conveying a few lines to you for information I have reason to be thankful to divine providence for the blessing of health & welfare which we enjoy at this time which is as good as we could expect, I trust these broken sentences will also find you all enjoying those blessings with all their comfortable attendants I have nothing very interesting of a domestic or local nature_ and as it respects our foreign affairs we have more news than perhaps is good or profitable there appears a great deal of fuss about the war and this state had taken the most aggressive measures to prosecute the war the legislature of Virginia during the last session have passed a law_ that all free males over 18 and under 45 shall be classed & each class to contain 25 men & every class shall furnish one regular soldier for 5 years or during the war and shall pay all bounties & charges for the service of such regular soldier_ and not only so but the remaining 24 men shall be liable to be drafted as formerly for six months_ I have read the government of most all the motions that ever were upon earth. but never found a people going into despotism faster than the virginians, I see them possessed of more pride, Ambition and invention than any other State in the Union, a poor mans life will not in a short time will not be estimated as precious as a common hunters dog. Nay it is that already_ they have long sought to enlist by mens own free will, but now they are about to force men whether they will or not. Cannada has been looked at with a covetous eye and now ambition is inventing oppressive measures to take it by force of arms. England may no longer be despised for her press gangs nor france for her blood thirsty disposition. There was also a bill before the legislature for the purpose of taxing furr hats, boots Watches, and candles also riding horses. here is a despicable set of property to raise money from_ I think our Gentlemen are almost brought to their Wits end, had this bill passed into a law we could not have slept out on a rainy day without reminding the inclemency of the weather, we could not step our feet into the mud without remembering that our path was blocked up we should be obliged to pay for the time a day and we must set in darkness unless we pay tribute and we must Walk if we wish our speed on an errand not to be paid for_ I am sorry I cannot write all my reflections upon the various subjects that are exercised by as unworthy a person as myself our freedom is going fast I wish I could only enjoy the same blessings as were experienced ten years ago I have again undertaken to teach school, I am hired by four sponsible men who are to give me 200 dollars & board me for 12 months my school will be about 8 miles from home which renders it very unpleasant, but I shall hire a man to make my crop, and hire a girl to be with my wife. My present circumstance requires that I should go at some business that will turn me a penny_ for on the 17th of last month I had the misfortune to loss my old mare & now have to buy one next spring. I also have to buy any pork there are plentiful crops of corn made among us this season_ I made about 30 barrels_ I hear no account of the sale of Grain among us pork is 5 dollars per cnt. I have at this time 5 head of cattle & one sow. We have another fine daughter born on the 10th of Augt. whom we call Harriet. I bless the name of the most high we have lived together in the comforts of friendship and we have never wanted for bread nor other necessary support_ & so long as we both Keep our health I trust we shall live as common poor people_ I am in hopes you will not think hard of my not coming to see you all this fall, I have lost a great deal of time this summer I went a Journey in Augt. to Kanhaway and many other little trips preaching & marring people. I shall write all opportunities & hope you will not neglect to do so likewise. I now close my letter by subscribing myself your Affectionate kinsman.
Dec. 16th 1814
My Father mother & wife unite in their respects to you all and tell aunt Susannah I remember her favour by Br. Charles_ & when she is ready to come to live with me will endeavour to come after her perhaps some of us will come to see you next fall_
Back side of letter addressed to "Mr. Alamander Duncan, Stokes County, N. Carolina."
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