Smithfield Preston Foundation
Papers, 1784-1881, n.d., Ms1997-002
no date -- letter from Francis Preston to James McDowell
It is not from design to hurt your feelings that I've neglected to answer your letters, but I have been much engaged this week, being Court week and like to have been case in my suit with Dun, 9 jurors being against me & 3 for me, but I do not know what damages they were for. I must attend more particularly to this bussiness.
We were all well until three days forced out ago. Mrs. P was coming from her Mothers when Young Robert Preston overtook them in the stage got out and joined daughter Sally in the Gig, and very soon the horse took fright, runoff uphill the Gig and bruised both very much, tho no ---- broke. Sally is still in bed but in no danger, Robert walks about today and tomorrow I will send him home in the carriage if I can get two deaf horse who cannot hear her jaw crackers at which I presume my horse took alarm, for he was attack by a mad Bull to 'ther day and showed very little indication of alarm. Tell your mother that Sister Peggy is in bad health and has lost the sight of one of her eyes during & since her confinement by debility and it is strongly apprehended by the family it cannot be resolved.
I have heard nothing of Lewis, I directed ---- to keep out a secret watch, if any information is procured you shall hear of it and due ---- shall by taken for his capture.
Yes I lost my election, by a majority of 150 votes I suppose 100 of thun were bad ones. I find I am not popular any how, and my Brothers unfortunate affair had a most decided influence on me. All the lawyers were against me except Charles Johnson who is not popular. The judges report ---- of taking the ----, many aided him much as it was thot, it was a combination to put him down, & the people tho't he was entitled to is ---- a few. I dont know how it is, but really I am not as much mortified as on any previous occasion. The University of Virginia and the improvement of James River has gotten a decided enemy in Mr. Sharp as he has publicly declared in his speeches. He said he had no idea o squandering the public money for the wealthy in that way but if he could procure the appropriation of money to ---- Mountains and raise out valley, he would do it". I modestly (tho' he said malignantly) answered that the objection came from him with an ill grain, as the representation of his county was on the charity of other ---- in as much as it did not pay into the Treasury as much as was drain out by the county members, but his argument took. It was the fun of the ---- that he would take the Richmond maney from them and apply it to our uses here. He is an ignorant ---- politician, but has a little lawyer ----.
I intend ---- to Montgomery after ---- to get Maj. Edmundson to go on ---- and ---- to sell my Brothers lands, but will spend 4 or 5 days at Johnsons if you andy family can meet him there I will try to spend a few days at the Sweet Springs. My ---- still occasionally afflicts and I have severe head aches fall ---- daily so that I weigh now only 215lb when middle age weight was 272. I sleep well and eat tolerably with a ---- portion of spirits. I must get well for I have to work the ----. White & I ---- ----. I begin in Sept.
I sent for William & family the day before yesterday. Tell Maria to go to the Spring, ---- Cores: Taylor ---- not ---- ----- & I will try to ---- her 50 ---- $1100, but all of you are ---- my love.
Maria Preston of ---- is married to Mr. ---- and it is said very confidently that the old Lady is to Mary the father very shortly. All which is very ----. Young Caroline has a Suiter by the name of Duncan a Lawyer. Henrietta ---- for tunate there is a Louisville man here now who gives the ----.
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