Locust Cottage Ark August 14th 1882
Mr David J Allen
My dear cousin David you will
pleas pardon me for not writing sooner, and
I will promis to do better in the future. I
was glad to hear from you. I thought perhaps
you was married, and did not care to write
to your cousin any more. well this leavs us
all as well as cousins. ma has not been in
good health for some time she is afflicted
with Rheumatism she is able to set up most
of the time, but cannot do much.
well crops are good, better than they have been
for two or three months years there will be
plenty of corn + cotton made this year
wheat and oats were fine.
I am going to school now. Brother Gabe is
Teaching the school, he has 25 pupils a
bad set two, it keeps him busy to keep
us strait. I wish you could be here some
Friday to hear us speak and spell (and help us play
Play Ball) I think you could afford to come
+ see us one time. I would be so glad to see
you I have heard so much about you
Well I am studying Grammar History
Geography + Philosophy. I am to precent +
Precentage in Arithmetic. I will have to stop
As I want to send this off to the office
Write soon to your cousin
I’ll post the rest of this letter as well as the envelop tomorrow. As the envelope is postmarked Toledo, Ark, I started looking around that area to help me figure out just what the word was before Cottage. I’m still not convinced it says Locust, but there is a Locust Cottage just north of Toledo, Ark on an 1883 map.
I haven’t found much on the McSwain family of Arkansas and how they got there. I believe Lizzie may be Martha Elizabeth McSwain who married a Charles E. Kendall and lived her life in Jefferson County, Arkansas. If I’ve found the right person, she’s the daughter of M. & Lucy McSwain. I haven’t researched the McSwain line at all and hope to find some of the McSwain family information in these Allen Papers as I continue moving through them.
This post is part of a series of transcriptions of letters, papers, receipts, and other ephemera that are held in the Smith Family Collection. All originals are held in this collection, unless otherwise stated.