Lafferty Letters

February 7, 1874

November 9, 2008

Corpus Christi
Feb 7, 1874
Mr A.G. Lafferty
Dear Son Your kind letter
of 7 of June has come safely to hand and you may be assured that it brought very serious thoughts to my mind.  to one more time look upon the handwriting of an absent son separated from me for 24 years- what desolation has time brought in that time  your letter finds me as well as could be expected for a man of my age

I have lately received two letters from your brother Burwell both came there in 15 days they gave a sad account of your connection that you left in the country.  They state that them two is all that is left of all the  connection all dead and gone- Dow, Martha, Jane, Matilda, Elvy, Sarah, Lauisa and Francis.

Burwell is married and has 3 children and two dead- Margaret is married and has 4 children they both live in Izard County Pineville Izard County Arkansas is their address, they write to me that they are all coming to Texas next fall-

your Uncle Binks and wife have long since been dead-

your Uncle Henderson has been dead about 4 years and his daughter Leusenda also,

i am living here all alone about 2 degrees south of New Orleans right by the bay where steam ships are arriving every day in the year –

about the first of the year I got in a fight with a man on my old place on White River and pretty well used him up so that together with my other troubles brought me to Texas I left Burwell all the farming tools three negros and the old farm on White River, the fight I got into was of such nature that I could not very well stay there without having to kill someone else–I tried hard to get the family to come with me to Texas but with all to no purpose so after remaining there about two years after the fight I pulled up my stakes and on the 9th day of January 1855 I set out for the land of bloodshed and strife and when I got here I felt ruined and disappointed and reckless-lived a wandering life had no friends did not try to get nor make a friend of no man- my rifle gun sixshooter and bowie knife was all the companions I wanted—

In 59 near the Rio Grand I fell in with a party of Comanchie Indians and got robbed of everything I had and was wounded so bad that I was cripple for 3 years and six months-I have the arrow spike that I carried all the time in my body yet and intend to keep it for an inheritance for those that come after me-

all western Texas is a healthy country but not much of a farming country the time has been when a man could live very ease here but not so now they have legislated the country into a hard fix though after all I think it is about the best country that I know of there is such variety of soil and climate that a man can pick almost any sort of place he may want either on the mountains or the bay,

Dear son I am so old that my hand trembles and I so get tired you will excuse my imperfections- I see by your letter that you are the father of 4 dear little children now my son you will realise what anxiety toil and sorrow by day and night a father goes through bringing up his children- the debt that a child owes his parents he can never repay – only to his children- as for my part I can say with a clear conscionse that my children was the great object that I wanted to live for and dreaded to die for–separate and apart from them the world holds but few charms for me consequently I look upon the whole toil and labor of life as being spent in vain as far as I am concerned, so we must look for a better
world that this for our reward.

Dear son write to me as long as I live-if I could give you a history of my life in this strange country it would be a large volume-I did not hear from Burwell nor none of my people for 12 yearsuntil lately so my son farewell for the present I am still your affectionate father now as when I use to rock you on my lap when a little boy.  No more at present but remain your aged father until death.

Lorenzo D. Lafferty

December 5, 1874

November 9, 2008

Letter (spelling is as was written) from Corpus Christi

Dec 5th 1874
Mr. A.G.Lafferty

Dear  Son
On the 5th of this month I returned home after weeks of travel through the country and found your letter of the 18th of Oct. and one from sweet little Lauisa M. of the same date my gratitude is profound for such tokens of kindness in my children scattered so great a distance from me

you will see by this that I am still in the land of the living and in good health for a man of my age-I also got a letter from your sister Margaret and her husband Mr. Charley E. Benbrooks they state that they have all give out moving to Texas this year they are all well now though Burwells family has had a great deal of sickness this past summer

it now looks like I must die off without being permitted to ever see one of my children in this life again quite a serious thought I have made up my mind to leave here in a few days and cast myself out upon the world without a shelter or a home, where I will find a resting place next I know not, situated as I am the wilderness and the plains afford me more satisfaction than the crowded city or the giddy multitude  if I live to settle again I will write to you at your present address.

Long years ago I procured lands in this county for any of my children that might want to emigrate here-it can rest where it is.

Dear son I will close my letter to you.

L.D. Lafferty

April 24, 1876

November 9, 2008

Golead, Golead County, Texas to A.G. Lafferty
Dear son
through the mercy of a kind providence I am still living and would like to hear from you one time more in this life, I have not written to you in over one year owning to having traveled nearly all that time have had no settled post office.

I have stopped here now and am farming my prospects now is fine but it looks like this draught is setting in and I may not make anything at last, my corn is about head hight and looks well-

Texas is a deplorable condition at this time bloodshed and murder has become so common that the laws of the land cannot put a stop to it-it looks like the country is bound to be lost -if this comes to hand please answer at once we have no lease on our lives and let us corespond while we live.

I have not heard from Arkansas in over a year- the report is in circulation that Burwell is killed by one of his brother in law I have written to him and also Margaret his sister but I can not get a line from them

hoping to hear from you soon I will close –my health is good for a man of my age.  do not neglect to write at once write long letters- so my son I now subscribe myself as your effectionate father until death.