m. ABT 1782
Facts and Events
Letter To Captain William Buchanan
Born 1787, Died 1846 Abingdon, Washington County, Virginia
From His Brother Andrew Buchanan Born 1783, Died 1868 Lincoln County, Tennessee - June 14, 1840
Your Son, Benjamin [Buchanan] talks of starting home in two or three days and I intend sending you a few lines by him and for that purpose I write this – the health of my family is tolerable, taken all together. My Wife [Bethia Lyne White Buchanan] complains more of weakness than formerly; and upon the whole her health can not be said to be good. Her age and all things considered, it is not to be expected that she could be a person of much strength; but her health is delicate even for a person of her age and habits. My health has been good as common for the last few years and to me it seems rather improving. I have great reason to be thankful for favors past, and I seldom suffer myself to be distressed on account of future prospects. Upon the whole I believe that I am as well satisfied with my situation in life as any other person with whom I am acquainted. This is, I am aware, saying much for my contentment.
Jane [Glenn Edmondson, Wife of Samuel Buchanan] is doing as well as might be expected and talked of going into your country with Benjamin; but she will not agree to leave her children behind. And if she should undertake to take them with her, she would find it a troublesome matter. She has considerable difficulty to encounter in her present way of living. But unless she can marry again satisfactorily (which by the way it would seem to me is not impossible), she had better keep house herself than try to live with any of her friends. The balance of your friends here, as far as I know, are well.
The season so far has been tolerable pretty forward as I think most people say it is backward. My wheat was full ripe and ready to cut a week ago. It is about a common crop, though not near equal to my last year’s crop. The army worm has injured my meadow very much, and I am satisfied they would not have left me a single stalk if I had not turned my hogs in. I let about 90 run in the meadow two weeks as well as I now recollect. They injured my rye so much and the wind has tousled it so much, that I have not cut more than half of it though there was not five acres of it.
My oats is very promising and forward enough to be coloring a little. My corn is of all sizes and description, from a finger’s length to the length of my shoulder; and where it has been well-worked looks well. My cotton is very indifferent as unlikely as I’ve ever had. I mention these things as much to show you how forward our crops are - golden chaff* and bearded wheat are not quite ready to cut but the early kinds of wheat is cut. We have had Irish potatoes fit for use three weeks, and very fine Timothy Grass** is in blossom not withstanding the injury the worms done it.
I received a letter from Hector Buchanan in Illinois this morning. He seems to be in fine spirits, and I am always pleased to hear from my relations when they seem pleased with the prospect before them. Somehow it so happens that I still entertain hopes that I shall yet see your country and my old friends and acquaintances there. But at present I see nothing that will probably lead me that way. But I know not what a few years may bring about; and although there are but few persons there that know anything about me or would be pleased to see me, yet there are still some people there that I very much desire to see and converse with. And what is strange even to myself, I should very much like to see my native land again. The old hills and mountains still have my best wishes. They are somehow or other so connected with the scenes of childhood and youth that I remember them with delight even now, although I have not remotest wish to reside there again. I have within the last few months been indulging myself with some fanciful notions about going to see Florida, but I think that it is not probable that I shall go.There is much said in this state about this time respecting the election of President. In this county each party claims to be gaining ground. Of course I presume the changes are few either way and within my knowledge there are but few changes. Anyway as for myself I am clearly and decidedly for Mr. [Martin] Van Buren. But I profess to go for measures and not for men.
I am opposed to chartering a United States Bank at this time because it must be a party measure, would of course be claimed by the party and must necessarily be brought into the field with whatever influence it might have to operate upon the people in future elections. Its means might be used to an extent that might even render it insolvent; and in that way it might injure the people besides the corrupting and demoralizing effect the use of such means would naturally have upon society.
The old United States Bank was mostly well conducted and anything that is honestly and correctly managed may have some beneficial results. But let it be dishonestly and wickedly managed, and the effects would astonish those who are most opposed to it. I believe as much in the honesty of the human heart as any man, but still we all must agree that there are dishonest men and they might get in and do us much harm. But why should I attempt to write about it when I am sure that I could not put down on a sheet of paper the objections that I have to it.
17th June - Since writing the above noting only one of my children, Mary, continues unwell though I am in hopes she is not dangerous.
I Am Very Respectfully