|Title||Letter Written by John B. O'Neill to his Cousin James T. O'Neill|
|Scope & Content||
Typewritten copy of a letter written by John Belton O'Neill, Springfield, GA, to his cousin James T. O'Neill, Fernandina, FL. The letter reads as follows:
Feb. 18th, 1848
To Mr. James T. O'Neill
My dear cousin: I reached home, on the 15th instant, from Charleston, where I had been since the 8th of January. On my return, I found your truly acceptable letter!
Your letter of the 26th October reached my residence during my absence on my Fall circuit, which together with the Court of Appeals occupied me, untill Christmas, and I suppose from my engagements during my short stay at home, I must have unintentionally omitted to answer it, although, until I received your last, I thought I had. Nothing would grieve me more than that our correspondence should cease. I have too few of my blood on this side of the Atlantic to forego any of them.
We are all well! We have passed the last season, with comparatively little sickness. I am rejoiced to hear that you and yours have also enjoyed good health. My father and mother are both pretty well. My father has been pretty feeble, but is now as well as he can be expected to be, ringing, as he is, the door of his 81st year! He has been for a month past very much engaged in questioning my wife's brother, who has just returned from Mexico, on his travels, the wonders he has seen, and so forth. You know from the week you spent with me, how much he is delighted to have someone to talk with. I think that the talk about Mexico has much improved him.
We have done badly in the cotton crop of the past year. Our provision crop has been short. We have generally the prospect of a good, small grain crop.
So far (and it is now nearly ended) we have had a mild, dry winter. Still vegetation scarcely shows itself. I am inclined to think we shall have a backward Spring.
I am sorry we have not as yet had the opportunity of visiting you. I still flatter myself that we may be able to see you and yours at New Hope!
I was truly glad to hear of the general health of our relations. I frequently hear from Mr. Jerry's household. through my friends from Newbury and Edgefield, who have settled in his neighborhood.
We spent, as you supposed, a pleasant month, in the mountains last summer. It was of signal benefit to Sarah and her children: She, they and Dr. Harrington, are all now in tolerable health, though the Dr. has now and then a turn of ague! He is a candidate for the Legislature, and his canvassing does not improve his health.
Our relations here are generally well.
Our Greenville Rail Road is now under way. contracts for the grading, bridging, etc., of the first 16 miles have been taken. I think we shall get the work accomplished! Our Legislators at the end of their term, (which was the case last winter) fear the top of popularity too much to do right.
I fear our Mexican war is far, very far from the end! Still I don't know what can be better than to occupy the country, and hold it, collect the revenue, etc., untill peace can be obtained. I don't approve of Mr. Calhoun's views. I think he and others who have harangued against the war, in Congress, will have the honor of making it almost interminable! The truth is, Mr. Calhoun, although a great man, is impractical. That, I think, does not originate with himself, he does not regard it right. We are, in the state, pretty generally in favor of General Taylor for the Presidency. We regard him as honest and patriotic, and in his success, we shall look forward to the breaking up of the Party cliques about Washington, which will be a great blessing.
Mrs. O'Neill, Sarah, my father, and Dr. Harrington unite with me in wishing to be remembered to you, Mrs. O'Neill, your children, and all our relatives.
Accept my best wishes.
John Belton O'Neill."
Note: A card that accompanies the letter indicates that the letter was loaned by Mrs. Isabelle Barnwell.
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O'Neill, James T.
O'Neill, John Belton
Greenville Rail Road
Politics & government