Gorham Sawyer to son Edward Gorham Sawyer
16 June 1860 and 7 January 1861
Written from Evelyn Plantation on the Altamaha River

 

Letter was donated for use on the Glynn County History & Genealogy website by Edward Stickney 2nd great-grandson of Gorham Sawyer.
Some spelling and punctuation have been changed to facilitate easier understanding.

 

Evelyn Plantation June 16, 1860

My Dear Son

          I received your letter of June 3 yesterday & was truly glad to hear that you have a good & affectionate wife.  A good wife my son is one of God's greatest blessings & you say three children, one named after your blessed Mother.  My son, your mother was one of the best of women.  You was too young to remember her.  Your mother & myself were married when we were but children.  Her loss ruined me for she was more of the man than I was.  I hope the child you have named after her will be like her.  I would very much like to see you & your family.  It would be a great pleasure.  My business keeps me very much confined.  It requires my whole attention.  I have 92 negroes on the plantation & my direction is always necessary.  I visit my fields twice a day during the working of the crop.  I have a small pony horse that I ride in the fields & two horses to ride from the plantation.  I live in the summer about five miles from the plantation on the sea shore.  In the winter time I have to thrash out the crop to ship to Charleston market.  I thrash out the crop with a steam mill & I am obliged to be present.  A negro engineer & I have to watch the water gauge in the boilers to prevent an explosion.  I only leave the mill long enough to get my meals when the mill is in operation.  I must try next winter to make a flying visit to look at you & your family & brother Nat.  I should like to see them all but they care nothing for me.  I should like to see my half sister.  You say she is married but you don't say to whom.  I wrote to Ben some years ago but he never answered my letter.  I have been in Charleston twice & could never learn where you was.  I was there last winter but I could hear nothing from you.  If you should see brother Nat say to him I should like to shake him by the hand once more before we leave this world.  Brother Joshua, you say nothing about him, is he living.  My son you shall have my daguerrotype the first time I go to Savannah.  I should like to have the likeness of you, your wife & children, nothing would give me more pleasure, seeing you all.  The owner of this plantation is T. Pinckney Huger of Charleston, S.C.  He is now in france.  He is seldom on the plantation.  He is very rich & always at traveling.  Last summer he was at Newport & Nahant.  He has nothing to do with the plantation, it is under my direction.  My salary is eight hundred dollars a year & whatever the plantation produces, horses & everything found.  Buggies to ride in.  Mr. Huger has another plantation on the Ogechee River near Savannah.  He expects to move the ??? onto this plantation.  When he does my salary will be raised.  There is one plantation on this river that pays the overseer (25.00) twenty five hundred dollars a year.  They work seven hundred negroes.  It belongs to Pierce Butler of Philadelphia.  I have been on this plantation so long and do as I please I should not like to leave this business & Mr. Huger would not consent to my leaving.  I must draw this letter to a close but I must request you to send me your daguerrotypes if it is not too much expense.  You must give your wife & children all the kisses you possibly can for me to say to them it is from your father & my son may your dear blessed Mother be your guiding star.  She was the flower of the Parkerson family.  She was too good for this earth.  I hope you look like her my son.  If your wife is to you, my son, what your mother was to me you must live happy.  Always be kind & good to your wife, my son, & you will always be happy.  Write as often as you can & your wife must write me.  I feel like I woke to a new existence.

Please except a father's blessings for
Your family My Son
Gorham Sawyer

[Received June 23rd, 1860 --Edward G. Sawyer]

 

 

Evelyn Plantation January 7, 1861, Darien Ga.

My Dear Son,

          I received your letter of Dec. 30th yesterday & was truly glad to hear that you received my likeness.  I am very anxious to see your likeness.  I think the best way for you to send yours will be by the post office.  Harndens express I think does not go farther than Savannah on this rout.  I think if you send it through the post office to the care of A.A. Deloome Esq. Post Master Darien.  He is an old friend of mine.  My wife was much pleased with my grandchildren writing and I am glad to see that you start early in teaching them.  My son you was born the last day of December 1829, in fact if my recollection leaves me right into January the first 1830.  I left Boston December 3rd 1829.  You was not born until I arrived at St. Augustine east Florida.  You was not even three months old when your mother arrived at St. Augustine, winter of 1830.  Your mothers name was Susannah Johnson, not Susan.  You was thirty years old the first of January, 1861.  I was born 25th May 1811.  I shall be fifty next May.  My wife did not wish you to call her mother.  She wished you to call her Carrie as I always call her.  She is always glad to hear from you & your family almost as I am.  She is perfectly delighted with my grandchildren's writing.  She wants to see them so much.  I am very busy now running my Steam Mill thrashing out my Rice Crop.  I have only shipped two cargoes of rice to Charleston as yet.  It will be soon time to prepare for planting again.  We commence planting the first of March and finish the middle of April.  I made about five thousand bushels of sweet potatoes last year.  We have a grand military parade at Brunswick tomorrow.  That is about 12 miles from here.  Our horse company turns out and has a parade & military band at night.  Our company is to be presented with a new flag of the state of Georgia by a young lady made with her own hands.  She is to make a speech to the cavalry.  She is the daughter of General Chas. Floyd.  Her father used to put a apple or orange on her mothers head at one hundred yards & put a rifle ball through the apple or orange.  Her mother could do the same to her father.  I never described the situation to you where I live.  My post office is in Darien but I live on the other side of the Altamaha River five miles from Darien by water.  I live in Glynn County & my post office is in McIntosh County because it is the nearest point.  Brunswick in Glynn County is 12 miles from my house by land.  When I go to Brunswick to go to Savannah or Charleston there is a regular line of Steamboats running to Florida or Savannah or Charleston.  There is but one steamboat that touches at Darien & a regular line of stages to Savannah but we always sail from Darien as it is our post office.  You mention in your letter of Gilbert.  I have not heard from Gilbert in 20 years.  You may say to brother Ben that he is like all the rest of my brothers he has forgotten that he ever had a brother by my name.  Henderson was the only one that ever wrote me a line.  Your little brother has sent a lock of his hair to his nieces as he cannot write yet but he can talk fast enough.  I thought Mrs. Adams oldest child was a girl named Frances.  What has become of your Uncle Bens children by his first wife he had a son named Franklin.  What has become of Henry Parkerson.  You have never mentioned him.  My Dear Son I must close this letter by requesting you to write as often as you can.  Carrie sends her love to your wife & requests you to kiss the children for her a thousand times & hopes she will have the pleasure of seeing you before long.  She also joins me in love to you as it is nine o'clock at night say good night all.

from your affectionate father
Gorham Sawyer

P.S. You must let the children write again.  Carrie wishes it.

 

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