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
Please except a
father's blessings for
Your family My Son
[Received June 23rd,
1860 --Edward G. Sawyer]