Ballyvourniere June 19th, 1829
Well Dearest Mother!
our journey, with all its dangers and difficulties is at length happily over. Heaven be praised.--we arrived here this morning to breakfast, and I do assure you, beacon light was never hailed with more joy by tempest tossed seamen, than was the first peep of the log house by us. we have been resting, & looking round us all day, and it is now so late in the evening that I shall only be able to write a very few lines.
Francis has promised to send to Tallahassee, to- morrow for the letter we expect to receive from home, & as it is too far to send every day, this must be put in at the same time. --we had a very hard time from Augusta to Hartford. dreadful weather, horrid roads, poisonous water.
from Hartford here however, our journey has been quite prosper- -ous. we camped out only twice. both nights in the Georgia pine barrens, on high dry ground, & in beautiful weather, & so far from thinking it a hardship, we were quite delighted with the exchange from the filthy dens, we had been sleeping in. but for the saving of time we should not have gone to a house again.
we are all much thinner than when we left home, but we have borne our fatigue and hardships, much better upon the whole than could have been expected.- I was made very sick immediately after lea- -ving Augusta by the bad water, and suffered during the rest of the journey more than I can tell you, but for a few days past, indeed ever since we crossed the Occlocknee, & left the region of rotten lime stone, -- I have been much better. the complaint has left me, & I shall soon be strong again.
Mary was slightly affected by the water once for a few hours, & Jeff was one day sick. Nanny's child too was smartly in- -disposed, but the rest of the party were blessed with stomachs not to be affected even by hot rotten lime stone water. Elizabeth felt no ill effect from it, from first to last. I begin to think she is as strong as old Iron himself.
this is a very comfortable house of Francis's, roomy and airy, & quite good looking for a log pen. The floor of our loft (Mary's and mine) is not nailed down, and the seams gape rather more widely than is pleasant, but we have remedied the evil by spreading down your parlor carpet.
the house is on a little eminence, skirting the barrens, but with hammock enough round it for beauty & shade. the yard is fenced in, & nicely cleared up with only a few trees left standing; at the back of it is a fine crop of cotton growing & around the other three sides the most splen -did growth of forest trees I ever beheld. superb oaks covered with the long moss of this country which I cannot describe to you. I never imagined any thing so beautiful & so graceful.
I believe Francis had found everything going on as well as possible. this is a fine country I am sure, & worth the trouble of getting to. dear Mother, it strikes us all now as the perfect absurdity that we should ever have talked of this journey for you. you! I really believe Lucy could not have borne it. no one can, without personal experience form an idea of such an expedition as this. Bonaparte's Russian campaign could not have been harder upon a soldier, than this journey to a delicate woman. I am all impatience to have our building begun. if you do not come out immediately I hope Papa will write, or has
already written directions to Francis. I think it is very important for your comfort, that your own house should be ready for you.--we do not regard scuffling but a crowded log house would not do for you. dearest mother how I long for you arrival & how delighted I shall be to have a home once more--even if L. and myself fix in Tallahassee, we shall be with you some part of every week and I promise myself great pleasure in having once again a place of our own. Papa will be delighted with the lands here.
-- We lost our poor cow at last. after traveling so far and really improving on the way, she was unlucky enough to fall into a hole in passing one of the swamps, & was too much hurt that she did not live 24 hours after. we were very sorry for her. --the teams are in excellent order. -- all the servants are except William & he is much better. For ourselves -- Elizabeth & Mary are perfectly well & in excellent spirits -- Francis and Arthur the same, & the children perfectly delighted. I am mending & shall soon be strong again I hope.
God bless you dear Mother, & all of you my beloved ones. God only knows how entirely my happiness & my very existence is bound up with yours.
ever the same
Love to all friends in Lynchburg. -- tell Lucy to bring out a store of ink powders, quills and corset laces, & a supply pf good drawing paper, crayons & paints. these she must get from Richmond.