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3.02.03 A Letter from William Brunson (1754-1803) Written in 1796

Ray and Jean Brunson in their book Four Generations of Brunson and Allied Families (Lafayette, LA: Self-published: 1988), section VII give excerpts from William Brunson’s (1754-1803) correspondence. In 1796 he and his brother Daniel left South Carolina for Georgia. A short time after arriving, William wrote a letter back to South Carolina to his brother-in-law John Webb. It is obvious from the letters that William had left South Carolina in a hurry with no money and many debts. He wrote on April 4th, 1796 from Burke County, Georgia, the state capital:
Dear Brother

We got to this place yesterday the 2nd of the month without anything material happening to us. . . . In my hurry, I neglected settling with Mr. Montgomery but I am owing him for 4 weeks and a half work of a Negro wench spinning which you will please to have settled. My mother’s note to the Estate of Old Mr. Atkins is still unsettled. And I am owing a little for blankets.

Enclosed I send you an order on Mr. Robt. Malone for a cradle and tea kettle and I suppose. . . demand pay for the flower we borrowed from them which he say two handkerchief but I say but one and I suppose it might be nigh about 7 or 8 pound weight. But you will please not to pay for the flower until he qualifies to the weight, which is all that he can bring against me, and when he does that please to discount with him for one pound of sugar lent his wife at ˝ price it, and a blanket about half worn lent his wife when she carried her bed from my house after they were married. Price the blanket at six shillings. If he had not charged me with the flower and said it was between 25 and 30 weight, I never should have mentioned these articles, which I expect will be said was given to them. But if the flower is charged and he won’t discount the sugar and blanket, please to let me know and I will prove the account and send it to you and Squire Taylor for I never shall. . .

I must beg the favor of you and Squire Taylor to sue for all the small debts that come within a magistrate’s power. Immediately, and others likewise so as not to let any cost. . . if it can be avoided, and pay of all my debts as soon as it may be in your powers, and such of my debts as is not due if opportunity offer please to settle them as fast as you can if to advantage. And if you have any money collected that you could spare from demands against me, and you should have an opportunity to send it to me, please do it, for I find myself in need, as I brought but little with me. . .

Please to give my kind respect to Suckey and am with Sincere Regards your affectionate, Much Obliged, Hum[ble] Serv. William Brunson, Jun. N.S. Remember me to George and Betsey.
“Suckey” was William’s sister, the wife of John Webb to whom the letter was sent. George and Betsey were William’s brother and sister, the two youngest children of David and Elizabeth Brunson. The same letter also discussed the great economic things that William Brunson expected to happen at Louisville where the Georgia state capital had been moved. He wrote:
After we left Stateburg, tho we were detained one day on the way by the loss of horses, and we found provisions very scarce and dear on the way, we got but little corn under a dollar a bushel, and corn don’t appears to be plenty here but I expect we shall git a plenty a half a dollar and Bacon is . . .

Acadima. I propose to make tryal for one of the buildings. Daniel and myself purpose beginning a saw mill as soon as crops is a little of our hand, which is a very profitable thing I this country, as Louisville is drawing a great number of gentlemen and merchants from Savannah, Augusta, Midway many other parts of the country, the governor and all the public offices of the state is removed to it, there is also act for opening the navigation of Ogechia River, in short I think Louisville has the appearance of one of the thriving towns in any of the Southern states and the inhabitants in the neighborhood of it are getting rich fast. I am told it is wonderful to think what a quantity of money was brought . . . one or two hands made from fifty to seventy pounds. There is a prospect of great crops in this part of the country. But if the dry weather holds much longer, we will be a great deal hurt for there is some fields now headed. . .

We are all in tolerable good health at present and hope these may find you and family in good health, and I hope you will not fail to come out this fall to see us and the country likewise. I think if you do you will move to it.

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