McLaurin's Correspondence Concerning Ned


Transcribed by Linda Durr Rudd

March 04, 1836

Dear Sir,

Your letter was received but not read in due time. It was taken out of the office by a namesake of mine who lives in the country. I am very much surprised at its contents. If the boy NED was unsound when I sold him, it certainly was not known to me nor to any person acquainted with him. That he had had the fever and ague is a fact which I told you of before you purchased him but that does not make a man unsound. We are all liable to fevers and when the fever is on delirium . If he has taken a disease which may prove dangerous in consequence of exposure on the journey or from any other cause I regret it very much, but I cannot think that I am to blame for it.

I do assure you, Sir, there was nothing about him which indicated unsoundness as far as my knowledge extended, nor was the least intimation of the existence of such a thing given me, by him or any other person.

If you had called at John C. McLaurin’s as you promised me you would, you might have got him and the other boy off your hands at a profit. I wrote him you would call and he was ready and anxious to buy them. You not stopping there was a disappointment to him as well as to me. I wished him to have them. He knew the negroes well. I shall be sorry if you lose by the purchase, but if you do, it cannot be my fault and I feel unwilling to pay for any accident that has happened to the boy (which lessens his value) since I departed with him.

I give you my word if he had been an unsound negro I never would have offered him for sale. If he was here today in the same condition as when he was taken away, he would bring more money then you paid for him.

I hope before this time that he has recovered his health and will do you good service.

Write me on receipt of this and let me know if the boy is getting better.

Respectfully yours,
J. M. McLaurin


McArn (Duncan) and Family Papers, Collection Number: Z/1487
Collection may be seen at the MS Dept. of History and Archives

Remembering Their Names