This will be long, so bear with me.This is a copy of a letter that was given to my mother (who is 73) about 15 years ago when she started
doing research.Notice that the name is "Allan" but was with our relative's stuff (who is an ALLEN).Mama said that when she grew up, they did not go around the Allen's at all, and when she asked about it she was told more or less to leave it alone.....There are about 3 reasons that I have found that the families ostracized themselves.
#1 some of my Allen clan (from North GA, West Carolina's)sympathized with the Union and switched sides, #2 some married Native Americans, and #3 there were hard feelings over a contested will.Anyway, I am going to type this letter to see if anybody can make anything out of it.Most of it is legible.The parenthesis are mine:
My Dear Friend MattieRichmond VA
Mattie Burns WinnMarch 20th 1862
Edwin M. Winn Esgn
Allendale GAMy Dear Sir,
While I was in Banks (a County in GA)
I made a small account with you, and now that I am prepared to pay it, will feel obliged if you will transmit the amount by mail, in the shape of a stated account.I will either remit you the money by mail, or send it by some trusty person.My wife is now with me in Richmond and will remain some time.She arrived more than two weeks ago, and is in good health and spirits.I am under many obligations to you for your courtesy and Kindnesstoward her during my absence (war?), while she remained at Allandale.She is gratefully impressed with your readiness at all times to render those numerous acts of neighborly regard and accommodation, and your willingness to protect and contribute to the interests and happiness of my family during my absence, while others who were under much superior obligations to me, (family ???)treated them with cold neglect and indifference.I felt it my duty to let you know my appreciation of your actions and to express my thanks to you for it.Had she been surrounded with such neighbors as you and your family, she and my children would now be living at the nice little rural home in which I took so much pride and repose(sp?) which I expended so large a proportion of my scanty means.The place is to me, hallowed with prescious memories.Here, I first saw the light and was reared from helpless infancy to manhood.Here the ashes of my dear parents and brothers repose, and here I would have been pleased my family should have remained, til the Country is freed & I can again gather them to myself - I must confess that one of the principal attractions my beloved brother Robert, is gone forever.In vain will I look to see his place filled - He was a true brother, and every inch a man.The hand of Providence has fallen heavily upon me, but never, within my remembrance have I sustained such a blow, as that of his untimely death.I lost not only the best of brothers, but the best of friends.His heart and hand were always open to me.His heart to hear & feel and sympathetic with my wrongs and misfortunes, and his hand to help me.While he was a tenant of the old homestead the place was invested with a charm of which it is now bereft forever.And this desagates (sp?) nothing from his wife and dear little children who are not remindful of my regard for them and rencrasing (sp?) efforts and desire for their prosperity and happiness.Few men ever had such a brother.Among all mine, in my estimation he stood pre'eminent.In all our intercourse, since we arrived at the years of manhood, it is both my pride and pleasure to declare, that we never had a jar or disagreement.While we maintained the most renembarassed (sp?)intercourse on terms of perfect equality, his conduct and demeanor toward me was more like that of a dutiful son to a revered father.This produces in me a corresponding sentiment, which ever attended me as a sleepless monitor, and the consequence was, that I never offended or found fault with him.Not that he had no faults, but that mine were greater than his, and that his were such as alone spring from a true generous, and often too confiding heart.He had no base or sordid fault.No mean or dastardly act can be lain to his charge.He was ever true to his friends, and never succumbed basely to an enemy - for he had enemies - and who has not? But when his enemy made the proper amend, he was ever ready to extend the hand of friendship and to blot out the past.Malice and hatred never weakened in his breast - His resentments were open and manly.
You are no doubt better posted as to public affairs from the news papers inthatso(sp?) I could do wire I to try - I will say however, that the efforts of our Government for the defense of the Country are most energetic and will no doubt yield fruits that will make our people rejoice.The magnitude of the enemy's preparations for our subjugation is duly estimated, and the magnitude and means of defenses will be in proportion.Let the people, all who can rally to the Standard, and those who remain at home be cheerful and exercise full faith, for the day of deliverance will as surely come, as the sun shall set this evening.Make plenty of grain, and every thing to eat.Let cotton go to the winds - Wind up the distilleries, and when victory shall pes cle (sp?) upon our banner, then every vacation will resume its wanted sway, and we will drink in a glass of good domestic corn whisky, health to the brave defender of our Country and its external liberty, confusion to our enemies, and repose to the souls of the departed, whose lives have been laid down upon its altars - My wife joins me in kindest regards to Mrs. W & the family.I shall be pleased to get a line from you soon.Very truly,
Your friend, T. Allan
whew.If they were having family problems back then, no wonder nobody is saying anything now!!What do you make of this letter?