Robert, Are these letters the same ones that Ruth Cupit has shared? I have corresponded with her about the content of some letters from Eli McGinty to his Uncle Thomas from TX. This Eli appears, from children's ages and such, to be our Eli McGinty. His parentage is sketchy but we know he was born in AR and we are not sure which of Joseph's son's is his father. We beleive he lived with Melissa and that he lived with another family when he was in his early teens.
He may be the son of Robert Newton, but he was born in 1855 and Robert and his wife do not show up on the 1860 census (hence, perhaps, he lived with Eli and Melissa. Family lore said he was oprhaned. In 1870 census he appears to live with an H.T. Bradford and thier family in Red Riverand has an estate of $500.