J.E. Deatherage's Voyage from Tennessee to the State of Texas
The following excerpts are from the 1852-55 diary of J.E. Deatherage, and have been graciously shared by Deatherage's descendant, C. C.
Taylor. J.E. Deatherage came to Texas from Tennessee through Bowie and Red River counties.
Thank you, C.C. Taylor, for allowing us to know more about your ancestor and the Red River Valley!
Having previously disposed of my lands and effects on Thursday, the 7th of October, 1852, having a beautiful fine morning, I started for the State of Texas
with my family, accompanied by James McCamy. We came about 9 miles to Mr. Jacob Ewings on Tennessee River and crossed one of our wagons over
Friday the 8th.
Early this morning we ferried the carriage and family over and proceeded on our way --fine morning. About 9 o'clock we ___ at Post Oak Springs. Here we
bought 100 pounds of flour -- @2.90, 10c worth of -- and a family Bible at $1.65, also -- skillet, lid, .30. We bid farewell to Mr. Ownes which proved to be
the last acquaintance we saw in the State of Tennessee. We proceeded a little way and got a horse shod, price .90. This evening we proceeded to ascend
Cumberland Mountain by a rugged and circuitous route. After gaining its summit we came a few miles and encamped for the night. Expenses of the day
Saturday the 9th.
We got on our way about 7 o'clock, at which time it commenced raining and continued to fall very fast until near sunset when we took up for the night at a
Mr. Brown's after traveling 10 and a half miles. Here we were kindly treated and entertained for the night. McCamy's mare had a bad spell of colic this
evening but by the use of turpentine she now appears well. The expenses of the day were for $1.37 1/2 for fodder --.35 making in the whole -- $1.72 1/2.
Sunday the 10th.
--ning the north winds blows -- we proceeded -- Journey until night, making about 14 miles. We encamped for the night and gave 25 cts for a dozen binds
of fodder. Expenses 25ct.
Monday the 11th
This morning is clear but foggy. After a pleasant day's travel we encamped for the night. The expenses of the day were for 40 binds of fodder. .90
Tuesday the 12th.
We again set out with a fine morning and proceeded on way. About 8 o'clock we arrived at the descent of the mountain. Here we were to leave the
highway portion of the country over which we had been traveling, along which the children amused themselves in gathering chestnuts and grapes. As we
descended a beautiful scene presented itself - high and projecting rocks, steep precipices - skirted our winding road, close by the side of which stood a
fine dwelling or mansion, and a beautiful summer house erected over some medical springs for the benefit of invalid visitors. We halted and tasted waters
which we found to be of different qualities, after which we descended the mountain. Here we passed -- gate, toll $1.00 -- proceeding onward we at length
arrived at Sparta, here we halted and dried some of our clothes. Here I went to the bank with some money payable at the place, for which I got the gold on
amount $185.00. We then proceeded on our way and arrived at Samuel Clenny's this evening. We bought 2 dozen binds of very good fodder for 30 cts.
This evening Cousin Clenny and some of his family -- is chilling. Expenses today $1.55.
Wednesday the 13th.
The morning is cloudy and misting a little rain. Having some repairing to do to our wagons wed did not set out until near 11 o'clock. After buying 2 1/2
bushels of old corn which cost us $1.00. We then set out and came to Rock Island Ferry, and paid 90 cts for ferriage. We came about 11 miles and
encamped near a Mr. Martin's. The evening is clear and cool. Expenses today were $1.90.
Thursday the 14th.
The morning is foggy and chilly. We got an early start this morning and continued our journey to Collins River where we forded. The water only came a
little above the -- tree. There was also a bridge over which most of the family walked. About 10 we arrived at McMinnville in Warren County. Here I
endeavored to change some money but failed. Here I bought 11 pounds of sugar for $1.00, a vial of cordial - .10, and continued our journey. In the
evening we forded the Barren Fork of Cline River, after which we found the country barren and thin, timbered mostly with black Jack and a little hillocks
were seen in abundance, made by the ants, teh largest of which appeared to be some 7 feet in diameter and 2 /2 feet high. There appears to be a great
deal of sickness in these parts, consisting of flues and typhoid fever. We saw coffins in one carriage going to receive their dead.
We came 19 1/2 miles today and encamped near a small stream called Barren Fork. The evening is clear and cool. We saw potato vines --- with last
night's frost. We gave 25 cts for -- binds of fodder. Expenses today were $1.35.
Friday the 15th.
This morning is cool with frost. We set out early. Our route lay over a smooth level part of the country, the soil light and thin until we arrived at the head of
Noah's Fork of Duck River. This little stream presented rather a singular appearance. We were going down what appeared to be the dry bed of a stream.
All at once water was seen issuing from the middle and either side of the bed. A short distance below, the water disappeared and sunk imperceptable, and
the bed was dry again. We traveled down this stream 10 or 12 miles. We found it alternately running and dry the whole route, and every few miles, mills
were seen running rapidly from its stream. The land along its banks became more fertile as we advanced. We finally crossed it on a high and tottering
bridge. We encamped for the night after trailing above 20 miles and spent for fodder 30 cts, for half bushel corn 20 cts, making the days expenses 50 cts.
Saturday the 16th.
Our route today lay over a rough lime stony section, but ornamented with beech and cedar groves. We crossed a creek called Wawtrace upon the bank of
which we crossed the Nashville rail road, under whose railing the telegraph passed. About 11 o'clock we arrived at Shelbyville. Here I bought 3 pounds of
brimstone for .30 cts. Leaving Shelbyville we again crossed the Duck River. This evening I bought 5 dozen of fodder for 50 cts and 1 bushel corn for 35
cts. We came 18 1/2 miles to day and spent $1.15.
Sunday the 17th.
We did not start until late. Our route for the most part like that of yesterday was over a rough limestony section abounding in cedar and in winter or wet
weather must be tremendous muddy. We took the route to Lewisberg then turning to the left, we came to Conerville ager which we came about 2 miles and
encamped near the creek or stream on which Lewisberg is situated. We came 15 miles today and spent for 1 bushel of corn -- 30 cts.
Monday the 18th.
We sout out early and found our road a little better today than yesterday. We found the timber on our route very heavy. I observed one poplar stump that
appeared to be abut 8 feet across. We made our way for Linnville, Giles County, after leaving which, we left the pike road and came a mile and a half, and
encamped for the night, after traveling about 19 miles. Our expenses were for 2 doz fodder, 25 cts. 1 bushel corn 40 cts, one coffee pot 40 cts, and
making in all $1.05.
Tuesday the 19th.
We set out early but Alfred was taken sick with violent pains and spasms. We halted about half and hour. We gave him pills and cordial which proved
ineffectual. I then applied spirits of turpentine on the place where the most severe pain was seated, after which it seemed to relax and quiet down, the then
We continued our journey over a very rough road to Campbellsville. Here I effected the exchange of a small amount of money. After passing
Campbellsville we soon began to ascend the hills called Weakly Hills, the summit of which we found to be the poorest and weakliest country, sure enough
that I ever saw. There was neither good timer, good water, nor good land. It very much resembles Cumberland Mountain but not near as fertile. As we
descended these hills we came to the pike road and telegraph wires leading from Nashville to New Orleans. We traveled it for a short distance. We then
turned to the right for Waynsborough. We encamped for the night after traveling 21 miles and spending 35 cts for 2 dozen fodder. Alfred appears better
this evening. We met a family today, going back from Texas, giving a very bad account of the country. The expenses today were 35 cts.
Wednesday the 20th. We set out early this morning and still found the country level and poor, the growth scrubby, and the water scarce. After traveling
some distance we came to the stage road and the telegraph line. The road was extremely dusty. In the evening we descended the last of the Weakly Hills,
toward the feet of which we came to a beautiful cool spring to eat a little, and then continued to descend down a rough hollow into a deep valley in which is
a considerable furnace for moulding castings. We encamped tonight 1 mile from Waynesborough after traveling 25 miles and spending $1.20 for pikage
(there being 3 gates), for corn .50 cts, 2 dozen fodder 50 cts making $2.20.
Our start was rather late this morning. We came 1 mile to Waynsborough. Here I bought half pound soda for 10 cts, but failed to make any exchange of
money. Our route today, for the most part lay over a rough section, the greater of which was down Hardin's Creek, which, like Noah's fork on Duck River
had the power of invisibility, or that of appearing and disappearing. One prong of this stream issues form a cave or cliff of rocks. As we came down this
stream we found its bottom narrow but level, rich and fertile, and containing some handsome farms. McCamy's mare had another spell of colick today, but
by rubbing spirits of turpentine on her breast and sides she was relieved. We encamped near Indian Creek after traveling 17 1/2 miles, and spending 10
cts for soda, for 1 bushel corn 40 cts, 2 dozen fodder 40 cts, making the whole 90 cts.
We resumed our Journey this morning. We passed Turkey Creek, and also Horse Creek. It is a large and beautiful stream. We at length arrived at
Savannah on Tennessee River. Here I bought a small catfish for a dime and a gallon of whisky for 40 cents. We then crossed the river, ferriage $2.00 and
traveled some miles further and encamped for the night, distance 19 miles. We bought a bushel of corn for 40 cts, 2 dozen fodder 40 cts. Expenses of the
day were $3.30.
We set out early and came through the town of Purdy. We saw a fine mare lying by the road this morning that had died a day or so back. She had been
the property of some movers. Our route today was over a rolling sandy country. The staples of which appears to be cotton. Our expenses today were for 2
bushels Irish potatoes, 80 cts, for 2 bushels of corn 60 cts, 3 doz fodder 50 cts making the whole $1.90.
We set out early this morning and passed some movers in their encampment, going to Texas. We had met a family coming back from Texas giving it a very
bad name indeed. They say there is everything there that will kill a man, but still we daily hear encouraging news. We crossed Hatchey River today,
ferriage $1.00. In going up the bottom we saw cypress knees and cypress trees in abundance. This evening we passed a family by the name of Clarke,
encamped and keeping the Sabbath and resting. We passed through the town of Boliver this evening and came a mile and a half and encamped for the
night, where we got 2 dozen binds of fodder, 50 cts. We came 23 miles today. Expenses were $1.50.
After leaving our encampment we traveled but a short distance until we crossed a fine stream on which was a fine mill. The most striking feature of today
was vast cotton fields and droves of negroes busily employed in picking out cotton. Today Mr. Clarke overtook us and we traveled together. This evening
we passed the camp of a man coming back from Texas and giving a very bad account of the country. We came about 22 miles today and encamped near
Summerville. It is raining now for the second time since we started. Our expenses for today were for half bushel corn 25 cts doz and half fodder 35 cts ---
With a cloudy morning we set out and arrived at Summerville about 9 o'clock but were detained some time waiting for the bank to open in order to make
some exchanges of money, after which we resumed our journey. Our route today was through a very good portion of the State, beautiful mansions and
large cotton fields were nearly constantly in view, but water is scarce. We traveled about 15 miles today without seeing any running water and we are now
camped without seeing any yet. Mr. Clarke had 2 young men with him and today another has joined him. The road appears to be literally lined with cotton
wagons going to and from Memphis. We made 17 miles today and spent for 5 pounds crush sugar, 50 cts, redding comb 10 cts, paper of pins 10 cts,
bushel of corn 40 cts, 2 dozen fodder 40 cts, making in the whole $1.50.
Wednesday the 27th.
We set out early. About 11 o'clock it rained very fast making the road very muddy. We supposed that we saw 300 wagons on the road today, being hardly
ever out of sight of a wagon loaded with cotton for Memphis. Cotton grows fine in this section, but it is a very dry country. We have traveled about 30 miles
without seeing a running stream. We passed a steam saw mill and also a grist mill. we came through Raleigh. Today we crossed Wolf River on a bridge
some 300 yards wide. We encamped 1 mile east of Memphis. It is thought there are 50 wagons on the ground tonight, mostly cotton wagons. We came
about 23 miles today and I spent $1.05 for pikage at three gates; for 1 bushel corn 50 cts, for 2 1/2 dozen fodder 65 cts, keg of tar 50 cts, making in the
Thursday the 28th.
We left our encampment early and soon found ourselves in the city of Memphis. This place reminds me very much of Bunyan's description of the town of
Vanity Fair, the town was alive with cotton wagons and the bank of the river nearly covered with their bales, and it was difficult for us to pass for the
multitude. When we halted we were accosted on every side - hand by merchants pointing out and recommending their stores, and peddlers of various
articles consisting of bread fruit rarities and toys and vanities and Jeweleries fancies and and. I was frequently seized by the arm and attempted to be led
into their different stores all eager to sell and each contending that he had the cheapest and best articles. I here effected the exchange of some money,
some at one, and some at one and a half per cent. I bought a cloth coat of fine quality for 7 dollars. I also bought groceries for our journey, consisting of
flour, bacon, sugar, molasses, coffee, costing in the whole $18.50. I also bought a revolver at $10.00. We then crossed the river in a steam boat, which
cost us $5.75. We then came on and passes 2 toll gates which cost $2.25. We now began to see the effects of the Arkansas shaving machines [toll gate].
We came about 11 miles from the river and camped in a wet bottom which is very disagreeable, having been raining ever since 9 o'clock. We bought 1
bushel corn for 50 cts and 2 dozen fodder for 60 cts. We spent in the whole $37.60.
Friday the 29th.
After a tremendous night of wind and rain, we set out over a muddy and watery road. We crossed Black Fish lake today and paid $2.40 for ferriage. We
fond a Georgian wagon mired in the mud this morning and hitched our horse to it and drew it out for him and then went on. We camped this evening near
the edge of the swamp. We gave 75 cents for a bushel of corn and 80 cts for dozen and half of fodder. Expenses of the day were $3.95. This evening a
great many wagons came up, among them our Georgian.
Satruday the 30th.
We set out this morning to cross the famous Mississippi swamps. We had not gone far until wagon after wagon began to sink in the mire. Here were
distressing scenes, horses and wagons sinking in mud and water, and women and children in them, and some of them from one to three hundred yards
from dry land. Here were fine ladies seen alighting out of their wagons into mud and water, remarking they never had done the like before, also weak and
delicate men wading and rolling at the wagon wheels, expressing their fears as to the result, but necessity is a strong law. Among the rest, my four horse
wagon sank, but our Georgian discovering it he ran out and gathered a company and rolled it out, showing a good turn is never lost if even done to a dog.
This swamp is indescribable. It is a vast level of 30 odd miles across at this time mostly covered with water consisting of lakes, bayous, lagoons and cane
brakes and nearly without inhabitants.
In the evening a young man came up with us riding on horseback, expressing great pleasure at finding us for he had concluded he would have to lay out
by himself. When we arrived at camp he proved to be an acquaintance of McCamy. My wagons and some Kentuckians got separated from the main body
of movers and finally worked our way through. Some places the water ran into our wagon beds.
We, however, got to the main road and dry land about sunset, and encamped near a Mr. Smith's at Shellfish Lake. The news of dry land gave great joy
the company. We were all wearied and wet. We came 7 miles today. This evening we got 2 bushels of corn for $1.00 but got no fodder. We however fed
the husks to our horses, of which they were very fond. Expenses of the day $1.50.
Sunday the 31st.
This morning is a little cool and clearing away. We are going to rest today and wait for the byoe to run down, so we can cross it. They are taking wagons
over the byoe on two canoes. Some of the company had to stay all night in a lagoon far from land, some in wagosn adn some on logs without anything for
themselves or horses.
Expenses today were for 1 bushel of corn .75.
Monday, Nov. 1st.
We set out early and ferried our plunder and the family over the byoe and forded the wagons and horses, and then proceeded on our way over a very
muddy road. We at length arrived at St. Francis River on the banks of which we found dry land, which is an end to the swamp, which gave general
satisfaction, and even little Growler partook of the general joy, which he manifested by frisking and skipping about at a great rate. We then ferried over
and paid $2.00 We bought 5 cts worth of lead, and then continued our journey until night. We bought 1 bushel of corn, 50 cts, 2 dozen binds fodder, 70
cts. We came about 10 miles and spent $3.30.
We got a late start but having a good road we came 21 miles. We passed the Langee toll bridge and paid $3.00. We also passed another at which we paid
$2.20. 1 bushel corn 50 cts.
Two of our company went out and killed 3 squirrels and wounded a fawn. We bought some fine watermelons today. Expenses of the day were $5.70.
Wednesday the 3rd.
We set out again over the same level country. Small prairies began to make their appearance. We had some very bad mud holes to encounter today. Our
hunters killed some squirrels today. We bought one and half bushels of corn for 60 cts and three and half dozen fodder for $1.00 making in the whole
Thursday the 4th.
We bought 1 bushel of corn and 2 dozen of fodder this morning for $1.00, after which we set out. Last night was rainy and the morning threatens rain. We
crossed White River about 12 o'clock, ferriage $2.00. Here we had very bad mud for 4 miles. We then came to a byoe ferriage. Was $2.20 again. We now
ascended a ridge and encamped for the night. It is raining very fast, and we have to cut brush to make our beds upon. We traveled about 17 miles and
Friday the 5th.
We bought one bushel of corn and a dozen of fodder for 80 cts, after which we set out and came 2 1/2 miles and struck the grand prairie which we found
mostly covered with water from last night's rain. We found one sluice that ran into the wagon beds. We made 24 miles today and spent 80 cts.
Saturday the 6th.
This morning is cloudy and cool. We set out and after traveling about 7 miles we got through the prairie which is 30 miles wide. We came three or four
miles further and halted and camped to dry our things that got wet in crossing the sluice yesterday. We bought 2 bushels of corn 2 1/2 dozen of fodder
and 1 bushel Irish potatoes, costing the whole $1.35.
Sunday the 7th.
This morning was fine and pleasant. We are resting today. Our corn and fodder cost $1.00.
Monday the 8th.
We set out early and found the country as usual flat and poor. We passed another Arkansas shaving machine today [toll gate] which cost $1.00. We
encamped for the night one mile east of Little Rock. We bought 2 bushels meal for $1.00. Expenses today were $2.00.
Tuesday the 9th.
We set out very early this morning aiming to cross the river before the crowd came up, but we found some on the bank a waiting and we were detained
some time, but finally got over about 11 o'clock, and came into Little Rock. Here I bought some bacon at 14 cts per pound and sugar at 8 cts and various
other articles costing $24.00. Here I found $110.00 in the back pocket of my pocket book that I had placed there when in Memphis and had forgotten it
and supposed it to be gone. The surprise was very agreeable indeed. We then continued our journey and found the country hilly, piny, and poor, and
rocky, but the water more clear and pure, and plenty. We saw a spring yesterday, the first we had seen in 13 days. One of our company found a fiddle this
morning laying in the road and the boys are now amusing themselves with it. We only came about 10 miles today. We bought 1 bushel corn and dozen
and a half of fodder for $1.02 1/2. Expenses today were $25.02.
Wednesday the 10th.
We set out early. Our route lay over a sandy section, but the water appears more pure than any we have hitherto seen in the State. We came through
Benton today. Here I bought a hand saw, curry comb and soda amounting to $2.30. The inducement to buy was to get my money changed. We bought 2
bushels of corn for 80 cts and 2 1/2 dozen of fodder for 62 1/2 cts. McCamy appears unwell this evening. Expenses were $3.721/2.
Thursday the 11th.
We had a rainy day but the evening is clearing away. The quantity of pine increases. The range appears better today. We came about 6 miles and the
road forked, and here friend Clarke took the left hand, having concluded to stop in Arkansas. He has proved an agreeable companion. We then came to
Rockport. Here I bought some gingerbread to please the children. We then came to the Wahatau. Here we got half bushel corn for 20 cts and then
crossed the river. Our ferriage was only $1.75, the lowest we had in this State. Expenses of the day were $2.05.
Friday the 12th.
After nailing a shoe on one of our horses, and buying a bushel fo corn we set out. The land appears a little better today. We bought a bushel of sweet
potatoes today for 30 cts, the first that has been offered to us at that price in Arkansas. This evening we bought some pork salted, at 6 cts per pound. We
came and forded the Caddo River. We encamped for the night after spending $1.55.
Saturday the 13th.
We set out up the Caddo. This morning we passed a splendid farm, the best we saw in the State. After leaving the bottom, the country resumed its usual
thin appearance. We encamped for the night about 3 miles from Antwine, after traveling about 20 miles and spending for one bushel corn 40 cts and 2
dozen of fodder 60 cts, making $1.00.
Sunday the 14th.
We concluded to resume our Journey this morning fearing rain to raise the waters. After traveling 3 miles we came to Antwine River and forded it. We
found it a fine little stream. A short distance from which we turned to the right and continued on our way. We crossed Wolf Creek, a very beautiful and
large creek. We came about 20 miles today and spent for a bushel and half of corn 60 cts, 1 dozen fodder 35 cts, making 95 cts.
Monday the 15th.
After buying 2 1/2 bushels of corn for $1.00 we set out and forded little Missouri River and also some fine creeks. McCamy's mare had another spell of
colick today which detained us for some time. We, however, made about 17 miles. We bought 2 dozen of fodder for 50 cts. Expenses of the day were
Tuesday the 16th.
The morning was cloudy and threatening rain and the evening is still cloudy and thundering. We had a bad road today along the Sabine bottom. We
encmaped about 6 miles from Little River. We came about 25 miles today. Having corn and fodder we spent nothing.
Wednesday the 17th.
Last night was a wet night and the morning is still rainy. We came through Little River bottom and found it better than we expected. We ferried Little River
and paid $2.50. We bought 2 1/2 bushels of corn but got no fodder. We encamped 16 miles from Red River after traveling 20 odd miles and spending
Thursday the 18th.
The morning was cool and cloudy and has felt like snow all day. We had a very bad road today through Red River bottoms, in fact the most of our route
today lay over bad road. The first was black stiff mud and across the walnut byo then across the prairie and then through Red River swamps. We then
turned up Red River. Here we had good road along the bank. The land is very rich and red, the water of the river being of the same color. The cane is
tremendous thick and high along the road. After crossing the river, we found one of the most beautiful farms I ever saw, the soil having the same red cast.
We came half a mile to a spring on our right and encamped for the night on Texas soil, which I cannot help reflecting, was but a few years back, the
property of a foreign power. We came 17 miles today and spent for ferriage, corn and fodder $4.10.
Friday the 19th.
This morning is cool and frosty with ice. We did not start very early this morning. I took my gun and went ahead of the wagons this morning and wounded a
very fine deer, but did not get it. We passed some fine farms today. But the country for the most part was thin and the growth Post Oak and Black Jack.
We came 16 miles today and spent for half a bushel of meal 30 cts, 1 bushel corn 50 cts, for dozen and half fodder 60 cts, 1 bushel potatoes 40 cts, all
This morning threatens rain. After traveling some time we came to the prairie which appears rich and fertile.
We at length arrived in Clarksville, in Red River County. This is a beautiful and flourishing little town in which is a considerable trade carried on, around
which the ground is very rich and fertile. Here I bought provisions for our Journey and other articles amounting to $10.35.
Sunday the 21st.
It is raining this morning after a dreadful night's rain. Towards 12 o'clock it ceased raining. We obtained liberty to go into a comfortable school house which
we now occupy in drying our beds which got very wet last night by water running under our tents. We spent today for 1 bushel corn 40 cts.
Monday the 22nd.
The morning is cool and fairing off. We set out as usual and found our road very muddy. We only came about 16 miles today and spent for 1 bushel corn
40 cts, 2 dozen fodder 80 cts, $1.20.
Tuesday the 23rd.
This morning is cloudy. We arrived at Paris in Lamar County about 2 in the evening. Here we bought 1 bushel meal for 60 cts. We then continued our
Journey to the edge of the prairie. Here we killed two prairie hens. We came about 5 miles further in the prairie to Mr. Morgan's and bought wood to make
a fire, for 40 cts, and 1 bushel of corn for 50 cts. Expenses today were $1.50.
Wednesday the 24th.
We had a disagreeable night last night with a storm of wind and rain that came and blew down once side of our tent, and it was with considerable difficulty
that we kept it from falling. We, however, got very wet. We then got into the wagons and continued until day. The morning is foggy and cloudy. A bit after
feasting on our hens, we set out over the prairie which is 20 miles across. The road being muddy we traveled very slow. In the evening, one of our wagons
mired down and we had to unload, after which the horses drew it out. We then came on to Honey Grove and bought a bushel and a half of corn and dozen
of fodder for $1.05. We encamped for the night. We killed three hens this evening. We bought 2 dozen more fodder for 50 cts. Expenses for today were
Thursday the 25th.
Last night the sun set clear and this morning it is raining and snowing. Our route, as usual was muddy and tiresome. After traveling 12 miles we arrived at
Bonham in Fannin County, which appears to be in a growing and flourishing condition. Here I bought 3 pounds of sugar for 50 cts. We came 5 miles
further and encamped for the night. We bought 1 bushel of corn and dozen of fodder for 75 cts. The ground today was mostly rich and thin of timber.
Expenses today were $1.35.
Friday the 26th.
The morning was cool. We set out over the prairie as usual. We saw two wolves this morning across the road before us. About 8 in the evening we came
to Kentucky Town at Pilot Grove. This is a most beautiful place indeed. After halting a while we came to a Bing Newton's and halted a while to look at the
On Sunday, I went and found friend John Furgason.
On Monday he went with me to rent land, in which we failed. I still endeavored to rent, but still failed for some several days. Time after time was I
disappointed by some breaking their word. I then endeavored to buy. I, at last, bargained for a very beautiful place and the day was set to run it out, but
the man broke his promise and sold it to another man, consequently I am as yet without a place this 19th day of December, a lapse of 19 days.
In a few days after the above note I purchased another survey on Pilot Grove Creek for which I paid $600 in gold and $300 in a wagon and mare, making
in the whole $900. I went to building and got a house raised ready to cover and was making boards when I received a note from James P. Dumes notifying
me that he claimed the land.
I will here remark that he was with the man that I bought the land from [Charles Carter] the night before the land was run out and paid for, he also passed
frequently, but never let me know he claimed the land until I raised my house. He was the same man that interfered and caused me to lose the first piece
of land. I went to see Carter in Sherman, but could not get my money back again, and he is insolvent. I found Mr. Dumas in Sherman. He made professions
of fairness. I then asked him if he would lift his file by me paying him for all his trouble and expense. He insulted me by saying he reckoned I wanted him to
give it to me and said he had rather give it to me at once.
Carter then proposed to give me another section buying on the Cedar branch of Choctaw which I accepted with great hesitancy, it being tax land and
public opinion being against such titles. The land is better perhaps than the survey but the timber not so good, but it abounds in good water.
The lawyers tell me there is no danger.
I have rented a house and small field in sight of the land am living on it, this 2nd day of April, 1853.
We have all enjoyed good health to this time and are still well pleased with the country and have killed several deer and turkey. I expect when I finish
planting corn to being to improve the land by building and fencing.
I have bought 4 cows and calves and sow and pigs. We begin to get plenty of mile and have plenty of bacon and venison.
April the 2nd, 1853.
|Kentucky Town, where J.E. Deatherage settled, is a ghost town in Grayson County today. During the Civil War, Quantrill and his men set up
camp here during the Civil War, but they asked politely but forcefully to leave the area.