Letter written by Valentine Simmons (1790-1867) living in Hardy County, VA to his son, Thomas Adams Simmons (ca 1836-1863) living in Demos, Belmont County, OH.
Hardy County Va March 31st 1857
My Dear Son
This is a beautifull sun shining morning altho a little cold. I am here at my old home with no other company but little Jim. I have sent Jane Ann to Sandfords to stay a while. I eat my meals generally at Westons & sleep, write, read etc at home. William & Caroline with the two little children started from his fathers for the Depo on yesterday morning a week & I have been verry lonesome since. When I wrote to ye before I promised to send your trunk & Boots etc. I had never noticed the trunk before & when it was brought down stairs it had no lock & seemed not strong enough to hold a lock & looked so old & shabby I would not send it. Therefore you will have to try & get along as well as you can. I will send you some money presently to help you to pay for some clothing you will have to buy. This month has been a verry cold one, but dry. February was the mildest all through that I ever seen, but still the fruit did not seem to come forward so as to be hurt. There will be a fine time at A.A. Inskeeps tomorrow which you of course would have joined in if you had been here. I seen Frank a few days past & she said Hannah & herself was going to be there. John Inskeep came home from Kentucky last week with his wife. He was married to a miss Willson & the affair comes off tomorrow. Mrs. Martha Frost is now at her mothers. Her Husband is gone further west to hunt a home & Martha with her three children is going to stay with her mother untill fall. I want you to write to me soon & write frequently. If I should neglect writing regularly that should not prevent you. I received a letter from William Sulser (George's Son of Kentucky) Directed to you since you left here. You should write immediately to him. Give my best respects to all the family, to Thomas & his family, Washington & his, Jane Kemp & their family and Mary Reader & Wm Reader & their family. John Summers has just come in & sends his respect to you. When you write let me know what Valentine Done with the Horse. See Jane Kemp & know of her concerning her mothers health if she had heard from her lately & do not forget to let me know if you have heard from William Lindsey & Washington Baldwin since they left. I want you to be sure to write to Mortimer in Oregon. Be carefull to try to improve yourself in learning. If you keep reading & writing you will be always learning something. I am going to write to Mortimer now. Nothing more at present but remain your loveing Father.
N.B. I had like to have forgotten to tell you where William Cornell started for. They intend going to Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, where B B. McNemar & Jane with their children went Last fall.
To: Mr. Thomas A. Simmons
(Written on envelope): In Directing a letter to your Brother Mortimer you will direct Vancouver Clark County Washington Teretory