This letter was written Oct 6, 1844 by John Spencer II of near Patterson Creek(Cabin Run) Hampshire County VA to his son Arthur Morrison Spencer who had moved from VA to Doniphan Co., KS . John Spencer II (m)Sarah Ray abt 1791 Arthur M.Spencer was a grandson of John Spencer I and wife Joice who purchased land in Hampshire Co VA in 1778 (d)1796.(Cabin Run & George's Run) Arthur moved to Ross Co., OH 1835, to MO 1846 and to Ks Territory March 21, 1851. He had married Katherine Lease (Lees) in VA in 1819. Their children: John Harrison Spencer; Elisha Ashton Spencer; Isaac Spencer; Arthur Spencer Jr; Charitie Spencer and Wm Lambert Spencer. Will share any info I have on the John Spencer=Joice family of Hampshire, VA In the interest of shortness I have eliminated unnecessary paragraphs and material.
LETTER: (From a copy I received from a descendant)
Dear Son Arthur and Katherine and all the rest..We rec'd your ltr and read it with great attention. We rejoice to hear you are well and doing so well. We two are in tolerable state of health and so are all our neighbors at present.
I will begin with the death of old Sam Cockeral, Jacob Miller, Jacob Fleak, George Weice, both Ben Parker and wife, Isaac Hollenback & his wife, old Mr. Rinehart & his wife. Also your sister, Julyan Miller died about 4 yrs ago and her daughter Sally both within a week. Her husband Pete Miller is married to Betsy Rough, daughter of old George Weice. She was a widow.
You asked abt your sister Ruth and Thomas Shoff. We have not heard from her in a long time. Maybe you can find her. I understand they are living in Holkholkin (?) County, Logan Tnship. In or near there lives Thomas'brother Otho Shoff. It is abt 43 miles from your house in east direction. We would like to hear if you visit them.
Another melancholy case is your brother, Otho H. Spencer who married Mary Jane Bailey and they had a daughter. His wife lived only 14 days and left the child to be raised by her mother. Poor Otho is not married yet. She (d) last April a year ago ...1843. Otho works about among the Fleaks. He wrote saying he may come to see you. Old William Leas, Katherine's father who lives here is well and hearty. He peddles store goods and does pretty good. Old John Lambert and Aunt Kate are both well. Kate has got to be husky and fat and looks well. I almost forgot Julyan Fleak was married to Nicholas Ravengirot(Ravencroft?) a widower. She had one daughter and then died last March...child is alive. Old Mr. Randle and wife are alive and sold their place to Bizeer and are living in Isaac Fleeks old house at Ansill's Gap. Old Mr. Dobbins and wife and family are well but himself...he was attacked about 5 years ago with bone cancer about the left eye and it has eaten through the first plate of his skull and he has lost the sight of his eye and in great pain day and night. Doctor says he cannot live much longer. Your old landlord Mr Ward sold his place and moved to Joh Stewad's place on the mountain and rents there as he sold his place to the same Mr. Bizer.
We are all well and hearty but myself. My health is not good and afraid it never will be. I am living on father's old home oplace and have 8 children doing as good as I am. Would be glad to see you and live near you but we are old and feeble and we cannot get there. Times are so hard in this county that a poor man can hardly live here. You say our picture looks old. We do not look so old but our heads are as white as snow and your sister Alyse hair is as white as snow. I can walk pretty smart and without stooping and can best all the boys around here shooting. Your mother is much troubled with pain in her limbs but is fat and weighs 250 lbs... Your sister Nancy Fleak weighs 260 lbs...Your sister Rachel weighs 200 lbs. Your old uncle James Spencer is dead and his land sold and everything else and the family squandered the money. I paid off Abraham Rhinhart in full.
Henry and Nancy Fleak send their best wishes. I rec'd a letter from them dtd last August 18 and they were well at that writing. He says he has raised abt 275 bushels of wheat.
Son, keep a sturdy mind. Your father and mother have had 16 children and there is not a bad one in them all. Your mother send her best love.
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