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1876: April 14

Golead, Golead County (1), Texas to A.G. Lafferty
Dear son
through the mercy of a kind providence I am still living and would like to hear from you one time more in this life, I have not written to you in over one year owning to having traveled nearly all that time have had no settled post office (2).

I have stopped here now and am farming my prospects now is fine but it looks like this draught is setting in and I may not make anything at last, my corn is about head hight and looks well-

Texas is a deplorable condition at this time bloodshed and murder has become so common that the laws of the land cannot put a stop to it (3) – it looks like the country is bound to be lost -if this comes to hand please answer at once we have no lease on our lives and let us corespond while we live.

I have not heard from Arkansas in over a year- the report is in circulation that Burwell (4) is killed by one of his brother in law I have written to him and also Margaret his sister but I can not get a line from them

hoping to hear from you soon I will close –my health is good for a man of my age.  do not neglect to write at once write long letters- so my son I now subscribe myself as your effectionate father until death.


By the time this letter was written, The Old Rover book had been published and was being advertised for sale in Texas newspapers.


  1. This would be the town of Goliad in Goliad County. He had previously owned land in this area, but it’s not clear if he is living on remnants of that property at this time.
  2. His “traveling” was likely excursions around the Wild Horse Desert area of Texas with his teenage sons rounding up horses for sale. This conjecture based on horse sales receipts found in McMullen County.
  3. He is likely referring to the aftermath of Reconstruction in Texas.  The Goliad Guard published on September 2, 1876, carries a notice about the law regarding action of Capt. McNully’s command of Texas Rangers. They are called to prevent lawlessness and crime. Lieut. Hall has a detachment located at Goliad to assist civil authorities, so “the good citizens of Goliad will have all protection that is at the command of Hall, and assistance in bring to punishment all evil doers” … The article mentions several counties in the western part of the State where people are being depredated by bandits and robbers from Mexico, as well as criminal and lawless men on the United States side of the border.
  4. There is no evidence to show that this was true. His son, Burwell (born 1837 AR) may have been shot, but that account has not surfaced — and he lived until 1901.