Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Elizabeth "Eliza" Prentiss "Betsey"/"Betsy" Steptoe Johnston to Sarah "Sally" Tate Steptoe Massie, Late July, 1818

[Elizabeth "Eliza" Prentiss "Betsey" or "Betsy" Steptoe Johnston [at Sandusky, Lynchburg, Virginia,] to Sarah "Sally" Tate Steptoe Massie [at Pharsalia, Nelson County, Virginia,] [Late July, 1818,] "by George." Massie Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society. This is my rough, annotated transcription from a copy graciously provided by William Myers.]

My dear Sally

I have sent you by old George the piece of cloth you requested. [I]t is not yet entirely white and therefore does not look so well. When Mr. Massie was over last I expected to have been with you about the second week in August but since then, Mr. Johnston has determined on going over the Mountain  where he will stay a fortnight, and as he will take with him the Carriage Horses, it will be out of my power to make my visit to you until his return, which will be the end of August or the beginning of September.  [A]bout that time you will see us without fail, Papa talks confidently of going over with us, and I shall not let him give it out if I can possibly prevent it.

We have all been extremely alarmed about poor brother George, who has been ill nearly three weeks, he is now getting much better, and we ar ein great hopes of his recovery. [I]t was a violent attack of the bilious fever with which he had been threatened for some time. 

Frances left us this morning on her way to New London, it is her first visit since her confinement. I never saw her look better if possible she is fatter than before, and her little boy is a remarkably fine one, he is called William Maurice.

We shall expect you certainly to return with us when we go over, and must not be disappointed. [T[he old man is waiting for the letter so that I cannot write a longer one present me affectionately to Mr. Massie and his dear little Tom for me your truly sincere and affectionate sister
                                                Eliza P. Johnston

[Sarah “Sally” Tate Steptoe Massie (1796-1828) had married William Massie (1795-1862) in 1814. "Dear little Tom" = Thomas James Massie (March 23, 1817-1877). 

Elizabeth "Eliza" Prentiss "Betsey" or "Betsy" Steptoe Johnston (1783-1820), married to Charles Johnston (1769-1833).

"The old man" aka George = also mentioned in other letters. "Papa" James Steptoe (1750-1826), Eliza and Sally's father, also had a brother George Steptoe, born in 1748 but, according to vague family trees on Ancestry.com, died in 1802 -- a doctor, apparently. Could also be a courier, enslaved or free. 


Brother George = presumably George Steptoe (1785-1862). 

Frances = Frances "Fanny" Callaway Steptoe Langhorne (1798-1832), who had married Henry "Harry" Scarsbrook Langhorne (1790-1854) in 1816. William "Wee" Maurice Langhorne (1818-1900) was born on June 30, 1818.]

[Many thanks to Sue Davis, William Myers, Mary Davy and Sally Young for their ongoing research collaboration.]   

Monday, November 20, 2017

Henry "Harry" Scarsbrook Langhorne to Sarah "Sally" Tate Steptoe Massie, October 23, 1827

[Henry "Harry" Scarsbrook Langhorne at Chestnut Hill, Virginia to Sarah "Sally" Tate Steptoe Massie at [Pharsalia,] Tye River Mills, Nelson [County, Virginia,] October 23, 1827. Postmarked Lynchburg October 26. Massie Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society. This is my rough, annotated transcription from a copy graciously provided by William Myers. Extra paragraph breaks inserted for easier reading.]

                                Chestnut Hill 23rd Oct 1827
Dear Sally

I am sorry to informa you that James is not recovering as fast as his friends a few d ays ago, had a right to expect, some symptoms I understand still remain of an unpleasant character.

[D]o not let me give you unnecessary alarm, you know I am easily alarmed in cases of sickness, & having undertaken to give you a true account of his situation I feel it a duty to do so.

My Brother Wm. was here a few days ago & requested me to inform you or rather Mr. Massie that he intended selling 12 or 15 of his negroes & among those he could most conveniently spare were Leah & her family, & if Wm. wanted to own them & it should not be convenient to pay money for them, that he would exchange them for other negroes.

We have all had a return of the ague & fever, I am very unwell myself. 

Fanny joins me in love to one & all
                                                yours sincerely
                                                     H S Langhorne
[Frances "Fanny" Callaway Steptoe Langhorne (1798-1832) married Henry "Harry" Scarsbrook Langhorne (1790-1854) on March 13, 1816. "Sally" is probably a reference to their baby daughter, Sarah Massie "Sally" Langhorne (1826-1881). 

Sarah "Sally" Tate Steptoe Massie (1796-July 28, 1828) was married to William Massie (1795-1862) and was the daughter of James Steptoe (1750-1826). Their son Thomas James Massie (1817-1877) was born on March 23, 1817.There is a massive Massie collection at the University of Texas here

James = James Callaway Steptoe (1781-October 24, 1827), married to Catherine "Kitty" Mitchell (1780-1858) since 1808. 

The attending Physicians probably included Dr. William Steptoe (1791-1862) and perhaps indirectly Dr. James Townes Royall (circa 1797-1860), who had married Charles Johnston's daughter Frances Steptoe Johnston (circa 1807-after 1850), in Botetourt County on December 27, 1825.

My brother William = William Callaway Langhorne (1783-1858). 

Ague = malaria or something that caused similar reactions.]

[Many thanks to Sue Davis, William Myers, Mary Davy and Sally Young for their ongoing research collaboration.]   

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Henry "Harry" Scarsbrook Langhorne to Sarah "Sally" Tate Steptoe Massie, October 18, 1827

[Henry "Harry" Scarsbrook Langhorne at Chestnut Hill, Virginia to Sarah "Sally" Tate Steptoe Massie at [Pharsalia,] Tye River Mills, Nelson [County, Virginia,] October 18, 1827. Postmarked Lynchburg October 19. Massie Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society. This is my rough, annotated transcription from a copy graciously provided by William Myers. Extra paragraph breaks inserted for easier reading.]

                                      Chestnut Hill Oct 18th 1827
Dear Sally

Miss Peggy Bradfute is with us & informs me that James is certainly on the mend & that his Physicians entertain no doubt of his recovery.

Frances has a return of the ague. Sally has recovered so far as to miss[?] her ague for the last four days.

Excuse this very short letter for I am really unwell. I have imprudently exposed myself & apprehend a relapse.

                                               yours sincerely
                                                          Henry S. Langhorne

[Frances "Fanny" Callaway Steptoe Langhorne (1798-1832) married Henry "Harry" Scarsbrook Langhorne (1790-1854) on March 13, 1816. "Sally" is probably a reference to their baby daughter, Sarah Massie "Sally" Langhorne (1826-1881). 

Sarah "Sally" Tate Steptoe Massie (1796-July 28, 1828) was married to William Massie (1795-1862) and was the daughter of James Steptoe (1750-1826). Their son Thomas James Massie (1817-1877) was born on March 23, 1817.There is a massive Massie collection at the University of Texas here

Miss Peggy Bradfute = Margaret "Peggy" Bradfute (1788-1833).

James = James Callaway Steptoe (1781-October 24, 1827), married to Catherine "Kitty" Mitchell (1780-1858) since 1808. 

The Physicians probably included Dr. William Steptoe (1791-1862) and perhaps indirectly Dr. James Townes Royall (circa 1797-1860), who had married Charles Johnston's daughter Frances Steptoe Johnston (circa 1807-after 1850), in Botetourt County on December 27, 1825.

Ague = malaria or something that caused similar reactions.]

[Many thanks to Sue Davis, William Myers, Mary Davy and Sally Young for their ongoing research collaboration.]