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Isaac Peterson Howard in Montgomery
Muscogee, Fla. Jan. 22, 188--
Mr. I.P. Howard
Your Postal card of the 18th at hand . Glad to hear all is well. I am well
with the exception of a bad Chill. This weather is So changeably. As Soon
as I ger rid on one I take another. This is a solder State than I had any
Idea it was. I arrived in Pensacola Dec. 29 and had a pleasant trip. Did
not see a familiar face from Clarksville to Pensacola a distance of Six
Hundred miles. I came nearer freezing the night I got to Pensacola than I
ever did. Murcury Standing down at 11 deg. thick ice on the Streets next
morning. the pumps were so badly Frozen that could hardly get water to
drink. Muscogee is in Escumbia County on the Escumbia river 17 miles from
Pensacola about 440 miles across the Ala. line.---------Society
might-------in its infancy --the roughest white men with few exceptions
you ever saw. but with little regard for the Sabbath or preaching. from
what I have seen of the State it has not made a very good impression. No
farming at all. Nearly all in Sawmilling or logging business. This is no
Stock Country. no mules but a few horses. Cows are very common. I suppose
they average about half gallon milk per day, about the size of a three
year old heifer. but few hogs. they grow Slowly. weigh about fifty lbs at
a year old.
Everything is high priced down here. Pork is worth $12.50 per hundred
Flour $11.00 per barrel, meal $1.40 per-----, Sugar 6 lbs for a
dollar, Coffee 3 lbs for a dollar, Corn $5.50 per barrel, oranges are 60
cents per Doz. I think on the extreme. The trade is nearly all barter. Not
much inducement for clerking. I think this a healthy place but from what
information I get from the oldest citizens they say it does not Suit
invalids from other places that are not acclimated here. The atmosphere is
too damo and Strong from the bay which looks very reasonable. This is the
Sandiest place I ever saw. On a bright moonlight night it looks almost
like Snow. In some places it is said to be eighty feet deep and cant have
any cisterns in this country or wells. Although water can be found
anywhere. They have iron Tubing and sharpened and drive it in the sand.If
this is not long enough have to Screw a piece on until you reach the
water. This gives it an unpleasant taste. This is a good country for the
laboring man, one willing to work in logs and lumber. Farming would not
pay where I am.
I dont think there are but three inducements for this country. Health,
good living and good wages. Ike tell your mother and the children howdy
for me and write Soon. I recken you will get worn out over this if you
read it all. I never could write a letter worth reading.
P.S. Ike, write me who was elected U.S. Senator. Also have my Chronicle
sent to Muscogee.
Muscogee, Fla. June 19, 1881
Mr. I.P. Howard
I seat myself to write you a few lines hoping they will find you and
family well. I am well at this times and getting along tolerably well. We
have the warmest weather at this time of year that I ever felt. Murcury
standing at 96 to 102 Days. Although it is not so oppressive in the shade
as one might expect.
Generally have a good breeze from the gulf. I have been up in Ala. about
business for the Company, got home Saturday morning. Had a good time with
Ike, how is crops in Tennessee? have you got out a full Tob crop or not.
My Tob. seed did not come up. I guess the soil was too dry and Sandy for
them. This Country looks like Starvation. Havent seen 4 acres in
cultivation. Sawing timber and getting logs is all the laboring class can
depend on. This part of Florida is not very attractive. No tropical fruits
of any consequence. Winter too severe for them. Write me word how all the
neighbors are getting along especially Mrs. Becca Riggins and family.
Sorry to hear of Mr. Riggins death. I guess A.L. Cherry administered on
his estate did he not. how is uncle Buck getting along. I guess this is
about his time of year to have the hystericks. What is Willie Riggins
doing. I guess he is farming at the Burchette Place as he would rather do
that than anything else. How is John getting along. Is his foot nearly
well or not. Sorry he happened to such bad accident. Although I am
thankful it is no more.
Ike, sell my horse for what you can get for him blind or not blind. If you
cannot get the cash Sell him on time. I spent a day or two in Pensacola
last month. It is a pretty city. The part of the city that was burnt down
has been rebuilt and is the best building in the city. From all accounts
it is the worst mixed up Town in the South. I think there are more
Spainards and Creoles than anything else. I think if a bridge over the
harbor------. Although I am no judge you can count 50 to 150 -----in all
parts of the globe. Write soon and let me hear from you.
P.S. This Company sells a great many goods. I sell myself Some days
$450.00 Dollars worth.
Feb. 16, 1882
Mr. I.P. Howard
I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines although I have neglected
to answer your letter for so long that I am almost ashamed to do so. But
will promise to be more punctual in the future.
I am well and doing as well as I could expect. I am getting fifty Dollars
per month. Still Clerking for the same Company. One reason I have not
answered your letter is because I have been trying to get a leaf of
absence for a Short time to come home but I cant unless I give up my
Clerkship. This I do not feel disposed to do at present.
Ike, tell the children howdy for me and I will be up to see them Christmas
or sooner, provided I live and keep my health.
We have Scarlet fever very bad here in Muscogee. Wes family have been been
down with it too but I think the children are out of danger now. [Wes is
Joesphs half brother, Wesley Daniel Booth. Joes mother Mary T.
Cooley married second, Wesley Daniel Booth, Sr. after her first
husband, Thomas F. Cooley died in a gunfight.]
Ike, Jim Osborn is down here at work for this company. He worked like a
Negro for about a week. Now he is night watchman. Watches the Store and
follows the train out of Muscogee for fear of an accident from fire. Why
did he leave home? He begs us not to write anything about him.
How is Uncle Bucks family. Are they all well? Did Willie go to Texas or
not? I guess not if Uncle Buck could keep him at home.
How is Dave and Miss Blanche getting along? Does still teach Singing
school yet or not? Tell him to write to me if he feels like it and let me
know if he is dead or alive.
Ike, write me Soon and give me all the neighborhood news.Excuse all
mistakes and bad writing. And answer soon.
Aug. 26, 1882
Mr. I.P. Howard
Your welcome letter at hand I am glad that you are all well. I am well and
enjoying better health than I have in a long time. I have gained ten
pounds in flesh Since I got back home.
I am glad to hear that you were not beaten in your district for magistrate
as there was a certain faction that prayed for your defeat. I guess they
think now that they are not the ------or cannot elect who they please.
Ike, please send me a copy of your new Clarksville [newspaper] for that
paper [date] I only get one Side of the Question from the Nashville
American and Chronicle. I do not think that General Bates will get 200
votes. The Chronicle gives Mulligan fits.
Well I hope you all elect your ticket although Mulligan now -------neither
one would be my choice if I had a voice in your election. It looks like
you all could find better timber in Montgomery Co. for the legislator
[sic] Write Soon and let me know all the general news.
Dec. 22, 1882
Mr. I.P. Howard
Yours of the 18th at hand and I am glad to hear that all is well. I am
well at the present and quit Muscogee this morning. Will leave for
Pensacola this morning. Do not know what I Shall do next. I may come home
soon. Do not know for certain.
We have been cooped up during the epidemic and have not been able to get
any mail but a Short while ago all my Papers come in a bunch at one time
and after the election was over. We Tennesseans down here were all for
Gen. Bate[s] and highly elated over his election. I guess the Chronicle
and Tobacco Leaf are badly wilted Since Fussells defeat and will follow
as small a faction as the Bailey and & Howell E. Jackson Party soon. I am
glad to hear that Montgomery county has redeemed and throwed off the
tyranical yoke of depotism. we thought that Montgomery would elect the Sky
I am sorry to hear of Uncle Bucks death which was very unexpected to me.
I am Confident that his days were Shortened by looking at the dark side of
all Questions and taking trouble to heart before it came.
Well I will close for the present. Give my best wishes to all friends and
September 26, 1882
As I have not had an answer to my last letter to you I thought I would
write you a few lines to let you know that I am well at this time. hoping
that when these few lines come to hand they will find you and family well.
We have been under Strict Quarentine one month and got no mail. The
muscogeean does not come with the mail train but is carried to Pensacola
where it will remain till the yellow fever is froze out. The yellow fever
has spread with alarming rapidity in Pensacola. This week 250 new cases
and 31 dead. Mortality has been very light comparatively speaking to What
it was in Memphis in 1878. I do not think it has been over 10 percent.
All roads leading to this place are guarded at night and day. By so doing
I do not think it will get here.There are four cases in Oakfield eleven
miles from this place. I think it was carried there by refugees from
Ike, you need not answer this letter for it will go to Pensacola and I
would not get for a month. Will write to you Soon again.
Yours very respectfully
Oct. 9, 1884
Mr. I.P. Howard
I take my pen in hand to write a few lines and when they come to hand hope
they will find you all well.
I am well at present and getting along as well as could be expected.
although it is Said to be the dullest time ever Witnessed in Pensacola
think things will brighten up soon as there are a good many ships
chartered for Pensacola and entering daily. I think business will open up
Ike, you wrote me that you sold my horse for fifty dollars. I think you
well to get that much for him as he is blind.
I want you to Settle my account with the Clarksville Democrat. I get an
average of one paper a month. Take out Fifteen Dollars for Ella and Rena and Send
remainder in Registered letter to Pensacola.
Give my regards to all inquiring friends and write soon.
Dec. 22, 1884
Mr. I.P. Howard
Your letter of the ---at hand. It Seems to me that S. Buckley dont want
to pay that note ---to interest. make him pay it and as soon as you get
this letter go to see him and say I want my money as soon as it can be
sent to me. and if he does not pay it ---the law on him. I guess he does
not want to pay the interest. If I had waited too long he would object to
paying anything. Try and --- --- ---Sueing him for I need the money now
but if he does not pay it warrent him at once. If you do collect it pay
yourself and send it direct immediately.
Where is Charles Booth? Is he employed? I would write for him but I am
afraid of Yellow fever here this summer. If you do see him tell him I will
be ready for him this fall if he wants to come to Pensacola. I have not
received a copy of my paper yet. I am well.
Aug. 7, 1882
This leaves all well. The Election is over and all quiet again.
We had a very hard time over the Magistrates Election all through the
County. there were 18 of the old magistrates beaten. I come through with
52 ahead of the foremost man on the track. Clint Young headed that Same
old Gang against me. He bought negroes and told lies and Run the
Courthouse Question on me & Comer Stone & Tyler and everything that was
unfair but I had some good friends that Rallied around me and threw hot
Shot into their rankes. Just me and A. Darnell back and & Ben Dodd, Willy
Riggins, A.J. Riggins, Chilton and the Meacham boys & Clarence Cherry &
host of others. D.M. Buck was a candidate & got 45 votes. S.E. Garrard 47,
W.K. Cummings 35, Pew [Pugh] Haynes 74, & one Dave Johnson 7, and I got
Sam Garrard withdrew some months before the election, but Clint thought
D.M. could not beat me & he talked Sam out about a week before the
Election & was badly beaten. If Sam had stayed on track all the time he
would been elected easily. My friends would have voted for him, but as it
was he didnt get any of their support. Clint Young and his crowd went
back on------and Slaughtered Sam Garrard. I do not think Sam wanted to
injure me but wanted to beat Cummings. If Cummings had worked or had
someone to work for him he would have beaten him. He never asked a man to
vote for him. That was a mighty sick looking crowd that night. Well I hope
you got home safe. Write to me.
I. P. Howard.
Notes by Margaret R.
Joseph H. Cooley was the brother of Martha Ann Cooley Howard, wife of Isaac Peterson Howard. ~~
Joseph R. Cooley was the son of Thomas F. Cooley and Mary T. Pollard
Cooley. His grandparents were Joseph Henry Pollard, Sr. and Elizabeth
Coleman Pollard. Joseph was listed in Joseph Pollards will April 1865.
After Thomas Cooley died, Mary married Wesley Daniel Booth. The above John
Booth was one of their four sons.
A family connection:
Peterson Howard Letters, 1861, and Obituary, 1923, Montgomery County Tennessee.