A Letter from Mother to Son
May the 16 1889
My Dear Sun
I recived youre Most kind and wellcome letter and yos [was] glad to hear from you both wee are all well at this time and I hope these few lines may reach and find you the same injoying good health youre brothers and sisters is all weell as common and pemey? is a geting better she has got so she can set up in the house and tend to her baby the crops is vary [very] common this year the men is stil a plowing up the corn and a planting it over the a rite ___at stir about the white caps [reference to the Klu Klux Klan?] and negros I dont no of eny [any] thing to write that is vary imporent [important] to hear Annie White is over hear this week and she sed she has not for got you yet and she ses she yont [want] you to send her yon [one] of your pichers [pictures] and Adeline yonts [wants] you to ____ yont [want] yourn and Mollies boy Miss Mary Burns Nathan Onea_ is married pollie has not got married yet but she is just as fa__ [fair?] as she yos [was] when you yir [were] of homer? sens [sends] her love to you and she loves snuff as good as she ever did
youElrado sends her love to you both and she is nearly grone [grown]
I will bing [bring] My letter to a Close by saying write soon and let me hear from you
Peneopy Brooks writen by Annie L. White
Some of the people referred to in this letter are:
Penelope Swindell was born January 2, 1822 and died March 15, 1902. She was the daughter of Hardy Swindell and his wife Diana. She was first married to Samuel Sheldon Brooks on July 12, 1837. From this union were born the following children:
- Pardon Sheldon Brooks (May 4, 1839 - July 13, 1901) was married 1st to Mrs. Mahalia Hodges (Spencer) Gibbs (d/o Cason Gibbs Spencer and widow of Festus Gibbs) on October 19, 1859. Mahalia died on October 26, 1862 and Pardon Sheldon Brooks married for the 2nd time to Sarah Neal on July 31, 1867.
- Olivia Brickell Brooks (Jan. 20, 1841 - March 15, 1915) was married to Daniel Shaw Pugh (s/o Dameron Pugh & Sabra Etheridge).
- Cicero Hawks Brooks (Dec. 6, 1842 - Aug. 9, 1901) was married 1st to Celestia A. Midyett (d/o Benajah Watson Midyett) on January 2, 1867. The exact death date of Celestia is not known to me but it must have been after the birth of their last child in Dec. 1882 and when Cicero married for the 2nd time to Nancy Elizabeth "Bettie" Selby on August 17, 1884 in Beaufort County. Cicero settled in the town of Bath in Beaufort Co. and is buried in the Bayview Cemetery.
- Arcadia Foreman Brooks (Oct. 3, 1845 - Aug. 4, 1866) was married to John Jasper Williams on December 18, 1862.
- Caleb Jackson Brooks, Sr. (Jan. 1848 - aft. 1910) was married 1st to Pembrook Gibbs on January 17, 1867. I think the "Pemey" referred to in this letter was Pembrook Gibbs and was the daughter-in-law of Penelope. She had obviously just had a child and was recuperating from the birth. Since Caleb Jackson Brooks remarried again on January 22, 1890 to Laura L. Tate, it can probably be deduced that Pembrook died sometime between the writing of this letter in May 1889 and January of 1890.
- Almeta Brooks (Feb. 20, 1850 - Apr. 16, 1941) was married to Cason Walter Jones on November 10, 1866.
- Samuel Whitfield Brooks (May 1852 - Dec. 1921). I do not know who Samuel married but by 1900 he is living with his brother, Caleb J. Brooks, in Bath Twp. of Beaufort Co. and is listed as a widower. This may be the son to whom Penelope whote this letter which intimates that Samuel was married to someone named Mollie.
- Adeline Brooks (Apr. 10, 1854 - Nov. 28, 1945) was married to Millard Filmore Payne on December 6, 1871. This must be the Adeline referred to in the letter.
- Sarah Ann "Sally" Brooks (Apr. 14, 1856 - Mar. 10, 1896) was married to Banister Gibbs on January 12, 1871.
- Norma Elizabeth Brooks (Apr. 18, 1859 - Mar. 2, 1932). Listed in the 1900 & 1910 census as "single".
- Patsy Hill Brooks (June 10, 1863 - Jan. 18, 1883) was married to Daniel Midyette, Jr. on January 7, 1877. Their first child was a girl named Elderado who was born Sept. 24, 1877. I think this is the person referred to in the letter as "Elrado".
After the death of Samuel Sheldon Brooks in 1865 Penelope was married for the second time to her brother-in-law, Caleb Foreman Brooks on Dec. 10, 1867. Samuel Sheldon Brooks and his brother, Caleb Foreman Brooks were children of Rev. William Brooks, Sr. and Martha Foreman.
I believe Annie White who wrote this letter for Penelope was Annie Elizabeth Cozzens (Dec. 28. 1836 - Apr. 11, 1895) who married Joseph Henry White. I don't know who Miss Mary Burns & Nathan Onea_ [O'Neal] are.
This letter is submitted by Kay M. Sheppard from the Alton Warren Payne files. No punctuation was used in this letter and is written here as near to the original as possible.
Return to Hyde County Home Page