A Letter from Jesse
Mason to John Henry Clay Berry
Submitted by Merlin S. Berry
Fairfield Hyde County N C
March 18 1875
Mr. Berry I take my pen in hand to let you know that my self and family is all well and I truly hope those few lines may find you all the same I thought I wood write you to let you know that I had not forgoten you of you have me I want to see you all vary bad. I want one week on Juniper Bay so I cood see you all I often think of the fun we have seen to gether and wood like to see sum more the same way. But thare is no hopes of it yountell [until] I quit this mill.
John Harriet ses kiss Polle Ann for hur and tell Polle Ann to kiss the Baby Harriet ses tell Polley Ann Laura that she wants to see them vary bad and all the rest She has bin tring to git of over thare for the last three munts. John if you cant reed my riting keep it warm untell I cum and I will reed it for you I want you to cum aroun to see me soon as you can and bring Poley Ann with you John I want you to write to me soon as you can I will cum to a close by saying I will remane your devoted frend yountell deth
NOTE: Envelope addressed to: Mr. John H. C. Berry Juniper Bay Hyde Co N C. (3 cent stamp affixed. )
People mentioned in the letter:
- Jesse Mason (1848-1878) [not to be confused with his cousin Jesse B. Mason]. He was a son of James Mason (c1819-1882) and Nancy E. McGowan (c.1825-aft.1883) (m. 1847). Nancy was a daughter of Job McGowan of Gum Neck, Tyrrell Co. The Masons lived at Huron Bay near the Hyde County McGowans.
- Harriet Higson (1848-1906) and Jesse Mason married in 1866. She was the daughter of John and Dorcas Higson.
- John Henry Clay Berry (1848-1948), son of John Berry, Jr. and Sallie Stotesbury, lived in the Juniper Bay community.
- Polly Ann (1851-1920): wife of John Henry Clay Berry, daughter of Seth Blount Harris and Betsey Ann Fisher.
- Baby: Betty Adella Berry, their first child, born April 1, 1874.
- Laura: no doubt Laura Virginia Harris, Polly's sister, born 1855, married Israel Bell. She died in 1887. Polly Ann named her youngest daughter for Laura.
"devoted frend yountell deth" - His death came so soon, only three years later, but his friend until death, John, lived on for 70 years. What happened to Harriet? Will we ever know?
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