Letter to Henry Arledge from the research files of Jo Arledge Askew of Blue Eye, Missouri:

Letters to Samuel P. and Lydia B. Arledge Thompson from the Spring 1997 Randolph County, NC, Genealogical Journal (Vol. XXI, No. 1). transcribed and submitted by Eleanor Thompson Schumacher

Randolph County, N.C. Genealogical Journal Spring, 1997 (Vol. XXI, No. 1)


[the following letter from Jesse Arledge is addressed to Samuel P. THOMPSON, Morrisburg, Guthrie County, Iowa from Marleys Mill, NC]

Reed Creek, Randolph County, NC

December 20th 1857

My very dear and oft remembered children in the far North West It is by the protection of Jehovah that I again am permitted to address a few lines to you We are blest in this time with tolerable good health, though have had bad colds a few weeks ago, Hope you are all enjoying good health, peace of mind and prosperity. But above all other blessings that is bestowed on the human family, I crave for you to remember your Creator be not forgetful of his benefits and blessing I received your very welcome letter yesterday morning, and I was much gratified to get one from you. For you may be sure that it is some comfort to me to hear from you. The last letter I got from Joseph and Bethenia CRAVEN was dated in July last The last I got from Tennessee was dated the 30th day of September, Henry's and YORKs folks was then well and Betsey had another son. YORK was going to move into Coffee County but yet his Post Office address would be Morrison, Warren County, Tennessee.

We had tolerably good crops of corn considering the drought and chinch bug. My corn turned out better than I expected, but some of it was much swiveled. I dent know what corn will sell as yet. The Banks are closed and has been for some time, and produce has fell in-price considerably, and there is a pressure in money matters, but it is thought the Banks will resume again shortly We had pretty good most of the season, which was great help in the corn way. I killed one hog yesterday morning, pretty good pork. I have five others to kill when the weather turns colder it is quite pleasant and warm now for the time of year, I gave my hogs a little corn about every day which was some help to them. some pork has been engaged at eight dollars per hundred, but I dent know whether it will continue at that or not The best quality of flour is now only bringing $5.25 cts per barrel at Fayetteville.

The latter part of November was quite cold here, I expected you had snow then, for I am often thinking of my children, O that Almighty God would arrest them and bring them out of natures darkness into the marvelous light and liberty of his only son Jesus Christ the Saviour of sinners Religion in this country appears to be at low ebb, although there is plenty of what is called religion, But they generally preach what an eminent Apostle called another gospel, which indeed is not another, but there be some that would pervert you, go ye not after them. Beware of the isms of men, and the new fangled schemes of the day, have nothing to do with them neither in the Church nor state. I believe it is the design of some to sap the fundamental principles of our Christian and Republican liberties. I want you all to adhere closely to the Word of God, and pray him to give you understanding in all things. I had omitted to tell you that we had some frost on the morning of the 28th of September which nipped the fodder smartly for those who was not getting their fodder, I was done some corn was quite late, and generally later than common--- Mr. Thomas MARLEYs wife is dead, John R. BROWN is dead, and some others which is not necessary to name, but there was not a great deal of [sickness?] in the neighborhood the past fall.

Tell I.S. ARLEDGE to write to me shortly and tell me all about how he is getting along with his matters and farm,

I send you one of our Minutes, let Isaac and sister THOMPSON peruse it I have not got minutes enough to send to you all. The Ci[illeg.] was written by myself. I want you to take care of it. Lydia & Isaac if you live you can see my writing when I am dead and gone to my long and eternal home.

Julia says tell you that she would like to see you but dont expect to unless you come to see me if I could see you I could talk [illeg.] an give our respects to your father and mother, and all the rest of your connexion indiscriminately. And at present bid you Adieu,



P.S. Write again as soon as convenient I also expect to send a Minute to Bethenia CRAVEN and one to Carey, that is all I have to spare JA

Nelly says "Tell you all how do ye do and that she is glad and thankful to hear from you and would be glad to see you"

N.B. I will send Isaac S. ARLEDGE when I get one from him


Randolph County, NC July 24, 1860

My very dear and oft remembered children, Through the tender mercies of an all wise preserver I am permitted to address you one time more. We are enjoying tolerable good health at present, only I have a cold, and have been afflicted with Rheumatism, so much so that I could not stoop down & lift up any thing that had much weight. Hope that you all are enjoying good health--- I received your very acceptable letter the 27th day of December, and was as usual glad to hear of and from you again, I got a letter at the same time from Joseph and Bethania CRAVEN dated the 11th day of December they were in common health We had a very dry fall, as also the summer was dry, but there was more corn raised in this section than was in 1858, But it is scarce enough, sells now at one dollar per bus. Flour is worth about $6, --- per barrel in Fayetteville Good pork in the country has been selling at $8 per cwt, I sold one hog to John PARKS that weighed 150 lbs at $8 per cwt wheat has sold at $1 per bu.

There was pretty good crops of wheat raised in this country, I raised 87 1/2 bu. of wheat I hope I can make out without buying corn I fattened 6 hogs, they weighed as follows 150, 145, 140, 121, 120, 96 pounds, and killed one in the fall this year I did not know you used tobacco We have had two very cold spells of weather this season, besides a very severe frost the latter part of October, It commenced snowing the 31st of December in the morning and snowed nearly all day, the ground was not froze when the snow fell, but it turned quite cold for a few days, We have very pleasant winter weather now and have had for some days-- We had a pretty good crop of sweet potatoes but they are now rotting very [illeg.], and part of my Irish potatoes rotted--

Joel PHILLIPS is now living at the old place they have two children living, a girl & a boy girl named Bethenia, boy Jesse Calvin. I have been unfortunate with my cattle, two yearlings died last spring with the murrain and one nice heifer died last fall with murrain The old Bute cow was a stripper, something got the matter with her bag, it gathered and broke, and continued gathering till late in the fall I had her killed I did not believe she would get well-- I am blest with 3 head of horses, Viz, old Jack, Fan and a young horse, he has the scratches very bad on one hind foot I have been trying to cure it for more than a year.

I hope you will do well in your purchase of land. I would be sincerely glad if all of my children would try and do well for time and especially eternity I saw your uncle Samuel THOMPSON the 14th day of December, he enquired after you all, he was in common health You have read about so I need not inform you, Two men from Iowa was in the insurrection, and I suppose have suffered in jail in Greensborough for being connected with old John BROWN the ring leader of the abolitionist. I saw in a news paper today that Jesse DICK had issued a writ to the sheriff [illeg] to search out the abettors of BROWN [illeg.] and RANDOLPH. I have heard that John STAFFORD of Alamance County and two or three others had run away since heard that STAFFORD was arrested, but I don't know who they are, nor where they be. What I have to say about it is, that I hope they may be ferrited out, and brought to justice I hope all my children will stand aloof from anything, and everything that favors abolitionism. I trust there is good and sound union men in the free states as well as the south. I have not had a letter from I.S. ARLEGE since last summer Was a year I wrote to him after I got his letter. I don't know why he does no more I got a letter from Carey since I received yours, they were in tolerable health, Careys health was better but she is not yet satisfied, YORK was going to move back into Warren County Trousedale will be his Post Office address It has been generally healthy the past season some cases of sickness. Your old neighbor Jesse MARLEY Esq. is dead, died in October last, and Betsy WARD is dead. I might congratulate you on the birth of your fourth son. It may be you thought he was not so worthy of a name as you had not named him. If you can't find a name for him before you write again send me word and if I should be here I will try and send you a name for him. Julia says tell you that she would be glad to see you and if you will come before the Potatoes are gone she will cook some and give you a water gourd, raised over 100 gourds last year a little cotton & some tobacco

Nelly wished to be remembered to you and would be glad to see you. She has been engaged for some days past steming & twisting her tobacco. My ink has been froze and is pale but may be it will hold on if you get it soon. Rachel is in common health she has had a cough for several years she lives with Joel. It is almost 9 o'clock at night. I have wrote this by candle light with a steel pen, my fingers is stiff and my sheet is about filled. So no more at present but remain your father and well wishes till time is no more.



N.B. Give our respects to your Father and Mother and all your connections Anderson CRAVENs son John is dead & Hiram YORK


[The following letters from Jesse Arledge are addressed to Samuel P. THOMPSON, Dalmanatha, Guthrie Countv, Iowa]

Reed Creek, Randolph County, NC April 3 AD 1861

My dear children, By divine permission I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines. I am in a feeble state of health at this time I was taken the 1st day of this month with giddiness in my head, hard puking and very sick. So much that I sent for Doctor HOLTON, he came quick I had got somewhat relieved from puking. I being so very sick before he got here. He administered some Medicine. I felt yesterday like I was getting well. He left more medicine yesterday for me to take today, I have not took it yet, but expect to after a while. I have been sitting up all this morning. It is now 10 minutes past 9o'clock. The Doctor said he thought my disease originated from cold and a foul stomach. Julia has a bad cold but is up and about her domestic affairs. Your letter of the 27th of February came to hand the 29th day of March. I was truly glad to get a letter from you. I had been expecting of one for some time past. I would fain hope that you all are enjoying good health in that snowy Country.

You stated that you enjoyed a minutes there was none in the letter. I don't think the envelope had been broke, therefore I conclude you forgot to put it in Brother Beeson BARKER (of Iowa) sent sister Hannah CRAVEN a Minute of Mount Pleasant Association of Regular Baptist. I Have the Minute before me with the abstract of their principles of Faith. They are short but comprehensive, and I think good. I will give you the names of the churches and the ordained preachers Mount Pleasant [illeg.] New Bethel; S.T. KEENEY, S. HARRISON. Des Moines [illeg.] Grove, O.WHITCOMB Friendship [illeg.] Independence [illeg.] Harmony J.M. COX. New Hope J. HOOTEN, B. BARKER, Sugar Grove [illeg.] Providence, D. HAYNES. The Minutes don't give the county the association was held in. Neither does it give the county any of the churches are situated in.

The Wheat crop here was not as good last year as it was the year before. Corn crops some better than they were the year 1859. The market price for flour the last account was $7.25 per barrel best quality. Bacon I think from 10 to 12 cts per lb corn sells in the country at 75 cts per bus. Wheat $1.25 per bus. Pork sold last fall & winter at from $6. to $7. per cut according to the size of the hog. We had a good [illeg.] hogs got fat in the woods, which was a great saving to corn. I killed a little over 1000 Ib and sold nearly 200 lb at $6. per hundred Molasses is worth in the country 40 cts per gallon. Salt is $1.50 per sack in town.

There has been a good deal of excitment in this state the 28th day of February convention. I hear there are certain counties in this state holding meetings for some purpose I know not what. I was and yet unopposed to a convention. If the Northern States has passed obnoxious laws, to the detriment of the South I don't believe succession is the way to get redress. I am a union man, and believe the North has trampled on the rights of the south. To be short I believe that any unpredical mind that will take the written word of God, may see that slavery existed in the worlds from the days of Ham down to the present time, that is Ham's posterity was to be a servant of servants. According to the scriptures slavery was in the world in the days of Jesus Christ & his Apostles, and we no where find that He or they ever inveighed as to relative duties between Master & servants. Search the Scriptures. I am no slave holder, nor don't expect to be. I suspect that the Northern Abolitionist is wise above what is written. And every man had better mind his own business. Times are somewhat dull in this country to what they were previous to Mr. Lincoln's election. I belived he [illeg.] elected when I heard he was nominated. For there [illeg.] superstition, Idolatry, and priestcrafts in the Un[ited ] States of America that I think our Religious an[illeg.]ical institutions will be severed from us. And the [illeg.] beast that St. John speaks of in the 13th Chapter of Revel[ation] will exercise all the power of the first beast [illeg.] You say you had rather be on the South side. I have objections to that. But dont go to Missouri for I th[illeg.] will be more exposed than any North Western St[illeg.]. If you want to leave Iowa, I think you had better con [illeg.] old N.C.and stay with me my few remaining da[ys ... illeg.] I can give you no correct account of the seceded [illeg.]

I am glad to hear your little boys are hearty. Fi[ne?] looking little fellows M[ay God bless] them and guide [them?] into all truth. Julia says that she re[ illeg.] her love to you and the children, I would be glad to see you all. Give our respects to your father and family. Also to J.S. ARLEDGE and his family. & to Charles SMITH & his family. And to all friends if we have any in th[illeg.] dreary country, May the Holy One smile upon y[ou?... illeg.] keep you, and guide you into the way of truth a[nd] righteousness.


P.S. It is now nearly 2 o'clock P.M~ I have had one short spell of lying down today. I now must take another.

[outside of the envelope]

April 4th. Half past 3 o'clock P.M. I feel a good deal better than I did yesterday. I have set up all the days as yet but I am weak and feeble---I had not told you about the weather Wet weather commenced latter part of October It continued through the winter. There was not a great deal of extreme cold weather, we had some snow and one large sleet.

B.A. [illeg.] enclose one of Our last Association Minutes. attend if the Lord will to send one to Ira as then I write to him again.

Dear children, now, I write to you I'll state what I believe is true, That you may read after this date And turn to God before to late

I have not got room to write the balance I have no envelope-- Write soon


July 6th AD 1866

Reed Creek Randolph County, NC

To Samuel P. and Lydia B. THOMPSON

All hail thou blessed of the Lord. May grace mercy and peace be with you and [illeg.]

Your welcome letter of the 18th of June came to hand yesterday morning, and you may be sure that it was received with [illeg.] and read with pleasure I also reed a letter from you dated the 28th of April and one from Isaac dated the 3th of April, the 2nd day of this inst Both of them gratefully recd and I was satisfied with the information they contained. I hope the Lord will remember you well for good. And bless you in all of your laudable pursuits. And that he would watch over you for good, and reveal Jesus Christ unto you by his Spirit as the only Alpha and Omega, the first use and the last end of Salvation. The author and finisher of our faith, & c---

My health is better than when I wrote to you before. I sometimes hope the Lord will restore my health again and provide away for [illeg] get out there [illeg] and see you all again in time, and also my little grand children. I hope Jesse has recovered ere this time

You seem to be out of heart of seeing me any more. Be not faithless but believing. But I cannot go to that country unless I can sell my land, and it is dull times here about money matters heavy taxes to pay, and nothing to sell to get money with. I started a letter to Isaac the 28th of May and I now think I wrote something in it to you, and I suppose that is the one you spoke of receiving a few days before you wrote yours of the 18th of June. I feel truly thankful that the Lord has prospered you in this worlds good as you wrote to me, I hope he will keep and preserve you with all that are called yours for his great names sake. I am also glad that you have Apostolic preaching in reach of you.

I hope you will not take it amiss. I shall write a few lines in this to Isaac write to me as often as you can & let me hear from you often

Yours as ever


July 7th I thought yesterday evening I would fill up the balance of this to Isaac but I am not yet done writing you you spoke of not having had a mess of peas we had peas in May pretty forward, but they are all gone now, and the patch planted in cucumber seed, and they are coming up. Our Garden looks tolerable well for the time it has been set with plants, We did not raise a Cabbage plant this year, Therefore we had to wait till other people got done.

Sarah and me give our garden a nice working yesterday morning & this morning We have very good Irish potatoes, and one thousand hills of Sweet potatoes, the patch is clean, I worked it myself, I only work a little while at a time when it is cool. We raised a nice chance of Onions for the ground planted. Wheat crop not very good Oats only about half crop, not thick enough on the ground what there was of them is good a few dozens to tie up now the rest is in the Barn--- We had a good deal of cool wet weather in the spring too much for corn in Sandy land. Rain is needed now. We had a big season ten days ago Corn at this time dent look very promising. We have no fruit of consequence this year but there is blackberries plenty & I love black berry pie & sweet milk [this letter might be incomplete, as these fragments are recorded on the outside of the envelope.]

tolerably well, But my cotton crop is sorry so is our Sorghum cane---I have no Envellops, neither have I any wafers so I bid you adieu for this time

S.P. & L.B.T.


P.S. I got a letter from Carey the 20th day of June, YORKs and Henrys folks was well the 2nd of June. YORK had lost a young filly. They get no letters from you. Their post office is McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee

Letter from Jesse Arledge to his son, Henry William ARLEDGE of Cannon or Warren County, Tennessee.

[Provided by Jo Askew. Note from JAA: I typed the letter exactly as written...mispelled words and all.]

December 27th 1866

Reed Creek, Randolph County, N. Carolina

Dear Son Henry and family, By the blessing of a supernatural power I am yet in the land of the living blessed with a reasonable portion of health and strength sufficient to be up and commence a letter to you. For which favor a tribute of praise and thanks is due to Him who is the giver of every good and perfect gift.

Am in hope you are all enjoying good health, peace and quietness. I received your lengthy and ? letter of 4 of Aug. and to the 5 of inst. the 25 Dce. after Sunset it was brought to me by W. G. Lane I was glad to get a letter And I agree with you in the major part you wrote. But you made use of one word that I don't approve of, i.e. you called a certain people "Sick spi[... ]" They are no doubt sorry enough in every sense but we should speak evil of no man. God is the Supreme ruler of the universe. And America has been abundantly blessed by him, not only in natural things, in bestowing on them food and raiment. But they had the sincere milk of the word disseminated unto and among them by his ministers whom he had chosen, called qualified and sent forth to proclaim the gospel of his Son Jesus Christ to a world of sinners. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. But a Simon Magus [?] followed the Lord's people over the great water and disseminated his baneful doctrines among the people and it being more congenial to human nature and human capacity, the people very redily received it and took darkness for light and light for darkness. So darkness hath covered the earth and gross darkness the people.

And it may be for aught I know that the time is near at hand, that the beast that John saw coming up out of the earth is to exercise all the power of the first beast. When that time comes all those who were on the Lord's side may expect to suffer a severe persecution and probably faggot and flame as thousands did in the old countries under the reign of the first beast.

I have thought for many years past that the people of America are going into idolatry as fast as the wheels of time rolls along, Not in the north only (for there is some there that adheres and stands firm for the truth) but in the south also. There is no new ism set afloat but what many will join with and follow its pernicious principles.

I will drop this subject now.

Balaam Aldredge was here a little while ago, he said I might tell you he and the rest was well lately, and that he was doing tolerably well he expected to make about 1500 lbs. of pork has not killed his hogs yet has had them up some time. he yet lives by himself at the same place.

I don't think the Primitive Baptist is published now. There has been no mail facilities in this section until a few months past and it now only passes up and down once a week. It used to pass up and down twice a week.

I don't know of any religious periodical that is published any where. The Primitive Baptist Association was held this year at Mount Tabor. We had some good preaching there. Our preachers have come down to P. Snider and J. H. Cravin and A. Wright. Cravin & Wright don't preach a great deal - But we had some good sound preachers there from some other association, Viz Elders Wm. Burns from Staunton River Elder Levi Boderhamer & Ring from ? and Elder N. M. Clark from Bear Creek. Their preaching was to the letter & spirit of the word. Brother Burns said he had saw one new translation of the bible, but he neither had heart room nor house for it. I have not seen it nor don't crave to see it.

Elder Wm. Burns preached Julia's Funeral the 1st Sunday in Nov. last from the gospel by Matthew 25 C & part of the 10 verse, "and thy that were ready went in with him to the marriage and the door was shut." I thought he preached one of his big sermons.

I expect you will get to see Carey's letter that I expect to mail at the same I do this, & you will learn that I have had a letter from Jo & Bethinia informing of me of the denomination that they have united themselves with ? I would be glad you would write to them & give them some information respecting of their order, I have no faith in it myself. I have started a letter to them but I said but little about it, only requested them to search the scriptures ? I have given the prices of things in Carey's letter as far as I knew except spiritous liquor that I forgot it is a scarce article & sells at $3 a gallon. I don't expect to give away my land to get to go to any country. We have very cold weather here now it is clear today and windy from the north A great many people has left this country some gone to one state & some to another some left without selling their land & some got something for theirs I want you to write as soon as you can. I shall not get my letters mailed now till this day week (he probably means when the mail person passes next week).

I am better off today than I was yesterday.

Yours Affectionately, Jesse Arledge

(H. W. Arledge's name is at the left on the page where Jesse signed his name.)

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