This letter by Rebecah W. (Pettus) Duncan makes reference to her brothers Samuel Knox Pettus and William Wadkins Pettus, her mother Mary (Knox) Pettus, and her brother-in-law Stephen Sutton. By 1847, her brother Stephen Bullock Pettus was dead--and she does not refer to this Stephen as Brother.
Kind Sir January the 13 1847
Mr John Springs I embrac this opportunity again to write to you through the mercy of our God that we are all spared; to see the end of another year in Reasonable health hoping these lines will find you and family Enjoying the same blessing Mr Springs Brother Samuel received a letter from Brother Wadkins Not long since that made me believe Mother Was managing the estate in a verry bad way for my advantage ever to get any thing of my kind Father property I think it looks verry hard that the Negroes must be Sold to Support some of the Legatees and their children and I cannot even get the help of one. Wadkins wrote Mother Sold the Negroes for to Support them they must live verry high that has taken 3 of them I do not know how they manage for my part I believe if their was not so many of the whights to Support or they would work more they could make a support without seling of them Brother Samuel Said that Stephen did not work But a great manager I cannot think he is such a good one or they would do better: if Mother Cannot make a support She had better have a Division of them Kind friend I wish your advise on this point has Mother any power or right to Sell any more than was left her life time or Widowhood these younger Negroes it appears to me that tis not right for them to be Sold Brother Wadkins sent word to know if I was willing to go my part with the rest in trying to Stop the Sale of the Negroes I am willing: Wadkins Should thank the time that he was so much opposed to my
geting one of them that would have been sure out of my part and he would not have been the looser
Wm Campbell was telling me last Summer that Mother was wanting a Division of the younger Negroes Some of the Legatees ware not willing as for my part I am if She would have all divided only what was left her life or Widowhood Kind Friend if theire is any chance for a division Send me word as soon as oppertunity will permit I wish you to do all for me that you can if you please in that point it seems to me that my Relations cares not that I ever get any of my part or not Kind Friend and Father in protection I have nothing more to write on that subject Brother Samuel family and all his Children familys are well at present the price of corn is worth 1 dollar per barrel pork is worth from 3 to 3:25 cents per hundred wheat from 40 to 50 cents per bushel we have had a verry bad crop year the last season
I have nothing more at present Mr Duncan joins me in respect to you and Family I am your humble Succor for protection
Rebecah W Duncan
N.P. I wish you to send me a letter in answer to this if you please and let me know what manner Mother Sold the Negroes who to and what She got for them and which of them.