“Every once in awhile an artifact will come across your desk when doing genealogy that makes all the hours of researching worth it. Sometimes its in the form of a particular article left by an ancestor, it may be the family bible or even an old picture. But when it’s a letter written from one family member to another over 100 years ago it makes all the searching worth it. Although you may only recieve a copy the original letter the family still comes alive. I always wondered why my husband’s 3 great grandmother Elizabeth Ellis Carter was alone in the census in 1850. She had small children but no husband. He appeared with her in 1860 in Texas but in 1850 she seemed to be alone living near family. Where had Jasper gone and why wasn’t where I thought he should have been? One day I recieve a packet in the mail from another family reserch which contained the letter found below along with dates and places of other family members. Suddenly the mystery was solved and Jasper became an exciting piece of History in our family. His story and insight about the gold rush has been shared in numerous class room assignments over the years. Jasper was now a real person with real feelings and real insights into the history of our Country. These little tidbits of Family History make all the hours of searching worth the effort. So don’t just gather facts and figures when doing your genealogy. Look for the stories behind them. Create Family Histories that will bind you to your ancestors and please don’t put the stories in your notes and forget them. Pass them on to your children and allow them to understand the sacrifices their ancestors made to allow them the freedoms they enjoy today. The following letter is transcribed exactly as it was written and spelled.
Letter written by Jasper Carter to his wife Elizabeth S. Carter From San Jose Va. Cal. June 1st 1853
Mrs. E.S. Carter San Jose Val. Cal.
June 1st /53
This is the 2nd letter I write sinse receiving one of you. Nevertheless if my letter receive as cordial a welcome in your hand as yours do in mine I should not fail or neglect writing frequently I am hapy to announce my health hopeing that the same irrestissable gift may constantly attend you all. I recieved Amelias letter in due season and answered the same some weeks since It seems bearly possible for you to conceive how greatly I desire to greet our little ones to take part in pointing them to the first principles of true greatness and moral excellence to assist you in directing their feet in pease along the shimering pathway of the just to the sun lit hills of immortality I am convinsed that you possess the ability both natural and acquired of wielding a more powerful and efficient infulence over their minds for good than myself Remember I beseech thee Remember now is the time Sinse I wrote last nothing has occured in this country of importence to you or any one else that I know of
I did not have sufficient space in my last letter to say all that I wished to say You wished to know who had injured me and in what respect they are all straingers to you the principle mans Name is Dale and the sircumstances are about these Dale had a horse shot about the same time there was a cow shot belonging to him or some of his clique I know nor care not which but so it was said that he believed that my partner or me one or the other did it and ever since then he has been endeavoring to the utmost extent of his ability to prejudice the public mind against us not notwithstanding all that he has been able to effect we yet have at least a few substantial friends who still have the impudence to stand up for us You say that you have been looking for my thousand Dollar bills to drop out for some time that is no means an unreasonable expectation but since leaving the mines I have hardly had money enough in hand at one time to justify going to San Francisco to purchase a bill of exchange but the first sale I make of stock amounting to anything worth while I will send you the money unless I sell all at one time and bring it along with me Since I have been in the valey I have had all my little fortune profitably invested and I think tolerably safely too If I can make any reasonable and right calculation I have done better in the Ranching business upon an avarige than I did mineing but I do not wish to make the impresion on your mind that I have done well for infact I think that I have done a very slim busines considering the openings for well doing in this country and yet it is better than I posibly could have done else where It is growing quite late at night therfore I must bid you adieu for the present.. Write me often my love you can scarcely imagine what a joy what a comfort it is to hear from you in this far off land to learn that your heart is still faithful and loveing and true I have not always perhaps never written as I would have spoken had we been face to face yet it does seem if it can be possible that since our seperation I feal a more devoted attchment for you than ever and although some who know the fealings and emotions which swell my aching bosom might be ready to conclude that if he loved her he would bewith her but ah how could I forget thee how could I feal indifferent towards that one whose affections I have gained and weded in her girlhood will you for me kiss that sweet babe I’ve never seen may never see My love to the children all my kind regards to all the family
The following forwarding letter from Bettie Carter to Jackson Carter is found on the backside of jasper’s second sheet.
Elliston Ky July 25 1853
Dear Brother I send you the last letter I have received from your brother Jasper you can read the contents I am happy to say this leaves us in health and hope it may find you enjoying the same blessing I would be very glad to hear from you indeed I think this is the third one of Jaspers letters I have sent you I would like to know whether you recieved them or not My brothers and Sisters families are well and send their love to you al Brother Peter has gone south will be back in about a week I have nothing of interest to write your relations are well in fayette as far as I know and the old neighbors are also well I heard from them last Monday George Egbert Lunsford are likely to remain Bachelors also all cousin George Mitchel boys I think there are about 6 there Millie Lyon is married. She married a grandson of Unce Hezzie L…n His name is
John Marders I have understood that it is thought that Cousin Mary Nelson will marry this fall Susan Gosney looks very well indeed and is as lively as a cricket O how glad I would be to see you all once more particularly Mother I hope we may live to see each other yet if Jas ever is so fortunate as to get back I intend for us all to pay you a visit i shall look for him about christmas any how I will close by subscribing your loving sister write soon remember me to all Bettie S Carter Jackson Carter
P S Sarah Jane Brother Peters girl com to her death last Saturday week ago by hanging herself cause unknown Be sure to write as soon as you get this
on side of Page Mercola sends his love to you and says he would like to see you”