Elizabeth Green Wood
b. 26 June 1832, d. 14 June 1856
- Father: Green Wood b. 31 January 1792, d. 12 February 1866
- Mother: Evelina Alexander Barnes b. 23 October 1806, d. 2 April 1888
- Elizabeth Green Wood was born on 26 June 1832 in Alabama.
- She was known as Lizzie.
- About 1837, portraits were painted of Green and Evelina Wood by an unknown artist (estimated date based on their apparent ages in the portraits). If a third portrait, of a young girl, was painted by the same artist, at the same time, it would have been of daughter Lizzie Green, as her descendants believe. The painting is today, however, in the family collection of descendants of youngest daughter Ella, so identity of the original of that portrait is uncertain.
- Green Wood and Evelina Alexander Barnes appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1840 in Montgomery County, Alabama. Other (counted but unnamed) members of the household apparently included Elizabeth Green Wood, Green Mark Wood, Willis Breazeal Wood, William Barnes Wood and Joshua Wood. Also in the household were eighty-eight slaves, thirty-one of whom were under age ten.
- Robert Micajah Powell wrote to Elizabeth Green Wood:
Brenham Texas - Nov. 21 - 1849
I have intruded myself upon your attention the third time since I heard from you. Yours of August was the last. Why I have not received any from you since that time I don’t know nor will I stop to inquire. The reasons why I wrote the first still exist and prompts [me] to write this. Silence or distance can not deter me from so delightful a task. It is almost my only pleasure, and there is but one thing that will cause me to cease & that is your will, with me it is supreme – and your pleasure is of the highest consideration with me. True the heart is not so happy and the feelings so buoyant after a long and protracted silence as when I am in the possession of a welcome messenger from you, yet I have learned to calculate upon circumstances, convenience and accident. Even now it may be that you are thinking me a false flatterer and deceiver. If you are, charge it all to Genl. Taylor, for I have written twice before this. Yet other obstacles may have intervened that could not be obviated. Something has happened I know not what, but the heart involuntarily makes the inquiry, and there is not a voice west of Old Montgomery that can answer. I know not how to proceed. I have said much in former letters & the heart is now full, but how to transcribe its honest emotions upon paper I have yet to learn. Alone & in silence I can feel & realize its emotions of affection. When the duties of everyday are forgotten & I am surrounded by the poetry of love, it is then that I am happy. The future opens brightly before and any object reflects your own image and the halo of hope surrounds the imagery of love. For what was love given if it is not to be as enduring as life and flourish with heavenly beauty beyond death? It cannot be forgotten in at an unknown age day or year.
If you leave Montgomery before the 1st of Dec. you will not receive this. Yet I hope it will be in time. If you should receive it, I hope you will dignify it by some token, anything from you would be most welcome. I am a stranger to the movements in M[ontgomery]. I have not received a letter from Dunk for three months. Why his silence I am unable to account for. I have the pleasure of receiving a little letter from my sister a few weeks ago, which is all. If all my Ala[bama] Friends have so soon forgotten me this soon I regret it, least wise take the privilege at any early day to remind them that Mike is alive & that I have not forgotten them. The memory of all my old and youthful friends is dear to me & I hope will ever be. This country affords no news of interest but if heaven would favour so much as to let me sit by you a few hours, perhaps I could tell you something interesting. At least it would be a very interesting position for me. I hope you will soon be here. Yet for your own happiness perhaps I ought not to wish it, for here you will be a stranger and for awhile deprived of the society & pleasures you are accustomed to enjoy. I have felt it much & you will necessarily feel it more, but when you do come no other country & no others society will have any charms for me. It is a sad event when all are about to bid adieu to home – the old & beloved home - now no more our home & to the friends & early associates. There is a ball in town tonight. I hear the fiddle now. I don’t think I shall go – this is the ninth week of court & I am very busy & feel remarkably dull, more so than usual. I am physically very feeble from constant & excessive application as I have the business of three attorneys to do this fall. Before you leave just give my respects to all. How is cousin Tom? I hope he has not driven the memory of myself entirely from your mind! Miss Lizzie I wish that I had something to say that would amuse your or interest you. Shall I tell the oft-repeated tale? To me it is a theme that is ever dear, one that angels sing for it presides over all human affairs, “Love rules the court, the camp, the grove, here on earth and saints above, for love is Heaven, & Heaven is love.” But perhaps you are tired of it. A kingdom at this moment for a thought acceptable to you. Miss Lizzie in the absence of anything from you I know not how or what to say. One thing is certain – that is I am here, the same thing. Time nor circumstances make no change in me. I love you just like I did when I left you. My path is a little gloomy now, for I have not heard a voice for sometime to cheer its silence but hope now looms up in the distance & cheers up the heart & makes her forget her loneliness. It is a pleasure to think of you and I should dispise my name and feel that I was a recreant deceiver if an hour was to pass and my heart fails to pay tribute to your memory, but all this you know & doubt not. All I ever had to offer you was a faithful and devoted heart that is still yours & to love you will be the business of my life, whatever may be our fates. So goodbye loved one – God bless & prosper you.
I am still devotedly yours, R.M.P.
Letter in private collection of B. M. Henwood, descendant of Mike and Lizzie Wood Powell; original transcription by R. E. Reichardt.
- Elizabeth Green Wood wrote to Robert Micajah Powell:
Mr P –
Will you be astonished to receive this, or do you look for it? I know you think I’m an odd creature but you don’t know me yet. perhaps Time may show you what a harum scarum little girl I am. The day has at length arrived for the boys to leave. Today they start for the new home, leave friends and all old associations behind for new ones. I have taken up my abode in Town at Mr Snodgras'. I am very anxious for them to come, for me to leave – I am enjoying myself very much but still I had rather seen my friend in Texas, than attend all places of gaity. Maj Jenkins is in town now, & I am trying about as hard as a woman ever did to catch him. he is anxious to know if there is any intimacy between ourselves. of course I say not. There was a party at Dr Holt's last evening. you may know I did my prettiest to ensnare the gentleman with the interesting eyes. Sallie & Bet have been staying some time in town but the old folks carried them home this morning. I was down to see them early this morning. I think Puss could be going down very soon to see Bethire. How things have changed since you left. I expect you are posted up with all the affairs of the heart. I have at last made the acquaintance of Judge Felds and indeed I think he is an oddity. he is very anxious to give me a likeness that hangs out before Parks gallery. I go by there very often to see the picture but I can’t fancy that it is you although it is very like the original. Cousin Spaight is in town. of course I am engaged to him as my friends or gossipers are so kind as to give me all of my cousins – John Brown is to be married the first of next month to Sallie Murdock - I don’t envy her lot - for he is anything but smart - but her desires take with that family - I send you this dear little boquet – as an emblem of my love for you - I have never told you that before but you have been aware of for two years - I shall see you in 4 weeks from this time. it is a long long time for impatient. ------ I can’t expect to hear from you again as Duncan is going away. I’ll send this by mail as you’ll get it sooner
Yours Truly, Lizzie G Wood
Thursday morning Dec 7th ’49.
Minimal punctuation added by the transcriber to enhance readability.
- She and William Barnes Wood and Campbell Wood accompanied Green Wood and Evelina Alexander Barnes to Texas in 6 January 1850.
- On Sunday, 26 May 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "A very fine day, had Green & wife & Rush to dinner."
- Green Wood and Evelina Alexander Barnes appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1850 in Montgomery County, Texas. Other members of the household included Elizabeth Green Wood, William Barnes Wood and Campbell Wood.
- On Sunday, 30 June 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Green M. Wood & wife & children & Willis B. Wood wife children & Duncan G. Campbell all Dined with us to day at the new place."
- On Sunday, 18 August 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Sent Bob to Montgomery with a letter to John Abercrombie & three others by E. A. & Lizzie Wood."
- On Sunday, 22 September 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "A beautiful day, all in fine health. Mr & Mrs Carothers, Green & Wife & Willis & wife & all their Children & Mr Powell spent the day with us."
- On Sunday, 3 November 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "G. M. & W. B. Wood & their familey's with us & some Gentlemen from Grimes County."
- On Sunday, 10 November 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Plesant day, all dined with Willis B. Wood."
- On Tuesday, 12 November 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Mrs Wood Lizzie & Billy started to Houston."
- On Sunday, 8 December 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Mrs E. A. Wood Lizzie & myself returned from Houston this evening."
- On Wednesday, 25 December 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Mr. J. Abercrombie and Family and W. B. Wood and Family and Mr. Peter C. Harris to dinner with us."
- On Thursday, 22 May 1851, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "J. C. Abercrombie and Lady came down this evening," and on Friday, the 23rd, "Lizzie, J. Brown and Campbell and Len [Abercrombie] all went home with J. C. A. and Lady."
- On Tuesday, 7 October 1851, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Sent three hands this evening to help Abercrombie raise his gin House tomorrow," and an the following day, "Mrs. W. and Lizzie went to J. C. Abercrombie's."
- On Saturday, 18 October 1851, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "W. B. Wood & Wife & Lizzie started to Houston."
- On Wednesday, 5 November 1851, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Mrs. W. and Lizzie went to Mr. Abercrombie's," and on the following day, "Abercrombie's Smith at work today."
- She married Robert Micajah Powell, son of George Francis Powell and Nancy Brown Williamson, on 27 November 1851 in Montgomery County, Texas, at Greenwood plantation, by license issued on 5 November by H. B. Boston, with Presbyterian Minister Daniel Baker officiating.
- On Monday, 23 August 1852, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Mr Powell & Lizzie started this morning to Cincinnati Ohio," and on the same day, "Sent by Robert L. Wood to Wm M. Rice &c 3 Bales cotton for Willis Wood No. 1,2,3 7 2 for Mr. Powell No. 1,2."
- While in Cincinnati Elizabeth Green Wood was treated by Robert Safford Newton who was a well-known surgeon and practitioner of "Eclectic" medicine.
- Mary Wood wrote to Elizabeth Green Wood:
Mt Olympus, Oct the 5 - 1852
My Darling Elizabeth G Powell
I was delighted last monday at the sight of a letter written with your own dear hand. I have not received a letter from any of your father,s family since I received yours by Willis. I have written 3 -- one to your mother, 1 to Camel & to Mary J Wood. I was at W. Mitchell,s last week & saw [one] from brother. He askd why I had not written to them, So I presume they have not got my letters. I should have been very unhappy at not getting letters had I not heard from them through others. Sister Allen wrote me she had just heard or received a letter. I also saw part of brother,s letter written to W. Breazeal publish,d in Dr Andrew,s paper. I can't immagine why our letters have failed to reach each other. I thought for a while that the high waters stopd the mail. It has just occurd to me that I receivd a letter from brother written when they were looking for Willis home. he said Camel was anxiously looking for an answer to his letter. I then answer,d Camel,s letter & described John T. Thrasher,s wife & wedding, also the little party I gave him Perhaps that letter has been received, But I must say that I think John has a choice wife. Emera is delighted with her. they will live with Emera this year if no longer, as Mr Mc Morris has become a traveling Preacher -- he has not spent a month at home this year. E. thinks he answer,d before he was calld.
My dear Niece, altho I have been anxious to hear from you I am glad I did not know you had gone to have your dear face opperated on until the crisis was over. O how constantly & fervently I have prayd for you that you might be spared such pain, But our Heavenly Father has directed it otherwise & we must submit. You cant think how it grieved us all to think your beauty would be mar,d by that place but we all concluded you had plenty left and that mark of suffering would indear you to all your friends. My dear Elizabeth, as soon as your face is well enough for you to rub that side of it, rub it often to make the blood circulate & prevent its shrinking, rub it lightly but requently, I would beg you to come to see me as you can now come with out crossing the gulf but I fear you would be in a great hurry to get home as you have been absent so long and your suffering has made the time appear longer than it really was. If I am not mistaken you judgd Dr Mc Nair by Mr Powell, So when you get well his health will be restord, I hope. As for Dr Mc N. there is no hope for him if his health depends on his wife,s. I got a letter from him the day I received your,s. he said Latitia had no ease, only when lulled by opiates. Her sister is with her. every thing is done for her comfort that can posibly be done. The Dr says he takes her to ride as often as she can bear it. I think they don't expect She can live long. The leaders of her arm were cut when the opperation was performed but she could use it at first and imbroiderd or trimd a dress for Lagrand which inflamed the arm & swelled it very much. She has been suffering with that arm more than any thing else. Dr Mc N. would take her any where she wishd. He received your letter recommending Dr Newton but she cant bear the trip. It grieved me that I cant go to see her. My children think it would lay me up. I insisted on L,s spending this summer with me but could not get her to do so. I now think there is no probability of our meeting until we meet in Heaven. What a Soul cheering fa[i]th?, that we shall all meet in Heaven -- no Texas for Brother to move to and leave me. I hope the fifteen thousand dollars he has or will receive soon will inable him to live as he may choose, if he don't now, I feel that he is rewarded for his goodness without going to another world for it. May the God of Heaven multiply his blessings and cause them to descend on his children from generation to generation. I expect you hear from our Ga kin, as they speak of you all in their letters. Solon Mitchell left here this day 3 weeks. Said he thought he should bring Sister here to look out a place to move to. If they can't suit themselves here they will go to Texas. S. says he will move & Sister will go with him. The great rain this summer completed the ruin of their land. I hope they will find a place near me. Green Tailor & many others are moveing off. Mrs Abercrombie intends selling out & moveing to Florida. I am looking for Sister, as Solon and W. Mitchell speak of going to Texas in Nov And they are to come here first. Solon thinks Sister would be pleasd with the Barton place. Eason says if she wants it she shall have it. As you dont see your cousins you cant know what good boys they are unless I tel you. I think they are alike in many things. Solon is in fine healt[h], has fattened & looks much better than when you saw him. He says he has learnd to govern himself, has found out the worth of his mother. He used to be peevish. Sister speaks of him in her last letters as her noble good Son. The boys both see[m] anxious that Sister & I should spend the remnant of our days near each other. Sister is obliged to move some where, or I should not expect her here. I try not to be too much elated but keep two strings to my bow -- if one wont work I,ll [t]ry the other. I have many blessings, no doubt as many as I deserve. You speak of dear Ella & Eason. O, that I could see them. Hug & kiss them for me. Has Ella got dimples in both cheeks? Thos,s Son shews them plainer than any of my grandchildren -- he is a noble looking boy. Dear Liza, do come to see me as soon as you can. I want to see Mr Powell. tel him I love him because I think he loves you. You both have my prayers for your health & safe return to the arms of your friends. When you come here dont make us a flying visit as Willis & Sally did. All of us regretted seeing so little of them. Thomas M. would have gone to Tuskegee or Montgomery to see Willis but was not well enough.
Liza, I expect you have read the discription of Niagra by H.. Bacon. he says go below & come up as near as you can with safety (on some water craft I judge), you can go quite [N]ear. Don't trouble yourself to describe it to me, but think of me when there & tel me if you injoy it. I am sure you will be fil,d with sublime thoughts of our Heavenly Father
I need not tel you of the fruit here unless you could partake of it. I hope you will soon have plenty. I have the pleasure to say my children are well -- very little sickness amongst my children. none here except the mumps that was light with those who had it. We have an excelent crop this produced well. Eason says I need not send his love or good wishes -- you know you have them always. I came from Wetumpka monday evening to Cooks. All my daughters sayd tel you many good things for them. I can tel you one thing for them -- all love you & pray for your wellfare. Tel Camel I wrote him such a long letter, I am sorry he did not get it. I will write to him again -- tel him he must write to me again. I was proud of his letter. Give my love to Mr Powell, Sister, Brother & every member of the family when you see them.
Clarrissa says give her love to Miss Liza, says she prays for you everyday that you may get well & get home safe.
If good wishes could cure you you would soon be well.
God bless you now and forever
Is the prayer of your Aunt,
NB - Sally Cook directed your letter when I was there before I wrote it, made a mistake but did not have another invellope in the house. Tel some one write to me as soon as you get home. You wont feel like writing for some time perhaps. I shall be anxious to hear from you again. No cold weather here yet, we begin to want rain. - MM
Minimal punctuation added by the transcriber to enhance readability.
- On Sunday, 28 November 1852, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Mr R. M. Powell & Lizzie returned from Ohio this evening."
- Evelina Wood and her daughter Lizzie Powell exchanged letters in the Spring of 1855 while Lizzie was being treated for cancer by Dr. Robert Wilson January in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Transcriptions of the surviving letters appear at the bottom of this page.
- On 2 March 1855, Elizabeth Green Wood wrote to Evelina Alexander Barnes:
Murfreesboro March 2nd
My Dear Mother,
Yours, Brother Wm & Campbell's letters of the 12th were received the 28th & you can't imagine the pleasure they afforded us - I read them over so often & think of you all so much, that I can scarcely contain my self. I get so impatient to go home, indeed I hardly think of anything else & yet it will be so long before I can go home; We have no idea when we can leave, the disease is so slow coming and the Dr takes off a good deal every morning. I had no idea there was so much, but the medicine follows it up, & I hope will in two or three weeks remove it entirely. with the exception of two or three nights I have rested very well for the last two weeks, my eye is entirely closed from the swelling when I can sleep at night, I think of you, & perhaps you too are awake, thinking of your suffering child - The weather has been so cold, every thing frozen over for two weeks, it has brought on a return of my neuralgia which with my other pains has caused me much suffering for five days - I have kept my bed to keep warm, it is getting a little warmer, but still cold I have seen no flowers since I have been here, they have not thought of gardening. when I compare it to our pleasant climature I wonder how people live here. I expect every thing is putting out at home & you'll soon have vegetables. I am affraid we'll miss the strawberries, we'll be here so late they'll be all gone before we get to Alabama. You ask how are we off for clothes, we have a plenty now, but when spring comes we'll have to go to work. I regret that I did not bring the two dresses you got me in Galveston. it would have saved that much & our expenses will be large enough. Chloe has not worn her dresses out, but she burnt one of them very badly. I dread making Wood's pants, I am affraid I'll not get them to fit. Bettie has worked me three pair of sleeves & bands, this open work, they are very pretty. she will not consent to go to Texas, her Ma & Pa would be alone & both in bad health. George & Wood agree pretty well now, but at first they agreed in nothing. wOOD has a dime which he says he is going to carry home to Grandpa - you would be surprised to see him so fat. I have very little appetite, there is so much sameness in every thing here, just meat & bread, no irish potatoes, cranberries, macaronie, buck wheat, or any thing else nice. This town is almost as poor as Danville. I am thiner than I have been since I have been grown. I had a letter from Cousin Eliza yesterday. She wishes Dr. January to send medicine to Mollie, but he wont send medicine - she sent me a large bundle of rags. There is a man here, come this week, he has a hundred fiberous tumors on him. one poor fellow came, but the Dr would not treat him, the disease was in his throat - Tell Ella, Wood has a large lump of maple sugar he says he is going to carry her. Tell Par when ever I go to the piano I play Rosy O'Moore & I think of him. Give my love to all & remember me to the servants, particularly to Letty & L Bob - Tell Campbell to continue to write, his letters are very interesting. I have not heard from Sallie -- I will write to Mrs Tarleton when I get better. Who hired Bose's Matilda & Jane - Chloe sends her love to all, particularly to Ella - Don't let Ella forget us, Oh, how can I stay away from you so long? The time seems interminable. do continue to write me every little thing. Tell Mollie I expect I'll get home to her frolick & tell Josie I am anxiously looking for her letters. Give my love to every member of the family and accept bushels for your-self from your affectionate & loving child,
Lizzie W Powell.
Saturday morning, it is very cloudy & looks as if we would have rain pretty soon. I am anxious to see warm fair weather. I am so confined to my room these cold days.
Minimal punctuation added by the transcriber to enhance readability.
- On Wednesday, 4 July 1855, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Billy and wife started to Galveston to Meet Mr. Powell and Lizzie, with two carriages and drivers." And on Monday, the 9th, "Billy, wife and all returned this evening with Mr. Powell and Lizzie and child and nurse, got home this evening."
- Green Wood wrote to Bolling Hall Jr. in Alabama on 26 August 1855, ". . . Billy has gone to Church - Josey & Mary Jane are with Lizzie, - she has mended considerably but requires a good deal of attention . . ."
- Elizabeth Green Wood died on 14 June 1856 at age 23 in Montgomery County, Texas.
- Her husband Robert Micajah Powell became a widower at her death.
- She was interred at the Green Wood family cemetery, Montgomery County, Texas.
The following letters were exchanged during the Spring of 1855 between Evelina Wood and daughter Lizzie Powell while Lizzie was undergoing treatment by Dr. Robert Wilson January for cancer in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
- Evelina Alexander Barnes wrote to Elizabeth Green Wood:
Greenwood, March 5th 1855
My Dear Daughter,
Yours of the 8th and Mr Powell's of the 12th of last month were received this morning, you will perceive it is nearly a month since they were written, why there is such a delay in the mails I cannot see. I managed to live through last week without a letter from you but assure you it was a hard task -- I am greatly obliged to Mr Powell for writing to me and am glad to see he is so sanguine in a cure of your face. my dear child -- Do endeavor to be contented and cheerful, it goes a long ways in promoting a cure, your mind has a great influence over you -- give yourself up entirely to God and the Dr. and you will feel better -- don't think of home until you are relieved. I am glad you took Wood, you never would have remained so long without the dear little fellow - we miss you and long to see you all located in that room once more and hear Wood's voice at the break of day - but we would prefer not seeing you for a whole year for you to return sound & well in mind and body - Mr Powell writes me your general health is better I am so glad to hear it - Your friends are all interested about you - ask every week if we got letters and how are you and when you will be home &c - You ask why Josie don't write -- she promises herself every week that she will do so, but when the time comes she puts it off for another week. Mollie has written and I presume you have received it ere this - Green and Billie have also written. They all say I write every week and give all the news and leave nothing for them - I seldom leave home to gather any thing of importance and Mr Wood does not go to Danville on[c]e a week. The ball in Danville is over eleven ladies and girls attended - Miss Gayle was the belle of the evening - Mrs Talbot and Mrs May were there, the only married ladies invited. Mr Williamson staid all night here not long since, he was giving me the news -- he says he was surprised to see Miss Gayle at the Ball -- Mr Williamson is high up now to build an academy on his own responsibillity -- if the people will employ him for two years and subscribe liberally - Campbell appears to be learning better than he has ever done, Mr W makes him understand it - You will be surprised to see how much Campbell has grown this winter. He and Mr Williamson caught a fox last Friday night - and the next night several men came over and went with him, but were unsuccessful in their hunt - I went yesterday to hear Dr Scott preach, a good sermon as usual. Green & Mollie went also - Mrs Dr Spiller came home with me to dinner - Billie and Josie did not come over - Dr Spiller, Maj Scott and Mr Williamson have had their names placed before the Templars for admittance and expect to be received into full membership next Saturday night - the last named gentleman has been imbibing rather freely in ardent spirits lately finds he must have something more binding than a good resolve from himself - Mrs Susan Spiller and Mrs Glaze was to see me last week - they were very prosy - A few lines to Mr Powell on his business and farming generally -- Lewis finished planting corn the 2nd of March - Your ground was in fine order and planted finely so Mr Wood says -- All the hands are now in the new ground. Lewis thinks he will be able to get it in cultivation. Jane went out to work this morning for the first time, she is fat and healthy. All well at your house except Ben. he is complaining again, nothing but worms he came over two days ago, we gave him spirits turpentine and oil and he discharged three worms, we then got some vermifuge and gave him and continues to discharge them, he went to work this morning. I gave Lewis the vermfuge to give him a while longer - Lewis has had every thing in the plow except Clover - they ride him here - your mules and horses are all idle now except one mule which Mr Wood has borrowed a few days. He has Cork in the plow and every thing else that can pull one, even the Mustang - the planting is not finished here and will not be for a week laying of[f] horizontal rows and ditching again - today they are finishing laying off the middle field, the one oposite the potatoe ground - We got up some groceries from Houston yesterday, the first in a long time irish potatoes $8.00 per barrel, we received three barrels - flour costs us $16.00 by the time we get it here - we have learned to eat corn bread in every shape and like it - Every body is complaining of hard times. Mr Wettemark is here, he came to borrow Lizzie's guitar for a few days. I have loaned it to him, he intends going to Houston to live in a week or two - He says Dr Stewart received a letter and book from you to-day - Mr Wood intends writing and will give you the balance of the news - James Mitchell is at Queechy run at work. I do not know what he is doing - he has not got all the Machinery yet - Forrest has hired Smith to finish Billie's house and gone to the mill - James has missed you very much, poor fellow he has had to work very hard - he tried to get his father to assist him some in the loan of money but not a dollar was forthcoming - I gave Bill Campbell a shirt & pants yesterday - Rachel has done a good deal of sewing - her child is four weeks old - she will cook, attend to the children and work round the house when there is any thing to do - I told Lewis last night he must not forget the garden - he is very anxious to see you come home, he carries on the work well. We have no rain to fill the cisterns, cloudy and warm now and some appearance of rain - I am giving Eason and Ella vermifuge to keep them well -- they talk about Wood every day, sister and brother Mike - We are so anxious for the time to roll around for you to come home - a letter every week contents me, when I hear Lizzie is improving and there is a prospect of a certain cure - Cousin John Abercrombie is looking as well as I ever saw -- Chapman's gout cordial cured him, he eats any thing and every thing with impunity - Cousin Minerva has taken Sallie Comer to school in Huntsville, she boards at Mr Mc Shan's the preacher's - they have not been to see us since the middle of December - every thing plowing. Campbell wants to know if it is not time for him to receive an answer to his document - thinks he will write again by next mail - Rose is a little sick to-day -- she is taking lobelia - Please do not forget my pruning knives when you come home - I want nothing in the way of dry goods - Dear Lizzie I have all of your Pa's shirts finished, eight in number -- and commenced on Campbell's to-day - Matilda sews very nicely - Dilce says tell Miss Lizzie and Mars Wood howdy and says she wants to see you -- Tell Chloe it is rumored that Little Ben and Rhody are to be married next Saturday night - Did Mr William Mitchell go to Murfreesboro? Your Aunt Polly wrote us she thought he would go - The garden is very backward - The 3rd of March was our first Spring day - I received some rose cuttings today in an envelope - I think they are from Mrs Hackett no name attached - they look badly - My Affleck roses are putting out - will have the most of them to live - my mind and time are occupied with sewing, reading, writing and flowers -- I am trying to get through with my sewing before you get home - I am so anxious for another letter - the last ones were so old - perhaps I may hear something more definite about your face and when you will leave Tennessee - How long do you think you will stay in Montgomery? I hope Peter is going to do well in marrying and he will be blessed in a good wife - Will Bettie come home with you? I hope she will -- Eason & Ella send Wood lots of kisses -- Billie has not sold Mr Powell's carriage yet - Mr Wood is selling a great many sweet potatoes for planting - Josie said she intended writing today but I have no faith in it as she dislikes to write and you know Billie was never fond of writing - You must make me believe you do not tire of my nonsense as you can not do better at home - I never get tired myself as long as I have any thing to say - Love to Bettie, Mr Powell, Wood and yourself and Chloe not forgotten.
Your affectionate mother, E A Wood.
Bottom of 1st page: Mr Wettermark did not take the guitar as one string was missing and
none to be had in Danville.
Minimal punctuation added by the transcriber to enhance readability. Apparently "Queechy run" is a literary allusion. Queechy, a novel published in 1852, was a story about a young girl, a little village and a saw mill. Likely Evelina and Lizzie read it to the younger children and grandchildren in the household.
- Elizabeth Green Wood wrote to Evelina Alexander Barnes:
Murfreesboro March 10th /55
Imagine my delight, my ever dear Mother, last Monday morning when I went into Bettie's room to breakfast to find your dear epistle lying on my plate. I thought not of eating until I had read it -- it acted as a relish. I enjoyed my meal much more than I would have done with-out it. Mr. Powell received Brother Green's letter at the same time -- he wrote to Par several days ago, but I expect you'll get this at the same time. Old Mr. Mitchell is more than a match for me, he complains all the time. he got some medicine from the Dr. & would go home. Julius tried to get him to stay, but he was affraid of dying from home. he says he'll return in two weeks, the Dr. could have cured him if he had remained, but a cure is doubtful now - Bettie & George left last night with them. I disliked to see Bettie leave, & she hated leaving us, but she had several chills, & an attack of hemorage, & coughed a good deal, so Mr. Powell thought she had better go home and stay awhile. she has promised to return in a fortnight if she is well enough. Wood misses her & George very much. the first thing this morning when he awoke was to ask for Aunt Bet. Bettie improved when she first came here, but for the last month she looked very badly. she thinks she has consumption. I hardly know what I shall do without her. I wish the day would come when we can all bid farewell to Tennessee. I am so home sick, & it takes so long to effect a cure, that I feel sometimes as if I never could be well. how often have I wished that I could have been taken as my dear brother left. I suffer so much that I feel that I am a burden to my self & every one dear -- Mr Powell is so attentive, so patient, & always ready to wait on me, indeed I feel that I am blessed in my affliction in having the best of Parents & a husband who is unequaled -- I think some nights, when sleep refuses to visit my pillow, that if you were only here, to sit by me, I could go to sleep immediately, & I have no dear mother here to tempt my appetite with with nice things. I seldom eat dinner, as there is nothing but meat. I eat oysters until I tired of them -- Saturday evening -- I wrote the above this morning & have been lying down ever since. I have found something at last that acts on my nerves like a charm, & makes me sleep. it is elipsis of opium, it has no bad effect -- I don't suffer so much pain for the last few days as I did previously. You would be surprised to see how the medicine follows up the disease, it reaches nearly to the top of my nose, & up to my ear. my eye is closed, & has been for a week from the swelling -- Mr Powell has been around to the boarding house where most of the Dr's patients board, & he has been giving me a description of them. most of them are even with not a friend to tend them, looking so dirty, so many soiled cloths, & a great many come without rags -- I suppose many of them would think my case light compared to theirs. indeed it is a great comfort & blessing to have kind friends to attend & sympathize with us in our afflictions, oh! how can I ever repay the debt of gratitude I owe? Dr January has had five new cases to come in this week. The old man has his hands full. The landlord of the hotel where the patients are staying has accumulated a good deal of the Dr's powders by stealing them from the sick, & has gone to Eastern Tennessee & introduced him-self as a student of Dr J's, & we heard he had six cases. you say Mr Powell must dress more than he did, but it is not the Taylor that makes the man this time. he never got him a new coat until this week, & still wears his hunting cap. they all beg him to get a new hat. they come around & invite him to walk, so you see it is the man, & these Tennessee ladies are not the most refined in the world -- Julius Mitchell said Cousin Charles had gotten back from Texas, & would return with cousin Malinda in May. I expect we will be able to leave by that time. We have very pleasant weather now, & I think if all continues my neuralgia will give away entirely, it is only in the point of my shoulder. -- Do remember me to all, & kiss Par & Ella for me, & receive lots of love for your own dear self -- Sallie has forgotten her promise to write. Wood sends you all a kiss -- Tell Rose to be smart & give her howdy from me. -- I will try and answer Mollie's letter soon.
Your Affectionate daughter, Lizzie.
Minimal punctuation added by the transcriber to enhance readability.
- Evelina Alexander Barnes wrote to Elizabeth Green Wood:
Monday evening, Greenwood, May 14th 1855
My ever dear Child,
I receive every letter with a trembling hand and open it between hope & fear, oh that I could once get the glorious news of your speedy recovery - I still hope the next letter, you will have regained your strength and that your hands and feet have improved, it is certainly from your nervous condition and weakened state that they are so entirely useless to you - I remember Sue Ogbourne's was in the same state once - I have cried so much since we got the letters written the 24th & 29th of April that I can scarcely write to you, and I am obliged to write this evening as the mail leaves in the morning - were I to omit writing to you my beloved daughter one week, I should feel like I had commited the unpardonable sin, it is all that is left for my hands to do - and oh how willingly it is done. If I knew you could enjoy reading the letters - I could write for hours to do something to please you and add one iota to your happiness or win one smile from you to cheer those around you. My mind & spirit are continually hovering over and around you, just imagine me thinking of you every moment in the day and the first thought on awaking at night is of you my suffering child, Oh that I could be with you, Oh for the power to go to you -- I wish I had Wood at home, that I might be doing something for you - I hope he won't get sick any more - Do remember me to the lady who sent you those nice things she shall have my prayers for her happiness in this life, her future state I feel will be a happy one - Give my love to Bettie, ask her to write to me and may God bless her forever for her goodness to my dear child - Eason & Ella both have bad colds - and both a little sick from them Eason had ear-ache last night - Ella saw me crying to-day and said ma are you crying about my sister Lizzie, she remembers all about you and knows every thing which belongs to you. The children often speak of you all every one of you and kiss me repeatedly and say send them to you every one - Ella speaks of Bettie & George as if she had known them always -- I hope Sallie Barnett has returned to you ere this to relieve Bettie and Mr Powell some - I have every confidence in Mr Powell's doing every thing that can be done, I know he is one of the best nurses.
Mary Jane has another son born the 8th of May - she call him Milton LeGrand, he favors all the rest, will be very dark-skinned - Rush & Solomon go to school, they are fond of it. Mary Jane is doing finely, Leah waited on her all last week. Billie came up this evening to read the letters and took them to Josie, he intends writing to Mr Powell by this mail. Lewis says all well at his place. No one laid up here, all well except colds - Campbell has a rising on his thumb, something like a felon - you will scarcely recognize him he has grown so much - We will be obliged to send him to Huntsville as Mr Williamson leaves us in two weeks for Shreveport -- Mr Mayfield & Miss Seymour were married last evening at three o'clock Mr Redding gave them a dinner to-day - I have seen none of them for some time -- Old Mrs Edward was here last Saturday, staid all night, she took so much camphor it made her tipsy - she is going out west to see her son -- I have so many young turkies and they are doing well -- have 70 and 5 more hens setting - Josie has thirty-five young turkies she likes to attend to the poultry - I have had but two letters from Sallie since she left - she has written to Billie twice on business and once for money - I shall continue to write to her - with a view of hearing from the children often - and try to keep up a feeling of affection in her for the family - Sallie feels near to me, she was the wife of a beloved son, as such I am bound to love her -- Rose and her boy keep well - she asks after you, as soon as I get through reading the letters - All the negroes ask after and all the neighborhood appear interested and ask every week if we got a letter that mail -- Dr Spiller Asks Campbell to bring him Mr Powell's letter every week. I commenced on this small sheet of paper without noticing it until I had written several lines, so you must excuse it and I will do so no more - Mrs Dr Spiller took dinner here Yesterday, she said give her love to you and send Wood a kiss - Virginia has got well - Your Par joins me in love to you my dear beloved child - and we hope to have you soon restored to us in health - Love to the balance and a Kiss for Wood
- Your Mother, E. A. Wood.
Letter in private collection of B. M. Henwood, descendant of Mike & Lizzie Wood Powell; original transcription by R. E. Reichardt.
- Evelina Alexander Barnes wrote to Elizabeth Green Wood:
Monday evening, Greenwood, May 28th /55
My darling Child,
You are still a great sufferer, and I here and not the power to go to you, to relieve you in any degree or to assist Mr Powell and Bettie in the duty of anticipating your wants. it is agonizing and harrowing to my very soul not to be able to go to you - Your Par says it is impossible for him to go under all the circumstances and you know my child my utter inability to travel alone so far I know not how to depend on strangers for assistance. If we only had a rail-road, I would make the trial to go alone - Oh my dear suffering child how I yearn and pray to be with you. if spirits are ever permitted to hover around any one rest assured mine is ever more with you. Home has no joys for me and yet I seldom ever leave the house. it has become an irksome task to entertain company and I dread to see any one coming, because I am expected to speak and say civil and polite things to them - Oh if I could just be with you to stand around you day & night while you are in want of attention, it would be a sweet pleasure, although my child your cries of pain and distress would be heartrending. I would be nursing my hearts idol - I have feared for a long time our hearts have been too much placed in our treasure to be able to keep you - sometimes I feel encouraged when I get a letter from Mr Powell and again my heart sinks in despair - To-day I received three letters together with dear, sweet little Wood's type. the likeness is good, I see a strong resemblance to him when he left - the same sweet mouth, I wish I had him at home so as to have all the care of him - I am so much afraid Bettie will get sick and you will miss the dear child so much - I wrote to Cousin Eliza the 31st of April begging pleading and entreating her to go to you and stay with you - she sent me word before I wrote her by John Shackleford she expected to start in two or three days to see you and I feared she would give it out and so I wrote to her the next day after I saw J Shackleford - she has not answered my letter and say she did not go - I yet hope she is now with you and may heavenly blessings attend her always if she has gone to my dear afflicted child who is deprived of a mother's watchful care - Ella kissed Wood's picture over and over again and said it was so pretty, she asked me three days ago to let her play on the piano. I had it raised and set her up, she played and sang like sister, and then said - Dilce, don't you know my sister is very pretty - she talks of you so much and comes every day or two and kisses me and then says send them to sister, brother Mike, buddie Wood - Cousin Bettie and George - Rose's child is very ill and has been for six days -- when I was able to be up they told me it had been sick then three days but as I was sick no one would name it - It took the same cold which has been going the rounds in the family - Dr Spiller has been attending to him for five days, and I do not see that he improves any - I have had him in my room ever since Dr Spiller has been coming to see him - but would let him go home to sleep at night. This morning I had him brought in as soon as I was out of bed and found he had a chill - I shall keep him in the house all the time day and night until there is a change - I have got entirely well except a slight cough which is gradually giving way - we have had one or two cases of influenza a day, for a week, all on the mend now - Matilda Campbell as the children call her had a babe a week ago - received a letter today from Sallie Wood. she appears to be enjoying herself very much, she went to the fair at the ridge and speaks of attending Martha Pickett's wedding - she wrote to me to sell her wardrobe if I could, and wanted her guitar sent to her - Green is laid up to-day with diarrhea, we are going to send over to see how he is and send his mail to him - I have not been there in 17 days and that was the last place that I visited - Cousin Minerva came last evening with her three youngest children and staid all night and left this morning very soon after breakfast - she left Carrie and Evelina with me until she returns from Huntsville, Sallie's examination came off this week and she is going to that and bring her home -- She thinks Len has improved vastly. Your Par leaves in the morning for Houston, Campbell goes with him, they are going in Mr Powell's carriage. Bob is to drive - Mr Wood sent the last of his cotton off on his own wagons this morning to Houston from the ware-house at the river - He intends bringing up our supplies for the balance of the year. I shall be alone with the little children until they return - Billie and Josie have promised to come and stay a night or two with me - Josie was quite sick Saturday night with diarrhea but was well enough to come over to dinner - We have had a good many raspberries and I always wished you had them to eat - No rain yet although there are clouds every morning, some little thunder and every appearance of rain until late in the evening when it fairs of[f] beautifully till next morning to go through the same routine - Your Par is very much discouraged about a corn crop, thinks the rain will come too late for his corn - the cotton looks well. had cotton blooms several days, found two red ones last Friday which was the 25th - Those who work the most, stir the soil the oftenest and deepest have the best crops. corn is tasselling and shooting - Some persons are hauling corn from Houston to the Trinity paying $1.75 per bushel in Houston - Judge Goldthwaite will have to get corn in Houston, it is not to be had in the country, the cry is corn, corn - James Mitchell got nearly one hundred bushels of corn to grind last Saturday - Mary Jane, Billie, Josie, Cousin Minerva, your Par all request me to give their love to you - give my deep and abiding love to Bettie and Mr Powell - they must not let Wood forget his grand-ma. God bless you my dear child and may he permit you to return to your bereaved mother is my sincere prayer.
E. A. Wood
Left margin: Words are too cold to express all my feelings for you.
Minimal punctuation added by the transcriber to enhance readability.
- Last Edited: 26 May 2014