Letters from Nathaniel Newton Nuckolls

Letter written by Nathaniel Nuckolls , from Petaluma, Calif, May 21, 1867 to his Sister Patsy Nuckolls husband John Brown, Esq., Nuckollsville, Grayson Co, VA

Dear Brother

I received yours March 19th while on my way to San Francisco, I mailed a letter to Sister Sena, I was glad to hear from you, it amused me to read it while on the Boat, to San Francisco, and called to mind my Native land, while glideing down the beautiful stream of Petaluma ' Creek & across the Smoothe & beautiful Bay of San Francisco-you compare the stormy weather which was passing over you at the time of your writing to Cal wether-& seem to think we have six months rain & six months Drouth, now to disabuse your mind, I will say that we have less rain, (no Snow or Sleet) in winter than you have there, or in other words we have more clear Sun Shine through the winter months than you have there, The Thurmometer never rises higher here in summer, than there, we wear as heavy clothing here in summer as in winter, except when raining, we sleep under from 2 to 3 blankets winter & summer, no portion of the world produces finer wheat, Corn, Potatoes, Barley, Oats, Rye, in fact grains of all kinds, as for garden vegitables, I have raised Beets weighed 46 lb, Parsnips that measured 3ft 8 in, Cabbage heads 25 to 30 lbs, Pumpkins, more than you Could Carry, Turnips, i for a mess for a Family of I2, & all without irrigation, you will think it strange, but, no stranger than true, our crops are some times Cut Short, for want of rain here as it is there, we generally have a shower about this time of year, which forces out the heads of the small grain, then we have heavy fogs, Something like you have there at night, which blows off about 8 or 9 oclock, there is scarcely a day thru the year that we cant haul a load to market if we have it I have ground 2 sythes & started the 2 oldest boys to mowing, we are still making Cheese, some 6o lbs per day, I will take a load in tomorrow, the rest of the children are at school, -I do not sit down to write you because it is snowing or that I have nothing else to do, for the sun is shining the day is pleasant, I have my hands full, but I can always take time to write to a Friend, tho I fear I shall do injustice to myself in this, from the fact that I am in a difficulty with one of my Neighbors about a 40 acres of land, Lawsuits in this Country are very expensive, this was forced on me & I must see it through, I have no fear of losing the land, but, dread the Cost,- We are very quiet here Politically our present Crops are not so flattering as last year I think I can see a ray of light ahead for you rebbles, but you should be patient, obedient to the laws, observing to keep your own council, There,was a judgment rendered against General McDowel (of Bull run notoriety) now of this state for false imprisonment of one whom he supposed to be a rebel sympathiser, for the Sum of $6oo damages &quite a number, more will if they have not already instituted suit There is a day a coming when there will be a general over hauling, am sorry that you was disappointed in paper I sent you, I was not aware of what you wished to know, we frequently get interesting news from japan, China, Sand Which Islands, & in fact all parts of the Civilized world, tho we do not get it in every paper, if I mistake not I sent You that, to show the Prices Currant, more than any thing else, tho if I get any thing from those Countries, that I think it will interest you I will send it, I have written so many letters back there, & so much, & suppose you see all, that I scarcely know,know or what, to write to interest you, I have often, years ago, tried to describe the Country, Climate, & Seasons, & now think it useless to try again, when I learned you was going to leave Va., & go west, I bad a feint hope that I should be able to Pilot you, to one of the most pleasant Climates in the world, but was unable to hear any thing from you until long after my return to Cal. with my Family, now as for Missouri or Ioway, I would not live there if they would give me the whole Country, Cal Suits me very well, yet I find some dissatisfied & I fear they would be dissatisfied if they were in heaven Give my love to Sister Patsy & and the Children, Mother & the Connexion generally, including old Friends & c, & c, receive for yourself the best wishes of

N. Nuckolis


P.S. It is now Cow time 4 oclock P. M. you will see from the bobble I made in dating my letter that it is an off hand concern, & that my mind is too heavily Taxed at present, to do justice to myself in a letter. N. N.

At Home, San Antonio, Marin Co. Petaluma Cal.

March I7, 1868. Dear Sister & Brother, it is with pleasure that I am able to inform you that we are all well & doing the best we can for our selves & Country, we as you, had a favorable Fall the Grass started fi iiely, but, when the rains did, sett in, the like I have never seen, I think when reported by the proper weather Guage it will be found that more watter has fallen this winter, than Since the settling of California, yet we have had little or no loss of stock, I Commencied about the ist of Feb. to make Cheese, & have not missed a milking since,I have sold near $200 worth of Cheese now, & am just farly Cornmencied, Cheese is worth from 14 to i6 cts per lb, butter 30 to 35 cts per lb - we are now milking 32 Cows, - We make a little outside with our Team, Yet it is hard to keep our heads out above water, our land Claims are not sittled yet, Continual expence with Lawyers & Litigants, tho I hope the day is dawning, unless we get into another War, The Telegraph brings us gloomy news from Washington, our Legislature passed resilutions to Sutain the President, which was forwarded by the Govenor, the Senate also passed resolutions sustaining Congress, which the Govenor refused to forward, John, if you have any notion of coming to this Country, I would say to you that if you can bring enough with you to secure a Dairy Ranch (or Farm as you Call it) & stock it with Cows you need not fear of a Comfortable living, I came to Cal a $iooo worse than nothing in I852 with my Family, paying heavy interest on money I now have but little, unless I get my land - Tho I have Supplied My Family, (a large one) with all necessaries & some of the Luxuries of life, vou know I was not very rugged in health, when I left home, & the climate of Mo made it worse, yet I have weried along, til within a few days I shall be 55 years of age - When I look back it Seems to be but a few months ago, but, thus is life,- I am glad to hear the last paper I sent you, pleased you, it expresses my sentiments fully, our State is disposed to do all in its power now to ameliorate the condition of the South, - There is an eliment in this State not Superior to the Negro in your state, which the same doctrine, (Universal Brotherhood) would force on her Citezens, (Chinese) now the greatest & first yelpers for the Negro, were those that knew the least about them, but Sympathy, through, Abolistion Tracts & incendiary Novel tales, such as Uncle Tom's Cabin &c, &c, -I have got to see the first inteligent Northern man who has travel thro the South,- made himself acquainted with the Negro, & the Institutions of the South but what were oppose to, (at least) social equality, our state is in favor of State Soverenity as expressed in the Constitution, I hope for the best but fear you will not get this, the avinues thro which this should pass may be Closed ere this gets half way to you, I deplore the next Revolution, it will leave us (U S) like our Sister Republic (Mexico) which is deplorable indeed I am glad to hear f roiii any of you, I received a very kind letter from Brother Thos. a Short time since & answered it, as I tliot in tile same Spirit, hope he will write again soon, also Cyrus is debted to me, Creed, is behind time, Clark does not write atall, you always speak of some old Friend or acquaintance in your litters, which gives pain or pleasure, just as the Case may be Concerning them not because of your writing, but of the thing Concerning them, Every thing pertaining to the People & Country there is yet fresh in my mind, if I could be at a Public gathering, there I could recognize at a great distance many old familiar Faces (Probily long since in the grave) Now it seems to me that I would know you or Sister Patsy, either a foot or horseback 1/2 mile off, John, I have just got through with Cheese a bout 6o lbs 1/2 past 11 , A M, dineier near ready going to Petaluma tomorrow with Cheese to Sell, roads muddy, 5 miles distant to Petaluma, excuse this as there are many blotches & omisions, but read Carefully & remember who it is from, you cant fail to get the Spirit & jist of what, I wished to say -I recollect well when there was a proposition of tile Legislature of Va to anieiid the Constitution of that State which proposition Nvas submitted to the whole People of the State & Will Oglesby was Elected as a delegate from our District to the Cotivention - I understand that when the Constitution of tile U S, has to be altered or amended should be treated in the Same way, We, i c tile People in this State have not been Called on to Vote on the ainendment or alteration of the Constitution of the U S, I do not think it can becom a lanv until 2/3 of all the States pass upon it & in favor of it, Mob law may rule for a time, but let us hope for the better - The Grand Army of the Republic is straining its utmost nerves here Receive the best Nvishes of my self & Family, for yourself & Family & Friends generally

N Nuckolls

Cayucos, San Luis Obispo Co., Cal., Nov.1 6, 1881 Old Town, Grayson County, Va.

Dear Brother vour very interesting letter Of the 2nd ult come to hand yesterday evening. (I never Wait for Gabril's Horn,) I scarcely know how to interest you, from the fact that you know but little about our state or Climate, & to give you an idea of it would take a Volun of Fools Cap, we have passed through a very extraordinary season, Nve had an abundance of rain, tho no great freshet, in the vallies, the rain seemed to sink in the ground, but dried on top as fast as it sank & when you started your plow it was hard on top but soft below, & broke up in large Clods, consequently our crops was short, but prices have ruled higher, Flour 5. d 5 1/2 per bbl (2oolbs) Corn 1 1/2 per lb we sell here by the pound & not by the bushel our state seems to improve in Morality not withstanding we have a Population mixed up from all parts of the world the Swifts are taking- the lead in the Dairy business & are very quiet Citizens, bys land &- Cows, takes the oath of alegicance to our Government & become voters, & nearly all vote the Republican ticket, The Chinaman Comes here to make money & return to China, taking every cent he can get back with him They are a very treacherous Class of people, worse than the Negros of the South

How are you getting along with the Negroes on Election Times now I was never opposed to giving the Negro his freedom in a proper way, but bitterly oposed to giving them the Ballot & making them an equal with the Caucasion rase for all they have, they owe it to slavery they are now Canables in their own Country John, in your letter to me you mentioned meny names that I was familiar with, William Borin, Elias Lundy, Rachael Lunday, & Payton Hale is Your Demacratic State Senator, He was a Smart little boy when I knew him.

John I am very sorry that the Republicans & Demacrats are mixing up, Democracy means government by the People, Republicanism is Only the shadow of Demacracy, & they are running after it to get an office, & when they get it, it is to fill their own pockets, See what they have done Since they have been in poster, just doubled their Salaries Excuse me I am spreading out in polittics. Please give my respects to John Dickersons, (I think he has forgotten me) Tho I have not forgotten him I am glad to hear you are going to get New River navigable to the mouth of Wilson Creek, I dont know what You will do, you will have to build a Ferry boat to get over to Old Town, unless the Steam Boat Co puts on a bridge or ferry boat, if all the old fords will be deepened so that you cant ford it horse back, John, I have jotted down a few lines just as they occured to me, I must say in conclusion, that you & I are passing a way according to the laws of Nature I have not been able to ride horse back for the last 3 years, but still able to get around the Ranch & keep things going, my limbs dont work like they used to. I am as Ever Yours &c

N Nuckolls

P.S. Please Except this & write at vour convenience. I hope tobe able to interest next time more. Give my respects to all inquiring friends, & Receive for yourself & Family the best wishes of N Nuckolls


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