This letter was written by Benjamin Franklin Finley (1816-1862) of Newtown, Scott County, Kentucky. Newtown was east of Georgetown on the Paris Pike. Benjamin was the son of John and Elizabeth Finley. He was married (1845) to Susan Graves (1830-1888).
Benjamin mentions that his only brother, Joseph Walker Finley, is “lying low with consumption” in the letter. Family records indicate that he died prior to May 1844 in Scott County, Kentucky. He left a will, dated October 1843, which left everything to Benjamin. This will was proved in May 1844.
Finley wrote the letter to Charles Moore and sent it to Madisonville, an early county seat of Madison County, Mississippi. The county seat was later moved to Canton, plummeting Madisonville into a ghost town. It is believed that Charles Moore was an attorney but I could find no information to confirm that. Neither could I learn anything about the death of McBride who is mentioned in the letter.
Addressed to Mr. Charles Moore, Madisonville, Mississippi
24 March 1844
I acknowledge your favor of the 7th March. I was surprised to hear you say you had not received an answer to your letter of May last. You must attribute it to the failure of the mails & not to myself. I was very sorry to hear of McBride’s death as it will probably be the cause of your losing the suit but I am confident you will use every means to gain it. The children will stand in need of every thing that they can get to raise and school them. Jenny is going to school. There must be some arrangement to get their property to this country & until that can be made, you will confer a favor on the children by attending to it. Whether a guardian appointed here can bring the negroes here or not, I do not know. If the girl is lost, there must be some plan contrived to get her to you. It will be impossible for me to go down myself. My only brother is lying very low with, I fear, the consumption and I cannot leave him without a change.
Times are a little on the look up. Hemp is current at $4. Land is also looking up. We have had a very open winter but is snowing & blowing today. Give my respects to my friends & acquaintances. Write to me soon.
Very respectfully, — B. F. Finley