This letter was written by English-born cotton merchant, Thomas Corse Gilmour (18xx-1865). His residence at 2520 Prytania Street in New Orleans, built in 1853, still stands today.
In 1850, Thomas married Anna Goodwin Barnsley (1829-18xx), the daughter of Godfrey Barnsley (1805-1873), to whom Thomas addressed this letter. Godfrey was an agent for Liverpool import and export brokers with offices in Savannah and New Orleans.
Addressed to G. Barnsley, Esqr., Kingston, Cass County, Georgia
New Orleans [Louisiana]
17th June 1850
My dear sir,
Your favor of 9th inst. from Atlanta is duly to hand by which I am sorry to see that you have been unwell, caused no doubt by the water & jolting of the coaches. However, I trust you are again enjoying your usual good health which I have very little doubt of having been some little time in the pure air of Cass. I fancied you intended going to Savannah from here which caused me to direct to care of William Duncan, Esqr. of that place, who no doubt will have forwarded my letters.
I wrote what you say in regard to the S—a in Mobile & shall benefit by your advice, yet had I left here without an invite from them, I would quite as soon thought of flying as going out to Spring Hill or anywhere else & beg for an invitation. When I can determine upon leaving positively, I will trouble Mr. Sayer to take passage for us in some good boat as I have no idea of having extra staging. As things now look, I am afraid that we will not leave this until the 1st July having got an order for 1000 at 11 5/8 to work upon.
I am obliged for information in regard to the growing crop which I must confess is a great deal more encouraging than I had any idea of, having received letters previous from Manroy who asserted most positively that the crop was not as far advanced this as last year at the corresponding dates. My idea is that we cannot have a large crop next season.
I cannot understand a certain portion of your letter referring to the cotton plant. “I cannot recollect with sufficient accuracy to say exactly what is the comparative state of forwardness, but as nearly as I can judge it is generally two to three weeks earlier this year than last and I think there is more land under cultivation — the conclusion I have come to as regards the section of country traversed is that with a fine season, there will be more cotton made upon it than in any former year — that the plant is not as far advanced as is usual at this date is probable, but with that exception the prospects are as good as could be desired.” I cannot determine whether the former is from the observation of others & the latter from your own, or one of the plantations in Alabama & the other of Georgia. Your circular is to hand this morning. “Short & Sweet” noncommittal the order of the day.
McConnell & Manroy’s is also to hand, dead against a long crop & prospects bad from cool weather & lateness of season & plant.
You seem to be quite safe on your bets in Savannah though you will have to pay up on the 9/2.
Anna I am glad to say is quite well again tho’ quite anxious to get away. She desires her kind love & says the bird is growing finely, but will not be strong enough to bring with us. The little red cap flew off the other day & has not been heard from since.
All here join in kind regards & wishes for your better health.
Yours ever affectionately, — Thomas C. Gimour
P. S. Hamilton got back this morning. Have not yet seen him. The mail closing now at 10 o’clock A.M. May mail 1/2 past 11 A. M. Menlove is better & intends leaving first of next week. Whitlock 1st July. J. H. Elliott & Co, have persuaded Capt. Hamilton to place his ship in their hands. Good luck to him says I. — T. C. G.