188. Elizabeth Crawford to William H. Herndon.
gentryville indiana April the 19th 1866
your letter of march the 1 Came duly to hand and I intended to ancer it amediately but on account of Sickness and other trubbles I neglected it. I hope you will excuse me for my neglect you wished me to tell you whether children about the year 18 and 26 and 28 have exibisions I have bin Studying about it, but I cant remember whether thay had exibitions or Speaking meetings I think thay had I recolect some of the questions thay spoke on the bee and ant water and fire another wus which had the most rite to complain the negroes or the indians another which was the Strongest wind or water I cant recolect the School teachers name at this time you wish me to tell you how the people use to go to meeting how far thay went about that time thought it nothing to go 8 or 10 miles the oald ldys did not Stop for the want of A Shawl or cloak or riding dress or two horses in the winter time but thay would put on ther husbands oald over coats and rap up ther little ones and take one or two of them up on ther one beast and ther husbands would walk and thay and thay would go to church and Stay in the neighborhood tell tell the next day and then go home the oald men would Start of out of ther fields from ther work or out of the woods from hunting with ther guns on ther Sholders and go to church some of them drest in deer Scin pants and mockisons hunting Shirts with A rope and lether Strap buckled around them come in laughing Shake hands all round and Set down and talk about ther game thay had killed or Some other worke thay had done Smoke ther pipes together with the oald ladys if in warm wether would kindle up A little fire out in the meeting house yard to lite ther pipes if in winter time thay would hold church in some of the neighbors houses at Such times thay ware allways thay ware allways treated with the utmost of kindness A bottle of whiskey picher of water Shugar and glass or A basket of apples or turips or Some pies or cakes apples war verry scarce them times Sometimes potatoes war used as A treat I must tell you that the first treat that I ever received in oald mr linkerns house that was our presidents fathers house was A plate of potatoes washed and pared verry nicely and handed round it was something new to me for I never had Seen A Raw potato ate before looked to see how thay made use of them thay took of A potato and ate them like apples thus thay spent the time tell time for preaching to commence then
246thay would all take ther seats the preacher would then take his stand draw his coat open his shirt collar and commence Service by Singing and prayer take his tex and preach tell the sweat wood role off in great drops Shakeing hands and Singing then ended the Service the people seamed to ingoy religeon more in them days than thay do now they ware glad to See each other and ingoyed them Selves better than thay do now well Mr herndon I recon I have I have ritten anough excuse bad riting and mistakes as I am so blind that I cant scearcely See the lines on the paper.
Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2547 — 48; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:191 — 93