J.R. Baird Collection

Transcribed by: Wanda Ray

Transcription Date: 2.13.2006


Bethany, Va.  Dec. 27th 1860

J.S. Richards

Columbus Ship


Dear Bro.


Your kind and worthy letter of 9th inst. Was handed me several days since.  I was more than rejoiced to hear from you all.   Pa and Ma have quit writing to me entirely.  I had not rec’d a letter from home in two months when yours come.  However I hear from them all in one the day before Christmas, they were all safe in the Swamp and doing very well.

I am agreeably surprised to see that you are so much in favor of succession.  That’s my doctrine clear out, whole hog.

I will send you some resolutions passed by the southern students of Bethany.  There are I believe a good many mistakes in them owing to our second printing, though you can see the feeling of Southerners and think pretty plain.  If Miss. does go out on the 7th of Jan I think it will be the noblest act of her existence.  Well we Southerners, the happiest, (word?) and most independent people in existence, crouch ourselves beneath the step of abolitionism (the most contemptable sounding word ever uttered, and its meaning more so if possible) and be ashamed or afraid to utter and maintain our rights.  No, for God sake No!  I say secede from all such thinking stock and at once.

I sometimes think I will bundle up and leave altho’ Pa wishes that I should stay.  But for him I would have been in Miss. long ago.  Though I am admirably pleased with the Boss and Students.  There are several abolitionists in college but they have to lie low look wild and get about (word?), or we will (word?) them into nothing which won’t be hard to do.  This excitement will be a great crash to business affairs.  I am sorry to see is for this reason only.  But I am talking of something I know nothing about.  Have you moved in your house?  And how does Kate like house keeping?  Tell her to write to me and I will not own her as a sister.  Little “Rich” tho’ from description keep her very busy.  I imagine he is a right hard egg.  But his loud crying is a sign of good lungs and if he takes any after his Mammy he will make a President of the Southern confederacy yes, don’t you think?  Discontentedness shows his ambition.  Stubbornness is mere firmness.  So in a word he is a perfect whole.

Pa in his letter never said a word about excitement just as tho’ he would as soon Lincoln should be President as Bell or anybody else, and I expect he don’t care much if the truth was known.  We have two weeks vacation now.  But so far it has been awful dry to me.  I never drink or play cards or anything of the sort.  I have been reading Baincroft’s History which will profit me more in the end than frolicking would.

May success crown your undertakings.  Write.

As ever your Bro.

J.R. Baird

(Tell Pes to write)