Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Pauline Yates Correspondence II

The Anderson Letters
The PAULINE YATES Correspondence II
archive item #22

Pauline Anderson Yates
aunt

to

William Earl Anderson
nephew and Anderson family historian

=========
The PAULINE ANDERSON YATES Correspondence - Letter #2

Small stationery envelope
Cancellation: Lineville AL Aug 24 p.m.1669 - 36266 - 6 cent stamp

[This letter arrived with several of the "more interesting" Civil War letters written by John R. Anderson, and his son William R. Anderson, and daughter in law Frances Lumpkin Anderson…]

Lineville Ala
Aug 21st 1969
Dear Earl,--
Please forgive my long delay in writing to you, but I've been real sick since you were here. I'm afraid I won't be able to write or help you much with the materials that you want to collect for your book-
But I want you to write and ask me whatever you think I might know and I'll try to write you as often as I can.
Now to your questions about the house that grandfather built - I never knew it in its prime - I, unfortunately, came along too late to know either of my grandparents on either side - you can see my father was so much older than my mother - He was 57 yrs old when I was born and 60 yrs old when my brother Watson was born - But according to all reports the house was an outstanding house in that area at the time - The grove in front of the house was beautiful and the white coat of paint was still in good repair - There were two carriage houses (We call them garages now!) Our house contained the carriage that grandmother drove down from Virginia in - and was sacrosanct!
Then there was (and still is) a well preserved "wheat house" for storing wheat for the families bread - The beautiful rat and bug proof bins are long since gone, but I remember them as being made of beautiful wide plomed [?] boards. There was a well to the right front of the house just off the kitchen which was connected to the "big" house by a covered "breezeway" - After Uncle Major and Aunt Florence died and John their son bought it, he tore the old kitchen and breeze way away and added a kitchen on the back of the house - By the way one of our childhood pleasures was to peek down in the "root" cellar at, [the ?] and under, the back of the house -
You see these old families had to stow enough food for themselves and their slaves. And I expect it took a lot!
The interior of the house has gone down from neglect and its age too. I feel the same way!! but I think in its time it was considered a handsome home - Did you see the poor old discarded mahogany piano in one of the front rooms - with its massive legs - Bought for my Aunts Fannie and Aunt Kate Anderson - when they were girls? When I was a child there was one room designated the "school. room" and we had free access to it after school hours, a governess held court there in school hours!!
As for the d├ęcor of the house it was old and shabby when I knew it and gradually got worse - I'm writing a distant cousin of yours Florence Anderson Murrow to write you what she remembers of the interior - She was raised there - There are two things of interest out side that I want to tell you - There was a slave grave yard north east of the house - with only field stones to mark the heads! These were moved recently by the U.S. Engineers and interred in the St. John's Negro cemetery --!!!
On my father's land which was across the road in front of the John R. Anderson place. More than a half mile in length was a split rail fence and it also bordered the field up to our house - But my father had planted on the fence a hedge of Cherokee roses which were really a beautiful sight ~ the hedge was impenetrable for man or beast and about eight feet wide across - The white rose - Georgias state flower.
The rail fence under the rose hedge had long since rotted away - but the one on the road up to our house was kept in repair - Yes the bricks were made on the place by the slaves from a small stream south of the place where they got the clay - I hope you noticed the wide boards in the hall ceiling walls - one can see the marks of the hand planes that were used - all done by hand!!!
I certainly did not mean to write such a long boresome letter but I must take a few minutes more to tell you of the precious enclosures! These letters are all over 100 years old and very faded and hard to read but I treasure them very highly ~ You are the only one of my family that I've showed them to - But since you are a Southerner I'm trusting that you'll love them as I do and that they will throw some light on your collection of data.
Handle them very carefully as they are very old - If you care for them you may keep them - If you don't want them I'll give them to the Dep't of Archives and History at Montgomery where they preserve them under glass - But I want you to have them - I have a few more but these had most of the interest -
The letter beginning Dear Son was from my grandfather to your great great grandfather - In fact it is a letter from your great great great grandfather which is unusual.
Write me soon - Love Aunt Pauline

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