Yanceyville N.C. 15th Dec 1842
My Dear Leannah
I have just received a letter from your brother George W. Graves in which he urges the importance of some immediate action in relation to your father's business and situation. I do not know what to say in the matter-if I could do anything in the world in that matter, I would be the first to do it. But my dear you do not know how miserable I am. In my present situation I have sold my _____________ for $900 and taken the money to pay every debt that I owe that I know of, except for one for about $100 - I have sold a good many of the things which I have left here & have raised a little money & with it I expect to pay off all my own debts in a day or two.
But I have trouble on another hand - old James Mebane has reported it here that I intend to run away and has taken out a writ against me on John Graves guardian bond as security for John; I went up to him this evening on the subject & he told me that he did not intend to press the claim unless I left. But if I went he intended to sue me & me alone & ___ the whole of the money out of me, with a view to keep me in this country & he ____ __ an excuse for it, that he wants me to stay here to attend to this guardian business; now you can well imagine my situation. Here I am without a house and home, I have to give __________ at Christmas which is in a few days. My family in Georgia, I am thus tied up as security for another man _ If it was on my own account I could stand it _ but I don't know that I owe $60 on my own account & have to be banded and cuffed about for another man's debt _ I told the old man I did not intend to runaway _ that I never intended to leave here without every person know it, & moreover I did not intend to leave my native country until I had paid every dollar that I owed - what he will do I cannot say - I had expected to have been in Georgia by the first of January - but I do not know when I shall be there ____ _____ __ ___ & apprise you ____ ___ every thing - If you can be content to stay there I want your to do so, until I come. I know you would not have me to come away unless I could do it honorably & in no other way will I ever do it. - If you have to come here, your situation would be worse here than it can possibly be in Georgia, for here you would have no friends, no money - no house, & no comfort - I can stand it - you cannot -
I want you, my dear Leannah, to do all you can for your old father -. Collect all the money that our negroes hired for & pay it over to him, give him up all the money you have got & St____ yourself & the children, ____ yourself every thing _ & if it becomes necessary sell any thing you can for a fair price - I have $300 - now with me which I wish he had -
He is your father & I have always thought an affectionate father to you - and I pray you to help him now, when he is in trouble - do just whatever you please in relation in this business & I will sanction it - It is your duty to do it - don't be afraid that I will not be willing . I tell you I will be willing to anything, you do for your father-, if it is even to sell every negro, we have got - Don't buy any thing if you can help it.
Swepson & Virginia Yancey are married - & Alexis Howard __ your cousin Mary Graves (Rebecca's sister) were married last week, Wednesday. Robt Lawson has established a new store in town. Elizabeth Graves & Price are off - She had got her wedding clothes, ____ ____ sometimes turned up which broke it off ____ ___ ____ ___ ___ are to be married in a few weeks _
& Mr. Lindsay the schoolmaster has taken Price's place at old Jeremy's. Dr. Walker has settled in Leaksville - It is thought that Dr. Yancey & Polly Miles will be married shortly. - Vance has quit Price and gone to Swepson - Dr. Graves has sold out, house & all to a Dr. Joiner of Pitt County (no ____ of Evelina's) who will take possession _______ - Elijah Graves Sr. bought Jerry & Susan, & ____ got little Jerry - Sally Johnson is in a very interesting condition -
I am not in a situation to give you any advice about our family - I know Camillus ought to be at school but I have no money - Oh, my dear son, don't don't, oh don't neglect your studies - Read every day - & you my beloved daughter, remember your poor little sisters - remember how much money I have paid for you & then remember Ann & Leannah - I would to God that you know my feelings on this subject - You both know that I love my children. No father ever loved his children better than I do, & how can you stand by and see those little sisters raised up without an education - If you neglect them now, you will be sorry for it one day or other -
I do not car how much suffering comes upon me. I could stand it all if my wife can be happy & my children can be, what I want them to be - farewell P.A. Haralson
Tell Geo. W. Graves every thing about my situation & say to him, that it is best, if no other arrangement can be made for him & John to take ____ of the negroes that can best be spared of your father, (if he is willing) & go into south Carolina & sell them for cash. Present me most affectionately to your father & mother. ____ & ___Wilkes, Julia Ann & Sarah & kiss my children for me - tell John his family are all well & tell him to be a good boy, & I will never separate him from his wife.
I know you are mightily crowded there, but I know you have a good father & mother, who will take care of you until I come. Don't let my cross on trouble or misfortune disturb you but be patient, be contented & be humble & resigned to the will of God & he will assuredly bless you - - P A H