This letter is Henry Benson reply to his wife after finding out she is pregnant with twins. He was in Dallas, TX building a house for them and waiting for her arrival. For an 1850's letter this is quite spicy.
June 6th, 1853
My Dear Wife,
I have just recd yours in answer to my inquiries of Dec 25th. I know I was very industrious the little time I was with you after we were married. But I never dreamed that I had accomplished what you say I have. I have not had a particle of anxiety on that acct until I have received your last.
I asked the question more to see how you would answer me than to satisfy my curiosity on that point. I was sure I had done no damage. Well I guess if we get out of this scrape alright I (?) will occupy the extra bed. I am a dangerous bedfellow to say the least. If I do so much when I try to do nothing. What would become of us if I should try to do something? Twins would not begin to excuse us. I am very sorry, as sorry as you can be. There may be some mistake about it yet. For my sake Jane, do not take any medicine that will endanger your health. Do write to me often and tell me what success you have. Would you be afraid to speak to Sarah? She might be able to give you some good advice.
You ask if I regret that you are my wife. A hundred such accidents would not make me regret. I am the only one to blame in this matter but I was as careful as I know how to be. Have we really got to practice total abstinence or suffer the consequences. It seems so but I do not like the idea at all. Do you? I am really disappointed at your postponement. You you cannot wish to see me more than I do you. It will do me good to see you around if you are forbidden fruit.
I did not think I said anything in my letter to annoy you it was intentional on my part and I am sorry for it.
I am very busy upon our house. Its a good thing for me that I have so much to do or I could not contend myself here at all. I have made the shingle and put up the fence. It will not take but a short time to finish the house now so soon as I get the lumber. It will be ready before you get here. I really hope there will be no further postponement. You do not know how much I want to see you. You must be very careful with those peaches that mother gave you or that will freeze.
When you came out notice the right hand side of the track after you leave Dallas Station. After you get about 5 miles from Dallas you will notice a small board shanty which is to be your cage if you stop. I don’t know whether you will concluded to get off the cars or continue on west when you see the house. I don’t expect you will be captivated with the country but I will try my best to make you happy when you get here.
Please write as soon as you get this and tell me what (?)
I must bid you good bye.
The first page is very light and can be seen better in direct light. Where the letter has been folded there is some wear and cracking. Some soil at edges of the paper.
By 1850 Dallas County had a population of 2,743, and by 1860 the number of residents had almost tripled to 8,665. Though the slave population rose faster than the White population, Dallas County had fewer slaves than some other Texas counties. In 1850 the 207 slaves were 8 percent of the population, but by 1860 slaves constituted 12 percent of the population. These 1,074 slaves were owned by 228 slaveholders. In 1850 the county had two churches and ten one-teacher public schools with a total of 170 pupils.
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