Washington, Eleanor Love Selden, 1824-1860
Found in 220 Collections and/or Records:
Shall leave tomorrow for Frederick and Fauquier and be home Friday or Saturday. Bad weather prevented his visiting friends in Audley and Berryville. Has arranged matters with Mr. Richardson about Joe [a slave boy].
John Augustine Washington III, Blakeley, to Louisa Fontaine Washington and Eleanor Love Selden Washington, 1852 February 12
Mother is better. “I have been purchasing negroes—and am in negotiation for others…” Gives instructions for “grubbing and ploughing.” Overseer position. Includes letter to daughter Louisa on same sheet regarding various cousins.
Will be in Alexandria on Friday. Dick [Richard Washington] unwell with attack of erysipelas. Fears John Washington will be deformed. New steamboat for the Mount Vernon route will not begin trips until the week after next.
Got up to Blakeley night before last accompanied by Charles Washington. “I have the prospect of employing an overseer for next year.”
Describes journey to Chicago: stops and sights. Unsure if he can make an investment in Chicago or not.
Relates investigation of investments with Mr. Wright and Mr. McFarland. Describes geography of Chicago, Lake Michigan, and river and its relation to property value. Visited a Mr. Kerfoot. Describes scenery.
Has bought two pieces of property. Gives instructions regarding harvest. Inquires after cradles and rakes.
Has rented a part of his property. Ogden suit will come up in a few days. Dined at Mr. Kerfoot’s. Describes a “feat of house lifting” he witnessed.
His lawyers are confident in winning the Ogden Suit [Malebon D. Ogden vs. John A. Washington and William F. Turner]. Met with friends and relations; mentions Cassins, Grahams, and Mr. Morgan Johnson. Says he is “wife sick or love sick.”
Expects to leave tomorrow night or Saturday for Indianapolis and Louisville. Encloses flowers. “I regret to hear that Miss Cunningham’s enterprise turned out indifferently. It was I thought rather inconsiderate in her to attempt anything of the sort while we are living there, but I suppose she did not think of this.”
Short letter. Will not be in Alexandria before Saturday. Needs to attend to business with “Brother” Thomas [Blackburn Washington]. Families at Blakeley are well.
Has commenced hauling today. Encloses check for fifty dollars. Sends up a swan.
Sends bacon, shad and fish by West [Ford]. Wrote a short note to Nelly this morning to be delivered by girl Maria. Son Lawrence and the baby [Eleanor] are well.
Encloses a letter from California. Has had stormy weather. Requests that Nelly tell Cousin Sally or the doctor to inform him how she is.
Stormy and rainy weather prevented his going to see Nelly. Weather unfavorable for fishing.
Will probably not see or hear from Nelly until their wedding. Discredits stories that his relative Thomas Turner mistreated his family and servants.
“Time hangs heavily on me when you are absent…” Updates on relations. A new academy is to be built opposite Mr. Burr Harrison’s. Leaves for Jefferson tomorrow.
“I have not seen our friends here, but hear that Bentley bought Cousin Eliza’s negroes at $1,200.00.”
Expresses his happiness at receiving Nelly’s letters and love for her. “I do not object to the whole world knowing that I love you.”
Must defer visit to Exeter for four or five days due to appointments. His mother will visit Nelly on her way up to Leesburg.
Arrived Christmas day. Distressed at being apart from Nelly. Saw the family at Mount Ida [Wilson Cary Selden, Sr.’s family] on Saturday.
Love letter. “…as the dearest moments of my life have been with you, so the happiest hopes that my soul can form, have you for their reigning star.”
Is unable to return to Jefferson until the middle or end of next week. Gives instructions for Dick [Richard Blackburn Washington] regarding delivery of wheat, receipts, and a shingles order. Mentions Bushrod Washington and West Ford.
“…not having been aware of my right to vote out of the county in which I resided, at the Presidential election I made arrangements to return home…” Hyacinths planted.
Absence of Gabriel and desertion of some of the hired hands. Has decided not to sell Gabriel. “If it were possible to without them [slaves], I do not think I could own one, but situated as we are, landed property would be almost valueless without them, and it is a matter of necessity to have their labor.”
Sowing wheat. “I have never had soft crabs in perfection before.” Asks if mother [Jane C. B. Washington] has received money on his wheat. Offers two sets of names for Dick and Christian Washington’s daughter.
The collection contains correspondence between John Augustine Washington III and his wife Eleanor Love Selden. The letters begin during the Washingtons’ engagement and continues through eighteen years of marriage, ending with a letter from John Augustine to Eleanor composed the day prior to her sudden death. The letters contain information on family matters, the management of the Mount Vernon estate, and plantation life prior to the Civil War.
“I left the negroes I got in Alexandria, where I had an offer of $650.00 for them from a negro trader, but I prefer selling to a private person if I can do so. I found several of the servants sick, and Phil who was very low, died this evening.”
Servants recovering. Nelly’s cloak was dyed mazarine blue. Shall begin seeding wheat.