Littleberry Watson papers & Thackston letters (1830s-1850s)

There is a motherload of letters, etc., involving Littleberry Watson from the 1830s-1840s in the Records of Ante-bellum Plantations. The index is temporarily missing, but I noticed a few things in the collection.

A letter from William Thackston (1806-1851), son of Benjamin Thackston and Elizabeth Ann Chambers of Prince Edward Co., Virginia, to his brother-in-law Littleberry Watson of Boydtown, Mecklenberg Co., Virginia, 16 Aug 1841:


I take this opportunity to write you a line or two with regard to the situation of mother at this time. I don’t perceive that any change in her has taken place since I last wrote to you, only that she seems to have better use of her hand & arm for the last week past than she did before, her appetite I do not think is quite as good as it has been, her complexion is as good as usual I think she seems to be quite composed, but still remains in a helpless condition. The rest of the family are as well as usual, no news to communicate to you.

Resply yours &c
William Thackston

Letter from William Thackston to Littleberry Watson Sept 1845:

Dear Sir,

When your son Samuel was up in the neighborhood, he and myself went over to see Mr Womack in order to know whether he wished to purchase your lot of land or not but we failed to see either him or his father. Samuel requested me to see them myself, as he had to hurry back and let you know their determination. I have seen them, and neither of them seem to feel anxious to purchase. the old man told me that he did not calculate on buying any more land in that direction from him as he had a great deal of such land as that if he did buy it he could not think of giving any price for it but that which you might suppose the land was sacrificed at. William told me that he did not know your terms and he could not determine, but that he did care much about buying. as I have above stated neither seems to want the land unless it can be had at what you perhaps might think a small price.

Respectfully yours &c
William Thackston Sept 1845

Accounts on Littleberry Watson, including receipts, such as:

Augt 5th 1840
Receivd of Mrs. Littleberry Watson one hundred & ninety four dollars & 85 cents in full for board & tuition last year for your two daughters, Misses Mary & Sarah. Alex Dortch

Also receipts for a subscription to the Richmond Enquirer (1836-1837), Wilson, McIlwaine & Co., for boots and shoes (27 Nov 1860), receipt to Sheriff of Prince Edward County for 1862 taxes on 272 acres of land and etc., “received Payment of J. A. Watson.” An original receipt for 1817 taxes on 4 blacks, 2 horses, 4 tythes, “263 acres of land in name of familly Dillon Littleberry & Saml Watson.” 1827 receipt for purchase from Thomas Hickson & co. 11 gallons of “old rye whiskey” and “1 keg for ditto”, $9.25.

“On or before the 25th day of December 1822 we Littleberry Watson and James Thackston promise to pay or cause to be paid unto Edward Redford Trustee of Josiah Chambers or to his successor the just and full sum of Twelve Dollars current money of Virginia to which payment well and truly to be made we bind ourselves our heirs & etc in the penal sum of Twenty four Dollars like money. Witness our hands & seals this 31st day of December 1821. Teste William C or A Reed.

The within bond is given fo the hire of a negro boy named Scipio until the 25th day of December next to be then returned clothed with a German aznabings?? shirt & pantaloons for summer and for winter two shirts, good home spun yarn or negro cotton coat & pantaloons and double sole shoes, socks, hat & blankets.”


Commission of Littleberry G. Watson as a Second Lieutenant in the first Regiment of Cavlry, in the 15th Brigade and 1st Division of the Virginia Militia, to rank as such from the 12th day of May 1840.


Letter from James A. Watson to Dr. Samuel J. Watson, Cectaria ? Mecklenburg, Va. Nov the 18th 53

Dear Sam I wrote to inform you that I have not succeeded in getting the medicine for Rosaline she keeps poorly & I have the worst cold I ever had in my life it works [?] as if it will kill me you will please come over and see us as I have been just about half dead for three weeks. I have just finished sewing wheat I sewed fifty two bushel & a half we are now gathering our corn. Tell Pa & Ma that Berry Allen begins to talk very well & he says he wants to see them he is a very industrious fellow he is up of a morning by day and goes to the stable with me Rosaline joins me in love to you all & tell them to come & see us.

James A Watson


Undated letter that I think appears to be from Jas A Watson to William Thackston [although the compilers think it is from William Thackston to Jas A Watson]:

“Dear uncle I write you a few lines to inform you that I am well fathers family are at present well I would be very glad to hear how you progress at school I have nothing more to write but hope to remain your most affectionate and beloved nephew.”

Charles Thackston to Littleberry Thacston 12 Mar 1838:

Lounenburg Cot [superscript t] house March 12th 1838

Dear sir I now have an opportunity of sending you a few lines respecting the matter of Benjamin Thackston which has been very troublesome to me. his creditors is frequently calling on me for the amount of the orders which he has given on me. You will please come over as soon as possible and let us settle his matters. I have nothing at present to communicate to you more than we are all well hoping this will find you enjoying the same blessing give my respts to my sister and all your fammily.

Yrs very resptfully

Charles Thackston


James T. Alexander to Littleberry Watson (undated; on back of letter is written “Mr. Watson at Home”)

Mr Watson

I write to say that your hogs have been in my corn-field again and they have injured it very much. I have been away from home & I did not attach any blame to you but your hog feeder knew that they were in there. Please have them taken away for I don’t want them hurt.

As ever yr friend
James T Alexander

Eaton Grandison Field (according to the compiler) to Littleberry Watson, undated:

Dear Sir

You have been promising for so long to come and hunt with me that I have determined to send She after you. You must be sure to come up this evening or meet me at [torn – Frank?] Boyds in the morning prepared to come up with me. If you do not I will give you a very big


when I see you. I can start a fox any time I choose either red or grey so you must be sure to come. I shall certainly expect you. If the old woman sais any thing about it tell her I can


her in a minute.

Your friend
Eaton G Field

Also included: Saml J Watson’s oath of loyalty to the Union (1865), liense to practice medicine (1868), demand for payment (1852) from niece Mary A. Shackleton and her husband R. L. Shackleton (1853) as a legatee of the portion of Uncle James Watson’s estate left to Aunt Polly Dillon, other letters from Watson relatives (1826 or 1863 nephew William T Key, mentioning death of Uncle James and cousin Virginia, death of sister Harriet’s youngest, etc.) Chappell Love, etc.), letters of dismission to Mr Littleberry Watson and wife Mrs. Ann Watson and son James A. Watson, who have removed distant from Bryery Church within the last five years, dated 14 May 1836; other documents. Will need to follow up when the index is recovered.

Roll 2230468, Series M

Not a Thackston, but a great letter to post somewhere from Nancy Jeffreys to Dr. Peter Mettaurer of Prince Edward County, Va.:

June 15 1839
Doc Peter Mettauer dear sir I have sent to you my woman Sally who I fear is afflicted with the scrofula a favorite negro please do for her the best you can please send plain direction I am very much distressed about her I am afraid her baby has it too She an tell you how her child is you can let me know what you think of it. I thought the distance was too great to cary the child yours with great respect Nancy Jeffreys


There is a letter from Benjamin A. Thackston to Mettauer, but it is completely unreadable (completely black).

June 27th 1840 I send to you Rachel to cure [?] her of eyesite [?]. Josiah Thackston.



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3 responses to “Littleberry Watson papers & Thackston letters (1830s-1850s)

  1. Michael Lucas

    Where could I find the letters of Littleberry Watson?

  2. Rod Meader

    Enjoyed the papers and letters. Rod Meader, 5th great-grandson of Josiah Chambers and Mary Watson.

  3. Helen Morton Bates

    I am looking for any information on Samuel Thackston, son of Benjamin and Betty Thackston. Samuel married Elizabeth “Bettie” Shackston. Samuel was born 1794 7 died 23 May 1869. Any help would be appreciated.

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