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Letter from Maria Jane" Jenny" Cunningham of Cherokee County, Al to her cousin,
Elizabeth Jane Cunningham in Iowa.

Gaylesville, Ala   November 13, 1871

Miss E. J. Cunningham

My dear cousin,
With great pleasure I seat myself to drop you a few lines this eavning.  Pa has been writing and he wanted Neelie and me to write some to you.  I never wrote to a stranger before.  I thought I would try to write some.  We all all well at this time but Matties she was crying with the toothache today.  As Pa forgot to tell the names of us I will tell them.  Neelie, Ella, Mary, Mattie, Houston, Donnell and myself.  Ella is a cripple she was paralyzed when the Yankees was in here.  She can walk but not good, she is 13 years old.  Houston is 10years old he will soon be 11 years, Mary is 9, Mattie is 7 and Donnell is 5.  We are going to a good school at Gaylesville.  Neelie and me are studying lattin grammar and arithmetic.  We are going to the best school in the county.  Pa has forgotten to tell you about his picture, where he was when it was taken, he was sitting on a rock in the forest among the grass.  I want you to send me your picture and I will send you mine.  We are going to have a familie groop taken and send to you.  I will close by asking you to write to me.
                                   your cousin
                                   Jennie Cunningham to Cousin E.J.C.

Letter from Maria Jane" Jenny" Cunningham of Cherokee County, Al to her cousin,
Elizabeth Jane Cunningham in Iowa.

Gaylesville, Ala    Sept. 2, 1872

Miss E. J. Cunningham

Dear Cousin
It is with much pleasure that I attempt this eavning to drop you a few lines after some time delay.  Wea re all well at this time.  We have all had better health than any other family any where about here.  There has been a great-deal of sickness about here & a good many deaths.  Crops are very good here, there is abundance of corn raised in this country; this last year corn was very scarce, but I think that everybody will have plentie.  Well I will tell you something very unexpected. I am married on the 10th of July last.  My husband's name is John Young.  Some people think I am too young to be married but I do not; I was 16 the 29th of August last & Mr. Young 24 years of age.  We are not keeping house yet, we are boarding but expect to commence keeping house by the first of October which I will enjoy very much.  I am at home now and will remain until this evening as I have stated we are boarding four miles from Pa.  You will find enclosed in this Mr. Youngs and my pictures.  I will close as Neelie is going to write some.  Mr. Young and I send our love to all.

                                   Jennie Young

The transcription below is of a document found in the Bible of David Whitfield Cunningham:

A Good offer

     The undersigned has ordered a new buggy and will receive the same the 25th inst.  I offer to any young lady who would like to take the first buggy ride with me the following proposition, to wit.
     That she make me a cake.  I will furnish the butter & eggs to make the cake, the cake to be flavored to suit the maker.  So the cake is short and sweet, it will do.  The cake is not to weigh less than one pound and not more than five.  I must get the cake before I will take the ride.  The buggy ride is not to be less than one mile and not more than five.  I prefer daylight but would not object to a nice moonshiny night, but I am willing to leave that with the one who will make the cake.  I do not include old maids over 45 in the above but will accept widows of any age.  Any one accepting the above offer notify me at McNair.

*Webmaster's note:  It must have worked!  He married Emma Gates Moore,
a young widow,  shortly after!

Letter from John Erskin Cunningham in Cherokee County to
his Uncle John Weir Cunningham in Iowa.

Ala. Cherokee Co.  June 15, 1866

Uncle J Cunningham

I seat myself to day for the first time in my life to drop a few lines to inform you that we are generally well.  I mean the relation in this section hopeing these lines may find you and the rest of the relation in that country well as for doing well I cannot say we are doing well but we are doing as well as could be expected so shortly after the great war.  The Yanks and Renegrades combined striped us of everything we had. Something over two years ago & we have had bad crops sinc and consequently we are still behind in the provision line in this country.  Every man with the exception of very few in this country is buying corn at from $1.50 to $2.00 per bushel but our wheat harvest is on hand at this time and it is exceedingly light caused from so much rain but I think we will live over it all.
Uncle I write this letter partly in answer to the one you wrote Paw last October.  I never seen non of you but after I read that letter of yours dated 9th October 65 I had a particular ansiety to write a few lines to let you know where I stood.  It seems as though we differ in politics smartly.  I was a rebel when the war commenced & remained that way until it ended & would be yet if I had a chance & all the brother I had was a good rebel & made a good soldier & was badly wounded in the hed at Missionary Ridge fight which I recon will give him an everlasting hatred for Yanks & their backers.  As for myself I never was wounded nor in the hands of that thieving set you call brave boys.  I never called myself brave but I was all ways willing to mate them too to one but instead of that we had generaly to meete them nearer 10 to 1.  Uncle you speak of the right of the Constitution being trampled on by the Rebels.  Agreeable to the constitution had a right to secede & also to hold slavery as property and you overpowered us and did not stop at persuading the poor African and leadin him into destruction but destroid other property & also prowled our houses for money and burnt them if that was not trampling on rights of the constitution please inform me in the next letter the reasons it was not.  Uncle you said if in your letter that if you had been in the south you could have lernt how to keep quiet without any trouble.  Your sort knows how to keep quiet in this country until present day stile we all attend to our own business and they have to do the same.  Well I drop that subject by saying to you that we are not sorry for what we hav done and I believe God controls us all and through hisliving kindness he will give us our day yet.  Well must close nothing but remains your nephew

                              John Cunningham

*Webmaster's Note: Letter below was on same sheet with letter from John dated June 15, 1866

Letter to Cousin Elizabeth Jane “Lizzie” Cunningham from John's sister Amanda Ann Cunningham Conant

Dear Cousin Lizzie
I will write you a few lines I am in feeble health at present but some better than I have been.  I have a throat disease that I am suffering a good with.  My family are all well my time is limited only a few minutes to write.  Must close give my love to Uncle and my other cousins do write and will you a long letter soon.
                              Your cousin
                                   Amanda A. Conant

Letter from Amanda Ann Cunningham Conant  in Galesville, Cherokee County, AL to her cousin Elizabeth Jane “Lizzie” Cunningham in Iowa.

State of Ala  Cherokee Co. Gaylesville    this the 13 Nov 1859

Dear Cousin it is with pleasure I seat myself to write you a few lines in order to let you know that we are all well at present. Hopeing that this may finde you all enjoying the same blessing.  You wrote a letter to Pa sometime back which I took out of the office and read.  You wrote to Pa to write to you about his children.  I claim to be one of them myself so I thought I would write to you myself.  I used to be a pretty good scribe but I have not written any in so long I do not know whether you can read it or not.  My Pa lives 1 mile and a half from town.  He has his second wife and 3 children.  He married a girl 3 days younger than myself.  We will both be 26 in December, me the 12 and her 15.  She was a very sturdy girl.  I was married the 3 of April 1853 and Pa the 11 of May 1853.  I have 2 children as good looking chaps as you ever saw, a boy I call Leonidas Brown and a girl I call Mary Pelona.  Leonidas is 6 in March Mary is 3 now.  Mr. Conant was a widower 26 or 7 years old and had two children.  His first wife was my stepmothers sister.  Cousin Lizy you ought to come out here get you a widower.  They make the best of husbands.  I used to think I would not have one for nothing.  I was quite mistaken.  I think I make a very good stepmother.  Pa was very much oppose to me marrying Mr. Conant, not that he had any objections to him but he did not like for me to have to manage his children.  He says he thinks I am splendid stepmother.  Mr. Conant is a sadle and harness maker and is doing very good business here.  Learned his trade from Pa.  Brother John is married.  He was just of age when he married a girl 16.  He is living at Gadsden this co.  He said he would write to you before he moved but he neglected it.  He is a sadler.  Pa has a tanyard and the shop.  He works at his own trade.  Cousin Lizy you wrote you was teaching school.  I have been teaching painting lessons in oriental painting on glass.  I also paint signs on glass that is beautiful. Worth from 8 to 10 $.  I have 8 dollars per scholar.  I have made $100 in a verry short time.  It is anew system in this part of the world.  I learned from a gentleman just from the north.  I have one brother at home.  My mother died when I was 10 years old, she left 4 children.  I was the oldest one.  My brother next to me died a week after ma did.  Ma left a babe a month or two old.  Her sister kept him until Pa married and then brought him home.  Cousin Lizy I have given you an account of all the family now I will tell you something about Aunt Lucinda's children.  She died and left 5 or 6 children, 2 girls and the rest boys.  The oldest was a girl called Mary Jane.  Uncle Sam has gone back to tennessee.  mary jane married a man by the name of Snow, they live in Knoxville.  Uncle James died at Pas 2 years ago.  We have not had a letter from Aunt Sarah in a long time.  Cousin Lizy I want you to write to me as soon as you get this.  Give my love to uncle and to my other cousins receive a portion for yourself.  Tell them to write. So no more at present but remains yours until death.  Pa will write soon.  Direct your letter Gaylesville po
                                  Amanda Ann Conant

This letter from Marie Canant to Granma Amanda Canant is written on
stationery from the "Office of Geo. E. Canant, Dealer in Fresh Meats,
Staple and Fancy Groceries, Cripple Creek, Colo."

December 7, 1902

"My dear Granma,

I would like to see you so much and Aunt Beulah to and yr Uncle Jas.
I am very busy at school. I am going to a little birthday party next
saturday. Momma and Papa are well. Good bye. Please write to me.
Your baby Marie"

Letter from George E. Canant to his mother, Amanda Cunningham Canant and father, James Hardy Canant and Sister, Beulah A. Canant The stationery has a picture of Cripple Creek.
*Webmaster Note:  The Don in the letter is Donnell Lafayette Cunningham, his uncle, half-brother of George's mother.  George was only 5 months older than Don.

"Cripple Creek, Colo. Aug 6 1894

Dear Mama, Papa & Sister Beulah:

I have but little to write, but to let you hear from me. Mama, yours of
Aug 2 came this eve & Don had one from his mama same time. Glad to know
you are all well. I never felt so well & good in my life at this season
of the year. So cool & pleasant here. Had frost in July & August too.
 Yes, mama lots of preaching here: Methodist, Baptist, Catholic,
Episcopal, Salvation Army & one or two others. I go once or twice most
every Sunday. A great many doctors. In fact this town is full of
professional men of all kinds. You asked about Don, he is getting along
alright & is just the same that he was at Ft. Payne. There are two
things that he makes a special point to keep up on Sunday & that is to
go to church one or two times & to write a letter to his mama every
Sunday morning.  He certainly has done me a great deal of good here in a
business way. I'm very well pleased with my sales and the beauty of it
is every nickels worth that goes out I get the cash for it, and I am
going to keep it that way.  I will never do so much work for other
people for nothing as I have done. I think Della (wife Delphina Murray)
will be alright here. It will be a great help to her as she cant stand
it very long at all.  Yes, mama I would like to eat a little bit of your
nice honey. But you should see the nice honey I handle, its put up by
the bees in formed frames, sells 20 cents. I sell a great
many pears, peaches, apricots, plums & other nice fruits all from
California. No vegetables grow here at all, except a few radishes and
two or three things that grow quick. I handle vegetables, but they are
all shipped here.  Its a wonder papa & Beulah wouldn't write me a few
lines some time. It is near 10 P.M. I must sleep some. I open up at 6

Love to all. Good night. Geo."

More letters coming soon!
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