Monteagle Octr 8th 1819
aftar making several remarks the othar day at your house on the subject of Cruelty towards slaves by there Masstars, You then dropped the subject. & remarked, You had a few days past inadvertently named a subject in the presence of Mr Taylar that, some way concerned him, it immediately struck me, You had heard of my using Cruelty towards my slaves & gave this, as a friendly hint for the truth is a Negro fellow of Mine now in the woods & has been run of, since [. . .], has said I tried to knock him in the head, true he rebelled & struck at me several times whilst; on my horse, with a rail I dismounted & knocked him down aftar a little, he got up & ran although he is a bad fellow yet I cant help thinking he was bribed to this Act by a White Man, in this surmise I hope in God I am mistaken, I assure You & can bring abundant proof to testify that no Man is More particular with his slaves then I am. there appearance prove it more then all the proof, true these that are very bad, I are harsh mean with but it hurts me, to the very soal to do so; for I do not approve of slavery but we have them & are bound to do, the best we Can & as to cruelty towards them, no Man can hold anothar in greater abhorrence then I do a Man [. . .] Cruel Masstar. the rules that I have adopted for the government of my Negroes are such as is calculated to reclaim the most vicious without much trouble but more expensive, I hope You will beleave this statement as there is no Consideration On this earth that woud induce me Knowingly to vary from the truth, & as to the Opinions of those I do not respect I care nothing for. If You think you can take fifteen barrells Corn for the horse named I will see him & determine about $1000– is the Sum I shall be compilled, to ask for.
MHi: Coolidge Collection.