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Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. She and her husband head to Salt Lake City Utah to research Janie's elusive 4th great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes? Available now on and
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John Early Andrews Collection of Letters

Submitter: John Early Andrews
Letter from Galveston Texas September 16, 1848 from Robert N. Slack to his brother James Brown Slack, Bardstown Kentucky

Dr. Brothers & Sisters

I arrived her on the 14th instr from NO which place I left on the 12th, without much of interest transpiring only two our Lafes are apreable trip to this point, where I shall tarry a few days long in for the purposes of restoring myself and horses to perfect health as we are both rather way worn with our travel. I find this place much altered since last I was here; that is in a business point of view. There had been some little improvement made by building, but it is not as populous quite as then was. Still quite pleasant and agreeable, with a soft and sling breeze constantly blowing. My inclination is to move forward than ususal Hise. I have eat sheers peas, cabbage and Irish Potatoes, wiht a great variety of other vegetables belonging to this climate. I have rode out on the sea beach twice a day morning and evening, which is one of the most delightful rides or drives on earth as admted by [ ] and travellers who have visited this place, and at on a to be brief - and concise I do think at one of the pleasantest and most delightful spots on gods earth. Society, I suppose from appearances to be tolerably good above mediocrity. I have just returned from thew wharf, where I parted with three Kentucky friends. They took shipping hive for the western part of Texas. And the parting with them brings me to a sense of my great lonelisiegs - I feel which (writing this) if I could only suiance find famiuliar face, from old tiash Co that I could love it, dote on it and cherish it own more affections than is common after so short an absence. But it can not be, at least soo in and I must abide my fate, tho a very lonely and fuheaffy answer. The sounder of sweet in the crarcy just fallin on my ear from oven adjacing charishes accompianied by the soft and painivetones of the frsinace was is where I must hasten to drive away this growing melancholy. I shall enclose in this a note too Mrs. Payne which you will hand her immedicately. When I arrive in Houston I will write again expecting to hear from you soon direct to Houston Texas. I forwarded a pair of canary birds on to T.A Hebh from N. Orleans to sister Ella. Keep them with good care in memory of me. Do not neglect writting immediately upon the reception of this - Give me all, everything in which you know. I take an interest care not for your manner of writing, for you know to whom you write, as it will palliate and sooth some of my cares.

I am your sincere and affectionate To brother ever
J.B. Slack R. N. Slack

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Notes: Dr. Robert N. Slack, age 36, died on October 21, 1857, at "McMurtry's Ferry". A death notice was published in the Shasta Republican on October 24, 1857 and apparently noted that he was born in Washington County, Kentucky. Read Death Notice & Obituary of Dr. Robert N. Slack ["Shasta County, California 1852-1880: Births, Deaths, Divorces and Marriages Recorded Elsewhere," by Corinne Graves Hoffpauir, self-published in 1986-only 100 copies printed, Library of Congress catalog card number 86-198225, but the marriages included in it are only the ones which were NOT published in a different book, "Early Marriages of Shasta County".]

Reading between the lines of his letter, it sounds like he gambled away a lot of money that he had saved up. The description of the place he was ranching sounds like it was in the vicinity of what is now Cottonwood. Shasta (now a state historic park) is 7 miles northwest of Redding, which is about 10 to 13 miles north of Cottonwood. He is found in a binder of cemetery records, buried in the "Shasta Catholic Cemetery." His partner's name appears to have been Daingerfield. There was a Judge in Shasta County named William P. Daingerfield. William P. Daingerfield and his wife (first name Eliza) had a baby boy on December 31, 1859 in Shasta and named it Leroy. Leroy, 7 months, died on July 31, 1860. They also had a daughter, born on December 7, 1864 in Shasta. Judge Wm.P. Daingerfield, 56, died May 5, 1880 in San Francisco; he was from Virginia. By subtracting his age from his death date, we get an approximate birthdate of 1824 (which turns out to be 3 years off), so he was of approximately the same age as Dr. Slack. Also published in the Shasta Republican newspaper was the death notice of a "Juliet O. Daingerfield, 68, in Warm Springs, VA" on May 27, 1856 and the abstract says she was the wife of Leroy P. Daingerfield. This is an older generation these could be the parents of the Hon. William P. Daingerfield. Only one William Daingerfield was born during the right time period - William P., born 17 May 1821 in Virginia, and his parents are listed as Leroy Parker Daingerfield, born about 1786, and Juliet Octavia Parker. Bingo! It can then be surmised that William's middle name was Parker since he had a double dose of the name in his ancestry. Dr. Slack is not listed in the 1852 census for Shasta County but that doesn't mean he wasn't here. He is found in our Cemetery Index: Slack, D. N. Dr. died 10/21/1857 age 37 yr. The notation says scattered graves, which means he is not buried in a cemetery. He is not listed in Early Marriages for that time period. There is an old probate record for a R. V. Slack, but this might not even be the right person.

Read more letters in the John Early Andrews Collection



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