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Robert McCoy, Knox County Indiana

"I found a most dismall roade across the Alleganey Mountains appearingly not fit to be inhabited by any kind of beings..." Robert McCoy, Knox County Indiana, March 20, 1831


State of Knox Co,

March 20, 1831

Brother Joseph,

I have ommited righting to till now, I have not been so well since I come home the hard trip I had getting home. Have been troubled with rumatick pains, my family is well as common and the rest of our relations in this part of the country are fare as I know hoping these may find you and famely enjoying health and hapiness.

I found a most dismall roade across the Alleganey Mountains appearingly not fit to be inhabited by any kind of beings but such as that book you gave me speaks of. Seems if the rocks and stones had grown in size and number at least a hundred to one.

The greater part of the old people died and gone and such as were young men when I was there, looks old and gray headed as myself and a numerous young generation comimg on. I know not where they will settle them for every spot of land is under cultivation.

I see numbers of farms now that I eust to think that no human upon Earth would ever attemt. I had but little time to be there among my friends still in beliefe that when the weather would brake it would be as it turned out.

I started from Benjamin McCoy on the sixth day of December and got home on the night of the 26th. Found my famely well. Had not one pleasants day traveling the hole route, snows, rains, sleet, and mud and high waters. The day we crossed the Ohio river lay that night on top of the nobs, lay flintharted dog of a yankey. The whiskey froze inch thick mush ice. I think that night and the next day was the severest freezing I ever experinced in all my time. It might well be called the cold Tuesday. The hole way the cold norwest winds in our faces. I was purty well weather beaten and to make matters still worse the most extravagant charges I ever met with in all my travils was through the state of Caintuckee.

I wish I could here from you and if you have got your maire saife back again. I left her with brother William McCoy, he said he would have her well taken care of and sent back with the first saife opportunity. I received a letter from William McCoy since I come home which had been rote on Christmas day informing me he had been confined to his bed for ten days after he got to the federal city in consequence of being out in a severe storm the morning he got there but had got able to attend to business.

I have had no farther account from Virginia since I left there. I have rote to William and Benjamin and Harmon Hiner. I don't expect there has been hardly a possibility in crossing the Alleganey Mountains since I left there.

This has been the severest winter that has been here for twenty-five years. We have had numbers of snow but the ground never covered than six inches deep in these parts. 75 miles up the Wabash above where I live it was two feet and still farther up the deeper. I have no news worth relating. Corn has raised to twenty five cents a bushell. Pork three dollars.

I believe had best quit. I feel fearful you won't be able to understand or make any sense of what I have been trying to say to you, my fingers cramp me so that I can hardley hold my pen.

My son Alexander was maried a few days ago to a sister of John Reels, my sin in law. I think he has do very well.

I must conclude my best wishes to your and familys health and hapiness. My wife sends her best compliments to your wife and famely and is proud of the present she sent her.

Love and my sincere wishes for your welfare.

Robert McCoy

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Date: Fri Aug 16 2002
Name: Karen Wigal
E- mail: tkwigal@charter.net
Notes: Robert McCoy was the son of William, b. 1711, and came to Virginia from Scotland. He was the oldest of 11 children and my ggg uncle. He was born Nov. 26, 1761 in Augusta Co. Virginia and died Oct. 30, 1852 in Knox Co. Indiana.

Robert was married to Margaret Mahon or some places called her last name (Matron). They were the parents of eight children. He was a Captain in the Revolution and also served in the War of 1812, where his brother John was killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe. He brought his brother home to be buried in Indiana. This letter was written to his brother, Joseph, my ggg grandfather on March 20, 1831. He would have been near 60 at the time of its writing.

Robert had made a trip home to visit family and had come by way of horseback in the winter, and this letter was written upon his return home to Knox Co. He refers to his two brothers, William and Benjamin in this letter. The Harmon Hiner he refers to is his sister's husband who was living in Pendleton Co. Va. He also uses the term "our" in referring to his trip. I don't know if he made this trip alone of if there was someone else with him.

Joseph, the receipent of this letter was living in Jackson Co. Va (WV) and the William he refers to was living in Pendleton Co, and served in Congress for 22 years and was a Brigadier General of the Virginia Militia in the Revolution, and Benjamin lived in Highland Co. Va, Doe Hill which I understand was near the Jackson Co. area

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