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Letter from Mary Isabel (Force) Jones to her brother Manning Force
Nutridge Nov 29 (between 1868 - 1870)
My Dear Brother
I had a letter from Charlie telling me Katies & my present from had arrived there safely. When we will & do not know for this as a most out of the way place. It was very kind of you to remember us when so far away & so little time to spare.
Elizabeth is very much pleased with her lace & says Mary's & Cynthia's fans are lovely.
I had a copy of Mary's picture taken for you because I though it a pretty picture & you would like one, it was one of those happy accidental hits which an artist sometimes makes the had been sitting for one to send home had finished & was tired out, her hair looked all of a tumble. She was sitting resting for a few minutes before puttin her hat on. The artist happened to look at her, he asked her please to sit just as she was & nhot move in the least & let him take a picture of her, of a new kind she did so, it was one like the one I send you. The one she intended to send home she kept. He went down again & tryed to have on etaken with a long curl but it was not good. Intended to have it framed before sending it to you but could not. Please have it framed to suit your own taste & send the bill of teh frame to Mr. Jones. Elizabeth shows the picture to everyone & generally asks if they ever saw anything as pretty. I sometimes think it was a pity that it was taken.
Henry is engaged on the same railroad now that he was on when he first came to Al. He hopes it will be finished in two years & have a station near his place. He has five hundred acres, a comfortable house for his region. He has some cotton for sale & enough corn for his own use for the coming year. Henry is very muchby white and black, old and young but I believe I told you this before. Mr. Owen has left Pana & I believe has returned to Fort Wayne. I do not know what he is engaged in. I though they were settled in T. They bought a house & were housekeeping.
I have gained 5 1/2 pounds since I came here. This mild dry climate is the best tonic for me. Whether the improvement will be permanent I cannot tell. The Jonquil and Hiacynth's are coming up & will bloom in Jan.
Do you have time to attend your school now?
Henry, Katie & Peter are well, but Mary is having the chills again.
With much love & many good wishes for your health, happiness, prosperity from your affectionate
Sister M. J. Jones
Mentioned in this letter is Manning's brother, wife, and son Henry Clay Force, 1832-1874, Katherine Ogie Frierson. Peter was the 2nd child born to this marriage and the oldest son. His older sister, Mary died young. She is the child with chills. Sister M. J. Jones is Mary Force Jones (1818 - 1870) who died in 1870. Mary's husband was William Hyter Jones, attorney at law. The railroad that is mentioned is likely the Southeast and Northwest Alabama Railroad. Elizabeth is likely the wife of Wiliam Q Force, another brother of Manning. Cynthia and Mary (fans) are children of Elizabeth and William Q. Force. Charley is Charles Fairchild Force, yet another brother.