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Letter from Peter Evans Force to Uncle Manning Force
My dear Uncle
I was very sorry to hear Aunt Elizabeth was so ill. I was very glad to get the suit of clothes you sent me and will be glad to get any cloths you send me those you sent me fit exactly. The shelves from my Father's library are all torn down and Aunt Sally (Mrs. Wiggins) told me that the books were scattered all over the garret floor and her and Mr Wiggins brought them down stairs again and piled them up & have taken tolerable good care of them. Since My Father's death there have been a good many different familys livingin the ouse & where they went away they took such books as they wanted. I was looking over teh books I saw some of them scribbled over with ink. One man that lived there scratched out my fathers name & wrote his own in front of of some of the books. Mr Wiggins cut down some of the nut trees but there were a good many left yet. Mr. Wiggins kept up every thing better than any one else that lived there but as he only expected to stay a few years it was only what was to his own convenience. My mother takes no interest in the place she doesn't seem to what goes with it. I am not living on the place now but I but I would like to very much. I think Mr. Wiggins is going to buy a place of his own and move next year and I do't know what will go with the place then.
I wish I aid live on the place and have Ella and Manning with me for I know they would be happier than they are with their step father for he treats them very badly. I feel it is my duty to tell you about my mothers marriage though its not a pleasant job. Mr. Martin came off the railroad & staid with my mother about a year. I think a & worked the place & was considered as a low down ruffian & when Grandma, Uncle Perry, Aunt Sally and the rest of her relatives heard that they were goin to marry they tried to breakit up but it only made mother mad & she went up to Tuscaloosa in a few days & married him in the courthouse & none of them knew anything about it. She rented tehplace to Mr. Wiggins then for $100 and they moved to Etowah Co., 7 miles from Gadsden right in the heart of the backwoods among an ignorant class of people & Ella and Manning have had no chance to go to school when they are at home Old man keeps them at work to regular to study any.
He had Manning at work last winter & winter before last while he was laying around with moonshiners when the revenue officers came around he had Manning working up on a hill so he could see the officer & let him know when they were coming & he was down on the river bank with his gun where he could run in the canes thickets alogn the bank & hide.
My mother has written to me since I came down here that they have arrested him & he will have to go to Huntsville in October to stand his trial. Manning & Ella go poorly dressed & when the rent comes from Mr. Wiggins he & his two children get a long ways the best half. Manning & Ella have both told me that they didn't get any of the money you used to send them. My mother has got two watches that belonged to my father & she promised them to Manning & myself but I am affraid Mr. Martin will sell them now to pay the expenses of his trial.
Love to all
Your affectionate Nephew
Peter E. Force
Ella & Manning are siblings of Peter Evans Force (1868-1930). The other 2 children of Mr. Martin and Katie, his mother, were Kate Virginia Martin (b. 1880) & Rose Lee Martin (1882-1962). The 3rd known child of William Martin and Katherine Frierson Force Martin (Katie) was born in 1884, before this letter was written. Grandma would have been Katie's widowed mother Frances W. Harding Frierson. Sally Wiggins was actually Sarah Frances Frierson Wiggins who was married to John Wiliam Wiggins. In 1880, the Wiggins family lived in Carthage, Hale County, Alabama. Frances W. Harding Frierson was just a few homes away from the Wiggins with her daughter Jeseline J. Both Sarah Frierson Wiggins and Jessaline Josie Frierson are sisters of Katie. Aunt Elizabeth (Force) is the wife of his Uncle William Q. Force.