This letter was written by Margaret Emma (Bland) Harrison (1811-1867), the widow of George Washington Harrison (1801-1850), a hotel keeper of Victoria, Victoria County, Texas. The Harrison’s came to Texas from Virginia in the 1840s along with two of Margaret’s sisters and their husbands, the Cocke brothers. George W. Harrison was the proprietor of the Victoria Hotel which was located at Bridge and forrest Streets in Victoria. The hotel became well known in the coast section of Texas and was recommended as a stopping place for the German settlers passing through Victoria in the 1840’s. In connection with the hotel was a tavern and barrel house which was on the west side of the building.
Margaret wrote the letter to her brother, William Richard Bland (1818-1878), the son of Edward Bland (1767-1831) and Rebecca Jones (1791-1841). William was married (1843) first to Elizabeth Ann Irby (1825-1848). He was married (1850) second to Matilda Oliver Epes (1832-18xx); their son was Edward Bland (1851-1905).
Margaret mentions her son William Lucius Harrison (1830-1866) and also her brother-in-law, Rev. Stephen Frederick Cocke (1810-1856), pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Victoria, Texas, who was married to Ann Augusta Bland (1815-1859).
Addressed to Mr. Willim R. Bland, Morganville, Nottoway [County] Virginia
September 25, 1852
My Dear Brother,
I received yours of the first of August and should of answered it before this if I had not been prevented by sickness occasioned from sitting up with a little boy that was boarding with me. He was desperately ill for a fortnight and died. His mother left him in my charge to make a trip to the northern college for her health and to consult the faculty. I exerted myself too much and it brought on a spell of billions fever which has left me very feeble. All the rest of the family except myself have enjoyed excellent health this summer.
William has left me and gone to Indianola to do a common business for a Mr. White. I hope he will do well. If he could have some of your good advice, it would be of great advantage to him. He is as steady as a dial and a real business boy. I am afraid he has not experience enough. He has the whole business under his control. It was so much to his advantage that I consented for him to go.
All of your friends are well except Mr. Cocke whose health is very feeble. I am afraid he will never recover if he does not stop preaching and he appears to be determined to preach as long as he lives. I hope your health will be entirely restored by your trip to the Springs and you will return in health to your family. I will conclude as there is nothing of interest. With my best love to all of your dear family and all my dear sisters and may the giver of all good grant you every blessing is the sincere prayer of your affectionate sister, — M. E. Harrison
I am astonished that I should have not have signed the receipt that I sent you & deserved a good reproof for my neglect. I am ashamed of it. Do write soon and let me know how you are and if your trip to the springs has relieved you, [&] how all your friends are. Kiss your dear children for me farewell. — M. E. H.
Received June 1852 of William R. Bland, executor of Relica Bland, deceased, and trustee for me under her will, one hundred and twenty dollars and eighty cents in full of interest on the fund in her hands accruing there on between 1 July 1851 and 1 July 1852.