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Transcribed 1999 by Researcher Elaine Witman Pennell who adds: John and Elizabeth “Betsy” WALKER Combs wrote the following letter, dated 17 Sep 1827, from somewhere in Ohio (Walker relatives from an earlier generation believed the Combs had moved to Newark, Licking Co, OH) to her father, Garrett WALKER, in Loudoun Co, VA.

The letter is in two parts, the first section from John and the second from Elizabeth. A note at the bottom of the copy states: “Copied from the original now in the possession of Lewis Fawsett Walker, Belvoir, Virginia. Nothing in the letter indicates where it was written, but probably near Newark, Licking Co, Ohio. It was addressed to Garret WALKER, Loudoun County, Va. and was probably carried to its destination by his brother Joseph.”

The letter was copied by Benjamin Harvey WALKER (1854-1931) of Chillicothe, Ohio in 1914. The spelling, punctuation and grammar are as in the copy. Benjamin WALKER served as the Ross Co, OH County Surveyor and it was his nature to be as accurate as possible but there are a couple of places words seem to be omitted.

Benjamin was a son of Garrett WALKER'S younger brother John WALKER (1787- 1844). Lewis Fawsett WALKER was a son of Garrett's 3rd wife, Nancy FAWSETT and half-brother to Elizabeth WALKER Combs whose mother was Garrett's first wife, Elizabeth WILEY (d before 1806), whom he had married in 1802. Garrett WALKER was a son of Benjamin and Sophia WALKER, Quakers who moved to Philomont, Loudoun Co, VA from Bucks Co, PA about 1786. Garrett was disowned by the Society of Friends when he and Elizabeth WILEY married.


Sep 1827 Letter from John and Elizabeth Combs to Garrett WALKER.

September the 17 -- 1827, Dear father and mother wonst more take the opertuny to let you now that I am as well as commonly am for a Bout a yer past I have never have seen a well ower With a nervers complaint in my head witch was ocationed by exposein myself to the canaal Betsey and all the childern is well at this time and we are doing Better than iver was before I have not drank A drop of whiskey this twelve month almost And I never shall agin I now vary well I am getting 20 dollars per month for keeping Bording house {EWP note: not sure of its purpose, but there is an elongated f between 'house' and 'on'} on the canaal and by your Assistants if you please of a bout 25 or 30 dollars And what I can get of my fathe I can get inn a way to make money if you can it inn time and if not cant for I shall miss the chance father Walker you need not bee the lest afraid of me A spending one sent of it if you dont believe Me y can ask Will Harriss and uncle Joseph And y now tha wont tel a lye for nobody if you ever intend to help us now is the time for I dother have 25 dollars now than one hundred 3 month hence if you will send that much by them I will give you morgage on tha piece of property or I dont care how so I can get holt of it I want you to rite me And ____ a letter Any how for we have rote 3 letters to you with Out any answer and Betsy thinks you have forgot her all together We herd you was dead and betsey took it very hard to think she never was to see you again in this world She is like another person since we heard better and if we live till next fall she sall see you all wonst more in this wowled so no more at Present god bee with all inn this worled and the world to come

{End of John's part}

Dear father and mother sisters and brothers it has bin a long Time sinse i have heard from any of you i hav sent 3 letters to you and got no answer for anay of them I thought very hard of it but perhaps you did not git them i am agreat ways from you daddy and it is very hard that i cant hear from you if i cant se you all wonst more i heard that you was ded i then give up ever seing that part of the world but i am in hoapes we will both live to see each other wonst moor it would be the greatest plasure this world cold aford me to see you all wonst more before i die i have a great deal of sickness this two years past but i thank my maker i have bin very helthy this past while and we are adoing better then ever we was since we hav bin in this state and if you will only help us a little now i will never ask you to do nothing for us again you have a good chance now to sind some money if you will only do it my fatherinlaw says he will help us if you will to to get a home of ower own we have fwor swains children and it is time to have a seteled home for them and if you care anay thing abought me i waunt you to help me now if you ever in tend to do any thing for me a tall and if you have forgot me all to gether and do not think you hav sich a child in the world you must tell me so in your letter for you must send me a letter if you dont me nothing else but i am in hoapes will think enuff of me to send me abough 30 dollars with Uncle Joseph if you please you always said you wold help us if we wold try for a living and we are for we are working day and night to try and git a home for us and ower children I would wich to be remembered to all inquiring friends if i have anay thaire purticular to grand mother and aunt nancy and her family and tell grandmommy my youngest child is nanbed for her and she must send it a new dress and sister sophia must send it one to and Sophia Welsh must send it something two for it tis as little as she was of her age it is ninteen months old and it taint bigger than a common child of foor months it was weaned at six months on the account of me having a spell of sicknes it grieves me very much to think i am slited so mutch by all my people i have never had anay favors shone me much by anay body i think some times i have not a friend in this world that cares anaything abough mee or else i would have some help from some of them some time or other my serious request to you daddy is that if ever you do intend to do anay thing for us a tall is that you will do it now for it would be the greatest favour in this world and i will take it as such if you will only do it So no more at present but remain your afectionate child untill death “When this you see rember me though many miles we distant be.” (End of Document)

EWP: There is a signature at the end of the letter which looks like “Yoh Combs” or “Yoh CANBY”. It isn't clear if this is John Combs' signature or if a John CANBY wrote what John and Elizabeth dictated. We don't know if Joseph was Garret WALKER'S brother or a Combs relative. Although no marriage record has been located for John and Betsey in Loudoun, it seems likely that John lived in that area, and that they married either in or near that county.

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