Weakley County's connection to the ill fated Donner Party of 1846-47

The MURPHY family of Weakley County part of Donner Party

by MaryCarol

Mary MURPHY COVILLAUD letter 1849
Sent to her Weakley County Kinfolk telling about life in California

Transcribed by MaryCarol from copy of original letter in Tennessee State Archives
I am still working on this transcription

1849 California
letter written to her Weakley County, TN kinfolk

"this is to all my relations

Dear Aunts, Uncles and cousins  I take this opportunity to let you know that I have not forgotten you although I have greatly neglected to write to you and it is my _________to my beloved Mother for if she was living she would be sure to write but believe me it was not because I had forgot you for I have been thinking of you all the time and I have often made up my mind to write to you but it is enough to break a _________heart _____________to think of all that has happened to us since we left our unhappy house for my poor Mother was very unhappy  I wish that that home could have been more happy for her or that I by enduring all torture could have prevented her suffering but I need not try to tell my ___________to you  you know that my Mother had a strong mind she would have went ___________  her children have inherited the same or I should have died heart broken long before this  I wrote to you once before but I donít know wheather you received it or not  those that we lost was Mr. Pike my Mother Landrum Lemuel George and little Catharine  They are at peace and a great deal better of than we are  but I shall always wish that it had been gods will for me to die with my Mother  yet I could give them up more freely if they were laying in Uncle Anguses garden by the side of my own dear Father  I think we will all be back there before many years for I want to see all of you again and perhaps I may lay by _________Father__________I had as torn off......lie my bones were in the mountains as any where else  William and Simon are large healthy boys and are like the other boys was  William can ride wild horses like a Spaniard  they can talk spanish and indian to[too]  Harriet is married to Mr. Nye  he is a very wise man and he loves Naomi as well as if she was his own child and he loves Harriett very much  my husbandís name is Charles Covillaud and he is as good a husband as any body need want  he is of French  his Mother is in France and we will go to see her I expect   we and Sarah and Harriett are all living close together it is about 75 miles from each other but we have plenty of ____________and we can ride to see each other in on hour and a half  very ____________husbands are all partners they have thousands of cattle and horses and other kind of stock  Mr. Nye stays at the rancho and ________ cattle and takes care of the farming and Mr Foster and Charles stays in the gold mine  they make a great deal of money but there are ___________ men coming from every part of the world that ___________is not so good as it has been but any man that can work hard and take care of what they makes they can make twenty thousand dollars in a year but the most of the people that come here are sailors and the very __________of people and in a short time it will be very dangerous to live in California  there has been several miners committed already  we live on _________River in the side of the mountain  we are camped out in tents but we have them very comfortable with everything that money can buy  there are a great many indians here but they are just like __________ they go without any clothing atall  the most of the torn........perfectly harmless and as agreeable as can be but they will work very well sometimes  there is every kind of people here that there is in the world and more coming in every day by the hundreds  I think we will stay in this country long enough to receive a letter from you all if you will write as soon as you receive this  My beloved Aunts I have wrote all that I can think of that you might want to hear  I wish that I had a letter a piece for each of you but this will be enough to let you know that we are alive and well  it seems to me it has been an age since I saw yu all and I was almost afraid to here from you for fear some of yuo are laid in the graves but may god have mercy on you all and shield your hearts from all sorrow  Charles sends his love to you all  Dear Aunts, uncles and cousins I _____how much I love you and how bad I want to see you all once more  I have nothing more to say at present but I remain forever your loving and faithfull 

Mary A. M. Covillaud

to Simpson Alexander and Delilah Alexander and Green Lee and Harriett Lee

P.S.  Write as soon as you receive this and write about every thing that has happened since I left there."


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