Eliza O. Sparks Letter
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My Great Grandmother was Eliza O. Sparks. She was the youngest child of James Sparks and Mary Ann Matthews. James was a brother of Joshua and Abigail Sparks. The letter which Eliza O. Sparks wrote to her relatives in Arkansas following the death of her father, James Sparks, has been preserved. Eliza was the youngest child and had assumed the responsibility of looking after her parents in their old age. This letter is as follows, as it was originally written:
December 6, 1866
Dear brothers and sisters and children
I seat my self this morning to write a letter for the first time in life. This leaves us all well at this time hoping these few lines may find you all well. I havenít any good news to write to you, times is hard here. We have all made plenty of corne to do us by being saving with it but there are a great many that have not made half enough to do them. You all have heard of the death of our beloved father. It was an awful thing but we could do nothing more, death came and we had to part with him. Sisters oh sisters I stayed by his bed side till the last breath left him. Oh it seemed like my hart would burst but he has only paid the debt that we all have to pay and the last word that he spoke was to hurry me to the graveyard. Oh sisters you would miss him if you was here today for he was a father that was always at home with his family. Nancy Jane and Harrison live in that old house where you lived above us. Nancy Jane has a girl. Its name is Mary Elviry. Wesley and Mary live at the place where they lived when you left here and are doing very well there. Sam is a great big fellow and says he can whip any of his cousins. Mother has broke a great deal since you have seen her. All her talk is in her children. She says that she would give all she has in the world to see you all again. Oh sisters if I could call back the days I have stayed with you and your sweet little children, oh it should be joyful but that day will never come again. Brother Jim you was more like a father to me than a brother. All the old neighbors are well. Tell Fate and Billy and Anny and Frony when they get grown they must come to see sis. They will not see little sis, I weigh one hundred and thirty pounds. Well I will come to a close for this time. Nothing more only I remain your true sister until death. Write to me soon if you please. Farewell.
Eliza O. Sparks
To James Hooker and connection.
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