Photocopies of the following letter was sent to Dorcas Hobbs to be printed in her Appalachian News Express column Appalachian Ancestors. It was published in the column on Friday May 24th 1991.

The letter was sent by Arleta Cox Wood of Greenville, North Carolina.

The letter was written by Samuel Keel to his brother-in-law, William Allen Cox of Beaufort County, N.C. Samuel Keel's sister was the first wife of William Allen Cox. Susan and Carney Cox were Samuel's niece and nephew.

Spelling and grammar are as written.

Robinson Creeke Pike Co. KY
April 9th 1868

Dear Brother,

I received your kind letter yesterday dated Marth the 4th 1868. Allen, I was over joyed to hear from them, that I love so well, I love you Allen, and I love Susan and Carney with all my heart, they are near and dear to me you may know.

I will try to tell you all about my people in this country. My health is not good nor hant been for several year.

I am doing well as could be expected so soon after a terrible war. I am selling goods in one half mile of where Sam Hall lived when you was hear and makeing some money. My first wife died April 12th 1861. I have three children living by my first wife, their names is Mary Jane, 15 years old, Louisa 13 year s old, William James Keel is 8 year old.

I married my last wife the 17th of December 1866. She was 21 year old when I married her. She was General Ratliff grandarter. I dont know that you were acquinted with General Ratliff. Kelly Keel lives in Wise County Virginia he is doing well he has got any thing that a man needs to wants.

Marshall Keel is dead he was killed in the war, he was a good man he left a widow and 5 children. He was waylaid and killed like a hog, there wa no better man than Marshall Keel.

Clarissa lives in Wise County VA and is doing no good for her Self nor no body else, Disy lives in Wise County VA and is doing as well as could be expected for a widow to do. Her husband was killed by a limb of a tree falling on him. She has one girl married. The rest of her children lives with her. Penny Elizabeth lives in about one half mile of me, she has plenty to live on. She has one child living.

Thimes is hard in this Country, but we have Plenty of corn at 50 c per bushel, Bacon at 12 1/2, Coffee at 33 c, Domestic from 15 c to 20 cents per yd. Calico the same as Domestic and Other things in proportion.

Allen I want you to write to me and let me know how Susan and Carney is giting along, I love them with all my heart, and how you and your Family is giting along.

Allen it has been a long time Since I saw you but I have not forgot you. I still like you yet and shall as long as I love on this earth. Please let me know if uncle Church Stilly & Aunt Penny is living or dead. Also unlce Carney Stilly & Aunt Sally is lving or dead. If you know anything of uncle Duran Triton (or Tirton) please let me know. I want to know all about all of my people. Them that living and them that dead.

Allen you say that you live on my fathers old place. You don't know how I would like to see that place. I want you to go to my grandfathers where my mother was buried and see if you can find he rgrave and if you can find it please let tme know.

Allen tell Susan and Carney to write to me. I hope they are Scholars, tell them to a uncle that loves them above all others. Let me know how many of your Brothers & Sistes is living and how many dead. I hant for got them yet.

Allen if we never meet any more in this world lets try to meet in heaven where parting is no more. Allen I give my love to your wife and children. I don't know who your wife was, but I like her on account of you and your Children. I hope she has been a good mother to Susan & Carney. If she has the Lord will reward her in a coming day. Tell me who your wife was. I am anxious to know. I want to know how old you are, and Susan & Carney ages if you please. Write to me soon and give all the particulars. Give my love to all my Friends and relations. No more but remains your true Friend until death.

Samuel Keel

to Allen Cox and wife
Susan Cox and Carney Cox