This letter was written by Catherine L. (Creyon) Jones (1806-1864), the wife of Gen. James Jones. They were married in Columbia, South Carolina, in May 1827. She wrote the letter to her older sister, Sophie Elizabeth (Creyon) Bauskett (1800-1872), the wife of attorney, Col. John Bauskett (1793-1867) of Edgefield, South Carolina.
Death of Col. John Bauskett. — Col. John Bauskett, the able, astute, and zealous lawyer, who, though a native of Newberry District, lived the best years of his long and useful life in our town, as a public spirited citizen of our own District, is no more. He departed this life in the course of the past week, at his home in Columbia — aged about seventy-four years. — This man, in the prime of his ability and usefulness, we honored much. It will be remembered that he represented us more than once both in the Legislature and State Senate. And as he was deservedly honored by us in life, so will his memory be deservedly honored by us now that he is gone. — Edgefield Advertiser, 3 November 1867.
Catherine and Sophie Creyon were the daughters of Patrick Creyon (1770-1820) and Catherine Van Nordan (1775-1810) of Columbia, South Carolina. Both sisters married into prominent, wealthy families. Col. John Bauskett was one of the largest slaveholders in Edgefield District (112 slaves in 1840, 221 slaves in 1850), besides possessing one of the most lucrative legal practices in the district. In the late 1830’s, Bauskett purchased the Vaucluse Manufacturing Company — a large capacity cotton mill located on Horse Creek in Edgefield District. This four story mill, constructed of granite from an adjacent quarry, was one of the first cotton mills in South Carolina. To supply the labor for the mill, Bauskett filled half the need with his own slaves or hired them from neighboring slaveholders. About 1840, Bauskett sold a half interest in the mill to his brother-in-law, Gen. James Jones, the former adjutant and inspector general of militia in South Carolina, with the understanding that Jones would take over as manager. The mill struggled financially for a time due to Jones’ inadequate active management but investor William Gregg stimulated its success by infusing experience gained elsewhere. William Gregg was married to James Jones’ sister, Marina Jones, who is mentioned in this letter. [Source: see Planting A Capitalist South: Masters, Merchants, And Manufacturers in The Southern Interior, 1790-1860, by Tom Downey]
Addressed to Mrs. S. E. Banskett, Glenn Springs, Spartanburg, South Carolina
Immediately as I received your letter I answered it. I have just returned from Edgefield. I have been keeping house for Mr. Bauskett for two or three days. I found every thing topsy-turvy. I put every thing as straight as I could but will go again if I can get a chance and put every thing to rights and prepare for the winter for you. I am afraid that the springs does not agree with Thomas but you never mentioned but once. And poor Harriett, I am sorry that Willy is an invalid. Do give her a great deal of love for me and say to Harriett Gilliard that she has brought to mind a great many of my pleasant happy _____ just to hear of her and I am sure I would be glad indeed to see her. Do _____ on all of those that you love to come and see us.
Poor cousin Moffett. What a bereaved family. Has she left nine children? How my heart yearns for them. I do not know what my feelings would be if they were with me. I could _____ over them like one of them. How gladly would I take one if he would let me have it and then let it spend half of its time with me. Poor Mrs. Davis and Penelope. What must they not suffer. If we were living near them, our sympathy might alleviate their suffering for cold and heartless is the world when neither gratitude or ties of kindred bind them to us. I do sincerely feel for their situation.
Every hour convinces me more and more that there is not happiness in this life. I tremble every hour for me and mine. My little all must go some day or other as all others are going. Oh! that I may be prepared to meet it. [My husband] James has gone to Hamburg but I will give him your letter. Mary would write to you would request it. She is in a great deal of trouble about James. She has not seen him for six months.
I will write Mr. Bauskett tonight and let him know that I have heard from you. He has been complaining a little this week. I have had a bad cold again. They seem to be quite prevalent. Every thing has the whooping cough at the factory. Mrs. [William] Gregg has gone to visit her sisters.
I saw Sarah Harris. She was twice to see me. Harris has bought the lot that the Methodist Church was built on opposite to Mr. Brook’s. You will have her as a neighbor while they are building. They will rent the house that Mrs. Bird lived in. It seems to be healthy in the village. I heard of no sickness but whooping cough.
I made you a large glass jar of jelly. Mr. Bauskett bought some apples and converted them into jelly. The ____ I will preserve and some of them I will make jelly of. I will try and make the pickles too, but if get no opportunity of going again to Edgefield, I will have to abandon all my plans.
So good night, my own sister. May the Father in Heaven watch over and keep you from all harm. Kiss my own children over and over again for their poor Aunty. Mary joins me in a heart full and hand full of love.
Your own sister, — C. L. Jones
August 25, 1843