This letter was written by Washington Ryan Wood (1815-1856), the son of William Wood (1773-1851) and Elinor Ryan McComeskey (1786-1822). He married Catherine Bryson (1815-1897) in January 1844.
Washington wrote the letter to his uncle, George Wood (1787-1854) and his wife, Elizabeth (Irwin) Wood (1785-1857) of Warren County, Tennessee. The 1850 census enumerates the couple in Van Buren County, Tennessee.
In the letter, Washington breaks the news of the death of his uncle’s older brother, James E. Wood (1774-1849) who died on 6 September 1849.
Addressed to Mr. George Wood, Rock Island, Tennessee
Albany, Clinton County, Kentucky
November 6, 1849
Dear Uncle & Aunt & relations,
I have to state to you that Uncle James Wood died the 6th of September last. He was taken with a severe chill and fever and was troubled with the grav___ during his sickness.
My father is in better health than has been in a long time. He thinks that [he] is fleshier now that he’s been in a long time. Last winter, he coughed out blood and ____ for several times, and sometimes he coughed up at a time near a pint of blood and ____s, but now he is in good health and can go about yet. He don’t do no business.
Our county has sent one prisoner to the penitentiary this fall for 2 years.
I would be glad to hear from you all as soon as you can. Write as soon as you can and let us know how you all are. Eliza and family has moved to the place where Cousin John T. Wood used to live at. She moved to that place last Spring. Uncle John Wood has joined the Church again which is the old Baptist Church.
— Washington R. Wood