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    Description

    John W. Stayton Group of Letters. Nine letters (some with their original transmittal cover), spanning the years from February 1859 to September 1867. Two letters are written by John Stayton to his father-in-law, A. Weldon; one by his wife, and the rest are letters between members of the Weldon family. John William Stayton was born on December 24, 1830. He was orphaned at the age of 14 and was raised by his grandfather. He went on to study law, and married Eliza Jane (Jennie) Weldon in April 1856. The couple moved to Texas, where Stayton worked as a lawyer until he joined the Confederate Army. Following the war, he returned to Texas and continued to practice law. He had a successful career and went on to become chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court.

    A few years after moving to Texas (February 23, 1859), Stayton, who was originally from Kentucky, wrote to his father-in-law about Texas and the favorable crop yields he expected, describing Texas thusly: "...if we can have good seasons here I am satisfied that we have the best country I have ever seen." And, although we only have two letters from Stayton himself, it is clear that he loved and respected the family that he had married into. Upon learning of the death of his mother-in-law, he wrote to A. Weldon, saying:

    "We have long been separated as a family, and I know not that we will ever meet again, on earth, yet I trust that we may meet in Heaven. I now feel that you have attachments are destroyed, and I think you ought to spend the remainder of your days with your children...and nothing would afford us so much pleasure as to have you make your home with us. If you will do so we will endeavor to make the remainder of your life as pleasant as we can. We think you ought give up all care or business and live at ease..." [June 6, 1866, four pages of a bifolium, 5.5" x 8.25"].

    The letters between the members of the Weldon family detail their lives through the years. They often exchange information about moving, their crop harvest, their children, and other business details. One letter from Eliza Jane Stayton to her family, dated September 11, 1865, reveals the bitterness some in Texas felt after the Confederacy was defeated. She wrote, in part:

    "The terrible agony is over and a resemblance of peace has once more taken the place of the horrid reign of war, the result of which tis useless to speak, suffice it that Willy and Varchel have both returned unhurt after a nearly four years...Bob and George Johnson are all right having been only slightly wounded although they were in all the bloodiest battles in Virginia and Tennessee. I have been at this place nearly four years for the last two have supported myself and children by teaching as we sold everything when Willy went into the Army for Confederate money, which you know was all lost..."

    Condition: Letters are lightly toned, with usual mail folds. Ranging from very good to very fine, with scattered soiling.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2018
    17th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 640

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