Simpson History





William B. Buchanon / Major John Reid

Nine letters between the Reid and Simpson families

written between 1816 and 1847
Contributed by Ralph Simpson

5) Richard "Duke" Simpson to his brother-in-law, Major John Reid (5/8/1816)

Outside envelope:     Richmond Ky
                                May 9
                                Majr, John Reid
                                Caswell County
                                No. Carolina
                                P.Office at Lenox Castle

Kentucky, Madison County, 8th May 1816


                        It has become my painfull duty, to be the harbinger to you of the melancholy & heart rending news of the death of your son, who departed this life on Friday last at a half past 10 o'clock. The Measles I have no doubt hastened his exit, from the time he was taken with that complaint, he wasted & declined very fast. On the Sunday before I got home, he in the afternoon rode home with Mr. Hardin & Betsey with an intention of staying till Wednesday, but he declined so fast on Wednesday he was unable to get back & consequently continued with Mr. Harden till his death. - he was confined to his bed only about two weeks, during which time he had considerable company it appeard to me he was admired by all that knew him & was waited on with the utmost attention.-  After reading the letter I brought him & asking me a number of questions about the family &c, the next day after I got home - he was no more heard to mention any of you till about two days before his death, & then in his sleep, he at different times talkd of all the family. - He appeard Chearfull & did not seem to suffer any pain during his indisposition nor did he ever once complain, or say he was sick. We had an elegant Coffin made for him, of Curled Cherry, with a raisd top & having nicely dressd & shouded? him - have buried him at Mr. Hardens by the side of his little children. - I shall have no funeral appointed till I hear from you, tis possible if you should move to this country, the family may wish to attend it.

                       A few days before his death he gave Mr. Harden a bill of different little debts he owed in Town & requested him to go in & pay them off & bring him the rects. which Mr. Harden did & after reading them, he put them into his pocket book & that in his Coat pocket.

                       His money, Watch, Cloaths, Saddle, bridle, Saddlebags, Books, &c are all here & shall be particularly taken care of - subject to your order.-

                       My family has & will all put on morning for him & so will a number of his acquaintances in the Town & Country & there will be a great deal more respect so to his memory, then you can possibly suppose a youth of his age could command. - He died quite easy, without a groan or struggle & was the most amiable looking corpse I ever beheld, having that agreeable smile on his countenance, that was common with through life. - My family is not yet clear of the Measles tho I hope none of them dangerous. - I am Sir real friend & HreS


  From the John Reid Papers #3882
  Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library
  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

1) John B. Reid to his father, Major John Reid (1/9/1816)

2) John B. Reid to his father, Major John Reid (3/3/1816)

3) John B. Reid to his mother, Keziah Simpson Reid (3/5/1816)

4) Richard "Duke" Simpson to his brother-in-law, Major John Reid (4/24/1816)

5) Richard "Duke" Simpson to his brother-in-law, Major John Reid (5/8/1816)

6) Richard "Duke" Simpson to his nephew, William B. Simpson (4/7/1845)

7) Richard "Duke" Simpson to his nephew, William B. Simpson (9/9/1845)

8) Richard "Duke" Simpson to his sister, Keziah Simpson Reid (5/4/1847)

9) Duke Williamson Simpson to his aunt, Keziah Simpson Reid (10/25/1847)