I ask leave to introduce to your acquaintance my son Mr. N. D.
Ellis, and to acknowledge the receipt of your favor by my friendCol A Winston. I wish to say to you that we have been led into an
error by a proclamation of the Mexican president as to the
liberation of slaves. Perhaps he only meant bound servants such as has
been by the civil Law for 200 years, but you know such is the sensitive
feelings of the Slave holders on that subject, that the least agitation
will deter them from emigration, and I really begin to believe with
you that it is shortly to be a great evil among us. for it has
prevented me from sending on negros to my son in Law James N.
Smith until it is too late to make a crop. The first objection is the
expense of sending them on, at this late season, and a person to
superintend them, the second is, every practical planter knows it is too
late to make a crop even to rent land; (the worst of all evils) but
the 3rd is one which I know will plead my excuse to you; when I
state my own situation, for it seems one misfortune never comes
alone but (as Shakespear says) treads on the heels of another; 2 or
3 months after the date of the last receipt of the payt of W. Pettus's
debts, (as this will show) I had the 12th instant, a large portion of
my cotton crop burnt to ashes in the warehouse of the Messrs. Harts
in the city of New Orleans and Mr. J. N. Smith's with it. I refer
you to my son for the amt. and the details; (not insured) Please
accept my best wishes for your happiness and prosperity.