Monday, October 10, 2011

William C. Shelton’s 1850s trips to North Carolina

Captain Vincent Shelton's old kitchen at Chalk Level, Virginia

William C. Shelton lived between Gretna and Greenfield Church. It was an all-day ride on horseback or buggy from central Pittsylvania County Virginia to Caswell County, North Carolina. He wrote in his three-year journal on January 1, 1850: The ground was covered with snow, and the day fair tho’ very cold. After early breakfast I started to North Carolina. Stopped and spent an hour very pleasantly at Mr. Jesse Carter’s Reached Danville about the close of day light & arrived at my brother-in-law’s (William B. Swann) about 9 Oclock at night, without suffering much from the fatigue of the trip. Found the family all in good health. After resting a short time and taking some refreshments, I retired to my couch in usual health. (2nd) O arose after enjoying a good night’s rest. About ten Oclock William B. Swann and myself started to Caswell Court, and reached Yanceyville about 1 Oclock, drew up and made my guardian return. Also give new Guardian bond in the penal sum of $4,000 with William B. Swann and Christian Strater as securities thereto. After settling all my business at court we set out to return and reach’d home (Swann’s) about 8 Oclock.

Another trip in 1851: Sunday 5th – We all sent to preaching. I went down to baptizing. It was very cool for going into the water-yet Miss Rorer came forward and was baptized. We then repaired to the church where a pretty large crowd had assembled. I handed to brother Cornelius Gilbert $2 the amount of my subscription to Elder Hankins for last year’s pastoral charge of this church. E. T. Jones came home with me & took dinner, after which I went up home with him on my way to N. Carolina. (6th) I left Mr. Jones’ this morning by sun rise; and started on my trip to Caswell. I stopped a short (time) at J. C. Carter’s, and from thence by way of Danville reaching my brother-in-law’s about night, finding all well. I paid at the ferry 6 ¼ cents. I learned that Caswell court (the attending of which was my object in going to N.C.) was over. Having taken place on last week. In consequence of which it will be necessary that I should attend April court.

Saturday June 26, 1852: I rose very early and started to N. Carolina. I stopped a short time at Jesse Carter’s, also at Danville. I reached W. B. Swann’s before the setting of the sun, and found my sister very ill. (27th) I carried Susan & Mary Stone down to Shady Grove to preaching to day, and returned to Col. W. W. Price, took dinner and spent the evening. From thence I went back to Wm. B. Swann’s. (28th) I spent the day with my sister til evening, Billy and myself then walked up to see Mrs. Fitzgerald and the school house. Jno Y. Stokes also came. From all I could discover she seems well qualified to teach the young idea. I went with Jno. To his uncle Keesee’s just before night… (29th) After early breakfast, Capt. Keesee, Jno. Y. Stokes and myself went to Rockingham court house, reaching that place just before noon. The object of our trip was to look at carriages, buggies, etc. Capt. Keesee bought one for me of Mr. Montgomery for me at $112.50 and a set of harnesses of Humphreys for $17. The buggy he warranted. I paid Hancock the landlord 50 cents for dinner and horse feed. We then proceeded on our way back to Capt. Keesee arriving there about 10 at night. (30th) I left early this morning with a view to attend Miss Benadict’s examination in Danville. I called a short time at Billy Swann’s, he went with me to town. I spent the day pleasantly at the female academy. I put up with James M. Williams for the night. I paid Capt. Keesee $50 toward my buggy. (I paid J. M. Williams $1.75).