Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 9/10/1970

Letter Thought To Be "Oldest In The County," Mentions Early Families

A letter, written in Charleston, dated February 22, 1843, is claimed to be the oldest in Calhoun county.  Delbert Lynch of Arnoldsburg found the letter in some other old papers handed down by his forefathers. At one time they were private and confidential, but now he said they could be published.

Mr. Lynch said that he found it (illegible) the letter "f" used in the place of double "s", and the name Knotts was spelled Notts.

Because of its great length, we have shortened it for publication here, leaving out what seems to be repetition, and changed the spelling to the modern style to make it more readable, also broken into shorter paragraphs.

The letter was written by one A.W. Quarrier and addressed to Jos. Notts (Knotts), Esq.  Here it is:

Dear Sir:
Yours dated the 13th instant came samely to hand, and happening to be at the post office when the mail arrived I dropped you a very hasty note in reply, and sent you by the boy as much coffee and sugar as he appeared willing to carry together with a box of wafers.  Any service of the kind I can do for you, always command me, though the uncertainty of the arrival of your mail will make it necessary for you to request the mail carrier to enquire for me at my office, which I pointed out to him when he was last here.

In my hasty note I requested you to see C.D. Arnold and Mrs. Nichols and enquire of them when they were informed that they were living on Wilson's and C.D. Arnold and a letter to me dated Nov. 14, 1842, says in that letter that "he resides on a survey of 4,000 acres claimed by the heirs of Thomas Wilson of Morgantown, and that this survey was made soon after Jas. Arnold's survey of 60 acres that the improvement on the 4000 was made by Isaac Nichols 14 years ago, and is now in possession of Nichols' mother and C.D. Arnold: that Mr. Locke, one of the heirs of Wilson was on the land last fall, and that he, C.D. Arnold and Mrs. Nichols, acknowledged his said Locke's right, believing it to be good."

Edgar Wilson, claiming to be one of the heirs, writes to me that the 4000 acres survey was made in Harrison and that it has been in possession of (illegible) under him 30 years.  Now if Mr. Arnold is correct (and I have his letter) Wilson must be wrong about the possession, and this is the fact I wish you to be particular in making enquiries about of C.D.A. and Mrs. N.

But if true I by no means surrender.  This county never formed any part of Harrison and Lewis.  It still holds the line run between the counties of Orange and Augusta, recognized in 1738 as running N 55 degrees west to the Ohio, and afterwards became the line between Greenbrier and Monongalis, then between Harrison and Kanawha, and lastly between Lewis and Kanawha, and the law of 1835 provides that unless the owners of lands shall place them on the books of the commissioners of revenue of the counties where the lands lie and pay all taxes and damages due, that the lands shall be forfeited.

If Wilson has any claim or patent he never complied with this law, for the land never was on our books and is therefore forfeited.  But I still wish for my own satisfaction that you enquire of Mr. C.D.A. and Mrs. Nichols about the possession.

If you can, also inform me what the extent of the line of the 4000 acres in on the creek.  In your letter you say you visited the lower end of the tract and found it very good, but I wish you to describe to me the quantity of good land lying in a body, the growth of trees on it, and how much good land there is and how it can be laid off into farms.

(Here the letter goes into particulars about lands sold to Thomas Brannon, P. Deems, A. Starcher, B. Truman, William Henry and Jacob Starcher, and others including a Hays, Carpenter and Cogar, and others. The writer is also concerned about getting a competent surveyor, and about arrangements for the purchasers to pay.  He also cites one sale to a man named Middleton who disputed some claim.  The letter ends:)

You will find by this mail a good many newspapers containing interesting matters for you and your neighbors.  I shall continue to send papers unless I hear that they are not cared for.  I should like to have, when you can find the leisure to make it, as full a description of my land as you can give, how many lots it can be laid off in, and what you estimate their value at.

The letters I write to you are, of course, private not to be shown to others.

A.W. Quarrier