Joseph Fawcett Letter 1833-05-23
Folded Letter, Address:
Masters Marcellus & Curtus Fawcett, Near Lewisburg, Greenbriar Cty, VA
Callaghan’s 23rd May 1833
My Dear Sons,
your letter of the 21st is to hand in which you request us to send an English Reader and 2 Slates. The slates were sent to you the day before yesterday, I presume you have received them before this time, and we now send you an English reader with an atlas and if you will send to Mr Matthews he will let you have an other arithmetick. Perkins is also directed to pay the Tailor for Marcellus’ Vest which may be got at the same time you send for the Book.
I am very much pleased with this, your first letter to me, the hand writing, as well as composition, considering that it is among the first, if not the first you ever wrote is good, and the spelling excellent. this essay does you great credit, in My Opinion. I would however advise you to set your letters a little further apart, and to Make the Staves Shorter. You must also get Mr. Taylor to assist you in dividing your next into paragraps, and to point the sentences and parts of Sentens
I do not want you to spend Much time at Grammar, yet I do not want it to to be wholey neglected. My sure opinion is, that it is a science too abstruse to be well understood by young persons, nothing short of a goodeal of experience and a ripe understanding can master it yet there are certain first principles which may be understood easily, for example you can very soon know by a little attention whether a word is a noun, a verb or an adjective that is whether the word means a certain thing, a certain action or a certain quality. These three divisions of speech well understood will naturly as you gain experience, and your Judgments ripen, enable you to comprehend the whole. Show this to Mr Taylor
we received on yesterday a letter from your brother Lyle Branson. he is very well and writes as if in good spirits.
let me beg of you to not neglect to write to some one of us frequently. it will not only keep us advised how you are doing but it will also qualify in some measure for writing letters in business which probably lyes before you at no distant day, and depend on it there are few things we do in this life better calculated to call the attention of those we correspond with to our qualifications for business, than that of writing a letter,
I have sometimes thought grammarians have made their subject more difficult to comprehend by too much explanation and dividing it into too many cases. so many rules subject to so many exceptions are not well calculated to enlighten the learner, but as I do not profess to be much of a Grammarian I shall leave this to Mr Taylor’s discretion.
your sister also sends a vest for Curtus and a shirt for Marcellus