Amanuensis Monday...Mattie's Journal and Letters

Mattie's Journal and Letters
The Year of Mourning

Trail of Tears
by Sandra S. Pittman

July 26, 1895
Today is Pa's birthday. He has been sad since Mama died. He misses her something terrible...we all do. I tried my best to make supper special for him. I baked sweet bread and cooked a stew. Pa said it was good and thanked me for setting the table with Mama's embroidered table cloth. I put a dish towel over it for baby Grady. We all held hands as Pa blessed the supper. He thanked the Lord for us and sent our love to Mama in heaven. Amen. Mattie

August 20, 1895
Dear Beulah,
      How are you? We are all doing fine. Grady fell off the porch last week and cut his arm. Lizzy has been helping me with the washing. She is tall enough now to hang the clothes over the fence. The garden is ready for picking. Mama would be happy to see all the seeds she planted made a good crop.       We should be shucking the corn in a week or two. I am hoping you can come for the tomato and okra canning. I am not sure I know how to do all the canning by myself.
     Pa and the boys have been working from morning til dark in the fields. Chappo says the cotton crop is good this year. The cotton chopping has been hard with the weeds growing so thick. It has been the same in the garden. We are mindful to take a hoe when picking tomatoes. I chopped off the head of a snake a few days ago.
      Pa wanted to know if you would get the canning supplies before you come, Beulah. He can't get to town before then, and said you would know what to buy. He will pay you when you come. Mama's jars are washed and ready. I hope there will be enough of them. I'm glad you and Lula are coming.
      Today is Mama's birthday. We all miss her more than I can say. I am trying my best, but it seems I never get done with the daily chores. How did she do it all? We are all counting the days until you and Lula can come.
Your sister,
Mattie Maude Pittman Faulkner
Born: October 23, 1880
Died: April 14, 1948  
Daughter of: George Washington Pittman and Emma June Howell Pittman
Dear Readers,
     Although these are a fictitious journal entry and letter, they are based on documented, timelined events and historical research.  Mattie was the sister of my paternal grandfather and one of my notable Texas Women Ancestors. 
For more about her 'Year of Mourning' and the 'Trail of Tears' Legend,
please enter Tracks of My Texas Ancestors  and continue reading.


  1. Fascinating! I have read so many pioneer diaries and the voices sound so similar. I wish I could put that farming/working/adventurous spirit in a bottle and give it to my students. Thank you for sharing all your findings with us, Sue.

  2. Fascinating Sue! I just love stories like this. You should do a book and publish it. Well excuse me while I go and read some more.Hugs~Ames

  3. I love the stories - they make it all so real. The hardships that those young women endured, and then to think of how many died in childbirth...incredible.


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