Dreer family letters 1851-1853
Collection Scope and Content Note
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The Dreer family letters contains 5 items that document this large Virginia family's migration to Texas. Three letters are addressed to Frederick and Fredericka Dreer, Frederick's elderly parents living in Philadelphia. They report on the children and explain that they need to leave Virginia, because they are burdened with debt and their current plot of land cannot support such a large family. Land in Texas, in 1851, was cheap and labor was valuable. Later letters describe life in Texas, local agriculture, such as seed quality and terrain, and illnesses in the family. Two letters are addressed to Frederick's brother Henry. One describes a gruesome rape and murder committed by a slave, and the slave's speedy trial and execution.