Sally, Auber, and Judy
[ March 3-4, 1839]
When I told you in my last letter of the encroachments which the waters of the Altamaha are daily making on the bank at Hampton Point and immediately in front of the imposing-looking old dwelling of the former master, I had no idea how rapid this crumbling process has been of late years; but today, standing there with Mrs. G[owen], whom I had gone to consult about the assistance we might render to some of the poor creatures whose cases I sent you in my last letter, she told me that within the memory of many of the slaves now living on the plantation, a grove of orange trees had spread its fragrance and beauty between the house and the river. Not a vestige remains of them. The earth that bore them was gradually undermined, slipped, and sank down into the devouring flood; and when she saw the astonished incredulity of my look, she led me to the ragged and broken bank, and there, immediately below it, and just covered by the turbid waters of the inrushing tide, were the heads of the poor drowned orange trees, swaying like black twigs in the briny flood, which had not yet dislodged all of them from their hold upon the soil which had gone down beneath the water wearing its garland of bridal blossom.