A Planter Feud
[ April 1, 1839]
Dearest [ Elizabeth],
On Friday [March 29] I rode to where the rattlesnake was found, and where I was informed by the Negroes there was a nest of them-- a pleasing domestic picture of home and infancy that word suggests, not altogether appropriate to rattlesnakes, I think. On horseback I felt bold to accomplish this adventure, which I certainly should not have attempted on foot; however, I could discover no sign of either snake or nest-- perhaps it is of the nature of a mare's nest, and undiscoverable; but, having done my duty by myself in endeavoring to find it, I rode off and coasted the estate by the side of the marsh till I came to the causeway. There I found a new-cleared field, and stopped to admire the beautiful appearance of the stumps of the trees scattered all about it, and wreathed and garlanded with the most profuse and fantastic growth of various plants, wild roses being among the most abundant. What a lovely aspect one side of nature presents here, and how hideous is the other!
In the afternoon I drove to pay a visit to old Mrs. A[rmstrong], the lady proprietress whose estate immediately adjoins ours. On my way thither I passed a woman called Margaret walking rapidly