This letter was written by Col. George Plater Tayloe (1804-1897) of Cloverdale, Virginia. He was a founding Board member of the Valley Union Seminary, which is today’s Hollins University. He served in that capacity from its inception in 1842 until his death. He was also a Charter Board member with Roanoke College, and an avid promoter of the development and establishment of the City of Roanoke — particularly through the Buena Vista Land Company. He was married to the former Mary Elizabeth Langhorne, a daughter of Col. William Langhorne. Together they had 10 children.
Addressed to Abraham Bidwell, Esq., Dayton, South Alabama
May 26th 1841
My engagements in Alabama were such that I could not visit you as I had intended. The colt Olive Took, I have heard nothing of, now received a dollar for him. She says his is ____ for 1/4 mile, but no account as a race horse. I am so overstocked, I must decline your fair offer, which I suppose you might get in Alabama & have the mare bred to a good horse. I am sorry she failed to Banter. I have a fine Banter filly. Should any one want blood stock, refer them to me.
All the girls around Salem have married but E. Paulina had better married you as _____ became good for nesting. All old friends as usual. Old Mr. Olive much the same but often unwell. His son is now in Louisville.
We expect James Cary _____ is soon to be married. I am glad to hear you are all well in Alabama & the crops promise ell. We have here fine health, good society. Enough to eat & wear & but little money. My regards to you & Ben & hope you may both do well. I remain yours &c., — George P. Tayloe
The Clifford Filly Mr, Abraham Burwell has is 3 yrs. old this Spring. Her dam Venus & registered with my stock in the 5 Vols, of A. L. Register. Clifford is ____ by A. R. Johns ___ & by Charles & was a fine race horse.
Geo: P. Tayloe, Cloverdale, Va. May 26th 1841
Venus I think is 12 or 14 this Spring, is a fine bony, blood like mare — a fine sorrel & I think a good brood mare. She is worth $150 if in foal & to a fine horse, I would not take $200 for her.
Geo: P. Tayloe, May 26th 1841