Ambrose Bullard Eubank
Amherst County, Virginia - 1793
Nacogdoches Co., Texas

by Iris Teta Eubank Wagner

The above hand-written document is the last paragraph of a letter written in 1859 by Ambrose Bullard Eubank, who lived in Nacogdoches County, Texas.  The entirety of the letter is transcribed below.  The letter was written to his spinster sister Delilah, who lived at Allwood in Amherst County, Virginia. 

Ambrose Bullard Eubank was born in 1793, son of George and Delilah Williams Eubank, who had immigrated to Amherst County from Bowling Green, Caroline County, Virginia, in 1780. 

George Eubank's farm was at the Forks of Buffalo, at Buffalo Springs, in north Amherst County, Virginia. 

George, with his brother John  Eubank, had sold their land in Caroline County, Virginia, two years after their father the elder John Eubank,  a Constable in Caroline, had died there in 1778.

Sallie Eubank (Mrs. Tucker Eubank), of Amherst County,  who shared this letter with my sister Betty and me in the early 1990's, indicates in her records that Ambrose Bullard Eubank served as Sheriff of Amherst County before going to Texas, riding horseback.

Nacogdoches County, Texas

Ambrose was living in Nacogdoches County, Texas, by 1836/37 for he is on the 1837 Tax List of that county.  He came to Texas with, or was preceded by, first cousins Elias Moseley Eubank and Edmund Vauter Eubank, for Elias and Edmund are also on the 1837 Tax List.  Elias and Edmund were sons of John and Margaret Newman Eubank. 

Also on the 1837 Tax List for Nacogdoches County is Meriwether Lewis Ware, son of another first cousin of Ambrose,   Lucy Eubank, sister of Elias and Edmund.   In 1796, Lucy married John Ware, son of Commissioner William Ware of Amherst.   They  moved to Kentucky in the first decade of the 19th century.

The letter Ambrose wrote to his sister Delilah reads like a personal memoir of his difficulty in making a life for himself when first arriving in  Nacogdoches County. County records provide  evidence that Ambrose had considerable prominence in Nacogdoches, as he was a Justice of the Peace for twelve years there, having taken the oath on six separate occasions from 1848 through 1860. 

The letter Ambrose wrote to Delilah follows, copied verbatim, with some commas, periods, and insertions added for clarity:

Melrose,                                    Nacogdoches County, Texas,
October 1859
Dr Sister,
After my compliments to you, I have to inform you that I received a letter from you dated on July 19 by the way of Red River forwarded me by W. P. Eubank*,
which gave me great satisfaction, as it is the first line I have received from a near relative in Virginia since I have been in Texas, which was 21 years last March.  I thought you had all forgotten, or, how to write, as I have not been informed of the Death of Mother, Aunt Williams, Brother John, or sisters Lucy*** and Elizabeth.  I have been in a Strange Land of Strangers for upwards of twenty one years, with the exception of Elias M. (Moseley) Eubank's sons, who are all scattered.  Elias N.(Newman) lives near me in Nacogdoches, John T. in North Western Texas, Robert A. in California, and Elizabeth in about one hundred miles.  She married Capt. Thomas McFarland, Quite a genteel gentleman.  I think she done well though I have never been to their house or seen her in Texas.  Mrs. Sarah Barret, wife of Charles L. Barret lives near me, and John F. Matthews who Married Mary Jane Lively, Daughter of Phillip, the eldest.  They have a very interesting family, most all members of the Missionary Baptist Church, the rest are all Married and much scattered over Texas.  Madam Barret requested me to make her compliments to you.  I have had a hard Roe [row] to work.  I have lost at least one thousand dollars worth of horses since I have been in Texas, and had nothing but a fine Mare, and watch, and my close [clothes] when I landed, and there were no credit, no Provisions, or money.  I thought I would come back But could not for I had nothing to bear My Expenses therefore.  There were but a few American Housekeepers.  You cannot get board without Cash.  Therefore I had to live on venizen and Honey for I got to be a considerable Bee hunter.  I commenced making Corn and raising Cattle and Hogs as I could get one to raise from, but a cow and calf was worth $25, and a Sow and Pigs the same, until I could get hold of a Small House.  I wore Buckskin Close most of the time.  You perhaps think that I am exagerating, But the facts.  But now I have plenty of Good Land, Hogs and Cattle to make a good living.  But no Body to help me work, and am not able to work but little myself [next few lines illegible].  Send me an old woman with the Darkies to work my land and she to be my help meet [mate?]  I am in feble [feeble] health.  My Broken ankle has got to swelling up  So I cannot walk on it Enough to labor in the farm.  We have a Droughty Country, But when we plant early and cultivate well we make plenty.

Our cotton in New Orleans is worth from $10 to [?] per [?].  Corn is worth 50/cents per bushel.   We make a good crop of corn.  But small of cotton.  Lands are very low in this section.  Ranges from one to ten Dollars per Acre.  I have about 1,500 Acres of Land & think is now worth 3 Dollars per Acre.  I sold five-hundred and fifty for 1 Dollar per Acre on one, two, & three years Credit the other day of Pine woods.  

I wish you to inform me of all my relations you know and what has become of them and make my compliments to them all, and all other acquaintances and Enquiring friends, more Particular to Capt. Thomas N. Eubank**, as he has wrote me several letters Since I have been in Texas.  Ask Brother George W. & Thomas A. Eubank  If they have forgot how to write.  Tell Sister Ann Howdy and Richard, George W. and Thomas A. and all  William's children and Richard.  I learn from W. P. Eubank that my old friend Robert Carter is living, tell him howdy and all my old acquaintances as I do not know who is living or dead.  And you and Sister Ann Accept of mybest wishes for your health and Happiness.

I am your Affectionate Brother
                                                                    A B Eubank

 P S  Please write often If not too hard work for it is Labor for me to write.
                                                                    A B Eubank

*William Pryor Eubank, grandson of George and Delilah, and son of Richard Bullard Eubank of Allwood in Amherst County, Virginia
**Capt. Thomas Newman Eubank, son of John and Margaret Newman Eubank, brother of Richard Newman Eubank.  Capt. Eubank died during the year 1859.
*** Lucy Eubank was the second wife of Capt. James Ware, after the death of his first wife Nancy Garland Pendleton.

The 1860 U.S. Census, Nacogdoches
County, Texas
A year after Ambrose wrote his letter
 he is entered on the 1860 U. S. Census,
 his entry as Residence 444 is below.

Elias N. Eubank, referenced in Ambrose's letter, lives at Residence 441, a near neighbor, as noted in the letter.  Elias N. is age forty, his wife Eliza C. is thirty-one.  Their children are Ann, 14; Edward, 9; Sarah, 6; Charlton, 4; and Thomas, 10 months.  Elias N. lists no real estate on the census, and he is likely living in a home Ambrose owns.

Original Narrative and Web Site © Iris Teta Eubank Wagner 2014

Sources for the Eubank Narratives :

Mrs. Sallie Eubank, a lifelong resident of Amherst County, Virginia, who shared, among other documents, this letter from Ambrose.  On a number of visits in the 1980's/90's to Amherst, my sister Betty and our mother Bonnie, and myself, enjoyed Sallie's gracious hospitality and knowledge of her ancestral family in Amherst County. - Marriage Records of Nacogdoches County, Texas  1824 - 1881, Identification of Officiants, page 121, Justice of the Peace, page 128.

Nannie Claiborne Hudson, genealogical knowledge of Amherst families,George Mason Claiborne and Nannie Eubank Claiborne of Amherst County, Jones Memorial Library, Lynchburg, Virginia, 1980.

Amherst County Will Book 6 , Amherst County Deed Books  E,F,G,H,I, T

Caroline County Order Books, the transcribed abstracts of  John Frederick Dorman and Ruth and Sam Sparacio.

T.E. Campbell, Colonial Caroline. 
Dorothy Ford Wulfeck, Marriages of Some Virginia Residents, 1607 - 1800.

Warner L. Forsyth, Mosely, Mosly Families, Appendix to Book 1, 2000.

William F. Boogher, Gleanings of Virginia History, " Newman Family of Virginia," pp237-282.

Mai Eubank Boatwright (descendant of Elias M. Eubank and Elizabeth W. Thompson, who lived in Texas), and Curtis Humphris  (descendant of John Eubank and Catharine Rose of Amherst,  Virginia).

Amherst County Court Records, Amherst County, Virginia.

Family record of Sallie Eubank (Mrs. Tucker Eubank) of Amherst County.

Bailey Fulton Davis, The Wills of Amherst County, 1761 - 1865.

Thomas H. Ellis, A Memorandum of the Ellis Family, Richmond, Virginia

1800 Tax List for Lexington Parish, Amherst County, Virginia, Peter P. Thornton, Commissioner.

U.S. Census records, 1810 - 1900, online by and

Margaret Jacqueline Moore, A History of Eubank-Ware, Hunter, Allen Families, Jackson, Mississippi, 1979.

The Diary of the Rev. Robert Rose, Essex County, Virginia.

David J. Mays, Edmund Pendleton 1721-1803: A Biography, Vols. I and 2.

Beverly Fleet, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. 7  King William, Vol. 14  King and Queen.

Stratton Nottingham, Wills and Administrations of Accomack County, Virginia 1663-1800.

Marshall Wingfield, A History of Caroline County, Virginia.

 Louis des Cognets, English Duplicates of Lost Virginia Records.

Ralph T. Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore

The Library of Congress, American Memory Collection, Early Virginia Religious Petitions.

 T.L.C. Genealogy, 1760 Reconstructed Census of Virginia.

Bailey Fulton Davis, Deeds of Amherst County, Virginia, 1761 - 1807, Albemarle Co., Virginia 1748 - 1763.

Clark County Historical Society, Clark County Chronicles, Winchester 1924, Winchester Public Library, Dr. G. F. Doyle.

 Hardesty's Historical Encyclopedia.

Lenora Higginbotham Sweeney, Marriage Bonds and Other  Records of Amherst County, Virginia, 1763 - 1800.

Caroline County, Virginia, Court Records, Probate and other Records from the Court Order and Minute Books, 1781 - 1799.

The Alderman Library, University of Virginia, Manuscript Division, Baylor papers file #2257.

Daughters of the American Revolution, Roster of Revolutionary Ancestors, Vol II, Betti Boatwright McFaul, Margaret Jacqueline  Moore, No. 560469 .

Virginia Historical Magazine, "The Will of John Baylor of New Market," Vol 24, p367

 Letter from Ambrose Bullard Eubank, 1859, Melrose, Nacogdoches County, Texas, to his sister Delilah in Amherst  County,Virginia.


 William Hopkins, Caroline County, Virginia, Court Records -  Chancery Suits.

Alexander Brown's Early-Settlers List, Alexander Brown Papers,Special Collection Department, Swem Library, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia.

1783 Tax List, Amherst County, Virginia, Commissioner.

 Amherst County Deed Books, E - I,  Amherst County, Virginia.

Bishop William Meade, Old Churches, Ministers, and Families of Virginia, 1857.