Avery Family Papers, Records of the Antebellum Southern Plantations, Series J, Part 5, Reel 11, Frames 571-572
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Opelousas 12th Augt. 1862
My Dear Sir,
The favors of yourself & son were duly recd. & contents noted.
I sincerely desire to accommodate you in the matter of powder required for your salt operations, but I am so very scarce of this article & have such constant calls for it from every part of the state, that I fear it will be impossible for me to accommodate you. Although to the public & country generally it would render a great a benefit as used in battle, as those who use it in that way, must have the material to cure the provisions they eat. I will however examine some of the boxes, as I have some of them have been somewhat damaged, but they may still answer very well for that purpose, if so, will send you box by Mr. Fragard.
I regretted exceedingly not seeing you when at your hospitable "Island Home" as I desired conferring with you on other points besides the salt. In this latter matter, in a pecuniary point, I think you are losing a big fortune. I never saw an opportunity for rapidly making money in my life. I was astonished at the resources for doing so, & to see the great caution exercised by its proprietor at the same time. If there was danger of a large accumulation being left on hand or peace being restored it would be different, but all that can be made today can be sold tomorrow, & as labor would be employed by the day or at farthest by the month, hands would be discharged at any moment they would not be required.
I think when you make one dollar, you ought to make twenty, without difficulty, but I have come to the conclusion that Judge Avery was not an avaricious man, that he was certain of sure & small profits, & satisfied, but when he can be as certain with big proficts, why not be so? Your location with 12 months war, ought to give you a million of dollars, should your rock salt hold out & the supply of water continues as I suppose. Excuse me for so freely meddling with the affairs of others. In the matter of sending for my supply I have the promise of a little boat & hope without fail to be able to get it.
Best regards to your family & say to your son I hope he will take this in answer to his also.
Yours very Truly
Tho. O. Moore