[Stuart's Island, Lake Chicot, Chicot County, Arkansas]: 1855. 7-3/4": x 8-1/2". Completely in ink manuscript on blue unlined paper. Pencil notation under Stuart's signature, "of Chantilly". Several short splits along folds [no loss], repaired with archival tape on verso. Very Good.
The writer was likely Charles C[alvert] Stuart [1818-1869], born in Chantilly, Virginia, son of Charles Calvin Stuart [1794-1846] and Cornelia Lee Turberville Stuart [1797-1883]. Cornelia was the granddaughter of Richard Henry Lee, signer of the Declaration of Independence.
The letter was probably written from "Stuart's Island," owned by the Stuarts and located on Old River Lake a/k/a Lake Chicot, Chicot County, Arkansas. Several months after the date of this letter, in August 1855, Charles Jr. sued his mother regarding division of his father's estate on Stuart's Island, including the plantation and slaves.
Stuart's Island was notorious for having been a hideout of the deadly John Murrell band of outlaws, who were involved with slave-kidnapping, robberies and other crimes. [BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF SOUTHERN ARKANSAS: Goodspeed Publ.: 1890, p.1065; Capace, Nancy: ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ARKANSAS, Somerset Publishers: 1998, p. 67.]. Item #36652