The Letter of James Matlock Kitchens

Years ago, a transcription of the letter of James Matlock Kitchens came to my attention, to my great excitement and that of many Dutton cousins. This past week I made a genealogy research trip to Jasper, Walker County, Alabama, where at the library I found a photocopy of the original letter. I’d like to share the letter again with you.

James Matlock Kitchens (1796–1868) was a farmer and Baptist minister, a pioneer settler of Lawrence County, Alabama, about 1817, and then of Walker County, Alabama, about 1838. He joined a large migration of family and neighbors from the Basham’s Gap community to the vicinity of Jasper, shortly after the opening of a road between those places. The Kitchens family intermarried very closely with the Dutton family, as well as the Brown, Irwin, Hamilton, and Sparks families, with whom the Duttons were also intermarried. Together these families formed a tight-knit network of kinship, as his letter below will show.

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