Palestine. Texas. June 22nd 1863.
To His Excellency, Gov. F.R. Lubbock.
My Dear Sir:
It is understood here that, a draft will
soon be ordered for ten thousand militia to do service
in this state, for six months; and that they will be kept
in camps during the time for which they are to be called
out. Permit me to remind you that, I am now manu-
facturing salt in this county, and that the demand
in Eastern Texas far exceeds the supply. The draft last
winter interrupted my business, as I could not procure
a substitute. Lately I have hired, at enormous
prices, twenty odd negro fellows, and have got to
making from twenty four to thirty six bushels of
salt, daily. As my labors are much more useful to
the state, than they would be in the army, will you
not permit me to remain and manufacture salt?
It is absurd to think of hiring a man to attend at
the saline, while I go to camps. I tried it last winter
and suffered in the loss of some of my best metal. The
furnace must stop if I go, and the people must suffer
to a greater or less extent. I can do more for the cause
in which we are so much interested than a hundred
such men who go as common soldiers. It is impos-
sible to hire substitutes. I know of persons having offered
some three and some six thousand dollars for sub-
stituting to go into the Confederate service. I tried last
winter to get one to go into the State Service, but failed.
Confederate Money is no inducement to them. Please
give me authority to remain at my employment,
so that the business may not stop. It has been very
difficult to hire hands. I have them now and know
not what to do with them, if you cause the boiling of
salt-water to stop. I am willing to give the soldiers
wives in this county or elsewhere five hundred dollars [sic] worth of salt, or com-
J.L. McMeans to Francis R. Lubbock, June 22, 1863. Records of Governor Francis R. Lubbock, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.