A copy of this document was graciously provided to me by Susan, the great great granddaughter of John Lewis Coleman Sr. In it, Rosser, and his father John find a raccoon in a tree, and attempt to get rid of it, while lamenting having to undertake such an unpleasant task on the sabbath. It doesn't go so well for the raccoon, but if you set that part aside, it's a neat little window into 1888. You really should read it in it's natural form, but for the lazy, here's a translation:
May 8th(?), 1888
My Experience in a coon fight
Last Sabbath morning my father ordered his pony saddled for him to ride out to the plantation and on his way he had to ???? a little branch in which he saw a very large coon track, he traced the track up the branch a little ways and came to an old stump of a tree in which was two or three very nice holes, and on examining the tree and the bushes that grew around it, he found that some (thing) animal had been up or down the tree that morning, by the little particle of rotten bark and wood that had fallen on the leaves of the bushes. There was a very heavy rain the night before and he knew that the trash on the leaves could not have remained there all night, so he concluded that the coon was in that tree. He then rode in hearing of a negro house, which was a little ways off and called the negro and told him to bring him an ax. The negro did so, and they went back to the tree, and with a few licks the tree fell, and there was no coon seen. They then cut a small hole into the hollow and there he was. Pa gave his horse to the negro and sent him to the house for me and my dog. Myself and one of my brothers saddled us a mule a piece and rode over, when we ????? the place, I saw Pa sitting on the log holding the coon by the tail which he had pulled through a crack in the log. We dismounted our mules and tied them. We thin out a hole large enough to get the coon out, and I took him by the tail and (through) threw him out to a dog that I never saw anything whip, and never did in my life see so a small thing as a coon fight as he did he turned upon his back and caught the dogs lip in his mouth and chewed upon it as if he intended swallowing that ????? if no more. The dog would try to shake him off, but it seemed to me that he had as well to be trying to shake off his own ears as to shake the coon off. They fought about twenty minutes and the dog finally killed him. We all enjoyed the fight very much. But we would have enjoyed it a great deal more if it had not been on the Sabbath. But as we were killing such an enemy ???? ??? I hope that we will not be charged with it.
R. M. Coleman
Dot your i's and cross your t's