Transcribed by Mary Beth Moore and annotated by Scott Stegall
My dear Bess,
I was just sitting down to write this note, when I heard a thundering knock at the door, & running down, found Mary & the children. We were very glad to see them, your Father was saying to night he was getting tired making fires, feeding the cow & carrying water. We find living in this country, we must conform to the ways of the people and buy our own servants. I wish we could afford to buy a nurse now, but as your Father has to pay for William,1 that is not practicable. I hope however next year that he will do so; if they raise his salary, we certainly will. He insists on my asking your
help in looking for a nurse for us. I had set my mind upon a little girl belonging to the Torrence estate about twelve or thirteen & thinking we could get her or some other one (as there were a great many to hire) I had no anxiety.2 Yesterday, though feeling very unwell, your father went out, seven miles, stood on the cold ground several hours & the girl was bid up to forty nine dollars & fifty cnts. He let her go. Another girl he had thought of, went for seventy five dollars, & she was a small girl about seventeen. Mrs Hunter went down to the hiring in Charlotte & says they went high there too, she gave sixty dollars for a woman with two small children.3 It seems scarcely useless to ask then. If we can
get one in Charlotte, but your Father seemed to think may be you could hear of some child, (free) that we could have bound as you have Lizzie, rather older than she is; or may be there might be one to hire privately from ten to fifteen, that we might get on more reasonable terms. To satisfy him I ask, so please let us know if there is any prospect of getting one there. Mrs Hunter said, a smart young girl, who had been a nurse was hired yesterday for thirty three dollars, she would have done very well perhaps, but he thought we were going to get this other little girl until it was too late to send for the Charlotte hiring.4 I want to get you to send the enclosed note to
Dr. Taylor,5 & if possible get an answer to send up by Houstons carriage at night.6 At my earnest solicitation Mr Rockwell wrote for Dr Taylor to come up last Monday & has not heard a single word in reply.7 I think he might at least have sent word he could‘nt come. As it was by my recommendation & praise of Dr T. they sent for him. I feel somewhat responsible in the case & so at Mrs Rockwells request I write to know if he will come up & see her.8 You have not written me a line lately, I would like to hear from you sometimes. How did you like our servants? Mary says you have a pretty little baby. Send me the Home Journal. I hope Dru is enjoying himself. He must be sure & come tomorrow.
Yrs in haste M R L. Make Zack find Dr Taylor & give him this note. You can read it, if you choose, & then seal it.