February 1859

Transcribed by Ellen Spearing and annotated by Spearing and Scott Stegall

Agnes is sitting by me, writing a letter to Verina Moore.1 She makes very strange hyeroglyphics, which no one can decipher but herself. She says she “wants you & write her a letter too.”

I think you said you had $2.75 in your hands to buy that silk neck handkerchief for your Father. I will send you the additional fifty cts. Please get the largest you can, anything over a yard would do, two inches perhaps, still better an eighth. The young men bought the coffee. It is your box is it not? I will return. Mrs Reid brought the green blanket & the cod liver oil. Ben was so much better of his cough & it was such a bad dose to take.2 I have not begun with him yet. He still has very little appetite. The examination is going on now. Tinsley Penick is staying with us, he is one of the examining committee.3


Mr Banks is also here.4 They always seem in a great bustle and excitement at this time. Some almost always fail. Something happens here once in a while. Last Sunday, when we were all at Monthly Concert, one of the students rooms was entered through the window, his clothes hanging round the room, trunks, all his money, everything in it stolen. The whole college went out on Monday to try to track the thief & they succeeded in doing so for two miles nearly, but lost it. A negro of Mrs White’s was whipped, whose shoe exactly fitted the track with some peculiarities of half soling, pegs etc. but he confessed nothing.5 Another was whipped for having a pistol. Poor Barry never got back his things. Our Society made him six shirts & six collars.6

Yesterday they caught a wagoner hanging about the woods to sell liquor to the students & some bought of him, so they sent him down to jail at Charlotte. You have no idea what a lawless com-


-munity this is, every man doing what seems right in his own eyes. We are much in hopes these two events will strike terror into the negroes & the whiskey sellers.

We have some of your Charlotte Jews up here, & I am glad of it for Withers does charge exhorbitantly for example, lead coloured twilled jeans, such as you sent me beautiful too for 12 ½ cts per yd, Withers asks twenty.7 Now the Jews have opened a store may be I can do more of my shopping here. Can you get me, for Mrs Junkin a hank of crochet cotton, coarse, such as will do for table mats?8 Mark the prices on it. Please get that & the handk. & have them ready for the first oppor-tunity.

Laura Morrison9 & Dr McLean,10 Burwell11 & Scales12 took tea with us Monday evening. Laura is staying with Mrs Hill [13]. Mrs H has had a right bad time, her breast rose & had to be lanced. She took cold from leaving her room too soon.13


Tell Mrs Burwell14 I have been hoping she would not let this session pass without coming up. Ask her when she is coming? I had a letter from Mrs Brown by the last mail. She tells me that Mrs McPheeters had just heard of the death of her Sister Mrs Neil.15 Did any of your elders go down to the Convention? I hear Mr Ben Davidson is again in Charlotte, did he fail in getting the situation he wished? How is Mr William D. getting on?

We hear from Dru every week, do write to him.16 I am afraid he will fall in love with Miss Murphy & as he says, “What a pity she is older than I am.” Sing writes very seldom.17 He had not written to me this session so I wrote him rather a reproachful letter & he sent me a pitiful one in reply, that almost made me cry. How I wish we could keep him at home. He talks about “meeting his two Mothers in Heaven.” Are you tired out with my long letter?

Yrs affect. M.R.L.