1853 LETTER BY SARAH JANE McLAUCHLIN TO ARCHIBALD McLAUCHLIN AT CHAPEL HILL UNIVERSITY
Submitted April 04, 2008 by Max T. Baker & Barbara Baker McComb
Read McLauchlin / McLauchlin letter here ... But first, see comments below from Max and Barbara.
The letter, we think, was written by Sarah Jane McLauchlin, daughter of Duncan and Catherine McLauchlin.
It is from "Cousin Jane" to "Archibald McLauchlin" at Chapel Hill, NC.
Sarah Jane had a cousin Archibald McLauchlin who would have been 21 years old when this letter was written
in 1853 - an age at which he could have been in college.
She mentions "Brother Neill" - Sarah Jane had a brother Neill D. She mentions "John" -
she had a brother John Calvin McLauchlin. She mentions "Mary" - Mary Ann was Archibald and Neill's
sister, a cousin. She mentions Cousin Anna. I don't know who she is. She must be on the other side of the family.
She mentions Archibald's father and mother - they would be Nancy and John McLauchlin and they were alive in 1853.
Both are listed on the geneology as dying in 1873.
She says "we have a pretty good school here" - she must be talking about the Long Street Academy.
The head of the letter says "Long Street"
She talks about Grandma's health. Sarah Leach McLauchlin died in 1851, so its not that grandmother. It must be
Catherine McLauchlin's mother.
She mentions Cousin Arch Ray dying a few weeks ago. He would have been the son of William and Margaret Ray -
older brother of Martin Luther and Cpt Neill W Ray - born in 1824. He is buried in Longstreet cemetery.
She signed the letter "Cousin Jane", not Sarah. She had a cousin Sarah Catherine McLauchlin. Maybe
she or her parents wanted to keep down the confusion and she went by "Jane".
By the way, she mentions a "blacking club" in regard to Archibald at Chapel Hill. What is a blacking club?
Following will explain "Blacking"
"It was costomary to black those who came here to join the freshman class, so Friday night the club
prepared themselves with lamp black and whatever else they wanted and began to give them a coat. They
had just comenced nearly when the Faculty came up and you can imagine how quick each one absented
himself for the President had publickly announced that whoever was caught in a Blacking Club would
have to leave. The next day (the second day of the session) the faculty examined several of the
students about this blacking expedition and dismissed two but A pledge that those who signed it
would not engage in such while a student of the University was circulated and nearly universally
signed. This pledge was signed upon a condition that if they (the Faculty) would restore those
whome they had dismissed They were restored. So we will have no more blacking for at least two
years." Source: Letter from William S. Grandy to his uncle, Haywood S. Bell, from University
of N.C. Chapel Hill July 31st 1842
Back to Myrtle's Genealogy Page
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Back to In Memory of the Late Neill W. Ray
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