May 28th, 1876
All the family have gone to church this lovely Spring morning leaving
me in charge of my dear sick mother who (since I wrote you) has been
desperately ill. I watched her last Sunday with an aching heart fearing
lest the last service had been rendered to she who I love most and best,
but my heart fills with renewed love and gratitude to the kind physician
for watering afresh our most treasured flower. She is still distressingly
feeble but assures me she is feeling quite comfortable this morning.
You little know how wretchedly I felt both in mind and body at the time you
wrote me. Oh! Capt., it takes me more fortitude to await danger than endure
it. We forget to lean on a strong arm that could and would support us, but
sit wondering how dark the cloud is and how long before it's to burst.
Mystery always magnifies danger like fog the sun. Dear Me! How I wish I
could be the woman that I'd wish to be. Perfectly right are you in saying
the hard part is to live out the doctrine I so
truly advocate, but after all a complex web is human life and almost every
life has a thread of sable running through the wool.
I've often thought of the good sound sense in that careless remark of
the "Son of Erin." "It is never airy to work hard, and
nothing that's airy won is of much value." I believe all things are
marshaled by design and carefully tended by benevolence. Our judge is richous.
He remembers and notes all our cares, diseases, toils and frailties. Everyone is
considered and we are judged by the strength of the effort.
Suppose you have seen and heard of the fuss the Yanks made over a memorial
address delivered in Charlotte by Rev. Taylor Martin. I'm sorry not to send
you the address in full (It was a masterly effort and Mr. M. is one of my
special (friends), but it's been misplaced. I send you a thorn to see Gen'l
H's comments on the villain who sent off the dispatch. I know the wretch who
sent it. (he is a lad of 19 Summers) a nephew of the gallant Peter Sinclair.
It will not be difficult to recognize the family principle. He received a check
for $50/fifty dollars the next day. First rate pay for falsehood. No more address
I fear after this.
If I'd had an idea you would (and knowing none by the name of Sinclair would
have heard you) you would have been invited, so now look out for next May.
I'm glad you enjoyed your excursion on the river and open your eyes as wide
as you may when I tell you I'm also glad you never joined the order of G.T.
I joined and don't regret the step, but men like you need not
vow to obey a code of laws solemn indeed as they are calling on God to witness
and not half of them ever keep it. Often, alas! Too "the last state of the man
is worse than the first." I joined the order and worked diligently for the
Lodge till it was broken up. I still regard my vow just as binding as if we had
a regular Lodge for it's a life long obligation, yet I won't unite
with this new band. Firstly, it's full of Yanks. One of the officers at this post
is the W.C.T., the highest office in the Lodge and I'd have to associate
(friendly) with them. Not that I'd prohibit Yanks from becoming sober for
I want the whole nation to be just as good as they can be.
You must make up your mind (deliberately) to feel satisfied with your
occupation. Obstinate perseverance is the deep channel of success. I
know what a strong will you have so I'll trust you. Tis especially
hard to live an honest, sober, contented life in these degenerate days. Even a
woman must have an undue amount of courage to resist the many foolish
extravagances society tenders her almost every day and how many more
breakers men have to contend with. I wouldn't talk to every man this
way (not that I've different opinions) but if you obey your churches vows
you need not take these.
I'm going to ask a special favor, that you won't denounce the order. It may
do some good and we have so much need of help to put down whiskey. "Oh!
That our people would consider."
You see the "Blade" consequently know of the dilemma poor old Walls
is in. The court house was full of the fair sex and he summonsed all to
appear. The ladies sent for some of the lawyers and consulted them about appearing,
but as Judge Walls knew none personally, the lawyers told them just to keep quiet
and stay at home. Col. Gaither went as their mediator.
I think like you and then tis foolish to talk of family unless you keep up the
honor of the family. Attic and equipage should be made of secondary importance
to true merit and stressing individual worth, a man is none the
less one of natures nobleman because his heart, if brave, is covered with a
suit of coarse material instead of broadcloth.
I hope the day will come when such vulgar pretentious styles will be
recognized as certain indications of the parvenu, the veneering of society
and not of the genuine aristocrat.
I believe strongly in blood, but don't like to hear so much talk about it.
If you have the blood live up to it and let the world see that it's good.
John came home yesterday delighted with his trip, gives glowing accounts of the
wonderful sights to be seen. Is it not singular that all the medals are not of
one design? I want to go on the first of Sep. with Cam and Willie. My mother's
health will govern my plans. I'm writing with my desk in a sick room with pale
bad ink, so excuse appearances. Whenever you come I'll be glad to see you, so
will all our family and Cousin Sam. Wishing you success in your court. I'm L.T.P.
Go to LETTER 11
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