Morganton, N.C.
Sept. 11th, 1876

Dear Capt.,

Often, Oh! So often have I thought of you in the past three weeks (since your last letter was received) and would have told you so but for the violent illness of my loved mother. This kept heart, head and hands so constantly engaged that I found not a moment to enjoy this pleasure.

Glad am I to assure you she is very much better, and I trust with the invigorating weather we are beginning to have her strength will soon revive.

I've abandoned all idea of turning my face northward, but to this she won't listen, so I've concluded to start the 26th of Sep. (that is if she continues to improve) Capt. Erwin runs an excursion to Phil[adelphia] and returns (going by way of Wil[mington] and Norfolk) round trip for $15/fifteen dollars). Tickets good for 30 days. I'll send you a bill as soon as they are published.

I sent you a scratch on a postal asking you and your sisters to meet us in Phil and join our party. Willie, John, Capt. E. (and perhaps Col. Tate), Cam and his wife with several other of my lady friends will be in our party. What say you to it?

Could you have seen me several times in the past month you would have had just cause to ask me for the balm I so freely gave to others. Never in all my life do I remember of feeling so utterly wretched and despondent about everything, and but that I was compelled to keep my hands employed I don't know what I would have done. For several days I was alone (except Dr. Moran who boards here) with Mother, every thing to see after and she to nurse and feel anxious about. I thought so often of a sweet sentiment (I forget from whose heart) "But theirs a future oh, Thank God, of life this is so small a part" and two lines of that exquisite songs (from Longfellow's pen) "Be still sad heart and cease repining, behind the cloud the sun is shining. Thy fates the common fate of all, in every life some rain must fall, and some days be dark and dreary" Oh, how could we endure here, if we did not hope for a just peaceful hereafter. Faith not sight is the beacon here, sight not faith in the beautiful "Over Yonder." I know the "Judge of all the earth must and will do right", and yet I so often repine. "Lord I do believe, help thou my unbelief."

Your letters are a great pleasure, and to show you how highly I appreciate them, the same mail that brought your last greeting I received by express (the same hour) a box of fresh peaches and grapes (from a gent down in the East). I never thought of opening the box till I fully enjoyed the best part first (your very welcomed letter). Now don't you know I value them?

Gov. Vance sent Sister and I a box of bouquets that were thrown to him in Raleigh when he and Settle spoke.

Our flag (Tilden and Vance) is just in front of my room window. Almost every little boy in town has one. Frank Tate opened the ball. I've laughed no little at a little Negro boy we have hired (black as a crow, the former property of Tod Caldwell) He came to me for a flag so I made a Vance and Tilden and told him how to fix it up so as to take it down at night. I'm highly amused to hear him [say] "Huzza for Vance." I know how the Governor will enjoy it.

I'm anxious to go to the Roan Mountain, and those who know assure me it would be far more pleasant in Oct. I can't tell what plans to make now till I return from Yankeedom. If you are at home during Synod I'd like you to meet and know my pastor (Mr. Robert Anderson). He is now in New York and may not return for some time as he will shop in Phil.

Mrs. Hill has been up on a visit, she talks constantly of her Dr. and seems to be convinced she has won the model man. So far so good is married life with our friend Miss Mattie, I fondly trust this will be her verdict for years to come.

Col. T. has been real sick. Looks badly. Maj. Wilson is cool about the election. Has gone off to the Cen[tennial] and left his friends to do his work. Willie has been in Wil[mington] working for this excursion.

John is at the "St. Bernard." Had 700 arrivals last month.

Capt. A[very] is still unable to look or be himself. Oh! How it frets me to see men transformed into brutes. I do pity that man from my heart. The Yanks are to be kept in our town for a year longer.

Not a word of news or gossip have I to impart, am kept so close at home that I know but little of the outer world. Do what you can for the excursion as some of our best men have it in charge and I'm anxious for it to be a success.

Write when you can't find any more profitable employment and say just what you please as no eye ever scans your hand mark save mine.

Col. Tate sends kind messages, so many that I laughed and told him he must do his own talking. I'd neither time nor paper.

Hope to hear from you soon as regards your plans north. Yours Truly, L.P.

Go to LETTER 12