Morganton, N.C.
Feb. 19th, 1877  

Dear Capt.,

Let me commend your promptness and then reassure you of the pleasure your hand mark always affords me. I've been off pleasuring (in Statesville) for the past ten days, or I dare say this rest would have been denied you.

Quite a poor discerner are you of my intents or purpose when you imagine I'd be content on the residue of what once belonged to another (namely a widower's love). Perchance you are entangled in the meshes of a promise to some dead man's real estate, consequently imagine I want to be insured in the same company ha! ha! But my heart is unoccupied property. I'm going to devote myself to my invalid mother and try to brighten her latter days and after I loose her shielding healing love, I think I'll turn my heart into a regular missionary station. Can't tell you my address just yet. I don't regard all men as fortune hunters, but I do insist that the majority of both sexes lay too much stress on the possession of "filthy lucre." Alas, too many women are viewing life through witchery rainbow lenses, educating their hearts to be nothing more than a carefully watched and well regulated valvular machine, forgetting that love is the only chrism that santifies marriage, and unless they can say for life and for death it would be better to go with me to teach the heathen.

So your fears are facts and Hayse is to be President. I feel as if the Southern people were standing upon a mine already charged and at any moment the wretched men who hold the fatal fuse in their brutal hands may hurl all our hopes in immediable chaos and ruin.

David's words are only too true "The godly have ceased, the faithful fail among the children of men." In this much civilized world of the 19th century vice is laughed at and corruption called success.

We have been enjoying lovely Spring weather for the past fortnight, almost time for me to be in the garden.

Willie has just returned from New Orleans, has been to Mardi Gras. Gives gloomy accounts of the condition of poor La. I've no confidence in either the Democrats nor Rads. We have no friends or Tilden would have been inaugurated and we have nothing to do but to submit.

Of course you have seen that infamous move in the Legislature to take the private stock from the owners, tis well I'm not a man for if they dared perpetrate such theft, I'd tear up the iron. Col. Tate and Willie don't seem angry, but I think like Maj. Wilson that it is the most impudent act that has ever been thought of since the war. Nothing in the vile black Radical rule can equal it, and then too from men who never had a home (much less money to build R.R. for their country's good) before the war the good men who gave their honest money to build this R.R. are to be called rogues, those who had none to give but promised are to hold the offices and use it. I'll have to submit (perhaps) because I'm a woman, but if I was a man and owned it and had never received one dollar in twenty years for the use of thousands I'd raise men (black or white) and die before I'd submit to such infamy.

Who is this member, Troy, from your county? I trust it may be my pleasure to meet him some day. I must beg your pardon for all this talk. I forgot it dident interest you.

Our little hamlet is full of Main and Mass Yankees looking out homes to begin farming. Col. Tate tells me they are pleased with the country and seem to be well disposed.

I wish I could enjoy a chat with you this afternoon instead of through this dull medium. I feel just like talking ha! ha! I guess I hear you say I'd like to know when Miss Laura dident feel like talking.

I'm perfectly well of my neuralgia.

I send you the last Blade to see Col. Tate's opinion of the Legislature and call the Stockholders of our R.R.

Did you see Gov. Vances letter thanking the Negro for his gift (a turkey) and kindly letter? When you have time write me. L.P.

Go to LETTER 17