Morganton, N.C.
January 6, 1876 

No guest received a more hearty welcome than did your friendly letter on New Years morn. You see great minds run in the same channel, ha! ha! Just about the time the dying groans of 1875 fell on my ear I wandered off to hold pleasant converse with my absent friend in the village by the sea and hrs. winged it's way to the blue topped mountains. The Xmas alcoholic excitement has almost abated, cooks have returned to their post, work at the "Walton" Asylum has been resumed, and people are beginning to know "the every error of their way" and by the by we are to have our village supplied with water from a six inch pipe. They are to have in the building. This will prove a merciful deliverer in case of fire.

They say better days are ahead for our little hamlet (financially) with the "Willerford College" under the care of "the Church". The shops of the W.R.R. (They are talking of a removal from Salisbury to this place.) and this home for the much unfortunate of earth's children. We look for an increase of green backs and in this perverted age that is regarded as the apex to our prosperity.

I think despondency is constitutional with some persons, and then our physical condition is a strong lever. I'm naturally of a very buoyant disposition (a boon I inherit from my father) and "from a quiet haven it's easy to talk lightly of breakers ahead" but as Bill Arp would say, "human nature is the same the world over (except in New England, and that depends on circumstances) and I assure you that I know what to battle with depression is for I've had these conflicts over and often. Willie laughingly tells me the only compass he has to my feeling blue and the briny deep about to over flow is a powerful relation of a woman's weapon (my tongue). Can you believe it ever has a rest? I've often wondered if the world ever gave me credit for one serious idea, but we had better take pleasures when we find them or when we go to look, they may be gone.

I often grow sad and depressed seeing my dear loved mother's life hanging on so frail a cord for oh, you know not with what tenacity a child clings to an only surviving parent, yet it's not mine to question "why does't thou so?" She is in "Our Father's" hands and he cannot err. Yet in this cloud I've a metion for she is still here, and it may be the golden opportunity given me to repay in some slight degree (by diverting her mind and administering to her wants now in her helplessness) her manifold love that for years has been showered on me. I've often thought to myself, am I prepared to meet this blow? But I know full well that it's radically wrong to look in the dim misty future. I act and work on at my duty in the present with heart within and God above and it will all work out for the best. Strength is given as is needed (just as good) and "as our day so shall our strength be." Ah, my friend I tell you where the mistake is made. We too often forget to use the golden key that opens the wicket [a small gate or door] of mercy. We think too lightly of that tender nerve that moves the mighty arm of onimpotence for "prayer is the magic sound that saith to fate, so be it." Tis but due you to humbly crave your pardon for this long, ----, and seemingly dictatorial lecture, but I'll not do so any more if you promise to erase this fault.

Spent New Years at Cousin Sam's, and enjoyed it as a matter of course.

I'll only stay a day and night in Charlotte when I go down. If Booth plays two nights, then I'll stay over to enjoy it.

Have you seen Cousin Zeb's "Sketches of N.C." since they came out in pamphlet? They greeted the public in the "Norfolk Landmark." I'd like for you to get it. Would send you our copy, but Gov. Zeb sent it with his compliments.

We are to have a paper in our village. "Burke Blade" (under Capt. Willie Avery) I hope it will do credit to the name in sharpness, as Willie Pearson baptized it in genuine good faith. I'll send you the first issue. I enjoyed seeing your paper take down old Yates on Maggie Davis (Pres. Davis'es daughter). You see I've forgotten "brevity is the soul of wit"


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