Morganton, N.C.
Feb. 27th, 1878 

My Dear Capt.,

Yours of the 16th came on yesterday. Need I tell you it was welcomed when I respond so quickly?

You tell me my last letter caused you anxiety. This I deeply regret, for my constant petition to "Our Father" is that my mission henceforth may be to give you only pleasure. I'll not tell you (for it would do no good). The delicate situation I was placed in when answering the letter (but let me reassure you that I don't censure you one iota). If I'd felt the least shadow of distrust I would have broken the bond in spite of the pain it would have cost me. I've thought it all over quietly and blame myself, but woman-like, I'm ready with an excuse.

When I bid you good bye in Sep. I'd no idea of going to your home before Oct. '78. Christmas, Johnnie told me he was going to be married in June. I mentioned this to my good brother Sam and after consultation with him I determined to get my little business matters "ship shape" and be married in the spring. Now in writing you I did not tell all this as I should have done, but I expected to see you and tell you all my plans and my idea for doing it. I freely admit I took the matter in my hands (which I admit was radically wrong, and keenly have I felt it) purchased my wardrobe, and had made all my plans for spring. I now regret that I acted as I did, going ahead as if I was the only one interested. Tis a lame excuse to say I never thought, for it was my duty to think, and enter into no plan without first consulting you. My pride has been so lacerated in having to make this confession that I think I'm safe in the future.

I did want to send you an immediate reply, but my mind was so bewildered I knew not what to say. I could not tell, or act anything but openly with you. Then I would not mention the letter to anyone. I felt after I'd sent it as if I'd forged your note and you had seen it. Ah, that letter is full proof of the implicit trust I have in your love. Cousin Sam came in the other day and finding me alone drew me up and looking me full in the face wanted to know "what was the matter my girl?" Have you and "Mister" had a fuss? I told him no, no, nothing was wrong between you and I and so he left me. You don't know how often I think of you and oh! how anxious I am to have you kept from anything that will vex or weary your spirit. This is why I hesitate about going to you, fondly as I love you.

I laughed and told Col. T. last night that I was going to put it off till Nov., Consequently I had to listen to a long essay from him telling me what I must do and what folly I'd incur by so doing and so on.

Is it Mr. Utley you allude to?

Now my very dear Capt. I've told you everything regarding it, keeping back nothing and yet I'm in doubt about what would be best for you and that is all I think or care about.

How I do wish I could see you and talk it over. When do your courts open? When would it be most convenient for you to come? I agree with you and think if we agree on Spring, one trip will do. Now don't for one moment think I'm no anxious to see you, but I fully understand the times and the great financial panic (dearth, I should say). Don't think that anything that is of interest to you is lightly regarded by me.

Things I want to tell you that I grow impatient with my pen. Had a long and pleasant letter from Mrs. Vance insisting on a visit from me. Cora is now in Charlotte having a gay time at Gen'l Bob Johnsons.

I've a good joke to tell you on Mr. Strange. Is it not singular that people have no regard for public opinion?

Now you must pardon my seeming presumption when I beg you to incur no useless, foolish expense on my account. I love you for your own dear self, and for your intrinsic worth and would be unhappy if I would cause you any anxiety. Write me as soon as you conveniently can, and tell me when it would be most convenient for you to come up. I can go at any time. I only wait to hear from you. I was no little amused at Col. Tate's plans. I told him I'd let you fix your own matters.

Clande was over joyed at the Valentine. She insists "Capin Way" is her "feet heart" and she loves him, and "Lala" loves old Dr. Bessent, ha! ha! Col. Tate went up to " Glen Alpine" a few days ago and returned yesterday with a bad cold and full of aches.

Tis a dismal looking afternoon. It's been raining all day long. I've so many things I want to tell you

How is your sister now? What do they think of my coming into your heart and home so soon? I wonder if any other woman ever did trust a man as fully as I do you, or love him half as well? I guess they all think so before marriage, but I pray that that mine may continue till death breaks the bond.

I don't think I'm like other girls. All the fears I have in assuming the obligation are for myself.

You must take good care of yourself and get rid of that cold as quickly as possible. Get Miss Maggie to dose you with hot tea, and do what few men will submit to the treatment. I do hope you will soon be well.

Sister has returned and I've turned over the keys so I feel free. I'm afraid you will find me fearfully indolent and useless. I tell you what a fraud you have when it's too late to go to market ha! ha!

We had a funny marriage here a few days ago. Miss Caldwell (a sister of Gov. C.) and Mr. Colett (Dr. Colett's father). He is seventy five, she fifty three. I could but laugh at her excuse for wanting to … … don't want his kin to have her money. She insisted they would pay no attention to her will. Foolish, foolish woman. So took this old man to her home as a husband. The town is full of Yanks looking for farms out here.

Did you get the Blade and flowers? Now when you write let me know when it will be best for you to leave home and I'll appoint a day. Col. Tate sends his kindest regards.

May God direct you in all things, and prosper your every effort is the ardent prayer of she who loves you most and best of all the world. L.T.P.

Go to LETTER 31