Morganton, N.C.
April 1, 1876     

Dear Capt.,

This mornings mail brought me quite a budget of letters, but I suppose the reason they were all enjoyed so much was there was one from you.

Yours of today was quite a treat (better that an April fool) I'm a plain matter of fact woman so your pleasant little compliments won't spoil me.

Just as I'd begun my most pleasant task I was interrupted, so I anointed my conscience into thinking it no sin to finish our tête-à-tête this "day of all the week the best" knowing the better the day the better the deed.

Tis a bitter cold day. A keen northwest wind indicative of snow. I'm beginning to sigh for Spring time.

Our flock has no shepherd this hallow'd day, so I'm a keeper at home, for I duly admit spiritual food from the lips and hands of Mr. Falls (the Episcopal minister) is not soul satisfying to me. I doubt not this man's piety or good intentions. My lamentation is that it does not do me good. I won't begin to admit I'm priest bound, but pastors do help the flock to walk in the true paths. Oh! But this little Zion is blessed with watchmen.

I'm an extravagant admirer of the service in the Episcopal church. I prefer having spontaneous prayers, knowing "from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" and that "words without thought never to Heaven go" yet the immortal language in which the litany is unblamed can never grow common to me. Oh, if those who professed would obey it's teachings their love and charity would encircle the globe and bind all Christian humanity together. I can endorse all the 39 articles but their own people don't hold to their own profession. I often think they are example to us in their zeal, but Capt., this … spasmatic religion won't do, we must have it every day, keep it all our life, use it to meet the petty annoyances of life just as well as when temptations come in like a flood. I envy no genius power or fancyful creed, but want what I believe will be most useful to me. A fine religious belief with a holy trust that will make life a discipline of goodness and create new hopes when all earthly hopes vanish.

How I do wish we could enjoy a talk around this cozy bright fireside.

So you won't let the Va. Damsel know what we are talking about ha! ha! Wonder what she would say to our contract?

Did any body fool you yesterday? I sent Capt. Avery a waiter of cake and sylabub. He found after imbibing very duly that it was soap-ends, very good as a lotion, but not very soothing if taken internally.

I laughed and told him the man who could wield so sharp a "Blade" should not have been taken in with a bubble.

I made and baked a cotton pie, sent it up and sold my pastor Mr. Robert Anderson. I enjoyed the day at the expense of others all in fun and good feeling, however.

The fruit has all been cut from the parent stem by the bitter feeling of the last frost. I still trust the "Belt" in the south mountains and rest assured if there's any I'll give you long division with my share.

John is at the "St. Bernard." He is paying time and attention enough to that St., but I fear the devotion to the others is not so vigorous. He is a good boy, but like the young ruler, one thing is lacking and that is the only thing that's needful, yet I believe that in "his own good time" he will be brought into the fold. Col. Tate is in Asheville, has gone over to prove Maj. Wilson's name. You will see a notice of it in the next "Blade." What are we coming to?

Yes the striped laborers are doing good service for W.N.C. I do want this R.R. finished in the hands of my kin. My father began it and I want some of his blood to finish it.

The freedman are still going it at the top of their voice. Their lungs must revive or it can't continue much longer. They shout all night and of course are totally unfit for any work next day. I laughingly told them I'd affix an amendment to the next advertisement for a cook that no church goer need apply.

Yes, Mrs. Tate likes you very much. It was solely on the account of the Va. Lassie she told me to slip out of my intention. All of my family like you. Quite an honor is it not?

"Old Mother" still continues quite feeble. I do wish Spring would burst the fetters of Winter on her account more than any other. I often look at the care-worn face that has suffered so long and patiently carried every cross accepting it in love from "Our Father's" hand.

Did you get the "Sun" some days ago? What a vast amount of good reading matter it contains. I always feel I'd got my money back after reading it.

"Our mutual friend" Mrs. Ervin is in Charlotte on a pleasure trip. Capt. E. tells me he never knew the true estimate to value her till now. He forgot "blessings brighten when they take their flight."

I want my home to darken to the one I love all others above when I go off.

No, your letters are never too long. I've time enough to read all you care to send.

Not a word of news in town that I've heard.

Evening shadows are falling around me warning me tis time to attend to home duties so I must bid you a reluctant good bye.

Go to LETTER 9