Morganton, N.C.
Feb. 1st, 1876    

Wonder if you have any idea how often I've thought of you during the past fortnight and wished you could have been one of the pleasant participants that enjoyed the great Tragedian. I've just returned. My party (Col. Tate, Willie and Johnnie) came back on the next train, left me under the care of Cousin Zeb and a charming visit I assure you it proved.

I hardly know how to express my admiration for Booth. He has I know not what of greatness in his looks and high fate that almost awed me, and as I listened to him the happy hours flew by me unperceived so was my soul fixed to the soft enchantment, every thought in silence being in wondering expectation. His eloquence could charm and burn, startle, soothe and win by turns. He is the only speaker or actor that ever held my ear in blissful slavery. His mind seemed so full of intellectual riches and strength of brain united with strength of lungs that every word seemed oracles that pierced my bosom. "His words had such a melting flow and spoke of truth so sweetly well, they dropped like heaven's sweetest snow and all was brightness when they fell." In Hamlet's soliloquy you could have heard the beating of your pulse when he spoke.

Gov. Vance was in prison with him (immediately after the war in the old Capitol so Booth called up to see him. Oh, but he is elegant looking. Nature cast his die then broke the mould. Col. Tate tells me he was as well supported as in New York. He never plays in Washington City, nor on Friday nights. I've done little else since I got home but think and act Ophelia. "This pleasure is in my memory locked and Booth has the key" for I'm determined to see him one time more.

Col. Tate and Willie told me of seeing you in Raleigh and Col T. astonished me not a little by telling me of your contemplated (must I say good fortune or ill luck?) At any rate he assured me that you had invited him to your wedding, that you had given your hand and heart to a girl from "Old Dominion." I think you might have told me. I've much, very much to tell you and Oh! Capt., I do hope that you may be very happy in your new relation. I know that your life will be changed (every man's is) and if she is a true woman it will be for the better. I've no idea however of delivering you an essay on this all important subject, just feel pretty assured that you have a well wisher, married or not, in this humble servant.

The ground is covered with snow and sleet and this is the only cold weather (except a few days when we filled our ice house) that we have had this winter. There has been ten thousand pounds of pork lost in our county. We never lost a pound.

Johnnie is building a cheap hotel or eating house at the termination of the R.R. (Malones, four miles from "Old Fort") He has employed a Yank (a first rate man I think has been South for years) to keep it for him. "St. Bernard" tis in a most beautiful spot, just under the shadow of the mountain and delightfully cool. I'll take you up if you come to see us next Summer. "Madam Rumor" reports Mattie Moore as engaged. She is in Statesville keeping house for a batchelor uncle so I cannot vouch for the validity of my statement.

Cora and her Capt. Are well. I was so anxious to have her go to C[harlotte] with us, but she has promised to live for one man and he did not want her to go, so I think she did right to be a "keeper at home." The young folks of our village are thinking and talking of a "Leap Year Party." I told them I'd make with my own hands a handsome ornamented cake, but could not make love to any man or act his part. I'll send this donation with numberless good wishes for a perfect success. Have the fair ones of your town been taking advantage of the season?

Willie is thinking of going to New Orleans next month. I almost envy him this exquisite pleasure trip.

Not a word of news in town and I don't go to sewing societys so can't give you the village gossip.

Bless my soul I'd no thought of sending you a ten pager when I began. How often do I forget that "brevity is the soul of wit". Pardon my infirmity. Yours, L.T.P.

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