Documenting the American South Logo

Title: Letter from Nathan P. Neal to Aaron and Elizabeth Neal, September 2, 1857: Electronic Edition.
Author: Neal, Nathan P.
Editor: Erika Lindemann
Funding from the State Library of North Carolina supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Erika Lindemann and Donna M. Denette
Images scanned by Mara E. Dabrishus
Text encoded by Brian Dietz
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 14K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text
The electronic edition is a part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2005-05-04, Brian Dietz finished TEI/XML encoding.
Part of a series:
This transcribed document is part of a digital collection, titled True and Candid Compositions: The Lives and Writings of Antebellum Students in North Carolina
written by Lindemann, Erika
Title of collection: Neal Family Papers (#4370), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Nathan P. Neal to Aaron and Elizabeth Neal, September 2, 1857
Author: Nathan P. Neal
Description: 4 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 4370 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Topics covered:
Education/UNC Student Life
Health and Disease/Bedbugs
Examples of Student Writing/Letters
Religion and Philosophy/Worship
Social and Moral Issues/Slavery
Editorial practices
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 5 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Transcript of the personal correspondence. Originals are in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved.
DocSouth staff created a 600 dpi uncompressed TIFF file for each image. The TIFF images were then saved as JPEG images at 100 dpi for web access.
Page images can be viewed and compared in parallel with the text.
Any hyphens occurring in line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.
Letters, words and passages marked as deleted or added in originals have been encoded accordingly.
All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as ".
All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as '.
All em dashes are encoded as —.
Indentation in lines has not been preserved.

For more information about transcription and other editorial decisions, see Dr. Erika Lindemann's explanation under the section Editorial Practices.

Document Summary

Neal reports to his parents on a local stabbing and describes his Sunday schedule, the food at the hotel, his battles with bedbugs, and lessons that are becoming more difficult.
Letter from Nathan P. Neal to Aaron and Elizabeth Neal, September 2, 18571
Neal, Nathan P.

Page 1
C, Hill Sept 2nd 1857

Dear Father & Mother.

I have taken my pen in hand to let you hear from me. Your letter reached here on friday last in which was gladly read in which I was gladly informed that you were well &c. I have no news to write thats of importance. the negro that I wrote you was stabbed on the election day died on monday night last the negro that stabbed him was sold that is his master sold him to a speculator after it happened but luckily he was not run off. I saw the murderer the next day after he was caught he is now in jail at Hillsboro his trial will come of[f] in about 2 weeks. I always like to fill my paper when I write home but having nothing to write I expect to find it somewhat difficult to do

Page 2
at present. Tell Mary I was pleased to read her interesting letter though if she composed it she did remarkably well good deal better than I expected she could. You must write once a week and let me hear from home weekly if no oftener and that would do pretty well. I am well myself and hope you may all be the same at home I am tightly employed in my books dont go about to find out news but stay closely to my room I should be glad if I could see you all; get more homesick on sundays than any other time for only then I am not employed and even then I am a employed a good deal of my time for I have to attend prayers before breakfast attend church at 11 oClock and Bible lesson to get and prayers

Page 3
again in the evening and we have a lecture also on the bible on sunday but not compeled to attend though I think it eaqually as good as the preaching so you can see and know how my time is employed on the sabath, When you write you neednt be particular what but anything you think of about your plantation your work & the news of course; and anything that comes to hand all is interesting to me. Our fair at the Hotel 2 is pritty sorry badly cooked and filthy. We have corn pie beef gingercake &c. flies no rarity to be cooked cups and saucer not clean coffe very weak, but I have it very sweet, and get a plenty but not so nice as I like. When I left home I hardly knew what a chinch3 was but not have become pretty well acquainted with the customers for I sleep with a

Page 4
good many and by that means have scraped acquaintinces. I would have the bed scalded but I expect that the matress is full if so it would do but little good they get on me in the day or anytime that I lay down almost. I send you and the family my love and best wishes you will please excuse blunders and mistakes as I am in a hurry to get through. my lessons are harder a good deal to me than they would have been if I had come here immediately after quiting Watkins 4 and consequently could have got a better report though I try and get my lessons the best I can and idle scarcely any. and if you dont know your lesson pretty good both of the Philips [James and Charles Phillips ] will give you a rushing as the boys call it and even if you do they are pretty apt to rush them French is becoming somewhat more easy to me and I dont know but it is about as easy a lesson as I have.5 dont hear from home only when you write the Eagle 6 comes but brings no news and I find but little as yet thats interesting though I am glad to get it and see whats in it &c. My subject has been out for sometime and now my paper is out so I will come to aclose.

Yours truly N. P. Neal


2. Probably the Union Hotel, formerly the Eagle Hotel, which Hugh B. Guthrie bought from Nancy Hilliard in 1853 (Vickers 61).

3. "chinch": a foul-smelling bug that damages wheat, corn, and other grains; bedbug.

4. William A. Watkins, Neal's teacher at the Louisburg Male Academy, wrote in December 1855 that Neal "has with rapid progress & much proficiency passed through Algebra- the larger portion of Geometry and finished the study of Surveying—As to the theory of Surveying I regard him superior to any student I ever saw" (Neal Family Papers, SHC).

5. On July 25, 1857, Aaron Neal wrote to his son: "Your having to learn French seems to me to be avary unnecessary expense of moneye & time as I think they could as easily have books in english as easily as to have them in french were it not that they wish to drean the pockets of the common people" (Neal Family Papers, SHC).

6. The American Eagle , a Louisburg, NC, newspaper published by William H. Pleasants.