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Title: Letter from John Henderson to his mother, Mary Ferrand Henderson, May 15, 1864 (In Which He Discusses His Brother, Leonard, Who was Killed a Few Weeks Later at Cold Harbor) : Electronic Edition.
Author: Henderson, John, fl. 1863
Funding from the University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Bari Helms
Images scanned by Caitlin R. Donnelly
Text encoded by Caitlin R. Donnelly
First Edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: ca. 16K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007
© 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:
2007-05-26, Caitlin R. Donnelly finished TEI/XML encoding.
Source(s):
Title of collection: John Steele Henderson Papers (#327), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from John Henderson to his mother, Mary Ferrand Henderson, May 15, 1864 (In Which He Discusses His Brother, Leonard, Who was Killed a Few Weeks Later at Cold Harbor)
Author: John
Description: 4 pages, 5 page images
Note: Call number 327 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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Letter from John Henderson to his mother, Mary Ferrand Henderson, May 15, 1864 (In Which He Discusses His Brother, Leonard, Who was Killed a Few Weeks Later at Cold Harbor)
Henderson, John, fl. 1863



Page [1]
Chapel Hill N. C. May 15th 1864

My Dear Mother

Logic, notwithstanding it is in many respects dry and even abstruse, is on the whole a very entertaining study. I myself am highly pleased with it, especially that portion which treats of the detection of fallacies, some of which it would puzzle a Philadelphia lawyer to make clear. There is one in De Quincey, which struck me as exceedingly ludicrous. Thinking that perhaps father may wish to puzzle his brain over it, I hereupon quote it in full —
"So natural, indeed, to the morbid activity of man are these revolving forms of alternate repulsion, when flight turns suddenly into pursuit, and pursuit into flight, that I myself, when a schoolboy, invented several: this, for instance which puzzled a man in a wig, and I believe he bore me malice to his dying day, because he gave up the ghost by reason of a fever before he was able to find out satisfactorily what screw was loose in my logical conundrum; and

Page [2]
thus in fact 'all along of me' (as he expressed) the poor man was forced to walk out of life reinfected, his business unfinished, the one whole problem that had tortured him being unsolved It was this. Somebody had told me of a dealer in gin, who, having had his attention roused to the enormous waste of liquor, caused by the unsteady hands of drunkards, invented a counter, which, through a simple set of continuances, gathered into a common reservoir all the spillings, that previously had run to waste. St Monday, as it was then called in English manufacturing towns, formed the jubilee day in each week for the drunkards; and it was now ascertained (i.e. subsequently to the epoch of the artificial counter) that the mere "spilth" of St Monday formed the entire demand of Tuesday. It struck me, therefore, on reviewing this case, that the more the people drank, the more they would titubate, by which word it was that I expressed the reeling and stumbling of intoxication. If they drank abominably, then of course they would titubate abominably; and titubating abominably, inevitably they would spill in the same ratio. The more they drank, the more they would titubate; the more they titubated the more they would spill;

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and the more they spilt the more it is clear they did not drink. It is evident from Euclid that the more they spilt the less they could have to drink. So that if their titubation was excessive, then their spilling must have been excessive, and in that case they must have practised almost total abstinence. Spilling nearly all, how could they leave to themselves anything worth speaking of to drink yet again, if they drank nothing worth speaking of, how could they titubate? Clearly they could not, and not drinking, they could have had no reason for spilling, in which case they must have drunk the whole — that is they must have drunk to the whole excess imputed, which doing they were dead drunk and must have titubated to excess which doing they must have spilt nearly the whole. Spilling the whole, they could not have been drunk. Ergo, could not have titubated. Ergo could not have spilt. Ergo, must have drunk the whole. Ergo, were dead drunk. Ergo, must have titubated. "And so round again" as my Lord the bishop pleasantly expresses it, in secula seculorum."
This requires no comment. I have studied Logic earnestly and industriously not for the sake of winning Academical Honours (where merit is left out of the account

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in most instances) but with a higher ambition — to learn to think methodically. If I can accomplish this result, it will be the consummation of my greatest hopes. Logical laws we may violate if we choose, but if we so violate them all our processes of thinking are rendered absolutely null. I was very much pleased with Lens letter; he would have written it with more care, had he known it was to be published. My brother will regret one of these days the indifference with which he looked upon study in his early youth Gifted as he is naturally he will nevertheless feel the want of that mental training, which he should have acquired at college. However much he may dislike it, he will be bound to choose a profession. His decision will not long be doubtful. He will choose the Law. Then will he regret his limited acquaintance with the latin idiom. The latin language will be to him as a sealed book. There is a disagreeable rumour in circulation here to this effect — Great cavalry fight near Richmond. Gen J.E.B. Stewart killed. We hope there is no foundation for such a report. We fear the worst however.

John




Page [5]
You may send three hundred and twenty five dollars. I hope that will defray all expenses.
Plenty of good letter paper here — $10 per quire