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Title: Letter from Iveson L. Brookes to Jonathan Brookes, August 29, 1818: Electronic Edition.
Author: Brookes, Iveson Lewis,1793-1865
Editor: Erika Lindemann
Funding from the State Library of North Carolina supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Erika Lindemann
Images scanned by Mara E. Dabrishus
Text encoded by Sarah Ficke
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 15K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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:
2005-03-15, Sarah Ficke 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: Iveson Lewis Brookes Papers (#3249), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Iveson L. Brookes to Jonathan Brookes, August 29, 1818
Author: Iveson Lewis Brookes
Description: 4 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 3249 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Topics covered:
Education/UNC Curriculum/Senior speaking
Health and Disease/General
Examples of Student Writing/Letters
Religion and Philosophy/Christianity and Christian Theology
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

Brookes tells his father that he wishes to become a missionary and meditates on the death of Abner Clopton's eighteen-year-old slave, who died of "the pulmonary complaint."
Letter from Iveson L. Brookes to Jonathan Brookes, August 29, 18181
Brookes, Iveson Lewis,1793-1865

Page 1
Chapel Hill August 29th 1818

Dear Father,

After long silence I take my pen in hand to address a few lines to you. Yours of 13th July was delivered by Mr Lea and ought to have been answered sooner. I was glad to hear that you and family were generally well. You requested me to write shortly giving information of my health &c. I have abundant reasons to thank the Father of Mercies for the enjoyment of his rich and unmerited blessings amongst which are health of body and cheerfulness of mind.– The language of Scripture asserting that it is appointed for man to die2 is verified in the occurrences of each day & in every part of the world without limitation to place or church. This place is remarkable for its healthy Situation But its inhabitants are doomed to share in the effect[s] of sin, and partake of the woes common to the human family. They are neither secure from sickness nor exempt from Death. The Flux3 has prevailed considerably in these parts Several of the students have had it; but only one has been dangerous with it. He has been down about six weeks & for some time appeared to be as it were in the arms of Death; He is now on the mend & there seems to be hope of his recovery. In the course this past week two negroes have been consigned to the grave; The one and old man The other a lad about 18 years of age (belonged to Mr Clopton ) Mr Clopton's boy died of the pulmonary complaint, and tho' he lingered several months after his recovery was despaired of by others and several weeks after he despaired

Page 2
of his restoration to health Yet he departed this life under awful apprehensions of his condition in the next giving no reasonable ground to hope that he obtained reconciliation with GOD. I conversed with him some days previous to his decease on the subject of Death & a future state. He appeared much alarmed confessed himself a great sinner & said that he should be miserable if he died as he was He wept in apparent anguish & unfeeling as I generally am I could scarcely refrain from weeping in sympathy for his condition. For his concern seemed to be founded on the dread of future punishment and his tears appeared to indicate the desparation of the affrighted sinner more than the GODly sorrow of the truly humble penitent.– How awful must be the case of a sinner on [w]hom the wrath of GOD abideth while in life to be forced to enter the Gloomy vale of Death & launch into an unknown world to be appear in the more immediate presence of an angry Judge and experience the realities of eternal despair! What folly is it to spend the days of youth & health in the pleasures of sin or the persuit of earthly treasures to the neglect of immortality & the concerns of Eternity. It is the approach of Death that most fully exhibits the comparative nothingness of time & the true worthlessness of this worlds Goods. It is there we discover (in regard to the sinner) that "all a man hath will he give for his life".4 Yet men prefer the toys of the world & the pleasures of sense to the treasures of heaven The salvation of GOD The enjoyment of everlasting happiness. They defer for the performance of a Death bed repentance the great preparation for

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Eternity, which should be the work of a whole life [time] and for which exclusively life is allowed to them—
In regard to my course after leaving College I have not fully determined the manner in which to proceed. It is probable you have calculated on my attempting to preach the Gospel & could my prospect for usefulness in the ministry appear reasonably good it is presumable that you would have no objections to my engaging in that most exaulted & responsible calling. It is my greatest earthly desire to preach & I believe my feelings on the subject are such as to justify me in saying "woe is me if I preach not the Gospel".5 My views until late were to engage in teaching school in some place which would admit of my preparin[g for] the study of D[iv]inity & preaching as a loca[t]ed min[ister.] But I am now strongly impressed to become a Missionary to bear the tidings of Salvation to the destitute parts of this country or to some heathen land. If these impressions prevail & I enter on such a resolution I will immediately put myself under the care & direction of of the Missionary Society after graduating—I expect to go home in the next vacation & if so shall wish you to send for me; but I will write some time before that & let you know whither to send & when Present my love to Mother & Brothers & my respects to all enquiring friends

I remain yours affectionately

Iveson L Brookes

P.S. I am much pushed. I have to exhibit deliver a speach on the public stage in about 3 weeks & have not begun to write it & worse know not what to write altho it's expected for me to

Page 4
produce a tolerable piece as I have generally taken pains [i]n writing my common compositions & have recd as much applauce at least as was deserving I have meritted as a writer. But in this case my performance will be attended with disappointment.–


1. Iveson Brookes Papers, SHC. The letter is addressed to "Mr Jonathan Brookes/ Caswell County/near the C. House/ N. Carolina ." To the left of the address Brookes wrote "Pr Mail"; the postage endorsement reads "Chapel Hill/August 29 1818 10."

2. Hebrews 9:27: "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement."

3. "Flux": dysentery.

4. Job 2:4. The closed quotation marks appear just below the line.

5. I Corinthians 4:2. The closed quotation marks appear just below the line.