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Title: Letter from F. L. Smith to Gustavus Miller, February 1, 1828: Electronic Edition.
Author: Smith, Franklin Lafayette, d. 1835
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 Brian Dietz
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 13K
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:
2005-05-13, 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: Rufus Reid Papers (#2712), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from F. L. Smith to Gustavus Miller, February 1, 1828
Author: F. L. Smith
Description: 4 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 2712 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Topics covered:
Education/Goals and Purposes
Examples of Student Writing/Letters
Travel and Entertainment/Vacations
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.
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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

Smith tells his cousin that the dull routine of college studies is not the Elysium he had envisioned; he enjoyed his Christmas vacation in Charlotte, NC.
Letter from F. L. Smith to Gustavus Miller, February 1, 18281
Smith, Franklin Lafayette, d. 1835

Page 1

Chapel Hill Febry 1st 1828

Dear Friend

Your letter was received last mail. I thank you for your good wishes. But Adolphus I have little hope or even a strong wish to reach that height of fame which your kindness would assign to me In youth we are too often apt to look forward to our passage through life as one decked with flowers and calculated to render us happy in every condition. Yet we find as we advance that these expectations are nothing but the illusions of a youthful imagination and that our present situation as far different from that which we had anticipated. This is indeed a world of disappointments. The little boy as he cons over his grammar looks forward with buoyant hopes to the time when he shall enter college his imagination paints to him scenes far different from those which then surround him. When the time arrives, how much he is mistaken! He finds college instead of

Page 2
the Elysium which he had expected, the same dull routine of studies, that his brains are bothered with something worse than than the lessons of a dictionary. He now looks back with feelings of regret upon the many happy moments of spend among his young academical freinds and longs to be restored to the home of his childhood. Here however fresh hopes arise in his bosom, he may look forward with pleasing anticipations to the time when he shall depart from these somber walls and enter the world a candidate for distinction in some profession. His lofty and visionary dreams would make him completely successful. He thinks of the approving smiles of his doating parents or perhaps of an object even dearer than these. Fortune too smiles on his endeavours and crowns them with all the blessings of wealth. He becomes popular is elected to the legislature this is but the stepping stone to congress! How much farther might I follow the young devotee in his vain hopes!– But how seldom are these hopes realized? I might say never in their full extent. He finds the world far different from what his imagination had painted, Instead of being disposed to encourage and honor his talents (should he have any) he finds ready to criticize and disparage his

Page 3
attempts as much as possible. Instead of finding the world inhabited by a warm-hearted generous people they prove to be cold, callous and in many cases villanous Such are the disappointments attendant on him who kneels at the shrine of hopeful ambitions; and he is fortunate if his perseverance overcomes them, and he is not driven by them to seek releif in the haunts of dissipation—Happy would it be for us if we would or could content ourselves with our present condition and trust to good conduct and persevering industry to place us in a respectable if not honorable station—Your letter brought on these remarks, and without any intention to do so I have occupied greater part of my letter with them—
I was sorry to find the mirth of Charlotte had sustained so great a dipression after I lef[t] [h]ome My vacation was too pleasant, my cup [of] joy was too full. After I returned here I frequently found that while my mind should have been occupied in unravelling some abstruse question in mathematics, it had taken wings to itself and was thinking of the happy scenes of my vacation Ask the Captain if he ever goes to Cousin Jane's now to get brandy peaches. Ask him if he had yet reconciled himself to sleep with the girls—and tell him he must often think of me and assure all my freinds that although business or enjoyment may make them forget me, my thoughts are almost continually about them—My best wishes to all the girls

Page 4
Ask Eliza if the snuff is out yet and say to her I know she needs no memento or I should replenish her batch. I have a thousand things more to tell you but must leave you to imagine the rest
Yours &c

F. L. Smith

I have not time to read my letter over so you must correct and excuse mistakes—


1. Rufus Reid Papers, SHC. The letter is addressed "Mr Gustavus A. Miller/ Charlotte/ No Ca." In the upper left corner is a circular stamped postmark, with "CHAPL HILL NC" in the outer rim of the circle, and "Feb 2" handwritten in the center of the circle. The amount of postage, "18 3/4" cents, is written in the upper right corner. To the right of the address, a second hand has written "F L Smith " down the edge of the envelope face. Below the fold forming the face of the envelope, Miller wrote "With sincere love—/Your cousin/ G. A. Miller/ U of Ga."