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Title: Letter from William Bagley to D. W. Bagley, July 1, 1843: Electronic Edition.
Author: Bagley, William, fl. 1842-1850
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 Risa Mulligan
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 22K
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:
2005-05-12, Risa Mulligan 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: William Bagley Letter Books (#863-z), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from William Bagley to D. W. Bagley, July 1, 1843
Author: William Bagley
Description: 4 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 863-z (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Topics covered:
Examples of Student Writing/Letters
Travel and Entertainment/Travel
Education/UNC Enrollments and Finances
Education/UNC Student Associations
Personal Relationships/With Family Members
Editorial practices
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Transcript of the personal correspondence. Originals are in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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For more information about transcription and other editorial decisions, see Dr. Erika Lindemann's explanation under the section Editorial Practices.

Document Summary

Bagley describes for his father a trip to Pilot Mountain and Greensboro, NC, explains his intention to join the Philanthropic Society, shares news from his sisters' recent letters, and gives an account of his expenses for the session.
Letter from William Bagley to D. W. Bagley, July 1, 18431
Bagley, William, fl. 1842-1850

Page 78
Chapel Hill July 1./43.

My Dear Pa

I arrived last tuesday from my trip to the western part of the state after spending three weeks very pleasantly and profitably indeed, I went no farther than the Pilot Mountain in the eastern part of Surry County, though I passed through Greensborough & Salem & many plesant little villages in going and returning while at Greensborough we visited the "Caldwell Institute",2 among other things; that is the place Governor Morehead talked of sending me; there are from seventy to a hundred students, so I understood, & party spirit runs very high between the two societies. We witnessed from the portico of our hotel a fight between two of the students belonging to different societies, they were not much injured however at that time, a great crowd assembling & soon separating them, that occurred after supper, but next morning it proved to be more serious, one of the young men that was engaged on the former evening being attacked & knocked down & cutting his opponent severely in the face, you probably may not know what I mean by societies. Every College & large male school have two societies & every student that comes, joins one of the other. Party spirit does not run so high here, so I understand, The names of the two societies here are Dialectic & Philanthropic, I expect to join the Philanthropic, I would give you a minute description of my trip but I have kept a regular journal & I anticipate a great deal of pleasure in sitting around the fireside next winter & reading over my adventures & fancy depicts to me the bright eyes and glowing cheeks of my little sisses as they look on with anxiety to hear the result & the occasional smiles of Ma, Cousin, & yourself. I

Page 79
received a letter from Sis , day before yesterday who insists upon my going to see her, but I have now nearly a fortnight vacation in which I can accomplish something & it will cost me more, I expect than my whole trip to the west, she has lately returned from Boydton 3 where she spent her time quite pleasantly, I presume, from the lively manner in which her letter is written, I would have been very glad if she had visited this place but as she did not she will lose the opportunity of seeing me until next winter, I expect. I received to-day a letter from Miss Clementina with which I was very much pleased, I am glad to see her spelling so correct & I hope she will continue to improve in every thing she undertakes, she says she gets four pages in French & can read right along, well I think that is progressing finely, she also says I need not be surprised to see her & Met at Greensboro' 4 I am sure I would be very happy to see them there and even to hear that they were there, I passed by the building while I was in the place & saw the young ladies exercising on horseback, I think it is one of the best female institutions in the state present my compliments to Miss Clementina & tell her I would be glad to hear from her often, I would also be well pleased if Miss Marietta would honor me with her correspondence. I have bought no clothes since I have been here with the exception of some under-clothing & c, I wrote to you in my first letter for some & it probably may be as well for you to send me the materials and let me have them made here though it costs very high but then they will be well done, just as you please, though, about that, In addition to the clothes I shall need some money in order to pay my tuition, boardbill & c, as I have had to pay well for every thing I

Page 80
have used since I have been here, My board bill will be from 50 to 60 dollars at the end of the session,5 & my tuition, connected with room rent & servant hire, I understand, will be $31.50 which I have to pay in advance, I shall need about that much at present which you will oblige me by sending first opportunity, I should not have needed any until the latter part of the session if I had not taken that trip which cost me some twenty five dollars though I had not enough when I started to defray all the expenses of a session & have some for paying incidental expenses such as mending & c but I thought I had the greatest sufficiency when I left & I have no doubt you did, in order to give you some idea I will make out a little list, my board at $10 a month will be about $60, tuition, $31.50, bed $25 furniture $5 washing $5 & there are other little expenses necessarily attending an Institution of this kind, tho' next session it will be cheaper as I shall not have to buy my bed or funiture & at the end of three years (if I should be so fortunate as to remain) I can sell them for nearly the same, I dislike, Pa, to make this request very much, but I know full well that I am writing to a kind parent, who is unwilling that I should lack for any thing, I shall only need enough to pay my tuition & c now, I believe, but towards the close of the session about $60 more I expect though I will write you concerning it, I expect to live as economically as I possibly can & to make as much headway as possible in my studies during my stay here, Give my best respects to Mrs Henderson & family, major Watts s family & in fine all with whom I was intimately acquainted, write me

Page 81
concerning the school, how many scholars Mr Matthews has, present him also with my best respects, I had like to have forgotten to tell you that the crops were beautiful every where I went & especially wheat & if nothing should prevent there will be a great abundance made,
Give my best love to Ma, Cousin, the two Grandmas' Mr Moore my little sisters & cousins & all the rest of the family if I have left out any in the above list, white & black, Give little Helen a smack for 'Bud' , please let me hear from you often

Very affectionately Your son6

D.W. Bagley

Williamston N.C.


1. William Bagley Papers, SHC. The letter appears on pages 78 to 81 of a letterbook measuring 7 1/4 by 9 1/4 inches and containing 160 numbered pages. Once bound, the letterbook (Volume 1) is now held together by a fragile spine. The front flyleaf contains the inscription "William Bagley /Bought in New York June 1842." An "Index to this book" lists Bagley's correspondents and the page numbers on which their letters appear. The letterbook contains copies (or drafts) of letters Bagley wrote from January 21, 1840, through August 27, 1844.

2. The Caldwell Institute, a Presbyterian theological and classical academy, was founded near Greensboro, NC, in 1767 by Rev. David Caldwell (1725-1824). It enrolled between twelve and twenty students annually until it closed in 1822 (Powell, North Carolina through Four Centuries 128).

3. Bagley's correspondence indicates that Boydton, VA, was the home of an aunt and uncle with the last name of Watts.

4. Greensboro, NC, was the site of the Edgeworth Female Seminary, founded in 1840. Marietta and Clementina Bagley were enrolled at the Seminary by June 1844. Although it closed early in the Civil War, it reopened from 1862-68, then burned in 1872.

5. Bagley boarded at Steward's Hall, where his landlady was Caroline L. Scott (University Papers, August 28, 1844, UA). His roommate was Richard Thomas Jackson of Jackson, NC, who enrolled in the University as a sophomore in 1843, joined the Philanthropic Society, and graduated in 1846. Jackson became a physician.

6. A flourish appears underneath this line.