Title: Letter from John and Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Pettigrew, October 3, 1795: Electronic Edition.
Author: Pettigrew, John, 1779-1799
Author: Pettigrew, Ebenezer, 1783-1848
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 Natalia Smith
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 19K
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:
2005-03-03, Natalia Smith, project manager, 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: Pettigrew Family Papers (#592), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from John and Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Pettigrew, October 3, 1795
Author: John Pettigrew
Author: Ebenezer Pettigrew
Description: 3 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 592 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Topics covered:
Chapel Hill and Vicinity
Education/UNC Curriculum
Education/UNC Enrollments and Finances
Education/UNC Student Life
Education/UNC Faculty, Staff, and Servants
Travel and Entertainment/Social Events
Examples of Student Writing/Letters and Letter Writing
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.
Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved.
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All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as ".
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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

Pettigrew tells his father about hiring a bed, needing new shoes, his reading, quarterly examinations, and the dismissal of a student for going to a "cotton picking" after 8:00 p.m.
Letter from John and Ebenezer Pettigrew to Charles Pettigrew , October 3, 17951
Pettigrew, John, 1779-1799
Pettigrew, Ebenezer, 1783-1848

Page 1
Orange County, University Oct 3, 95.

Dr Father ;—

We had the pleasure of receiving your letter within eight days from the date & were very happy to find that all were well; that that Mr Bryan was able to go about.
I wrote you about four weeks ago, and informed you that we had the promice of Mr Kimbal's bed, but, he now says that he is in great want of it, but that he cannot bear the thaught of our laying on the floor; and said that he would endeavour to pr[o]cure one for us. I applyed to Mr Daniel the other day, & he said that he had a spare bed, & that he would speak to Mrs Daniel concerning it; and if she was willing he would let us have it; he said that he was not acquainted with the terms that beds hired at. Mr Taylor has several hired to the students, & his price is twelve pounds a year: That is, full as much as the beds are worth; but, I do not suppose this would be near as much, as we shall have nothing but the bed: however, I hope you will not make yourself uneasy, for I am shure we can get one of some person, as the time is but short that we shall want one.–
We have read since the vacation three books in Eutropious,2 five books in Cornelius Nepos, & expect to read about five more, & then to go into Caesars Commentaries, which, I suppose will be about the last of this Month. I reckon we can get them at Hilsborough,3 as there is a very good assortment of latin books there; there are here also, but no Caesars; we might borrow, but not with translations.–

Page 2
We are both very well. I have not taken bark for this ten or twelve days; my reason was, becaus I had no snakeroot. I spoke to Mr Hardin to get some for me, but it has not been in his power yet.–
There is to be a quarterly examination the last of this week, & a good many of the trustees are to be here. I expect there will be a very good opportunity of wrighting by Genral Davie , as I suppose he will return to Hallifax, within two or three weeks; and after he gets there, he can send it to Windsor by the post.4
We have not yet began to study the English Grammar, but Mr Kerr intends that we shall begin it after the examination. I bought a couple of Grammars of Mr Kerr , as he has a large supply of them.5
I am very sorry that you got disappointed in going to the general convension,6 but am very glad that you returned when you heard of the yallow fever: it has not come this way as I have heard.
There are now 60 Students, & they are all very well, except one wou ho had a fit or two of the ague and fever. I shall now inform you of an affair that happened last week, which I am very sorry for, that is, that one of the students was banished; it was for going to a cotten picking after eight at knight;7 he, with some others, had left the Colledge before, after eight, & received private admonition by the Faculty: after that two of

Page 3
them went to this cotten picking. Those two were Fancis Burton & Joseph Green . Mr Kerr intended to admonish them before the whole University; but Mr Green thinking that he would get off clear, he went he went away and after he was gone, was banished by the faculty.
The steward provides very sorrily. There is not one in Colledge that does not complain; for this long time, the bread has not been I am shure, near as good as Fillis cooks bakes for herself to eat; it is impossible to discribe the badness of the tea and coffee, & the meat generally stinks, & has maggots in it.
I shall not omit getting a list of the books we shall want next year.
Our shoes are very bad, but we shall en[dea]vour to make them hold out, as it is a very hard matter to get, up here. I could not get a pair up for myself for less than eighteen shillings, I think it would be proper to send up a couple of pairs for us to wear down, as I suppose ours will be wore out. I have taken the full measure 8 of our feet, & you will see a couple of notches on the side of the paper. That is the full measure. Therefore please to give our compliments to our Mother & Grandmother

We remain your dutiful Sons

John & E Pettigrew

Envelope page


1. Pettigrew Family Papers, SHC. Written by John Pettigrew , the letter is addressed "The Reverend/Mr Pettigrew ./ Bertie." Pettigrew wrote in the lower left corner "To be left at/the Post Office/ Windsor"; in the upper right corner, "By Post." A postage endorsement "Chapel Hill to Windsr/17 cents" appears in the upper left corner. Someone wrote "2/2" to the right of the address and "Length of foot" below the address. Mathematical notations for "unpicked cotton," "picked cotton," "cotton warp," and "flax warp" appear to the left of the address. The letter previously has been published in Connor 1:434-37 and in Lemmon 1:168-70.

2. Eutropius, Eutropii breviarium historiae romanae (1471).

3. Hillsborough, NC, founded on the site of an Occoneechee Indian village in 1754, is the county seat of Orange County located twelve miles north of Chapel Hill. Though a bookseller doubtless was a member of this active colonial community, his identity is unknown.

4. The letter evidently was mailed in Chapel Hill instead, as the postage endorsement "Chapel Hill to Windsor/17 cents" indicates.

5. Hugh Williamson's 1795 account for books purchased for the University includes forty-eight copies of Webster's Grammar at 33 1/3 cents each (Connor 1:401).

6. Charles Pettigrew sought to organize the former Anglican church into the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. Though he was elected bishop of the proposed diocese, "he failed to attend the next two triennial conventions at either one of which he would have been consecrated bishop, and at the time of his death there was neither bishop nor diocese in the state" (Dictionary of North Carolina Biography 5:76).

7. A cotton picking, according to Battle , is "analagous to quiltings, corn-shuckings, and log-rollings, providing toothsome refreshments. The cotton was placed in the middle of the room, parties would pick against each other, and amid good-humored rivalry and rustic merriment the work would soon be finished. Then the floor would be swept and the neighborhood fiddler [. . .] would strike up 'Molly put the Kettle on,' or 'T-u Turkey, Ty Tie, T-u Turkey Buzzard's Eye' or 'Crow he Peeped at the Weasel,' or 'Old Molly Hare'" (Battle 1:90). In leaving their rooms without permission after 8:00 p.m., the students had violated University regulations.

8. Measuring from the top of the sheet, one notch is cut into the center fold at 8 7/8 inches, the second notch, at 9 5/8 inches.