Title: Letter from Richard H. Lewis to Exum Lewis II, March 5, 1825: Electronic Edition.
Author: Lewis, Richard Henry, 1806-1857
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. 18K
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, 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: John Francis Speight Papers (#3914), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Richard H. Lewis to Exum Lewis II, March 5, 1825
Author: Richard H. Lewis
Description: 2 pages, 3 page images
Note: Call number 3914 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Topics covered:
Examples of Student Writing/Letters
Travel and Entertainment/Celebrations and Holidays
War/Other Wars
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.
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Letters, words and passages marked as deleted or added in originals have been encoded accordingly.
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All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as ".
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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

Lewis tells his father about visiting Raleigh, NC, where he shook hands with Gen. Lafayette, and he hopes that his father's school and crops are flourishing.
Letter from Richard H. Lewis to Exum Lewis II, March 5, 18251
Lewis, Richard Henry, 1806-1857

Page 1
Chapel Hill NoCa Saturday March 5th 1825

Dear Father

Your kind and affectionate letter of the 27th of Jany has been thankfully received, and I am almost ashamed that I have not answered it sooner; but it is my sincere wish not to be found so dilatory again in performing a duty which [I] owe to my parents, and which, of all others, ought not to be neglected.
The Faculty dismissed college from last tuesday morning until to morrow morning, (which is sunday) that the students might go down to Raleigh to see the "Nation's Guest Genl La Fayette ". The students were so anxious to go that some of them walked in the rain, and others rode in waggons. I went down in a waggon and have this morning returned, well pleased with my visit. The students were introduced to the "old Genl ," and highly gratified was I to have the pleasure of shaking hands with that man whose virtues and military talents in defence of "our rights" in the revolutionary struggle (if I may be allowed the expression) will, next to those of "Washington", ever shine conspicuous in the "Historical pages" of the revolutionary war. The Genl left Raleigh at about 1 oclock, thursday, for Fayetteville attendended by a band of cavalry of about sixty. I saw him when he ascended into his carriage, and after gazing at him steadfastly and with admiration, I turned aside and left the spot, and in a few moments he was out of sight. I expect that you will see a long account of his visit to Raleigh in the newspapers.2 I therefore deem it unnecessary

Page 2
to say any thing more about him.
I was sorry to hear, in your letter, that your school consisted of only 12 scholars, including those that went from home; but I hope that by this time it has increased to at least 20 or 25, otherwise you will have to lose considerable by it. It appears to me somewhat strange that the people in that neighborhood (with one exception only, which is yourself) have not the least care or anxiety to encourage Literature. It is my firm belief that there are some of them who are more willing, in order to save a few cents, to send their children to a man, who can but just read and write, than to one who has the best education, our country can afford.
I expect by this time, that you have made a full trial of your packing machine, and I hope that it has not only exceeded your expectations, but also amply rewarded you for your trouble and expence. I saw a day or two since, in a Fayetteville paper, that cotten was from 15 to 16 cents at that market, and if this be the case in New-York also, I hope that you will make considerable by your cotten, this year.
It would give me much pleasure, to hear in your next letter that you had obtained good prices for your cotten and Bacon, and that trade was flourishing with you.
My health is, I believe, as good as usual, only my eyes are much weaker than they were 12 months ago and occasionally are3 troublesome to me: but I hope that this will soon wear away.
I must now come to a close, with humbly wishing that that this letter may find my dear father and mother enjoying good health, and that they will accept of the best love that their son can impart, and believe me as ever their

affectionate and dutiful son

Richard H Lewis

Give my love to my
little bros & sisters.4 also to
W. H. BryanMr Spivey &c &c
Mr Bellamy &c &c.

Envelope page


1. John Francis Speight Papers, SHC. The letter is addressed "Mr Exum Lewis/Post Master/ Mount Prospect/ No Ca "; the postage endorsement reads "Chapel Hill/March 7th} Free." Below the fold forming the bottom of the envelope face, along the left margin, another hand has written "From/ Richd H. Lewis /March 7. 1825."

2. According to the Raleigh Register, General Lafayette , accompanied by his son George Washington and a secretary Monsieur Le Vasseur, arrived in North Carolina on Sunday, February 27, 1825. He spent a day in Halifax and attended a meeting of the American Colonization Society before traveling on to Raleigh. Arriving in Raleigh at noon on Wednesday, March 2, he was formally greeted at the "Government House (capitol)" by Governor Hutchins G. Burton and Col. William Polk, who spoke on behalf of the assembled veterans of the Revolutionary War. A subscription dinner and ball took place that evening. Lafayette left Raleigh for Fayetteville, named in his honor, at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 3.
Concluding his account of the visit, the editor of the Raleigh Register remarks,
In looking over what we have written, we perceive some omission, which we feel it a duty to repair. We ought to have noticed, that some of the Faculty and a greater part of the Collegians from the University, came here 28 miles, most of them walking, to see Lafayette . We honor the motive which actuated, and the spirit which carried into effect the patriotic curiosity of the students. Should the time ever recur, similar to those, "which tried men's souls," we predict that this juvenile Band will not be the last to assert their country's rights, and to defend that independence which Lafayette fought to establish. (March 8, 1825, p. 3).

3. Lewis wrote are on top of troub.

4. Richard had seven brothers and sisters: John Wesley , Exum , Kenelm Harrison , William Figures , Elizabeth Figures, Mary Ann, and Emma .