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Title: Letter from James Lee, Jr. to Major G. A. Henry, October 20, 1850: Electronic Edition.
Author: Lee, James, Jr., fl. 1850
Funding from the University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Bari Helms
Images scanned by Bari Helms
Text encoded by Brian Dietz
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 14K
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:
2005-10-27, Brian Dietz finished TEI/XML encoding.
Title of collection: Gustavus A. Henry Papers (#1431), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from James Lee, Jr. to Major G. A. Henry, October 20, 1850
Author: James Lee Jr
Description: 4 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 1431 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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Letter from James Lee, Jr. to Major G. A. Henry , October 20, 1850
Lee, James, Jr., fl. 1850

Page 1

University of North Carolina Oct. 20th/50

Maj: G. A. Henry

Dear Sir

Your kind letter of the 6th inst came to hand and its heartfelt contents carefully perused. I see expressed in every line a deep and abiding interest in my present wellfare and future prosperity and happiness for which I return you my sincere thanks and gratitude. You wrote me principaly concerning my health which at the time I wrote the letter you saw was very bad indeed, but now I am in robust health and the finest spirits you ever saw. The course you advised me to adopt I took in hand before you wrote me and which too was the principle cause of my restoration. The cause of my ill health was confinement. When I joined the college I was deficient on every thing and in consequence of which I was at first rejected, being informed of my rejection I did not know what step to pursue, I disliked to return home and I thought it would be a bad chance to get in any other institution so you may judge how I felt far from home, in the midst of strangers and not being able to get in college. A thousand thoughts in a

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moment presented themselves to my consideration, and finily I arose from my meditation and straight way I went to our president Gov Swain and told him I had come from Tennessee to join this institution and I was going to do so if they would only give me a half a chance and all I asked was to let me enter on probation until I could make up my deficiencies, he consented, and immediately I let all hotts go and rolled into hard study to keep up with my class and also to make up my deficiencies. The first two weeks I studied until two oclock at night and never laid down before one no how and was compelled to rise at half after four to prayers, at the end of two week I was perfectly exhausted and my health began to decline. I ceased to study so incessantly but it did not effect my health in the least and finily every thing rifused to lay on my stomac as I would throw my meals up before I would get ten steps from my boarding house. I would not write to Pa & Ma because I knew they would be uneasy about me when it would do no good whatever, but finily I concluded I had better write as it was wrong to keep such serious things from ones parents. I saw my critical situation and concluded it was perfect folly for me to wear myself out in pursuit of an education and after having obtained it to go home with a shattered constitution to lay down and die with this view of the matter I ceased studying and from that time I commenced improving and now my coat wont meet

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on me, having resumed by studies I am now marching up the fair hill of science like some proud stemer up the mighty bosom of the father of waters, and will never rest satisfied until I shall have climbed the last round of the ladder of fame and can stand upon the topmost pinnicle of human glory. As the ten oclock bell is ringing I shall take your advice and retire

Sunday morning October the 21st/50
I suppose you would like to learn some of the particulars of the University of North Carolina as you are of a literary character some what. In the first place it is situated upon the top of the highest situation in the whole cuntry in the midst of a delightful grove and too as is the characteristic of North Carolina upon the poorest land in creation Stewart County not excepted. The vicinity is so poor that when a man dies they are compelled to maneuvre his grave to enable him to arise in the judgement day. The institution is of long standing and extensive character it was founded in the year 1787 and received the name of University in 1816 and can without transcending the bounds of reason or varacity boast of having sent out a greater number of prominent men than any institution in the United States. Our faculty is the best that can be had any where and to show you a test of our old institution. A young man came here from Cambrige to join college (he left there on account of his ill health) he left the Junior class there and

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was compelled to make up some studies before he could enter here. The faculty is as tyranicle as they are smart for in the beginning of the session we had about two hundred and fifty students we have only two hundred now the rest have been sent off or quit on their own accord. The rules are very rigid indeed for if a student misses recitation even once when he is sick he must make it up before he can get a diploma and many other things too tedious to mention. You say also give your respects to young T. G. Martin who I am sorry to tell you has left and gone home he talked like he was going to your institution at Clarkesville but he was not certain. If you see Mr Roberts or Mrs Belden or both give them my respects and tell them I am yet in the land of the living. My respects to R. W. Humphreys and Mr & Mrs Shackleford. If you see Pa any time traveling up or down the river tell him I am well, well satisfied, and in fine spirits. News we dont keep the artickle here and never have any unless sent after by order. We had some rain yesterday for the first time upwards of two months.
Give my highest regard to all your family and finely accept for yourself the warmest thanks and since friendship of

Yours &c

James Lee Jr

I am in college on every thing.