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Title: Letter from Richard Henry Lewis to his uncle, June 6, 1852 : Electronic Edition.
Author: Lewis, Richard Henry
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 Caitlin R. Donnelly
Text encoded by Caitlin R. Donnelly
First Edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: ca. 16K
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:
2007-05-22, Caitlin R. Donnelly finished TEI/XML encoding.
Title of collection: Lewis Family Papers (#427), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Richard Henry Lewis to his uncle, June 6, 1852
Author: R. H. L.
Description: 4 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 427 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Editorial practices
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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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For more information about transcription and other editorial decisions, see the section Editorial Practices.
Letter from Richard Henry Lewis to his uncle, June 6, 1852
Lewis, Richard Henry

Page [1]
Chapel Hill June 6th 1852.

My Dear Uncle.

It is finished — my school-boy days are passed — And I am at last launched upon Life's great sea. I cannot realize it, that I, who have been going to school for nineteen years, am at last free. The idea is unsupportable, of working for oneself after being worked for so long. But "Every dog has his day", and I am not exempt from the common lot.
After easing myself of my "o'er burthened soul" with the above "lofty" sentiments, I now come down again. I have already prepared a home for myself in the shape of a snug little schoolhouse in Person. The name of the Post Office is Mt. Tirzah. When I get domiciled up there I will give you a description of things "round about." But for the present I am living at No. 4 West End Chapel Hill. The Court End being at the other end of town. The origin of the latter name is evident.
I went to my ball the other night and enjoyed myself exceedingly, and strange to say I did not dance. No, not once; for

Page [2]
Miss — — was not there. But there was one there whose expression of countenance was so much like "hers" that I sat and gazed the live long time. Wherever she sat down, I sat down opposite and feasted my eyes. And when she danced Oh! ye powers what a resemblance to the fairy like movements of —. I stood as one entranced. I spent the whole night thus. The name of the ball-room belle was Miss , of Warrenton. And well worthy was she to be the belle. But this is a "tender" subject, so we'll e'en drop it.
Almost every student has left the Hill, and
"A quiet now reigns all around".
It seems more like the "deserted village" of Goldsmith memory, than a living, breathing, inhabited town. The very villagers themselves look lonely and sad. The dogs even slink around the corners and howl for their masters, who have cruelly left them here to be killed with "ennui."
I cannot help contrasting this place with a nice, sweet little place away down among the pine clad regions of Old Edgecombe. Just to think what dreariness and solitude reign here, and what joyful liveliness reigns there. There the very trees seem to sing and be glad as they bend their lofty heads to the passing breeze. Here, a dead feeling seems to pervade the very forests.
There is one bright spot in Edgecombe's piney forests, around which memory loves to dwell.

Page [3]
Around which cling, fond and pleasing recollections.
But "away with melancholy." We had a wedding in town the other night — Thursday night the night of the ball. Did you ever hear of such a thing. The parties were Mr. Benj. Hedrick and Miss Ellen Thompson.
Can you tell me what a person must do, when he has nothing to do. I'm just in such a "fix" exactly. To be sure there are ladies here, and pretty ones too; but you know a fellow gets tired of visiting, when he is not "particularly interested" in any of those whom he visits. One of the reasons why I am writing this moment is because I'm tired of reading, smoking and looking at the rain, which is even now gently falling and sprinkling every tree with glittering gems.
I wish you would give publicity to the following notice, as information is greatly wanted up this way

Stolen, Lost, or "Miss"laid.
A fine looking and quite handsome young man. About twenty two years old; generally goes by the name of Sam, although that is not is real name, that being Joel.
Said boy is about five feet nine inches high, with bushy whiskers, (at least he had them when last seen by the subscriber) as black and fierce as a Don Cossack's. He has black eyes, and an occasional twitching of the mouth.

Page [4]
Said boy would pass for "same" in a crowd where he was not known. It is suspected that he is lurking about Edgecombe as he has relations there, and a particular "liking" for a particular place down there.
The person who will apprehend him and make him write to his relations at home, shall pay $50 reward and "ask no questions."
"So mote it be", if they shall bring him to "court"
Given under my hand and seal this sixth day of June in the year of Our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty two.

Richard Henry Lewis (Seal).

Give my best love to all my relations, and tell Cousins Mary & Kate that I am one of the saddest, dreariest, loneliest old bachelors on Earth, And that I'd give worlds, and all they contained, for one glimpse of their sprightly faces. I think it would cheer me on my journey through life, which I have just commenced.
We are all well at home although there is a great deal of sickness around us. Three of our class couldn't speak at Commencement for that reason.
I reckon this is the last time you will hear, from Chapel Hill, from your most affect. nephew ( as Gov. Swain calls me Ricardus Henricus Lewis.

"I'm done" as the fellow said.

R. H. L.