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Title: Letter from Catherine Battle Lewis to William Figures Lewis, January 23, 1868: Electronic Edition.
Author: Lewis, Catherine Ann Battle, 1809-1879
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 Jesse Brown
Text encoded by Sarah Ficke
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 13K
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:
2005-10-26, Sarah Ficke 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 Catherine Battle Lewis to William Figures Lewis, January 23, 1868
Author: Catherine Battle Lewis
Description: 5 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 427 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Editorial practices
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 5 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
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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Lewis finishes her letter on the first page, writing her conclusion perpendicular to the opening text. The image of the first page has been repeated so as to be parallel with the text, but the page image has not been reoriented to match the text's orientation.
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Letter from Catherine Battle Lewis to William Figures Lewis , January 23, 1868
Lewis, Catherine Ann Battle, 1809-1879

Page 1
Chapel Hill Jany 23 — 1868

My dear Brother

Do you believe in mesmerism? Sometimes I'm almost tempted to do so, of late I've so often thought of you & have such a yearning to hear from you that I've come to the conclusion to write & ask that you would let me hear how you are, how you are getting on in these days of bankruptcy & ruin, surely we've fallen upon evil times indeed, worse in my respects than when war was raging, no human eye can penetrate through the political gloom, no thought concieve what the next lifting up of the curtain will reveal, all we poor creatures can do is to pray for grace to sustain us, for wisdom to guide us aright, all is ordered by One who is too good to be unkind, too wise to err. God rules & reigns

Page 2
that thought should silence all our hard thoughts & fears for the future. He can in his own good time bring order out of the present confusion, light out of the present darkness, & guide our Ship of State into a haven of rest.
You've heard before now that we were again in C Hill, after Gaston broke up Wm offered Anna & I a home with him as long as we lived if we liked, soon after dear Sue died very unexpectedly to everyone, & then they both bro Wm & sister Lucy begged that we come immediately, which I did in about two weeks, got here the 7th of Octr, Anna remained in Raleigh until two weeks ago. To you who know the character of my bro & Sister (in whose home I now am) it is useless to say that we have every comfort & kindness bestowed upon us that love & a competency can bestow, for I know you will be glad to know that my brother's pecuniary affairs are very good, never

Page 3
better & if the Rads should turn him out of Judgeship, he can still support very well, his law school is very good at present.
Sister Lucy's health is very delicate & she needs a companion at all times, & she seems to be so grateful to me for coming to stay with her, whilst I often with tears of gratitude thank my heavenly Father for giving a poor homeless pauper such a good home, not one of all my children have one to give me.
I had letters from Dicks & Mitt to day the former had just moved into his new house, Ella has gotten well, the baby is very cross, (I suppose you knew he had a third one) & I think now if he had plenty to do he would be quite happy. I suppose you know all about Gaston's affairs. I never hear from Joel I wrote to him not long ago. I suppose he has forgotten me by this time. Lum seems to be content on $35 per month. Exum & his wife seem to be very well pleased with each other, I've had two very nice

Page 4
letters from her, she writes sensibly. I should like to see her, they all seem very anxious for me to go to see them, but the Durham road is too bad & money is too scarce to think of going off now — if I live until Spring I hope to go down & see you all Ex said he would get me a free pass. Anna is very lively is fatter & better looking than I ever saw her, she has beaux a plenty but they are all too poor to marry — she is anxious to get a school in some good family to make some money for herself, she sends much love & says don't you want her for a companion.
The Session has begun — not more than 50 scholars if that — weather bad & hard times I suppose delay many who will come after awhile haven't seen little Dickie yet, they have put board down now to $15 per month. Miss Nancy charges $20, says she will not touch less. The Faculty will not let the boys board there if they can help it, as there are plenty houses open at $15 of course they will all have to keep plainer fare — that is what ought to be done any how.
There are more than a dozen of the best houses & lots in this village vacant, & many on the front street are occupied by negroes — my old home is all filled up with negroes — it looks pitiful. Change is written more plainly on this place than any other I've seen. O! it does seem to me that everything & every body

Page 5
is changed. O! we do have so many of Longfellow's — "long & dark & dreary days" — but we have a sweet little sunbeam in the house who sings like a lark all day long — it is Mary's little girl nearly three years old, a beautiful little thing, black eyed curly headed not at all like her mother.
Give my best love to all at sister Emma's all regret Dicks not coming back. May God bless you dear bro. Please let me hear from you soon.

Aftly your sister