Documenting the American South Logo
Legend Informational Note
See the Page Image
     Mouseover Available
Title: Letter from Cornelia Phillips Spencer to Charles Phillips, April 26, 1869: Electronic Edition.
Author: Spencer, Cornelia Phillips, 1825-1908
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 Sarah Ficke
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 16K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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:
2005-08-02, Sarah Ficke finished TEI/XML encoding.
Title of collection: Cornelia Phillips Spencer Papers (#683), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Cornelia Phillips Spencer to Charles Phillips, April 26, 1869
Author: Cornelia Phillips Spencer
Description: 7 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 683 (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.
Spencer finishes her letter on the first page, writing her conclusion perpendicular to the opening text. Throughout the letter, she also writes postscripts in the side and top margins of the pages. Page images have been repeated so as to be parallel with the text, but the page images have not been reoriented to match the text's orientation.
Page images can be viewed and compared in parallel with the text.
Any hyphens occurring in line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.
Letters, words and passages marked as deleted or added in originals have been encoded accordingly.
All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as ".
All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as '.
All em dashes are encoded as —.
Indentation in lines has not been preserved.

For more information about transcription and other editorial decisions, see the section Editorial Practices.
Letter from Cornelia Phillips Spencer to Charles Phillips , April 26, 1869
Spencer, Cornelia Phillips, 1825-1908

Page 1
Chapel Hill
Mon. April 26. /69

Dear Charles ,

There are one or two points I wish you would assist me with in writing about the Univ. When that long letter comes, as I hope it will this week, tell me what was the method of teaching in Chapel Hill. Was it in any important respect different from that of other universities in this country? Was it different under Dr C. from what it afterwards became under the Gov ?
Can you give me two or three well digested paragraphs on this subject? Were you ever an advocate for the voluntary system of the Univ. of Va ? I know Pa was not. What were the advantages & what were the weaknesses of our methods & general management?
It is six o'c a.m. & as I write, June & Nora are sound asleep. I look out o' winder & see Simon coming slooming along. He is to start to R. today driving Judge B's car down, & is coming here to get a commission

Page 2
from me touching some handles for the drawers of Laura's bureau. We have been quite excited over a gang of robbers which have made their appearance round town these moonlight nights. Three negroes in U.S. uniform & two men have been lying about for several days — strangers altogether & disreputable looking every way. Last Friday night they broke into Judge B's house & into the upper office, but took nothing. I had just gone down a day or two before & removed books &c. They were supposed to be in search of clothes. Old Lenny heard the fuss & got up & went out — heard the talking in front of the house & supposed it was in the grove & went no further. So in the morning the windows of the dining room were found broken open & door of office. Then they came up to Martling's, got inside the house & struck a light. Mrs. M. waked Mr. M. who got up. They ran out of the house, he followed into the street. One of them turned & fired at him. He screamed "murder" till the neighbors heard. But whether they tho't murder as applied to Martling was a good idea or not, nobody stirred! The

Page 3
thieves then went on composedly to Mr Carr's where they forced open one of the parlor windows & were getting in when the family being aroused, they fled, leaving some of their tools behind.
Everybody sat up the next night waiting for them. However I have not yet heard of any further attempts. I went round & nailed up our windows, wh was about all my defense — unless Carlo be some. People are afraid of him. He barks a good deal at night & has a name for being sharp & is big. So I suppose he does as well as if he was better. Mrs Carr & Miss Nancy were here Sat. afternoon, full of it all of course. I was quite relieved to have another topic than that of Pool & Co. However as Miss N. always will have a dab at them, I learned that $8,000 has been sent up by brother Ashley. The party say A. begged it from friend of the Uni. Others however shake their heads & whisper "Common school fund." Of this $8,000 it is proposed to take $500 for expenses of Com., Ball &c. &c. I cannot believe they are so foolish. Pool told Mr Carr in their talk, of which I gave you some

Page 4
heads in my last, that if no white students wd come here, he wd have negroes!! I think P. must say such things just to exasperate. Can you conceive of any amount of kicking as too severe for such a man?
I have another letter from Kate F. saying she had just written to you. I think Kate very well qualified to teach small children. She has a good way & can make them respect her. If she proposed to make teaching a life business, I can imagine that she wd make a very respectable one & advance as she went on. But you see she only looks upon it as a temporary occupation to enable her to buy her wedding clothes! She mentions Maltey having just received a letter of twelve foolscap pages from Mary. I don't see how so much writing consists with M's alleged situation. I have always found writing hard work for the eyes & brain. Hester stops & asks after you. He says "I am so proud Mr Phillips has got a good place."
No preaching in our ch yet. Your field I had planted with corn. Friday it was up four inches high. Friday night Ma's pigs broke in and ploughed the field all up again, nicely. To think of Ma's keeping

Page 5
those animals! She feeds them all over everywhere, over the front fence, out in the street, and that makes them so turbulent. They are all the time rooting & grunting round the fences. Sam says I ought to have them removed illegible. It is mighty provoking.
What magnificent nights. I walked the front porch last night alone, till late. How very very beautiful, the moonlight shining through the young foliage of your elms and ashes. So still, so peaceful. Every thing quiet but this raging heart.
Breakfast bell down stairs. June & Nora up. Nora not yet dressed. June has dressed and made up her bed, while I have been writing.
Let me hear from you by return please.

Best love—
Your Sister


Page 6
12. m. I hear our robbers went towards R. & on the way yesterday broke into Sears' house (family all at ch; & gutted it. Letter from B. Ryan wh I enclose for Laura to read. I am sorry for them all.

Page 7
Tholuck's other Sermon on the Mount is here, also T. on Psalms. I have not seen Dr C. about the other book yet.

The scalawag President of Ala Univ. has resigned.