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Title: Letter from Cornelia Phillips Spencer to Charles Phillips, September 8, 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 Amanda Page
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 26K
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:
2005-08-05, Amanda Page 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, September 8, 1869
Author: C.P. Spencer
Description: 8 pages, 11 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.
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Throughout this letter, Spencer writes postscripts in the side 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.
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 '.
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For more information about transcription and other editorial decisions, see the section Editorial Practices.
Letter from Cornelia Phillips Spencer to Charles Phillips , September 8, 1869
Spencer, Cornelia Phillips, 1825-1908

Page 1

Chapel Hill
2 p.m. Wed. Sept 8. 69

Dear Charley

Your long & exhaustive & most welcome & highly valued letter of last Sun. arrived this morning & tho' I cannot reply (properly) till Friday, I will begin now while the impressions left by it are warm & write awhile & conclude in time for F's mail. I had begun to think I was not going to get the promised letter, supposing your college duties would be too much for you. I am greatly indebted for it. I read it over to myself, then to Ma, commenting as we went along, & then to June. June's remark was "and Lucy never said a word about the doll!" I do feel grieved enough at all accts of the Fetter's I get. Norwood ( Carr's clerk) was here last night & said that Carr had been making some proposition to Mr F . about payment of the heavy debt he owes him & Mr F. had written a "pretty rough" letter back saying he could not pay unless he cd sell his house & if he cd sell that, would pay everybody. Poor Mr. Fetter , what a sad close to a long day. Did K. say anything to you about getting a situation to teach? I was glad to hear all you could say of the Mitchells & the Oxonians. It does one good to see an old lady maintaining her dignity & state

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as Mrs Mitchell does. Her children can look back upon her, after she has left them, with respect and gratitude. Sam writes to me that he & F. enjoyed their visit to you "greatly," & were pleased with everything (& body) they saw. He says he is to be here the middle of this month. Gov Worth was dying even as you were writing of him. Poor Mrs. Swain. I imagine she is neglected. If Mr. Argo were not the author of B. Barlow, do you suppose he & all the family, Dr H. included, wd tell me he was! I hope James will have a good time at B's . I was so glad you went over to see Mrs W. It is worth an effort, to give as much pleasure as I know you did by going. I only wish I could go there for a day or two. I have concluded to take Dr Easly's children, 4 of them. More for June's sake than anything else I believe. Ma may turn ugly, but it can't be helped. They all understand her pretty well. June must have some child's company at her lessons & to divert her from other things. So I shall venture it. I have said & done nothing about the well, but if Mason buys Col. Martin's I must have it done. I shd want to cut off all communication between the lots, with the Masons there. Dr Davis had another stroke on Sun. & has been

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lying speechless since. I did not suppose he wd ever go to Ark. with the Coopers. They say he was much agitated at the thought, & it probably precipitated the attack. He was at Ch. to hear Cooper preach, & I noticed, was very infirm. Old aunt Tempe Hillyard died last week. Miss Nancy has certainly done her duty by her, supported her entirely since the surrender. I am sorry to hear that Miss Tenney has underbid Miss Nancy & some of her boarders are going to leave her. Jule Carr paid me a long visit Mon. He said the two or three boys who came here prepared for college, are disgusted. Whitted from Henderson county says he has no use for one of the faculty, that they don't teach anything. One of the classes has five recitations a week. Pool's correspondence with Holden was fixed up across H.'s office table when P. went down to see about getting the militia. Holden writes & asks what was the no. of applications to join College. Pool writes that the average no. in attendance the last few years of college during war & since was 60 — that the applications since last March are 52! The whole correspondence is characterized as fraudulent by every man in C.H. That is its animus

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& evident intention is to mislead. Holden's letter is so framed as to give Pool a chance to reply in words within the bare outline of truth, yet the gist is deception. Dr H. has written a scathing expose of it for the Wm Journal, signed A.B. wh I hope you will see. I wrote a dozen or so lines to Sen. two weeks since, very quiet & statistical, giving the no. of students & nothing more, signed "J.W." Pool & Co flew down to John White & Jones Watson —"J.W." certainly pointed to them. Did you ever know such asses? So Jones & John write to Sen. begging him to tell the world they are innocent! "J.W." is coming out again. & flows out in a "pome" wh I hope you will see also. Ashley's attitude at the Convention is in keeping with all I hear of him & Martling. M. is coming out "glorying in the name of carpet bagger." Norwood told me the oldest daughter said in Carr's store, "she only wished Southerners could know how carpet-baggers despised them." Mr Mickle says the McIver stock is going down fast in C. H. A very damaging story is going round about him, wh is every word true. They all expected 50 or 60 students this session & McIver sent to

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Phila for certain text books, of wh he had some, but not enough for all college! Books arrived a week ago at Ds xpress. Watson takes them at Ds , pays freight C.O.D. & bill also C.O.D. & brings them on to McIver expecting of course to be re-paid, & thanked too. But our Scotchman not choosing to have the loss of books for wh was no market fall on his hands, refused to take them, alleging as his excuse that he wd not deal with a firm that C.O.D. & wouldn't credit him. That it was a virtual insult to a Prof in the N.C. Uni. ! &c. &c. And Watson had to keep the books. Incredible, but perfectly true. The worst is to come however. Watson calculated that by selling the books at $1.00 he cd clear himself & put them in Mickle's hands to sell. Now McIver's price for the same book was $1.75. The boys got hold of it. McIver got hold of it too & went to Mickle & said if he offered those books at $1.00 he wd change the course of study in college so they cd not be used, that he wd not have himself undersold on his own ground!!! Brewer went to H. before session opened & told Strayhorn (who leans to the present faculty) there would be 50 or 60 students in & the

Page 6
Societies ought to be set going & asked Strayhorn to come down & inaugurate the Di. S. promised to do it. F. Hargrave, Carr, Strayhorn, & Judge B. are the Committee appointed by the Dis.. Jule Carr told me that he told Strayhorn if he came down to C.H. on any such errand, he & Fred H. had influence enough here to have him tarred & feathered & ridden out of town, & they wd do it.
The "Agr. Lectures" were to commence on Monday. Wonder if they did, & who delivers them nobody knows. McIver keeps quiet & no one sees him. Brewer has bought a fine horse $175.00 & rides about very like a meal-sack. Pool said down street last week he did not want more than 50 students! Dear-dear-dear! It is hard to live here & be a Christian, is'nt it?
I went to the E. Ch. last Sunday & joined them at Communion, having asked permission & being assured of welcome. I sat there shedding many tears, recalling the friends who once filled those pews. I believe I was the only person there who was there when that Ch. was consecrated. And this is the first time I have ever communed with them. About a dozen in all. Miss Mary Smyth was one, & begged me to send you all much love.
If there are any prospects for a shoemaker in D.,

Page 7
I expect the Newtons wd be apt to try it. She told me the other day, they were feeling as if they must go somewhere, anywhere almost, away from C. Hill. What about your invitations to Columbia. Were they official? I have a letter from L. who seems to be in clover. I am so glad she went. It will do her good in many ways. Eliza is waiting anxiously to know what L.'s decision will be.

Thursday evening 9th
Young Evans has just been down again about the well. He will not 'bate a jot of $45.00. If it is to be done at all, it had better be done now. I read most of yr letter to Dr H. yesterday evening. He says I must tell you he thanks you for it. He has seemed very sad since you left. I had a visit from Mrs Slater yesterday, asking for my patronage for a dancing school she is trying to get up here. If not me then my daughter. I was very civil to the poor woman, for she has the manners of a lady. Poor thing, so shabbily dressed & yet carefully, with four children depending on her exertions. She went back to Miss Nancy's & said it was worth a trip from R. to be received & talked to so kindly as Mrs. Spencer had done! Won't Wm Bingham expose that speech of Ashley's. I hope & trust he will. He certainly ought to.

Page 8
I have a long letter from E. Grant expressing their pleasure in your visit, & your sermons. She says her Mother is quite poorly. They are expecting "aunt Eliza" this month. The Ku Klux were after Ben Edwards who is denounced in Chatham as a spy of Guthrie's. It is a proof positive that there were no C. Hillians in the crowd, that they mistook Nov.'s house for Ben's. I am told by several of our most knowing citizens that there was not one C.H. person concerned. Yet the negroes swear they recognized so & so! Norwood for one & he tells me he was in bed when the KK rode by. McIver has the credit of writing the bitter article in Standard signed "a citizen." I sent Lossing the portrait of Gov S. carefully enveloped in a stiff newspaper, the Nouveau Monde. He writes that it had been opened, presumably in the C. Hill office & the portrait badly torn! Nice! I think I shall ask Mr White about it.
Dear C. the prospects for C.H. & the vicinity this fall are truly distressing. What is to become of our poor? Already they are beginning their piteous stories. Mr Carr says he never felt so gloomy as now. June sends her love mightily. I am going to write to James.


C. P. Spencer.

Page 9
Friday 10th A beautiful cool morning. I have read yr letter in part to the Mickles, Malletts, & Miss Nancy , all are as much gratified & delighted as we were. Everybody desires to thank you for the entertainment.

Page 10
Lindsay has come again & as he brought a fine large bed with him we opine that the wedding is near at hand.

Page 11
Miss Sally M. has just had a letter from Bakergiving an acct of your visit to him & saying that it encouraged him & made him feel like a man. So you see the good you do.