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Fisher's River
(North Carolina)
Scenes and Characters (1859)


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The young men did their courting almost entirely by word of mouth.  Their "edication" was very poor, and they did not like to expose their "ignunce" by a love-letter.  Sometimes a very bashful fellow, deeply smitten with love, would give vent to his feelings in a letter.  I have been quite fortunate in securing one of these letters.  I pledge my work, and can prove it, that the following is an exact copy from the original, not a word nor a letter altered.  The free use of capitals is to be ascribed to the writer's deep feeling.  But I will not comment.  Here is the letter, leaving names out:

"Dear Miss I seat Myself To Let you Know My Heart Desire This Very Day, God Know That I Dow Love you P------ F----- And I Have you if you Will Mee, And I want you To write To Mee as soon as This come to Hand, And give Me satisfactions one way or other, God Know at This Time Which way you will give, God sed in His Word First Seak The Kingdom of Hevin and all His Riches shall Be Added on, And I Beliave you Love Mee, And I Guv you the First Time I Ever Thought!  And Where it wase at, Mr F----s at Metin.  And I tell Why I Thout Sow, For Actions speaks Louder Than Words withe Mee, And I Write yo a few Loines To Tell you The Truth, When I was Layin on my Death bed (Note:  He had just recovered from a severe illness, and was so carried away with the subject he writes as though he had died.)  I Thought of yo Moor than Evr Body Else Well P------ F------ I Never Told my Bisness in any Manner But I Hinted To you one Time And you Nuver stuttered (Note:  The young lady had a stoppage in her speech.)  one Bit But Turned Very Red And Sed you Was Going to Uncles And you Hav not Gon Before you Married (Note:  Here I am at a loss for his meaning; but it is in the copy.) And I drop The Subjick For God Sed in His Word Forsak Father And Mother And Cleeve Untoo They Own Wife And if All The Twigs was Pens And the Rivers was ink And I Had the Fingers To use them I Codent Moore Than Describe The Love That I Have for You (Note:  She was a hard-hearted girl, else she would have been won by this eloquent passage.) And I Come A purpass To Know The Other Time I ware whether My Desires could Be Accomplished ore not And I considered I Better Wait Till I See Whether I Got Well ore not  I Am not The Man I was Before But I am Sout (Note:  Here again I am at a loss for his meaning; but I am bound to follow copy.) as Ever and Feels as well But it is Gods Blessin that I am Writin this Day.

"I Want You Read This With A feeling Hart And Tell Mee of your Situations That Time Ef God Had call When You in Sickness (Note:  The young lady had been sick;  and had previously lost a sister.)  And whether You Had That Hope Of Meetin your Sister ore Not in Etteernity ore Not or in Heven.  I Say So That I have a Hope of Meetin My Three Little Brothers if I am Faithful For They Are sure And They are All That are sure And I waunt you To consider That Satisfaction is wuth All And I am A poore Man But That Dont Hender Mee from Loving you But I waunt yo To Consider That Religion is Wuth all I Say Farewell if I Never See you Know Moor I Hope To Meete You in Heven Whare Evry secret of Hart shall Bee judged  And you Know Then That I am Tellin Thee Truth And I Say To You THat You Are older A nuff To Marry Ef you Ever expect To For I Say it is every bodys Duty To Marry if They can Suit Theirself And I Say That I can Sute Myself if you Say Sow And I have Hearn Folks Say That Love was Stronger Than Deth And I Say That it is So For when I Thout Cold Home (Note:  Here agin I am in the dark;  butI am not at liberty to alter.  Copy must be followed  to the letter.  I set out to be a faithful copyist, and the reader has the result.) I Thout of you And I Druther See you And any Body else And I Say To you if you Turn your Face from Mee That you Turn yourself from the Dearest And I want you To write To Mee And Tell if What I Have Rit Dont Take Why is The Reason And I Say To You if What I Have Writ to Dont for Godsake write To Mee And Return This May God Bless you Sow Farewell

E. H. S.          

"To P------ F ------

"N.B.  You Muss scuse bad Writin and Spillin"



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Copyright 1999-2013
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