John Hays to Charles Francis Himes, June 20, 1859

    Source citation
    John Hays to Charles Francis Himes, Carlisle, PA, June 20, 1859. MC 2000.1, Charles Francis Himes Family Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.
    Date Certainty
    Matthew Dudek
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as true to the original written document as possible.

    Carlisle June 20th 1859

    Dear Charley

    On Saturday I sat down to write to you and accept at once the situation of Mantle-bearer, but before I had written much I was interrupted. The interruption was fortunate, for since then Mr. Henderson has made me an offer which I would not refuse if I could. It is this – to study up – be admitted at the Orphan’s Court Aug. 11th assist him at the regular Court beginning Aug 22nd and remain in the office with him as partner. In four or fiver years with a little care I can become full partner with him, in a practise worth now $2500.

    The offer is a first-sale-one, and today I would not change places with any young man in Carlisle. Do you not think I am right? But do not speak of this to any one; it is for you alone. Were I to accept the situation offered I would have to keep it for two years, and by that time I would lose what little knowledge of practise I now have, and then wait four or five years more before I would have a practise sufficient to support me. It is for this reason I am compelled to decline your kind offer, and I do so with many thanks for your interest in my behalf. You say Tom Wilson made application for the place but that you did not think it would suit him nor he it. Tom has changed greatly from what he was when a member of the class of 55, and I think well qualified to teach, besides having considerable experience. I have been lately a good deal thrown with him, and have found many good qualities hidden under his by no means prepossessing exterior. When in College his greatest fault was too great a fondness for drink - now he is a perfectly sober man. If no P.K. can be gotten for the post will you turn your interest in his favor? I really do not think he will prove unacceptable when once fully known.

    The Epsilon Waltz together with two or three lithographs and a catalogue of the Alpha Chapter, which perhaps you have not seen will be mailed this afternoon. I will send you the lithograph of the remaining PK’s as they are received.

    The worthy abolitionists of Cumberland County - stock-holders in the great Northern Underground Railway were terribly excited by the bold kidnapping of a whole family of blacks some ten days ago. Two or three of the persons implicated in the Transaction have been arrested, one of whom, a Marylander, Major McCartney had to employ all his ingenuity to entice over the line in order to arrest. The blacks are lying in jail at Westminster, but I believe will be liberated shortly. The kidnappers will be tried in August, and perhaps I will have an opportunity of making my maiden speech in their behalf, who knows?

    Under the circumstances I will hardly be able to join you at Philadelphia the last of this month. I will however try to induce Burns to do so, and for that purpose will ask my brother for a couple of tickets that Dare may be at no expense going to and returning from the city. How I would like to meet you, and have a royal time for a day or two, but Blackstone demands my constant attention if I wish to become intimately acquainted with his honor before the aforesaid 11th August 1859. Then, to use his own immortal words

    _____ welcome business, welcome strife

    Welcome the cares, the thorns of life


    The drowsy bench, the babbling hall,

    For thee, fair Justice, welcome all !

    and let me add, perhaps fruitless attempts after wealth honor and immortality. But enough for this time - I will only add

    Yours everlasting by and fraternally in the Bonds and out of them

    John Hays

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