Letter from Charles Francis Himes to Helen Himes, June 8, 1857, June 13, 1857

Source citation
Himes, Charles Francis, to Helen Himes, Hemp Ridge, MO, 8 June 1857. MC 2000.1, Charles Francis Himes Family Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
Author (from)
Charles Francis Himes
Recipient (to)
Himes, Helen
Date Certainty
Matthew Dudek

The following text is presented here in complete form, as true to the original written document as possible.

Hemp Ridge
June 8th 1857

Dear Sister,
Today I begin my third week of school and begin boarding at a new place don’t think I’ve bettered myself by leaving the Judges. The longer I staid there the more I was impressed with the singularity of the family and the head of it. E. [illegible]. There are two daughters married one at 15 married a man older than her father and the other at 17 one somewhat older than herself. They never went into society at all except a little to boarding school and then I think boarded in a private family. They married men of some means but I don’t think that could have been the inducement as the Judge is worth from 60 to $70000 at least in land owning about 18000 acres around here 800 in his home tract. The girls would be pretty with proper training and a judicious intermixture with society. The two little girls 9 and 11 are studying latin and don’t know a word of English

Grammer and have studied little or no Arithmetic and yet judge preferred his eldest daughter should study Chemistry to Botany because he thought it more practical. He appears to me to be pretty much of a smatterer. I can’t imagine to what he owes his success in law. Mrs. Leonard is a very domesticated sort of a woman.- I am now in a family of crowds of children. Anyone wishing to see me had better call at Judge Leonards as it is easiest found. - - - - Strawberries are ripening, I have a nest of young doves which I intend to pet. Plums, grapes etc. will be in abundance. – I presume the little epitome of a lecture on slavery is only a sample of full grown ones which you will deliver when I come home. You are decidedly too severe and more ultra on that subject than I thought you, but the atmosphere of oxford is so thick with the miasma it is not surprising. I knew you would not approve of buying a negro and so I let slip a chance to make several hundred or $1000. You say “buy a horse he has no soul.” I disagree with your axiomatic proposition, and (but there is a cry of rattlesnake and I want the critter). Well

I’ve got the rattlesnake skin so to resume) quote Dr. Butler to sustain me together with many other eminent theologians. So it is contended there is a variety of souls of different grades and the negro’s is somewhat inferior to the white man that is a question too hard for man to resolve minds can not be weighed and measured but there is nothing in the record of the past that shows that the African ever attained to the least degree of intellectual eminence. The greatest Zoologist and Anthropolgist of America and the present day Louis Agazziz contends that the Negro and Caucasian are of different origins a perusal of arguments on that subject might do you good. If I had bought a negro I would only have left as I found him in the state an all wise and merciful creator placed and would not have added one slave to the number. I will hardly undertake the task of buying up slaves to liberate there one field for philanthropy for more needy. The abolition of slavery in the US is an impossibility except by the extinction of one or other race. To extend slavery is only to better the condition of the slave. Tell Ha[illegible] I’ve

stopped nursing babies”: I have become so habituated to western life changing from pillar to post, living only to keep body and soul together that I can hardly form a conception of what eastern life is, in large airy rooms, lots of cold good water, pretty gardens, etc. etc. and I presume the east will be quite novel ground to me especially if I ride into old Oxford in a rail-car. Oxford will be a city yet. – Lizze is still with us and not married yet, I’d like to be home and help fix the garden . - - - - - - - As to Maggies tombstone, have it open by all means let the rains and dews of heaven descend upon it let flowers bloom perennially. Let the glorious golden sunlight and the mild suggestive moon beams play upon it don’t have them shut off.

June 13th. 1857, St. Joseph,
Dear Sister, I have today bought 2/5 of 4 lots with G.K.Mc[illegible] on order on Pa for $6.66 2/3 because I did not want to be out of change entirely. I was at a large lot sale to day, saw $200 made in an hour and was sorry I had not some money to invest our farm lots cost [illegilbe] $1100. Mc[illegible] on Wednesday and will visit Oxford. [illegible] Gillilan of Adams was here this week and invested in S Mo. lands tell Pa to send there warrants immediately and I’ll have them created. $5000 worth were sent from here in one day Jones is over run. Write immediately, I am pretty well. Hunt rabbits-eat straw-berries and cornbread and read. Pretty warm weather at last and lots of wind. Fine school Love to all your afft. Bro. C.F. Himes.

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