Woman writes about negroes she once owned--now voting; superiority of whites

Recipient

Date Written

April 29, 1868

History Referenced

The recipient, Reuben Reynolds, was 55 when this was received.
The following was written 150 years, 8 months, 25 days ago.
It was a Wednesday.

Statesville, Wednesday eve
April 29th

Dear Uncle Reuben,

Thinking you have been from home sufficiently long to be anxious to receive a letter, I have concluded to “drop you a few lines.” Although Pa is writing to Mr. Beaver, perhaps I may be able to say something he will omit which may amuse or interest you.

Pa received three letters this morning from your party and we were more than glad to hear you were well, and in fine spirits–and pleased with the country. We have had a great deal of rain. Jim and Wes have planted very little corn. It rained for five days incessantly the week after you left which was ___week. The bottom on the Salisbury Branch looks like it had been swept. The Catawba River was higher than it has been in twenty five years. No damage done at the Mill. The water was so high that there was no fall at the dam, the water flowed evenly on. Today is warm am afraid it will not continue to long.

Well the election passed of quietly, the first day was very wet, but did not prevent the Negroes from flocking in at an early hour. Some few Negroes voted the conservative ticket, among them Joe and George Moore and Dick who used to belong to us. Jim did not vote. I have no doubt some were afraid to vote as they wished. Margaret and I were not at home, were staying with Rock, Robert being absent and I did not think of telling Jim what you said about voting for you, until it was too late. I told him a few days ago about it and he said if he had known it, he would have done it. I believe he would.

From all we can learn, I am afraid the infamous Constitution has been ratified by a large majority. You can imagine how we all feel. Words are inadequate to express my contempt for a white man who thinks a negro his equal, and you know I thought as much of my negroes as any one. Well Nat Boyden beat “Kalvin Kowles” for Congress. Frank Davidson & Mr. Nicholson were elected for the Commons and Jack McLanellin, the Senate and Mr. Wasson for sheriff. We had a good deal of company Const. week-among the number the “Dickens.”

Tom Dula is to be hung day after tomorrow. I suppose there will be quite a crowd here. They are guarding the jail day and night. Margaret went home with Mrs. Sharpe last night and has not been home today. She is well, but has not got her trunk yet.

Tell those people out there not to feed you too well or you will stay too long. Say to Mr. Beaver for me that we are in a considerable of a “difficult” just about now. Lydia will not stay home since you left and I like to forget to tell you Miss Lydia has been sick. Kack attributes it to your absence. Well I could write a good deal more of the same kind, but have not time as the mail will soon be closed. I have tried to write so large as possible so that you may read it yourself–hence its horrible appearance, but you needn’t let anyone see it. Tom must let me know if you come to any conclusion as to which one of your friends you think the most of.

We look for a letter every mail whether we get it or not. Write as often as you can. Pa will write you soon, would have done so today had he had time. Love to all the friends and accept a share for yourself. All well.

Affectionately your niece,
Bell

Scans of Letter