Thursday, September 8, 2016

Mary Louisa Mitchell Binckley to John Milton Binckley, September 4, 1868

[Mary Louisa Mitchell Binckley at Washington City to John Milton Binckley [at New York City, probably Brooklyn], September 4, 1868.]

My beloved,

I have this moment received your note of [the] 2d, and hasten to write a line, just to tell you why I have not written long before this -- every train from the North I expected would bring you to me, and so full of the thought that the next few hours might see you at home, that I never thought of writing. You must forgive me.

I am and have been intensely and secretly excited as to your mission and confess that if you fail (which I hardly think will happen) I shall be exceedingly mortified.

Already I hear that our enemies rejoice over the "mare's nest."

But your letter encourages me, & anxious as I am to see you, I want you to persevere if it takes a month. You have brought yourself into notice again and excited the wrath of the Rads -- for Heaven's sake put it out of their power to harm you.

The children are well. Brother Flan went down street to board on Monday without saying a word to me -- if he had given me a chance I would have begged him to stay until you returned.

Nellie was woefully disappointed that you were not here on her birthday, Tuesday, the 1st.

I have so much to say there is no use beginning so I will not attempt it.

God bless and prosper you, my dearie, in your struggle with the powers of darkness.

Your own Mary

[Marginal notes in pencil: In another letter some reference is made to "Rallius" and he seems an opponent. Could my father have been sent on "Whiskey Ring" business at this date? I know that an attempt was made to bribe my mother to recall him somehow from a trip to N.Y. A "barrel of money" was offered her! For he prosecuted and jailed some of these men]

[Louisa Mitchell Binckley (February 16, 1838-January 18, 1930)
John Milton Binckley (1821-May 4, 1878)
Nellie = Nella Fontaine Binckley (September 1, 1860-April 27, 1951)
Brother Flan = Possibly Philander H. Binckley (circa. 1827-1898)

See also The Papers of Andrew Johnson, Vol. 15: Sept. 1868-April 1869 (The University of Tennessee Press, 1998), page 8. Apparently John was meeting Asahel Nichols Cole (1821-1889) in Brooklyn while investigating the Whiskey Ring].

Original manuscript in the John Milton Binckley Papers, 1816-1943. Library of Congress Manuscript Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. This is my rough transcription. 

Many thanks to William Myers for sending scanned copies of the documents from the Binckley papers, and also to Mary Davy and Sally Young for their assistance.

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