Friday, September 16, 2016

Mary Louisa Mitchell Binckley to John Milton Binckley, July 3rd, 1867

[Mary Louisa Mitchell Binckley at Abingdon, Virginia, to John Milton Binckley at [within a day's postal delivery -- unless she means "ultimo" instead of "instant"], July 3rd, 1867].

Abingdon, July 3d 1867

Dear old man,

Your letter of [the] 2d Inst. came a while ago. I write only a line to answer your question about my health. I think I am really better -- my back ache is much less frequent -- my nervous attacks towards evening scarcely ever come now. I did have one or two while in Russell. I have neuralgia in my back and as this is a neuralgic climate & I cannot hope to be entirely free from it; but on the whole my health is steadily on the mend.

We have had only 3 days hot weather yesterday and the day before -- while in Russell and Tazewell I was most of the time really too cold. Even here they never have a hot night. So I feel very languid from the effects of the first hot weather. But I think may safely say that I am really much better.

Yesterday uncle Joe spent in Abingdon, took breakfast with us, and dinner at cousin John's. Mother and I were invited to dine with him there. You ought to have shared that dinner! Beautiful china, flowers on the table, such a saddle of mutton! [E]very vegetable of the season. Ice cream and cake.

I must stop -- no time for more --  will write again tomorrow, unless mother carries out her visiting plans. Uncle Bev is just getting about. Please send me Rosa Slocumb's direction.

By mistake your longest and most interesting letter was put away while I was gone, and mother forgot it until yesterday, the one I mean containing three verses. I have no time to answer that letter now. I have much to say to you.  Children perfectly well -- send most loving words to you and all. Aunt Lou never tires of talking of you or reading your articles.

Your own Mary

[John Milton Binckley (1821-1878)
Mary Louisa Mitchell/Michel Binckley (1838-1930)
Uncle Joe = Joseph Eggleston Johnston (1807-1891)

Cousin John = John Warfield Johnston (1881-1889)
Mother = Jane Mary Wood Johnston Mitchell/Michel (1811-1892)
Uncle Bev = Beverly Randolph Johnston (1803-1876)
Rosa Slocumb = friend in Washington City
Children = Nellie/Ellen/Nella Fontaine Binckley (September 1, 1860-April 27, 1951) and Harvey Mitchell Binckley (1864-1928)
Aunt Lou = Louisa Smith Bowen Johnston (1800-1873)]

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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