Saturday, October 1, 2016

Mary Louisa Mitchell Binckley to John Milton Binckley, circa May 1869

[Fragment, Mary Louisa Mitchell Binckley at Russell County[?], Virginia, to John Milton Binckley at Washington City, circa May 1869. As a second possibility, this could date to sometime in 1868, or even earlier. However, it seems to fit within the context of Mary Louisa's letters written during the 1869 period of her mother's convalescence].

. . . it was so. Everything in Virginia seems so sad and changed. The young men are without hope, the old have parted with it forever. Poverty and impudent free negroes are the most prominent features of society. And I verily believe that in a few years Virginians will be as close and grasping as the Yankees they have despised.

But I must stop, as I have an opportunity to send this letter and such a chance is not to be despised in this heathen land.

My love to dear brother Phil and your mother. The children mourn after you so. Every waterfall Nellie saw she "did wish she could draw for Papa." I think I will be able to get her to draw from nature when summer comes. I must stop.

Your own

[John Milton Binckley (1821-1878)
Mary Louisa Mitchell/Michel Binckley (1838-1930)
Brother Phil = Philander H. Binckley (circa 1827-1898)
Your mother = Charlotta/Charlotte Stocker Binckley (1788-1877)
Nellie = Nella Fontaine Binckley (1860-1951). Already a fledgling artist. 
Harvey Mitchell Binckley (1864-1928)]

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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