Sunday, January 20, 2013

1863 January 5 University of Virginia

U. of Va. Jan 5th (Monday) 1863--

Dear General    (John Hartwell Cocke)
      Your kind letter of the 2d inst was delivered
by your grandson on (Sat. evening) the 3d - and, accompanying
it, the servant brought in your generous tokens of kindness
to my wife and my self - for which we sincerely thank you -
      We desire that you would present to your daughter Mrs
Brent our grateful acknowledgements for her favor - butter
is well nigh "contraband" in the proper sense of that word
in this community - 1,50 per pound - The value that sent by
your daughter at a much higher figure - Friendship
cannot be bought with gold or pearls --
     I return the "containers" of your favors, sent both by Mr Mi
-nors cart and your own carriage by your servant Nelson today-
except the pot in which the Black Hamburg root and cuttings
came - Mrs McGuffey has been carefully [potting?] these (and
with skill I hope) until the rigor of winter shall have passed
If  his is not right please inform her, and she will instantly
"change her base of operations" - If you do not find occasion
to visit the University before the Hamburgs should be trans-
planted, I must trouble you to write me specific directions
as to how the ground in the angle formed by the walks of the
parterre and my study should be prepared for their reception
You stated this verbally when last with us - but my ex-
perience in such matters is but slight, and, in a case which
we deem of such importance (my wife would not take a fortune for
the Homburg) I fear to make any serious mistake -

[page 2]
Nothing could delight Mrs M. and self more than to
spend a while with you and your family at Bremo -
our visits there are full of most pleasant [recollections?] - But
in proportion as my class is small and the policy of keeping
up the University during the war problematical, (as though[t] by some)
I feel prompted to give the more sedulous care that nothing may be
blamed by our Visitors, and therefore abstain from every engage-
ment, or absence that could possibly abate the efficacy of my
instructions to my class tho' it consists but one more than
the Graces -- four --  Be assured, that unless your house is
full of refugee friends - (for such have exclusive claims) our very
first visit will be to Lower Bremo -
  Mrs. McG. is a member of the L[adies[ A[id] S[ociety] of it and heard Mrs Cabell speak
of your check having been recd - Mrs C. will doubtless if she has not already
acknowledge the recpt of the money - My wife will see her today probably
-but all is safe-
 We regret the ill health of our friend Mr Bordon - please remember us
to him when you may have occasion to write - He has our sympathy -
  Surely our enemies must see that the hand of God is against them
How signally they have again been defeated near Murphysborough since
the, to them, disastrous battle of Fredricksburgh! - It seems to me that the
language of the 9th verse of the 20th chapter of Revelation is almost totally
applicable to their armies - "And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and
compassed the camp of the saints, and the beloved city - and fire came
down from God out of Heaven and devoured them - !
  My Dear friend, I partake with you largely in the sentiment
of reluctance to live as an encumbrance - or in the way of others - and in
the desire to depart and be with Christ which is far better - no won-
-der that, in these times, men of your age, or even of mine should, at
times become tired of life, a life so imperfect - But in your case, much
good is still in your power to do - more than in mine - for my occupation
I mean professionally [hole in paper] is comparatively gone - Still our Christ has
Master has work for us to do, or he would not continue us in life and in
such unwanted health at our age - mine as well as yours amounting to
the almost entire absence of evry every physical discomfort - Pray read the
the[sic] 1st chapter of 1st Peter, and soon I shall ask the privilege soon of writing
to you on this subject at some length - All well - yours as ever WHMcGuffey

Professor of Moral Philsophy William Holmes McGuffey was a frequent correspondent of the aged General John Hartwell Cocke, the last surviving member of the original Board of Visitors. 
Black Hamburgs were a variety of grape.

MSS 640

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.