[Source Description: 2 January 1854. Lucy Battle to William H. Battle. Battle Family Papers (#3223), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.]
Chapel Hill Jany 2d 1854
My dear Husband,
Now do not think, that I would not have written this letter that I am about to write, if I had not received the note by Mr. Wheat - for I intended to do this very thing, this very night - note or no note - I knew that you must feel some anxiety about the putting out of the negroes if for nothing else - so, I'll tell you straightway what disposition I have made of them. Mr. Wolff called on Saturday morning, agreed to take Maria, at $25 (I sent her down according to your direction on Thursday). I neither praised nor dispraised her - he therefore took her, as you did me, for better, for worse - soon after he called, Mr. Collier came & wanted Chaney - & I agreed to let him take her & Isabella (her youngest child). I told him that I forgot whether your price was $30 or 35 - he said he would & did give his note for 30 - but that he would give $35, if that was your price. I mentioned to him, that we wished to get Hal off - he recommended me to let Mr. Wright (Mr. Tinney's brother in law) have him as he thought he would be glad to get him & it would be a good home for the child - accordingly Mr. W. came that afternoon & agreed to take Hal for his victuals & clothes. I believe that we ought to have demanded something more but I was glad to get him off upon those terms. So you see old man, that they are all disposed even without an advertisement.
[written in margin:] Chaney arrived safely to my great relief - & is gone to her new home. I heard last night that Sam Phillips wanted her but heard that I had already disposed of her - so did not apply.
The Morgan negroes were hired publicly on that day - & I heard that they went enormously high - children & all. They (our folks) all seem right well pleased with their homes but Hal - he didn't wish to go at all. I had him dressed out quite genteely & I assure you, he looked right smart. Laura talks a little of taking Rufus, but I do not think, that she will. I went over to Mr. Phillips's to night. I have not seen Mother or any of the family before since you left. Mother has been complaining a good deal of Rheu-
matism - but is better to-day - the rest are all well. I have seen no one scarcely. Miss Sally & Lizzie Hall spent Saturday with us. Cos Mary was somewhat better - thought she could hear better - Gaston is here to-night says all well over his way. The young people are talking of the arrival of the Indians - & two more parties that are to come off this week - one at Miss Nancy's - the other at Mr. Waitts - another subscription party, that - did you ever hear the like? Well: Toney has been as busy apparently to-day as you ever saw any one, but has not succeeded in hauling a single load of wood. In the first place, he came in early to say that he must have a pr of breast chains - & something about the hawes or traces I forget what - well I gave him an order to get them. Then he tried his plough tines - found they wouldn't do at all for the new horse has become very skittish - told me, he ought to have strong leather reins - well I sent him off to Suggs to get them - but Mr. S. cannot have them ready it may be till day after to-morrow. I confess that I fear we shall get out of wood before that time - but he says, I shall not. He thinks the wagon is too heavy for two horses - withal, I have been quite discouraged to-day on account of the wood "prossinority" - I received the money by Mr. W. - his horse ran away & broke the sulky to pieces - did not hurt him - he however left his trunk that contained my Almanacs on the road - as he rode Satan home. He sent me word that I should have them to-morrow. I am much obliged to you for the C. Almanac. I intended to have begged you to send one. I received the lamps also, by Sam - for which I thank you - tho' one leaks so, that I shall return it by the very first opportunity. I like them very much. We had a long hard look for the key - but I had an idea all the time, that it was in your pocket. I sent & borrowed corn enough from the Gov: to last till Sam returned - speaking of corn - I am reminded that Mr. Collier told me that he did not believe that corn would bring more than $3 after a little. Mr. Davis brought two loads of hay, the day you left for which I paid him - he told me to say to you that he can spare you corn at $4. I believe that I would not agree to take it now. it certainly will not be higher & we may get it lower - I am glad to hear that Kemp passed - but I don't believe that he is satisfied with his examination tho' his letter was very humorous. I am sorry that they did not hear the Bishop. We had no service - neither in the day or night. I read sermons - papers & c but the day was a long one - & I was glad when bed time came - that time has long since arrived to night. I will let off this little piece till the morning.
The sun has risen beautifully - the children are joyful in anticipation of the Indian performances. Toney got a rope, I hear & is gone for his first load of wood. I cannot hear how the new horse performed - he had been idle so long - he has been too gay[?] of late. Mother & Laura desired their love to be given you. Mary sends hers - give mine to the Dr. & Priscilla - tell Jimmy not to forget me - & little Willie too - & believe dear old man that I love you very, very dearly - & that I miss you, so much - am as lonely almost as when you attended your 1st circuit.
May God forever bless you -