[Source Description: 3 January 1854. William H. Battle to Lucy Battle. Battle Family Papers (#3223), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.]
Raleigh Jany 3rd 1854
My Dear Wife/
I am not yet prepared to write you a full letter, but there are some matters about which I wish to advise with you and I avail myself of this mode of doing it. I suppose Chaney got home in the stage last evening or rather yesterday afternoon. I did not fully understand why she did not come on with Cate a day sooner. I had to furnish her money to pay in part her stage fare, & I think she said Richard had paid her fare on the Rail road. She has thus cost us first & last more than she has been worth in money since she has been at Chapel Hill. I mention this, that you may get as much hire for her as you can the present year. According to the rates given for the hire of negroes here yesterday, we ought to get $100 for her and Maria, but as they are lower at Chapel Hill we must be content to take less. Maria ought to hire for at least $30, and Chaney with her youngest child $35. Hal would have brought here $10. Can't you get him there $5 for him? You must put Richard's services in requisitions to arrange these matters.
[written in margin:] The court met this afternoon, [and] appointed Hamilton Court Reporter - I voted for Phillips. Judge [illegible] for Jones. The Chief Justice for Winston first and then for Jones. I will explain his reason for so doing to Mr. Phillips himself.
Harry[?] & Sue got off in the cars yesterday morning and I hope they are now safe at Rocky Mount. Dilly went with them on his way to Everettsville, intending however to stop awhile at Enfield to visit some of his schoolmates in that neighborhood. Fred[?] seems to have been in very fine spirits ever since she left home - though was a little mortified at missing one or two questions put
to him by Judge Pearson on obsolete law. He was somewhat relieved afterwards when all the other members of the class shared the same fate, notwithstanding which the class was complimented by Judges Nash & Pearson as the best which had ever been before them.
I recd a letter from Dossey[?] Saturday evening. His wife has improved very much. The rest all well. He himself complains still of his hand - says he succeeded beyond his calculations in his business last year. He can pay me the money which I paid for him in the Spring. The Myrick debt is secured at last, and they will send him a check soon for $690, of which I wrote him to send me $400. Bunn promises to pay a part, if not all his debt, this winter. Billy is very well & willing to go on the road again, & the company readily agreed to pay $150 for his hire. Billy however wishes to be a fireman, & if so they will give $20 per month which will be $240. Dossey said he would do the best he could.
I hope J. T. Wheat reached house safe yesterday, and gave you the $100 I sent by him, as I think it probable the pork will be sent today. I will endeavor to send you more money by Gov. Swain, with which to pay all the smaller accounts against us. I omitted to mention in connexion[sic] with Dossey's letter that he wished us to take his son as a boarder next session & I have agreed to do so. He will send him when Richard comes up this week or next.
Judge Strange is detained at home by a dangerous attack of sickness. Some think he cannot recover at all. Others that he may, but not very soon. Dr. McSwain is slowly improving, but it is thought that he will soon go off with consumption.
In calling at the Bank to day to see Mr. Mordecai I met with, & was introduced to the Bishop. I am invited with him & other clergy at Mr. Tweed's next Thursday. I send two dollars to help you on with charges.
Yours as ever