© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text
The electronic edition is a part of the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill digital library,
Documenting the American
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 5 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Transcript of personal correspondance. Originals are in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved.
DocSouth staff created a 600 dpi uncompressed TIFF file for each image. The TIFF images were then saved as JPEG images at 100 dpi for web access.
Page images can be viewed and compared in parallel with the text.
Any hyphens occurring in line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.
Letters, words and passages marked as deleted or added in originals have been encoded accordingly.
All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as ".
All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as '.
All em dashes are encoded as —.
Indentation in lines has not been preserved.
McLaurin explains that he feels no shame in wanting to quit college. He encourages his brother to spell coud, woud, and shoud correctly.
Your last of the 27
came to hand this morning and was read and reread, and the "remark"
made by afriend pondered and reflected upon. With all honor due him, whoever he
may be, I beg leave to differ with him in saying "that the very fact of a
mans having the opportunity of graduating, and does not avail himself of it,
will be of more injury to him in any future undertaking, than he can obliterate
by four years of fruitful labor, even if he should be as good a scholboy as
though he had graduated". I deny this assertion "in toto". but
do not say that I will not receive any advice from or profit
from would tends to defame, polute, and
destroy by his own slothful and idle example and when the aprenticeship is
served, and the late bondman steps into the new arena,—the active scenes
of life—, he'll find full soon, that, insted of lolling on flowing beds
of ease, the pen of the poet never recorded a more homely truth than that
contained in the few words,—to wit;
Then it is
is that he sees the fruit of his choice
and the error of his way—contrasts his condition with what he was and
what he might have been, if his time had been otherwise employed—and
firmly convinces himself that he could accomplish
more in four weeks of
moderate labor than his
habits formed and "sheepskin" unworthily obtained can
ever accomplish for him in any
future undertaking, and if disposed to put the blame on any other than his
own devoted head, will point with a scornful finger to the suggestor of the
"sheepskin" and be want to consider him his fellest foe and a most
These are some of the objections that might be urged. If a man is
no diploma, but if he trust to a diploma that he
can't read to wind his way for him, his crown will never be studded with pearls
and gems that will eclipse the splendor of the noonday sun.
From the tenor of your letter you have certainly misunderstood
what I said, or I didn't say enough to convey the idea I intended. whatever I
did say I intended saying "quit for a while"
at which makes the inference somewhat
It is contrary to human nature not to accept a generous and
friendly offer, and I can't say that I am an exception to the general rule. 1/2
the amount is as much as I want and more than I could ask for or reasonably
expect, and when I have obtained the other half by my own exertion, if insisted
upon will accept the generous offer of a kind uncle, for which I am much
obliged. In quitting College it is not my intention to stop entirely or assume
the retrograde notion, which I agree with you
that it would be out
of place and absurd, but cant convince myself that you have placed your figures
within bounds in saying that "by quitting College now you could not expect
to occupy a position acceptable to two thirds of mankind". In your
eagerness to have me continue you have been extravagant in your comparisons or
have placed the "positions acceptable to mankind" in a very high
scale, as I think that any man with common sense—whether I posess that
quality or not—can occupy a position acceptable to 99/100 of mankind, and
the other 1/100 are only those who would reject with contempt and brand with
infamy the honest vocations, the latter I have no desire to imitate nor do I
suppose any one would
I was in
cousin, and upon being
allowed the priviledge of reading it was truly sorry to see that you still
insist upon it that c-o-u-d, w-o-u-d, s-h-o-u-d are all the letters requisite
to the good spelling of the words cou ld, wou ld, & shou ld, if you will
insist that it is so I insist that you appeal to an
unabridged authority or any other that may be convenient, and I think that you
will be thoroughly convinced of your error. In the hurry of writing any one is
liable to leave out a letter or a word, but when any one leaves out a
particular letter of particular words every particular time that those
particular words are used and that too after that particular omission of a
particular letter being particularly pointed out, particularly often, it
indicates a particular peculiarity of a particular person to be particularly
negligent of particular spelling, and I particularly asked your
"cousin" to particularly ask you how you spelled particular words,
and after this if you still insist upon having it so, I can't particularly
insist upon any particularity whatever. I hope that you make no such mistakes
upon your books, if you do you are certainly deficient in one of the essentials
of a good book-keeper and must make particular improvements before you'll be
considered an adept in the art poor fellow
4. Formerly a town on the
5. The postscript, beginning "Where is Hugh D.", appears in the upper right corner of page one and is written upside down with respect to the rest of page one.