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Title: Letter from Thomas Ruffin, Jr. to his father, Thomas Ruffin, [Nov.-Dec.] 1842 [Containing a request that his father let him leave college in order to go to sea and make it his profession]: Electronic Edition.
Author: Ruffin, Thomas, Jr.
Funding from the University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Bari Helms
Images scanned by Caitlin R. Donnelly
Text encoded by Stephanie Adamson
First Edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: ca. 16K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007
© 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 South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-02-09, Stephanie Adamson finished TEI/XML encoding.
Source(s):
Title of collection: Thomas Ruffin Papers (#641), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Thomas Ruffin, Jr. to his father, Thomas Ruffin, [Nov.-Dec.] 1842 [Containing a request that his father let him leave college in order to go to sea and make it his profession]
Author: Thomas Ruffin
Description: 3 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 641 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Editorial practices
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Originals are in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Letter from Thomas Ruffin, Jr. to his father, Thomas Ruffin , [Nov.-Dec.] 1842 [Containing a request that his father let him leave college in order to go to sea and make it his profession]
Ruffin, Thomas, Jr.



Page [1]
Chapel Hill N. Carolina

Dear father

I suppose you did not receive the letter, which I addressed to you, when in Raleigh, by my receiving no answer to it, & I expect that you are vexed that I did not write to you as you requested, which I did just before you left Raleigh for home. I now wish to lay open to you my plan of future life, & dear father do not blame me for it, for it shall be my constant endeavour myself as is suitable to the character, which you have gained by hard labour & toil, for your family. & besides should you think it wrong after hearing my reason, charge it to my head & not to my heart.—To look forward, when you shall be no more & to think that the name of Ruffin which is one of the first on the pages of North Carolina's history, shall sink & that my brothers & sisters shall merely be respected. It is then that I form resolutions to conduct my life in such a way as not only to be respectable, but such a profitable one, that, after your death, Mama, at least, shall continue in the same manner of life, as she did when you were here. This is my only reason for making the following request, Viz, that you would permit me to quit college & go to sea, & do not think that I have gone over

Page [2]
all these things, which I have related merely to deceive you, or that it is a mere fancy, boyish & childish for I do assure you that I have thought over it often, in tears & it is my opinion that I cannot succeed at the Bar or in the practice of medicine, & I disdain to become a pety politician, who can alter his sentiments, according to popular caprice, & should you permit me to go to sea, I would make it my profession & endeavour to make it an honorable one. I would also endeavour to become a scholar of some renown, & if God should permit me to reach an old age, I will with draw myself from my profession & sit myself down as an instructer of the youth of my country. "The most honorable occupation of all occupations" It is for these reasons, that I make the request & if you should think differently, I will lay them aside, to be thought of no more, only father do not blame me for it. I confess that I tried to deceive you once, but forgive me for it & I will pray to our heavenly father, that he will forgive me & also to direct me in the path of rectitude & virtue hereafter. I have made the upmost endeavours, this session, to correct all my vices, & I feel as if a heavy burden was take off of me, after making this session & I feel assured that it will be received with joy by you & my dear Mama .
I hope that you will write to

Page [3]
immediately & give me your opinion on it, & Dr. Jones came very near writing, to you, himself, once this session to persuade you to let me go, on account of my health but I told him, that he had better wait a little while & since that my health has improved & I enjoy better health, than I ever did in my life, & I wish you would write me word, what I am to do about his account, both for last & this sessions.
I suppose you know that body of the Hon Louis Williams passed through here last week, & that it passed by Mr. Foust, if it did not stop there, we all formed a procession & marched out about half of a mile with it.
You will receive my report before long & I hope that will be a better one than before, on languages, but it is almost impossible for me to get better on mathematics, for I am by nature no mathematician. I suppose that you know that the two Polks of Tenesee.
You will please to give my love to Mama & all of the family. & tell Jane Minerva, that Miss Mary Mitchell told me to ask her to set out a Citevener so that I can bring if down to her next session & also she wishes Mama to send her some flower seed.

I remain your affectionate Son

Thomas Ruffin


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