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Title: Letter from Henry King Burgwyn, Jr. to his Mother, March 29, 1859: Electronic Edition.
Author: Burgwyn, Henry King, 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 Bari Helms
Text encoded by Amanda Page
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 15K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2005
© 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:
2005-08-03, Amanda Page finished TEI/XML encoding.
Source(s):
Title of collection: Burgwyn Family Papers (#1687), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Henry King Burgwyn, Jr. to his Mother, March 29, 1859
Author: H.K. Burgwyn Jr.
Description: 8 pages, 8 page images
Note: Call number 1687 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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Letter from Henry King Burgwyn, Jr. to his Mother, March 29, 1859
Burgwyn, Henry King, Jr.



Page 1
Chapel Hill N.C.
March 29th 1859

My Dear Mother

When I last wrote you I fully intended to write again during the week but really I was so hard pushed for time that I was quite unable to do so. The eruption which I wrote you about after spreading over both hands & a short distance on my arms went back again almost as suddenly as it appeared the Doctor prescribed ammonia & camphor water. I had the day after I wrote you a chill & not taking quinine enough it was followed by another & I was quite unwell for a day or two. I soon however applied my knowledge of chemistry to my case & excelled now in feeling very well. Last Friday I analyzed some dirt father gave me just before I left. I will give him the result of my investigations in a letter in a day or two. I wish first to consult Mr. Martin

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on a certain reaction. You may tell him however the principa constituents are silica, Iron, & Alumuna. Speaking of Chemistry you may assure Mary Ann that I have nothing to do with dissecting dead bodies that if I did & had have poisoned myself my alchemy would have told me the antidote. With regard to the patriarchal turkey I maintain his toughness was owing not to the principle of quick cooking but either to his age to the length of his demise or to Amy's not carrying out the principle judiciously. In other words I hold that ceteris paribus exposing a turkey for the proper length of time to a quick heat will render him jucier sweeter & tenderer than if you tortured him by burning him before a slow fire. For as in the case of an egg exposing him quickly to a very high heat coagulates the albumen of the flesh

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& prevents the juices from being sucked or driven out by the slow fire. You can not think that any juice can get through the white of a hardboiled egg & in as much as in the flesh of the turkey is a substance precisely similar to the white of an egg you yourself inveterate disbeliever that you are must confess I think that quick cooking a turkey should be preferred to the old fogy & slow method you formerly used.
I am very sorry indeed to hear from you that father had decided to employ Wilkins again. I suspected he would as soon as I heard that he was remaining at Thornbury from day to day. I despair now of ever seeing him go away. He will stay with father until he loses him some '4 or $5000 & then for the next three or four years there will be a great hue & cry versus that "miserable scoundel Wilkins" as there before was against "villain Reed," the "treacherous Sterling," the "[d]rinking Fairgrove["]

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& that "miserable fellow Boyce." I would not be at all surprised if next year Wilkins were head overseer & then there would be no telling where it would stop. My heart sinks within me though I try to hope for the best. I am sorry Mr. Scott's family are not further removed from him yet they are much better off there than where they were before.
My not getting the appointment to West Point was as you may imagine a great disappointment to me. I had hoped that after so many endeavors I would at last get it but l'homme propose mais Dieu dispose. As soon as I heard you say that Uncle Tom had written Clingman on my behalf I determined to write & thank him for his interest but I have not yet had time. I shall make it a point to do so next Tuesday night.
Poor Tupps & Pollok do not appear to like [Georg]etownso

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much as they did Mr. Horners. I attribute their dislike chiefly to their being confined rather more in Georgetown than they have been accustomed to.
You have received the accounts from Boston. What is the income you say it is less than you hoped for. Has Mr. Dehon made any definite decision with regard to accepting the bonds of Person made payable in Massachusetts? Who is Miss Juliette Gerard's fascinating intended.
There is a young lady Miss Delia Haywood from Raleigh staying with Mrs Hubbard . As in duty bound I called on her but was not very much pleased: however to night I & another young man have engaged to carry her & Miss Hubbard to church. He is to take the latter while I am to devote myself to Miss Haywood. We are to wait until the 11th hour before asking

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to "be allowed to have the pleasure (?) as well as honor (?) of escorting them to church" in hopes that somebody else may ask before us & — pardon the expression — we in consequence Save our mutton. If however we should be so unfortunate as to get cornered & swung, I for one am determined resolutely to shoulder my burden & appear in a perfect ectasy of joy at being allowed to conduct the Raleigh delegate to church.
On Friday night we had I think one of the heaviest blows I ever experienced. Poor Mrs Hubbard at supper was very much frightened & shook at every blast. It certainly blew most terribly one could hardly walk against it. It has been blowing more or less ever since but has lulled a great deal since Friday night. It has been quite cool too. So cool that were it not for the winds having been very high we would undoubtedly have had a sufficiently

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severe frost to have killed all the fruit trees in this county. The oaks have all put out & their buds too would in all probability have suffered.
Do you know whether father received my letter warning him of the Jackson Seraphina scheme by which both he & I were to be bamboozled out of some of our hard earned gains. I wrote him explaining the plans of the enemy & conjured him not to be taken in by them. I interpret his silence unfavorably.
There is a young man just here from the Institute of Virginia. I am going to call on him & find out from him something about the place. I think I mentioned to you that I had written Colonel Smith a letter requesting a catalogue & some information as to the requirements for entering certain classes. When I come home I will tell you all about it. In looking at an almanac today I was

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astonished to find how fast time had passed & how near the end of the session it was or rather how near senior vacation at which time I leave. I have heard that but one other partial course student besides myself was to receive a diploma if this be so & if strict justice be shown it will be. I shall consider it quite a triump considering all the time I have lost & that which they have thereby gained.
This is quite a long letter for me but I thought I owed you some amend for my last weeks single page & was determined to make up for it. I wrote Maria week before last & have impatiently expecting a reply. Give my love to all & don't forget to tell father I shall send him the result of my analysis in a day or two accompanied by a letter demanding pay for said work. Ever yr most

Affectionate Son

H.K. Burgwyn Jr.