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Title: Letter from J. B. Mitchell to Ruffin H. Thomson, May 29, 1866 : Electronic Edition.
Author: Mitchell, James Billingslea, 1844-1891
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 Caitlin R. Donnelly
First Edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: ca. 12K
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:
2007-05-29, Caitlin R. Donnelly finished TEI/XML encoding.
Source(s):
Title of collection: Ruffin Thomson Papers (#3315), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from J. B. Mitchell to Ruffin H. Thomson, May 29, 1866
Author: J. B. Mitchell
Description: 3 pages, 3 page images
Note: Call number 3315 (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 J. B. Mitchell to Ruffin H. Thomson , May 29, 1866
Mitchell, James Billingslea, 1844-1891



Page [1]
Chapel Hill N. C.
May 29th / 66

Dear Ruff

I came here intending to remain and complete my college course which the war interrupted, but the old Hill is so different from its former self that I begin to think seriously of going elsewhere. It is melancholy to contemplate the change. I can well understand the feelings of the old Indian who came back from the far West to visit once more his native hunting grounds & found himself alone & unknown where years before he was accustomed to sport with crowds of merry companions. Such is my situation now. New faces & cold hearts meet me every where. Our old club is no longer in existence. I shall not endeavor to revive it. Some of the most pleasant memories of my life are connected with the exercises

Page [2]
of that old club room. That genial flow of wit & humor, jest & ready repartee which made our hall so attractive and beloved cannot now be equaled by the material which we have in College and I would not burlesque those good old times by introducing a miserable failure. I have procured for my room the office in Dr. Mallet's yard formerly occupied by Charlie Martin. The Doctor's medical library remains in it and a skeleton used by him hangs on the wall by the side of my bed. So you see if I should change my decision & conclude after all to study medicine & go on with you to New Orleans this winter I have an excellent opportunity here to do so. The fact is, Ruff , I really dont know what I am fit for, or whether I am fit for anything at all. I know this much however, that I must work for my bread and I dislike very much to begin. One principle reason why I come here is that I may postpone the choice of a profession until I recieve more light on

Page [3]
the subject. I am afraid you will think I am fickle & probably I may be so, but I do not believe it. I only think it is that natural distrust of one's self & fear of making a false step which every young man is apt to feel when about to make choice of a profession. I would like to know your opinion with regard to what course would suit me best. You are as well acquainted with my nature as any one else, know my weak points, and (if I have any) strong ones, and upon your judgment I would place great reliance. Now, Ruff , I did say that next time my letter should be a long one but I really cant write it now, I will however before long. I have just recieved terrible news from home to day. I have got more kinsfolks than I had when I left. On the 16th of last month a little sister was born, and I can hardly think of anything else. Please answer this letter as soon as you get it and let your reply be lengthy. Good bye.

Your friend always

J. B. Mitchell