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Title: Letter from Thomas Ruffin, Jr. to his father, Thomas Ruffin, September 6, 1843: 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 Mike Millner
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:
2007-04-06, Mike Millner 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, September 6, 1843
Author: Thomas Ruffin
Description: 4pages, 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 fatherThomas Ruffin , September 6, 1843
Ruffin, Thomas, Jr.



Page [1]
Chapel Hill Sept. 6th 1843

Dear father .

This is a duty. which I know, should have been performed long since. Yet I write to some one of the girls. at home. every alternate mail, and I have the idea of home connected so intimately, with yourself, that I forgot that I was neglecting a parent, who has the first claim on all my actions.
The time has now arrived, when I begin to appreciate your Kindness, in offering an education. and the benefits to be derived from one. Indeed I may say that a complete change has been wrought in my ideas of what is right & what is wrong. I have determined to be something & not to leave this world. to be remembered as one, who came into it merely to enjoy its sweets & to submit to its misfortunes, & then to leave it, without one deed, which may have had a happy influence. on some fellow being. No I begin to despise the poor wretches, who are here spending their parents hard earned money. without deriving one single benefit from it. but one the other hand, are contracting such habits of vice & dissapation. as will heap miserey on their own heads, & cause them to be a disgrace to their friends. And here. dear father, I cannot help but notice the revolutions. which have occured in my notions concerning

Page [2]
religion & all things connected with it. I can no longer regard it with that indifference, which I was once accostomed to do, and with which I now see it treated every day. I can now value religion, and religious characters. This change was the effect of my associating with Joseph Huske, who was my only companion. last session. & in whose example I witnessed something so lovely. so ennobling. in a young man who was surround by vice & dissapation, in every shape, yet was able to mingle with it & to escape unhurt uncorrupted. I could not help from admiring such a charater & from entertaining hopes of reaching to such a one. The same happy effects were produced on Rob. Jones. He is entirely altered. So much so that the Faculty & students all have noticed it. he is now my only companion. and the only friend. that I ever expect to have on earth, for, Papa , I never expect to see much pleasure, whilst here, my disposition is an unhappy one. The past is all one dark & unpleasant picture to look upon, & I can hope but for few bright spots. in that part of my life. which is to come. Yet I pray to God , every night, that he may give me his grace that I may prove a blessing to those kind parents, who have toiled so much, & reaped, as yet, so little benefit from their labours.
The time will shortly come. when I shall be forced to leave college, when I shall glide from the quiet labours of a college life, into the bustle & confusion of the world. and I begin to consider what shall be my occupation in future life. however I have resolved to leave this point to be settled by a kind parent, who is so much

Page [3]
better acquainted with the world & its ways & to whom I know my interest is such a care. I have one request to make however, that you will permit me to spend one year, after I shall have graduated here. at West Point. I wish to resume my character as a student, and knowing that with my experience, I shall be so much better able to select my associates and to make better use of my time. I hope you will allow me to do so. I wish to join at that place particularly. for to stand high there is some honour & difficult. besides the course of studies is so well adapted for training the mind. I felt great reluctance in making this request. for I dislike so much to be any longer a burden to you & to tax your liberality in asking for the money requsite. that I abandoned the hope once. but then I thought that I would make the request & if you did not approve of it, then I would most cherfully submit to you [unrecovered]ision.
Gov. Swain has been very unwell for the last week & is still sick. So much so as to be confined to his room
Dr Mitchell intends taking Robin Jones & myself out mineralizing, on next Saturday, We are going to Jone's ferry, about fifteen miles distant, it will be quite a treat to us. as we are both very much taken with that Science
We have also formed a private class. on botany. We are making some collections of flowers & the girls, at home, are making, for us, a herbarium. I have their book. but they have written for it. so you will please to purchase one for me, "Mrs Lincoln's botany." Dr Mitchell advised me to procure a Johnston's Chemistry and as there are none here, I will be very much obliged to you

Page [4]
if you will find me one up by the first opportunity.
You are very anxious to reach home. I expect. after having been absent for so long. You will please to let us know when you will pass through, in order that we may see you. at the tavern. Give my best respects to Mrs Taylor & family & also to Judge Cameron's family.

I remain your affectionate Son

Thomas Ruffin