12 June 1863: “we have been living entirely on credit, & obliged to remove one daughter from school.”

Item description: Letter, 12 June 1863, from Mary E. Bell to William S. Pettigrew. In the letter, Bell describes her family’s misfortunes and asks for monetary aid from Pettigrew so that she may pay for her daughter’s school fees to attend boarding school in Salem, N.C. (later Salem College). In Pettigrew’s 26 June 1863 reply to Bell, it becomes clear that Bell has been displaced from Plymouth, N.C., to the interior of the state (she writes from Enfield) after her home in Plymouth was burned. In his reply, Pettigrew (who, at this time, is also a refugee from the eastern part of the state) says, “Be assured you have my sympathy in all your troubles, and I regret that it is not in my power to render you the pecuniary aid which your letter intimates would be serviceable at this time…”

Item citation: From the Pettigrew Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Near Enfield Halifax Co., June 12th 1863

Mr. William S. Pettigrew,

Dear Sir,

You have doubtless hear, & sympathized with our heavy losses & misfortunes. We have been indeed [?] & perplexed, unable to see our way in the darkness of the future. Except one hundred dollars [handed?] us the morning of our departure from Washington Co. we have been living entirely on credit, & obliged to remove one daughter from school. It is in view of sending her to Salem as the cheapest Institution we can note, that I presume upon your kind attention & request the aid which I know you will most cheerfully afford if in your power. Dr. Bell declined troubling you when the times are so [?] & uncertain but has consented that I may request your aid; which I do most readily, knowing you will assist us if in your power, & hoping you will not hesitate to decline if you are unable. The sum which I wish is $3.00 by August 1st when we shall arrive in Salem & $2.00 Christmas.

Dr. Bell joins in me in earnest wishes for your welfare & in sincere friendship.

Mary E. Bell.

Please address.
Dr. JMBell

No funds will be serviceable to us date prior to the 1st April 1863 as no other will be received at the Institution where we wish to send our two daughters.

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