30 December 1863: “… on X we had a noble turkey which Mr. Irwin let me have $5 the cost.”

Item description: Entry, dated 30 December 1863, in the Meta Morris Grimball diary.  Mrs. Grimball writes of her family’s Christmas celebrations and the plight of several neighboring families in Charleston, S.C.

[transcription available below images]

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Item citation: From the Margaret Ann “Meta” Morris Grimball Diary, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Dec. 30 I have not written for a long time, & now before the New Year must write up.  William paid us a visit we all enjoyed, he had a bruised heel and was a great deal in the house he gave Harry lessons in Algebra and on X we had a noble turkey which Mr. Irwin let me have $5 the cost.  We all dined heartily on it, and it lasted 4 days the last one making a very fine soup.

I had some collars made for W. & he went off quite comfortably.  Peggy who has been staying at the Irwin’s in their wash room was informed they wanted the room so she came here in the wash room, and when the rain came & flooded the floor we moved her up stayrs, so it happened in the evening that W & H sat at the fire with their old Mauma W. smoking and the old Mauma smoking too: quite comfortable & having a cosy talk.  She is a remarkable looking old woman and has been a faithful nurse to my children she must be now 82 or 3.

There is an afflicted family in the Village.  Mrs. Butler, who teaches the district school has lost her son who was in the Treasury department receiving good pay engaged to be married to Miss Lucy Lucas who has some fortune, was in Wilmington at some public building transacting business the day was very cold and the high stone steps frozen, both hands filled with papers: he slipped on the first step and fell the whole way down knocking his head on every step & was taken up insensible and dies in two hours.  The Mother has the pity of everyone for she is a mild lady like woman and has suffered much her husband left her constantly for month at a time & the last 2 years of his life lived with a woman in Philadelphia as his wife.  He came on a visit to Richmond and there killed himself by jumping out of a window.  The son was conducting himself very well.  The Lord have mercy on her.

Old Miss Stone an infirm old lady had her horse and carriage burnt up.  The girls and Harry were at some tableau at the Court house & were very much alarmed at the glare of the fire thinking the Court house on fire: there is a quantity of powder stored there.

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